Oddly twinkling keys and minor-key dreaminess, punctuated with dial-up-modem glitch noises and echoing voices give way to a striking, almost unnervingly affecting falsetto voice—this is the feel of “Daydreamer,” a standout track from Montreal-based Patrick Watson’s 2006 album “Close to Paradise.” Patrick Watson and his formerly eponymous band—now known as the Wooden Arms, which is also the name of their recently released album—drop in to Schubas’ intimate stage to perform their latest songs, which continue to showcase their delightful blend of ethereal soundscapes and experimentation in instrumentation, as marimbas, bicycles and pianos all somehow fit spaciously along with Watson’s voice. Sure, it’d be easy to draw comparisons to the result, perhaps “Pet Sounds” as performed by Andrew Bird, or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros fronted by the re-animated corpse of Jeff Buckley, but why bother? Watson and company are well known for incorporating unconventional elements onstage for their live performances, be it balloons leaking air or a five-headed megaphone. And backed with his able band (guitarist Simon Angell, drummer Robbie Kuster and bassist Mishka Stein), tonight’s performance should be a knock-out evening of avant-garde pop instrumentation and soul-baring vocals. (Duke Shin)
May 17 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, (773)525-2508, at 7pm & 10:30pm. $14.