The Short List

Highlights-and otherwise-from this week's music calendar.

Earl Greyhound + the Blakes + Small Change

Thursday, January 25

This New York blues-rock power trio sounds a LOT like a very famous band from rock music history, but I'm loath to say exactly which band that is. I mean, I could ramble on about it, and it'd be nobody's fault but mine, but how many more times can you read a piece where the writer simply compares Band X to Band Y? I will say this—Earl Greyhound show a lot of presence on their debut, Soft Targets, even if, stylewise, from track to track the song remains the same. Anyway, if this preview is making you dazed and confused, it's probably best to just go see Earl Greyhound and show them a whole lotta love. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $8

*THE EARL GREYHOUND SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED

Molly Rose + J. Wong + Gabe Archer + Husbands Love Your Wives

Thursday, January 25

Sparse and naked, the open chord strums and delicate finger plucks of Husbands Love Your Wives (aka Jamie Spiess) remain unaccompanied by other instruments. Appropriate, for many of her songs touch on the longing ache for a displaced love. Woven over top of the beautiful, barren base are heart-wrenchingly precious, sweetly sung lyrics that impart tales of childhood horses, apple trees, and loneliness. Delivered at times with a soft, throaty twang, she charmingly strays out of tune in just the right places, increasing the endearment factor tenfold. AJA PECKNOLD Showbox Green Room, 8 p.m.

Hypatia Lake + the Slow Signal Fade + Martian Memo to God + Herman Jolly

Friday, January 26

It's a bit of mystery why brainy psychedelic spacemen Hypatia Lake remain locked in local orbit. Drawing inspiration from such disparate sources as Ennio Morricone, the Swirlies, and Harry Nilsson, the Oklahoma transplants spread their resulting celestial sprawl with an uncanny sense of childlike wonder while interjecting an occasional note of cold horror that would make them ideal candidates to soundtrack a lost Kubrick film. They spent the better part of fall and winter working on material for their next album, so here's hoping that 2007 has bigger things in store for them. HANNAH LEVIN Cafe Venus/marsBar, 8 p.m. $7

Subtle + Pigeon John + Truckasaurus

Friday, January 26

A couple of years ago, the renowned, long-running Bay Area hip-hop label Quannum Projects finally began expanding its roster beyond its core artists—DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, Lateef the Truthspeaker—by bringing into the fold such talent as Portland's Lifesavas and Southern California's Pigeon John. The latter's no newbie, though; he had three albums under his belt before Quannum put out the excellent Pigeon John and the Summertime Pool Party last September. A veteran of the same L.A. underground scene that produced the Pharcyde and Jurassic 5, Pigeon John fits in perfectly with Quannum's "thinking man's hip-hop" aesthetic—old-school beats, funk-soul grooves, Pixies samples (!), and story-raps on the positivity tip. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG Neumo's, 8 p.m. $10

Polysics + the Outline + the Pharmacy + the Johnbenders

Saturday, January 27

The last time I saw Tokyo's Polysics, a hyperactive Devo-obsessed half-male/half-female new-wave/punk band, was at a place called Super Happy Fun Land. On most nights, SHFL was a mellow hippie haven for avant garde/experimental acts and singer-songwriter types. But on this night, when Polysics took the stage decked out in matching outfits and began playing, the entire room erupted like a Technicolor volcano. Everyone was pogoing in unison to the catchy, cutesy beats and was completely transfixed by the zany foursome. Because of Polysics, SFHL had never felt so much like a Far East utopia where Fruits reign, San-X characters are the official mascots, and futurism is now. TRAVIS RITTER El Corazon, 4:30 p.m. $10 adv./$12 All ages

Girl Talk + Velella Velella + Library Science

Saturday, January 27

SEE FEATURE (Girl Talk), P.54. Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $8

The Senate Arcade + Juhu Beach + Madraso + Open Choir Fire

Saturday, January 27

Modest Mouse comparisons are unfair burdens for any local band, simply because they immediately conjure up thoughts of Isaac Brock's curmudgeonly yelps (an acquired taste, to be sure), but in the case of Juhu Beach, such associations are inevitable. Thanks to the familiar, anguished tones springing out of vocalist-bassist Shaye Straw's throat, the Mouse immediately come to mind, but Juhu keep their sonic fingerprint unique with an influx of furious, dense guitars and a more succinct approach to song structures. Tonight they celebrate the release of their new EP, Old Crimes, a brief, but blisteringly beautiful trio of angular rock songs. HANNAH LEVIN Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $7

Lesbian + the Keeper + Hemingway

Saturday, January 27

SEE FEATURE (Lesbian), P. 53. Jules Mayes Saloon, 9 p.m.

B-Shorty Farewell Party with KJ Sawka + Ra Scion + Joe Doria

Sunday, January 28

You can learn a lot from someone's MySpace profile. Like, for instance, that golden-voiced Seattle singer, musician, and beatboxer B-Shorty, aka Blake Lewis, idolizes both Prince (not surprising) and BT (a little bit). Using just his voice, Lewis imitates a well-programmed groovebox and turntable, affecting a smooth falsetto to sing over the sounds. It's not something many people can do, and I dare say—aside from the hip-hop/party rock in his repertoire—Shorty would be a contender for Jamie Lidell's soul-improv crown, if he had a hype machine the size of Warp. 'Til then—"Some say silence is golden, I choose noise," reads his profile. Keep making it, man. RACHEL SHIMP Nectar, 8 p.m. $5

Cat Empire

Monday, January 29

This Melbourne-based, multimembered (well, aren't they all?) funk band is coming back around for their fourth album, Virgin's Cities, which includes "ethnics, locals, sad songs, adventure songs, musical choruses, screamers, and a collection of soul references." Politically aware and pushing an easygoing vibe, they're building an empire of fans around the globe who are eager to dance to the way mashed-up sounds of funk, Latin, swing, reggae, hip-hop and ska. They sometimes bring along their own b-boys to visually interpret that exhausting mix. Cat Empire's fusion is sure to lift you, one way or another, from the winter doldrums. RACHEL SHIMP Neumo's, 8 p.m. $16

keane

Tuesday, January 30

The dramatic piano presence in Coldplay's bittersweet melancholy makes them the world's most popular wuss-rock band, but Battle, East Sussex, England trio Keane are the most definitive. Everything about them is completely nonthreatening—from the foppishly innocent school-boy look of vocalist Tom Chaplin to his ever-present distressed croon that never once makes room for an instrumental break. Even the band, stripped down to drums, piano, and voice, demonstrates that its strengths come in small numbers. Certainly, last year's Under the Iron Sea, which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, proves America would never beat up a group that provokes tenderness—they'll embrace it. TRAVIS RITTER Paramount Theatre, 8 p.m. $30 E

 
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