Here are three good reasons to dig Robbie Fulks. First, after self-important alt-country poster boy Ryan Adams booted a fan for shouting a request for Bryan
Adams's "Summer of '69," Fulks offered a ticket price's worth of merchandise to anybody else who annoyed Adams. Second, Fulks is allegedly working on a Michael Jackson tribute record. Third, Fulks is responsible for some mighty fine music of his own. His early output included a bitterly sly valentine to Nashville ("Fuck This Town") and a swipe at the people who are down with what he's doing ("Roots Rock Weirdoes"). In classic joker fashion, however, there's always been a dark undercurrent to Fulks's music, with songs such as "She Took a Lot of Pills (and Died)" lurking in his catalog. As Fulks has moved away from a strict honky-tonk sound, this facet has become more overt. The subject matter of 2001's Couples in Trouble
was self-explanatory, though trouble
was an understatement. Still, anyone who thinks a show that addresses such topics will be a surefire downer need only refer again to reasons one and two.