Los Angeles New Times , Aug. 15 - 21

Preview of Live Concert at Amoeba Records, Aug. 15, 2002

Tunesmith extraordinaire Kristian Hoffman, who led legendary bands the Mumps and the Swinging Madisons before releasing two excellent solo records (I Don't Love My Guru Anymore and Earthquake Weather), also has logged plenty of hours over the years as sideman and musical director for such performers as Rufus Wainwright, Dave Davies, Ann Magnuson and El Vez. Now many of his illustrious colleagues and friends have returned the favor, appearing on Hoffman's finest CD yet, Kristian Hoffman &, a disc of duets with the likes of Wainwright, Magnuson, El Vez, Van Dyke Parks, Anna Waronker, Michael Quercio, Darian Sahanaja, Maria McKee, Steve McDonald, Paul Reubens and Lydia Lunch. But despite this impressive group of guest artists, Hoffman's witty and baroque songs remain the focus of the record.

The lushly orchestrated CD, produced by Earle Mankey, ranges from the operatic pop of "Devil May Care" (with Russell Mael) to the tense Eurodisco number "Series of You's" (with Paul Zone, of New York pop-punk trailblazers the Fast). Other highlights include Stew's rendition of the Mumps' sublime atheistic anthem "Anyone But You" and Abby Travis' winsome duet with Hoffman on the sprightly paean to romantic bewilderment, "God, If Any, Only Knows." Travis will be on hand at this record-release show, as well as Magnuson, John Easdale, Carolyn Edwards, Steve Stanley (the Now People) and other local luminaries. Yet Hoffman and his glorious songs will take center stage - and deservedly so.

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