Tonight in Music: Parts and Labor, Lou-Lou, Shudder to Think, Wild Orchid Children, Eagles of Death Metal
October 30 at
Parts & Labor (playing the Vera Project tonight) got some love in this week's Underage column--Casey Catherwood examines the possibilities for tonight's show, given that Parts and Labor's new record seems to take their sound in a new direction. "Will they still be as grinding and grating as in the past? Will the more straightforward studio sounds of Receivers receive the old, noisy Parts & Labor makeover live? Or does the album signal a new direction for the band?"
Lou-Lou also perform tonight (at the Mix Gallery). In Data Breaker, Dave Segal describes them as "a Seattle trio who concoct low-budget electronic music that's playful and weird, but without coming across as contrived."
And from this week's Up & Comings:
Eagles of Death Metal - "I Want You So Hard (Boys Bad News)"
Eagles of Death Metal
(Neumos) I'm normally immune to the charms of new American hard rock. But somehow Eagles of Death Metal have snaked their way into my cold, brittle heart. It could be because EODM have a sense of humor about their stock in trade in these post-post–This Is Spinal Tap days. They seem to be slyly winking with every lyrical sexual innuendo, machismo-laden riff, and clap-enhanced drum beat. The title of their new album, Heart On, exemplifies the band's gauche gumption. EODM's Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes and Josh "Baby Duck" Homme put their manic, metallic, ZZ Top–like blues riffs through the Rolling Stones' sexily torqued rhythms, snarl and falsetto their way into your libido, and then make you sleep in the sonic wet spot—which you do, gladly. DAVE SEGAL
Shudder to Think - "Hit Liquor"
Shudder to Think, the Dead Science, Capillary Action
(Showbox at the Market) Shudder to Think were something of an anomaly in the late-'80s/early-'90s D.C. punk/hardcore scene where they came of age and released a string of records for esteemed independent label Dischord. In a DIY world that forgave or even rewarded amateurism, Shudder to Think emphasized virtuosity, and frontman Craig Wedren sang with what was for their milieu an uncommonly refined, operatic style. Wedren successfully battled Hodgkin's disease, the band petered out in the late '90s, and since then he's released a solo album and contributed vocals to a dizzying variety of projects, from Mirwais's electro-disco cover of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" to Wet Hot American Summer's epic cheese-rock soundtrack to openers the Dead Science's recent Villainaire. This reunion is the band's first tour since 1998. ERIC GRANDY
Wild Orchid Children - "To You, Oh Lord"
Wild Orchid Children, Navigator vs. Navigator, Bronze Fawn, You.May.Die.in.the.Desert
(Comet) After being somewhat underwhelmed by my initial impressions of Wild Orchid Children's The Elephants EP, the band's set at Cha Cha during last summer's Block Party downright blew my shit away. Every member ruled his respective instrument, and the frayed-edges blues with grinding organ, unhinged vocals, heavy drumming, and impressive guitar work combined for one of the best acts of the whole festival. It doesn't hurt, either, that these dudes are some serious showmen—front man Kirk Huffman jumps and thrusts about with the best of them, and guitarist Thomas Hunter shreds like he's possessed by some otherworldly rock 'n' roll force. This band is destined to do great things. GRANT BRISSEY
Also tonight, the Mayor's Office of Film + Music is hosting a press conference/concert at the Paramount Theater to announce its new "Seattle City of Music" initiative, a 12-year plan which, true to its comma/colon-free name, aims to solidify Seattle as a city of music, with grants for local musicians, funding for K-12 music education, and more (maybe they could make it legal for musicians to drink onstage). Greg Nickels will host the event. Blue Scholars, New Faces, and Vince Mira will perform. It's free to the public, but an RSVP is required. The official, not-loading-right-now, website is http://www.seattlecityofmusic.org/.
Also Tonight: The Toxic Avenger vs. The Toxic Avenger
October 29 at
Without a television in the house, my television-watching habits have been reduced to an occasional late-night visit to Hulu.com, a website filled with streaming feature-length films (mostly terrible but not without a few gems), tv programs (The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert!), and scene clips of the movies you'd rather watch than the ones you're being offered.
In the thick of Halloween fever last night, I longed for some really cheesy gore. So I was happy to discover Hulu had perhaps the finest video stink, Troma Film's classic c-class horror flick, The Toxic Avenger. I was revisited to a time when I was the mildly-retarded mop boy mocked by testosterone-fueled jocks, who fell into an open drum of toxic waste and became the ultimate freak to fear. It's a movie that's almost impossible to fall asleep to.
Coincidentally, there's another Toxic Avenger that's almost impossible to fall asleep to, French DJ The Toxic Avenger. Tonight, he'll make an appearance at Chop Suey along with Franki Chan as part of the IHEARTCOMIX USA Tour 2008 (really just an excuse to distribute more of those free Scion mix CDs they recently took part in making). Toxic Avenger's music is as hastily put-together as the Troma film of the same name, with little-to-no acting. It's hyper-French-electro that makes you feel a little deformed, and like you've suffered years of abuse in just under an hour.
Tonight in Music: Collie Buddz and DJ Collage (again), See Me River with Blind Pilot
October 29 at
Collie Buddz plays again at Nectar tonight. Good news for those of you who missed his show last night with Rise of the Revolution and DJ Collage. (Read up about Collie and DJ Collage is My Philosophy and Data Breaker, respectively.)
Blind Pilot - "Go On Say It"
See Me River, Great American, Blind Pilot
(Tractor) See Me River— boasting several popular local music veterans in the backing band—is a vehicle for Seattle singer-songwriter Kerry Zettel's earnest, strummy tunes. Their second album, Time Machine, was released this summer, featuring Zettel's deadpan lead vocals among delicately arranged baroque-pop elements. Also from Seattle, Great American deliver harmonies and midtempo twang-lite with clear voices and lovely beards. Portland's Blind Pilot also released their debut album 3 Rounds and a Sound over the summer. They made the bold choice to hitch their gear to their bicycles and pedal up and down the interstate. Blind Pilot started small, but now have a rotating roster of live contributors; up to a dozen musicians can be found onstage. Maybe they use tandem bikes? MATT GARMAN
Lady Dottie and the Diamonds are the 60 year old Dorothy Mae Whitsett and a band of knowing and able rock musicians doing their high energy take on the blues. See - Segal review. Whitsett whales and hangs beer for beer with the youngsters. She’s a real deal woman of the blues. She’s a gem, or diamond I should say. They have a residency in their hometown of San Diego and people come out every week in droves.
Whitsett is Dottie. She and the band were recently in New York City for the CMJ Music Marathon. Sam Fogarino, the drummer for Interpol, ran over to her and wanted to take pictures, gushing about how great her album is. She hugged him and took photos, promptly knocking back sturdy cold beers.
When Fogarino left, Dottie’s label manager from Hi-Speed Soul asked, "Do you know who that was?"
Dottie replied, "No who was that?"
"That was the drummer of Interpol," the manager said, "One of the biggest indie bands out there right now!" And she laughed in a laugh you can only describe if you've heard it.
Then she said, "Hell yeah," and sang the chorus to her song, soon “We'll Be Livin' It Up"!
Dottie is beyond real. A relic that's here and now, who mixes it up with a smile on her face.
