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Lose your intolerable ugliness every night this week!
Daniel Bachman, Jordan Fuller
(Rendezvous) See Stranger Suggests.
DJ Hyperactive, Trench
(Q) See Data Breaker.
(Q) See Data Breaker.
Black Marble, Stephanie, Tokyoidaho, DJ Sh6rl6s6, DJ Ruben
(Chop Suey) Black Marble's musical backbone is exacting synth, with vocals that convey something dark and dreamy. Imagine, if you will (oh, you will), a man with an exceptionally low but beautiful voice. It's very dark, and for some reason he's inside of an old toy store, drunk. Rows and rows of windup toys make persistent beats in unison—little bears, dolls, and soldiers click and ting, playing their instruments with factory precision. As the melancholic crooner slowly weaves through the toy displays, his voice echoes around the room, creating a blissful numbness. Now snap out of it! Time to imagine Stephanie, Tokyoidaho, and DJs Ruben (of Hardly Art) and Sh6rl6s6 (of KEXP), because everyone on this bill is worthy of your love. EMILY NOKES
(Jazz Alley) Keeping up with who's in En Vogue is even harder than keeping up with who was in Destiny's Child. The current iteration, which tonight lands at Jazz Alley for a four-night run, features EV lifers Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron-Braggs, plus sporadic stand-in Rhona Bennett. (Meanwhile, the other two EV lifers—Maxine Jones and Dawn Robinson—announced last year that they'd be starting their own En Vogue, with court battles over the name looming on the horizon.) Whatever the case, friends of mine who've seen the now-touring En Vogue can't stop raving about it, citing both the generous plethora of old hits and the serious "bringing it" of the vocal harmonies. So if you think you want to go, you should go. DAVID SCHMADER
(Crocodile) The sandy, salty party hits of the Growlers are rickety and melty at the same time—a 24-hour retro beach circus of psychedelic enchantment, sung by a being who is equal parts surfer and skeleton. Some of their songs are raucous and wild, while others (the newer ones, off their most recent album Hung at Heart) are more thoughtful and, dare I say it, romantic. On top of that, the unpredictable live shows these vagabond party-punks put on makes for an excellent Valentine's Day date option, especially if your person of interest is over the whole wine-sipping/slow-dancing thing (and has been known to drop acid while wearing a Hawaiian shirt and no pants). EMILY NOKES
Zulu Jam: 9th Wonder, Suntonio Bandanaz
(Washington Hall) See My Philosophy.
Imaginary Pants, Weird Bug
(Heartland) See Underage.
(Jazz Alley) See Thursday.
The Redwood Plan, Head Like a Kite, Chaos Chaos, Vox Mod
(Neumos) Tonight is the album release show for the Redwood Plan's latest, Green Light Go—surging, electro-energetic, ultra-fun dance-core that will make your body move whether you had planned on it or not! It's their party and you'll dance if they want to (okay, I tried to make that work, but you know what I mean!) to their synthtastically defiant pop music. Also on the bill is Vox Mod, whose eagerly awaited forthcoming album SYN-ÆSTHETIC can't come fast enough. (Our own Charles Mudede has asserted: "I rate SYN-ÆSTHETIC as the most important local album since Erik Blood's Touch Screens.") EMILY NOKES
Buke and Gase, Ahleuchatistas
(Barboza) Damn, no matter how many times I try, I can't correctly spell or pronounce Ahleuchatistas's name on first attempt. However, I can immediately lock into the Asheville, North Carolina, duo's fiercely inventive and tentacular prog rock. (Some will call it math rock, but that is just prog made by dudes with short hair in the time after punk burned itself out.) Anyway, forget terminology: Ahleuchatistas (guitarist Shane Perlowin and drummer Ryan Oslance) play a bracing strain of abstract-expressionist rock with mercurial dexterity, coruscating precision. Their Heads Full of Poison album bears traces of '80s King Crimson, Steve Reich–ian minimalism, and African trance music whose exact origin's hard to pinpoint. It's one of the most fascinating and wild musical joyrides of recent years. DAVE SEGAL
