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GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME

As her run of great solo records continues with this month’s The Worse Things Get, it’s possible that Tacoma’s Neko Case will soon be able to remove the line about being “best known as a former member of the New Pornographers” from all her artist bios and encyclopedia entries. If Middle Cyclone was her masterpiece, The Worse is a worthy follow-up, a record where the lyrics are filled with self-doubt but the music couldn’t sound more confident. If you’re looking for a chance to play a little air guitar, check out the hard-rocking “Man,” and if you want to hear some a capella harmonies that will stop you in your tracks, go directly to “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu.” Oh, and don’t forget your lighter—there won’t be any hands-in-the-air anthems, but you’ll want to smoke a cigarette as soon as you leave the theater.

Thu., Sept. 26, 8 p.m., 2013

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VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Leo Kottke

Cozy up to an intimate night of guitar mastery with fingerstyle legend Leo Kottke. Early on, Kottke’s instrumental works often shared the company of John Fahey—both were at one time signed to the famed Tacoma label—but he has greatly diversified over the years: Whether ragtime, blues, jazz, rock, or folk, his mercurial, dexterous playing can range from blazing Jimmy Page-like bits to warbly and weird polyphonic numbers that sound like Primus brawling at the coffeehouse. Nowadays he even sings (in a so-so voice), but not nearly as bad as his self-described “geese farts on a muggy day.”

Tue., June 16, 9 p.m.; Wed., June 17, 9 p.m., 2009

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ART ARCHIVES CULTURE ARCHIVES Theater

Moss Picks Pinto

In 1974, Tacoma native Dean Moss, a math major, turned down an air force ROTC scholarship to study dance; in 1979, he accepted a scholarship at Dance Theatre of Harlem. He performed with American Dance Machine and in the Broadway revival of West Side Story, returning to his first love, concert dance, with David Gordon in 1983. A decade later, he left Gordon and started waiting tables at Florent to support his own choreographic work. Last year he won a raft of prizes, and in July was appointed curator of dance and performance at the Kitchen, the only job since his Broadway stint that provides health insurance. His own work-in-progress, American Deluxe, previews there next month, on a bill shared with Iréne Hultman.

The first artist he brings to the Kitchen is Israeli choreographer Inbal Pinto; her Wrapped, playing Wednesday through Friday, was inspired by French film great Jacques Tati. Pinto, born to a Russian-Polish mother and a father whose roots in Israel go back seven generations, has, like Moss’s mentor Gordon, earned her living doing window displays. Her current tour marks her troupe’s American debut. Moss finds Wrapped “interesting because of its art direction, its integration of dance in a fantastical performance environment. It’s more sneakily elaborate than things I’ve seen at the Kitchen, with full sets and everything. I’m interested in the visual arts part of performance, the integration of disciplines, and the Kitchen, having begun as a music-video-visual arts space, is a good match for Inbal’s work. You only have 140 seats, but you also have the best black box in the country.”