The Short List: The Week’s Recommended Shows

Charlotte Gainsbourg / Wednesday, April 14  See B-Sides.

Love Is All / Wednesday, April 14

Listening to the Swedish five-piece Love Is All gives you the same frenetic feeling that a sugar rush does. On the band's third full-length, Two Thousand and Ten Injuries, lead singer Josephine Olausson has toned down the screechiness of her vocals since the band's 2005 debut Nine Times That Same Song, but she still sounds like a bratty little girl giving you too much sass. The music is packed with buzzy guitars and a super-high energy level, but breaks from the standard pop-punk formula with quirks like a saxophone player and lightly bouncy melodies. Such twists give Love Is All's songs a snappiness and an edge over fellow Swedish female-fronted pop-punk outfit the Sounds. With Princeton. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 8 p.m. $10. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Florence and the Machine / Thursday, April 15

Few singers can cite both the Velvet Underground and Celine Dion as musical inspirations. But Florence and the Machine does so without batting an eye. London experimental-pop singer Florence Welch, notorious for her volatile style, borrows from all genres on her debut album Lungs. She garnered mainstream attention in America last year after her infectious (albeit disturbing) "Kiss With a Fist" was used in the shitteously awesome horror flick Jennifer's Body. "You smashed a plate over my head, then I set fire to our bed," she divulges, as casually as she would that she and her boyfriend visited a restaurant. The remainder of Lungs is as, if not more, capricious. A fucked-up relationship has never made such delightful song fodder. With Holy Hail. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, 8 p.m. $20. All ages. ERIKA HOBART

Horse Feathers / Thursday, April 15

While the music landscape might be saturated with folk acts, not many play music as delicately beautiful as Justin Ringle and his Portland-based Horse Feathers. The charm and delicacy of the Northwest instantly emerges from the Lewiston, Idaho, native's quavering voice and a songwriting skill that manages amazing things rhythmically without so much as a drum. After making a dramatic entrance with their 2008 debut House With No Home, the Kill Rock Stars signees are back with eagerly awaited sophomore release Thistled Spring. Filled with the same banjo- and violin-accented melodies—not to mention a familiar dreamy wilderness aura—these songs remind us of the reasons we live in the Northwest, or even the inland Northwest. With Megafaun, Breathe Owl Breathe. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $10. NICK FELDMAN

Madeleine Peyroux / Thursday, April 15—Sunday, April 18

Had Madeleine Peyroux stuck around her Athens, Ga., birthplace, it's quite possible she would've gone down an entirely different musical path—but luckily for jazz enthusiasts, she relocated to France at age 13 and quickly discovered Parisian street music rather than rock 'n' roll. The Billie Holiday–inspired vocalist draws from influential songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, and also runs the gamut lyrically by incorporating deeply personal narratives and referencing the work of Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön. Peyroux is currently touring on her 2009 release, Bare Bones, which ranges sonically from enchantingly slow pieces to exciting up-tempo rhythms. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 & 10 p.m. $35. NICK FELDMAN

Zubatto Syndicate / Thursday, April 15

Asked to guess the headliner for what's being billed as the first-ever jazz show at the Croc, most people probably wouldn't come up with Zubatto Syndicate. But that's exactly what makes this an intriguing night. The 12-piece band debuted at Town Hall last fall with music that's solid and involving, but also on the sedate side. On guitarist/leader Andrew Boscardin's compositions—which lay down intricate patterns and odd-hued harmonies—the band delivered some great soloing, especially from alto player Clark Gibson, but without any of the Skerik-type energy that translates reliably to a rock club. These men and women play seated with music stands—or at least they did then. Can a Croc crowd respond to that kind of chamber approach? (Jazz or no, I feel confident this is the first-ever Croc show featuring a middle-aged woman on bassoon.) Hopefully yes, because this is a band that deserves a hearing. With Owcharuk 5, Waterbabies. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $8. MARK D. FEFER

