(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) With some stellar new tracks up on Bandcamp and a full-length on the way, Houndstooth is firing on every cylinder, particularly with their powerhouse live show. With members Voltron'ed together from countless other local bands, Houndstooth makes jangling, reeling rock that fits perfectly into the ol' earholes. NED LANNAMANN


(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) It's become standard to refer to highly literate songwriters as "confessional." On Break It Yourself, Andrew Bird's sixth studio album, out last month, he shows once again that his real aptitude is for observation. As gifted as he is as a composer, it's his incisive interpretations of the world—the massive die-off of bees, the way we outsource our memories to media—that keep me coming back. The best song, "Lusitania," is a duet with St. Vincent about tragedies that are no longer within the scope of living memory. Lyrically and musically, there is always something new to hear. As a classically trained composer, Bird draws on many tricks in his bag, which could be why the album feels more curated than conceived as a whole. Break It Yourself contains snippets of doo-wop, a smatter of Afro-Caribbean, his signature violin, and of course, the whistling. REBECCA WILSON


(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Full disclosure: There is video online in which I (very sloppily) sing "Bad Romance" along with an early incarnation of Magic Mouth at a birthday party. The fearless, fun-loving spirit of the initial duo—drummer Ana Rodriguez and Peter Condra on guitar and vocals—has since evolved into a powerful quartet that threatens to match the get-down soul power of any band in this city. Brendan Scott's bass undertones and Stephfon Bartee's jaw-dropping vocals and percussion add to the band's amalgam of influences, including Latin rhythms and the holy tones of spirituals, in what the band describes as "post funk"—music that is heady, sexy, eerie, and highly danceable. Tonight marks the release of their debut EP, surely to be celebrated with style. MARANDA BISH


(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Penguin Prison is the one-man show of Chris Glover, who's toiled in the New York scene for the past decade, from boy bands to punk bands and even a hiphop group that is said to have caught the ears of Q-Tip. Given that pedigree, Penguin Prison is exactly what you might imagine—upbeat synth-pop with Studio 54 sass and b-boy posturing. It's perfectly encapsulated in the tongue-in-cheek "Don't Fuck with My Money." There's no telling how Glover's catchy-as-hell, hard-to-take-seriously jams will translate live—then again, I imagine most people will be at this show to hear the much-ballyhooed Miike Snow. In that case Penguin Prison will be a very pleasant surprise. MARK LORE