Wednesday, November 16, at Gypsy Tea Room's "Tea Room"
In a rare instance where musical guest stars contributed something more than their names to a sticker slapped on the CD, Styrofoam's 2004 album, Nothing Lost, actually put Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and American Analog Set's Andrew Kenny to productive use. But don't worry about the lack of guest stars when Arne Van Petegem, otherwise known as Styrofoam, plays a solo gig on Wednesday, because when he relies more on himself and less on the hired help, Petegem can dazzle like few others. Blending hip-hop, nerdy electro-pop and fairly standard singer-songwriter fare, Petegem creates a shimmering, danceable twang that annoys almost as much as it enthralls. "Ticket Out of Town" is as romantic an ode to dysfunctional relationships as any mope could hope to find while "Make It Mine" is a lengthy, egomaniacal trip through Loserville. Rarely have computers and the tried-and-true creative spark of loneliness worked together so seamlessly.