Live Tonight: A Happy Death, The Neighbourhood, Sharon Jones, Paper Machete

A Happy Death I’m going to be honest: I asked to write about this band before I even heard its music based solely on its name, which the Portland group lifted from Albert Camus’ first (and only posthumously published) novel. A sort of rough draft for The Stranger, the book holds a place in my heart for its more hopeful brand of existential quandary. As it turns out, the band is fantastic, too (thank God). Dark and psychedelic, A Happy Death delivers rumbling, brooding barn-burners as likely to erupt with existential angst as to shimmer with transcendental synth washes. A sort of delightful darkness—a happy death indeed. 2 Bit Saloon, 4818 17th Ave. N.W., 708-6917, the2bitsaloon.com. 9 p.m. $5. MARK S. BAUMGARTEN

While branding itself in black and white, stagewear and music videos included, California-based five-piece the Neighbourhood combines indie rock with R&B vibes to create an original urban-rock sound. The band had a big year thanks to its smooth single “Sweater Weather” from 2013’s I Love You, and will try to keep the momentum going with upcoming project #000000 & #FFFFFF. With Kitten, Born Casual. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444, showboxonline.com. 8 p.m. $26.50 adv./$29 DOS. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings Sharon Jones was already an unlikely story, her career as a fiery soul singer not starting until age 40. Now 57, the Atlanta native is recovering from stage 1 bile-duct cancer and touring on an excellent album that sat on the shelf for a year while she underwent chemotherapy. This unfortunate, harrowing, and scary period has refocused the music media’s attention on Jones for the moment—and it’s a good moment for the singer and her backing band, as reports suggest the act is delivering some of the most vibrant performances of her powerful career. The attention will, one hopes, elevate her to her proper place in pop-music history as one of the soul greats. So, yeah, you should go to this show. With James Hunter. The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, showboxonline.com. 8 p.m. $29.50 adv./$31.50 DOS. All ages. MSB

Paper Machete takes modern indie rock and filters it through funky grooves. Thudding, R&B-drum-machine-like thumps and ethereal organ sounds resonate underneath chunky guitar chords throughout the band’s 2013 album Birthday!. Its sonic experimentation doesn’t distract, but instead underlines its emotive melodies and lyrics. With Last Great Fire, Gerhardts. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880, sunsettavern.com. $6. 9 p.m. 21 and over. DUSTY HENRY

When Zach Davidson first formed Seattle’s Vendetta Red, he served as the city’s mainstream emo offering, and his voice fell right in line with the genre’s ragged yet soaring essence. Now he’s debuting a new project, Zach Davidson and the Irresistibles, live. With Aaron Daniel. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599, tractortavern.com. $5. 8 p.m. 21 and over. DH

 
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