Chain and the Gang, Red Alder, Sky Mall, Slow Year
CHAIN AND THE GANG, THE SHIVAS, MONOGAMY PARTY, THE EXQUISITES
After starting the DC punk band Nation of Ulysses in 1988, Ian Svenonius has helmed numerous musical acts, written two books, hosted one of the best talk shows ever (the now-defunct Soft Focus), and received plenty of attention for his sociopolitical musings. It's a good thing that you don't have to wholly comprehend Svenonius's party platform—I can't pretend that I do—to get down with his fun, righteous rock. His current group, Chain and the Gang, finds Svenonius at his slinkiest and most concise, the philosopher soul man strutting and rumbling over proto-funk grooves. Also on the bill tonight are the Shivas, an exuberant garage-rock band out of Portland, along with local heavies Monogamy Party and the Exquisites. Black Lodge, 9 pm.
SLOW YEAR, SKY MALL, RED ALDER
Kelsie Brown elated local electronic-music fans last year when she resumed recording as Red Alder and performed her first-ever show in Seattle. As Red Alder, Brown put out a steady stream of poignant and impressionist ambient music while she lived in Pullman and worked as a DJ/assistant music director at Washington State University's KZUU FM. After relocating to Seattle and formally retiring the Red Alder name in 2012, Brown resurrected the project and released a new EP, 2013, this past October. It features Brown's strongest and most arresting songs yet. Brown's spectral and not-always-intelligible vocals hover above these minimalist tracks—briefly touching down, expanding in timbre, and creating palls of despair.
Sky Mall is the latest musical undertaking for Pierce Adler, the Eastside-teen-turned-NYU-film-student and former member of the dissonant art-punk band Zephyrs. It makes sense that this new venture shares the name of a certain endlessly beguiling in-flight catalogue and magazine; Sky Mall's introductory EP, Secret Room, is an enveloping dance-pop grab bag, with the story being that each song was constructed with samples from old commercials found on YouTube. Sky Mall and Red Alder open for the much-lauded, nocturnal-sauntering Slow Year, who will be playing one of their first all-ages shows tonight. Cairo, 8 pm, $7.