[ easy listening ]
It's hard to satisfactorily explain how a band as improbable as Lambchop — the variably personneled but generally absurdly large vehicle of perennially gruff Nashville fuddy-duddy Kurt Wagner — has made it through 20 years. But he and they have lasted that long, maintaining a modest but seemingly tarnish-proof profile, earning critical plaudits at every turn via a steady stream of willfully abstruse mutterings and stylistic stagnation (at least for the bulk of their career) in polite, ruminative, high-gloss mood music that's? so easy on the ears as to barely leave any impression at all. But it's equally hard not to be glad they're still around, especially when they keep making records like Mr. M (Merge), their 11th long-player, which feels vital and surprising despite being just as poetically mundane, laconically lush and beautifully inscrutable as everything else they've done. Weird.
Wed., April 18, 8 p.m., $20, with Meg Baird, World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St., 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com.