The Short List: This Week’s Recommended Shows

***EDITOR'S PICK

Father John Misty/Friday, September 21

Back in July, one-time Seattleite Josh Tillman gave one of the most entertaining performances of this year's Capitol Hill Block Party, during which he quipped, "I think I've probably washed everyone in this audience's dishes at some point in my life." Tillman's kitchen-boy duties are a distant thing of the past: Father John Misty's current tour is selling out dates across the country; in December he'll board a Caribbean-bound ocean liner to perform on the USS Coachella cruise; and he's made such high-profile fans as Glee's Dianna Agron, who recently tweeted a photo of Misty's Fear Fun album with the caption "Father John Misty. Making me happy." between tweets of cute cat pictures and a birthday message to Lea Michele. There's a divide between those who find Misty's public persona irritating and those who find it hilarious, but the artfulness of Fear Fun is undeniable, and the true highlight of his live performances isn't the now-infamous hip-shaking but his strikingly beautiful singing voice. With Jenny O. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $16. ERIN K. THOMPSON

The Evaporators/Friday, September 21

Veteran Vancouver, B.C., punk band the Evaporators (formed 1986) labors under a unique blessing/curse: Their frontman and founding member Nardwuar the Human Serviette is more famous for his extracurricular activities than the band is for its tunes. Specifically, Nardwuar is maybe the world's greatest interviewer of other musicians, a goofy and genial yet maddeningly well-informed interlocutor who has a freakishly high success rate for winning over subjects from Skrillex to Jay-Z to Nirvana. All of which is to say: Though I once saw them, I could not tell you what the Evaporators actually sound like. Oh—it's really fun pop punk, I just looked it up. With The Primate 5, the Tranzmitors, Zack Static Sect, Thee Goblins. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $7. ERIC GRANDY

Gucci Mane/Friday, September 21

You probably know Gucci Mane as "that guy who got an ice-cream cone tattooed on his face (BRRRRR)" or possibly "that guy who occasionally has a diamond-encrusted Bart Simpson medallion" or "Didn't that guy go to jail for a minute?" You're on the right track, but you should also know him as a hilariously and awesomely mush-mouthed, slow-drawling rapper, whose gummed-up, syrupy slow beats have helped inspire the current deplorable "trap" trend in productions well beyond the realms of hip-hop. Live rap shows are always a bit of a gamble, and Gucci Mane doesn't necessarily seem like the type to be overly concerned with punctuality or effortful showmanship, but I bet he still throws a good-kind-of-weird party. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 8:30 p.m. $39 adv./$49 DOS. All ages. ERIC GRANDY

Jason Mraz/Saturday, September 22

Jason Mraz is like the elite athlete who always makes the playoffs but never wins it all. In the Caucasian jambrosphere, he rates fourth behind Dave Mathews, John Mayer, and the insurgent Zac Brown (Matthews' country carbon). While he's consistently reinvented himself aesthetically (let's hope his current "Scruffy Christ" look gets the heave-ho soon), Mraz's sound has remained largely the same—sometimes annoying, occasionally heartfelt, and always perfect fodder for the inevitable "Look, they're falling in love!" montage in a Drew Barrymore/Adam Sandler film. That Mraz is headlining the Gorge gives voice to the notion that if success is measured in terms of middlebrow saturation, he's Andy Fucking Murray. With Christina Perri. Gorge Amphitheater, 754 Silica Road N.W., Quincy, 509-785-6262, thegorgeonline.com. 7:30 p.m. $29–$54.50. MIKE SEELY

The Shins/Saturday, September 22

All intrapersonal band drama aside, James Mercer's decision to revamp the Shins' lineup appears to have been a positive one. Port of Morrow, the band's first album since adding new members Richard Swift, Yuuki Matthews, Joe Plummer, and Seattle shredder Jessica Dobson, is leagues more pleasant and cohesive than its predecessor, 2007's Wincing the Night Away (and doubly more so than Mercer's forgettable Danger Mouse collaboration Broken Bells). It's a return to form, to the simple but incisive pop songs that made the Shins so appealing in the first place. And it's nice to see the generally sedate-seeming Mercer loosen up and have some fun, as in the Royal Tenenbaums–reminiscent video for "Simple Song," in which he plays a deceased patriarch who gleefully sends a wrecking ball through a house full of his inheritance-greedy children (played by his bandmates) while singing this mantra of sorts: "I know that things can really get rough/When you go it alone/Don't go thinking you gotta be tough/And play like a stone." With Washed Out. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849. 8 p.m. $31.25. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Riff Raff/Monday, September 24

Regarding the rise of Houston rapper Riff Raff, Action Bronson may have said it best when he famously answered confounded Twitter followers after releasing his "Bird on a Wire" collaboration with Sir Raff: "RIFF RAFF IS MORE ENTERTAINING THAN YOU." Raff's eccentric style is such an overblown performance in itself that the obvious question, "Is he joking?", has become nearly irrelevant. From being a reality-show washout (see season two of MTV's From G's to Gents—or don't, really) to dropping post-lyrical YouTube-captured gems like "Swang a motorcycle/Leanin' like the Eiffel" (from "Marc Jacobs") to actually signing with Diplo's Mad Decent label, the guy has somehow parlayed a bizarre slice of notoriety into a tangible career, making him not only more entertaining but also more successful—and in a strange, cruel joke of a way, just plain smarter—than any of us. With Slow Dance, Billy the Fridge, Peta Tosh, and Bryce Bowden; hosted by Neema. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 7 p.m. $7. All ages. TODD HAMM

 
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