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Music Critics Picks: Mike Coucoules, Captain Jack Fest, Phobos and Deimos, Los Devitos

April 10-13: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Phobos and Deimos

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I can't remember when I met Mike Coucoules. Years and years ago at Cole's in Ruston is my guess, well before it burst into flames, before his auto accident benefit jam at Seafarers Sports Bar in 2006, and before I became a groupie when Coucoules played bass in Malcolm Clark's blues trio. For certain I wasn't in the picture when Coucoules picked up a guitar at 14, studied Hendrix, Cream, Zappa, CS&N and Steve Miller during high school, before a friend turned him on to jazz and CTI Records. "He showed me some jazz chords and changed my world. He told me I was going to be a good musician because I had a lot of feeling, something that took years to understand. My music is all about feeling, from the heart," Coucoules tells me. He's shared his heart with too many bands to count over the last 40 years, and holds a piece from every one, but his heart grew three sizes when he met horn player John Croarkin during a gig with the Blues Bentley Band. Blown away by Croarkin's chops and comps, Coucoules knew he was the missing piece to the CD churning in his head. The resulting Latin jazz blues country CD can be purchased, and the duo heard live, the next two nights. {RON SWARNER}

MIKE COUCOULES/JOHN CROARKIN, "Thursday Night Out," 5-8 p.m., April 10, Pioneer Village Building, 7700 Pioneer Way, Gig Harbor, no cover; 7 p.m., April 11, Treos, 2312 N. 30th St., Tacoma, no cover, 253.212.2287


OK, if you are going to have nine bands play a show, it's awesome to start at 4:30 in the afternoon, and it's awesome to make it all ages. So, there's that going for Captain Jack Fest '14. The other thing going is it's at The Midnight Sun. But, perhaps, the most important thing is the line-up totally rules. Do I write about our 2014 Best of Olympia Best New Band winner Fruit Juice and their poppy, fantastic dance vibe? Do I write about Mosquito Hawk's sexy, tight, space-themed rock? Or do I write about Captain Algebra's punk/metal, Karp-esque skills? Man, Olympia rules. {NIKKI MCCOY}

CAPTAIN JACK FEST '14, w/The Straws, Hot Hoodoo, Mosquito Hawk, Captain Algebra, Them Dogs, Tidals, Fruit Juice, Wauby, A Friend, 4:30 p.m., all ages, The Midnight Sun, 113 N. Columbia St., Olympia, $5


Phobos and Deimos get their name from the two moons of Mars, a suitably grandiose title and concept for a band as dramatic as they are. Taking their cues from dark, crooning, romantic New Wavers like The Cure, the Church, and Echo and the Bunnymen, Phobos and Deimos are the sort of band that would live and die by the credibility of their lead vocalist. If he doesn't pass the smell test, then everything will get very silly, all of a sudden. Fortunately, Hans Burger, as lead singer, brings as much gravitas and tasteful reserve to his role of brooding poet as you could reasonably expect. The rest of the band aren't slouches, either, as they skillfully evoke those days of mascara-smeared and emotionally raw post-punk. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

PHOBOS AND DEIMOS, w/ FLORIDA, masonsapron, Post Adolescence, 8 p.m., Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, $5, 253.475.9843


The amount of words that have been spilled on surfy garage music is surely some intimidating, absurd amount that can only be quantified using some poetic, Carl Sagan-esque double-speak. Something about star stuff. Here, then, I find myself faced with Los Devitos. They're a surfy garage rock band. They're great. What else can I tell you? Even without checking, I could tell you upon first listen that they're from California. Something about the laid-back vocals (reminiscent of fellow garage rockers the Growlers) and clean guitar lines, mixed with gently woozy psychedelia, is instantly evocative of mumbling heat-struck nonsense on a beach as the sun mercifully sets. This is music that's less for dancing and more for that moment near the end of the party when everyone slumps down into couches, keeping one foot on the ground to slow the spins. {REV. AM}

LOS DEVITOS, w/ No Body, Trout Stream, 7 p.m., Le Voyeur, 404 E. Fourth Ave., Olympia, $3, 360.943.5710

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