GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Two different but disaffected songwriters offer takes on the U.S. this week. With his tar-heavy Texas accent and down-home colloquialisms, Micah P. Hinson sounds about as American as you can get. His second album, "Micah P. Hinson and the Opera Circuit," is a weathered study in Americana sorrow.

Yet Hinson, who grew up in Abilene, Texas, claims he barely has an audience in this country.

But southern Europe goes "mental" for his ruminations on soured relationships, says Hinson, who plays Spaceland tonight and Pitzer College on Friday. And in England, where he lived for a spell, Mojo and Uncut magazines have been singing his praises. "America is so big and quite threatening — I despise it."

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