Colin Meloy, ‘Colin Meloy Sings Live!’ (Kill Rock Stars)
Hyperliterate folkies like Colin Meloy run a considerable buzzkill risk, particularly when they go solo and strum away behind a stream of words that, however clever, would probably sound better juiced up by a band. Meloy’s ingenious solution? Cultivate a lovable alternate persona — the unpretentious record-store geek. Meloy plays the part with aplomb, chatting up the audience and lacing riffs from Pink Floyd, R.E.M., and Fleetwood Mac through ramshackle versions of “California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade” and “Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect.” A primer on British folk-revival icon Shirley Collins is the disc’s most sparkling moment.