As the band name suggests, the Dresden Dolls perform a sort of dressed-up, post-apocalyptic music, devoid of high hopes, yet rich in high drama. The Boston duo (vocalist-pianist Amanda Palmer and drummer-guitarist Brian Viglione) calls the act "Brechtian Punk Cabaret," which is fairly near the mark, but the theatrical element seems closer to The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(in miniature, of course). Decked out in sexy outfits and porcelain face paint, the handsome musicians play up the dark, disturbing themes of their songs while keeping things entertaining with a delivery that's variously over the top or dreamy pop. One could imagine their performance as a last love letter from the ruins, after all of society's caretakers -- parents, teachers, cops, friends, lovers -- have betrayed our trust. Thus, the "punk," do-it-yourself ethos, which comes across sweetly in Palmer's longing for a "Coin-Operated Boy" and more desperately on "Bad Habit," where "Happiness is just a gash away."