The Short List: This Week's Recommended Shows

Alice Russell ~ Thursday, March 26Clearly influenced by music from the heyday of the Motown and Stax labels, this Brighton, U.K., soul singer-songwriter might be one of the greatest new discoveries in pop music this year. After cultivating a sizable European following, she is currently touring North America in support of Pot of Gold (Six Degrees), her first disc to come out stateside."Got the Hunger," the disc's main single, has a catchy horn arrangement that pays homage to the work of the late Arif Mardin, while "Fly In My Hand" seamlessly blends funk with Europop tendencies. Russell wrote on her Web site that her primary influences include Minnie Riperton, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, and Aretha Franklin. Like her influences, Russell's firm, confident voice makes it seem as if she's been doing this for years, even though she's barely in her mid-20s. With Big World Breaks. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 9 p.m. $10 adv. ERNEST BARTELDESRoxy Epoxy and the Rebound ~ Friday, March 27On Roxy Epoxy's MySpace page, she describes herself as a "delicate fucking flower," but there's nothing overly gentle about the music she plays. Alongside her band, the Rebound, this Portland-based five-piece has a sound reminiscent of '80s new-wave acts like Blondie or Soft Cell, but with a bit more of a rock-driven edge. It's essentially synth punk, and not many bands (if any) can pull it off in the Northwest as well as this gang. Most of their songs sound as if they could have made the soundtrack to Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club, and people love them for that. The band's developed a decent following for their ability to make throwback music seem timely and easy to dance to, whether you're hearing them live or listening to a CD. Their most recent disc, Band-Aids on Bullet Holes, is full of fun jams with Joan Jett–style singing and brooding melodies that go great with PBR tallboys. With The Action Design, Veritas, Feverclub, Goodbye Gadget. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 7 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. All ages. JONATHAN CUNNINGHAMPigeon John ~ Friday, March 27Los Angeles nerd-rapper Pigeon John got his start in the early '90s by rhyming at the Good Life Café, a launching pad for the likes of Jurassic 5, Pharcyde, Dilated Peoples, and other alt-rap icons. Eventually PJ made his way to venerable Quannum Projects for a solo career in which he flows like a cross between Q-Tip and Mos Def, kicking rhymes about Phil Collins, ping-pong, and girls who won't talk to him over breezy Native Tongues grooves and the occasional Pixies sample. As fun and funky as it is, that sorta hip-hop doesn't exactly pay the bills, so Pigeon John has teamed up with producer Flynn Adam (of L.A. Symphony) for a new EP under the moniker Rootbeer. "Rather than making an escape attempt on this debut to something that was some subtle artistic departure from the West Coast underground laid-back rap that raised them, the duo has grown more apt to fully open their arms and embrace a vast array of what is relative to their own contemporary culture consumption today," says Rootbeer's press kit. In other words, they're attempting to sell out. They describe themselves as "MGMT injected with some N.E.R.D and A Tribe Called Quest"; dunno if that combination will launch them to fame and fortune, but both are seasoned and engaging enough performers to make the show entertaining, at least. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 9 p.m. $10 adv. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERGWintersleep, An Horse ~ Friday, March 27A loving mesh of Paul Murphy's wise, husky voice, several layers of earnest guitar work, and poignant, introspective lyrics, Canadian band Wintersleep makes music of the sort that swells in films just as the underdog triumphs over a more formidable adversary. Brisbane, Australia's An Horse opens as the requisite they-came-from-nowhere band, though in reality they've been quietly strengthening their chops Down Under by opening for Death Cab and touring the U.S. with Tegan and Sara—all before releasing a full-length album. Singer Kate Cooper's vocals pay reverent homage to Liz Phair, but An Horse's haphazard concoction of tumbling drums, tambourines, and sparse guitars produce a unique sound. With Dearboy. Vera Project, Seattle Center, Warren Avenue North and Republican Street. 7:30 p.m. $10. All ages. RAECHEL SIMSJaguar Love ~ Saturday, March 28Given the track record of Jaguar Love's members, it's not surprising there have been changes during the band's barely two-year history. These days, the Portland-based electro-jazz-indie band consists of only two musicians: lead singer Johnny Whitney and guitar player Cody Votolato, both former members of Seattle's own Blood Brothers. But just two months ago, Jaguar Love also boasted Jay Clark (of Pretty Girls Make Graves fame) on keyboards and drums. Now Clark has left the band, and in a recent announcement on the band's MySpace page, Whitney and Votolato claim the band's sound is changing, too. In a blog post, Johnny described the new music as "Daft Punk meets New Order meets Black Flag"—which probably won't be that different from Jaguar Love's current sound. Sure, there will be less keyboard use without Clark, and some songs might lose their dancy quality because of it, but it's Whitney's trademark wailing, tortured vocals that define this band. With OK Go, IO Echo. