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Lose your R&B loverman every night this week!
(Showbox at the Market) Englishman Thomas Dolby—tech nerd and synth-pop hero from 1980s-era MTV, when it still played music videos like Dolby's "She Blinded Me with Science"—is touring the United States with something called a mobile "time capsule." Not just a gimmicky prop, Dolby's time machine is a fully functional recording studio housed inside a retro-futuristic-looking (cough, steampunk) trailer parked outside the venue. Fans are encouraged to enter and record 30-second "messages to the future." These messages are "transmitted" to a YouTube group page, where they'll eventually be made into a single collective thought—then the thought will someday be put in a bottle and air-mailed to Mars. (Okay, that last part might not happen, but the rest is true.) KELLY O
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All
(Showbox Sodo) LA skate-punk-rap crew OFWGKTA are back in town, bringing with them their long-missing youngest member/best lyricist Earl Sweatshirt, a new album's worth of material, and a pop-up merch shop that has been drawing block-long lines in other cities. Their last show was a raucous good time, their genuine flair for performance (the group stage dive at the last, huge "FUCK YOU" of set closer "Radical" was fucking perfect) more than making up for their occasional technical shortcomings. Odd Future aren't going anywhere despite what their multitudes of detractors might hope, so as Tyler, the Creator suggests at the end of the great 10-plus-minute posse cut "Oldie," "Instead of critiquin' and bitchin' and being mad as fuck/Just admit not only are we talented, we're rad as fuck." MIKE RAMOS See also Sound Check and Underage.
First Aid Kit
(Crocodile) Although First Aid Kit—sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg—are from Enskede, a suburb of Stockholm, they have ties to the Pacific Northwest by way of Fleet Foxes, whose sound they suitably emulate. In 2008, they covered Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song," and it ran across the wilds of the internet for all to see, and then a tour with the Foxes ensued, and then came stardom. This year's The Lion's Roar sports a brisk and pleasant pop-folk sound, and the Söderbergs' voices, both together and apart, are often heart-rending. This show sold out long ago, so expect them to play a bigger venue next time around. GRANT BRISSEY
Elvis Costello and the Imposters
The Black Seeds, Kore Ionz & Mighty High
(Crocodile) See Data Breaker.
Hush Hush: DJ D'Nelski, DJAO
(Living Room) See Data Breaker.
CHOICEFEST: Ubik, Kinski, Elk Rider, Princess
(Comet) Promoter Adam Noble Bass launched CHOICEFEST this year to spotlight the outstanding contributions of Seattle's underground bands whose lineups include female musicians. Tonight kicks off the festival with edgy, tuneful, and heavy rockers Kinski, who have a new album poised to drop, their first since 2007's Down Below It's Chaos (they are scandalously sans label at the moment). The woman-fronted Ubik exude a Sturm und Drang prog-psych aura, while Princess erect massive slabs of gnarly, mercurial metal, summarized well by the title of their 2011 EP: The Grim Energy. Estrogenuine power. DAVE SEGAL
Lucas Field, Katherine Romano, Georgetown All-Stars
(Nectar) Lucas Field is Seattle's Mayer Hawthorne: a smoove, soulful R&B loverman of the Caucasian persuasion. With a few breaks, he could be joining Allen Stone on the big-venue and late-night-TV-show circuits. On his 2011 album, Conquest of Happiness, Field (former vocalist for LA indie rockers Low vs. Diamond) writes about romantic entanglements and triumphs with elegance and ebullience. Unexpectedly, I caught him a few months ago playing live at the DUG vintage-soul-funk monthly in Lo-Fi, and Field and his band got the discerning crowd dancing. He's a traditionalist with a keen, nuanced grasp of melody and rhythm—plus he has charisma and the casual good looks of a Sunday supplement fashion model, so it's likely he'll go far. DAVE SEGAL
Champagne Champagne, Deadkill, DJ Radjaw
(Neumos) Champagne Champagne's recent Private Party release on French label Platinum Records compiles seven old, new, and redone tracks into a proper EP showing from the trio of Pearl Dragon, Sir Thomas Gray, and DJ Gajamagic. Updated versions of cuts like "Soda & Poprocks" get new life from new verses by Gray, but a lot of the other stuff might sound familiar to those who have seen them live. Champagne Champagne's heavy touring schedule might keep them from studio time, but when they're capable of rocking that many shows at the level they do, who really cares? MIKE RAMOS
Tomten, Eighteen Individual Eyes, Ruler
