The Short List: This Week’s Recommended Shows

Rodriguez

Thursday, April 25

His story is too wild to be fiction: A Detroit singer/songwriter makes a pair of critically acclaimed records in the early ’70s, then toils in complete obscurity for 30 years until a journalist tracks him down and informs him that he’s bigger than Elvis in South Africa where his songs have served as anti-apartheid anthems for an entire generation. But such is the life of Sixto Rodriguez, whose fairy-tale journey was chronicled in the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, and whose second act is being written gig-by-gig by people who have seen the movie, heard one of his reissued albums from Seattle’s Light in the Attic Records, and are flocking to the live show. Redemption may have come late to Rodriguez, but at least it finally came. With Jenny O. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 877-784-4849. 8 p.m. Sold out.

Dr. Dog

Friday, April 26

This Philadelphia crew has built a career by making salty, ’60s-style indie rock in the comfort of their homes. That’s why their most recent release, 2012’s Be the Void, seems like such a departure. The sextet’s first album made in a formal recording studio shows immense growth, with more polish and instrumental depth. Still, their homegrown, folk-infused sound remains intact. And it’s that grit—the fuzzy production, the bearish harmonies, the raw live feel—that makes us eager to hear tracks like “How Long Must I Wait” and “Over Here, Over There” in the flesh. With Dawes. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 7 p.m. $25–$30. All ages/bar with ID.

Aesop Rock

Sunday, April 28

Aesop Rock may be too often confused with A$AP Rocky—the young buck out of NYC who’s independently dope in his own right—but the Rubik’s-tongued, S.F.-dwelling indie-rap legend is going as strong as ever. (He actually went too strong before his tour in January, and had to cancel his Seattle show on account of a broken rib.) His fantastical acid raps are still framed by his strained tenor, his new beats still have depth, and he’s still got one foot planted in the grimy basement studio. Last summer’s Skelethon was a truckload of elevated weirdo rap, not only adding to his one-of-a-kind legacy but luring rap’s stingy mainstream crowd several inchest further left than it’s been in ages. With Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz, Busdriver, Grayskul. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $20 adv. All ages.

Golden Gardens

Sunday, April 28

Grimes, Beach House—you could throw out the names of more than a few established national-scale favorites that approximate the sound of Seattle duo Golden Gardens (heck, I just did), but they really play their own brand of sedated electronic baseball. Lo-fi, beat-savvy gothgaze, they’re the soupy, gray clay beneath the “golden” Ballard sand and the deep, echoey trenches that lie just offshore. Among the sleepy-tempoed ballads of last year’s How Brave the Hunted Wolves, you’ll find Aubrey Rachel Violet Bramble’s pure soprano slathered with—but not quite buried by—Gregg Alexander Joseph Neville’s melodramatic guitar chords and various treatments, creating an echoey soundspace to carry you out with the tide. With Snowdrift, Nostalgist, the Echo Echo Echoes. Sunset, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 7:30 p.m. $6. 21 and over.

“Weird Al” Yankovic

Sunday, April 28

“Weird Al” has sold 12 million albums in his career, and I’d be willing to bet that a million of those were sold to first-time record buyers. Not first-time “Weird Al”-record buyers, mind. First album, period. For a certain white, suburban/rural, male demographic I know all too well, Yankovic provided water wings for the pool that is pop music—keeping the meat (or at least the lettuce) of songs that wouldn’t make it past the crucifix Mom hung in the foyer and sticking it between two fat slices of nerdy white bread. And, fuck, the humor of that early work still stands up. His most recent work doesn’t. The title on his latest, 2011’s Alpocalypse, speaks to how flat the act has gotten in the past 30 years: “Whatever You Like (Parody of ‘Whatever You Like’ by T.I.).” But it doesn’t matter. His fans now have kids, and we’ll be damned if we’re taking them to some godless Lady Gaga concert. Pantages Theatre, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253-591-5890, pantages-theater.com. 7:30 p.m. $36–$68.

Killing Joke

Tuesday, April 30

British post-punk band Killing Joke has been playing on and off for more than three decades, celebrating their 35th anniversary this year with a best-of record, The Singles Collection: 1979–2012, and a world tour to support it. Though they never got as big as most of the heavy bands they influenced, their devoted following is a testament to the enduring appeal of their dark, thoughtful output and consistent reinvention, with 2012’s MMXII earning the band some of the best reviews of their long career. With Czar. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $25.

 
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