Exene Cervenka / Friday, April 16

Somewhere Gone, Exene Cervenka's 2009 solo album, is a far cry from the rough-edged punk she wrote and performed with X. Back then—nearly 30 years ago—Cervenka's voice served as a more dramatic complement to John Doe's low rumble. But Somewhere Gone is a bona fide folk album, with tales of willow trees and Trojan horses. At times she's twangy and soft, channeling Tammy Wynette's melancholy on "Surface of the Sun." On other tracks, like "The Willow Tree," she sounds like Neko Case, her vocals pitch-perfect but still tough. Cervenka reaches far beyond her '80s punk past to the '50s, pulling out Jerry Lee Lewis–style piano for "Walk Me Across the Night." These songs may be simple and short, but they're just as powerful as the straightforward punk she trademarked decades ago. Easy Street Records, 20 Mercer St., 691-3279. 6 p.m. Free. All ages. PAIGE RICHMOND

Dark Time Sunshine / Friday, April 16

As their moniker suggests, the goth-hop duo Dark Time Sunshine (Seattle's Cape Cowen and Chicago's Zavala) celebrate the night as much as the day on their unofficial debut, Believeyoume, which they offered for free last year on their Web site: Bright synths mingle with deathly drums ("It Lives"), and a morose bass sulks in the background of a gooey valentine to the Seattle hip-hop scene ("The Wrong Kids"). Their proper debut, Vessel, out April 20, features the same potent mix of dichotomies. Indeed, one can draw parallels between, say, "It Lives" and the new joint "Run": Lyrically, both hint at bad juju, but the beat seems to say everything is all right...Right? With Jake One, Mash Hall, Tilson of the Saturday Knights, Helladope, Night Fox, DJ Swerveone. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $10. KEVIN CAPP

The Posies / Saturday, April 17  See B-Sides.

John Prine / Saturday, April 17

If Bob Dylan weren't already from the Midwest, John Prine would easily be the front-runner for the title of "Bob Dylan of the Midwest." But since Dylan is from Minnesota, Prine, who hails from a Chicago suburb, will have to settle for being the John Prine of the World—which isn't really settling at all. Prine is Dylan's folk contemporary, and the two raspy-voiced troubadours have long formed a mutual admiration society. But when Dylan went electric, Prine stayed true to his largely unamplified roots. Last year, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant drenched Prine's "Killing the Blues" in honey, just as Bonnie Raitt did with his "Angel from Montgomery." What's more, Kris Kristofferson once said, "Prine is so good, we may have to break his thumbs." Lucky for us, the bearded badass never followed through on that threat—not yet anyway. With Dan Reeder. Paramount, 911 E. Pine St., 877-784-4849. 8 p.m. $32.50–$62.50. MIKE SEELY

Record Store Day / Saturday, April 17 See Rocket Queen and Music News & Notes.

SambaDá / Saturday, April 17

In the cross-cultural punch of SambaDá, nothing is off limits. The Afro-Brazilian eight-piece is led by Santa Cruz–based Papiba Godinho, who came to America to study but fell for California's skate and surf scenes. He also fell for the varieties of music pulsing up and down the coast. Funk, surf rock, hip-hop, and jazz are shuffled into authentic samba influences over a bed of delirious percussion. There's swinging saxophone, ripping guitar leads, and Portuguese lyrics. A new album, Gente!, shows off the buoyant voice of Dandha da Hora. Like other members, she began as a sporadic guest but is now a fixture. She was with SambaDá when they traveled to Brazil for the first time, an experience that has only emboldened their eager, splashy sound. With Picoso, DJ Tomas. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 9 p.m. $10. DOUG WALLEN

Catie Curtis / Sunday, April 18

Over the 20-odd years of her career, Catie Curtis has shifted focus from her origins in the coffeehouse neo-folk scene of the mid-'90s, subtly inflecting her songwriting with an array of classical, pop, soul, and even funk influences. Amazingly, Curtis made the transition from politically charged pseudo-hippie to flexible adult-contemporary songstress without shedding any of her credibility or fan base. The thread that runs through Curtis' evolving career is an uncanny ear for melody, consistently capturing sounds that simply sound good. As proof, take 2009's Hello, Stranger. Spinning her extensive back catalogue through a treatment of string-band arrangements, Curtis recontextualizes her legacy, coming away with songs that bear repeated listens. With Ali Marcus. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 7 p.m. $18. NICHOLAS HALL

