The million-dollar record

Four years after its debut, Slowpoke makes its major-label bow on Geffen

Which is what makes her brand-new Two Kinds of Laughter--released on the New York-based Shanachie folk label, which released her odds-and-sods collection Misfits last year--all the more remarkable. Featuring only Hickman and producer Adrian Belew (best known for his work with Talking Heads and King Crimson), it's a sort of return-to-roots record for Hickman, no studio musician or special guest standing in between the song and the audience. It's a reminder that there are few things more special than the sound of Hickman alone with an acoustic guitar. Two Kinds of Laughter manages to be at once fragile ("Now I talk to God all day/As he tries to take this pain away/That you have embedded so deeply") and tough ("Just don't forget/I wear the crown"), music made by a mother of a 19-month-old daughter and by a woman who recently became single again. With songs penned by Hickman, who left Dallas a few years ago for Austin, and occasionally co-written with Jon Brion (the former Grays guitarist who has worked with Sam Phillips) and local pop-folkie Colin Boyd, the album proves that sometimes, less gives you way more than you ever expected.

Sara Hickman will perform April 3 at the Gypsy Tea Room.

Scene, heard
Metafora, the Dallas-based Spanish-language 'zine dedicated to covering Latino rock and roll, will hold its first concert on April 4 at Palenque Dallas. Confirmed so far are Molotov, the Mexican ska-punk-rock band that sounds as though it's listened to a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone, and Peru's Terapia Intensiva. The show begins at 8 p.m., and tickets are available at the door for $30. (Wait--Thirty dollars? That'd better come with free drink tickets.) Call (214) 367-8800 for more information...

The very-rockin' REO Speedealer--singled out by NashVegas superstar Kathy Mattea during her recent SXSW performance because she found their name so, like, weird--has just released a seven-inch single on the New York-based Royalty Records. The A-side features the sensitive ballad "Double Clutchin' Finger Fuckin'" (no, not the George Gershwin song of the same name), and the single's available at finer outlets near you...

For those who follow such things, Psalm 69 has busted up (nooooooooooo!), citing in a press release (nooooooooooo!) "creative and personal differences" (nooooooooooo!). The band will bid Dallas its tearful farewells with two upcoming shows: April 4 at Club Dada and April 10 at the Orbit Room.

Send Street Beat e-mail tips, gripes, and pipe bombs to rwilonsky@dallasobserver.com

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