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Lose your rainbow merkin every night this week!
Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Chevy Woods, Lola Monroe, Tuki Carter, Berner
(WaMu Theater) See My Philosophy.
Kid Koala, Adira Amram, the Experience
(Neumos) See Data Breaker.
(Barboza) The word "epic" gets thrown around far too often for anyone's good, but the opening song titled "Epic" off Both Lights, the fourth long-player from idiosyncratic PDX duo AU—Luke Wyland and Dana Valatka—has more of a right to that word than most. It's a soaring soundtrack for careening down the highway at unsafe speeds and cranking the volume regardless—all rending guitar lines, pulsing, basal synth, and hyperactive percussion, and it completely belies what's to follow. Not that the rest of the record isn't moving, but directly after "Epic," we're in for a much more intimate and complex journey, one for which Wyland again demonstrates his knack for gathering what sound like the ingredients for a classical piece and distilling them into something much more straightforward. Headliner Zammuto is led by Nick Zammuto (ex–the Books), who owns a similar skill in dissecting pop convention and rearranging it to his own ends. GRANT BRISSEY
JD Samson, MEN, Magic Mouth, Wishbeard
(Crocodile) Hear ye, queer ye! It's the day after the election! It's been a stressful one, and you're either going to want to celebrate or riot—either way, do it at the Crocodile with the soul-tastic, post-funk/punk-disco gospel of Portland's Magic Mouth. Fresh off their tour with Gossip, Magic Mouth are playing with none other than JD Samson (of Le Tigre, of course) and MEN—a Brooklyn art/performance collective bringing you all the dance music to shake your radically feminist behind to. With Seattle's own Wishbeard, playing seagaze that's chiller than a space dolphin in a tie-dye. EMILY NOKES
Space3man, Grynch, Prometheus Brown, OTOW Gang, Luck-One
(Neumos) See My Philosophy.
J Battle, P Smoov, Kyle Thomas, Darwin
(Barboza) See My Philosophy.
Dude York, Chastity Belt, So Pitted
(Parnassus Cafe & Art Gallery) See Underage.
Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, Rose Windows
(Tractor) Did you know that raven-haired songstress Jesse Sykes has recently been getting her white-witch on with Sunn O))) and Boris? It's true! She wrote a song for the Sunn O)))/Boris collaboration project Altar called "The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)." Then she sang the song on Altar, and toured with bands like Earth and Black Mountain. All this witchiness—this new musical kinship—can be heard on Sykes's latest locally produced album, Marble Son. On her website she states, "The idea or image of a marble son spoke to me on all these levels... strong, forgotten, loved, beautiful, sad... eternal." It seems to appreciate the strength of Sykes's voice on her own psych-folk endeavors is to know that Sykes herself appreciates darkness as well as the light. KELLY O
John Adams, Jonathan Biss
(Benaroya Hall) John Adams has come to seem something like the American composer laureate, striking an amiable balance of innovation and convention. In the 1980s, he wrote the historical opera Nixon in China, and in 2005, the opera Doctor Atomic, about the Manhattan Project, in addition to many orchestral and chamber pieces along the way following his beginnings in 1970s minimalism. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, the New York Philharmonic commissioned him to write On the Transmigration of Souls, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. Based in Northern California, he now visits Seattle to conduct his own mid-1980s work Harmonielehre (German for "study of harmony"), inspired by a dream he had of an oil tanker taking off out of the San Francisco Bay like a rocket. The rest of the program is promising, too: Young pianist Jonathan Biss (born in 1980, just a few years before Adams's takeoff dream)—who, in an unusual move for a classical soloist, released a 19,000-word essay on the art of performing Beethoven's sonatas in 2011, followed by a recording of them in 2012—performs the Emperor Concerto. We always wonder what the composers really wanted; here's a concert that tries to get closest. JEN GRAVES
Daniel Higgs, Arrington de Dionyso, Calvin Johnson
(Cairo) See Stranger Suggests.
Trouble: Eric Duncan, Justice, Treasure, Trouble, Lux Collective
Oddisee, JusMoni, DJ WD4D, dj100proof
(Barboza) See My Philosophy.