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 8 p.m. $18 adv./$20 DOS. All ages. PAIGE RICHMONDEddie Money ~ Saturday, March 28Eddie Money (given name: Eddie Fuckin' Mahoney) is no longer the cocky, long-haired rocker who took the Bay Area by storm in the late '70s before rising to international prominence. No, 30 years later the hard livin' he did in his heyday has taken its toll. The Mickey Rourke of music, he looks like a roughed-up prizefighter who's held on for too long, and sounds like one too. But then there's this: This June, Money will stage a self-penned musical based on his life, entitled Two Tickets to Paradise, at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center on Long Island—which he aspires to take to Broadway and beyond. Too bad "beyond" doesn't include this Saturday's gig at the EQC, but all the hits—"Take Me Home Tonight," "Shakin'," "Baby Hold On," "Walk on Water," et al.— in that production will doubtless be performed live by the man himself. Even if you can't make out the lyrics, you'll be able to get hammered and hum along. And besides, seeing a performer named Money in a casino showroom? Just like Ronnie said, that's so money! Emerald Queen Casino, 2024 E. 29th St., Tacoma, 253-594-7777. 8:30 p.m. $20–$25. MIKE SEELYLeslie and the Ly's ~ Monday, March 30I once had deluded dreams of grandeur of becoming an Internet-based, chubby-white-girl rap sensation; but alas, Leslie Hall beat me to it, and based on her wicked stage presence and collection of metallic-based fashion, I'm not going to try and step to that shit. Indeed, Leslie and the LY's are capable of delivering one of the hottest dance parties you'd never expect from a large woman in even-larger glasses and a gold bodysuit. "How We Go Out" will bring endless pleasure to anyone from a small town: "On the way to the club we pass a Dairy Queen/You stop 'cause you know it means so much to me/We take the back seats out of your minivan/Now we roll like a Hummer or a full-size sedan..." I quiver to think that I could have ever hoped to produce such a level of...well, awe and embarrassment. With Stereo Total. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $13.50 adv. All ages. RAECHEL SIMSHooker Farm ~ Monday, March 30I wasn't there when KD CockBloock, VikkiVegas, Tasty Pasties, J-sin, and Reak-o—the kids otherwise known as Hooker Farm—came up with their idea to start a tribute band to drunk perverts doing Rock-a-Rokie, but I imagine the conversation went something a little like this:"(gurgle, gurgle, cough, cough) Oh, man! D-do you know what would be sooooo funny? (gurgle, gurgle, cough, cough) Punk-rock covers of super-inane pop songs, except with lyrics mutilated by a 14-year-old channeling his inner Weird Al!""MY GOD! That's exactly what I was thinking! Sweet. Would you pass the chips?""Yeah. And so, OK, the titles will be things like, uh, 'Heaven is Four Inch Girth' and 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot (In the Eye).'""(Pfffst!) Bitch, you just made beer come out my nose."With Spinalcracker, the Hickmans, Bastard Child. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $5. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSARRachael Yamagata ~ Tuesday, March 31Remember Duncan Sheik? I didn't think I wanted to, given that he recorded "Barely Breathing," one of the worst/most popular singles of the late '90s. Then came Spring Awakening, the Broadway sensation that earned Sheik Grammy and Tony Awards for his orchestral skills, not to mention a coveted slot authoring The New York Times' Sunday "Playlist" on January 25. There he extolled the virtues of one Rachael Yamagata, a gorgeous, husky-voiced singer in a genre that can now simply be referred to as Grey's Anatomy Soundtrack. Of Yamagata's latest release, Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart, Sheik said: "You know for a fact that there was not a single A&R or PR or marketing person that was in the process remotely, because there's not a single up-tempo song on the whole album. They're all completely self-indulgent, in the best possible sense of the word, indulging in the beauty of the sadness." We've had Yamagata's album in steady rotation for months now, and share Sheik's sentiments word for word. Obviously, we still remember Duncan Sheik, and for good reason. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave. 8 p.m. $12 adv. MIKE SEELYHabib Koité & Bamada  ~ Tuesday, March 31Arguably one of the most popular Malian performers on the world-music circuit, Habib Koité is best known both for his guitar technique and for his calm, measured performances, which contrast with the fierier style of other artists from his country. A relentlessly touring artist who's always on the road, Koité hardly ever finds time to get into the studio—his latest studio release, last year's Afriki (Cumbancha), came after a six-year hiatus. In the meantime, he found time to collaborate with the likes of Bonnie Raitt (a confessed fan) and folk-blues troubadour Eric Bibb.Unlike the late Ali Farka Touré or Amadou & Mariam, Koité does not use electric guitars, relying instead on his steel-stringed acoustic, which he plays without many effects, save an occasional wah-wah or some reverb. Also, Koité bases his sound on the traditional music of his native country, adapting it in his own way—making sound as organic as it gets these days. His music is like a journey of discovery which will please both weathered fans and newcomers alike. Triple Door Mainstage, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7 p.m. (all ages), 9:30 p.m. $23 adv./$25 DOS. ERNEST BARTELDES

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