The anything-but-subtle songwriting drama of Mr. Patrick Wolf

Singer Sam Prekop's breathy vocals have anchored the Sea and Cake's indie rock/jazz fusion over the course of the group's 14-year career. He and guitar player Archer Prewitt craft a breezy version of adult contemporary on their latest disc, Everybody. Prekop's Miles Davis cool is on full display as he practically sighs his vocals over John McEntire's (Tortoise) subtle drumming. Although Everybody is being touted as one of TSAC's more "rock" efforts to date, it basically offers the same tranquil codeine-and-honey tones of previous albums. The Sea and Cake is joined by equally unruffled labelmates, the Zincs, whose singer, James Elkington, rivals Prekop in tuneful serenity. Bust out the Barcaloungers on Friday, May 18, at Bimbo's at 9 p.m. Admission is $20; call 474-0365 or visit more info. Jonah Flicker

It's tempting to associate Brooklyn trio Sightings with Suicide, but the brave explorers of Sightings' inhospitable soundscapes will likely find the group even more violent on the senses than its predecessors. Perhaps it's due to the general noise addicts' desensitization to ear-canal[en]stabbing excessiveness, but acts like Sightings fill a demand for increasingly severe, harsh forms of listening torture. Not quite as challenging as, say, Wolf Eyes' hardscramble product, Sighting's terse rock deconstructions, ripe with backward drumbeats, unnerving vocals, and ear-piercing feedback, will still surely scare most children, some adults, and more than a few psychiatrists. Wherever you drop Sightings in the margins of voluminous experimentation, though, the dudes provide serious satisfaction for the contemporary aural masochist. Sightings perform on Monday, May 21, at Hemlock Tavern at 7 p.m. Admission is $7; call 923-0923 or visit for more info. — Grant Brissey

Patrick Wolf, a lanky 23-year-old Londoner with a shock of bright red hair, cuts a singular figure. The songwriter's debut was an erratic affair laden with rough-edged electronics and howled vocals about rape and self-mutilation, while his second release largely traded noise for piano, softly strummed ukuleles, and wistful pastoralism. For his latest effort, The Magic Position, Wolf has finally embraced his inner pop star and turned to chirpy electropop about the joys of being in love and seeing the bright side of life. He casts off these sentiments while prancing around in white suits and generally being ridiculously flamboyant. Wolf is a versatile live performer and his newfound sense of glamour should make for an engaging spectacle, particularly given the darker themes still lurking under the surface. Patrick Wolf performs on Monday, May 21, and Tuesday, May 22, at Café du Nord at 9 p.m. Admission is $12-14; call 861-5016 or visit for more info. Fergal O'Reilly

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