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Mark Eitzel has made high art of lacerating self-deprecation. Called "America's finest lyricist" by UK's the Guardian, Eitzel both with indie legends American Music Club and as a solo artist has a penchant for exhuming the painful past and casting a gauzy, velvet-hued light on the present. He's Nick Drake with a biting sense of humor, Rufus Wainwright minus the pomp, and a singer whose ability to marry lounge-style jazz to epic, heartrending folk is unparalleled in American alternative music.

Eitzel and American Music Club only work together sporadically these days, but Eitzel the solo artist is as prolific as ever. Eitzel's most recent effort, "Don't Be A Stranger," is a stunningly beautiful collection of dimly lit heartbreakers, and has been widely heralded as one of his finest efforts. He'll be joined by a full band to perform these new songs, as well as a selection of cherry-picked tunes from his impressive past, at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Ninth Ward at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.).

Tickets are $12 advance, $14 day of show (box office, Tickets.com, Rust Belt Books).

Jeff Miers