(Tractor) According to the never-lying internet (specifically library.thinkquest.org), "the term Baroque was derived from a Portuguese word meaning 'a pearl of irregular shape.'" So it's perfectly fitting that Tomten would describe themselves as baroque pop, as that's exactly what they are in the Northwest music scene—a unique pearl. The Seattle quartet's fluid and dreamy pop showcased on their new EP, Ta Ta Dana, is theatrical and unexpectedly lovely. How boring it would be if everything were the same. MEGAN SELING
Mixtape Edition: Bei Maejor & Kevin McCall, SJB, Massive Monkees Dance Crew
(Neptune) What happens when you put Brandon Green, aka Bei Maejor—recording artist and 2011 Grammy nominee who's produced and/or written for the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Bun B, T-Pain, and Soulja Boy—ON THE SAME STAGE with b-boy world champions Massive Monkees? I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing there'll be really unbeatable big beats and some unimaginable dance moves that most kids should never try at home. KELLY O
Seattle Symphony: Tchaikovsky's Fourth
(Benaroya) The best existential wallowing in the world can be done during a performance of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. In program notes commissioned by his patroness, the composer explained that his first movement is a declaration that "all life is an unbroken alternation of hard reality with swiftly passing dreams and visions of happiness" where "no haven exists." No haven! (Seattle Symphony will be conducted by visiting Toronto Symphony music director Peter Oundjian. Also on the program: Augustin Hadelich featured on Dvorak's Violin Concerto.) JEN GRAVES
Paper Diamond, Minnesota, flarelight
(Neumos) See Data Breaker
Bear in Heaven, Doldrums, Blouse
(Crocodile) There are moments of such sonic bliss on Bear in Heaven's 2009 masterwork, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, that it was just about all I could listen to for months. Theirs is a lush, cosmic prog rock whose avant-garde compositions have the power to take you to the stars, even though you're still tapping your feet gleefully on the ground. Because this stuff is as dense and complex as the Amazon jungle, those moments of beauty took me a while to find, but once they were there, I could not let them go. I haven't been able to spend enough time with 2011's I Love You, It's Cool to find its similar moments, but I know they're in there, swirling around in the vast melodies' nontraditional constructions. GRANT BRISSEY
Tall Chris's 30th Birthday Bash: BOAT, Bottomless Pit, Police Teeth, the Bismarck
(Sunset) Oh, no! Conflicts of interest taint this blurb like anonymous comments taint the internet! First of all, Police Teeth guitarist James Burns writes for Line Out, our music blog. What's more, he's my roommate! Drummer Richy Boyer ran a record shop in Bellingham, and in my college days, we used to sit around for hours smoking cigarettes on the fire escape and jibberjabbering about music. Either way, they, along with bass player Chris Rasmussen (whose 30th birthday is being celebrated tonight), fire rat-a-tat and forceful punk. You'll wish their economical sets were twice as long, but they're far too egalitarian for all that. Returning to the conflict-of-interest department, the Bismarck's Chris Jury did an interview in our paper that basically outlined everything he doesn't like about how I do my job, and now he's writing Complaints Box (see here)! Bottomless Pit, featuring Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen formerly of the long-running Seattle/Chicago-based Silkworm (no conflicts of interest here), craft tuneful and hushed rock that always sounds to me like the perfect post-morning-shower soundtrack—that time when you're just out the door and on your way to do something great. It's beautiful out right now, and I wish I were out there with these songs on the headphones. GRANT BRISSEY
Nouela, Exploding High Fives, DJ Nitty Gritty
(Chop Suey) People Eating People are dead. Nouela Johnston, the band's singer (and only permanent member), hasn't been shy with her feelings toward her cannibalistic band name—it was the result of Johnston trying to come up with the worst band name possible. So when it came time to reorganize her musical efforts, Johnston decided to ditch the PEP moniker and call it, simply, Nouela. The rebirth comes with new music, of course—she'll release her debut album June 12 (on the Control Group, which also released the fantastic PEP album). The Exploding High Fives, who are opening the show, have new music, too! Tonight the infectious power pop outfit celebrates the release of their new vinyl release, Nuclear Winner. MEGAN SELING
Yuni in Taxco, Special Explosion, Shogun Barbi
(Rat and Raven) See Underage.
