by Carey Murphy, Cortney Harding and Andrew Matson & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & F & lt;/span & resh off their PLUG Awards nomination for best Americana album of the year, HORSE FEATHERS bring their lush, hazy sounds to Whitworth on Thursday. The Portland twosome -- composed of singer Justin Ringle and 19-year-old multi-instrumentalist wunderkind Peter Broderick -- create lovely, layered songs that will make fans of Iron and Wine and Sean Hayes immediately sit up and take notice. Broderick uses a wide variety of instruments, including guitar, banjo, percussion, piano, musical saw and strings to create a rich background for Ringle's strong voice and heartbreaking, elegantly crafted stories.
Live, Horse Feathers puts on an understated performance. Those seeking theatrics will be let down, but those who stick it out and pay attention will be richly rewarded. Their 2006 album, Words Are Dead, garnered high praise from everyone from the notoriously crabby Pitchfork to National Public Radio, Horse Feathers is poised to blow up huge this year.
-- CORTNEY HARDING
Horse Feathers with Laura Gibson at Whitworth's HUB on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 9 pm. Tickets: $5; free, Whitworth students. Call 777-1000.
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & P & lt;/span & ercussionists are an odd, ingenious lot. The wide array of instruments at their disposal and the many uses to which they put these instruments are flabbergasting. How many of us can tell a vibraphone from a mbira? A marimba from a kalimba? If pressed, how many of us could differentiate the almglocken from the Trashformer? Few. Even fewer could orchestrate these various elements into beautiful compositions. Luckily, Wilco's percussionist-in-chief, GLENN KOTCHE, is coming to Empyrean, affording us a chance to watch a mainstream artist indulge in the esoteric.
It isn't right, though, to think of this as Wilco's drummer performing solo. Wilco is best considered Kotche's day job, affording him the luxury of solo projects, most recently Mobile. The sonic equivalent of Alexander Calder's visual claims to fame, the album's eight tracks simultaneously balance and define one another. From found objects to traditional kits, Kotche bangs on everything to create his magical noise.
-- CAREY MURPHY
Glenn Kotche with Danny Weber and Ben Mancke at Empyrean on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 7 pm. Tickets: $8. Call 838-9819.
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & E & lt;/span & -40 is an institution in hip-hop. Absolutely owning his title of Ambassador of the Bay Area, the man has represented Vallejo, Calif., to the fullest since Day One, manufacturing language like Shakespeare and influencing the entire hip-hop nation in the process. His over-pronounced, extremely plosive diction -- at once guttural and nasal -- is instantly recognizable. His impenetrable slanguage is the stuff of legend. It is said that he invented the -izzle suffix; it's certain that he was first to complete words with -eezy.
Though not an original proponent of the Bay's now famous Hyphy movement, he's carried it on his back since his smash hit "Tell Me When To Go," which featured Keak Da Sneak (the man who invented the "Hyphy" designator). His son, Droop-E, is one of the scene's biggest producers. E-40's last album, My Ghetto Report Card, was one of the best of '06. See him before he dies, and you'll have something to tell your rap-loving grandkids about.
-- ANDREW MATSON
E-40 and the Mossie with Unexpected Arrival on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 8 pm. Tickets: $25-$50. Visit www.ticketswest.com or call 325-SEAT.
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.