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Crystal Skulls

We can’t all be Ron Jeremy; just ask Crystal Skulls’ Christian Wargo. On “Treat It Well” off his Seattle-based quartet’s second full-length, Outgoing Behavior, Wargo ululates, “Now I give it to you every night / but you tell me it’s hard to tell.” Whether he’s laying limp or just a wimp is never revealed, and his strangely spirited delivery doesn’t resolve the issue.

But hey, maybe it’s her problem. On “The Cosmic Door,” Wargo complains it’s not his fault that chicks are cosmically inexplicable, and on “Just Like You Want,” he resigns himself to his lady’s gargantuan demands: “There’s nothing gonna bring you around / I can’t get near you / Don’t know why I even try.”

Crystal Skulls have to look to rock’n’roll sexpot Donald Fagen for invigoration. Sure, the former Steely Dan frontman wasn’t the most seductive gaucho around, but his band — who, by the by, took their name from a dildo in a William Burroughs’ book — crafted music that was both rousing and arousing. Crystal Skulls are keen disciples of Steely Dan’s funky breakdowns and lusty, mellifluous, complex ’70s radio jazz-pop. As such, when “The Hold Up” starts to spin toward the end of the album, the Skulls have only one thing left to do: “Lookin’ like I just might finally get my way tonight / You and I dim the lights and move with the music.”

Crystal Skulls tour dates:

4/14, Ames IA (Maintenance Shop)* 4/15, Chicago IL (Schubas)*4/16, Kalamazoo MI (Kraftbrau Brewery)*4/17, Lansing MI (Mac’s Bar)4/18, Milwaukee WI (Onopa Brewing Company)4/19, Madison WI (Slipper Club)4/20, Minneapolis MN (Triple Rock Social Club)+4/28, Seattle, WA (The Paradox)^4/29, Boise, ID (Neurolux)^4/30, Salt Lake City, UT (Kayo)^5/01, Denver, CO (Walnut Room)^5/03, Norman, OK (The Opolis)^5/04, Austin, TX (Emo’s)^5/05, Houston, TX (Walter’s on Washington)^5/06, Denton, TX (Hailey’s)^5/08, Albuquerque, NM (Launchpad)^5/09, Tucson, AZ (Club Congress)^5/10, Phoenix AZ (Modified)^5/11, Los Angeles, CA (Spaceland)^=5/12, Sacramento, CA (Junta)^5/13, San Francisco, CA (Rickshaw Stop)^

(*w/ John Vanderslice)(+w/ Minus the Bear)(^w/ Helio Sequence)(=w/Aloha)

Crystal Skulls official site