Tonight in Music: WD4D, Shlohmo, Shigeto, Lorn, Mochipet, the Great Mundane, Mr. Wu, Absolute Madman, Built to Spill, Le Fleur, Cober, Unnatural Helpers, Partman Parthorse, We Wrote the Book on Connectors, Hobosexual, Police Teeth, the TG Project.
(Hidmo) A densely packed circle of hiphop fanatics forms in the back room at Lo-Fi Performance Gallery. It's another Tuesday night, which means the long-running Stop Biting weekly is gaining centrifugal force, as breakdancers of many ethnicities, flexibility levels, and skill sets enter the sweaty sphere. There they bust rhythmic, contortionist moves to Seattle DJ/producer WD4D's stream of vintage and future classics and obscure cuts that unjustly never became part of the hiphop canon, and are known mostly to true connoisseurs like WD4D.
Week after week, WD4D (aka Waylon Dungan)—as well as Stop Biting comrades like Absolute Madman and Introcut—provides the fresh soundtrack to these impressive feats of athleticism, furthering the cause of Seattle's hiphop scene one killer jam at a time. DAVE SEGAL
(Space Studios) L.A./S.F. bass-music magus Shlohmo (aka Henry Laufer) is another young gun likely to have a brilliant future. His tracks on the Camping EP and Shlomoshon Deluxe full-length challenge FlyLo's for textural sensuality and rhythmic verve. Shlohmo exhibits a savvy-beyond-his-20-years affinity for exotic timbres; crisp, oddly funky beats; and nuanced atmospheres that inspire complex emotional responses. Of all Los Angeles's formidable low-end theoreticians, Shlohmo could end up being the most interesting and important. Seriously, Steven Ellison better watch his back.
Joining Shlohmo on the bill at Space Studios is Ghostly International recording artist Shigeto (aka Brooklyn's Zach Saginaw, who's remixed Shlohmo's "Spoons"). Shigeto works on a more intimate scale than does Shlohmo, but Shigsy (you do call him that, don't you?) has his own fascinating repertoire of rhythmic and textural quirks. The tracks on Shigeto's debut LP, Full Circle, (except for the smooth-jazzy "Look at All the Smiling Faces") take instrumental hiphop to some strange places, all of them worth inhabiting. Paragons of eclectic excellence such as Madlib and J Dilla (were the latter alive, obviously) would nod in approval.
Lorn, Mochipet, the Great Mundane, Mr. Wu, Absolute Madman
(Chop Suey) Illinois producer Lorn battered a lot of noggins at Decibel Festival this year with a towering, tectonic set. (The next night, Lorn allegedly wrecked his own head pretty hard and was too effed up to properly perform his after-hours set. Follies of youth, etc.) One of the brightest sparks in Flying Lotus's gifted Brainfeeder stable, Lorn has issued one of the year's strongest albums with Nothing Else. It's a bracingly dystopian work, aswarm with sludgy, pitch-black slabs of dubstep that still keeps the funk coming and the horror-flick-score corniness out of earshot. The sound's not too far in fearsomeness from the doom-laden instrumental hiphop that Scorn's Mick Harris created in the '90s—lofty praise, indeed. Lorn is in his mid-20s, and his future is as bright as his music is dark.
(Showbox at the Market) Did you know Built to Spill made a music video for "In the Morning," the delirious, day-breaking opening song off 1994's There's Nothing Wrong with Love? It's true. Beavis and Butthead even ragged on it back in the day. In the video, Doug Martsch looks exactly the same as he always looks, there's some footage of farm animals running around, there's some proto—Tim and Eric intentionally bad no-budget goofiness (cue "normal" people doing half-assed choreographed dance routine). They were really just making music videos for everything back then, weren't they? (Or, as Beavis and Butthead put it, "This part right here, this was already in another video." "Yeah, I think everything in this video was in another video.") The aesthetics of mid-'90s indie-label music-video making haven't aged well (see also: Archers of Loaf's "Web in Front"), but "In the Morning," like all Built to Spill songs, never seems to age at all. Their catalogue is deep, and their live performances are consistently, casually dazzling. ERIC GRANDY
(Sunset) You'd need an extra set of hands to count all the musicians who have been in Seattle garage institution Unnatural Helpers over the years. Fortunately, they seem to have finally found their golden roster and hopefully won't be changing anytime soon. Tonight is a benefit for the Andy Kotowicz Family Foundation, a fund for the wife and child of the Sub Pop employee who was recently killed in a car accident. It also marks the always terrific Unnatural Helpers' first Seattle show since returning from a whirlwind UK tour with Mudhoney. Finally, although Partman Parthorse are partly crippled (lead singer/shit talker/yogi/underwear model Gary Smith recently underwent ankle surgery), they'll still provoke the audience with verbal jabs and wiry rock action. Tonight's meaty bill is double-stacked, the tastiest, greasiest, most artery-clogging gut bomb of a burger you'll put down your throat this year. Eat, eat, eat! TRAVIS RITTER
We Wrote the Book on Connectors, Hobosexual, Police Teeth, the TG Project
(Blue Moon) Tonight's show has the potential to be the funniest show of the year (especially since Future of the Left haven't made it to Seattle in 2010). We Wrote the Book on Connectors are funny in an "inappropriate They Might Be Giants" sort of way. Their songs will hardly impress you musically, but their lyrics about cake, mustaches, and "Farting Pooping Running Cycling" will at least get you laughing (even if it is at them). The hilariously named Hobosexual's songs aren't funny at all—they're full-on, fuzzed-out classic-rock beasts—but the dudes have proved to be quite humorous in interviews. Here's hoping they showcase their wit in between-song banter. And Police Teeth? That band's fronted by the dude who tried to bribe Weezer into retirement. Hilarious! MEGAN SELING