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Music Critics' Picks: The Brown Edition, The Woolen Men, Fruition, The Boxers ...

April 2-6: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

The Boxers / photo courtesy of Facebook

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Award-winning Olympia-based funk rock band Brown Edition wants you to join their band. Hold on - don't get your hopes up. The band, led by the charismatic Miguel Pineda, will host a jam session inviting all to join them on stage Thursday night at the Rhythm and Rye venue in downtown Olympia. For the uninitiated, the popular and bubbling band has had it with all the revision, and will return to its funk bass - the bass that scored them the best funk band in Thurston County, according to the Weekly Volcano readers voting in our Best of Olympia issues year after year. In addition to original works, expect funked-out jazz standards covers of more funk essentials at this free show. {JOSE GUTIERREZ}

THE BROWN EDITION JAM, 8:30 p.m., Rhythm and Rye, 311 Capitol Way, Olympia, no cover, 360.705.0760


Portland trio the Woolen Men carry with them a number of easily identifiable influences that mix together in delightful ways. They bring the '50s rock by way of Violent Femmes, the stately indie pop of Guided By Voices, and the shambolic lo-fi rock of Pavement. It's ear candy for a guy - like me - who finds pop songcraft at its best when stripped down to its bare elements. The Woolen Men find the hook at record speed, juice it until there's nothing left, and then discard the song before heading into another catchy tear. Any time they break the two-minute mark, it's in favor of exploring an idea that can't be contained in a smaller timeframe. Each instrument stands out, distinct from its peers, and forms a sort of jigsaw framework where the separations both show and strengthen the picture. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

THE WOOLEN MEN, w/ Metal Heads with Broken Hearts, Annie Girl and the Flight, Young Devil, 8 p.m., Deadbeat Olympia, 226 N. Division St., Olympia, cover tba, 360.943.0662


Much of the enjoyment of writing about and publicizing music comes from pleasant surprises. I admit I skimmed over Fruition's concert announcement the first time I came across it. I rolled my eyes when this trio of Portlandians described itself as "three-part-harmony-infused, melody-rich rock, country, folk and soul." That's like characterizing a chef as an expert in "soul food, artisanal pizza, Carolina barbecue and Tex-Mex." It's too far all over the map. But when I dug into their 2013 album Just One of Them Nights, my jaw dropped. It's so damn good, I'm willing to overlook the folksy grammar. These three sumbitches can play. Vocalist Mimi Naja has been compared to Janis Joplin, but I heard echoes of one of my faves, Lucinda Williams, as well. Perhaps the best way of describing their music is front-porch Americana, earnest and true. I can't think of a better night of music per dollar. {CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL}

FRUITION, 9 p.m. Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia, $8-$10, 360.705.0760


Chicago quartet the Boxers start out their most recent LP, The Blue Pool, with washed-out snippets from Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet," distorted and sinister, before segueing into a sort of anthemic, melancholy rock. It's reminiscent of the days when the Flaming Lips were transitioning from stoned punks into the glorious pop on the late '90s and early '00s. When the crooning vocals come around, it becomes clear that, while The Boxers don't quite sound like the matinee idols that they've quoted, they are still dedicated to melody above all else. In fact, as the record progresses, more and more sunshine gets exposed to the diffused mood of The Boxers. Reminiscent of the gruff beauty of Spoon, the Boxers epitomize the innocence and sarcasm inherent in an indie rock scene that has had decades of pop music to absorb and repurpose. {REV. AM}

THE BOXERS, w/ Tomorrow's Tulips, Sun Eggs, Bob Bucko Jr., 8 p.m., Deadbeat Olympia, 226 N. Division St., Olympia, $5, 360.943.0662

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Margaret Dilloway then and now

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