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Girls with Unknown Mortal Orchestra at One Eyed Jacks


Chris Owens' Girls, live in the French Quarter? We've seen this show before, and not just on Bourbon Street. This Owens is a San Francisco-based singer/songwriter with an unswerving fixation on '60s and '70s music icons and the total pop-memory recall and tectonic vocal tremble to pull it off. On his last visit here, in February 2010, he sublimated the celebrity impersonation he shot for on his often-fetching but too-often-familiar debut Album, delivering a revelatory stage outfit befitting the classic rock 'n' rollers whose closets he raided — a ratty ensemble borrowing from Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson and Buddy Holly. Where debt-ridden peers like Harlem and Vivian Girls sounded like cheaper (or just drunker) imitations of their studio selves in person, here was an artist who took the performance half of his profession seriously, the rare indie-rocker who cared about the reception as much as the recording. Girls' continuing evolution, immediately evident on the September release Father, Son, Holy Ghost (True Panther), presents Owens with a new bar to clear: topping the unfiltered, unaffected vocals and sandblasted keyboard-and-guitar arrangements of one of 2011's best records. This concert caps a generous first weekend of South by Southwest runoff at One Eyed Jacks, including rock 'n' roll lifers Built to Spill (Friday) and intrepid genre explorers Maps & Atlases (Saturday). Unknown Mortal Orchestra and KG Accidental open. Tickets $15. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

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