Live Music Roundup: Thursday, April 30

One of my favorite local pop bands, Hey Marseilles, plays the Crocodile tonight with Palmer Electric Co. and Cataldo; that starts at 8 p.m. and costs $10.

There's also a Willie Nelson tribute night at Conor Byrne's around 9 p.m.. For someone like me who's always thought the guy was a better songwriter and musician than he is a singer, it'll be cool to see how local artists interpret Willie's songs. I'm fairly sure that I am the only person in the universe who feels this way, but even if you don't agree, it won't prevent you from having a good time. Be warned, though-- these country tribute nights at Conor Byrne's are popular. I tried to get into a Dolly Parton tribute night at about 9 p.m. on a Saturday about three months ago and the thing was already sold out. I'm not kidding. Get there early and drink some beers so you'll be good and toasty when the time comes for a Willie sing-a-long.

Sleepy Sun, Blue Light Curtain at Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m., $8

Everything you want to know about Sleepy Sun (pictured courtesy Kirstie Shanley) is revealed in the band's name. The music is slow and lazy, with a tired -- but not bored -- quality. It's also bright and buoyant, with warm vocals: Singers Bret Constantino and Rachel Williams complement each other on "Sleepy Son," a particularly melodic song that features a harmonica solo. For all the stirring instrumentals -- Matt Holliman and Evan Reiss often break from their mellow guitars into heavy riffs -- Sleepy Sun is better defined as a jam band than a psych rock outfit. True, the members sometime hit a perfect harmony: On songs like "Lord," Constantine drags on the end of his words, slurring his lyrics over hazy music. Other times, it sounds like every band member is pushing for a solo. Even a beautiful song like "Sleepy Son" attempts to fits together harmonic sounds with the over-the-top ones, making it less a singular piece of music than a conceptual musical experiment. This means Sleepy Sun will appeal most to those listeners with plenty of patience: It'll take a few spins of the self-released Embrace to really understand that this more that the album is more than just an accidentally recorded band practice. PAIGE RICHMOND

Coffins, Stormcrow, Skarp, Grey at El Corazon, 7:30 p.m., $12, all ages

In a 2004 interview, Coffins guitarist/vocalist and Tokyo-scene grindcore veteran Uchino explained his group's plodding, fuzz-smothered sound: "I felt fatigue for playing in fast band." Coffins' high-viscosity doom rumbles like an engine that left the lot in 1996 (the year of the trio's formation) and hasn't had a tune-up since: The sludge build-up is astonishing. But while the bungee-plunge tunings and Uchino's thunderous grunts remain constant, Coffins incorporates some unique wrinkles, like the surf-punk solo that slices through "Deadly Sinners." Coffins embarked on its first overseas tour exactly a year ago, and while this return engagement is most welcome, future sojourns from Japan shouldn't be taken for granted. For people who like buying gory T-shirts at metal shows, Coffins delivers gnarly horror-movie-inspired merch. Others will leave with a subtler souvenir, having been slathered in filmy sonic crust. ANDREW MILLER

Vivian Girls, Abe Vigoda, the Girls at Neumos, 8 p.m., $12 adv

Brooklyn guitar-rock group Vivian Girls has a no-skills sound, something you don't nail down so much as try on, and get by on "a certain chemistry." The band's shitty rock jaunts might soundtrack flirty fun, a killer high school movie montage, or any random bikes-in-the-kitchen Central District house party taking an unexpected turn for the fun. Or Neumos. There's a twist: When a few girls sing at the same time, and through a car wash of reverb, their voices ring and chime. Not exactly the band the world needs most. Doesn't matter. An aura is created, and the aura is bitchy/bored. ANDREW MATSON

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