When the band had their CD release at the Casbah in San Diego, they pulled up in the van and there was a line around the block. Dottie asked who everyone was there to see. The band said, "You Dottie!"
"Yeah, I know they'll see us,” she said, “But who's headlining?"
The band had to tell her all the people were there to see her. She’s a classic. A ripened, perfect woman of the rock and roll blues:
Tonight in Music: Collie Buddz, the Spinto Band, Roky Erickson, Crystal Castles
October 28 at
Tonight's show at Nectar with Collie Buddz, Rise of the Revolution got some love in both this week's My Philosophy and Data Breaker columns. Larry Mizell admits to liking the new Buddz single as much as cornbread while Dave Segal shines the spotlight on local opener DJ Collage.
Also tonight, Lady Dottie & the Diamonds, whose new self-titled album got a three-star review in this week's paper. Lady Dottie performs twice tonight--the first show is all-ages at Sonic Boom Records in Ballard (6 pm), the second is 21+ at the Funhouse (9 pm).
And from this week's Up & Comings:
The Spinto Band - "Summer Grof"
The Spinto Band, Frightened Rabbit, Colonies
(Chop Suey) The Spinto Band hail from "you've been preapproved" return-address Wilmington, Delaware, though what they offer is more enticing than that tired line. The band cover a lot of ground, from upbeat, moony-eyed piano serenades jerked about by carnival-ride rhythms to bleary, last-call guitar ballads, all marked by sweet choruses. Frightened Rabbit hail from Selkirk, Scotland, a town of 5,000-some people whom Wikipedia describes, somewhat strangely, as having "an introverted approach to the wider world"—so, basically, a tiny burgh of terribly emo Scots, which sounds brilliant. More brilliant, though, are Frightened Rabbit's depressed acoustic ballads, ringing open-chord uplifts, and occasional blasts of orchestral/choral bombast, as well as singer Scott Hutchinson's wounded but resilient Scottish warble and bleak songwriting. Stick around for the headliners, sure, but don't dare miss these guys. ERIC GRANDY
Roky Erickson - "Two Headed Dog"
Roky Erickson, Black Angels, DJ Mamma Casserole
(Showbox at the Market) Roky Erickson used to front the 13th Floor Elevators, a Texas garage-psych group fervently and rightly worshipped by heads worldwide. Their three albums—especially Easter Everywhere—still captivate with their fire and finesse; their striving for transcendence through sublime melody, earthy rhythms, and mystical poetry; and their electrified-jug bloops and bleeps. Roky's voice ranged from hellion howl to broken-soul quiver, inspiring fellow Texan Janis Joplin. Tragically, he gambled with drugs and lost. While Erickson summoned enough creative scratch to forge a sporadically brilliant solo career, his voice has faltered with age (whose hasn't?) and his songwriting prowess has dwindled. At Coachella last year, his pipes mostly shot, Roky gamely played his best-known material, backed by an earthbound band. It was very sad in an "oh, how the mighty have fallen" way, but many people loved it. You might, too. DAVE SEGAL
Crystal Castles - "Crimewave"
Crystal Castles, Lymbyc Systym, Expendable Youth
(Neumos) Toronto thrash-dance duo Crystal Castles (multi-instrumentalist Ethan Kath and singer Alice Glass) pitch-shift vocals, dabble with Atari game systems, and transform the dance floor into an 8-bit feeding frenzy of synth chum, shark-attack glitch, and flesh-torn flash. They move bodies en masse and stir the collective club mind into euphoric states of sweat-pore unity. Lymbyc Systym, the drum-and-keys sibling duo of Jared and Michael Bell, match their headstrong electro arrangements with pure musicianship. They meld big beat beats and walls of distorted clavinet sounds. Michael sits high on his drum throne and ranges with dynamics and division. He plays like he's throwing boomerangs of cutlery around an open prairie plain. He chops the air into tiger stripes and cycles it around. TRENT MOORMAN
Fujiya & Miyagi
Sometimes that notorious British reserve can result in fantastic music. Exhibit A: Fujiya & Miyagi. When they surfaced in 2006 with the neo-Krautrock homage Transparent Things, their whispered, non sequitur lyrics amused as much as their minimal, cruise-control jams riveted—in an understated manner, of course. With their 2008 follow-up, Lightbulbs, F&M downshift, emphasizing funk and melody—with restraint, of course. Still, they're best when they emulate Neu!'s laser-focused whoosh, as their clipped, bobbing bass lines, analog-synth daubs, and chugging beats inspire glorious perpetual-motion dreams. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $12, 21+.) by Dave Segal
Based in San Francisco, and now a phenomenon that has played in NYC, London, Sydney, New Orleans, and Reno, Trannnyshack is the ultimate drag/performance art/dance party experience!! The subject of two documentaries, and the inspiration for the hit Scissor Sisters song/video, Filthy Gorgeous, Trannyshack is not your local C-Grade drag pageant. It is drag taken to a higher level of artistry, audacity, perversion, and perfection.
Sounds like a scary good primer for Halloween. Performing are no less than: Heklina, Ursula Android, Vinsantos, Ben De La Crème, Raya Light, Peaches Christ, Kiddie, Jackie Hell, Sylvia O' Stayformore, Renttecca, Ultrra, Ade, and (my personal favorite moniker) Terra Hyman. And How!
TonightTonight's Tomorrow Night's Rocky Votolato Show at the Vera Project...
October 24 at
The musician writes, via MySpace:
Unfortunately I've had to cancel this show for personal reasons.
Really sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. If you were planning to go and would still like to see me play you can come out to this benefit show I'm doing in a few weeks to help clean up the Puget Sound:
Friday Nov. 7th
A Benefit for People for Puget Sound
@ The University of Washington in the HUB w/ Special Guests Slender Means (acoustic) & Nazca Lines
But still happening tonight, at the Vera Project, is Say Hi with the Pica Beats, and Fences. Show's $9 without club card. It starts at 7:30 pm.
Tonight in Music: Jeffrey Lewis, Ted Leo and Against Me!, Flo Rida
October 24 at
Jeffrey Lewis - "Anxiety Attack"
Jeffrey Lewis & the Jackals
Jeffrey Lewis's Crass covers record, 12 Crass Songs, is pure, unfettered genius—as many people have been converted to Crass through the album's flattering acoustic treatments as introduced to Lewis. Everyone wins! But Lewis's own songs are, if not as anarchically charged, every bit as compelling as his covers, describing with comic (and sometimes comic-strip) detail subjects ranging from psychologically fraught encounters with Will Oldham to the nature of life itself. With witchy, apocalyptic howler Arrington de Dionyso of Old Time Relijun. (Comet, 922 E Pike St, 322-9272. 9 pm, $8, 21+.) ERIC GRANDY
Flo Rida - "Low"
Flo Rida, DJ Phase, Miguel Alvarado, Kippy
(Trinity) Fuck Florida, chief. Not only did Florida deliver Bush an election, but right now in 2008, the Sunshine State dominates "urban" radio with the shitty likes of T-Pain, Plies, Rick Ross, and the evil DJ Khaled. Near the top of the list of Khaled's offenses to humanity is his creation of the soulless club-rap robot known as Flo Rida. I really do think Khaled created him Weird Science–style—plugging a pile of Ed Hardy shirts, sunglasses, and tattoo sketches into Auto-Tune and letting it rip. Then, armed with the slickest of Top 40 production, the plum-dumbest of hooks, and the utter absence of a personality, Flo Rida's "Low" crowned the Billboard chart for 10 weeks—thus destroying the fabric of democracy and ensuring God's continuing wrath in the form of hurricanes. LARRY MIZELL JR.
