The Peculiar Pretzelmen is the sort of band that you could imagine drinking absinthe or traveling along the bowels of the carny circuit with. The LA-based duo draws its musical influences from Depression-era barn-burning blues, throwing in an edgy punk ethos. The Peculiar Pretzelmen churns out the devil's blues as competently as Elmore Leonard cranked out "Pulp Fiction." Lead singer/guitarist Monsieur Incroyable is a fine vocalist that riffs away on a number of stringed instruments including a cigar-box guitar. His partner Mr. Deacon smacks, stomps, and bangs the homemade percussion and drums. The Peculiar Pretzelmen invokes images of "Murder Ballads"-era Nick Cave or Tom Waits inside a speigeltent. The pair infuses minimalist primal energy into its tunes and makes an occasionally stale genre sound gothic and spooky.
The Peculiar Pretzelmen performs Wednesday, October 16, 9 p.m. at California Brew Haus, 402 West Ridge Road. $5. 621-1480.