THURSDAY 5/25

CLUB POP: NRDLNGR, NEW GREY AREA, DJ COLBY B, DJ PACO
(Chop Suey) Ex-Girls keyboard guy Eric Nordlund is now operating solo with his trusty Roland MC-909 under the name NRDLNGR. Nordlund's skuzzy, minimal electro beats provide a medium for him to deliver lyrical gems: "I can't get it hard if you don't play along," from "Durty Baby" and dismissals: "I just cut 15 lines and don't think I won't cut you," from "Gettin' Sweaty in the Meth Lab." Get there early for DJ Colby B, whose turntable prowess will make people get sweaty without any meth involved. GRANT BRISSEY

THE THERMALS, SIRENS SISTER, SIBERIAN
(Crocodile) While by no means a bad record, the Thermals' lamely titled 2004 disc Fuckin A didn't pack the shoot-from-the-hip punch of their debut, More Parts Per Million. Still, Fuckin A is a fine album, full of fist-pumping chord progressions and impassioned (no, I can't think of a better word right now) vocals, and no one can sanely talk shit on the trio's live delivery. It's been a while since this Portland trio shot up our way; maybe we can expect some new material? GRANT BRISSEY

THE PHARMACY, ROMANCE, SPOOK THE HORSE, DENELIAN, INVENTION
(El Corazón) The Pharmacy have been on tour FOR-EV-ER! Since late March, to be exact, and tonight's show is a homecoming of sorts. Surely they have some pretty great stories to tell about their two-month cross-country adventure that was riddled with fun kids, rock 'n' roll, and van troubles, so come dance to their punked-up synth party and welcome the boys home. And if you ask nicely, I bet they'll tell you about the pizza parties, dance parties, and beach parties they had along the way. MEGAN SELING

I LOVE YOU BUT I'VE CHOSEN DARKNESS, THE ROGERS SISTERS
(HUB Auditorium) What is it with Austin and long-ass band names? I'd almost learned how to properly capitalize and punctuate ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead when I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness came around. The group, which formed in 2001 but just released its first full-length in March, sounds as much like a musical suicide note as its lengthy moniker might imply. The CD is dark and dramatic, like a mopey teenager who spent the '80s wearing a lot of black and striking tragic poses in the mirror while listening to bands like Joy Division, from which ILYBICD takes its cues. MAYA KROTH See also Rocka Rolla, page 35.

FRIDAY 5/26

CONSTANTINES, CHAD VANGAALEN, MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND
(Crocodile) The personality of a rock band in a live setting is a fickle thing: Setting foot onstage can strip brawnier acts of the muscles they flexed in the studio (an occasional hazard for Queens of the Stone Age and Spoon), while others might absorb the tension of the high-wire act and let it flood their performances with a fresh sense of urgency (see Mercury Rev and Stereolab's tendencies to practically rewrite their material onstage). It is the latter that works in the favor of the Constantines: A set from these Toronto kids is the sort of event you seek out if you've started to lose faith in rock and roll. Given that the most common RIYL comparisons lobbed at the band are Fugazi and Bruce Springsteen—two acts perennially revered for their live shows—it only makes sense that the Constantines display a similar sense of mastery. HANNAH LEVIN

BLACK EYES AND NECKTIES, ICEAGE COBRA, THE BOSS MARTIANS, USS HORSEWHIP, ROAD TO RUIN
(El Corazón) I'll never understand why clubs book (and bands agree to play) bills with more than three acts. The bands' income is invariably watered down and both audience and artist end up fatigued. That being said, this is an exceptionally fine lineup. Especially intriguing are USS Horsewhip's frill-free, tightly forged hard rock and the gallows-bound punk waltzes conjured by Black Eyes and Neckties (these Bellingham-based troublemakers are freshly off the road from a rigorous eight-week tour, so expect their set to be colored with the sort of relief and abandon that makes for a memorable homecoming). HANNAH LEVIN

TEAM DRESCH, LIBBER
(Neumo's) See Rocka Rolla, page 35.

