Saturday 9/8 at Tractor Rachel Sumner

Wednesday 9/5

Purity Ring, Evian Christ, Headaches

(Neumos) See Data Breaker.

Beirut

(Moore) Zach Condon, American and prime architect of Beirut, can skillfully play a flügelhorn. On Beirut's first two albums, Gulag Orkestar and The Flying Club Cup, he used all sorts of instruments—ukulele, euphonium, glockenspiel. Nerdy music critics everywhere couldn't stop evaluating Beirut's worldly influences—the nods to foreign sounds from France, Mexico, and the Balkans. The newest album, 2011's The Rip Tide, relies less on multiculturalism, and nerdy music critics everywhere are instead declaring it Condon's own individual sound—pure melody and original songwriting. KELLY O

Thursday 9/6

Against Me!, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Joyce Manor

(El Corazón) When I first heard the 2008 Against Me! track "Ocean," the lyrics' extended reverie on an alternate-reality female life struck me as the work of a 21st-century punk taking Kurt Cobain's feminist empathy to the next level, brilliantly; it made me cry. In 2012, the song still does, for completely different reasons. Tonight, Against Me! return to Seattle, and this town should welcome the hell out of Laura Jane Grace. DAVID SCHMADER

Soul Clap & Dance Off: Jonathan Toubin, Chain & the Gang, Mike Nipper

(Chop Suey) Devotees knew that Jonathan Toubin wouldn't stay away from the Pacific Northwest too long, even though a freak accident in Portland last December landed him in the ICU and mandated five months of recovery. Toubin is a vintage-45 freak who champions rarely heard records best enjoyed on a crowded floor; his all-vinyl signature Soul Clap DJ sets teem with dance crazes that never took hold (Eddie Kirk's 1963 crackling blues groove "The Hawg"), oddball knockoffs of familiar hits (Lee Moses's Hammond organ–drenched take on "Reach Out, I'll Be There"), and R&B stompers propelled by lopsided rhythms and erratic tempos. When an evangelist is this invested in visceral thrills—the pop and crackle of wax, bouncing feet and flailing arms, and little-known songs as beautifully erratic as everyday life—no mere near-death experience can force his retreat into seclusion. KURT B. REIGHLEY

Silversun Pickups, School of Seven Bells, Atlas Genius

This show has been moved to the Moore.

(Marymoor Park Moore) One of the best things that Silversun Pickups have done is composing the fuzzy-cool indie rocker of a song "Panic Switch" and then serving Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with a cease-and-desist order after Romney's campaign played it at an event in South Carolina. Pickups lead singer/guitarist Brian Aubert said in an official press release, "We're nice, approachable people. We won't bite. Unless you're Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that 'Panic Switch' really sends the message he intends." KELLY O See also Sound Check.

Melvins Lite, Big Business

(Showbox at the Market) Melvins Lite? Ah, they're still heavier than most, even with half the drum section. For this tour, guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover nabbed bassist Trevor Dunn (Secret Chiefs 3, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, etc.) to tour all 50 states in this rotten nation of ours—which is still better than most nations—in 51 days. Damn, that's a lot of mediocre road food. They'll be promoting the new Freak Puke album, a relatively streamlined hard-rock opus that has some of the Melvins' catchiest and weirdest cuts—plus a cat-scratch-feverish cover of Wings' "Let Me Roll It," perhaps Paul McCartney's most metallic moment since "Helter Skelter." DAVE SEGAL

Crystal Antlers, the Curious Mystery, Stres, Diminished Men

(Comet) When I lived in Southern California in 2007–2008, Crystal Antlers were one of the most exciting groups in the Orange County/Long Beach region, whose percentage of great-to-mediocre bands was feeble. Crystal Antlers instigate a kind of jagged, adrenalized rock action overflowing with passion and anthemic flourishes. But there's nothing bloated or pompous about these Long Beach surf punks. Their raw-boned ferocity comes off like Nick Cave's Bad Seeds going on a Nuggets boxed-set bender. You need to catch Crystal Antlers live to really understand their neck-snapping power. Local producer Stres blends intelligent rock songwriting with smart down-tempo electronic treatments for an understatedly funky and contemplatively atmospheric hybrid that's DJ Shadow–esque without being blatant about it. DAVE SEGAL

Friday 9/7

Swans, Xiu Xiu

(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests.

Mac Demarco, Chastity Belt, Witch Gardens, the People's Temple

(Cairo) See Underage.

