Sunday, Dec. 10, Palace Latin Club, 10 p.m.
Q: You know what America needs? A: Better foreign policy? Q: Wrong! A moratorium on Elvis impersonators. The gag hasn't been fresh for ages, the camp value has worn off, and those craving sincere approximations of the dead singer are only slightly less creepy than those who sincerely approximate him.
And yet there is El Vez, a.k.a. ex-Zeroes punker Robert Lopez, who for nearly two decades has worn the mantle of the 'Mexican Elvis' in songs, albums and, most important, live shows. It's a cute concept, but surely the novelty has worn off?
No, because El Vez is less a novelty than it is performance art. Latin-arranged and lyrically changed Elvis, Lennon and Bowie 'covers' mix freely with mash-ups and mariachi and original works of rock 'n' roll. It's all interspersed with stage bits with the 'Elvettes' and commentary on a wide range of topics ' cultural and political ' that the real Elvis would never have touched. ('In the Ghetto' does not count, although the El Vez version, 'En el Barrio,' does.)
El Vez is more activist than impersonator, and with our immigration-spazzed nation there is no shortage of targets. But it won't be an all-Zapatista affair. Expect to hear one of his 'MeX-mas' classics, hopefully 'Brown Christmas' or 'Pancho Claus,' both of which would give Bill O'Reilly the vapors.
Sunday, Dec. 10, Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
Q: You know what America needs? A: Universal health care? Q: Wrong! Four photogenically blond sisters from Omaha, singing country-tinged soft-rock in familial harmony. If you regularly watch morning television or red-state sporting events, you've seen the Care Bear innocuousness that is Mulberry Lane. And fans need not fear any Dixie Chicks-style bait-and-switches. According to their Web site, the only opinions these very patriotic ladies seem to have involve their astrological signs or 'fave colors.' (J.J., a Scorpio, prefers red.)
In their one commonality with El Vez, they too have a Christmas album, which is the anchor for this 'Christmas With Mulberry Lane' tour. You're sure to hear all your favorites in the Mulberrys' trademark four-part harmony, which, due to an error by the genetic scientists who cloned them, the sisters sing entirely with their noses.
Seriously. They sound like Muppets. But one of them (Rocki, who is a Leo) looks like Olivia d'Abo, so it's all good.