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Lose your real kittens every night this week!
Gladiators on Fire, Battle Stations, Ninja, Mutiny Mutiny
(Highline) Seattle's Gladiators Eat Fire have taken a turn for the weird. Their grinding, blazing rock songs have always had a bit of that "we come from another state of mind" vibe, but on their latest EP, Psychedelic Hogwash, the songs have gotten even longer and a little more convoluted. A single song (in this case, "For a Second There I Thought I Was Gonna Die") will go from rifftastic rock to a pumping punk rock sermon à la These Arms Are Snakes to tribal percussion. It's a lot to handle—it'll require a few listens to process... then a few more. But it'll be worth it. And because it'd be a crime to be so experimental without adding a visual component, physical copies of the EP (which is streaming now at www.gladiatorseatfire.bandcamp.com) are being sold with a picture book, which is handmade and filled with photos from their 2010 tour. MEGAN SELING
The Leeni & Love Show
(Vito's) Great news! Did you know there is a monthly lounge act right here in Seattle? The Leeni & Love Show is a theatrical, cover-song, cabaret party featuring the angel voice of Celene Ramadan (also of Romeo + Juliet and Prom Queen; she can do impressions of everyone from Nico to Rebecca Black) with classically trained Ryan Love on piano and backup vocals. You can probably expect creative mashups, comedy, and improv. And wigs! The magic is happening at Vito's—a First Hill lounge that, without having ever been inside, I can assure you smells like martinis and the cologne of a thousand silver foxes. Leeni & Love perform every third Wednesday of the month, and you don't even have to go to creepy Vegas! EMILY NOKES
Cold Specks, Yuni in Taxco
(Barboza) "Doom soul" is brilliant marketing speak and prime critic catnip. That's the term Cold Specks' PR team is using to promote the British-based Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist—and it's not entirely inaccurate. Her voice has an appealing, weathered raspiness and her spare melodies arc downward—not with abjection, but with dignity. What I've heard of her debut album, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion, is minimalist folk blues ingrained with a gravitas revolving around faith and family that's surprising in such a young artist. The music's tasteful enough to win Cold Specks an appearance on Later... with Jools Holland, and the woman seems poised to enjoy a long, fruitful career as a consensus favorite among critics and NPR devotees. DAVE SEGAL
Steve Summers, Svengalighost, Ron Morelli
(Islander Yacht) See Data Breaker.
(Chapel Performance Space) Says Ksenia Popova, singing the role of Musetta, "Spielplatz and Vespertine Opera are joining together to put together a La Boheme like no other. There's kale chips, there's sex and male grinding, and even opening/drinking PBRs on stage." Little else needs to be said, except that the Chapel Performance Space is warm and intimate and will be a nice place to eat kale chips, and the proceeds benefit Northwest Opera in Schools (bringing opera to K–4 students). JEN GRAVES
Violent Vickie, Tyler Holmes
(The Mix) Do you like electro-punk, multimedia projections, drum machines, dancing, violence, queers, queer activism, no wave, new wave, Le Tigre, Lady Gaga, Glass Candy, Miss Kitten, real kittens, poetry, lipstick, spandex, baby-doll dresses, heels, sparkles, combat boots, the color pink, drugs, or feminism? If you've said yes to two or more of these, then you should probably go to this show by these two new electro artists from San Francisco. KELLY O
Android Hero, X Suns, Noise-A-Tron, A God or an Other
(Chop Suey) Thankfully not a ringtone cover band for HTC-designed, Android-operated smartphone of the same name, Seattle's Android Hero are a pile driver post-punk trio comprised of "McNulty" (guitar, vocals), "McFly" (drums), and "Nell" (bass, vocals), who cite their influences as "No Means No, KARP, [and] Future of the Left," and therefore you are legally obligated to like them regardless of what they sound like. What they do sound like is short blasts of tongue-in-cheek agitation with so much heavy in their riffs and girth in their drums, they could build the foundation for a second Empire State Building. So basically, you're legally obligated to like them for that, too. Call your lawyer—sleeping on this counts as gross negligence. GRANT BRISSEY
Love Battery, Absolute Monarchs, Wayfinders
(Mural Ampitheater) See Sound Check.