Seattle Symphony:Pierrot Lunaire
(Benaroya) It tore New York down the middle when it arrived in 1919 at the (wonderfully named) Klaw Theater. Pierrot Lunaire, Arnold Schoenberg's expressionistic melodrama, "disrupted families, severed lifelong friendships, incited critics to unbrotherly remarks about one another, and filled whole pages in the Sunday music sections of the newspapers," Lawrence Gilman wrote. The New York Times' morning-after reviewer commented, "There were other compositions, also said to be musical, associated with it on the program" (emphasis mine). More critical response from New York: "To many, the music is an indelicate sort of intolerable ugliness, lacking in the first elements that make music. To others, it was the evangel of a new art, tidings of great joy." Stravinsky called Pierrot "the solar plexus as well as the mind of 20th-century music." Now, the Seattle Symphony tackles it for the first time ever, in a late-night program. I wouldn't miss this. JEN GRAVES
Weed, Naomi Punk, Cascadia, Wasted USA
(Black Lodge) Brace yourselves for another gleefully noisy night at the Black Lodge with four bands that fall on the sludgier, heavier side of the Northwest punk-rock spectrum. Cascadia may be the most gentle of the bunch, with Sleater Kinney–style breaks of melodic vocals between bursts of slashing guitar and drums. Weed have a more droning, dreamy (you might even say stoned), wall-of-sound approach, with syncopated rhythms to keep things interesting. Olympia's Naomi Punk are a minimalist-punk threesome and clearly a branch off the classic K Records family tree. I confess I don't know much about Wasted USA and can't find any tracks online. Wild card! BRENDAN KILEY
SpaceRock Saturdays: Tess and Mike Robot, Drone Rivers, Ctrl_Alt_Dlt, Eugene Fauntleroy, Roddimus
(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.
Gateway: Ghosts on Tape
(Q) See Data Breaker.
(Jazz Alley) See Thursday.
Mark McGuire, Spencer Clark, the Numbs, Marcus Price
(Cairo) Gig of the night! Ex-Emeralds guitarist Mark McGuire is one of America's leading proponents of the sort of sweet-toned kosmische soaring and strumming practiced by Manuel Göttsching, Günter Schickert, and Popol Vuh's Daniel Fichelscher in the '70s. Under various pseudonyms, ex-Skaters synth magus Spencer Clark takes Jon Hassell's Fourth World Music/microbial drone tapestries to darker, more disorienting realms. He's not to be missed. The Numbs (Seattle treblemaker Jeff Johnson), as I keep pounding into your apathetic skulls, is a first-class reality-distorter in the vein of Black Dice, a comparison I never make lightly. His People cassette funhouse-mirrors "rock" and "dance" music into exotic grotesqueries. Marcus Price furthers this bill's normality-mocking quotient with ruptured, psychedelic, abstract electronic whatsit. DAVE SEGAL
Yardsss, the Luna Moth, Glass Tunnels, Case and Ctrl
(Josephine) Yardsss is Portland multi-instrumentalist/producer Krist Krueger, catalyst behind the band Southerly, whose Champion of the Noisy Negativists EP (which I called in these pages "a cauldron of methodical yet deeply moving instrumental rock") you should have in your collection. Krueger calls Yardsss "post-art, musicology" but don't be put off by the snooty connotations of that jargon. You don't want to miss the way Yardsss inflates his songs into the flaming firmaments inhabited by post-rock icons like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai. If you like understated grandiosity with unpredictable dynamics, get into Yardsss. DAVE SEGAL
Seattle Rock Orchestra performs the Smashing Pumpkins
(Neptune) As if the Seattle Rock Orchestra weren't wonderful enough, tonight they'll test just how much my heart can physically swell with happiness when they play the soundtrack to my high-school years by paying tribute to the Smashing Pumpkins. The song list—featuring "Today," "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," "Disarm," and more—is composed of selections from Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and guest vocalists include Zach Davidson of Vendetta Red, Nouela Johnston of Nouela, Mike Notter of Hannalee, and Cristina Bautista. Hobosexual will also be making an appearance! I might pee my pants a little bit. MEGAN SELING
