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Michelle Shocked

Tonight @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

May. 16, 2012
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As her stage name suggests, alternative-folk singer Michelle Shocked is fond of surprises. Many of her studio albums, from 1989's Captain Swing (which she recorded with a full big band) to 2005's Got No Strings (a collection of bluegrass-leaning Disney covers), have arrived as total curveballs. Perhaps the most surprising thing about her latest album, 2009's Soul of My Soul, then, is that there is no surprise. It's Shocked's poppiest, most straightforward record. That doesn't mean Shocked has lost her edge or her activist ideals, though. Last November the singer-songwriter was arrested while protesting with the Occupy Los Angeles movement.

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