(KeyArena) The 2009 return of Leonard Cohen will rightly be remembered as one of the greatest resurrections in pop-music history. Finding himself close to broke after a lifetime of work thanks to a shady manager, Cohen got his seventysomething self back onstage and created a ravishing musical spectacle that captured Cohen in full, new bloom. Songs drawn from more than 40 years were brought to life by a ridiculously accomplished band, over which Cohen murmured his one-of-a-kind words. Audiences swooned, and Cohen came off tour inspired enough to bang out a new record, 2012's wonderful Old Ideas. Tonight, the 21st-century Leonard Cohen Experience returns, and anyone with a gazillion dollars should totally go. (Seriously, dude's prices are almost Barbra Streisand high.) DAVID SCHMADER
Runt, Crazy Eyes, A Gun That Shoots Knives
(Blue Moon) Is there a better place to drink and party on a wonderfully shitty fall Friday than the Blue Moon? Don't you feel like getting sticky in one of the best dive bars in the city, to the sounds of locals ruling so hard? A Gun That Shoots Knives, possessors of both the best name in local rock and the best wigs in local rock, will make your heart sing with jubilation. Like they say on "Make Believe," "This reality, it only exists because we perceive it to be." So if you don't go, how will you know this show even happened, dude? WHOA. Ponder that for a minute. Yeah, now lace up your high heels, clip on your rainbow merkin, paint your face in glitter, and go celebrate being alive! ANNA MINARD
A Place to Bury Strangers, Crypts, Nightmare Fortress, Vibragun
(El Corazón) New York's A Place to Bury Strangers boast one of the loudest sounds in the shoegaze spectrum. Now, any monkey can turn the volume up to 11, but it's what you do with all that noise that separates the men from the chaff. Obviously. Thankfully for us (and earplug manufacturers), APTBS write melodies that fling us back to the maelstrom-intensive heydays of the Jesus and Mary Chain circa Psychocandy and My Bloody Valentine circa Isn't Anything. Worship is the title of A Place to Bury Strangers' latest album, and if you dig scouring feedback blizzards, that's just what you'll do. Locals Crypts and Nightmare Fortress complement APTBS with their own distinctive strains of morbid turbulence. DAVE SEGAL
Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme, Theoretics, Cascadia '10
(Showbox at the Market) That three homegrown funk groups can hold down a Friday night at a venue the size of Showbox at the Market speaks highly of the power of Megan Seling's dismissal of the genre—I mean, the robust raunchiness, party-igniting panache, and impeccable technical facility of these fine ensembles. (She was kidding, y'all!) Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme's membership tallies in the double figures, and they harness all that humanity to generate a fiery whirlwind of soulful funk. Their shows are a tower of power. Cascadia '10 are faithful Northwestern disciples of Fela Kuti's irrepressible Afrobeat shuffle and horn armada–fied strut. And Theoretics—who have a new EP titled Plenty of Anything—push a mostly up-tempo funk attack with motormouthy rapping and R&B vocalizing over it. Theoretics' slowest cut, "Bus Evlav," is their best, though. DAVE SEGAL
Psychic TV/PTV3, King Dude, Dangerous Boys Club
(Chop Suey) To call Genesis Breyer P-Orridge just a musician is wildly inaccurate. You may remember him as the cultural engineer of industrial music from his time with Throbbing Gristle. Or maybe you know him—now "h/er" (after the transformative collaboration, the Pandrogeny Project, with h/er partner Lady Jaye, where both dropped physical gender to become both male and female)—as the frontperson for hyperdelic (psychedelic and industrial) band Psychic TV, now known as PTV3. A full history of Genesis's music, art, and politico-sexual exploits of the past three decades is available in a new book called Thee Psychick Bible, and s/he continually shows art in galleries. The last time Genesis played Seattle was with Psychic TV in August 2007. Lady Jaye was still in the band, before dying from stomach cancer in October of that same year. It seemed doubtful that Genesis would ever tour again. Don't miss this chance to see h/er, live in the (altered) flesh. KELLY O
A.C. Newman, Harriet
(Crocodile) Carl "A.C." Newman is the main pornographer in the New Pornographers and a serious melody master. In 2004, Newman went solo and has been making the kind of catchy music you might hear in a commercial for adorable mittens to buy your adorable girlfriend because dang it's getting chilly and you don't want her hands to get cold when you go on those crisp winter walks together to your favorite little coffee shop a few blocks away that makes those perfect soy-nog lattes with nutmeg hearts sprinkled on top and gingersnap cookies with just the right amount of spiciness. It's Northwest love music! And I am being dead serious! EMILY NOKES
Silicon Girls, Marvelous Good Fortune
(Vera Project) After two years as a band, local math-surf trio Silicon Girls are playing their final show. Their debut, Rana, is one of my favorite local releases of 2012, and its bristly, unhinged indie rock is art-tastically post-everything. Rana landed them opening spots for the Dead Milkmen and Screaming Females. But it's time for new projects for the members: Current drummer Marshall Verdoes (Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band) and guitarist/bouzouki player Niko Stathakopoulos are in a "surf/math band tentatively called the Congressmen" and there is talk of a "dancey punk band" between Jake Matthews (guitars/vocals) and Niko. At least Silicon Girls can fold knowing they'd won the approval of Andrew W.K., who wrote on Twitter: "PARTY HARD, SILICON GIRLS! Thank you for enjoying fun!" BRITTNIE FULLER
John Adams, Jonathan Biss
(Benaroya Hall) See Thursday.
El Ten Eleven, Michna, Yourself and the Air
(Crocodile) See Sound Check.
