The Gossip

With El Guapo and Lovekill. Tuesday, July 15, at the Grog Shop.

The Blood Brothers, with These Arms Are Snakes and Dance Disaster Movement Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard, Cleveland Heights 7 p.m. Saturday, July 13, $8, 216-321-5588.
The Gossip
The Gossip
In its less inventive moments, the Gossip comes off as a studiously rough-around-the-edges version of Sleater-Kinney, the trio's Olympia, Washington soul sisters and Kill Rock Stars labelmates. That sounds like damning with faint praise, but it's not: Like Sleater-Kinney, when the Gossip plays live, its audience partakes of an all-you-can-eat buffet of adrenaline and Ramones-inspired fire. But what makes the band special -- and at times hauntingly unique -- are those moments in its music when the old-time blues that inspired punk in the first place creep back in, usually courtesy of frontwoman Beth Ditto's belly-deep yowl. Her voice -- redolent at times of Janis and Bessie Smith -- is front and center throughout the band's second album, Movement, sparingly accompanied by muscular guitar and drums. And occasionally -- and spectacularly -- when Ditto's supporting players back off entirely (as on the Delta spiritual sing-along that closes "All My Days"), the blend of old and new is triumphant and timeless.
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