Norah Jones / Sunday, April 18

Insta-fame is a funny thing. Had Norah Jones not sold a bazillion copies of 2002's Come Away With Me to moms and uncles via Blue Note Records—known for issuing some of Miles Davis' finest work—we'd be having a completely different conversation about her. There wouldn't have been the predictable adult-contemporary backlash from the indie set, and she wouldn't have provoked the ire of purists who thought she was trying to ape jazz. Her new record, The Fall, would be judged sans baggage, as it should be: as the latest installment from a honey-voiced chanteuse with a knack for writing—and picking—witty pop songs that may not break new ground or change lives, but are above-average and above contempt in every way. With Sasha Dobson. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-STG-4TIX. 8 p.m. $46.50–$57. CHRIS KORNELIS

Psychedelic Horseshit / Monday, April 19

The name's half right—there's something psychedelic about the racket made by singer/guitarist Matt Whitehurst and drummer Rich Johnston, but it's worth the effort to hunt down. Despite releasing a record called Shitgaze Anthems and kick-starting that genre five years ago, Psychedelic Horseshit can be quite catchy and not so noisy. Whitehurst's songs may be subversive, but always in some unexpected way. The first taste of this month's Acid Tape cassette, "Modern Daze," is a phantom of addled rhythms, sideways melodies, and buried singing. (Think early Sebadoh.) It's enough to forgive the band for skewing toward esoteric formats and secret-handshake labels like Siltbreeze, Woodsist, and Fan Death. With Eat Skull, Wet Paint, Eel Eater. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 322-9272. 8 p.m. $8. DOUG WALLEN

Public Image Ltd / Tuesday, April 20

After the Sex Pistols crashed and burned in 1978, Johnny Rotten—now John Lydon—conjured PiL from the ashes, melding his own personal demons with a passion for reggae, dub, and disco, assaulting the UK charts, and defining post-punk for the next 14 years. His inimitable yowl is the only link to the good/bad old days; PiL's other pillars, bassist Jah Wobble and guitarist Keith Levene, are long gone. Lydon's stated reasons for this tour (including PiL's first Seattle show in 18 years) are to introduce his music to a new generation and raise funds for a new record. Think back to his most recent local appearance, the Pistols' reunion tour at Bumbershoot '96, and don't say you haven't been warned. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. $39.50 adv./$45 DOS. 7 p.m. MICHAEL MAHONEY

Josh Rouse / Tuesday, April 20

There's a fine line between being totally, undeniably smooth and over-the-top schmaltzy, especially where singer/songwriters are concerned. Thankfully, Josh Rouse sits on the effortlessly smooth side of the fence. Originally from Nebraska, Rouse relocated to Spain five years ago for a change of scenery, and watching the infusion of a slow, quiet life in a small Spanish village into his intimate, folky repertoire has been like watching an artist gain a brand-new voice. Yes, "guy from Nebraska goes Latin" looks pretty awkward on paper, but Rouse's obvious love for music and playful attitude (as well as his drawing from a well of influences that include Paul Simon's world-aware folk and the supple bossa nova of Joao Gilberto) results in some pretty vibrant, eclectic music. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7:30 p.m. $20. All ages. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Yeasayer / Tuesday, April 20

Brooklyn's Yeasayer released their arty, psychedelic debut All Hour Cymbals to rave reviews in 2007, but it was their sophomore record, February's Odd Blood, that launched the huge wave of popularity they're currently riding. Odd Blood is Yeasayer's stab at making a pop record—songs like "O.N.E." have high-gloss sounds and immediately catchy choruses—but with its mesh of Middle Eastern, '80s, disco, and African influences, it's far more experimental than top-40. Weird and expensive-looking music videos for "Ambling Alp" and "O.N.E." have gone viral, completing Odd Blood's sleek pop package. It's all proven a winning formula, too—Seattle's been in a frenzy lately trying to find last-minute tickets to this beyond-sold-out show. With Sleigh Bells. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON

 
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