Tonight: Horse Feathers, Zubatto Syndicate, Florence + The Machine

Horse Feathers Tarina Westlund.jpg
Tarina Westlund
Horse Feathers, with Megafaun, Breathe Owl Breathe. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $10. While the music landscape might be saturated with folk acts, not many play music as delicately beautiful as Justin Ringle and his Portland-based band. The charm and delicacy of the Northwest instantly emerges through the Lewiston native's quavering voice and songwriting that manages amazing things rhythmically without so much as a drum. After making a dramatic entrance with their 2008 debut record House With No Home, the Kill Rock Stars signees are back with eagerly awaited sophomore release Thistled Spring. Filled with the same banjo- and violin-accented melodies--not to mention a familiar dreamy wilderness aura--these are songs that remind us of the reasons we live here in the Northwest. NICK FELDMAN

Zubatto Syndicate, with Owcharuk 5, Waterbabies. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $8. Asked to guess the headliner for what's being billed as the first-ever jazz show at the Croc, most people probably wouldn't come up with Zubatto Syndicate. But that's exactly what makes this an intriguing night. The 12-piece band debuted at Town Hall last fall, with music that's solid and involving, but also on the sedate side. On guitarist-leader Andrew Boscardin's compositions-which lay down intricate patterns and odd-hued harmonies--the band delivered some great soloing, especially from alto player Clark Gibson, but there's none of the Skerik-type energy that translates reliably to a rock club. These men and women play seated with music stands--or at least they did then. Can a Croc crowd respond to that kind of chamber approach? (Jazz or no, I feel confident this is the first-ever Croc show featuring a middle-aged woman on bassoon.) Hopefully yes, because this is a band that deserves a hearing. MARK D. FEFER

Florence + The Machine, with Holy Hail. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $20. Few singers can cite both The Velvet Underground and Celine Dion as musical inspirations. But Florence and the Machine does so without batting an eye. The London experimental-pop singer Florence Welch, notorious for her volatile style, borrows from all genres on her debut album Lungs. She garnered mainstream attention in America last year after her infectious (albeit disturbing) "Kiss With a Fist" was used in the shiteously awesome horror flick Jennifer's Body. "You smashed a plate over my head, then I set fire to our bed," she divulges, as casually as she would that she and her boyfriend visited a restaurant. The remainder of Lungs is as, if not more, capricious. A fucked-up relationship has never made for such delightful fodder. ERIKA HOBART

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