Eric Earley's melodic sense is so uncanny that critics appear to take for granted that he steals. Yet even the sound of his Portland, Oregon, band Blitzen Trapper is a defiant amalgam, an alternative country-rock attuned to '70s AM and Pavement, and apparently nothing in between. Locals could get the notion that he's a close study of our own similarly-inclined indies: Furr (last year's fourth album, and Sub Pop debut) recalls tuneful bits of candied Little Man, pastoral Ol' Yeller, and solo-acoustic Ed Ackerson. Even Earley's fantastical lyrics repay close listening: The murder tale "Black River Killer" is about his real uncle, while "Not Your Lover" says something deeper about the wayward subconscious than most "dream" songs ever attempt. He's a real artist with homey trappings, in other words, something our own music scene knows plenty about. With Alela Diane.
Wed., Feb. 18, 8 p.m., 2009