Seattle Symphony: Tchaikovsky's Fourth
(Benaroya Hall) See Thursday.
The Sinking of the Titanic
(Chapel Performance Space) Okay, wow, seriously: One century to the hour after the original sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912 (time difference accounted for), 30 Seattle musicians will improvise versions of the hymns musicians played as the ship sank, scored by Gavin Bryars in 1969 for ensembles replicating the ship's orchestra. Embedded in the performances will also be recorded interviews with the survivors as well as information that has surfaced since the wreck was discovered in 1985. Period costume is encouraged, and the involved parties include Seattle's finest (Paul Rucker, Lori Goldston, Evan Flory-Barnes, Stuart Dempster, Beth Fleenor, Amy Denio). The duration spans the actual time it took for the Titanic to sink, and the music will happen spread out around the Chapel in six different half-hour sets. Ragtime tunes on toy piano, period 78s spun on vintage Victrolas, field recordings, and video projections will complete the affair. Damn. JEN GRAVES
Totimoshi, Android Hero, Brokaw, Serial Hawk
(Comet) Shame on me for not giving Android Hero a listen sooner. They've been rocking in this town for years! I have no excuse, but I am glad I wised up (thanks to Nik Christofferson of Good to Die Records, who declared on Twitter that the criminally overlooked band was "one of Seattle's best"). Android Hero play driving punk rock with blistering drumming that will pummel you straight into the ground. But even with the seriously heavy sound, the band maintains a sense of humor with lyrics like "The girl is hot/The dog is not" (what?) and song titles like "Even the Best Sauce Can't Fix a Bad Noodle" (that's so true). So maybe you, too, have been living under an Android Hero–less rock—there's no better time than now to right that wrong. MEGAN SELING
(El Corazón) With utterly sincere fury and conviction, Guitar Wolf channel the MC5 and Ramones to create a hyperkinetic breed of punk rock that has the fidelity of a serial philanderer and the sting of a thousand rejections. Guitar Wolf go for that raw-power effect for which so many bands strive but that so few achieve without seeming like charlatans. These Japanese true believers have been pushing the same trashy, slashy steez for about a quarter century, but despite their garish cartoonishness (de rigueur black leather jackets and trousers, and wraparound shades forever), Guitar Wolf unerringly send adrenaline bolts to your limbs. It's nothing new, but it's eternally, ephemerally exciting. DAVE SEGAL
CHOICEFEST: Black Pussy, Witch Mountain, Transient, Don Peyote, Mendozza
(Black Lodge) CHOICEFEST (aaaah, it's yelling at us!) is a four-day festival celebrating "absolutely no all-dude bands!" Sounds awesome. Tonight's last-day bill features Portland's Black Pussy (don't google it!), whose dirty rock and simple but perfect lyrics won me over immediately. They whine: "Is there anybody feeling what I'm feeling when I'm feeling what I'm feeling for you?" and I just, you know, feel it. Also up are Portland doom-metalers Witch Mountain, whose Bandcamp you should check out partly because it features a hilarious witchy, dragony, skull-encrusted map of Oregon. If you've ever complained about ladies not getting their due in the music scene, put your money and time where your motherfucking mouth is and come support this stuff. ANNA MINARD
(Moore) See Tuesday.
(Moore) See Stranger Suggests.
Acid Mothers Temple, the Phantom, Family Halo
(Tractor) Like a Japanese version of the Grateful Dead, but with better, punnier album titles, Acid Mothers Temple almost annually hit Seattle with their often absurdly excessive extraterrestrial rock. Essentially, AMT are a jam band with antic/serious cosmic proclivities, but they also show a fondness for ancient French troubadour songs. Their main thrust, though, is improvised, combustible space rock that's festooned with the cryptic lingo of analog synthesis and the volcanic spew of supersonic, barbed-wire guitar. They wring near-infinite variations on these themes and somehow I never tire of them. In fact, getting lost in AMT's maelstroms is oddly calming. The title of their chaotic track "Psycho Buddha" exemplifies this paradox. DAVE SEGAL