This Week's Recommended Shows

From Leonard Cohen to Eric Church.

Kid Koala/Wednesday, November 7

A master turntablist and sample magician, Kid Koala has been quietly releasing witty instrumental hip-hop for over a decade. From his early oddball classic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to his scratch-work on Deltron 3030's lone, self-titled opus, Koala (Canada's Eric San) has made an art out of chopping and looping bizarre snippets with old-school equipment, and has cut-and-pasted his way to underground glory. His new album, 12 Bit Blues, relies on the manipulation of old American blues samples to make his point, which, live, is often furthered by dancing-lady-types, costumes, and puppet shows. With Adira Amram and the Experience. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $13. TODD HAMM

Zammuto/Wednesday, November 7

After releasing four critically acclaimed albums over 10 years, cellist Paul de Jong and guitarist Nick Zammuto announced the split of their experimental sound-collagist duo The Books this past January. In an interview with Pitchfork, Zammuto declined to go into details, stating "It's been an extraordinarily painful year coming to the realization that there was no way forward for the band." Zammuto jumped right into a new project, though, a quartet that took his surname and released a self-titled record in April. You can sense Zammuto's nervous anxiety in churning numbers like "F U C-3PO" (a few tracks have punny titles—"Too Late to Topologize," "Idiom Wind"), but it's a focused and direct record, with notably less sampling than The Books' material. Zammuto's smoothly pulsing vocals float like shiny bubbles atop the placid pools of instrumentation. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $10. ERIN K. THOMPSON

***EDITOR'S PICK

Leonard Cohen/Friday, November 9

Sylvie Simmons' wonderfully thorough new biography of Leonard Cohen, I'm Your Man, could be read as a tragic tale. Cohen always disliked the rigors of touring, but because his records were rarely commercial successes, touring was his most profitable musical activity. In 2005, a 71-year-old legend who'd socked away (so he thought) more than enough to retire on, he discovered his manager had robbed him of more than $5 million; Cohen found himself forced to hit the road again to rebuild his bank account. It's tempting to see a sorrowful picture of a tired and persecuted old man, but Simmons writes that Cohen found new life and inspiration in traveling: He's continued to tour even after amply restocking his retirement account, and his 12th album, this year's Old Ideas, became the highest-charting record of his career. It's a resurgence that makes the words to his most famous song seem almost prophetic: "And even though it all went wrong/I'll stand before the Lord of Song/With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah." KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 684-7200. 8 p.m. $26.50–$250. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Generationals/Friday, November 9

Known the world over as the wellspring of jazz, blues, and swamp rock, New Orleans recently has also managed to export a fine young indie rock band. The duo Generationals calls the Big Easy home, but, in Creedence Clearwater Revival terms, their music's vibe is more "Down on the Corner" than "Born on the Bayou." The band's 2011 release Actor-Caster is full of clever little pop songs, with catchy choruses and jangly riffs, that sound like the pair should hail instead from the sunny shores of California, or perhaps one of the hipper stretches of Brooklyn. Note: Unlike John Fogerty—born in Berkeley, not on the bayou—these dudes really are from Louisiana. With Races. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9:30 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. KEEGAN HAMILTON

Eric Church/Tuesday, November 13

Eric Church is a righteous redneck who wears his country credibility on the tattooed arm where his sleeve would otherwise be if he weren't wearing a muscle T. He's got a cash cow in the can with "Drink in My Hand," as well as a thoughtful ode to an icon in "Springsteen." He and his band have copped to drinking a prodigious amount of Jack Daniel's on the road, yet Church is also a family man. If he worked out, tanned, and waxed himself, he could look like Tim McGraw. But Church, who wears his sunglasses at night, is too cool for that shit, and never hesitates to call out peers—Rascal Flatts, for instance—whom he perceives as pissing in the purity pot. He's also notorious for putting on an especially kick-ass live show. With Justin Moore, Kip Moore. Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett, 866-332-8499. 7 p.m. $37.50–$47.50. All ages. MIKE SEELY

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion/Tuesday, November 13

In the early '90s, the word "swagger" was woefully underused, but it described Jon Spencer's sexy, dirty rock perfectly—particularly 1994's Orange. Crackling with a raw, electric punk boogie, the album set the tone for the indie rock that followed (the White Stripes come to mind). The record's brassy chops stemmed from Spencer's garbled white-boy wail, but Judah Bauer's righteous axe and Russell Simins' maniacal drumming made it the lasting clincher it is. Orange has long been deemed their finest work, though the new album Meat + Bone is poised to challenge that ranking. Both Bauer and Spencer have been consumed with side projects (Cat Power and Heavy Trash, respectively), but, as Spencer says, "We still have that psychic glue that allows us to create music together." The singer has a newfound Jagger-like snarl, and "Bag of Bones" is a fine tribute to Sticky Fingers-era Stones. With Quasi. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT

 
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