* Norah Jones has evolved from the sultry, jazz-pop chanteuse she inhabited on her 2002 breathrough debut album Come Away With Me, but her live show Friday, October 12th at the Orpheum Theater, 409 South 16th St., still vibed on a smokey, low-key groove. Jones is a rare artist who can make stylistic jumps without ever jarring the audience. Jones certainly kept a soft-jazz spirit throughout the night, even as she played country, smoldering soul, pop ballads and stripped, sparse indie rock. Ably backed by a band mostly cobbled together from New York-based act the Candles, Jones performance hinted that she could take on a wealth of styles across the pop music idiom. Jones switched between guitar and piano throughout the evening. As best shown through a beautifully intimate take on “Don’t Know Why”, Jones shined most while behind an upright piano. The set ended with Jones and her band around one microphone and in full-on country mode, providing a homespun version of “Come Away With Me” to end the evening.
* This week’s best show is certain to be at O’Leaver’s Pub, 1322 South Saddle Creek Road., thanks to the presence of Destruction Unit. Destruction Unit is one of the many projects of Arizona-based Ryan Rousseau and one of many projects that Rousseau worked on with Jay Reatard. Destruction Unit was, at one time, Rousseau synth-punk outlet, but the ex-Reatards member has evolved the project to drone, Krautrock and experimental noise. There’s little knowledge of what to expect when the band rolls into town. Fellow Arizona native Shawn Foree will also be on the bill, playing an increasingly-rare Digital Leather set. Solid Goldberg kicks off the show at 9 p.m.
* New Lungs, the blistering indie rock project fronted by Little Brazil’s Danny Maxwell, is preparing their debut record release. The band got back master recordings for the album last week. The first song from that release is “You Look Lost”, which can be heard at newlungs.bandcamp.com.
* Bear Stories have finished recording a new EP, Everything We’ve Grown To Know, and plan to issue the release this winter on local imprint Make Believe Records. The indie instrumental rock band recorded the EP at downtown Omaha’s Make Believe Studio, headed by producer Rick Carson. The first song from the session, Creation, is available at bearstories.bandcamp.com.