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In the category of loopy singer-songwriters, Amy Annelle certainly qualifies as a star. The Portland singer is said to work as a forest ranger. She named her tour van “Angel The Diesel Van, a member of the Diesel Brotherhood.” She covers Syd Barrett and sounds like Kristin Hersh on a bad day. She looks like Patricia Clarkson. And she has coerced a group of musicians from the Thermals, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Decemberists, among others, to play hushed chamber rock that swirls around it all as the Places. On the group’s latest disc, Call It Sleep (ostensibly named after the Henry Roth novel), Annelle keeps the songs steeped in an overcast tension: violins skid, trumpet notes flutter, a theremin swirls, guitars gently weep. But her voice, a mumbled whispery thing, comes through gritted teeth, and it’s a sound you can’t pull away from. The Places play with the Decemberists and the Long Winters at 8:30 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $12. (202) 397-7328. (Jason Cherkis)