Tonight: Ariel Pink at Neumos, Wakey! Wakey! at the Sunset, Dio Tribute at the Comet

Ariel Pink, with Puro Instinct, Magic Kids. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $13. L.A.'s Ariel Marcus Rosenberg - more commonly known as Ariel Pink - first unleashed his eccentric personality on the world around 2003, when he slipped a demo to Animal Collective, who then began releasing Pink's mumbly psych-pop on their own label. Pink's music was highly DIY - he notoriously created percussion beats using his armpits - and his early performances were said to be uncomfortably awkward, both for him and his audiences. These days, though, he's got a backing band, Haunted Graffiti, and his newest record, this year's Before Today, has a fuller, much more accessible pop sound. Songs like "Round and Round," with its murmuring vocals, sunny chorus and looping structure, are mesmerizing and perfect for the stage. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Wakey! Wakey! Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 8 p.m. $10. Wakey! Wakey! frontman Mike Grubbs is one of those Brooklynites whose thin, pale frame suggests he exists on a study diet of coffee, cigarettes and heartache. His music does little to disprove the theory. The W!2 catalog is a collection of twinkly indie gems about the procession of women who have walked all over his strung-out heart. Turns out in Grubb's case it's better to have loved and lost, as it is not without artist payoff, cultivating songs that mix sweet and sad like a cotton-candy flavored tears. Here's hoping he never finds a decent girlfriend. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

Dio Tribute. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 8 p.m. $6. To the unschooled, it would be easy to write off the work of the late Ronnie James Dio as a cliché of the most common traits that make the non-believers mock metal. The last solo stage show he brought to the Showbox involved a gigantic dragon on-stage, pagan-esque pageantry and no shortage of melodramatic material involving heaven and hell. And of course, there's the iconic "devil horn" gesture he's frequently credited with popularizing. But not only are those generalizations short-sighted (his elastic, operatic wail was one of the most influential within the genre), they also speak to what made Dio great. He embraced it in all its medieval glory, without apology, and without failing victim to the more harmful clichés of groupie-shagging, vice-riddled nonsense. He did, however, lose his valiant battle with stomach cancer this past May, and tonight members of local bands Blood Cells, Emeralds, and Sunday Night Blackout will pay tribute to his legacy. HANNAH LEVIN

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