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Artist finds peace in loss and defeat

LOCAL BAND: Dolorean
by: ©2007 JONATHAN DREWS, Dolorean steams along in love and life thanks to the songwriting skills of frontman Al James.

It's the end of the world as he knows it, and Al James feels fine.

On 'You Can't Win,' Dolorean's singer-songwriter has gently surrendered to futility - and in the process created a comfortably numb masterpiece that's reminiscent of Beck's acoustic landmark, 'Sea Change.'

'I drink one bottle of wine each night, to help me get over you,' he sings on 'What One Bottle Can Do.' The following line, 'I've grown quite fond of what one bottle can do,' sums up the mood of the album, perfectly capturing the acceptance - and embrace - of defeat.

'Heather Remind Me How This Ends' aches with longing and confusion, while 'Beachcomber Blues' sounds like Neil Young on Percocet and an inner journey with no clear goal in sight.

'In Love With the Doubt' - with the line 'Couldn't live with and now you can't live without' - is an ode to ambiguity and the pointlessness of applying logic to love.

While this might sound bleak on paper, the album actually resonates with the warm glow of that one bottle of wine. James may feel defeated, but he's made a triumphant album.

- Barbara Mitchell

9 p.m. SATURDAY, March 17, Someday Lounge, 125 N.W. Fifth Ave., 503-248-1030, $8