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Tales From the Crypts 

Call Merriam-Webster! This Bay Area threesome says it's invented a word!

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Ask Cryptacize axeman Chris Cohen about the history behind the trio's name, and he'll blame it on bandmate Nedelle Torrisi, then take the credit himself. "It just popped into her mind one day. I said, 'I have no idea what that means.' A week later, I said, 'What was that name again?' And I talked her back into it. Then people tried to talk us out of it, and it went back and forth," laughs Cohen. "We're trying to make it a real word." Aside from budding careers as lexicographers, the Oakland-based trio headlines tonight's Beachland Tavern concert, with Trouble Books and Marie Corbo as openers. On a cross-country tour this month, they're promoting 11 original tracks from their debut CD, Dig That Treasure. The songs are a "free fantasia, a dreamy habitat built out of the minimum of material. We want to evoke a mood that will take people through an obstacle course of synthetic emotions," he says. "We want to make something that isn't real, real. We play these Cryptacized songs and hope that it seems proof enough."With Michael Carreira on drums and — get this — cowbells, the group has been tweaking its ethereal sound ever since its formation last year. Torrisi ditched her Autoharp for an electric guitar. And nobody minds if there isn't a bass in the mix. "We don't compensate for it. We just didn't take it for granted that you had to have a bass," says Cohen, whose dad grew up in the Cleveland 'burbs before going to college in Pittsburgh in the late '50s. "There are so many groups nowadays with a bass that we figured, 'Why not be group without it?'"The band's material is also steeped in sudden rhythmic and key changes that could leave a listener's head spinning. "But trust your tour guides," says Cohen. "You might feel as if you've come across a small tribe that speaks an unstudied language and miraculously find that you can speak it too." Cryptacize plugs in at 8 tonight at the Beachland Tavern, 15711 Waterloo Road. Tickets are $6. Call 216-383-1124 or visit www.beachlandballroom.com.
Sun., June 8, 8 p.m., 2008

Speaking of Highlights

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