Playing Around 

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Absylom Rising The Dublin House, 1850 Dominion Way, 265-8820 Thursday, Feb. 2, 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. no cover. Bennys Lounge, 517 W. Colorado Ave., 634-9309 Friday, Feb. 3, 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. no cover.

As every elementary-schooler has learned, you can't always judge something by its packaging. This especially goes for Absylom Rising. Their album art looks like it was created with MS Paint from Windows 95; nevertheless, the talent of the outfit from Oxford, Miss., shouldn't be passed up. AR sounds like a combination of Barenaked Ladies, moe. and The Soggy Bottom Boys. Yes, it's a little weird, but isn't that true for most jam bands? AR's songs cover the spectrum: "How Prince Joe-Nathan Put His Eyes Out ... " is a playful, hyper piece that plays on the Rapunzel fairy tale, while "Cellophane" is a contemplative jam anthem with piles of vocal harmony. AR seems to have a pot on every burner of the jam stove, and are proficient at what they do. Check out one of their Springs shows and learn that they don't need a (good) graphic designer to offer a full package.

-- Sara Gallagher


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