Paleface at Evening Muse tonight (8/25/2012)
PALEFACE Willfully ramshackle alt-folk and acoustic punk savant Paleface has been poised on the verge of a big commercial breakthrough for more than 20 years. Signed to a major label in 1991, he refused to tamp down his outspokenness and wayward weirdness, appalling fans of tour-mates (and banal footnote) The Crash Test Dummies. Tours with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Billy Bragg — along with another flirtation with the majors — followed, but it wasn’t until Paleface crossed paths with Concord’s Avett Brothers and Ramseur Records that the singer locked into his groove. Moving from New York City to North Carolina, Paleface has found the ideal collaborator in his wife, percussionist and singer Monica Samalot. Her earthy vocals mesh perfectly with the gruff troubadour’s, and her “inspired primitive,” Moe Tucker-style drumming propels the duo’s jaunty, zydeco-flavored folk-pop and rootsy shout-alongs that by turns recall Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, M. Ward and John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance.” Paleface may be mellowed, but he’s still the disheveled street-corner preacher whose thoughts spill out rushed and unfiltered. It’s a big piece of Paleface’s charm that he seems compelled to cram all of his thoughts and emotions into every minute, as if the song he’s singing, indeed each verse, may be his last. With Jeremy Current. $10. Aug. 25, 8 p.m. Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. 704-376-3737.