(Comet) It could be that I'm listening to Shark Lake on the first sunny day of 2008 (so my brain is overdosing on feel-good vitamin D), or it could be that the local band's grungy indie rock really is reminiscent of early Built to Spill and Sebadoh in a really sincere way. I don't know, it's only a few songs that I've heard at this point, and it's really pretty outside and they're singing about naming a baby Rainbow so it could all just be fitting together really well and, hell, it might at least be worth it to go check 'em out at the Comet tonight, right? 1-2-1-2 couldn't be more different, though. I mean, I suppose they could. But anyway, they play sorta sleazy synthesizer jams with drum machines. If Shark Lake are a band from the past, they're a band from the future. Tonight's about time travel. 1.21 gigawatts. Warm up the DeLorean. MEGAN SELING
Sound Tribe Sector 9
(Showbox at the Market) February 2007 was the last time Sector 9 landed at the Showbox; after a first set of loopy atmospherics, the second half of the show turned into a surprising, guitar-shredding rage-o-rama. It's common for the Bay Area quintet to teeter between swoop-and-whoosh coffee-shop electronica and dead-on, dub-inflected, breakbeat electro. When they hit the latter, the music they make is almost certainly beamed in from some other-dimensional space rave light years away. The music—purely instrumental head candy—ain't for everyone, but with two shows in town this time around, it's clearly for a lot. To paraphrase the title of a recent cinematic masterpiece: There Will Be Drugs. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
Sound Tribe Sector 9
(Showbox at the Market) See Thursday.
Citay, the Beltholes
(Sunset) See preview, page 39.
Sing Sing: Spank Rock DJs Devlin and Darko
(War Room) When Spank Rock's Chris Devlin (aka Rockswell) and Ronnie Darko rolled through town for last year's Capitol Hill Block Party, they played to a sold-out (though not quite Girl Talk–riot sold-out) Neumo's. Since then, they've shared stages with everyone from Björk to Ghostface and rocked continents from South America to Australia. Sing Sing, though, is like a home away from home for the duo, where they'll be flanked by DJ Pretty Titty, who might've been Seattle's earliest proponent of all things Spank, and turntable wiz-kid Fourcolorzack, whose resemblance to Diplo, both in appearance and party-rocking finesse, is uncanny. Mr. Titty promises not only "rampant ass shaking, air-horn blowing, [and] stage diving," but also, somewhat troublingly, "the occasional Parrot Bay and Mountain Dew." Watch out. ERIC GRANDY
Plaid, Truckasauras, Nordic Soul, DJ Introcut
(Nectar) Warp Records mainstays Andrew Turner and Ed Handley have been producing forward-thinking techno for over 15 years, both as Plaid and with the highly influential if not as well-known trio the Black Dog. Their Plaid productions tend toward fey, ambient instrumentals, while their older Black Dog work includes some dance-floor-busying beats. Truckasauras seem like an odd choice for an opener—these guys make dumb, beer-swilling, backyard-wrestling techno, right? But their steel-crushing chiptunes are surprisingly deep and melodic—intelligent, if not exactly IDM. Plus, they share Plaid's fondness for multimedia performance (Plaid's latest release, Greedy Baby, is a DVD with animator and longtime collaborator Bob Jaroc; Truckasauras have VHS jockey Dan Bordon). Opener Nordic Soul mixes minute sonic details and finely tuned synths with steady, pulsing rhythms for a sound as satisfying on the dance floor as it is for the wallflowers. Killing Frenzy provides the live visuals. ERIC GRANDY
The Teenagers, the Pharmacy, DJ FITS, Sam Rousso Soundsystem, DJ Glitterpants
(Neumo's) See preview, page 41, and Stranger Suggests, page 21.
