Like her contemporaries Kristin Hersh and Mary Timony, Spinanes leader Rebecca Gates was an extraordinary presence in the burgeoning indie underground of the early '90s. A fantastically gifted lyricist, singer and guitar player with a vocal timbre and cadence similar to dark-hearted, moody artists who entered the picture later (she sounded like a precursor to Cat Power's Chan Marshall), Gates had a wicked sense of humor and could mix black comedy and ethereal beauty with impressive grace. She and drumming partner Scott Plouf (who also played briefly with Team Dresch, Beck and Thrones, and currently drums for Built to Spill), made four records. Their first three were for Sub Pop; their swan song came out on Merge in 2000.
Gates is back with a new project she's calling "Rebecca Gates and the Consortium." I know little about it, but considering how well Spinanes songs like "Noel, Jonah and Me" hold up 14 years after the fact, I'm definitely eager to hear the new material when she plays the Sunset this evening. Cataldo and Redwood Plan frontwoman Lesli Wood opens. Cover is $10; show starts at 9 p.m.