Whether I run into her at a bar or see her onstage with Visqueen, Rachel Flotard always makes me feel good about myself and life overall. I believe she has this effect on everyone and I don’t know how she does it. Writing in the Village Voice, Everett True called her a “big-hearted woman”, which I think gets to the, um, heart of it. And the new Visqueen record, Message To Garcia, is the first album of hers to fully burst at seams with that big-heartedness. The tools Visqueen employs on Garcia are familiar: Pogo-stick pop rhythms (think: Fastbacks), buzzing power chords (think: Buzzcocks and Cheap Trick), and a voice that is full-throated, husky, and soothingly feminine (think: Joan Jett and Ann Wilson of Heart). But the fact that Garcia shimmers with Flotard’s off-stage personality is likely due to it being a tribute to her late-father, George (Flotard lived with and cared for her dad as he battled prostate cancer). Fitting then, that the album is being released on Flotard’s own Local 638 label, named for the NYC steamfitter’s union of which her father was a dues-paying member. All ages. BRIAN J. BARR

Fri., Sept. 25, 7 p.m., 2009

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