Spindrift, Pablo Trucker, the Vandelles, This Blinding Light
(Comet) The crappy thing is there are a zillion bands named Spindrift and 99 percent of them are Hawaiian-shirted jam bands. The sweet thing is the Spindrift that hits the Comet tonight is a seven-piece psych-spaghetti-western combo from L.A. with a powerful aversion to tropical prints and noodly solos. Think Ennio Morricone meets Lee Hazlewood in a desert peyote ritual as depicted in an Oliver Stone flashback sequence. Which isn't far from the truth: Spindrift scored The Legend of God's Gun, a low-budget 2007 homage to Sergio Leone's classic outlaw/bandito flicks with a soundtrack exactly like you'd imagine. Spindrift's music is as stark and evocative as the Western setting it's inspired by, hewing close to all things dusty, reverby, stubbly, and twilit. It's the sound of heading off into the sunset after swallowing the worm. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
Circle Jerks, Last of the Believers, Hit Me Back
(El Corazón) We all know that Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris was a cofounder of and the original singer for Black Flag. And we all know that Morris ditched Black Flag to form the Circle Jerks, and that in 1980 (the year of my birth) they released one of '80s hardcore's greatest albums, Group Sex, containing the perfect anthem for the self-destructive teen or twentysomething: the minute-long "Live Fast, Die Young." And we all know that the Circle Jerks have broken up and gotten back together many times since then. But what we don't know is whether the Circle Jerks' raw, youthful energy of 1980 can be recaptured 28 years later—and whether it's worth $15 to find out. KIM HAYDEN
"Awesome", Half Brothers
(Jules Maes Saloon) The last time "Awesome" played Neumo's, opening for BOAT and Harvey Danger, I wrote about the show on Line Out, although I didn't write about the "Awesome" set, because I'd showed up too late to see it. A Line Out commenter commented: "It's tragic that this article didn't address the amazing show that is/was "Awesome." When seven slightly older guys take to the stage and only one of them is holding a guitar amongst the trumpets, clarinets, saxophones, mandolins, banjos, etc. etc. etc., you may panic, but it was so much fun and so funny...." For years I've been given a hard time for writing about "Awesome" too much; suddenly I'm getting a hard time for not writing about them enough. They have been twice shortlisted for a Stranger Genius Award. Their fans include Jonathan Safran Foer and Miranda July. Their sound is a mix of bong pop, prog rock, light (white?) soul, and carnival-falling-down-a-stairwell. This is the first time they've ever played Georgetown. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Wild Orchid Children, Alligators, Return of the Bison, Trip the Light Fantastic, the Crash Engine
(Viaduct) Trip the Light Fantastic play intriguing instrumentals. Beautiful instrumentals, really, with a Seattle-circa-1999 sound. Think wordless waxwing, think Juno's early turbulent stuff—think epic breakdowns echoing from Sit & Spin's showroom while you're stupidly in the front room playing Sorry with your friends and eating pizza. This is worth leaving the Sorry game to see, even if you're ahead. Sometimes (in the song "Trip the Light," for example) it's staccato and playful guitar that drives the tune. Other times it's dramatic piano. In the song "RAGNAROK," it's a riff that blasts during the intro and then falls into a psychedelic jam session. Vintage sound bites of men talking about strange things make their way into a few of Trip the Light Fantastic's compositions, and while I'm still unsure how I feel about that (is it really necessary?), their raw orchestration is enough to keep me listening until I decide for sure. MEGAN SELING
Dan Deacon's Ultimate Reality, The Intelligence, Twin
(Neumo's) See preview, page 35.
Johanna Kunin, Loch Lomond, Matt Sheehy
(Sunset) At Seattle songstress Johanna Kunin's last show at Nectar, a friend wondered why Kunin, who obviously possesses a lovely, entrancing voice, sings so quietly all the time. The reason: There can be greater beauty—and there is certainly greater longing—in restraint. Kunin's music speaks volumes through understatement, her hushed vocals wrapped up in stark piano chords, gently brushed drums, and elegant electronic flourish. The past two years saw Kunin play Bumbershoot, earn time on KCRW and KEXP, and release her debut full-length. She's currently in the midst of recording a follow-up. Word is she'll be airing new material at this show. "Less is more" doesn't work for everyone, but Kunin does it with a tempered lusciousness that's mesmerizing. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
Your robot is defective.
Whiting Tennis, 3-Way Stitch
(Rendezvous) The way I know him, Whiting Tennis is a visual artist, a maker of objects that seem to drag long, tiring lives with them into a gallery or museum, sort of like the sad-eyed artist himself. As a musician, Tennis and his band (Tennis on vocals and electric guitar, D. W. Burnam on vocals and drums, Kevin Warner on vocals and bass, and Tom Price on keyboard) have a similar world-weariness that comes across as the pleasurable sound of low blood pressure. On their MySpace page, the band is listed as "Indie/Folk Rock/Other," but to me it's more reverb country. I'm grateful they're out at all: Tennis's band in New York, the Scholars, was determined to play only in libraries—so they ended up playing only in his DUMBO painting studio. JEN GRAVES
Gui Boratto, Lusine, Jerry Abstract
(Nectar) See Stranger Suggests, page 21.