The Revenge, Justice & Treasure, Eugene Fauntleroy, Miss Shelrawka, Innerflight DJs
(Lo-Fi) See Data Breaker.
VibraGun, the Dry Season, the Upside Down, Golden Gardens
(Highline) Shoegaze rock is flowering again, with a vengeance, and Seattle's VibraGun—among other local luminaries like Erik Blood, Jetman Jet Team, and Black Nite Crash—have played a role in this resurgence. Led by ex–Fear of Dolls/Black Nite Crash guitarist/vocalist Joel Bergstrom, VibraGun definitely feed off the male/female dynamic of My Bloody Valentine at their Loveless peak (might as well take inspiration from the best), forging delicate maelstroms via the vocal interplay between Bergstrom and keyboardist Amber Joy Smith and woozy, magenta waves of distorted guitars. One hopes that there's a flood of new material coming in the wake of VibraGun's three-song debut, EP1. Austin, Texas, quartet the Dry Season—featuring the glistening, transportive vocals of Madelyn Carr—gradually build up gentle storm systems of psychedelic rock. Their sense of dynamics and drama is exquisite. DAVE SEGAL
Poliça, Supreme Cuts
(Neumos) Poliça make grooving down-tempo tunes with singer Channy Leaneagh's woozy Auto-Tuned vocals as the central focus. Like Leaneagh and band cofounder Ryan Olson's previous stuff with Minneapolis slowdance "supergroup"/collective Gayngs, it's formulaic and at times repetitive, but executed well enough to remain mostly enjoyable. Openers Supreme Cuts get the edge here, though, for their moody, chopped-sample beats that constantly shift tempos and textures. Though their recent debut LP, Whispers in the Dark, is getting most of the (deserved) attention, the Chicago duo's previous Trouble 10-inch, remixes, and forays into rap production—see their upcoming collaborative album with Barbadian rapper Haleek Maul, Chrome Lips—show that their sound goes even deeper than that. MIKE RAMOS
Christian Pincock, Ivan Arteaga
(Chapel Performance Space) In traditional orchestral music, the trombone is sometimes the sound of the supernatural. Its colossal, changeable voice can embody creatures nobody in the audience has met yet. When Christian Pincock plays it, he offers an equally edges-of-the-unknown adaptation: His playing brings together improvisation, noise, electronica, jazz, and contemporary classical on a computer-connected trombone that he's equipped with a system of sensors from which he's able to control the instrument's sounds, generate video, and mix the two. JEN GRAVES
Naomi Punk, M. Women, Black Hat
(Cairo) Naomi Punk are from Olympia—their sound is slow art punk soaked in a warm reverb bathtub. Their newest LP, The Feeling, out on Couple Skate Records, is heavy and wonderful, like a melty cassette tape of irresistible melodies sung into a fan. M. Women are also on Couple Skate. (I believe a member of the band actually co-runs the label; you are allowed to sign your own band if your band is good, and it is.) Their songs are stormy and somewhat crabby grunge, but not in a bad way. Does that make sense? Seattle? Yes, it does. Black Hat create itchy ambient "dystopian high life sounds" for lying on the floor and contemplating black holes and time dilation. EMILY NOKES
Linda's Fest: Reignwolf, Nightmare Fortress, Walking Papers, Grave Babies, Trash Fire
(Linda's) See Stranger Suggests.
Motor: Airport, Mood Organ, Patternmaster, HOM, DJ Slow
(Lo-Fi) See Data Breaker.
