By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
But Crenshaw doesn't traffic in throwback Xeroxes of chestnuts; his songs are here and now--even though commercial radio won't allow his music on the air. In concert, Crenshaw casts his spell of shoulda-been hits, delivering them with thunder and seductively offering passage into his never-never land of pop.
Humble and unassuming, Marshall Crenshaw is no poseur or poster boy, which explains in part his lack of mass-market fame, yet he did play Buddy Holly in the movie La Bamba and, 20 years ago, John Lennon in the debut Broadway cast of Beatlemania. Like Lennon, his rhythm guitar keeps a perfect groove, and his solos sweeten songs without a wasted note.
Crenshaw has released eight albums since 1982 and sings the "Bad Boy" theme on the current sitcom Men Behaving Badly. Definitive covers of his songs have been recorded by Robert Gordon, Bette Midler, Was (Not Was), Kelly Willis, and the Gin Blossoms, with which he wrote that group's 1995 hit, "Til I Hear It From You."
Crenshaw's craftsmanship as producer of his own work is also superior. "Don't Forget Me," his self-produced cut on last year's Harry Nilsson tribute--For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson--stands out as the best among the album's 23 tracks.
Crenshaw says he has been "draggin' my sorry ass around the country" on tour, but he'll be rip-roaring into town as part of a power trio in support of his new album, Miracle of Science. Victor DeLorenzo, formerly of the Violent Femmes, opens.
--Josh Alan Friedman
Marshall Crenshaw plays Poor David's Pub Saturday, November 23.