Red Fang, Federation X, Dog Shredder
(Neumos) I dare you to go to this show and stand through all three bands and not bang your head, not even once. It can't be done! It might be easy during Dog Shredder, because you'll be too captivated by their insane guitar skills to look away. And I could see you throwing a fist in the air a few times for Federation X, and definitely bobbing your head—hard—but since the night will still be early, and maybe the beers haven't kicked in, you may not go into full headbang mode. But dude, once Red Fang hit the stage and deliver an onslaught of heavy rock that sounds like Queens of the Stone Age mixed with Black Sabbath, if you don't whip your hair back and forth at least once, you're deaf or dead—or, at the very least, unfun. MEGAN SELING
Sound Off! Semifinals Round Two: the Female Fiends, Maiah Manser, SHEBEAR, Rose
(EMP) Last Saturday, in the first round of Sound Off! semifinals, the Fame Riot clinched a coveted spot in the March finals, and tonight one more band will have the honor of joining them (and getting one step closer to securing a spot on this year's Bumbershoot lineup, which is part of the grand-prize package). With each band playing such a different sound, it's impossible to guess who'll win. The Female Fiends play technical indie rock, Maiah Manser uses her own voice as an instrument in her intriguing electronic pop songs, SHEBEAR's tight pop will appeal to fans of the Killers, and Rose's experimental hiphop comes with funny, confident lyrics. Good luck to all! MEGAN SELING
(Neumos) See Sound Check.
Her Aim Is True Benefit Concert: Merrilee Rush, Mark Whitman, members of the Sonics, the Wailers, the Daily Flash
(Highway 99 Blues Club) See preview.
The Helio Sequence, Talkdemonic
(Neptune) See Underage.
The Ruby Suns
(Barboza) See Stranger Suggests.
(Jazz Alley) See Thursday.
Herman's Hermits, the Turtles
(Snoqualmie Casino) As pure nostalgia bills go, this one's quite nice. Herman's Hermits have a passel of lightweight, utterly charming hits to toss like confetti on baby boomers' graying heads, including one of Western civilization's crowning achievements, "I'm into Something Good." The Turtles also could smith a tune into honeyed gold (or platinum), planting earworms in obscure crevices of your mind that last for decades ("Happy Together," "She'd Rather Be with Me," "Elenore"). But unlike a lot of '60s pop bands, the Turtles had a lot of excellent deep cuts, including some that veered from the sunny template, like the heavy funk jams "Buzzsaw" and "I'm Chief Kamanawanalea." Both have some of the ripest sample-worthy bits in the history of sampling, although it seems unlikely the 2013 edition of the Turtles will bust 'em out. DAVE SEGAL
Jack DeJohnette Quartet featuring Ravi Coltrane
(Jazz Alley) I refuse to discuss Jack DeJohnette's fusion period. (Which is his peak. —Ed.) I want nothing to do with jazz's decline into fusion. I want to instead bring up his contribution to one of Bill Evans's last great albums, Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival. On this record, Evans is, of course, on the piano, Eddie Gomez is, of course, on the bass, and DeJohnette is, of course, on the drums. This is how Montreux Jazz Festival sounds in my mind: The year is 1968 (I can hear that), the sun is out (I can hear that, too), and Evans, Gomez, and DeJohnette have connected to form a circle, from which emerges shimmering, glowing soap bubbles (I hear this perfectly—I also hear the bubble drifting about the Swiss air) of Evans's main mood (beautiful but sad). Nabokov is living in Montreux at this time. He is living off the money he made from the novel Lolita. We can imagine him hearing from his hotel room one of Evans's best renditions of "I Loves You, Porgy," or DeJohnette's delicately firm drumming. Tonight, this legendary jazz drummer performs with Ravi Coltrane, the son of a jazz god. CHARLES MUDEDE