In the summer of 2015, the legendary songwriter’s songwriter Marshall Crenshaw released #392: The EP Collection, a title of multiple enigmas. First, Crenshaw’s album #447 (one of the best records of his or any guitar-pop writer’s career) was released more than 15 years earlier, leaving us wondering exactly what kind of opus-numbering system Crenshaw employs. Second, #392 is, by all appearances, an entirely new collection of thematically and sonically coherent originals and interpretations, not a scattershot compilation with the heterogeneity of styles and sounds that the title implies. Finally, with its 12 songs and two bonus tracks, there is nothing EP about its length.
Turns out that there is a sensible explain for everything except the #392. This gifted and criminally underappreciated songwriter has been releasing a series EPs over the last two years, and this collection…collects them. The uninformed (which included me until several minutes ago) won’t even notice the stitching, as #392 sounds very much like one work, and also finds Crenshaw at the top of his game as a writer of lush, mature art-pop and – this especially – as a hyperarticulate lead guitarist.
Local resident Crenshaw has gotten in the habit of visiting the Falcon in Marlboro the last few years. He returns on Saturday, January 2, with Brian Dunne opening at 7 p.n. There is no cover, but generous donation is encouraged. The Falcon is located at 1348 Route 9W in Marlboro. For more information, visit www.liveatthefalcon.com or call (845) 236-7970.