Shows of the Week: Laurie Anderson Brings Wry Spin to Newest Show LetX=X with NYC Jazz Combo Sexmob

What to see and hear this week.

Laurie Anderson's 1982 album Big Science (Courtesy of Laurie Anderson)

Friday, March 29:

Has any avant-garde performer captured America’s imagination quite like Laurie Anderson? The New York icon’s whimsical, incisive spoken word recounts implausible or catastrophic events in the calm and confiding tone of an expert. Whether channeling grim visions of war on the unexpected pop hit “O Superman” or exploring the modern world through the eyes of her rat terrier on Heart of a Dog, Anderson brings a wry spin to every subject she tackles. Anderson’s newest show Let X=X features NYC jazz combo Sexmob, lending burly backing to her witticisms. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 503-248-4335. 8 pm. $54.75. All ages.

Friday, March 29:

Danny Brown cut one of rap’s oddest figures when he emerged from the Detroit underground with his 2011 album XXX: chip-toothed, squawk-voiced, sporting a shock of side-swept hair more fit for a teen idol than someone who raps about stripping abandoned houses to sell scrap metal. He’s since fixed the tooth and cut his hair, and his new album, Quaranta, is slightly more sedate and thoughtful than the MDMA-fried bangers that drove him to mainstream status, yet his irrepressible personality and darkly humorous punchlines are still crucial to his music. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., 503-284-8686. 7 pm. $30. All ages.

Wednesday, April 3:

If you’re a regular at karaoke bars, you might not even remember what Wheatus singer Brendan B. Brown’s voice sounds like and invariably imagine “Teenage Dirtbag” being sung by 20 drunken people in unison. But the song wouldn’t be as enduring a hit if not for its sweetness, expressed as much through Brown’s boyish tenor as his endearingly awkward pickup lines. The contrast between yearning voices and confident guitars is one of the pleasures of power pop, and Wheatus’ “Dirtbags Across America” tour should deliver this dorky catharsis in spades. McMenamins Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., 503-223-4527. 7 pm. $18. 21+.

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