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(High Dive) Released last fall, Police Teeth's Jazz Records for Sale is among the best 27 minutes a Seattle-ish band have touched lately (half the members reside in Bellingham). Biting, intelligent, indecipherable lyrics sent me scrambling for the liner notes as the stereo thrummed with delicious, squalling feedback. In early June, it was confirmed that Police Teeth are working on a sophomore effort, hopefully to be released sooner rather than later. Stages have literally collapsed under this band mid-riff, yet none can say which law of physics was responsible. As post punk evolved from a natural progression of prior endeavors, the whole hardcore-versus-pop, Horsewhip-meets-Racetrack thing is easily set aside for this ferocious pack of dudes who look like they work at a library and/or KFC. Matt Garman
Trashy Trash One-Year Anniversary: Fleshtone, Colin Jones, DJs Introcut, Same DNA, Claude Balzac, Madmax
(Sunset) Trashy Trash, for the last year, has had the unenviable, Sisyphean task of rolling a dance-party rock up the steep hill that is Sunday night, and in Ballard no less. But they've kept at it, month after month, and for their one-year anniversary, they're rocking a sweeter Thursday-night spot and importing Portland's Fleshtone, a hard-to-explain act that combines club-rattling electro, nu age performance art, and scanty skintight neon cladding. It's part dance party, part freaky happening, and all good, trashy fun. With a live set from fellow Portlander Colin Jones playing live and DJ sets from resident boulder-pushers Introcut, Same DNA, Claude Balzac, and Madmax. Eric Grandy
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Jason Webley
(Neumo's) Oakland's Sleepytime Gorilla Museum are one of the hardest-working bands in the underground rock business. They tour the land in a personally remodeled old school bus; they built many of their own instruments, including bizarre contraptions like the "sledgehammer dulcimer"; and they always put on an elaborate live show, replete with makeup, ceremonial garb, and the occasional Japanese Butoh dancer. Then there's the music, which in the past resembled a cross between the industrial clatter of Einstürzende Neubauten, the staccato metal crunch of Meshuggah, and the prog darkness of mid-'70s King Crimson. These days, though, they just sound like themselves, and the motley assortment of fans who turn out to their shows is a testament to their unique, genre-crossing appeal. Will York
The Model Rockets, the Tripwires, Doll Test
(Tractor) If the words "Seattle," "power pop" and "genius" are used in the same sentence, there's a good chance that John Ramberg is the topic of conversation. Lately, the genre's secret weapon/superhero has most frequently been spotted fronting the Tripwires and rocking out with the Minus 5. Tonight, however, he's reconvened his old band, the Model Rockets, and they're going to knock your socks off. Far from being a stroll down memory lane, this is a reunion that should get your blood pumpin' and your body movin' and a-shakin'. The Model Rockets always emphasized the "power" in "power pop," and their '60s-inspired pop gems had just the right amount of dirt under their fingernails. They still do. Barbara Mitchell
Sing Sing: Low Budget
(War Room) See Bug in the Bassbin, page 53.
(El Corazón) The bass guitar—what a phenomenal instrument. Decades of singer-songwriters and cock rockers have celebrated and overindulged on the six string, but how many bands have the balls to fully embrace the bass and all of its rumbling glory? Tonight, you have two bands that completely own the majestic thunderbroom. If Jon Weisnewski's low-end pillaging as one-third of Akimbo doesn't fully cement the bass guitar's rightful position as a lead instrument, then Big Business will certainly seal the deal. Jared Warren's wall of amps and mammoth bass riffs are the primary force in the Big Biz arsenal, and there's no denying their pant-shaking, heart-disrupting force. Forget all that high-end treble nonsense and get down with bass. Brian Cook See also Stranger Suggests, page 25.
(High Dive) As an unabashed Rusty Willoughby–lovin' dork, I am sad to report that his terrific power-pop combo Llama has packed it up, at least for now. The good news is that his second solo album, Filament Dust (the first in 10 years), was released on May 1. While more soundscaped and experimental (and, at times, twangy) than his self-titled debut, it's still beautifully sad; he successfully blends the Paul Simon, Beatles, and Dylan influences into his own style. The humble leader of rock groups Pure Joy, Flop, and the aforementioned Llama, Willoughby's contributions to music have been consistently good, and varied. It would be lovely if he chose to merge his multiple songwriting personalities into one place for regular showcasing, but then, I'm a dork who wants it all. Matt Garman
Tilly and the Wall, Birdwatchers United, Elephant Kiss?
