Two years ago, the Divorce and the Pale emerged as bands to watch around town, getting some local radio play, nice bookings, developing...

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Two years ago, the Divorce and the Pale emerged as bands to watch around town, getting some local radio play, nice bookings, developing followings. Rather than continuing with status quo, both have shaken up things. The Pale is now the Pale Pacific; the Divorce is still the Divorce, but has divorced its previous sound.

Shane Berry, guitarist and singer for the Divorce, seems to have grown restless with the direction the band was headed. Though the Divorce’s “There Will be Blood Tonight” was well-received around town in 2003, the band really muscled up for its second album, “The Gifted Program.”

Berry seems more poised and relaxed on “Gifted,” not trying as hard to be catchy or clever. “Yes!,” which kicks off the album, is cynical and edgy: “one pill a day/seven days a week/we’ve found a way to replace the sun.”

Berry, Jimmy Curran, Kyle Risan and Garrett Lunceford really start to blossom as musicians here, with more musical sophistication, variety — and unpredictability. The best example of this is “Be Quiet,” which has several musical ideas running around, colliding and bouncing off in various directions.

The Divorce play at the Crocodile tonight (10 p.m., $8), then a laser show at the Pacific Science Center on Saturday (8:30 p.m., $10, all ages).

The Divorce’s new disc, “The Gifted Program,” is being released this week by Made in Mexico Records, This Seattle label, best known for releasing Pedro the Lion’s “It’s Hard to Find a Friend” debut, was defunct for a few years but has returned, co-owned by the powerhouse singer-songwriter Damien Jurado. MIM looks like Seattle’s next boutique launching pad, with charged pop-rock acts Dolour and the Catch in addition to the Divorce.

• The Pale Pacific sounds like a tuned-down Echo and the Bunnymen on “Urgency,” the band’s new CD. The Pale Pacific — Gabe Archer, Justin Harcus, Cameron Nicklaus and Greg Swinehart — was known as the Pale when it released “Gravity Gets Things Done.” A Rolling Stone critic gave it a half-hearted review: “the Pale make wholesome emo that satisfies without delving too deep.”

Now known as the Pale Pacific, the band delves quite a bit deeper on “Urgency,” a strong, fairly deep collection of songs that also shows a band in maturity.

Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla — a very busy man, to say the least — found the time to mix three of the album’s songs.

The mellow rockers play the Crocodile on Saturday (6 p.m., $20), with Bobby Bare Jr., 50 Foot Wave (Kristin Hersh’s new band) and Tom Brosseau. This is a benefit for KEXP, hosted by morning DJ John Richards.

The Bobs — a humorous vocal quartet described by Pulse magazine as “the Beatles of the a cappella world” — play sort-of hometown shows at the Triple Door on Saturday (7:30 and 10 p.m., $25). Two Bobs live in Seattle.

• Michael Penn sings from his new “Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947” — a song cycle about post-World War II L.A., from Sean’s brother and Aimee Mann’s husband — at the Tractor Tavern on Wednesday and Thursday (8 p.m., $15).

• San Francisco psychedelic rockers the Brian Jonestown Massacre plays from its new EP “We Are the Radio” at Neumo’s tonight (10, $10). The band gained some unlikely publicity when a documentary (“DiG!”) about BJM’s rivalry with Portland’s the Dandy Warhols was a sensation at the Sundance Film Festival.

• Black Rebel Motorcycle Club jams from “Howl,” its third album, at Neumo’s on Wednesday (9 p.m., $17). The new album was written on acoustic guitar, and has country and gospel flavorings to the noise-rock base.

Tom Scanlon: