After a near-suicide at Yale, she says, "I just live fully all the time. Don't let anybody tell me what to do. Coincidences and amazing things happen to me all the time." For instance, she recently created an altar with a human skull and twinkling lights in her car. "I felt like it wasn't magical enough we need feathers! Five minutes later I see a dead pheasant on the road. Suddenly I realize everything is connected. As soon as you lose your sense of isolation, anything is possible."
Fri/6, 8 p.m., $20
Swedish American Hall
2174 Market, SF
STICKING WITH THE TINDERSTICKS
What is this mysterious thing called a Hungry Saw (Constellation), the title of the Tindersticks' new album and one of its tracks? "It's one of quite a few songs on this record that I don't understand totally and I don't really want to!" Tindersticks vocalist Stuart A. Staples says almost jubilantly from France, where he now lives. "It's something that drives me and hurts me at the same time." Staples has been on an intuitive tip of late especially after the band's last disc, Waiting for the Moon (Beggars Banquet, 2003), which took a year and a half to make. With the addition of new drummer Thomas Belhom and bassist Dan McKinna, and a directive to record in eight days, the group have come up with a fresh slice of Tindersticks tunefulness almost breezy ("The Flicker of a Little Girl") and moodily somber ("Mother Dear") in turns. As for that tremulous instrument called Staples' voice, he believes the best is yet to come: "I think it's always changing and always growing," he says, citing French vocalist Léo Ferré as a discovery that raised his game. "I think it's something that really drives me, finding my voice. I don't think it's arrived."
Sun/15, 8 p.m., $28. Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, SF. www.gamh.com
IN THE SPIRIT
ESTELLE AND SOLANGE
Kanye West took a Shine to his "American Boy" collaborator, whereas the Knowles scion attempted to break with the pop mold with her second CD. Thurs/5, 8 p.m., $35$50. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. www.mezzaninesf.com
Choral harmonies and impressionistic orchestrations rise from the Copenhagen, Denmark outfit. Sun/8, 9 p.m., $10$12. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., SF. www.bottomofthehill.com