Jesus Fucking Christ, Deathraid, Murmurs
(Comet) Smashing straight out of the Bay Area, Jesus Fucking Christ play pissed-off, chaotic hardcore punk rock. But don't be mistaken: This ain't no three-chord, sloppy garage-pop-punk outfit. These dudes know how to wail, throwing in face-melting crossover thrash riffs here and there, and dosing the songs with bass lines reminiscent of fellow Bay Area legends Nerve Agents and Rancid. Featuring a couple notable "former members of"—Jamie Morrison from Pitch Black, Dave Edwardson from Neurosis—these guys certainly have experience on their side, as is apparent on their killer, raw-as-fuck 2008 full-length, Life's Hateful Seed. KEVIN DIERS
Rape Revenge, Agatha, Outlook, Hysterics, Body Betrayal, Ragana
(Black Lodge) Olympia's Hysterics only played for about 30 minutes when I saw them open for Latterman a few weeks ago at the New Direction Fest, but the foursome still left a lasting impression. Their brand of hardcore isn't trailblazing; rather, it hollers back to the days of bands like Gorilla Biscuits—pounding, growling vocals calling out misogyny and homophobia, with the breakdowns beating as quickly as a heart in a mosher's chest. MEGAN SELING
Ubu Roi, Battle Stations
(Funhouse) In lesser musicians' hands, Ubu Roi's sound would come off as fairly standard punk-rock victuals, but the Seattle trio somehow deftly turn enough wrenches to render it something unexpected yet vaguely familiar, which is right where you want to be on the innovative/conventional Venn diagram. Too much wrench-turning and you drive the listener right off the chart; too much convention and they've fallen asleep and are drooling on it. If you put all the tags on their Bandcamp page together, it says "demo tape have a nice dude punk seattle ubu roi club banger," which actually goes a fair way toward illustrating their aesthetic. Wrench on, dudes. GRANT BRISSEY
All Delighted People: Josiah Johnson, Shenandoah Davis, J. Wong, more
(Triple Door) See Underage.
Key Nyata, Dave B., Fresh Preserves, more
(Neumos) See My Philosophy.
Zimbabwean Music Nite: Jacob, Martha, and Ruzivo
(Royal Room) Back in 2005, I was on the Clipper heading to the capital of BC, Victoria, when two white, middle-aged women sitting in front me pulled out mbiras from their bags and began playing the traditional music of Zimbabwe. This music can also be heard in Bellingham, performed by the father of Evan Sult, former drummer of Harvey Danger. My point: Zimbabwe traditional music is also a part of the Pacific Northwest's musical tradition. So, dancing to the Zimbabwean sounds of Jacob, Martha, and Ruzivo is also dancing to the sounds of the Pacific Northwest. CHARLES MUDEDE
Three Mile Pilot, Dramady
(Tractor) After stopping production in 1998, members of San Diego's Three Mile Pilot headed off to create Pinback and Black Heart Procession, earning levels of love and exposure their origin band could only dream of. Now, Three Mile Pilot's back, and judging from the rapturous reviews that have met recent shows, the chemistry is as ferocious as ever. Touring in support of a new album, Three Mile Pilot will certainly be generous with the songs you're dying to hear. DAVID SCHMADER
Andy C, Downlink, MC Armanni Reign
(Showbox at the Market) See Data Breaker.
The Cult, Murder Of Crows
(Neptune) Here is my fantasy: For reasons I can't imagine, I'm stuck in a small town in Oklahoma. Because I have nothing to do, I go to the local bar. Once inside the joint, I realize I'm alone as a black person. The people sitting at the bar or at tables are white and poor, white and angry, white and ready to kill anyone who doesn't look and act like them. I order a drink; the bartender reluctantly serves me. I walk to the jukebox, and, just as one of the white racist fucks is about to stand up from his chair and beat the shit out of me, I put my coins in the machine, press some buttons, and play the Cult's "Fire Woman." The rocking music instantly clears the bad air. The white people see me in a different light. The man who was about to hit me starts to dance with his lady. The bartender serves me my next drink with a smile. The Cult have saved my life. CHARLES MUDEDE