MAGMA FEST: THE AUTOMATIC MESSAGE, CYANWAVE, THE ALGEBRA OF NEED, JTUTTLE, CROWN HILL REPEATER
Magma Fest, an annual monthlong festival thrown by Hollow Earth Radio, throws its first-ever electronic music showcase tonight. Crown Hill Repeater is the project of veteran Seattle DJ/producer Eric Moon, and his ambient techno at times recalls the dark atmospherics of UK dubstep artist Burial. Moon's "Relics Mix" (featuring everyone from Aphex Twin to Anstam) swept me into a bliss of intelligent dance music that also left me mystified by his enigmatic lack of presence on the local show circuit. With angular electronic noise arrangements from the Algebra of Need and self-dubbed "post-warehouse rhythms" from Cyanwave, this show will have no trouble moving both your feet and your mind. The In, 8 pm.
ISLANDS, IDIOT GLEE
Islands' indie pop has evolved with each turn in the band's six years of existence, at times bearing the influence of Calypso, bombastic synth pop, Brian Wilson, or avant-rap. Sole lasting member Nick Thorburn—also the ex-mastermind behind weirdo-pop faves the Unicorns—began writing the band's fourth album on Valentine's Day, about (gasp) a breakup. Released on Valentine's Day this year (wink), A Sleep & a Forgetting is a startlingly close and unassuming work, which sees Thorburn detaching himself from irony under the production of Rob Schnapf, who coproduced much of Elliott Smith's discography. Lead single "Hallways" bursts with cabaret buoyancy and ragtime piano, a lovelorn pop statement backed with orchestrated horns. Elsewhere on the album, sonic experimentation is sacrificed for confessional balladry that becomes Thorburn just as much as the spazzy demento-pop of his past. Vera Project, 7:30 pm, $11/$10 with club card.