Hotels, Erik Blood, SilverTeeth
(Chop Suey) See preview.
Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death, Scout Niblett, TacocaT
(Tractor) On the Triumph of Lethargy song "RC and Whiskey," over an acoustic guitar, an echoing snare, and a cheap, faded organ line that sounds like it might have been lifted from a karaoke version of a Neil Diamond song, Spencer Moody bellows and moans, heartsick, "We were drinking RC and whiskey in the van/Driving to Portland listening to 'Her Jazz'/'Her Jazz'/'Her Jazz'/'Her Jazz'/'Her Jazz.'" The subject of this fine song is an even finer song by UK riot-grrrl squad Huggy Bear, who Triumph of Lethargy cover, along with Bikini Kill, on a new tribute to the two bands, a split 12-inch with TacocaT and Baby Control titled This Is Happening Without Your Permission. TacocaT cover "Her Jazz," and if their live version is any indication, it probably sounds perfectly riotous. ERIC GRANDY
Louis Logic, the Let Go, Tulsi, Waves of the Mind
(High Dive) The reputation of Louis Logic, a Brooklyn-based rapper and former member of the Demigodz, rests heavily on 2003's Sin-A-Matic, which offered a new direction or possibility for New York's underground hiphop scene—then dominated by Definitive Jux. Instead of the relentlessly dark, postapocalyptic, Blade Runner–like moods designed and promoted by El-P, Def Jux's founder and architect, Louis Logic presented a lighter and more playful style of hiphop. Indeed, his storytelling and sense of humor made him a part of a hiphop tradition that began with the ruler Slick Rick, in the modern period (1984 to 1988). For these types of rappers, it all comes down to wit and skills, and beats that match the wit and skills. Sin-A-Matic is a fine example of the lyrical and musical comic approach to underground hiphop. CHARLES MUDEDE
Fresh Espresso, They Live!, Productionists, DJ 100Proof
(High Dive, late) See preview.
Dietrich Schoenemann, Nerd Revolt, Travis Baron, Erictronic
(Re-bar) See Data Breaker.
Damien Jurado, Laura Gibson
(Crocodile) Local singer-songwriter Damien Jurado has been churning out emotionally bruised indie rock and folk/country-inflected acoustica for well over a decade now, laboring not exactly in obscurity but perhaps in less limelight than he deserves. His latest album, last year's Caught in the Trees, is one of his stronger works, recalling the relatively amped-up tone of 2002's I Break Chairs, in service of another batch of bitter, heartbroken songs with just slight linings of hopefulness. On Trees, Jurado's singing, alternately sturdy and softly shrinking, is supported by bandmates Eric Fisher and Jenna Conrad on a variety of instruments, allowing for such highlights as the upbeat barroom swing of "Gillian Was a Horse" and "Go First," whose carefully paced electric guitars and choral harmonies recall Low at their liveliest. ERIC GRANDY
Spaceman, No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Captain Oh Captain, Thee Satisfaction
(Comet) The dirty, smelly, wonderful Comet exists for acts like No-Fi Soul Rebellion. The dive bar's less-than-flawless sound system will make No-Fi's pre-recorded beats sound even fuzzier and dirtier, and the cramped "showroom" floor will be the perfect stage for singer Mark Heimer's constant thrashing, dancing, and dry-humping. Bonus: The married duo (Mark's wife, Andrea, mans [womans?] the music while Mark takes the mic) will no doubt be in the mood to party extra hard tonight, as they're celebrating the release of their new full-length, Oh Please Please Please, which is the sonic equivalent of Prince dropping a lot of ecstasy and trying to cover every song on the Valley Girl soundtrack. My only question: Why the fuck aren't these two opening for Lily Allen to a sold-out crowd at the Showbox? MEGAN SELING
Cloud Cult, Say Hi, Ice Palace
(Neumos) Led by Craig Minowa, Minneapolis septet Cloud Cult mongrelize scrappy indie rock, underground hiphop, and orchestral pop with whimsical glee. Winsome melodies and dramatic song structures conspire to make Cloud Cult's deft, patchwork compositions a warmhearted delight; this music embraces you with sincerity, and only the most ornery curmudgeon would push it away. On their second album, Wonder Subtly Crushing Us, fellow Minnesotans Ice Palace create knotty, rustic rock that bears a Midwestern toughness about it, which comes from enduring soul-destroyingly cold weather for nearly half the year. Seattle's Say Hi (Eric Elbogen) pens literate, understated pop gems that come off as casual as web-surfing at Bauhaus—especially that one with eight Ohs in its title from the newish Oohs & Aahs. DAVE SEGAL
Staxx Brothers, Mad Rad, Prof & Rahzwell, T-Spade, Vaughn Kreestoe
(Nectar) Who is Sylvain Debusschere? He is a Parisian. What does Monsieur Debusschere love to listen to? He loves Seattle hiphop like nobody's business. The 206-hiphop-obsessed Frenchman says: "At the moment, all I listen to is from Seattle. The Saturday Knights, Mad Fucking Rad, Fresh Espresso, Champagne Champagne—all is so good!" Which Seattle hiphop artist is at the top of Monsieur Debusschere's list? P Smoov. Who is this P Smoov? He is a member of Mad Rad and Fresh Espresso. Why does Monsieur Debusschere like this P Smoov? "The man is a genius as a producer." What makes him a genius? "His flexibility and beat instincts." Have you told the truth? "Nothing but the truth." CHARLES MUDEDE
Abstract Rude, Aceyalone, MYKA9
(Nectar) See My Philosophy.
