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No Kids, Parenthetical Girls, White Circle Crime Club
(Sunset) Antwerp's White Circle Crime Club take you back to those glum, shadowy alleys of early-'80s post-punk, where Bauhaus, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Chameleons, and the Sound cracked the sky with morosely soaring rock, but never smiles. WCCC write chiming, tumultuous songs that reflect the florid and earnest passions of youth enamored of foggy English metropolises and deep-voiced male vocalists. Sonically speaking, White Circle Crime Club convincingly turn modern Belgium into Thatcher-era Britain. DAVE SEGAL See also preview, and Stranger Suggests.
...And You Will Know Us by theTrail of Dead, Funeral Party, Midnight Masses
(Neumos) Holy shit, I just found out that dude from Trail of Dead used to be in Mukilteo Fairies! Awesome (and weird). Or did everyone already know that? Oh well, I didn't. In any case, Trail of Dead, what have you done for us lately? Well, there have been a few years of floptacular albums and embarrassing on- and offstage personal squabbles and bitter industry shit-talk in the wake of the critically acclaimed Source Tags & Codes, an album which it's actually legally impossible to mention without using the word epic. There was that opening slot on a tour with literally cartoon metal band Dethklok. More recently, there's the band's new album, The Century of Self, which blessedly pares down the orchestral bloat of the band's recent output to make for a fairly rousing record, if not a legally binding epic, with just the right amount of would-be fantasy prog dabbling. Also, when they're in good form live, they really do tear shit apart. ERIC GRANDY
Zera Marvel; Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden; Husbands, Love Your Wives
(Tractor) Tonight is a release party for Zera Marvel's first album, Birds and Bullets Fly, and it's hard, if not impossible, to avoid the early Neko Case comparisons. There's a kind of sullen country vibe—maybe "country gothic," in the literary sense of that loaded second word—that resembles Seattle's favorite red-headed export. Marvel doesn't have Case's over-the-top pipes, but she's better at atmospherics: Her songs are tiny, sad stories, beautifully told with an aching heart. If you can listen to Marvel and not get that genuinely sad, old-school country-music hurt in your gut, there's something wrong with you. PAUL CONSTANT
Benefit for the Dutchman: The Pleasure Elite, the Zack Static Sect, LD & Her Pretty Pretties
(Funhouse) Local recording studio the Dutchman opened in 1984; since then, it has been home to legendary local artists such as Mudhoney, Nirvana, the Gits, and more recently the Valley, Motorik, and Danielli. Tragically, the studio caught fire on January 8 (the Seattle Fire Department declared it was accidental). Thankfully, the Dutchman's owner, producer, and sound engineer Gary Mula wasn't injured, but the studio was a near-complete loss and Jules, the studio's cat, was killed. While the insurance company does its own investigation (you know how insurance companies can be) Mula is left to fend for himself, but generous members of the local music scene have organized tonight's benefit to raise money for the Dutchman so Mula can begin to salvage what is left. You can also visit www.thedutchmanfund.com to donate via PayPal. MEGAN SELING
Nikola Baytala, Pantycontrol vs. Ctrl_Alt_Dlt, Portable Morla, Ya No Mas
(Re-bar) See Data Breaker.
The Cops, Partman Parthorse, Battle Hymns
(Vera) See Saturday.
Simian Mobile Disco, Nordic Soul, Colby B
(Neumos) Simian Mobile Disco's latest song, "Synthesise" (damn Queen's English—you should see what they do to "aluminum"), bends the duo's carefully machined electronic sounds toward just slightly more tech-housey ends than on previous jams like "The Count," "Hustler," or "It's the Beat." Probably what sets it apart the most is the vocal, which is straight-up house-diva nonsense (in not an entirely bad way—meh lyrics, but super-deep soulful tone). It's nothing you'd likely sing along to, but it's fine enough dressing for SMD's massive drum pulse and stacked synth squiggling. If the drop at 3:10 doesn't get your arms in the air, you are John McCain ('cause his arms... never mind). Better still is the song's accompanying video, a live video performance projected in black-and-white against a warehouse wall, featuring a pair of bouncing, strobing, vaguely ocular orbs, which bug out and twitch just like your eyes are prone to do while watching the clip. Their live shows are equally euphoric to the ears and epileptic to the eyes. ERIC GRANDY
Enduser, KJ Sawka, Submerged
(Lo-Fi) The music of Enduser (aka Lynn Standafer) occupies a most evil wing of the drum 'n' bass spectrum. His tracks often throb with the distended low-frequency abuse and punishing beats of the No U-Turn label (Ed Rush, Optical, Nico, Trace) during its mid-'90s heyday. But along with his visceral rhythms, Enduser can launch grandiose melodies that evoke Hollywood drama, lending some beauty to his often-beastly productions. Local D&B mainstay KJ Sawka is animated by Kevin Sawka's intricately hyperkinetic live drumming and is worth the price of admission alone. DAVE SEGAL
D.I.M., Jerry Abstract, Anglo Satellite
The Cops, the Sea Navy, Wallpaper
(Sunset) Last year, local rock heavyweights the Cops announced they were going on hiatus for an un-determined amount of time. To mark their end, they organized a three-night Rock and Roll Circus at the Sunset with killer lineups of Seattle bands like the Fall of Troy, Kinski, Cancer Rising, and the Whore Moans. But Mother Nature had a different plan for the Cops—the same week, brutal snowstorms moved over the region and canceled just about every show in Seattle, including the Cops' last night of the Rock and Roll Circus. That's no way to end an era! So the band, forced to stick together a few months longer, have rescheduled their final night for tonight. It will be a show that legends are made of. Unless it snows. And with the way the weather has been, that's not impossible. MEGAN SELING
Blue Scholars, Common Market, Truckasauras
(Neumos) Last December, Blue Scholars and Common Market's scheduled three-night stand at Neumos was canceled due to Snowpocalypse 2008. But there was a silver lining to the inclement weather (besides this week's rescheduled shows): a pair of playfully beefing videos, shot while the snow was fresh on the ground and posted the next week, Blue Scholars' "Coffee and Snow" and Common Market's "Tobacco and Snow Covered Roads." Over the same frosty Sabzi beat, which sounds like it uses icicles for xylophones, and over similar videos directed by Zia Mohajerjasbi, Geologic and RA Scion dropped rhymes and punch lines to warm the temporarily dispossessed crowds. Common Market's take had the advantage of being the goofy comeback to Geo's straight-man civic fire, and RA Scion's couplets—facetiously calling out Neumos booker Steven Severin for "messing with [his] dough," rhyming Snohomish with "so coldish," comparing snow-chained tires to chained-up slaves—pretty much squashed shit. Now that the show goes on, though, everybody wins. ERIC GRANDY See also My Philosophy.
