With a celebrity gossip column headline for a name and song titles such as "Sophisticated Side Ponytail" and "Me + Yr Daughter," it wouldn't be entirely wrong to describe Seattle-based Natalie Portman's Shaved Head as silly. But it wouldn't be entirely right.
Luke Smith (vocals, guitar, bass, keys, programmed drums), Shaun Libman (vocals, percussion), Claire England (vocals, bass keys), David Price (vocals, guitar, keys) and Liam Downey Jr. (drums) play addictive dancey electro-pop that smacks of the best the '80s had to offer. But it's not nearly as contrived as some of that decade's sounds. Smith said that he usually writes the music and then he and Libman sit down together and work through lyrics, however tongue-in-cheek they may be. It's an organic process that harkens back to the band's beginning at the Center School, a Seattle arts-focused high school housed, Smith explained, "in the food court of the Space Needle."
"Shaun and I just wanted to start a band," he said, though neither of them knew how to play. But they did have access to an old keyboard and drum machine and started making exactly the kind of electro-pop music you might expect to hear from instruments of that sort. Their high school didn't have much of a music program and Smith said that freed them to create music without preconceived notions of what it should be. Schoolmates England and Price soon joined, and with the addition of Downey's live drums, NPSH became what Smith laughingly called "a well-oiled machine." And touring in support of their debut release, Glistening Pleasure, the fivesome glides into town next week.
Aug. 19, 9 p.m., $5. Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., 208-343-0886.