REVERB Lineup: Conor Byrne

Kaylee Cole, Joe Mallahan vs. Mike McGinn, Zera Marvel, and more.

7:30 p.m. ~ Kaylee Cole  Her tremulous warbling and piano strains are similar to that of a similar songstress: Regina Spektor, whose impressive vocal calisthenics either impress or disgust her listeners. Cole isn't quite so divisive; she takes a more tempered approach. Her songs are melancholy, gloomy things, but her voice bursts through the grey sobriety with piercing clarity. Unfortunately for us, she's actually based in Spokane, not Seattle, but she's so good we had to make an exception to the locals-only rule. SARA BRICKNER8:30 p.m. ~ Mayoral Debate  See feature.9:30 p.m. ~ Zera Marvel  A good album title can speak volumes more than pages of liner notes, and Birds and Bullets Fly, Zera Marvel's first full-length solo record, is a title that sums up her ability to juxtapose light melodies and dark themes to create compositions that appear light, but are actually weighted with tension and sorrow. In "The Carpenter," a sad story about heroin addiction comes packaged between lovely choruses of "ooh"s and intoxicating guitar strains. While Marvel sings passably, it's her voice's imperfect vulnerability that makes her so able to convey raw emotion. SARA BRICKNER10:30 p.m. ~ Barton Carroll  Aside from the bands and people Barton Carroll's played with—Crooked Fingers' Eric Bachmann, Azure Ray, Dolorean—his own songs are worthy of notice as well. His latest record, The Lost One, consists of 12 quietly emotive folk songs that serve their genuine sentiments covered in sarcasm. Sure, songs like "Pretty Girl's Gonna Ruin My Life Again" deal with the same subject matter folk minstrels from all corners of the globe have been chewing on for millennia, but Carroll writes about these things with a sense of humor and rare self-awareness. SARA BRICKNER11:30 p.m. ~ Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs  Though she's influenced by country music, throaty chanteuse Star Anna's original songs come off sort of like Lucinda Williams' might if she'd been born in the Northwest and grown up on grunge. Star Anna's second full-length album, The Only Thing That Matters, is a mélange of country music and rock and roll. It may offend country purists, but will wow anyone who digs it when Williams tones down the twang in favor of rock. Whether Star Anna will be able to keep riding this fence indefinitely remains to be seen, but sometimes it's OK not to pick a side and to cherry-pick the best of two very wonderful worlds. SARA BRICKNER

 
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