The Polyphonic Spree

Between you and me, I'm beginning to tire ever so slightly of The Polyphonic Spree. Some days I get into my silver VW Bug, pump up the jams on my 40-gigabyte iPod and realize that the magic just isn't what it used to be--the novelty of fitting 86 people on a single stage has worn off, or the cozy disconnect between a grimy rock club and an unbridled sense of philanthropy has dulled. So thank goodness (or, actually, God) that Christmas is coming: It's exactly the kind of pomp-saddled event Tim DeLaughter probably first donned a robe for and just the thing to invest the group's shtick with a crucial sense of purpose. They seem to know it, too, since, among other festivities, they're serving milk and cookies at midnight and bringing with them Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and Frosty (or at least patient hipsters in itchy costumes, à la psych-pop peers the Flaming Lips). And they've got backup: L.A. folk-pop dude Patrick Park, whose manicured woe-is-me I expect will prove to be a real bummer, and New York's Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, a talked-about family combo whose faux-outsider charm should wow the Spree's faithful. What's more, the shows afford the opportunity to actualize that unbridled philanthropy--both benefit Toys for Tots. Bring a toy, bang a gong, jump for joy, get it on.
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Mikael Wood