The Hives, FIDLAR

(Showbox at the Market) You remember the Hives, right? That Swedish, black 'n' white wearing, rock 'n' roll, ego a go-go band of dapper gents who play blown-out garage rock reminiscent of the Strokes and Jack White? Of course you do! That one guy is so handsome! And he knows it! Well, they are back with their first album since 2007, and new tuxedos. Also playing is FIDLAR, who sounds like the orphan baby of Nobunny and Thee Oh Sees who was abandoned on the beach somewhere with only a case of beer and a surfboard made of cereal boxes. EMILY NOKES

Shabazz Palaces, My Morning Jacket

(Marymoor Park) Asking Shabazz Palaces to open for them at Marymoor Park is the most interesting thing My Morning Jacket have done in years. I'm likely in the minority on this point, but MMJ have become increasingly bland with time's passage, like a Kentucky version of Mercury Rev. Jim James and company have developed into an amorphous, bloated roots-rock band whose psychedelic genes—never very prominent—have completely receded. By contrast, Shabazz Palaces have thrust into dazzlingly fresh avenues hitherto rarely frequented by hiphop artists: acutely oblique and trenchant lyrics coupled with productions that throb and sizzle with four-dimensional heat-mirage waves of philosopher-king coolness. DAVE SEGAL

Redd Kross, Dante vs. Zombies

(Chop Suey) Redd Kross were formed by two neat-looking brothers—Steven and Jeff McDonald—who started playing music together in middle school. I don't know what you were doing in middle school, but being in a band and opening for Black Flag would have really gotten in the way of all my tie-dyed binder shopping. Early 1980s Redd Kross efforts were solid, snotty LA punk. They ventured into the '90s with a million lineup changes and a more sleazy power-pop sound with a sprinkling of hair metal. In 1997, they took an indefinite hiatus, but got back to it around 2006, because you can't really quit a band that you are in with your brother. Their new album, Researching the Blues, came out last month on Merge Records. This show is free with RSVP. EMILY NOKES

CAGE: John Cage Centennial

(All Pilgrims Christian Church) September 5, 1912, was John Cage's birthday, and to celebrate his would-be 100th, the extraordinary Esoterics (singers) are doing an entire weekend of performances (one ticket gets you into all three; the Saturday and Sunday shows happen at Queen Anne Christian Church and Holy Rosary Catholic Church, respectively). It'll include every single nonelectronic vocal and theatrical piece from Songbook, and given Cage's demand for chance, who knows what else will happen. "A game of solitaire, an untied shoe, an emergency exit, or even a surprise gift!" the Esoterics say. JEN GRAVES

Hot Bodies in Motion, Black Whales, James Redfern

(Crocodile) Hot Bodies in Motion—a local friendly-sexy blues/rock/funk band—are a four-person joy fountain, spraying audiences with good mood and getting hips swaying and mouths smiling. I was crushing on 'em for a while over their name and their song "Old Habits," and that crush was borne out at Block Party. They mix a casual, easy skill with an earnestness and sense of humor, all over a layer of groove, and it's completely infectious. I hope they wear ice-cream-colored clothes at this show, and goddamn I hope they play their cover of Blackstreet's "No Diggity." Come get your pants charmed off! ANNA MINARD

Saturday 9/8

Fucked Up, Lightning Bolt

(Showbox at the Market) See Stranger Suggests.

CAGE: John Cage Centennial

(Queen Anne Christian Church) See Friday.

Eternal Summers, Bleeding Rainbow, Zebra Hunt

(Sunset) Bleeding Rainbow used to be called Reading Rainbow until Geordi La Forge sued them. Kidding! That guy would never. Bleeding Rainbow are a Philadelphia band that can be shoegazey sweet or buzzing loud psych. I'd say their newer songs fall mostly in the latter category, and I have it on good authority that they put on an impressive live show. Eternal Summers are in town from Roanoke, Virginia—theirs is a more precise, dreamy pop-punk sound with silvery vocals sung with Dum Dum Girls clarity. Zebra Hunt are a thoroughly enjoyable local garage rock band, solid pop jams with interesting rhythmic sounds accenting the drums—tasteful jingles and the occasional wood agogo. (That's one of those ridged wood instruments with which you make the kwhwachka-kwechkka noise when you run a mallet over it. You don't even know the Google searches I did to find the real name of that thing.) EMILY NOKES

