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This Little Underground

Bao Le-Huu takes on Jeff the Brotherhood, the Kills, Jucifer, Lydia Loveless and more

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But the surprise of the night was Ohio opener, 21-year-old Lydia Loveless. Like a honky tonk-hardened Neko Case, this big-voiced little lady is the real Mac. Though she packs all the grace idealized by the feminine voice, her hard-edged country is fueled by an attitude that’s not to be trifled with – it could probably drink your machismo under the table. And adding nice body to her songs was the accompaniment of an upright, occasionally bow-stroked bass.

Later that night was local band Chasing Jonah (Will’s Pub), whose female-fronted sensibility is just about the polar opposite of Lydia Loveless. Now, history shows that little good ever comes from acts whose names combine a continuous present tense verb and a biblical name. (Breaking Benjamin, to name one.)

But no particularly serious crimes were perpetrated here. Their music is innocuous and devoid of any edge, but it’s soft-core pop-rock done pretty well. Frontwoman Ashley Dudukovich has a pleasing, heart-on-sleeve voice. And whether vanilla is your flavor or not, Chasing Jonah’s songs at least hit their marks.

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