Tonight Tonight in Music: To the Waves, El Perro del Mar
posted by May 15 at 9:25 AMon
Today, the Stranger Suggests:
Paul Baribeau at Dearborn on Woodland
You are forgiven for not knowing who Paul Baribeau is—I don’t think the Midwestern singer/songwriter has ever played a venue in Seattle that wasn’t a house. His songs are so minimal and sweet and serious that they slide right under any sort of radar, like a stealth bomber loaded with lyrics about brown-haired girls and 10 things to do before you die. Request his cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Into the Fire,” a song he makes better by shouting it over his acoustic guitar. (Dearborn on Woodland, 4131 Woodland Park Ave N, www.myspace.com/dearbornhouse. 8 pm, donations for touring bands, all ages.) ARI SPOOL
The Kills are also in town, playing Neumo’s tonight. In this week’s paper, Kurt B. Reiley interviewed the band’s Alison Mosshart:
Your new record, Midnight Boom, sounds peppier, more upbeat. Does this reflect a sea change in your lives or just a conscious musical decision?
We had a brilliant time making the record. We didn’t feel any stress. We didn’t care when it got finished or how long it was going to take. We were laughing all the time, and you can hear that.
Sometimes when a band tries to change tack artistically, they psych themselves out, but you avoided that.
The only thing we really wanted was to make a modern record. We love old bands, old gear, old recording methods, old everything. For the first time, we said, “Let’s try and fit into modern times and see what happens.” It was interesting. Working on a computer was quite a painful process. We didn’t like it and probably won’t do it again. But in the end, we were happy to see that no matter what we did, it still sounded like the Kills.
To the Waves, Post Harbor, Helms Alee
(King Cobra) Jesse Fox has turned yet another project into gold. In the late-’90s, Fox was frontman for the urgent (and tragically underrated) local rock outfit Polecat. This decade he started Leuko, which was still on the heavy-guitar side of rock but with more memorable melodies and catchy choruses. As if he’s not busy enough working as a firefighter and sitting in as the new drummer for the recently reunited Seaweed, now he’s launched new band To the Waves. To the Waves’ dynamic songs combine bursts of intensity that recall Polecat’s turbulence with moments that melt into seas of dreamy, melancholy strings and piano. MEGAN SELING
El Perro del Mar, Lykke Li, Anna Ternheim
(Triple Door) There aren’t many artists as well-suited to spring as El Perro del Mar—unless you count fellow Swede Lykke Li, who’s joining her delicately voiced countrywoman on this tour. While Li has a slightly Feistian quirkiness underpinning her work, El Perro del Mar specializes in quiet, pastel-colored folk-pop that’s as pretty and pure as a vase full of freshly picked daisies. Her latest album, From the Valley to the Stars, (out on local label the Control Group) is the sound of fragile tendrils of hope tentatively emerging after a long, frozen winter; that underlying melancholy serves to keep the songs from being overly precious. The bill is balanced by the autumnal, almost Nico-esque sounds of another Swede, Anna Ternheim. BARBARA MITCHELL