Sat, March 26, Franz Nicolay

Beatnik Studios, 8 p.m., $7

Beatnik Studios

723 S St.
Sacramento, CA 95811

(916) 400-4281

While Franz Nicolay’s music doesn’t have a lot in common with the ex-Hold Steady keyboardist’s old band, he shares a similar penchant for cinematic literary narratives. There’s a vaudevillian balladeer aspect in Nicolay’s dramatic vocal delivery, but the music colors well outside those lines, veering from ramshackle Americana to squalling guitar rave-ups and quirky, anthemic chamber pop. Tourmate David Dondero’s a troubadour whose keening tenor was an early inspiration for Conor Oberst. Dondero dissects the disappointments of the nearly beaten and downtrodden aching for a break that doesn’t involve their heart. 2421 17th Street,