With a voice that creaks and moans like an old wooden canoe being paddled across a still lake, Ben Weaver is a singer whose style and craft seem to improve with each subsequent release. Last year's Bloodshot Records release The Ax and the Oak showcases some of Weaver's best work yet and hints at what one can expect from his show this weekend: stripped-down pop compositions that sound more like hummed poems than songs, with lyrics about the organic muses (birds, lakes, strangers standing in line at the grocery store) that inspire his music. Make sure your drinks are refilled by the time Weaver starts his set—his music is best heard in close proximity, with the audience holding still and clinging to his every word. With Larkin Grimm and the Dale Hush Hush. 21+.
Fri., Feb. 20, 8 p.m., 2009