NEW JACK SWING TOUR: GUY, TONY TONI TONÉ, AFTER 7, BLACKSTREET
(Paramount) "New jack swing" was perhaps the most aurally luxurious and ridiculous pop-music wave of the late-'80s/early-'90s. As disseminated by mogul/producer Teddy Riley and Uptown Records, the genre provided a glossy, cosmopolitan yin to the yang of the then-culturally-exploding hardcore hiphop. The new jack sound was built on silky sheets of party synths, cool, and sensuous male voices—and the ubiquitous orchestra hit. It was a sound so immediately appealing that it found its way to dominate the souls of both Michael Jackson (for a time) and Ghostbusters 2. This show, headlined by Riley's flagship creation Guy, could provide a starliner straight back to those halcyon, shiny-suited times. SAM MICKENS

SATURDAY 5/27

CHAMPION, OUTBREAK, THE ANSWER, SINKING SHIPS, ALLEGIANCE
(El Corazón) See Underage, page 49.

MIKAELA'S FIEND, CLAYMORE, THE HELEN KILLERS, ROCKET ATTACK!
(Paradox) See preview, page 29.

STEVEN SEAGAL BLUES BAND, JJ GILMOUR
(Tractor) A true Renaissance man, Steven Seagal not only kicks massive amounts of ass in his Oscar-caliber action films, he also works as an activist, is a practicing Buddhist, and plays scorching, sizzling blues. His new record, Mojo Priest, shows the ol' spine-snapper trading solos with everyone from Bo Diddley to Louisiana Red to Homesick James to Hubert Sumlin, and Seagal upstages every last one of them. Expect awesome, wild, honky Chicago blues à la the kind made for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Subway commercials. Or don't expect anything; I interviewed Seagal a few weeks ago and he told me, "As a Buddhist, I don't really like to expect anything. We [Buddhists] kind of consider that as a recipe for disaster." There you have it. Blues. Ass-kicking. Zen. There is no spoon. ADAM GNADE

CAPTURED BY ROBOTS, BLÖÖDHAG, BLACK ELK, SCARY BEAR
(Funhouse) Crawling from the depths of the King County Library System, BlöödHag have been spreading their science-fiction evangelism for over a decade. Known for brief death-metal odes to major sci-fi books, the band recently dropped Hell Bent for Letters on San Francisco's Alternative Tentacles label. The new disc features a slightly less grinding, more rocking sound tinged with a bit more Sabbath influence than usual. Additionally, the album expands the group's canon to include authors more tangentially related to the sci-fi genre. Ask for the band's cathartic rendition of the life of Edgar Allan Poe by name. SCOTT GOODWIN

SUNDAY 5/28

MINISTRY, REVOLTING COCKS, PITBULL DAYCARE
(Showbox) See preview, page 27.

MONDAY 5/29

Matthew Lee Patrick, Eric Branner
(Nectar) Like Rufus Wainwright, Seattleite Matthew Lee Patrick is a master of glorious, sophisticated, swoon-inducing pop—a fact you might glean from song titles like "Dreams and Drunkenness" and "Mezzopiano." Thankfully, MLP's unapologetically romantic compositions steer clear of the excessive theatricality that sometimes sends Mr. Wainwright soaring over the rainbow, choosing a more understated, but no less lovely (or lovelorn) approach. Tonight's show is actually a stripped-down performance by MLP's band, Curtains for You. Recommended if you're looking for a new musical crush, a way to soothe a broken heart, or just a great night of music with an elegant twist. BARBARA MITCHELL

TUESDAY 5/30

BR. DANIELSON, CLUE TO KALO, THE LONELY FOREST
(Chop Suey) If you number among the legion of voters who helped Sufjan Stevens top the KEXP 90.3 Artists of 2005 list, then you owe it to yourself and Sufjan to cheer on Br. Danielson. This New Jersey iconoclast, born Daniel Smith, helped young Sufjan get a leg up in show biz by inviting the lad to tour the world with his nurse's-uniform-wearing, joyful-cacophony-making band the Danielson Family. Danielson's Ships, the latest effort by Smith and his many, many friends and relations, is the alpha and omega of his 10-plus-year musical odyssey thus far, and a brilliant point of entry for the uninitiated. KURT B. REIGHLEY

MEGAN SELING'S BIRTHDAY W/SPEAKER SPEAKER, Sean Nelson of Harvey Danger, THE PHARMACY, JUHU BEACH, Spacesuit
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests.

