SLABTOWN BENDER: HOLLY GOLIGHTLY AND THE BROKEOFFS, THE RANTOULS, ROYAL BATHS, & MORE (6 PM)
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Holly Golightly is one inaccurately named woman. She's all but barreled through the last decade and a half with roughly 13 solo records—spanning from garage rock to blue-eyed blues and swaggering jazz—not to mention collaborations with UK blues-punk pioneer Billy Childish and the White Stripes, to name a few. This latest project finds the infamously freewheeling Brit in the throes of rough 'n' ready American music, and so lands Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs (or perhaps "Brokeoff," as it's only her and one curious character named Lawyer Dave) on their third record, Medicine County. At this point, you can expect stomping country waltzes and hollow blues riffs with Holly and Dave singing together like drunken, hillbilly clones of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra. Though, given the track record of Golightly, it might be best to attend tonight's Bender performance without any preconceived notions, for you can never be sure what she'll do next. RAQUEL NASSER
YEAH GREAT FINE, BIRDS & BATTERIES
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) "Strange Kind of Mirror," from Panorama, the new album from Bay Area band Birds & Batteries, is a positively dazzling song, based around a guitar motif that falls and rises around an elusive melody. Written on the occasion of a friend's wedding, it shows the heart beating underneath Birds & Batteries' sometimes slick veneer. There's an organ pulse, and a wistful pedal steel, and airy falsetto vocals, and a clipped drumbeat that marches like the passage of time—gentle but relentless—all carefully constructed for maximum effect. The rest of Panorama isn't quite as good as "Strange Kind of Mirror" (how could it be?), but it's an inventive, enjoyably skewed pop record that possesses serious brains, not just in the lyrics but in the heady and surprising arrangements that boast some welcomely bizarre '70s-style synths. NED LANNAMANN
A complete listing of this week's shows can be viewed here.
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