Music: Fanatic Champions of the New

Quartet has a mod look -- and a mod repertoire

In photos they look like something the cat dragged in. The rockabilly Stray Cats, that is. The solemn girl with the spiky aura of bleached hair -- she's the lead singer, right? And the dude with the shoulder-length curls -- for sure, he'd be at home pounding away on a battery of Slingerlands.

Guess again. The blond (Joan Jeanrenaud) is a cellist by craft, and the longhair (Hank Dutt) plays, appropriately, the viola. Along with violinists David Harrington and John Sherba, they form the Kronos Quartet, the nation's most adventurous chamber-music ensemble. No Haydn or Mozart for this earnest foursome. Works...

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