Future of the Left - "Manchasm"
Against Me!, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Future of the Left
(Showbox at the Market) You're paying to see Ted Leo and Against Me! because you already know you love those bands. But you didn't know that tonight's show comes with a gift: Future of the Left. It was a sad day for rock and roll when Mclusky announced they were breaking up in 2005. The Welsh rockers had everything—biting, cocky lyrics, addictive guitar riffs, humor. But when one door closes, another one etc., and Future of the Left are rising from Mclusky's ashes. FOTL deliver some of the same playful humor and snotty rock as Mclusky did. For example, they have a song ("Manchasm") that seems to be about a cat: "Colin is a pussy, a very pretty pussy. Colin is a very pretty pussycat." I love bands that make me laugh and dance at the same time. MEGAN SELING
Read my interview with Against Me!'s Tom Gabel here, and read my Suggest for tonight's show here. Can you tell I'm stoked for this show? Because I am.
(Neumos) Founded by brothers Markus and Michael Acher in Weilheim, Germany, the Notwist false-started nearly 20 years ago as a punk- and metal-influenced rock band. They soon settled into a mellower, electronic-accented sound, finding some acclaim in America with 2003's Neon Golden. They've also been behind some of the best of the whisper-soft laptop pop of the Morr Music label, working with bands Lali Puna and Ms. John Soda, and collaborated with anticon. founders Themselves on the project 13 & God. The Notwist's new album, The Devil, You + Me, is more of the perfectly pleasant same from the band—careful indie-pop, soft-rock, and electro-shoegaze songs so gentle as to leave almost no trace, only the odd, haunting melody or persistent melancholic mood. ERIC GRANDY
But wait! There's more! There's always more. Check out our online music listings for a comprehensive list of tonight's events.
The Heroine Sheiks, Emeralds, Sex Vid, Black Tooth
(Comet) Shannon Selberg used to be in an infamous Minneapolis punk band called the Cows. Now he fronts a band called the Heroine Sheiks. (No, not "heroin chic"—Heroine Sheik!). Selberg seems to be known for his frantic, unpredictable, almost-menacing onstage persona. I hear he screams a lot—and plays an "aggressive" bugle. A loud, aggressive bugle. I've never seen the Cows or the Sheiks, but I expect fucking chaos. I hope for spitting, headbanging, and men in women's underwear. Saith Comet booker Mamma Casserole, "I might have to take the next day of work off... Last time they were here, there was an incident involving jumper cables, Shannon, and my boobs." Oh, bring it, Midwest, brrrr-ring it. KELLY O
Tonight in Music: Neil Young and Death Cab for Cutie, D Menace, Tierney Sutton, and more
October 21 at
Neil Young and Pearl Jam - "Rockin' in the Free World"
Neil Young, Death Cab for Cutie
(Comcast Arena, Everett) Remember that one time Neil Young played "Rockin' in the Free World" with Pearl Jam on some MTV awards show? Wasn't that awesome?! Tonight's not likely to see Death Cab and Young engage in any similar torch-passing, generation gap–bridging collaborations, but wouldn't it be sweet if they did come out for some rendition of, say, "Ohio" or "Heart of Gold" or "Computer Cowboy" (aka "Syscrusher")? Okay, they probably wouldn't pick that last one. If nothing else, this is a show you can take your "cool"/"sensitive" dad to if you don't mind the greater Everett metropolitan area. On the drive home, you can talk about how awesome a CSNY/Fleet Foxes tour would be. ERIC GRANDY
If that doesn't do it for you, Larry Mizell suggests D Menace at the High Dive, and Christopher Delaurenti has a few more recommendations in The Score. And, as always, you can find tonight's complete listings in our online calendar.
Tonight in Music: The Mountain Goats, Kings of Leon
October 20 at
The Mountain Goats - "This Year"
The Mountain Goats, Kaki King
(Showbox at the Market) The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle belongs to a rarefied class of singer-songwriters whom I'll call, for lack of a better term, Acts My Girlfriend Can't Stand. This lot includes Darnielle, Why?'s Yoni Wolf, the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, and the Weakerthans' John K. Samson. What it boils down to is this: amazing lyrics, annoying voice (or at least less than Mariah Carey–level vocal prowess); Bob Dylan is the patron saint of this sect. Some people prefer voice to lyrics at seemingly any cost, but that's their loss. Especially in the case of Darnielle, whose razor sharp if slightly pinched portraits of human dysfunction and tenacious hope are just heartbreakingly good. Tourmate Kaki King comes from the It's-Not-Fair school, for those possessed of guitar chops, voice, and songwriting skill. ERIC GRANDY
Kings of Leon - "Sex on Fire" (live)
Kings of Leon, We Are Scientists, the Stills
(Paramount) Kings of Leon's latest, Only by the Night, features the unstoppable song "Sex on Fire," on which Caleb Followill's vocals absolutely soar. "Yooouuuuu, your sex is on fiiiyaaah." Ears are held in the honey and strength of his vocal grip. The song goes off. The rest of the album, however, lacks that fire. It falls into a midtempo rut. KOL have said they're upset by lack of sales in the U.S. compared to those in Europe. Maybe if their albums were more full of the fire, sales would increase. We Americans like fire. KOL still need to be seen, though. They're carrying the Southern-rock torch. TRENT MOORMAN
Tonight in Music: Legendary Pink Dots, Rob Castro, Paper Dolls
October 18 at
Legendary Pink Dots - "M'era Luna"
Legendary Pink Dots
(El Corazón) Anglo-Dutch goth-psychedelic group Legendary Pink Dots have been haunting the musical fringes for 28 years, accumulating a significant, cultish fan base despite little commercial airplay and releases on small labels. Through the band's staunch devotion to their brand of pastoral, spacey, polyglot rock and vocalist Edward Ka-Spel's dramatic, enervated spiels, LPD appeal to melancholy dreamers. Ka-Spel's voice bears a Syd Barrett–like lugubriousness that complements LPD's rambling, oft-disorienting excursions into the Floydian slipstream. This tour is in support of LPD's new disc, Plutonium Blonde (ROIR), which offers the group's usual panoply of moods and styles, most of them fairly spectral and disturbing. DAVE SEGAL
Rob Castro, DIMMAK
(King Cobra) Rob Castro has a hand in much that happens in the local hiphop scene. He has a hand in The Corner at the Rendezvous, in Grayskul, in the new and excellent Gigantics record, in the legendary Silent Lambs Project, in Blak, the Saturday Knights, Seattle Suicide Riots, and Mr. Hill. And this is by no means the end of his accomplishments. The owner of Beacon Hill–based ATB Studios, Castro has played a central role in developing the dark, gothic sound that defines one of the four main streams of local hiphop. His Living Room Prophets CD is hard to find, but worth the search. CHARLES MUDEDE
The Chemicals, Pure Country Gold, the Bill Collectors, Paper Dolls
(Sunset) What a throwdown of tasty Northwest garage! We got local punkers the Paper Dolls, who consist of ex-Glory Holes/Stuck-Ups members, and the Bill Collectors, who have this night's most solid '60s vibe, nodding also to Iggy, his Ashetons, and a Williamson, plus, um, their song called "Pay Your Bills." Nice... so, it's like a theme song without repeating their band name between a bunch of "hey hey" and "woah oh" bits. WOW! Then from Portland, the Chemicals, who play '70s punk in the fine Killed by Death style, and Pure Country Gold with smokin' solid Oblivians-style, bent-black R&B rave-ups. FUCKING whoooo-WHEEE! MIKE NIPPER
Tonight in Music: Duffy, Stereolab, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, McTuff
October 17 at
Quintron & Miss Pussycat play Chop Suey tonight, and prior to coming to town, Eric Grandy got to chat with Mr. Quintron about witches and hurricanes and RadioShack. Here's what Mr. Quintron had to say about living in New Orleans: "It was my destiny. I am not kidding. I had my stars done or tarot or whatever by some woman who was evidently very highly regarded in that world, and she actually told me that I would be dead if it were not for this place."
