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Dark Unknown 

Holcombe Waller to play Occidental

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While visiting Occidental a couple years ago, Holcombe Waller played at West County Herb Company and quickly dubbed it his "favorite tiny venue west of the Mississippi."

Even though Waller's haircut is hipper than all the single speeds and plaid shirts in the land, the Portland-based theatrical troubadour defies easy stereotypes. He creates elaborately staged shows incorporating video projections and costumes (what he once called a "meta-theatrical singspiel-style pop opera"), and yet he can also goose-bump a crowd with nothing more than his sweet tenor and acoustic guitar. "Holcombe has an aura of magic," West County Herb Company owner Lisa Kurtz says. "His voice is angelic."

When Waller returns to the West County Herb Company this week, he'll draw heavily from his most recent album, Into the Dark Unknown, which one critic described as "a contender for least macho album of the year." Indeed, whether he's singing about breakups or unicorns, Waller suffuses both the mundane and the magical with an arresting emotional honesty. See him on Friday, April 12, at West County Herb Company. 3641 Main St., Occidental. 8pm. $10–$20. 707.874.9567.

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