This Week's Recommended Shows

From Youth Lagoon to Fitz & the Tantrums.

Dirk Powell Band/Thursday, January 19

Appalachian-born multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell is folk royalty in most mountain-music circles, and his pedigree runs deep. Since learning banjo and fiddle from his grandfather, he's shared the stage with Joan Baez, recorded and performed with Loretta Lynn, scored numerous documentaries, consulted with film directors from Ang Lee to Anthony Minghella (for 2003's Cold Mountain, in which he also acted), and organized countless bands and groups dedicated to preserving and continuing traditional American music. On the intimate stage at Dusty Strings, accompanied by members of Portland's old-time-revival Foghorn Stringband, this show is shaping up to be an unforgettable hootenanny. Dusty Strings Music Shop, 3406 Fremont Ave. N., 634-1662. 7:30 p.m. $23. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT

Youth Lagoon/Thursday, January 19

Idaho's Youth Lagoon, the nom de plume of 22-year-old Trevor Powers, was birthed in the winter of 2010, when Powers, on holiday from Boise State, wrote a series of songs in his bedroom. "July" surfaced online in early 2011; it starts modestly with steady organ tones but eventually swells into Powers' plaintive cries: "Explosions pillaging the night/From the fireworks on the Fourth of July/It's just my lady, our friends, and I/Smoking cigars and yelling at cars as they drive by." "Afternoon," which with "July" can be found on Youth Lagoon's debut, The Year of Hibernation, is composed of a magical whistle riff, twisting guitar lines, and light clapping, ending with Powers sighing some wordless melodies. He has an extraordinary talent for poetically capturing youth's crystalline moments, but his music is so expressive that sometimes he doesn't even need lyrics to convey his swelling emotions. With Pure Bathing Culture. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $12. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Fitz & the Tantrums/Friday, January 20–Saturday, January 21

"Do you have soul?" "That all depends . . . " Seattle is certainly in step with America's renewed appetite for the stuff these days—with even a few revivalists of our own in acts like Allen Stone and Pickwick—but how do you tell the real, greasy soul from the rotely formalist fluff? It may seem like a rockist question of authenticity, but in a genre whose very name connotes deep-down realness—the soul, along with the body and the mind, being a required, fundamental article of existence—it's worth asking. L.A.'s Fitz and the Tantrums hit every note and pose perfectly; theirs is a big, brassy, refreshingly lighthearted soul, but they sacrifice a certain amount of that sticky icky for slick glitz and Vegas-revue showmanship. Whether that satisfies your inner Rob Gordon is up to you. With Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., American Tomahawk. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 7:30 p.m. both nights. Friday: $20 adv./$25 DOS, all ages. Saturday: sold out, 21 and over. ERIC GRANDY

***EDITOR'S PICK

Pangea/Friday, January 20

This L.A. garage-punk quartet creates the sort of sloppy, squalling rock tunes that fans of Wavves or Ty Segall would appreciate. How do they stand out among their contemporaries? The froggy-throated lead singer and his crass lyrics are incongruously mashed on top of nimble surf-rock guitar lines and harmonizing, doo-wopping backup vocals, resulting in something strangely and delightfully charming—kind of like the way you might find a snotty neighborhood troublemaker to be a little cute. There's a great video on Vimeo of Pangea at the Silverlake comic-book store Secret Headquarters playing "Night of the Living Dummy" on their duct-taped, PBR-stickered guitars. The song is from last fall's Living Dummy, released on tape and vinyl by California cassette kings Burger Records, which includes such masculinely awkward tracks as "Make Me Feel Weird" and "Too Drunk to Come." With Mean Jeans, Hole in My Head, Snuggle. JewelBox/Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave., 441-5823. 10 p.m. $7. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Mark McGuire/Saturday, January 21

Unlike Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (see above), Com Truise, or Hype Williams, Mark McGuire isn't part of the tired recent trend of band names wanly punning on well-known celebrities. Rather, that's actually his given name (no relation to the baseballer), although he might be better known as a member of Cleveland's multifaceted electronic outfit Emeralds. In his solo work, McGuire performs on guitar and loop stations, composing instrumental reveries that can stretch well into double-digit minutes as they gradually accrete and unfurl. Tonight, he plays the gallery Cairo alongside Spencer Clark and a rare collaborative set by local electronic duo USF and ambient droner Secret Colors, the latter of which should be especially complimentary. Cairo, 507 E. Mercer St. 8 p.m. $5. All ages. ERIC GRANDY

Metalesque/Saturday, January 21

We could sit here all day and discuss the artistic merit of rebel performance-art marching band Titanium Sporkestra; the spot-on hair of Sabbath tribute band Bastard of Reality; the awesome novelty of Skelator's wailing retro vocals; and the simple loudness of Death Mountain Rotor Cloud—or we could talk about the merit of strategically clad ladies and the fact that nipple tassels make any bizarre retro-rock/marching-band lineup worth 10 bucks. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009. 9 p.m. $10. TODD HAMM

Gold Wolf Galaxy/Tuesday, January 24

Gold Wolf Galaxy are a spanking-new act—only five shows into their career—who fuse electronic music and a metal ethos in edgy, deep dance tracks they like to describe as "Blondie jamming with Mastodon." Unlike your typical production-heavy duo, the boys set up decks with a live bass line, which adds a little pizzazz and showmanship to the electro format. Their latest single, "I Heart NY," is an interesting blend of sexy disco and naughty edge that begs multiple listens. Although technically newbies, these kids have already succeeded in making music which doesn't sound like anything else in Seattle right now. With Kings, Sunbears! Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9:30 p.m. $6. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

 
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