Opening for the Polyphonic Spree at the Showbox in 2007, Jesca Hoop seemed at first like she might succumb to all the noise from the folks over at the bar. But the chestnut-haired singer-guitarist dedicated herself to winning over the healthy crowd that gathered in front of the stage for her set, and it worked. Accompanied by a keyboardist and a guy manning a small MPC sampler, the Northern California native was equal parts freak-folker and torch singer; she had a riveting voice and confident stage presence, and her songs were best when accompanied by trip-hoppish beats. She used to be Tom Waits nanny, and he once said that her music is like going swimming in a lake at night. Whatever that means. Tom Waits says weird shit, but having a Tom Waits quote on your bio is a good, good thing. Jesca also wears funny hats sometimes. Photo courtesy Frank Ockenfel.