Playing Around 

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Stephanie J. Peaberry Coffee, 7335 N. Academy Blvd., 598-7570 Saturday, Aug. 27, 8 p.m.; no cover.

Stephanie J. looks so young and innocent that her heart-racing, frantic guitar playing is completely unexpected. The acoustic-strumming super-cutie appears to keep her emotions pent up in order to explode them on stage. Her words -- "Why do you hold my heart if you're just going to break it? / With hazardous misuse why do I insist that you take it?" -- divulge her truths, but there's a sense of disconnectedness. She doesn't charge her voice with expressing those emotions, relying instead on her direct lyrics and plucky fingertips. Stephanie J.'s energy and honesty will leave an impression if you're willing to judge her music and not her youth.

-- Sara Gallagher


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