The Short List: The Week’s Recommended Shows

Eleanor Friedberger

Wednesday, June 12

Since striking out from the Fiery Furnaces, the Zappa-esque duo she fronted with her brother, Eleanor Friedberger has produced two excellent solo albums: her debut, Last Summer, and this month’s Personal Record. Similar to Summer, Personal Record is a vehicle for the vocalist’s rich lyrical expression, a carefully articulated style reminiscent of Kate Bush’s. Her gorgeous tones came into their own during the Furnaces’ tenure, but never flourished outright (that’s what you get with a brother for a band mate). They burned more brightly on Summer, yet at times echoed with frenetic Furnace energy. Personal Record, further removed from that backstory, flows at a graceful, unrushed pace. Establishing such a singular sound is perhaps what inspired the idea behind “I Am the Past,” with the lyrics “I am the past/You’ll never forget me/I’d probably come back/And stay if you let me.” With the Bats and Teen. Neumos, 925 Pike St., 709-9442. $15 adv. 8 p.m. 21 and over.

Lights

Thursday, June 13

Rather than working on new songs following the tour in support of her 2011 sophomore album, Siberia, Canadian electro-pop singer/songwriter Lights decided to spend time in a cottage reworking said album acoustically. Gone are the synthy beats she’s known for, the dubstep-like breakdowns, and the appearances by Shad and Holy Fuck. In their place are a mix of sweeping cello and acoustic guitar, a sprinkling of piano, and Lights’ stripped-down voice at the forefront of each song, as well as collaborations with Owl City, Max Kerman of Arkells, and Coeur de pirate. Not every song from Siberia made it onto Siberia Acoustic, and the ones that did were reordered, making the 10-track release sound like a completely different album—a bit more intimate, though just as inviting as its plugged-in counterpart. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 682-1414. $23.50. 8 p.m. All ages/bar with ID.

Parquet Courts

Thursday, June 13

On Light Up Gold, Parquet Courts’ much-ballyhooed sophomore full-length, the catchy Brooklyn punk quartet delves into some serious existential quandaries. On the hypnotic micro-epic tale of an afternoon in Ridgewood, Queens, “Stoned and Starving,” singer Andrew Savage blurts “I was debating Swedish Fish, roasted peanuts, or licorice,” and we feel his pain. On the equally excellent “Master of My Craft,” he delves into the crassness of the high-class, singing “People die, I don’t care/You should see the wall of ambivalence I’m building/I got no love for the living.” On the Pavement-copping “N Dakota,” he offers this succinct summation of Middle America: “Cigarette advertisement country, wild and perfect, but lacking something.” So yeah, the poetry is there, but so is the pogo party, thanks largely to the band’s speed-addled heartbeat and Austin Brown’s bright, slightly sour guitar solos. As much as Parquet Courts sings about boredom, its shows are anything but. With Naomi Punk. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $12 adv.

AM & Shawn Lee

Friday, June 14

Together, chrome-throated Californian AM and London’s all-purpose studio sorcerer/percussionist Shawn Lee are arguably today’s finest spinners of synth-aided mustache funk. The duo pulled the shag out from under the ’70s and rung out a decade’s worth of soul (and probably some kind of bodily juices) onto some piping-hot wax for 2011’s Celestial Electric, and have just returned with La musique numérique, a slick collection of 11 new jams and a Joe Jackson cover (“Steppin’ Out”). If you’ve given the album a spin, you know the guys haven’t cooled a bit, hitting the ground thrusting with tracks like “Good Blood,” “In the Aftermath,” and “Automatic.” They haven’t hit the kind of freak paydirt they struck with “Dark Into Light,” but the vibe runs strong throughout—and what a pleasant vibe it is. With Don’t Talk to the Cops, Glitterbang. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 9 p.m. $13 adv. 21 and over.

Mount Kimbie

Friday, June 14

For its second album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, this duo, Englishmen Dominic Maker and Kai Campos, kept it simple. Rather than overproduce the new songs, the two decided to let them be. The result is a looser collection of songs with a sound similar to that of their debut, but this time Maker and Campos have really given their beats room to breathe. They’ve also added two new voices to the Mount Kimbie sound, with Campos singing on several tracks and fellow Brit King Krule blending rapping and singing on “You Took Your Time,” and “Meter, Pale, Tone.” With Holy Other, Vinyl Williams. Neumos,925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. $15 adv. 8 p.m. 21 and over.

Pony Time

Monday, June 17

This Seattle duo is an incredibly friendly and endearing stage act. Bassist/singer Luke Beetham is cordial, quaintly dressed, and plays his curvy bass all high and snug to his chest as if to say “This tasty riff came right from the heart.” He and drummer Stacy Peck, who hits the drums like a badass, efficiently crank out quick-hitting, fuzzy surf-style rockers that are as much a delight to listen to as it looks like they are to play. Pony Time’s latest album, Go Find Your Own, finds the two turning up the rock levels even further, though they never lose sight of their happy pop aspirations. Their joyous thrashing is a dynamic that works quite wonderfully, both on record and live; even when they tread on somewhat familiar-sounding territory, it’s with a friendly fervor that’s more than likely to win you over. With Burnt Ones, Stickers, Detective Agency. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $7 adv. 21 and over.

Koji

Monday, June 17

Even though Harrisburg, Pa.–born singer Koji performs acoustically, it’s not hard to tell, while listening to his debut full-length album, Crooked in My Mind, that he was raised on a healthy diet of punk rock. There’s a gritty quality to his voice that adds a lot of depth to lyrics reflecting on a new period in life, being bullied, and the journey to find peace. Koji has also run with punk’s activist side, founding COLORMAKE, an organization that pairs activists and artists. He has also worked with several advocacy groups, and released CIMM on vinyl in a variety of colors, each one supporting a different nonprofit. Making music with a message and doing what you can to right wrongs—sounds pretty punk-rock to me. With Turnover, Ivy League, Have Mercy, Simple Monsters. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 262-0482. $10 adv./$12 DOS. 7:30 p.m. All ages/bar with ID.

 
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