November 11-17, 2004


Sally Timms


Some artists set their sails to the prevailing winds, but on In the World of Him (Touch and Go), Sally Timms takes a deep breath and blows the other way. With the help of producer Johnny Dowd, who shares Friday’s Five Spot bill, Timms makes a clean break with her alt-country past; it’s as if the transplanted Brit, who has lived in Chicago for many years, is too furious with America’s present to celebrate its past. Explicitly a meditation on war, from the barracks brutality of “Corporal Chalkie” to the sardonically rah-rah “Bomb,” In the World of Him also, not incidentally, finds Timms enacting or addressing male perspectives on most of its nine tracks. On “I’m Just a Man,” which could have been the album’s most traditional song, the honky-tonk guitar bends and warps like a dusty dance floor in a funhouse mirror, while the album-closing “Little Tommy Tucker” recasts a nursery rhyme as a spectral dirge. The album’s cover may find Timms atop a mussed motel-room bed in fuck-me heels, but the cold directness of her stare leaves open to question who ravaged whom.

Fri., Nov. 12, 9 p.m., $10, with Johnny Dowd and Adam Arcuragi, The Five Spot, 5 S. Bank St., 215-574-0070.

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