THE ALKALINE TRIO, THE LAWRENCE ARMS, THE DRAFT
(Showbox) While Matt Skiba and the Alkaline Trio might be the stars of tonight's show, the spotlight really should be on the Draft, a new project featuring members of Gainesville, Florida's Hot Water Music. While HWM are on hiatus, three of their members—Chris Wollard, Jason Black, and George Rebelo—have teamed up with Todd Rockhill to produce a sound much like some of HWM's later efforts. Wollard's familiar, worn vocals are there, and they're paired with the classic band's trademark combination of moody and catchy music, but the sound feels a bit more optimistic, almost like it's influenced by classic '90s punk like Face to Face. MEGAN SELING

WEDNESDAY 5/31

PETE ROCK, DJ SCENE, DJ KWESTION, DJ KLEVER
(War Room) See preview, page 25.

FROG EYES, AMY BLASCHKE, SWAYBACKS
(Sunset) Canada, you have so much going for you: universal health care, government-supported arts, essentially decriminalized marijuana. Why then do your bands so often have to be so, sorry to say it, boring? Victoria's Frog Eyes, with their satisfying fusion of carnivalesque shuffles and slanted indie rock, are one of the few groups that buck this trend. The band, for better or worse, is saddled with the Talk Talk/Xiu Xiu complex, i.e., indisputably creative music with an idiosyncratic singer who demands a certain acquired taste from his listeners. For the adventurous, though, vocalist Carey Mercer's emotive, Beefheartian visions are well worth going out on a limb for. JOSH BLANCHARD

ELEPHANT, VOXTROT
(Neumo's) Since they got their start at the same time and place as the Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Interpol, Elefant sometimes get lumped in with the rest of their stylized post-punk peers. But their poppier, less jagged and swankier vibe owes more to the dreamy darkness of the Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen (and even Suede) than it does to Joy Division, Siouxsie, et al. Like She Wants Revenge (but less juvenile and more glamorous), Elefant inhabit a world where romance is a dangerous proposition offered over and between broken promises and empty bottles, and heartbreak looks good in eyeliner. BARBARA MITCHELL

SUGAR PIE DESANTO
(Triple Door) She is petite in stature, and blessed with a sweet moniker, but judging from her formidable R&B pipes and explosive live shows (she used to warm up for James Brown; that's the level of her game), Bay Area legend Sugar Pie Desanto is not a woman to tangle with. In the '60s, she dropped a series of smoking R&B sides—often self-penned—including the classic "I Want to Know," and a pair of unstoppable duets ("In the Basement," "Do I Make Myself Clear") with her cousin Etta James. Sugar Pie may be a woman of "a certain age," but her music is timeless, and she still kicks it like a youngster live. KURT B. REIGHLEY

More

PELICAN, MONO, Eluvium: Sat June 3, Neumo's

EELS, SMOOSH: Sun June 4, Showbox

THE STREETS, LADY SOVEREIGN: Wed June 7, Showbox

MOUNTAIN GOATS, BARBARA MORGENSTERN, GUESTS: Fri June 9, Neumo's

HARVEY DANGER, TIM SEELY, RACETRACK: Fri June 9, Crocodile

HE IS LEGEND, THE FALL OF TROY, SHOWBREAD, CLASSIC CASE: Fri June 9, El Corazón

KOOL KEITH, TASH OF THA ALKAHOLIKS, PIRATE SYGNL: Sun Jun 11, Chop Suey

JOHN DIGWEED: Sun June 11, Showbox

BUILT TO SPILL, BRETT NETSON, HELVETIA: Tues–Thurs June 13–15, Showbox

HIMSA, SKARP, HELL PROMISE, WIZARDS OF WOR, GRIEVOUS: Fri June 16, El Corazón

AQUEDUCT, SLENDER MEANS, SIBERIAN: Fri June 16, Crocodile

THE COPS, THEE EMERGENCY, GUESTS: Sat June 17, Crocodile

THE BRONX, PRIESTESS, RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS, WIRES ON FIRE: Tues June 27, Crocodile

TILLY & THE WALL, NOW IT'S OVERHEAD, JASON ANDERSON: Tues July 11, Paradox

DIGABLE PLANETS, GUESTS: Thurs July 20, Neumo's