by INLANDER & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & F & lt;/span & irst, CAMILLE BLOOM sings about the pressures on female musicians to get "all dolled up." Then she sings about deciding just to be herself. Bloom's music, sweet and true, doesn't bow to the pressures of stick figures and extreme makeup. It's just her and her guitar making melodies that are soft and electric. Schoolteacher by day and rock-chick by night, she writes songs about holding onto people, goodbyes and relationship problems. All that sap is easily swallowed, though, because Bloom sings from the heart. Her sugary voice sounds like Ani DiFranco's drenched in maple syrup. Bloom creates great tunes while leaving the wigs and false eyelashes at home. When it comes to music, standards of prettiness should owe less to Britney and more to Camille Bloom.
-- TAMMY MARSHALL
Camille Bloom at Empyrean on Friday, Sept. 7, at 8 pm. $8. Call 838-9819.
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & L & lt;/span & ike many future economic geographers and finger-style guitarists, ALEX DE GRASSI was born in Yokosuka, Japan, but grew up in San Francisco. He began finger-picking at the tender age of 13 and, through the course of a career spanning 14 albums, he's left an indelible mark on his particular hemisphere of the guitar world.
While he's a god among the guitar-obsessed, de Grassi's fan base is a fraction of the average pop star's. But his fans are much more invested: They don't just listen to his music, they ask for the specific tunings for each song.
The thing about niche forms, though, is that they're often hard to get your hands on. Many of de Grassi's early work has gone out of print, so the only way (besides eBay) to hear it is first-hand on Saturday.
Plus, rumor is dude plays a mean cover of "Paint It Black."
Alex de Grassi at CenterStage on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 8 pm. $25. Visit ticketswest.com or call 325-SEAT.
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & P & lt;/span & ipes, guitar strings and synthesizers all over the place -- what's a person to do? Sit back and take in THAT 1 GUY smacking this giant pipe thing. He invented the 6-foot-tall stringed doodad himself. Guy looks like Johnny Depp, sounds like Beck and writes ironic lyrics like Shel Silverstein. He breaks his beat (which is all his own) to colored lights and flashing strobes. He's a little bit Nine Inch Nails and a little bit Johnny Cash.
But That 1 Guy's show is going be awesome mainly because the dude's so weird. Some of his songs include "The Moon Is Disgusting, It's Made Out of Cheese" and "It's Raining Meat." With the lights, the beat and the monotone voice, his show's like going to a rave, but with everybody so transfixed by the performer that they won't be walking around touching each other.
That 1 Guy at John's Alley on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 9:30 pm. Call (208) 883-7662. Also at the Big Easy on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 8 pm. $8. Call 244-3279.