Live Tonight: Dr. Dog, Pillar Point, Magma Fest Begins, and More!

Festivals often provide a weekend escape, a time to forget the world and live a brief rock fantasy. With Magma Fest, Hollow Earth Radio forgoes that notion—it spans all of March. Venues throughout Seattle will present bills even more varied than the station’s own DIY programming: There’s Geneva Jacuzzi, an underground electro-pop artist with a knack for ’80s synth production and Lady Gaga theatrics; surf-gazers Lures and math-rock experimentalists Scarves bringing their guitar escapades; and Moon Joe, a “3-year-old percussionist extraordinaire” (yes, a child). While other festivals might present expected favorites with a few surprises, Magma Fest is primarily surprises—a chance to discover something new and weird that pushes musical taste out of its comfort zone. Costs vary; some age restrictions; see for complete details. Through March 30. DUSTY HENRY

Fiona Dawn effortlessly switches between English and Mandarin lyrics in songs that infuse conventional pop-song structures with traces of music from all around the world. Her most recent album, Tricks of the Trade, features ukulele, zheng, and sounds that evoke West African and Balinese music. With Susy Sun, PhilHarmonic, DJ HoJo. Barboza. 8 p.m. $7 adv./$10 DOS. MICHAEL F. BERRY

Dr. Dog, The Neptune. See our interview with the band’s Scott McMicken here .

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. OK, be honest: An album title like The Speed of Things makes you think it’s going to be an energetic ride, right? That’s why Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s sophomore effort is so beautifully subversive. Technically, it delivers on your expectations, with a pleasing array of synth-pop numbers that will get any retro-oriented party started, but there’s more going on here. The seemingly ebullient track “Run” is actually about sexual deviance and abuse, while hit dance single “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t on the Dance Floor)” is based on the band’s own experiences getting lost in touring and becoming numb to the world around them. The title is actually a meditation on our culture’s warp-speed nature and our seeming inability to slow the hell down (and a nod to the race-car driver who inspired the band’s name). This duo gives you exactly what you want, and then subtly pulls the rug out from beneath you. With Chad Valley. Neumos. 8 p.m. $15. 21 and over. BRIAN PALMER

Part blues poet, part rock-and-roll messenger from God, part thought-provoking folk troubadour, Joshua Powell loves turning your expectations inside out. 2013’s Man is Born for Trouble includes songs named after Kerouac, Whitman, and Tolstoy, but “Parable from Calcutta” ’s spiritual bent succinctly captures the many defining characteristics of his discography. With Jake Nannery. The Royal Room. 8 p.m. No cover. All ages. BP

The Soft Hills While this show will be headlined by the excellent boy/girl harmonies of Ephrata, the band in the second slot, the Soft Hills, are the star attraction. Led by Garret Hobba, it’ll celebrate the release of Departure, a lightly psychedelic pop record that manages to be both melancholy and magical, delightfully rolling along like soft hills beneath strange purple skies. Tractor Tavern. 8 p.m. $8 adv. 21 and over. MARK BAUMGARTEN

Pillar Point, Vermillion. See our review of the band’s self-titled release here .

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