Mount Kimbie, Cedaa, Jimi Jaxon
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse
(KeyArena) C'mon, what? YOU GUYS. It's MOTHERFUCKING NEIL YOUNG. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Go to the place and see the man. Remember how he invented everything you love? Like chocolate and sex and all music, ever? Remember every road trip you've ever taken and how he vastly improved it with his bizarre-but-magical alien girl voice? Remember when he kind of lost that song-fight with Lynyrd Skynyrd? Oof, wait, let's forget that. Remember your best friend, a horse named Freedom, and how Neil Young breaks into your barn every night, feeds Freedom, croons to her, and then weaves her a new horse blanket out of his own plaid shirt and starlight and dreams? Apparently his new work, Psychedelic Pill, is "maximalist," with multiple 15-minute-or-longer songs. Soon he will return to his home planet. Don't miss him! And don't yell "Free Bird," that's just rude. ANNA MINARD
MV & EE, Karnak Temples, Ecstatic Cosmic Union
(Cairo) If there's a more laid-back psychedelic bill this month than this one, you can poke me in my third eye. Karnak Temples (guitarist Adam Svenson with guest drummer Garrett Moore) and the new duo Ecstatic Cosmic Union (Rena Bussinger and Aubrey Nehring) facilitate gentle elevation through mystique-shrouded drones and blissful trance rock, respectively. Headliners MV & EE (Matt Valentine and Erika Elder, formerly of the crucial Tower Recordings) unfurl a sound at once rootsy and airy; their sweet new album's title, Space Homestead, perfectly captures their vibe. MV & EE's version of folky blues floats and ripples with a beatific lightness and a spectral bonhomie. If the freak-folk scene has a Grateful Dead, it's Valentine, Elder, and their satellite of lysergically inclined fellow travelers. (Compliment!) DAVE SEGAL
John Adams, Jonathan Biss
(Benaroya Hall) See Thursday.
Andrew Jackson Jihad, Future of the Left, Jeff Rosenstock
(Neumos) See Underage.
Blowfly, King Dro, Seattle Houserockers, Cyrus Alexander
(High Dive) Clarence Reid's backstory—living a double life as studio songwriter/producer for million-selling industry artists like Betty Wright, Gwen McCrae, and KC and the Sunshine Band and recording explicit funk/soul covers pseudonymously as Blowfly that contained some of the earliest traces of what would become rap music—is legendary. Like countless other music-biz veterans, the 73-year-old Reid was screwed out of proper royalties for his label hits, but he staged a comeback when Jello Biafra signed him to his Alternative Tentacles label in 2005 and is going strong with the September release Black in the Sack. That an old music pioneer still has to dress up in a superhero costume and sing X-rated, shock-value covers in venues like the High Dive is sad, but Blowfly would likely have choice words for anyone who'd mention that to him. MIKE RAMOS
K'naan, City of the Sun
(Neumos) I have bad news. It is not easy for me to say this. But K'naan, the Somali-born, Canadian-based rapper/singer/poet, officially sucks. His latest album, Country, God or the Girl, has none of the rawness, the hiphop force of his breakthrough album, The Dusty Foot Philosopher. K'naan has decided to give up on hiphop and focus on pop rock. One of the tunes on the new album, "Bulletproof Pride," even features the god of pop rock, Bono. There is no justification for this tune. "Nothing to Lose," which features the veteran rapper Nas, opens brilliantly, sounds like hiphop, sounds like it's going somewhere, but before long gets stuck in the blandest pop-rock bridge imaginable. I'm still waiting for the real K'naan to return. CHARLES MUDEDE
(KeyArena) Rush have made some regrettable aesthetic choices over the years: the Ayn Rand obsession, the kimono-mustache combo, the awkward '80s synth-rock era, Geddy Lee's rapping on "Roll the Bones," and now the steampunk novel based on their latest album, Clockwork Angels. While they've never been fashionable, they've at least been consistent in their goofy indulgences and complete lack of self-consciousness. In 2012, the Rolling Stones are no longer lascivious and edgy. Metallica are no longer menacing and crushing. U2 are no longer humble and bare-bones. But Rush? Rush are still unabashed music nerds who can outplay any other arena-rock act on the planet, and consequently they're still as cool now as they were back when 2112 dropped. BRIAN COOK
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Quasi
(Crocodile) Jon Spencer and his explosive bluesmen have their detractors, but I'm not one of 'em. First, I cut Spencer tons of slack for heading Pussy Galore in the '80s. Their sleazy noize middle-fingered music-biz conventions with gloriously spazzy nihilism. Second, those early Blues Explosion LPs ripped roots rock a few new ones—and roots rock still can't s(h)it right. Third, the new album, Meat and Bone, slashes with much of the same ruthless, ribald power of those aforementioned early works. JSBX shouldn't be sounding this vital this late in their career, but, surprisingly, they don't need sonic Viagra. Fourth, you're jealous that your woman wants Jon Spencer. DAVE SEGAL