Lu Mitchell, Emilie Aronson, Bill Nash, Julie McClain and Sam Swank 7 p.m., Friday, November 2. Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse (9555 North Central Expressway). $2 (25th Anniversary prices all month).
The musical version of Molly Ivins, Lu Mitchell looks like someone’s crazy-ass grandma, replete with a gray bowl haircut enormous, out of style red-rimmed eyeglasses that would better suit Mrs. Roper than a social critic. At first, when you hear the twang of her band Catch-23 and the old-school Americana roots-y twang in her voice, you assume her show will probably be just about as fun as watching granny’s organ recital at the local Baptist church. But Mitchell will surprise you—her songs are just as down-home, rootin’ tootin’ groovy as anything you’d hear at the All Good Café or Poor David’s, and her lyrics are less shtick-y than they are insightful. Take “Love on the Internet,” the story of a couple who meets online and falls in love, only to have the love crushed due to the mores of Dallas social structure, as outlined by the highway system: “She wrote/ ‘Why not come to my house for the evening/ We’ll send out for pizza, watch a video/ He was eager, til he found she lived in Plano/ and north of Loop 12 he would not go/ Oh, it’s a sad, sad tale of one city/ where status draws the line I hate to say/ He would not go north of Northwest Highway/ She would not go south of LBJ.” This, from Mitchell’s excellent album I’m Not Martha Stewart. -– Jonanna Widner