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1. The Portland, Oregon, singer-songwriter Khaela Maricich, who records as THE BLOW, came out of the same K Records singer-songwriter enclave that produced the Microphones, but her recent EP, Poor Aim: Love Songs (States Rights), produced by Devendra Banhart drummer Jona Bechtolt, is an ecstatic paean to glitchy, Annie-esque pop. With Bechtolt's laptop-wrecking incarnation Yacht + Anna Oxygen + Ramoda Cordova Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston 617.734.4502

LISTEN: The Blow, "Knowing the Things That I Know" (mp3)
LISTEN: The Yacht, "Hot Dog (Iron Cobra Version)" (mp3)


I don’t use that language as an attempt to send people to the dictionary or to make people smarter. It’s more because the words are really beautiful. ‘Tamarack’ is a really beautiful word. All those words that you might think were strange — like, say, palanquin — are just really gorgeous words."
2. Y'know, even we're getting a little sick of the DECEMBERISTS. It's not that we're mad at their meteoric rise from weird to revered in less than two years. Just the opposite: their new-look, let's-put-on-a-rock-show album Picaresque is getting better as the leaves turn. Released last March, it's actually more of an Octoberist/Novemberist kinda album. But between Morrissey covers, expanded vinyl editions, Joanna Newsome covers, solo tours, and a track on Portland's tribute album to Elliott Smith (check here for eight more Decemberists covers), Colin Meloy fatigue is setting in hard, and this gig has the sluggish advance sales to prove it. But if you change your mind, there'll be tix at the door at Avalon, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston 7 pm 617.931.2000.

LISTEN: Decemberists, "The Engine Driver" (mp3, via Insound)

3. Australia's THE CAT EMPIRE have done just about everything to conquer their home continent over the past year, releasing a double-platinum album back in April and landing on the cover of the Aussie edition of Rolling Stone. The disc, Two Shoes (Virgin) -- in their parlance, a jazz-soul-hip-hop-salsa-reggae-ska-jam-rock hybrid -- just came out here in the States, and the eclectic Melbourne sextet are doing their best to build a following here with their buzzed about, high-energy live show Middle East, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge 7 pm 617.864.EAST

STREAM: The Cat Empire, "The Chariot"
STREAM: The Cat Empire, "Days Like These"
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