The Growlers, Guantanamo Baywatch, Cosmonauts

(Chop Suey) This show is going to be surf fantastic. Let's think about these bands and their hypothetical swimsuits. We'll start with Guantanamo Baywatch, a babely Portland jungle-garage-surf band. They'd definitely go for zebra- and leopard-print teeny bikinis, probably made of actual zebra and leopard and trimmed with fine rhinestones. Then we have California's Cosmonauts—sunny psychedelic reverb surfers who seem like tie-dyed lamé board short types. The Growlers, also from California, are a self-described "beach goth" band that play darker surf, with a touch of country flavor. I'm thinking burlap swim trunks with little skeletons on them and leather fringe. EMILY NOKES

Alessandra Rose, Smokey Brights, Jason Dodson

(Tractor) Local singer Alessandra Rose has a rich and confident voice and a magnetic stage presence, and now she finally has an album of her own. You Are Gold (released September 4) showcases her talents in a way we've yet to experience. Unlike her efforts in the now-defunct Kindness Kind, Rose doesn't have to compete with a galaxy of indie-rock guitar and synth—even though You Are Gold is quite lush, her voice still takes precedence, never being overwhelmed by the band's instrumentation. If you like the Lumineers or other music that sounds like it was made in a Nashville basement, be sure to arrive in time to see openers Smokey Brights. MEGAN SELING

Old Man Gloom, Daniel Menche, Thrones

(Highline) Every September in Santa Fe, the Kiwanis erect a giant marionette effigy called Zozobra. Also known as Old Man Gloom, Zozobra represents all the anxiety of the last year, with residents' written tribulations placed at his feet to be torched along with him. It's a tightly guarded tradition; the Kiwanis prohibit any sort of commercialization of Zozobra's image. Back in 1999, Aaron Turner (ISIS, Mamiffer, Jodis) chose Old Man Gloom as the name for his noise-addled sludge project with fellow New Mexico native Santos Montano. Enlisting Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders) and Caleb Scofield (Cave In), the four-piece released six records of amplified harshness while only making a handful of live appearances. Much like the torching of Zozobra, Old Man Gloom effects a violent clandestine purging of bad vibes. BRIAN COOK

Sunday 9/9

CAGE: John Cage Centennial

(Holy Rosary Catholic Church) See Friday.

Nite Jewel

(Crocodile) See Data Breaker.

Chelsea Wolfe, Crypts

(Barboza) Tonight is the release party for Seattle trio Crypts' self-titled debut album on Sargent House. Engineered and coproduced by Erik Blood, Crypts whips up a harsh gust of goth-industrial/witch-house bile. The eight calamitous tracks here will sturm und drang you to within an inch of your godforsaken life. Labelmate Chelsea Wolfe seethes with similar, albeit lower-key, intensity. She's a California chanteuse with gravitas to burn, writing intimate, creepy rock songs pregnant with pent-up energy and menace; it wouldn't surprise me if she had a Joy Division tattoo or a Siouxsie and the Banshees album or five. Wear anything other than black clothing to this show at your own risk. DAVE SEGAL

Monday 9/10

This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb, Tooth Soup, Pipsqueak, Ol' Doris

(Black Lodge) See Underage.

J.Pinder, Nu Era, Kung Foo Grip

(Intiman) Ballard-based Fin Records presents Once in a Future, Part IV: The Hip Hop Trajectory from Kool Herc to Odd Future and Beyond. This sounds like fun. It's also free, so you've got nothing to lose. And, above all, the all-ages event, which begins at 6 pm, features Fin Records' emerging rap star J.Pinder, whose new album, Careless, is one of the 206's most prominent peaks. As if all of this weren't enough, there will be space for the breakers to break and the poppers to pop. Hiphop and you don't stop. CHARLES MUDEDE

Tuesday 9/11

Major Miner, Legato Bebop, Crying Shade

(Funhouse) Legato Bebop (aka Issaquah's Patrick John White) makes a sprawling, ambient kind of experimental loop-rock that doesn't make the mistake of letting things drag on for too long. Throughout his debut LP, Jargon, plinking guitar leads, pulsing drums, far-away samples, and sudden vocal melodies drift in at just the right time to take the songs in unexpected directions. It all sounds magnificent on headphones, but seeing White piece things together with instruments, effects pedals, and sampling equipment in real time should be an added bonus of this live set. Drums/"death sax" psych-jazz-freakout duo Major Miner and newish lo-fi pop project Crying Shade will also perform. MIKE RAMOS