elfin intimacy

eric harris, derek almstead, jimmy hughes, andrew riegler, laura carter. photo by kristen bach.

elf power: eric harris, derek almstead, jimmy hughes, andrew riegler, laura carter. photo by kristen bach.

The Athens, Ga. psychedelic pop brigade known as Elf Power has a knack for popping up in town just when we need it the most.

Among the band’s more fabled visits to Lexington was a 2002 performance at the long-defunct High on Rose. The club’s miniscule capacity was far from ideal, even for the more low-fi extremes of the band’s songs. But it was one of the few venues willing to pick up the slack in offering a steady musical diet of local bands and indie out-of-towners after Lynagh’s Music Club shut down earlier in the year.

Now Elf Power is heading back to a city that is again without a major music venue. Instead, it will play a bar – Al’s Bar, that is, at 601 N. Limestone tonight. Like High on Rose, Al’s has gone above and beyond in attempting to give locals and engaging indie touring acts a performance home until a more specifically designed club surfaces.

Elf Power, of course, doesn’t need much by way of trappings from a performance space. Sure, the music on its recent In a Cave album has a bit more spit and polish than earlier efforts, from the fuzzy guitar spitfire of Owl Cut and Spiral Stairs to the more surrealist pop of Paralyzed that sounds like a cross between The Byrds and vintage Robert Wyatt. But it’s still informal, organic and unvarnished enough to flourish in an intimate environment.

Ham1 (also from Athens) and The Scourge of the Sea’s Andrew English will open. (9 p.m., $5). Call (859) 252-9104



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