(Jackpot Records, 3574 SE Hawthorne) Seattle troubadour Damien Jurado's latest, Maraqopa, comes out February 21, and it's a staggeringly great album, full of sorrow, hope, strange sounds, and breathtakingly beautiful music. Jurado performs a very special in-store show today, so go and get your heart ripped out by one of the greatest songwriters alive. NED LANNAMANN
VERONICA FALLS, BLEACHED, GHOST ANIMAL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The name Veronica Falls sounds like the title of a Daphne du Maurier novel, filled with mystery and romance and beauty and inescapable tragedy. The band Veronica Falls puts all those things into their music, a sweetly nerve-frayed take on '80s jangle-pop that boasts thumpingly elementary rhythms, twisted lyrics, and lots of electric guitar strum. The London group's self-titled debut was one of last year's best, and their live show offers both frayed-sweater vulnerability and fist-pump power. They've just released a brand-new song, "My Heart Beats," and it's just as good as what's come before, which means you won't regret carving "Veronica Falls" into your notebook cover anytime soon. NL
DRAMADY, RLLRBLL, BROTHER EGG
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) If RLLRBLL (AKA Rollerball) were a person, he or she would now be old enough to vote; in Portland band years, this means they are approximately 97 years old. Their staying power is due partly to flexibility in lineup—now a trio—as well as in sound. RLLRBLL's surprising hop-skipping among genres and insistence on experimentation over the years may also explain why they've stayed under the radar. Their latest, Murwa Mbwa, upholds their tradition of weird diversity. Over a slim five songs, RLLRBLL swing between the driving drum-and-bass post-rock of "Coffee with Donnie" to the melodic synthpop of "Wah Kitty." RLLRBLL's real secret is not their eccentricity but in the fact that even their most droney and unintelligible songs are beautiful, and the pop tracks are never quite like anything you've heard before. RW
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