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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tonight in Music: Scout Niblett, Bachelorette, the Round with Eric Howk and Shane Tutmarc

posted by on April 8 at 9:00 AM

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Tim Fite, Scout Niblett
(Chop Suey) Scout Niblett’s MySpace page describes her sound as “trance/trance/lyrical,” which seems like gross modesty—or maybe she’s just trying to accentuate the positive. Her songs can be spacey, and she likes pretty harmonies, but nasty, frightening creatures stir in the roots of her music. Scout Niblett doesn’t sound much like Big Black, but her raw, keening laments scratch at the same dark places of the soul. She is Big Black’s moody little sister—quieter, but just as horrified by the world, and just as willing to funnel her horror into songs that make your skin crawl. (Steve Albini, of Big Black, also saw the kinship—Niblett recorded two albums with him, including her breakout Kidnapped by Neptune.) “Are you still a chauffeur driving your body around?” she sings to herself in the morbid “Lullaby for Scout in Ten Years.” Enter the fuzzy, Bleach-esque guitar (which she plays) and the snare-and-cymbal drums (ditto) and her growling wail: “If you’re still around!” It’s simple and harrowing—bedroom metal for the despairing. BRENDAN KILEY

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Bachelorette, Ladies of the Night, Counselor
(High Dive) It would be silly to name your band after a well-loved Björk song (as opposed to the other kind, I guess) and then sound like a less primal, more linear version of Björk, right? I mean, why would you do that? You wouldn’t. You’d do something clever and name yourself after a book or some old TV show or just look around your office and decide to call yourself Lamp. Well, despite New Zealand’s Bachelorette not being quite as resourceful as you are in the nomenclature department, it’s not entirely a wash. Indebted though sole band member Annabel Alpers’s sound may be on Isolation Loops (it also borrows noticeably from Blonde Redhead and a whole history of wispy twee), it’s also perfectly pleasant and, at times, remarkably catchy—more than enough to forgive one little nominal misstep. ERIC GRANDY

Also tonight, there’s an installment of the Round at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, 4272 Fremont Ave N. Musical guests are Eric Howk (of the Lashes, Palmer AK) and Shane Tutmarc (Dolour, Shane Tutmarc & the Traveling Mercies), and Star Anna. There are also live painters and poets performing, it’s a pretty cool way to see some music and art. Click here to check out my review of last month’s.

Of course, you can find more goings on in our online calendar. Hit it!

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