Eels

Updated 3/6/2013

Friday: Detached indie star stops by First Ave. Plus: ZZ Ward at the Varsity; Ruby Suns at the Entry.

Mark “E” Everett of Eels

Eels

9 p.m. • First Avenue • 18-plus • $27.50

After some awkward years where Mark “E” Everett seemed to be hiding too far behind his shades, his eccentric psychedelic-fuzz-rock band Eels have stepped it up with some reliably electrifying concerts of late. Their two-week-old album “Wonderful, Glorious” offers plenty of fuel to add to the fire, with some of Everett’s hardest-rocking tunes and his affinity for Tom Waits on full display. Asbury Park, N.J.-reared singer Nicole Atkins opens. Chris Riemenschneider

ZZ Ward

8 p.m. • Varsity Theater • 16-plus • sold out

The array of acts ZZ Ward opened for on tour last year (Fitz & the Tantrums, Grace Potter, Common) is emblematic of her cross-stitched hip-hop/pop/soul pattern. A child of Los Angeles, the 24-year-old singer was discovered by E. Kidd Bogart, son of Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart and co-writer of Rihanna’s “S.O.S.” and Beyoncé’s “Halo.” He helped Ward craft her 2012 debut, “Till the Casket Drops,” an overbaked collection that too often mimics Amy Winehouse but nonetheless proves she’s much more than a pretty face. British singer-songwriter Martin Hurley opens. C.R. 

Ruby Suns

9 p.m. • 7th Street Entry • 18-plus • $10-$12

Ryan McPhun is somewhat of a sonic kaleidoscope. In his early days, the Ruby Suns frontman earned Animal Collective comparisons with his staticky, out-there indie-pop. But on last month’s “Christopher” LP, the Sub Pop-signed Suns are following well-marked synth-pop road signs with MapQuest precision. The New Zealand songwriter passes through neighborhoods long inhabited by the likes of Passion Pit and Cut Copy, with a clunky disco shimmer and emotionally toiled vocals distant enough that they don’t cramp your get-down. Cousinly San Francisco duo Painted Palms opens. Michael Rietmulder