The Dresden Dolls

With Edward Ka-Spel. Thursday, October 2, at the Grog Shop.

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Mogwai with the Boas Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Road 9 p.m. Saturday, October 4, $14 advance, $15 day of show, 216-383-1124.
The Dresden Dolls
The Dresden Dolls
They invade eardrums with bombastic piano and polyrhythmic drumming, surrounded by full-blown orchestration. White-faced and red-handed, the Dresden Dolls are caught in a web of Weimar-style cabaret and Pink Dots punk rock.

The band's frenzied rock cuts a wide swath of emotions, each of them part of a perfectly directed tragicomedy. Pianist-singer Amanda Palmer wants to "give mankind a beating," but knows she's "not the carefullest of girls" -- she could just as easily be broken. The band's name itself evokes images of delicate porcelain dolls dancing in the rubble of a bombed-out Dresden. From whimsically provocative songs like "Coin-Operated Boy" to Plath-like confessionals, the Dresden Dolls create pioneering sounds that flawlessly meld the era of absinthe and syphilis with the era of designer drugs and safe sex. Their live performances are known for their lack of extreme theatrics in a subgenre that seems to call for it. With staccato piano stabs and bowler hats, the Dolls and their music speak for themselves.

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