Stereolab's also playing tonight. The Meghan McCain-approved band will be performing at Neumos Showbox at the Market with Richard Swift and Monade. That's right, I said Meghan McCain-approved. Read Dave Segal's piece on the band to see what I'm talking about.
And finally, we mustn't forget about Duffy:
Duffy - "Mercy"
Duffy, Eli Paperboy Reed
(Showbox Sodo) Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy is a dream come true for people yearning for a blonder, more Lulu-esque Amy Winehouse, sans tabloidy aftertaste. Duffy's debut album, Rockferry (lavishly, tastefully produced by ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, with strings by the legendary Wrecking Crew), replicates the cinematic, orchestral grandeur of producers like David Axelrod and Jack Nitzsche. Duffy negotiates familiar love-song tribulations with requisite tremulousness and seductiveness. Ballads nestle comfortably next to midtempo soul testifying with a natural grace that shows no strain in reaching those archetypal deep and exalted emotions. It might be hyperbole to call Rockferry a 21st-century Dusty in Memphis, but not by much. The album's that sweet. Have "Mercy," and then some. DAVE SEGAL
Tonight, Olympia almost a cappella dream pop ensemble Lake play an all-ages show at 2020 Cycle with Desolation Wilderness and Hoquiam. I review their new K Records album, Oh, The Places We'll Go in this week's album reviews:
One of the distinguishing oddities of Olympia is Capitol Lake, a man-made reflecting puddle scenically situated between downtown and the Capitol Building up on the hill. It was immortalized in Beat Happening's "Our Secret," although you probably wouldn't want to go swimming in it, not even with Calvin Johnson. Young K Records ensemble Lake may not take their name from this particular body of water, but they certainly share some of its perfectly composed calm and antique charm.
Lake are a soft-rocking glee club whose cool, almost a cappella dream pop and lyrical doo-wop wouldn't sound entirely out of place in 1951, the year Capitol Lake was dredged out of some mudflats. They're also archetypically Olympian, a loose collective whose fluctuating membership draws from a pool of singers, songwriters, and musicians that includes members of Kickball and Swimming, and the prolific Karl Blau, who recorded Oh, the Places We'll Go at Anacortes's Department of Safety. (Speaking of prolific, Lake have supposedly recorded a dozen albums' worth of material, although this is only their third full-length.)
The album is book-ended by the title track and its sequel (as well as a brief instrumental coda), two placidly optimistic Seussian anthems whose coed vocal harmonies; swinging drumming; deep, bobbing bass; and accents of piano, guitar, horns, and hand percussion all pleasantly recall Vancouver, BC, contemporaries No Kids (both are fans of Fleetwood Mac). That resemblance is even clearer on the gorgeous "Blue Ocean Blue," with its airy female vocal lead and its spare rim shots, cowbells, and hand claps. Lake chart a fairly steady course across the album, trading off vocal duties, slowing down a bit for the dark, jazzy "Minor Trip" and the echoing, synth-inflected "On the Swing," picking up the tempo for the melancholy dance number "Counting." This Lake is as welcoming to dip into as it is postcard picturesque.
A correction: Lake's debut album, not Oh, The Places We'll Go, was recorded at the Department of Safety.
Tonight in Music: Laurie Anderson, Pinback, Lake, the Saturday Knights, UNKLE, and more!
October 16 at
Lake's at 20/20 Cycle tonight, playing an all-ages show with Desolation Wilderness. The band's new album Oh, the Places We'll Go just got a three-star review from Eric Grandy: "Lake are a soft-rocking glee club whose cool, almost a cappella dream pop and lyrical doo-wop wouldn't sound entirely out of place in 1951, the year Capitol Lake was dredged out of some mudflats." Click here to read the whole thing.
Also tonight, the Saturday Knights are playing a FREE show at Neumo's, and Cancer Rising will be at J&M. As Larry Mizell says, you gotta pick your poison (and if you want to go to the Saturday Knights show, he has the info on how to get on the list in this week's My Philosophy).
(Moore) Laurie Anderson's last performance at the Moore occurred one week after Bush narrowly won the 2004 election. Between spells on the violin, she explained that she had never felt like part of society's uniform group. But once the country was divided into two distinct halves, she finally found her people. It marked a shift away from Anderson's decades of social commentary wrapped in inventive sampling and synthesizer works. This week's visit continues her trajectory as a political commentator. The performance is based on her next album, Homeland, marked by a "political urgency" and the "current climate of fear." She'll be backed by Okkyung Lee, Eyvind Kang, Peter Scherer, and Skúli Sverrisson. DOMINIC HOLDEN
Pinback - "AFK"
Pinback, Mr. Tube
(Showbox at the Market) I can't recall the first time I heard a lot bands, but I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard Pinback via their sophomore album, Blue Screen Life. For the record, I was building a diorama in my college classmate's bedroom, but that's unimportant. What's crucial is that it's a rare record that can leave such an indelible first impression, attaching itself to a memory as though predestined or at least digitally added in postproduction, a blue-screened memory. Since then, Pinback have seemed less memorable, as they repeatedly reiterate their perfectly understated, intricate, and subliminally catchy indie-rock sound (although "AFK" is one hell of an earworm). Still, who knows which moments will stick with you? Tonight might be the most haunting Pinback performance yet. ERIC GRANDY
UNKLE - "Eye for an Eye"
(Trinity) It's telling that before James Lavelle's UNKLE even really launched their debut, Psyence Fiction, cofounder Tim Goldsworthy abandoned the project for NYC and, eventually, the DFA. They're clearly still friendly—the DFA remixed UNKLE's "In a State," for instance—but there is an oceanic divide in style and taste. While there's some overlap in whom the two outfits work with, Lavelle's collaborations tend more toward middle-of-the-road marquee acts like the Beastie Boys or Josh Homme. It's like Lavelle is still looking for that big rock/electronic breakthrough, while the DFA have been making it happen for years. UNKLE's latest, End Titles... Stories for Films (not a proper album, but a collection of unreleased tracks, film/TV scores, and other oddities), isn't likely to change matters. ERIC GRANDY
Tonight in Music: The Dead C, Cappadonna, Hey Marseilles
October 15 at
The Dead C play Nectar tonight. What do the Dead C sound like? In this week's Interrogation, Dave Segal asked the band's Bruce Russell the same question:
The Dead C are largely unknown in the U.S. (and throughout most of the world). I could say you sound like the Velvet Underground's most scabrous feedback blown up and improvised into mantras of morbid malevolence, crossed with the early Fall's relentless repetition and ramshackle production values. But that may be oversimplification. How do you describe your sound to people who've never heard the Dead C?