(Neumo's) Omaha's Tilly and the Wall have a lot going for them. First, there's their trademark quirk of having a tap dancer instead of a drummer. Crazy! Second, two members of the (very attractive) quintet are married to one another (à la Mates of State or Viva Voce). Third, they're good friends with Conor Oberst—they recorded their debut album, Woo!, in his garage, and they're on his label Team Love. Thankfully, their music remains their strongest selling point. On the upcoming O, they've shed some of their (sometimes overwhelming) cuteness—single "Pot Kettle Black," for instance, calls bullshit on shit-talkers with newfound rock-and-roll swagger. Megan Seling
The Long Winters, the Cops, BOAT
(Showbox at the Market) It's been over a year since the Long Winters have played a proper headlining show in their hometown, and indeed this is your only chance to catch the clever pop band as they make ready to record their fourth LP, which, according to lead singer/songwriter John Roderick will be "another groundbreaking indie-rock album, perhaps an era-defining masterpiece," just like the first three. Roderick has been "deep in talks" with highly respected local producer John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Blonde Redhead, countless others), which is never bad news. Live, the sole prediction one can make about a Long Winters show is that something fucked up usually happens during their set of brilliant lyrics, legendary banter, and songs that veer from head-nodding fun to weepy ballads. There will also be facial hair. Matt Garman
Sam Russell & the Harborrats, Fernando, Mike D & thee Loyal Bastards, Warren Pash
(Sunset) If there were any justice in the world, Ryan Adams would be busing tables in a West Texas diner and Fernando would be sharing the stage with stars like Emmylou Harris and Oasis. The Argentinean-born, Portland-based singer/songwriter could mop the floor with Adams with one arm tied behind his back while juggling knives. His roots-folk-pop numbers glow with genuine Southwestern soul and his rockers are fiery and fierce. Enter to Exit (2006) was a quiet, breathtaking masterpiece, and he's completed a new album, titled At the World's End, that has yet to find a label. Like its predecessor, it's a stunner, showcasing Fernando's golden, slightly weathered voice, ace songwriting, and crack supporting cast. The fact this guy is still a relative unknown is truly a crying shame. Barbara Mitchell
Extreme Animals, Sweet Potatoes
(2020 Cycle) See Fucking in the Streets, page 47.
(Comet) Modey Lemon's song "Trapped Rabbits" (from 2005's The Curious City) goes on for over 10 minutes, and I love every second of it—the repetitive bass that buzzes under the hollow percussion in the beginning, the wicked vocals that tell of twisted imagery like a typewriter with arms and "celebrity saints with holes in their face." Then there's the fluttering guitar feedback that leads into an eerie and exciting deconstruction at about the five-minute mark. Their recent record, Season of Sweets, doesn't boast as much variety as that single old song does (nor is it as weird), but it's still an intriguing, psychedelic, sugar-high voyage through the Pittsburgh band's familiar whir and boom. Megan Seling
(Neumo's) See preview, page 39.
(Triple Door) See review, page 49, and Stranger Suggests, page 25.
Kate Simko, Grindle & Jeronimo, DJs Eddie and Struggle
(Nectar) See Bug in the Bassbin, page 53.
Trouble, Danava, Witchburn
(El Corazón) Portland's Danava wear their guitars high and their hair long. They're not as demonic as shred-tastic Kemado labelmates Saviours, but they still summon something evil. Though they merit the obvious comparisons to early Sabbath, Danava's sound is lightened up by an even heavier dose of the acidic, loose bite of psych. Like Danava, Chicago's Trouble also nod to Sabbath's dark side. Since the late-'70s, Trouble have been pumping out doom metal, and their sound comes with everything you'd expect from the genre—head-bang worthy booming bass, wicked guitar solos, and yarled vocals about sin, darkness, and chicks who want to die. And hey, Dave Grohl is a fan. Through the years they've had a couple breakups, reunions, and lineup changes; last year's Simple Mind Condition is their first studio album in over 10 years. Megan Seling
Kode9, Kid Hops, Struggle
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 43, and Stranger Suggests, page 25.
We Are Scientists, Cut Off Your Hands, the Morning Benders
(Neumo's) I have a grudge against We Are Scientists for no other reason than their name evokes the much superior but long defunct Cap'n Jazz (We Are Scientists did not, they insist, take their name from the Cap'n Jazz song, but still). Also, you know, their music is decidedly meh. Decidedly not meh, though, are openers Cut off Your Hands, a New Zealand band who were briefly called Shaky Hands before losing the moniker to Portland's the Shaky Hands. So many name games. Anyway, the now-severed Hands make a new-wave noise that's as shaky as it is taut, their fast-cornering rhythms, faster guitar lines, and charmingly accented choruses recalling nothing so much as the inspired revivalism of the early Futureheads. Eric Grandy
Foo Fighters, Supergrass
(KeyArena) A heartfelt plea to Dave Grohl: Please stop with the emo. Please get back to some other kind of music, like punk. Please stop singing songs about grace and beauty. You're one of the greatest rock drummers our planet has ever seen, and you're fucking it up. Too many Foo Fighters songs start pretty, build to a point, and then there's the repetitive Grohl scream where the same lyric is yelled over and over until the song ends. Please Dave, don't do it for the kids anymore, do it for your legacy. Your legacy contacted me and asked that your next album be named Ooze, Volume, Rushing, Disgrace. Trent Moorman