Tonight: Owen Pallett at the Crocodile, Jimmy Gnecco at the Tractor

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Hedi Slimane
Owen Pallett, with Snowblink, Cataldo. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $13. The Toronto musician and producer Owen Pallett has been best appreciated for his behind-the-scenes work - a former classical music student, he's written string arrangements for Grizzly Bear, the Arcade Fire, and Beirut under the name Final Fantasy. But Pallett's new album, Heartland, finally finds him stepping into his own. Heartland's been a long time coming - Pallett started talking about it in 2006 - and tells the story of a farmer named Lewis who lives in the imaginary world of Spectrum. It's a fairy tale for adult hipsters. Songs like "Lewis Takes Off His Shirt" are lush and symphonic, offering a direct contrast to the violent nature of the lyrics, and incorporate string and woodwind sections with Pallett's high, elfish voice and his signature violin looping technique. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Jimmy Gnecco, with Greg Laswell, Brian Wright. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9:30 p.m. $12. Two decades ago, New Jerseyian Jimmy Gnecco founded and fronted the dark and ultra-dramatic rock band Ours. Ours signed to DreamWorks and received some moderate mainstream success - "Dizzy," off 2001 Distorted Lullabies, is still one of my favorite vocal performances ever. And it's really Gnecco's incredible voice that has drawn most of the attentions from fans and press - his steely timbre and soul-searing falsetto are often compared to those of his late friend, Jeff Buckley. This summer, Gnecco will release a solo album, The Heart. "Bring You Home," the first single, is instantly and powerfully passionate. Gnecco's bare and insistent singing brings to mind another dynamic vocalist - Thom Yorke in The Bends era. ERIN K. THOMPSON

 
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