You really can't do this easily. I think your reference points are good enough, if you are talking to a well-schooled music fan. I try to explain that we look and sound like a rock band making the most cacophonous racket you can imagine—but really we're something else. Our music is pretty well 100-percent improvised using rock instrumentation, but it's almost completely unmusical, certainly devoid of melody. If you imagine rock music is like landscape painting, our work is extreme abstraction.
Listen to "Hell Is Now Love" by the Dead C:
Also tonight, from this week's Up & Comings:
Cappadonna, Spaceman, Fatal Lucciauno, DJ SwerveWon
(Chop Suey) Cappadonna never made it to the core of Wu-Tang Clan. Though his career, which began in 1995 with a guest appearance on one of the best hiphop tracks of that period, "Ice Cream," owes everything to the RZA, it always orbited rather than constituted the Clan's dark and once-fertile planet. Cappadonna's solo CD, The Pillage, was released after Wu-Tang Forever—after the Wu-Tang went into decline (the Clan's peak occurred from 1993 to 1997). The Pillage is not a part of the Wu-Tang canon, and there's nothing remarkable about Cappadonna's style. He is not crazy like Ol' Dirty Bastard or intellectual like GZA or a superhero like Method Man. Cappadonna is just Cappadonna. So, why this tour? Because where he goes, he will surely find a market of Wu nerds. CHARLES MUDEDE
The Builders and the Butchers, Hey Marseilles
(Neumos) Hey Marseilles share some members with Seattle's surprisingly adept Anniversary knockoffs Man Down Medic, but they set their sights on another sound with this act. Namely, their debut full-length, To Travels and Trunks, finds the band stowing away on Beirut's international freighter—not only for its allusions to scenic world traveling, but also for its lush orchestration, which is marked by string sections, trumpet, and accordion. But bandleader Matt Bishop has a far more straightforward, articulate, and upbeat pop vocal style, and his lyrics read less like they're scrawled on postcards than carefully composed in marble-bound notebooks. They're currently looking for a new drummer, and their ad says they value "women, mustaches, chops, experience, old clothes, jazzy drumming, multi-instrumentalists, intelligence, history books, free markets." ERIC GRANDY
Tonight in Music: Mammatus at the Funhouse
October 14 at
Mammatus played Wall of Sound yesterday (Dave Segal posted about the show here), but if you missed that, catch 'em tonight at the Funhouse with Wildildlife and Emeralds.
Mammatus - "Righteous Path" (live)
Mammatus, Wildildlife, Emeralds
(Wall of Sound) Another gaggle of grandiose longhairs from Holy Mountain Records' stable of heavy psychedelia, Cali trio Mammatus forge an expansive, serpentine jammage that inspires as much headbanging as it does mind expansion. Their self-titled 2006 album best captures Mammatus's mammoth, prog-metallic maneuvers, but 2007 sophomore LP The Coast Explodes boasts a better title and suitable-for-framing cover art. Mammatus create sprawling, spiritual songs to which you can still throw devil horns. Seattle's Wildildlife have quaffed from the same bong-water-laced Kool-Aid bowl as Mammatus, so they should ably complement the trio on their quest for higher unconsciousness. DAVE SEGAL
California volume-pushers Mammatus invade Wall of Sound record store at 6 pm today. This psychedelic juggernaut will also scramble brains like so many eggs at the Funhouse tomorrow night. In this week’s Up&Coming section, I wrote some things about Mammatus:
Mammatus, Wildildlife, Emeralds
(Funhouse) Another gaggle of grandiose longhairs from Holy Mountain Records' stable of heavy psychedelia, Cali trio Mammatus forge an expansive, serpentine jammage that inspires as much headbanging as it does mind expansion. Their self-titled 2006 album best captures Mammatus's mammoth, prog-metallic maneuvers, but 2007 sophomore LP The Coast Explodes boasts a better title and suitable-for-framing cover art. Mammatus create sprawling, spiritual songs to which you can still throw devil horns. Seattle's Wildildlife have quaffed from the same bong-water-laced Kool-Aid bowl as Mammatus, so they should ably complement the trio on their quest for higher unconsciousness. DAVE SEGAL
Wall of Sound is located at 315 E Pine St between Melrose and Bellevue in Capitol Hill.
Mammatus live, with Acid Mother Temple’s Higashi Hiroshi
After five years of busting up dance floors across America the Trucks have decided to call it a day. Tonight at Chop Suey will be their final Seattle performance, followed by one more show in Portland on November 7th and a finale in Bellingham the following night. The Trucks are living proof that if you are motivated enough you don't necessarily have to be a great musician to start a hit band, you can just learn how to play as you go along (having your band consist of four attractive ladies may help expedite the process, however). Strangely enough, the first time I met Kristen and Marissa was the night before the Trucks first show, at a friend's apartment in Bellingham. They told me they were starting a band, and that they were going to go on tour and be famous. I took their delusions of grandeur with a grain of salt and agreed to go check them out the next day on the Western campus. They told me they had written a song about Marissa's ex-boyfriend, my audio recording teacher at Fairhaven, and how he refused to pleasure her orally. I was intrigued. At this point the band had no drummer, only simple casio beats, and it was pretty clear Kristen was the only member who actually knew how to play music. Regardless, they were charming and fun and full of promise, and before long my audio recording teacher was at the show too, standing next to me. Their closing song was the one about him, and as they all chirped, "Why the fuck won't you go down on me?" I looked over to find his head sinking farther and farther into his hands. It was a priceless moment I'll keep with me forever. Thanks Trucks, you've been all sorts of fun.
Tonight is also a CD release show for A Gun That Shoots Knives. They promise new costumes and fun surprises. Awesome opens.
Tonight in Music: Black Kids, AFCGT, Truckasauras, Camp Lo, Laptop Battle
October 10 at
Tonight is the annual Laptop Battle at Nectar Lounge and in this week's Data Breaker Dave Segal says the event "has become a high-adrenaline highlight of the electronic-music calendar."
If you're in the mood for some hiphop, Larry Mizell suggests you check out Camp Lo at War Room: "Seattle hiphoppers argue about everyfuckinthing. Sports, politics, and of course music. But in my (vast and all-knowing) experience, if there's one piece of music that 99.9 percent of the average heads from the '6 can agree on, it's Uptown Saturday Night, the classic 1997 debut from the Boogie Down Bronx's own Camp Lo."
And for you kids in the crowd, Casey Catherwood's got some great all-ages options in this week's Underage, including the Truckasauras show at the Old Fire House in Redmond.