Blue Scholars, Common Market, Macklemore, the Physics
(Neumos) See Saturday and My Philosophy.
Kim Ann Foxman, DJ Colby B, DJ Ms. E
(Chop Suey) Kim Ann Foxman has the unfortunate distinction of being the member of Hercules and Love Affair who's neither the Producer (Andy Butler), the Voice (Antony Hegarty), or the Tranny (Nomi Ruiz). But while Foxman might not be the highest-profile member of that band, she's still instrumental to their beguiling sound, lending her own cool and capable voice to such relatively slow-burning but essential tracks as the late-night disco comedown of "Athene" and the buoyant early-morning ballad "Iris." (Also, her hair is a work of art.) Interviews with Foxman indicate that her DJ crates contain classic house, disco, freestyle, "Precious Little Diamond" by Fox the Fox—pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a Hercules muse and easily up to the heroic labor of moving a Sunday-night dance floor. ERIC GRANDY
Blue Scholars, Common Market, Macklemore, Dyme Def
(Neumos) See Saturday and My Philosophy.
Lady GaGa, the White Tie Affair, Chester French
(Showbox at the Market) I don't understand the Lady GaGa phenomenon. But plastic dresses and giant bows made of hair aside, Lady GaGa is said to be a very talented songwriter—at the age of 20, she started working for Interscope Records and has penned tracks for the Pussycat Dolls, Fergie, and even Britney Spears. But she's most known for her own work on her 2008 debut dance record, The Fame. At least she's writing her own stuff and having fun with it. MEGAN SELING
Von Iva, Semi Precious Weapons, the Greatest Hits, the Knast, Creem City
(El Corazón) Three femmes from San Francisco, Von Iva create rock-and-soul dance burners that sound comfortingly familiar while inspiring you to sweat off your most recent meal. Singer Jillian Iva's impressive lung power can give Gossip's Beth Ditto and the BellRays's Lisa Kekaula a run for their microphones. The definitive Von Iva song is "Do It," with Bex's lasciviously grinding organ riffs triggering the nastiest of thoughts. In fact, Von Iva's music has an omnivorous sexiness that should please all orientations. (Trivia: Von Iva appeared in the Jim Carrey film Yes Man as the fictional band Munchausen by Proxy.) DAVE SEGAL
Plants and Animals, Hypatia Lake
(Nectar) Quebecois outfit Plants and Animals sound more like a 14-piece band than a three-man team. Many of their songs have choruses and piano breakdowns and what sound like strings and probably a French horn or two. Maybe it's some kind of Canadian trick; I have no idea how they're going to replicate their lush sounds in a live setting. But they're sure to maintain their gonzo-experimental feel live. For some inexplicable reason, every one of their songs, from the chanteys to the wah-wah guitar breakdowns, sounds like part of a weird, long rock opera, and the narrative is thrilling and powerful. PAUL CONSTANT
The Whiskey Romance, Golden Robot Army, Holy Hoboes
(Comet) Arrah! Saint Patrick's Day! Da day we git schlossed ta 'onor da Oirish—da good people av da Emerald Isle, De Auld Sod, an d'day we al profess our love av dah aqua vita—d'whiskey—"the water av life." Dare couldn't be a mah' pear-fect night fer Seattle's Erin Jordan an 'ere hobo-cabaret gang dat call 'emselves "T' Whiskey Romance" ta play to dah gee-eyed masses at de dear auld Comet—ta play their brillo blendin' av de Americana roots an' de Eastern European Gypsy sounds. Wha' a piss-up, is' pear-fect! An' in between songs, mind ya t'raise a glass an' make a toast ta Saint Patrick: Da man who was ah gentleman/Who troo strategy an' stealth/Drove al' de snakes from Ireland/'Ere's toasting to his health! Beannachtam na Feile Padraig! KELLY O
One Million Teeth, Wow & Flutter, Arbitron
(Sunset) Portland's Wow & Flutter bust out of the gate of their Golden Touch album with "Red Face," one of those instantly, insanely catchy rock songs that is endearingly rough around the edges: Think Guided by Voices, the Grifters, and Bricks (Mac of Superchunk's early side project). Then comes "Car Crash," with its calamitous noise bursts amid stormy, heroic rock action. These songs represent Wow & Flutter's polar extremes; between them, they create a scrappy yet deft breed of indie rock that miraculously doesn't sound tired at this late date. Each song bears a distinctive character; each song impresses. This is rare. Wow & Flutter are simply great songwriters who manifest their ideas with just the right balance of slapdash brilliance and meticulous craft. DAVE SEGAL