Raised by Robots, Elba, M Bison
(Comet, early show) Bay Area foursome Raised by Robots come through Seattle to support their new EP, Disorganization Will Save Us All. The disc's five tracks evoke a more introverted TV on the Radio or a less popwise Why? Guitarist/vocalist Cameron Spies shout-sings in that familiarly unruly indie-rock way while Raised by Robots' songs corkscrew, brood, and surge with requisite unexpectedness. Expect a moderate buzz to materialize around RBR any minute now. Seattle quartet Elba play artful, melodic rock with surprising dynamics that may trigger some knee-jerk prog disdain. We like a lot of prog, so Elba are cool with us. But don't get it twisted: This ain't no Mars Volta-ic display of grandiose virtuosity. Elba write tight, tuneful songs that don't require music-school degrees or knowledge of esoteric myths to enjoy. DAVE SEGAL
Ponytail, Oh Man!
(Vera) Composed of two guitarists, one drummer, one vocalist, and zero bassists, Baltimore art rockers Ponytail make a joyful post-punk racket that inevitably draws comparisons to Deerhoof, but none of that band's records have connected with me like Ponytail's 2008 release Ice Cream Spiritual, which offers 33 minutes of unfettered pleasure. Spicing up the art-damaged clamor: Molly Siegel, the band's lyric-rejecting, noise-making vocalist, whose output suggests Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser being stung by 400,000 bees in quick succession. Ponytail at Vera = a real-life teenage riot. DAVID SCHMADER
The Moondoggies, Widower
(Crocodile) A couple weeks back, the Moondoggies released a new limited-edition EP just in time for Record Store Day (a few copies may still be available at Easy Street and Sonic Boom). On it are early versions of "Keep Her on the Line" and "Black Shoe"—which you can hear in finished form on their full-length, Don't Be a Stranger—as well as some of the band's old demos. But the highlight, the song worth the $5 price alone, is "Nine Minute Song," which is the lo-fi, laid-back, and harmonica-heavy soundtrack to the life of my dreams, which involves a house at the end of a long, dusty road, a cold glass of lemonade, a sunset, and a porch swing. MEGAN SELING
Bassnectar, Gift of Gab
(Showbox at the Market) Seems like San Francisco DJ/producer Bassnectar (aka Lorin Ashton) treats Seattle as a second home these days. Six months after his last local gig, he returns to ripple your internal organs with his diverse palette of black-and-blue bass frequencies. Bassnectar's upful take on dubstep, breaks, hiphop, drum 'n' bass, IDM, and dancehall will get you—and possibly your bowels—moving. Blackalicious' Gift of Gab flexes some of the greatest double-jointed, contortionist lyrics in the history of rap; even if he mostly rhymes about how awesome a rhymer he is, Gab never fails to find ingenious ways to articulate that done-to-def subject. Thankfully, the productions supporting that flamboyant language—sometimes provided by Seattle's Vitamin D and Jake One, as they were on GOG's 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up—often match the MC's verbal dazzle. DAVE SEGAL
Husbands, Love Your Wives; Hoquiam; Carrie Biell; Bryan John Appleby; Whitney Ballen
(Greenhouse) Tonight's show is a going-away party for Husbands, Love Your Wives, aka local singer-songwriter Jamie Spiess, who is soon leaving Seattle for a new home in Denmark. If you haven't yet caught Spiess's live shows—which can range from arresting to awkward, from frighteningly spare solo sets to full-band performances flush with friendly musical collaborators—this might be your last chance for a while. It will also be your last chance to pick up a copy of her CD-Rs without the complications of international shipping. Opener Whitney Ballen is a young rising force in the Eastside's music scene (responsible for the POP425 compilation reviewed in this weeks' Underage, page 65), a solo acoustic performer whose voice is somehow both childlike and worn beyond its years. ERIC GRANDY
Love Battery, the Tripwires, Burning Rivers