And here's what this week's U&C's have to offer:
AFCGT - "Return of the Leper"
AFCGT, Octagon Control, Arbitron
(Funhouse) AFCGT = the combustible conjunction of Seattle avant-rock vets A Frames and Climax Golden Twins. When these volatile players congregate, dank air and bad (meaning good) vibes get pushed through speakers with savvy savagery. Linear noise-rock onslaughts alternate with ominous clouds of static and metallic ax-grinding. Thanks to the unit-shifting prowess of groups like the Shins and the Postal Service, Sub Pop can issue recordings by ornery, uncommercial ensembles like AFCGT; look for their album next year and get a preview tonight. Fellow Emerald City–denizens Arbitron play primitive, purgative rock that sounds very ready for the Amphetamine Reptile Records revival. DAVE SEGAL
Black Kids - "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You"
Black Kids, the Virgins, Man Plus
(Neumos) Black Kids sound like they learned about the Cure by listening to Hot Hot Heat. They have a couple of briefly catchy but ultimately insubstantial songs—in any sane world, they would not be on a major label. But the music industry is kind of nuts right now, what with the internet and the Pitchforks and the "I'm a computer, stop all the downloading!"—and all it takes, apparently, is a prematurely effusive 8.4 review on said 'Fork and some pretty weak United Colors of Benetton co-ed charisma to land a record deal. So somebody at Columbia fucked up—it wouldn't be the first time, and despite the tailspinning of the music biz, it almost certainly won't be the last. ERIC GRANDY
Tonight in Music: The Pica Beats, Stars, Feral Children
October 9 at
Photo by Kati Von Lehman
The Pica Beats
The track record of young Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art is—irony alert—hardly lacking in artistic merit, but the Pica Beats' sophomore album, Beating Back the Claws of the Cold, is its finest release yet. Singer Ryan Barrett's songs strike a perfect balance between inscrutable but resonant lyrics and simply catchy melodies, and his assembled players surround his worn but able singing with bedroom symphonies of guitar, drums, bowed bass, oboe, piano, synthesized strings and horns, vocal harmonies, and even sitar. This album owns autumn. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $7, 21+.) ERIC GRANDY
The Pica Beats are also the subject of this week's music lead, where Eric Grandy explains "On first listen, one might mistake the Pica Beats as just another of Seattle's current crop of rootsy, trad-folk revivalists... But what separates the Pica Beats from these bearded would-be mountain men and rural hollerers is a certain twee quality—listen closely, and it's clear that Barrett and his band are as much Slumberland as they are back-to-the-land."
Read the whole piece here. While you're reading, enjoy their song "Poor Old Ra":
"Poor Old Ra" - The Pica Beats
As for the rest of tonight's happenings, from this week's U&Cs:
Feral Children - "Spy/Glass House"
Feral Children, Loving Thunder, Mountain High, Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death
(Comet) Feral Children's moniker proves to be appropriate in the first track of their latest full-length, Second to the Last Frontier. "Spy/Glass House" starts as an obvious nod to early-'90s Modest Mouse, but soon after, the band unleash something inhuman: the quick, growling yeahyeahyeahyeahs and the high-pitched ooh hoo hoos. It's wild and animalistic and, when witnessing it in person, unsettling. And it doesn't stop with that one song. "Jaundice Giraffe" has an eerie intro that, with its subdued, steady drumming and tribal background vocals, could be the soundtrack to footage of a zebra being hunted in the savanna. I can see the vultures rise up from the field as the lion strikes and the low drum beats on. MEGAN SELING
Stars - "Take Me to the Riot"
Stars, Think About Life
(Showbox at the Market) Canadian indie-rockers Stars share some, er, stars with the constellation that is Broken Social Scene, and they make similarly intimate and layered soft-rock epics. Stars err to the more traditional, though, with less of the ambling ambient passages and wonderfully cluttered crescendos, and more straightforward piano balladry and big, soaring—to the point of tacky Broadway bombast—choruses. But what the band lack in subtlety on last year's In Our Bedroom After the War, they make up for with a loose story arc, fleshed out by some seminarrative liner notes, which only heightens the sense of musical theater. With their themes of waking up safe and sound after a long international nightmare, the band could choose no more apt time to take the show back down to the states than our anxious election season (though they also have a new EP to promote). ERIC GRANDY
What better time to donate money to the Vera Project than now, when all you have to do to be a good samaritan is drink some booze.
Starting tonight, show up at any of the bars listed below between 6-10 pm on the specified day, and order a Redhook or Dewars to do your good deed for the week. All proceeds will go straight to the Vera Project.
Here's the schedule:
Wednesday October 8
Easy Street West Seattle – with a 7p.m. show with Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet (featuring Bela Fleck)
Thursday October 9
Friday October 10
Saturday October 11
Neumos Presents A Drink for the Kids 2008 - Grand Finale Concert
Very special super secret surprise guest headliner!
The Ruby Suns (Sub Pop) from New Zealand
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
Hosted by People’s Republic of Komedy’s Kevin Hyder
DJ Righteous Trash
As for that super secret surprise guest headliner... I don't wanna ruin any surprises, but here's a hint: despite the band's misleading name, they're really just rockers from Canada. Not cops from Japan.
Update: Neumo's just got the go ahead to announce the headliner--it is, if you hadn't already guessed, Tokyo Police Club! (Who are also opening for Weezer earlier that evening, which is why they had to keep it a secret.)
Recently, I was excited to hear that Rong Music co-owner Ben Cook has migrated from Northern California, where he started his label, to Seattle. For those that might not be familiar with Rong Music, over the last eight years the laebl has released some of the best and most cutting edge 'nu disco' releases by artists such as Free Blood, Prins Thomas, Lee Douglas, Tussle, Ilija Rudman, Mudd, Woofly, Gary Davis, How & Why?, among many others. Cook has also released his own material under some different aliases including Barfly, Stranger, Thick As Thieves, and Triangle Orchestra. Recently Cook has been working with DFA on some joint releases including the new Free Blood releases, which features former Chk Chk Chk member John Pugh XI. Overall, I was pleased to hear that someone like Ben Cook, whom has had a significant influence on the 'nu disco' scene' has ventured to the Pacific Northwest. Hopefully this will better open up the door for some of his label's acts to finally make it up this way as well.
