Tonight: Ken Stringfellow at the Fremont Abbey, Tortoise at Neumos

Ken Stringfellow, with Lincoln Barr. Fremont Abbey, 4272 Fremont Ave. N., 701-9270. 8 p.m. $9.99-$15. All ages. Ken Stringfellow's surprisingly sweet and boyish tenor has landed him work with R.E.M., The Minus 5, the second incarnation of Big Star, and, of course, the Posies, of which he was a founding member. And Stringfellow's spent the past few months touring Europe with both the Posies and his newest project, the Norwegian garage rock quartet the Disciplines. But in the midst of all his globe-trotting, Stringfellow's making time to stop by little old Fremont to play an acoustic set at the 61st Round, where perhaps he'll take the opportunity to pull songs form three solo albums--the last one being 2004's Soft Commands. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Tortoise, with Das Boton. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. Tortoise's do-no-wrong credibility looms monolithic in the indie rock pantheon like a Giza pyramid. In the early 90s, the band began playing instrumental music that simultaneously established and shattered the paradigm we've come to recognize as "indie rock." With its unorthodox, percussion-heavy instrumentation and modernist focus on production, Tortoise manages to convey a sense of intellectual grandiosity and distance without uttering a single word. And the lack of vocals doesn't mean their live shows aren't worth seeing. On the contrary, the fact that Tortoise remains so heavily anchored in a particular aesthetic only adds the band's strangely timeless appeal. SABY REYES-KULKARNI

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