Lonely Highway - Hyde Park Theatre, Sept. 27

We can't tell you that Sloppy Sean can do no wrong. That wouldn't be fulfilling the requirements of criticism, would it? Because criticism is where you've gotta pick those technical nits and wax all scholarly about the implications of and the resonances with, right? Even if something is merely a "review" and not a "critique," one is still called upon to highlight the discrepancies of value and tone and what-have-you, in the interests of helping the artists reconstruct their vision to its ultimate betterment (and helping the audience to better appreciate the triumphs and failures inherent in the work seen or about-to-be-seen). Right? Yes? Are we on, as they say, the same page about this?

Fuck it.

The only kind of wrong Sloppy Sean can do is the kind of wrong Andy Kaufman did, because they were on the same frequency, Kenneth; although you might say it was actually Tony Clifton who was more on the same frequency as our troubled troubadour, because the Sloppy One is merely - ha! merely! - the creation of the enigmatic Hans Frank, who instills this geeky reprobate of a character with so much white trashoid, tire tool-weilding, heartbreak-howling, AM radio-listening verisimilitude that you're gonna bust a gut over his tales of desperation-fueled mayhem and love-inspired rockabilly tunes - when you're not boggling at the sheer professional talent of his back-up band.

Part Hazil Adkins, part Tom T. Hall by way of Robert Crumb, assisted by the ever-suffering Lady, accompanied by his one true love (the inflatable plastic doll, Yo-yo), this long drink of Jack Daniels backwash is the transverse colon in the body of original American music and talespinning. If you don't catch his final show this Friday night at Hyde Park Theatre, hell, you might as well just feed yourself to the flesh-eating zombies waiting around the next curve of the Lonely Highway. - Wayne Alan Brenner