I caught the husband and wife band The Handsome Family at a poorly attended show at Richards on Richards, one night in December. Both scary and beautiful in that let's-celebrate-the-bleakness-of-life kind of way, the band's dark-bluegrass at once is uplifting, and makes you want to curl up in a ball. I picked up Rennie Sparks' book of short stories, Evil
, which served as the perfect reading material for a holiday smalltown trip home. Like Rennie's lyrics, her stories have a sometimes funny and often disturbing insight into human nature, and the evils of general down-home stupidity.