Sharon Van Etten
In a few weeks, most music blogs — including ours — will begin the samurai-like process of forging year-end and best of 2012 lists. And no sword-maker should exclude Sharon Van Etten's sharp third album, Tramp. Neither should they overlook the always-great Damien Jurado, whose latest LP, Maraqopa, has great songs like "Working Titles." Opener Yellow Ostrich are also on hand with their slightly poppier EP, Ghost. All three make for a night of rich, velvety darkness. Do not be fooled: Dark does not mean boring. Look for Van Etten to be Exacto-knife precise, Jurado to be rugged and woodsy and Yellow Ostrich to make you want to ditch the happiness of Vampire Weekend. Nick Rallo
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