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Rage To Live: Carla Bozulich’s Evangelista

Carla Bozulich could have been Courtney Love. Looking back on Bozulich’s storied career, I’m sure more than one music writer has toyed with the thought. As the fire-starting frontperson of Ethyl Meatplow and later the Geraldine Fibbers, playing sprawling Alternative Nation-era shows and filling the stage with her eye-pulling magnetism, her tempestuous charisma, Bozulich could have crashed and burned on the shores of too much public and media attention too soon. Heck, she even had her Kurt, an esteemed fellow musician and love interest in the form of Nels Cline, who now plays guitar with Wilco.

But really, thankfully, the similarities stop right about there: Instead of grasping futilely at commercial rock ‘n’ pop’s brass ring, Bozulich has carved out a genuinely impressive career on the emotionally searing edge, the place where rock’s raw power and intensity meets the avant-garde’s provocation and experimentalism. Listening again to Hello, Voyager (Constellation), Bozulich’s last proper studio album with Evangelista -- the loose, amazing amalgamation of ever-changing musicians -- I get a lovely glimmer of the group’s rich, emotionally harrowing live show. No wonder the impeccable Canadian label Constellation chose Evangelista as its first non-Canadian artist (a new Evangelista album, The Prince of Truth, is planned for October release).

Always different yet always indelible -- and a guiding light for young underground musicians of all stripes -- Bozulich is, natch, a must-catch Friday, July 17, at everyone’s fave queer rock ‘n’ roll dive bar, the Eagle, as part of the Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival. Because who knows when, where and how she’ll metamorphose once more.



Evangelista performs Friday, July 17, 8 p.m., at the Eagle, 398 12th St., S.F. Oaxacan, Limousine, and Art Lessing and the Flower Vato open. $10. (415) 626-0880, www.sfeagle.com, www.mcmf.org