(Sunset) For some rock fans, Love Battery were the best band ever to grace Sub Pop's huge roster. Researching the label's back catalog for a recent piece on Sub Pop's overlooked gems, I came thisclose to including Love Battery's Between the Eyes or Dayglo, but I temporarily spaced and forgot about them at the last minute. While they've probably recovered from this devastating slight, such a scenario seems all too typical of a group perennially underrecognized for their talents. While Love Battery—who include three-fourths of their original lineup—aren't the most out-there psych-rock outfit, they have mastered a distinctive brainy/brawny attack that's given Northwestern grunge weirdly hued wings; their songs stay in your head like pop tunes, but they sting your third eye into tears of joy, too. DAVE SEGAL
Tiny Light, Wah Wah Exit Wound, Backward Masks
(Comet, early show) Backward Masks sound something like the Stooges if they'd kicked out Iggy, smoked a bunch of drugs, and started doling out heaps of adept psychedelic rock. Comets on Fire and the Black Angels are also reference points—only with Backward Masks, vocals rarely accompany all the tightly wound feedback squalls and hypnotic chord progressions. No paisleys or flower power here, just heavy (and heavily effected) guitars, stout, fluid drum-work, and songs that extend well past the three-minute mark. Contrast this with Wah Wah Exit Wound's churning, note-bending aural roller coasters and you've got yourself one well-rounded rock bill. GRANT BRISSEY
Flight of the Conchords, Arj Barker
(Paramount) See Stranger Suggests.
Flight of the Conchords, Arj Barker
(Paramount) See Stranger Suggests.
Hot Tuna, Loudon Wainwright III
(Moore) To the younger generation, Loudon Wainwright III is known primarily for the impressive things that have come out of his wang: the genetic material for singer-songwriter son Rufus and singer-songwriter daughter Martha, both of whom were brought to fruition inside the also-hypertalented Kate McGarrigle. But beyond his gifted seed, LWIII has several careers' worth of accomplishments, from an impressive acting résumé (including roles in several Judd Apatow joints and a recurring part on M*A*S*H) to 25 albums packed with the wry tunesmithing that remains his deepest calling. Tonight, Wainwright plays with legendary blues-rock band Hot Tuna, featuring former Jefferson Airplane members Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen. DAVID SCHMADER
(Crocodile) Montreal-based Patrick Watson is yet another one of those theatrical, orchestral-pop auteurs who've been fancying up the soundscape this decade. However, Watson is one of the most tolerable of this ilk, who sometimes can be overbearingly pretentious and annoying. On his latest album, Wooden Arms (Secret City), Watson writes subtly beautiful, artful pop that's sometimes accentuated with inventive, exotic percussion (see especially the phenomenal "Beijing" and "Where the Wild Things Are") and his emotive, Nick Drake–esque vocals. Britain's Cinematic Orchestra had the good sense to tap Watson to contribute to their renowned Ma Fleur album, and it paid handsome dividends. Watson also has won the Juno Award for best new artist in Canada, and his 2006 full-length Close to Paradise earned the Polaris Award. Such imprimaturs usually reward blandness and artistic non-risk-taking, but in Watson's case, at least, challenging creativity won the prize. Must be a Canadian thing. DAVE SEGAL
Flight of the Conchords, Arj Barker
(Paramount) See Stranger Suggests.
This Is a Process of a Still Life, Kawaguchi Masami, Bill Horist
(Funhouse) One of the busiest and most adventurous players in Seattle's underground-music scene, Bill Horist (Ghidra, Master Musicians of Bukkake) speaks a perplexing number of dialects with his guitar. His solo sets often feature him using an odd assortment of implements to alter the tunings of his instrument in order to make unprecedented sounds that redefine common notions of what's considered music. All in a night's work for Horist. Kawaguchi Masami—guitarist for LSD March, Miminokoto, and Broomdusters—is leader of Japanese group New Rock Syndicate. In this latest guise, Masami mixes heavy, distorted, squealing electric-guitar bombast with plangent, crystalline contemplativeness. Seattle-via-Missoula's This Is a Process of a Still Life patiently erect instrumental post-rock ziggurats that lift you out of the mundane. DAVE SEGAL