Tonight in Music: A Frames, AFCGT, Fruit Bats, Mudhoney, Michael Yonkers, Josh Wink, Blue Scholars, DJ Mike Nipper, The Books, the Black Heart Procession, Wet Paint DMM, Stephanie, U.S.F., Smooth Sailing, Sandrider, Dog Shredder, Shenandoah Davis, + more!
Benefit for Andy Kotowicz Family Foundation: A Frames, AFCGT, Fruit Bats, Mudhoney, Michael Yonkers, Pissed Jeans, Shabazz Palaces, Vetiver, Wolf Eyes
(Showbox at the Market) Mark Arm (Mudhoney): Andy and I went to lunch two days before his accident. He had recently picked up the Rhino boxed set of the first Stooges album. He hadn't opened it, but it was sitting out in his home. His daughter, Anna, became increasingly interested in it, asking all kinds of questions about the people on the cover. Apparently, she got pretty hung up on the fact that Iggy Pop was also Iggy Stooge. This went on for several days until she spoke the words that Andy said he had never counted on hearing, but had always hoped she would say: "Daddy, can we listen to the Stooges?" He was beaming when he told this story, and I keep clinging to this image of him.
(See Sound Lounge) Philadelphia DJ/producer Josh Wink is a veteran of the '90s acid-house wars who's gone on to make some better-than-expected minimal, dubby techno as well as a sporadically great song-oriented record that sometimes veered away from his strengths—basically, hypnotic, low-slung, sexy dance-floor jams. Wink's Profound Sounds series of mixes proves he's still a keen facilitator of bare-bones techno that won't leave you dry—in other words, "Sprung Minimism" as a track title on his 2003 album 20 to 20 has it. Any jock with Jeff Mills and Hardfloor tracks consistently in his sets deserves your attention. DAVE SEGAL
(Crocodile, sold out. Go to Showbox at the Market) Tonight, 206 hiphop leaders Blue Scholars play the Crocodile for a "Rad Winter Party" (no war on Christmas) put on by Redhook (and, full disclosure, cosponsored by The Stranger). This is cool because Blue Scholars only play in town a couple times a year, and when they do, it's usually to big rooms/crowds, like the Block Party or their multiple-night stands at the Showbox or Paramount (and for more than 10 measly bucks). To see them in a space as cozy as the Crocodile is rare. Also, there will be beer, two glasses of which are included in the $10 ticket price. It is truly the most wintry time of the year. ERIC GRANDY
(Neumos) Supposedly, listening to Mozart increases "spatial-temporal reasoning" and, according to a 1998 study at the University of Illinois Medical Center, can reduce the number of seizures in epileptics. The moral of the story: Listening to Mozart is good for your brain. So is listening to the Books, a NYC duo that makes sound-collage "folktronica." Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong play all kinds of instruments and noninstruments—guitar, cello, banjo, toys, filing cabinets—and arrange samples from thrift-store cassettes to create sonic snapshots of American life in the 21st century. Both beautiful and brainy (and probably therapeutic), songs by the Books sound like codes. When Pitchfork began streaming "Beautiful People" from new record The Way Out, Zammuto described it as "a three-part Christian harmony mixed with a sort of Euro-disco-trash beat, an orchestra's worth of sampled brass, and lyrics about the twelfth root of two (my favorite irrational number), trigonometry, and tangrams." Tangrams are a kind of Chinese puzzle. Plus, dude has a "favorite irrational number"! If you don't know the Books, get your ass to tonight's show posthaste. BRENDAN KILEY
Wet Paint DMM, Stephanie, U.S.F.
(Cairo) Tonight, Seattle says farewell (for now) to two energizing exemplars of our city's resurging art-punk and no-wave scene: Wet Paint DMM and Stephanie, both of which are losing crucial members to travel in the coming months. Stephanie's lead singer is moving to the Netherlands for an indefinite amount of time, while Wet Paint DMM's drummer, whose hard-hitting and unmoored drum fills give the band much of its kinetic power, is going to China for six months. The level at which these bands operate—all-ages shows at houses and hole-in-the-wall gallery spaces, silk-screened shirts and homemade cassettes/CD-Rs, the occasional "proper" 7-inch—is always prone to flux. Bands break up each and every day. Here's hoping these groups' remaining members find other projects for the meantime (special new bands, even) and that this little corner of Seattle's subterranean music scene keeps on bubbling up. ERIC GRANDY
Smooth Sailing, Sandrider, Dog Shredder, Grenades
(Rendezvous) At the nexus of metal's harsh tonalities, punk's anti-aspirations, and indie's creative cross-pollinations, there exists a cluster of bands bashing against those realms' respective campy aesthetics, downgraded musicianship, and pop sensibilities. Tonight's a perfect opportunity to add to your diet a few different flavors from that peculiar cross section of unglued and unapologetically cerebral aggression. Have a healthy portion of Grenades' heavily syncopated rhythm section and spacey guitar leads, chew on Dog Shredder's frantic and furious seven-minute opuses, sample Sandrider's allegretto single-coil snarl, and finish things off with Smooth Sailing's tech-metal/post-rock hybrids. It's quite a combo platter. Stringent Headbangers Ball, Maximumrocknroll, or Pitchfork consumers, however, are bound to be unsatisfied. BRIAN COOK
Shenandoah Davis, Cataldo, Ivan & Alyosha, Thousands
(Columbia City Theater) This fall, Seattle-based singer-songwriter Shenandoah Davis used the fundraising platform Kickstarter to help pay for her second full-length album, and she had no problem meeting her $5,000 goal. In addition to being an impressive solo performer (with a degree in opera singing, by the way), Davis also plays keyboards in Grand Hallway, fills a number of roles in the Seattle Rock Orchestra (everything from vocals to piano to percussion), and has collaborated with the Portland Cello Project. She is a beloved presence in the Northwest music scene. Now that Davis has met her financial goal, we can expect the new record in 2011, over two years since she made her debut. Surely we can forgive her for taking so long—she's been busy—but I can't wait to hear the finished product. MEGAN SELING
(Studio Seven) For a minute, it seemed like Keak Da Sneak could've been a rap superstar—that minute being the summer of 2006, when E-40's massive, Lil' Jon—produced hyphy hit "Tell Me When to Go" had 40 Water thinking about growing dreads (he did) and suburban grandmothers ghostriding the Previa. It was Keak's granite-gargling verse that stood the fuck out, and word is the majors came calling, as hyphy was being touted as the next big thing. The rest of the nation may have gotten off the Bay's collective hype, but independent-minded Keak (whom I first heard on 3X Krazy's Newport-smoker classic "Keep It on the Real") remains pure Yay Area. He's dropped records with a plethora of labels and like-minded artists since then, including some from the 206: "Soil Raps," his song on Jake One's 2008 White Van Music, is seriously underappreciated for its mournful magic. LARRY MIZELL JR.