Tonight in Music: The Moondoggies, Cut Copy
October 8 at
Cut Copy - "Lights and Music"
Cut Copy, the Presets, Heartbreak
(Showbox at the Market) Australia's Cut Copy have scored one of the year's most deliriously blissful pop records with their sophomore album, In Ghost Colours. The band revive to stunning effect the dance-floor-friendly but still emotionally cool new wave of New Order, delivering dreamy ballads and ecstatic electro workouts with equal aplomb. Binding it all together is frontman Dan Whitford's tuneful crooning and catchy, weightless pop lyrics. Live, the band are ringmasters, commanding drums, guitars, synths, sequencers, and demanding kinetic response from their crowd. Countrymates the Presets don't fare as well on their latest, Apocalypso, but their live show, which combines hard-hitting live drumming and a phalanx of analog synths, is still fun. ERIC GRANDY
The Young Ones Music Showcase (featuring the Moondoggies)
The Dutchess & the Duke, the Moondoggies
(Neumos) Earlier this year The Stranger declared the Moondoggies one of Seattle's "Young Ones"—predicting the fairly unknown but great local folk-and-more band were poised to do big things in 2008. Looks like we made a good call with the 'Doggies. The band's recently released full-length, Don't Be a Stranger (Hardly Art), is the celebratory soundtrack to a summer afternoon barbecue that fades into a bonfire jam session. The songs are played with enthusiasm, but also a chilled-out, easy-going vibe. Unsurprisingly, Don't Be a Stranger has been one of the best-selling Northwest records for weeks in local record stores. MEGAN SELING
Deerhoof, Experimental Dental School
(Neumos) Deerhoof are an indie-rock anomaly, consistently releasing inconsistent music that one side of a room will always love, the other side will always hate, and the few in the middle won't know exactly where they stand—depending on the song. I've always been in the latter group. I've gone to see Deerhoof based on true fans' assertions that drummer Greg Saunier is a mechanized animal. His precise acrobatics behind the kit are impressive enough to overshadow the flexing guitar interplay and bassist-vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki's cute lyrical innocence. Regardless, between the last time I saw the band (supporting Friend Opportunity) and hearing their latest, Offend Maggie, I can admit that I've been pulled to the lover's side of the room. TRAVIS RITTER
Liz Phair - "Never Said"
(Showbox at the Market) This past June, a bunch of Seattle musicians—including Throw Me the Statue, Tennis Pro, Lesli Wood of Ms. Led, Rachel Flotard of Visqueen, and M. Bison—hit the stage at Chop Suey to perform, in order, the 18 tracks of Liz Phair's classic debut, Exile in Guyville. It was a revelation, proving among many other things the lasting brilliance of Phair's "novice" compositions. Tonight, Lady Phair herself perform "songs from Exile in Guyville," a description that lets her off the hook for a full-album re-creation and opens the door for gems from the latter Phair songbook. (She may never make a better album than her first, but the best of her post-Exile songs—whitechocolatespaceegg's "Polyester Bride" and "Love Is Nothing," Liz Phair's "Little Digger"—stand up to anything on her eternal debut.) DAVID SCHMADER
These Arms Are Snakes Celebrate New Record Tonight at Easy Street
October 6 at
These Arms Are Snakes' new record, Tail Swallower and Dove, doesn't officially come out until tomorrow, but you'll be able to buy it tonight right after the band's 10:30 pm in-store performance at Easy Street Records on Queen Anne.
I bet there's going to be a mosh pit in the middle of the record store, since most These Arms shows look like this:
Photo by Christine Unten
You can hear the first single, "Red Line Season", here. (BTW, for you joggers, it makes a great "power song.")
Also Tonight: Free (Nazi?) Black Metal @ King Cobra
October 6 at
Monday, October 6th at KING COBRA
Doors are at 8PM
Show starts at 9PM
This show is falling on one of our normal Up The Punks nights so aside from the no cover there is also Happy Hour prices all night.
Nachtmystium, you may recall, kinda sorta actually totally released a record via a Nazi-affiliated record label. AWKWARD!Wikipedia:
Nachtmystium's first album, Reign of the Malicious, was released on Unholy Records, a National Socialist black metal label. In 2006, Judd said that, “In the past, we’ve had some indirect ties to labels and bands that are part of the NS scene. At one point not too many years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for NS labels or bands to trade and work with non-politically motivated bands and labels because at the end of the day, we’re all trying to promote, release, and be involved with music—all politics aside. Today it seems like there’s less of a connection, at least for me and my label. We don’t oppose people’s right to be ‘NS’ or whatever—that’s a personal choice, and if you live in the USA, you have the right to that opinion. Even though I personally, my band(s) and my label have absolutely no interest in being a part of that scene, I will ALWAYS take their side when it comes to their freedom of speech being imposed upon.”
There's nothing particularly scary about Blake Judd. If anything, he looks a little ridiculous: a tall, blonde-haired, vaguely heavy dude with a thick California accent, stuffed into too-tight black clothes with a bit of white makeup splashed onto his face.
Seeing that black metal locals Nachtmystium are nuzzled in hipster embrace these days, I'm left wondering if homophobia and anti-semitism is just accepted now? Was there a memo on this I missed? Or is the heinousness of throwing "faggot" and talk of Zionist conspiracy around in interviews blunted by the wider context-- i.e. the scores of NSBM-aligning bands who are essentially Nazis in crypt-face? Like Nachtmystium can't be that bad because they are down with Isis and not putting swastikas on their clothes? Or is that no one has bothered to do their homework (you don't have to dig farther than the second google hit for "Nachtmystium+interview" ) before putting these assholes on blast?
Let me be totally 100% clear: We find nothing good or worthwhile in NS ideology. We have never said anything positive about any right wing idea...
If I say that the Nazis used some powerful ideas, I refer to these good things that have been stolen by the Right. These ideas have nothing to do with fascism, but have become unfairly associated with it. We support things such as radical environmentalism, heathen spirituality and, in regard to black metal, a certain esoteric ancient spirit. We want these good things to be a part of our progressive life-vision.
For instance, I feel that I am spiritually connected to a European heathen tradition and a certain way of life because of my heritage. This natural and good idea has been stolen by the Right Wing and has become, in Europe, connected to racism and xenophobia. With our music, we reconcile this idea with our progressive, anti-racist, anti-fascist ideology.
Tonight in Music: Wolves in the Throne Room
October 6 at
Wolves in the Throne Room - "Cleansing" (live)
Wolves in the Throne Room, Fauna
(Vera Project) Olympia's Wolves in the Throne Room have been tilling farmland and writing extreme music for years, finally creating a singed masterwork with Two Hunters. To call the band post–black metal isn't completely fair, because when they want to get cult they throw down curdled screams and blitzing guitars just like their Norwegian stepfathers. But when the band's songs expand, they shift into bent post-rock melodies instead of fruity symphonics or serial-killer samples. This is the same attitude they bring to their live show, abandoning the theatrics of gauntlets and pentagrams for a jarring, blackened DIY performance. Wolves in the Throne Room aren't the saviors of black metal; they're just showing it still has a furious pulse. SHANE MEHLING
A colleague just called me a Jamie Lidell “hater” for what I wrote in this week's Data Breaker. Hmm. I would say it’s more accurate to label me a “spurned Lidell lover.” My archives bulge (ooh) with praise for the British song-and-dance man. Go ’head and google it. I’ll wait.
Anyway, Lidell plays Showbox at the Market tonight. I’m holding out hope that he leans more toward his old(er) improv/beatbox/weird rhythmic loop steez than his new streamlined, accessible R&B trad maneuvers. I can be quixotic that way.
For examples of the Lidell who made a true fanboy out of me, check the videos below. For the new, more mainstream-palatable Lidell, check the video provided in this post.
There’s a lot of good stuff going on tonight, and in the swarm of shows it can be easy to forget about Studio Seven. I do it virtually every day. But tonight I’ve got their back, as they are hosting a top notch bill – Baroness and Genghis Tron. I missed Baroness in May because I didn’t want to go to a Coheed and Cambria show, and couldn’t justify spending the gas money to get to Portland for their show with Genghis Tron, Converge and the Red Chord. But both of their most recent albums are quite good, and since Baroness has been touring on their Red Album for over a year now they might be playing some new material. So tonight’s my big chance to see both acts for the first time, right? Big excitement? Nope. I can’t go. I double booked. The forces of the universe desire to keep me from witnessing these bands in person. But if you go to the Funhouse for the Steel Tigers of Death / Rad Touch / Reptilian Civilian / Therapist show you can hear me scream in desperation about how my band isn’t nearly as good as the ones who are playing a few miles south. Or, better yet, just go see Trent's band at Neumos.
