Long before Jen Bekman made him a household word, Jens Lekman has captivated me. It may be a little-known fact that I have a soft spot for ukele players. Yes, forget what you’ve heard about the bass player, it’s the guy strumming the uke that’s really got soul. His lyrics also got me. My first introduction was “Pretty Shoes” a paean to a much disliked former hippie friend who had no trouble compromising his principles by wearing $100 nikes sewn together by modern slave labor. Not wanting to be unfair, the narrator (protagonist) realizing that “one can’t judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes” decides to steal the shoes. Unfortunately this never unites the former friends but it does create one hell of a song.
My current Jens obsession is “Black Cab,” a very poppy melody about killing a party with one’s bad mood, missing the tram home, and risking one’s life in the notorious black cabs of Sweden. For those of us who remember when the metro shut down at midnight, who can’t relate? Anyway, I was delighted to see that Jens, the real Jens is coming to the Black Cat on Oct. 25. Bring your lighter, I’m sure there will be a Freebird encore. With a ukele backup, natch.