Tonight in Music: Why?, John in the Morning at Night, Gutter Dandy Gala, Jamie Lidell
October 3 at
Jamie Lidell - "Another Day"
Tonight's Jamie Lidell/Janelle Monae concert at the Showbox got some attention in both Data Breaker and My Philosophy this week. Dave Segal says: "Lidell used to be soul'd and out; now he's just sold out." Larry Mizell says: "The real reason (you need to go to the show) is Lidell's opener, Bad Boy–signee Ms. Janelle Monae (best known for her vocal work on Outkast's Idlewild), who came to Nectar a few weeks ago and absolutely annihilated shit."
Orkestar Zirconium Pub Crawl (from last Halloween)
Gutter Dandy Gala: Orkestar Zirconium, Hot Grits!
(Free Sheep Foundation) The Free Sheep Foundation is becoming a nexus of the R&D wing of Seattle culture. It occupies decrepit buildings that are about to be demolished—a fleabag motel on Aurora, a doomed apartment building, and now an abandoned single-story building in Belltown—and turns them into mayfly clubhouses. Its charm is ephemeral and ephemera is its charms. Inside Free Sheep, you can find innovative graffiti and poster artists (NKO, No Touching Ground), anarchic theater collectives (Stranger Genius Award–winners Implied Violence), musicians (Truckasauras), dancers (Haruko Nishimura of Degenerate Art Ensemble), and more. Tonight you will find an all-black, all-lady punk band called Hot Grits!—whose cover of James Brown's "Please, Please, Please" sounds like Kathleen Hanna fronting the early Sex Pistols—and a Balkan brass marching band called Orkestar Zirkonium, who borrow members from Circus Contraption and the defunct Infernal Noise Brigade. The clubhouse, as always, will be populated by odd characters. BRENDAN KILEY
Two Gallants - "Despite What You've Been Told"
John in the Morning at Night: Two Gallants, Harvey Danger, Blue Giant, Head Like a Kite
(Neumos) Radio is a strange beast, its stations' democratic airwaves reaching anyone who tunes into their particular frequency, but rarely uniting them. KEXP has made a point of assembling its listeners in person, building a real community around its familiar voices, and boosting up-and-coming bands in the process. This time, the John in the Morning at Night show features an acoustic set by local stalwarts Harvey Danger; buzz band Two Gallants; the fuzzy, feisty sounds of Head Like a Kite; and Blue Giant, the full-band incarnation of Viva Voce's Kevin and Anita Robinson. It's a great opportunity to connect with your likeminded listeners and subject yourself to some brain-tingling music in the process. BARBARA MITCHELL
Why? - "Song of the Sad Assassin"
Why?, Restiform Bodies
(Vera) Anticon made its name as a home for music that wasn't so much hiphop—underground, backpack, abstract, or otherwise—as it was music that resembled hiphop but reassembled its traits into something else entirely. Headliners and anticoners Why? long ago transcended ersatz rap, transforming into a sublime band that still exhibit some of hiphop's best verbal tics in Yoni Wolf's dexterous verses but combine them with gloomy live acoustics and songcraft that's as structurally traditional as it is sonically adventurous. Openers Restiform Bodies, though, remain more dedicated to the label's typically atypical old-school style—oblique, often breakneck raps delivered over scavenged synths, samples, and basement-crafted beats. Too frequently, though, their songs are stuffed with syllables but short on significance. ERIC GRANDY See also Stranger Suggests.
Tonight in Music: Silver Jews, Horse Feathers, High Places, MSTRKRFT
October 2 at
Hell of a night for live music, my friends. There are two shows featured in the highly-coveted Stranger Suggests spot: Brightblack Morning Light at the Tractor and Mark Farina at Last Supper Club.
Silver Jews are in town tonight as well. In this week's paper Sean Nelson interrogated David Berman and got him to rant about everything from controlling his "product" in the digital-age to being "the asshole who says, 'It was better in my day.'"
Horse Feathers live at Portia and Slim Moon's House
Horse Feathers, Matt Bauer
(Sunset) Horse Feathers began as the solo acoustic project of Portlander singer-songwriter Justin Ringle, but they've since grown to include multi- instrumental collaborator Peter Broderick as well as a host of live players. The band's debut album for Kill Rock Stars, House with No Home, finds Ringle and company delivering spare acoustic numbers accented by such rural signifiers as banjo, fiddle, and saw (as well as the more urbane cello, celeste, and, of course, guitar). But the focal point is always Ringle's whisper-quiet, feather-soft voice, which ranges from a low singing tone to a wounded whimper to an airy falsetto. Opener Matt Bauer's latest record, The Island Moved in the Storm, is a song cycle inspired by the case of a mysterious young girl found dead along a dirt road in Bauer's native Kentucky in 1968. So, good times. ERIC GRANDY
High Places - "Golden" (Not the official video)
High Places, Ponytail, Oh Man!
(Nectar) I just conducted an unscientific survey with myself and came to the conclusion that High Places are the most interesting, distinctive American indie-rock band working today. Robert Barber and Mary Pearson compose using the surrealist creative process known as "exquisite corpse," a cumulative layering of elements generated by a participant without knowing what the previous contribution is. The 10 songs on their Thrill Jockey minialbum 03/07–09/07 sound exotic (quasi-Caribbean, perhaps) yet homespun and idiosyncratically mongrel in ways that don't feel exhausted. Their beauty is a rare thing. Baltimore's Ponytail exude outrageous exuberance, coloring outside of the indie-pop lines with cute bundles of radiant clangor. They recall tightly wound, early-'80s Scottish bands like Josef K and Fire Engines, sans British moroseness. DAVE SEGAL See also Underage.
MSTRKRFT Live at Coachella
MSTRKRFT, Felix Cartal, Congorock
(Showbox at the Market) Along with Justice, MSTRKRFT have the blog-house/nü-rave scene on (caps) lockdown. Toronto duo Al-P and Jesse F. Keeler crank out the sharp-toned synth motifs, snappy disco beats, and talk-boxed bittersweet nothings that reliably push the pleasure buttons of mid-'00s metro- sexual clubbers. The title "Neon Knights" (off the twosome's 2006 album The Looks) succinctly sums up MSTRKRFT's candied and 'cained '80s aesthetic. An early taster for their Fist of God full-length (out in October), "Vuvuvu" tilts MSTRKRFT into harder EBM territory, recalling Visage's "Frequency 7." It's a good look for them. Vancouver's Felix Cartal has remixed Britney Spears and Ashlee Simpson, but his own tracks lean toward corrugated, unhinged, and sinister electro. DAVE SEGAL
Apologies for neglecting to include this very worthy benefit show in my earlier "Tonight in Music" post. How did I forget Leslie & the Lys!?
Leslie and the LY's - "How We Go Out"
Leslie and the LY's
(MUSIC) In early September, Martha Manning—co-owner of beloved lesbian bar the Wildrose—was injured in a freak explosion at a gas station. Tonight, Chop Suey hosts a benefit, with an irresistible lineup starring the one and only Leslie and the LY's (you may know her as "the internet sweater girl," but to me she's Dina Martina without a wang) and—speaking of freak explosions—Seattle's own psychotic soft-rockers Connie and the Precious Moments. Go for the good cause, stay for the world-class freakery. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $10–$15, 21+.) DAVID SCHMADER