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(Tractor) They're fresh off a three-week tour with the Head and the Heart, so Bryan John Appleby should be in fine, well-rehearsed form tonight at the Tractor, where they promise to play their latest album, Fire on the Vine, in its entirety. The album is an emotional roller coaster. There are weeping strings, persistent piano that hits like tiny raindrops, and sad lyrics about watching people drown. Yikes! Thankfully, there's some feel-good folk vibes, too, to even things out. Be sure to arrive in time to see both Shenandoah Davis and Pollens. Davis's imaginative compositions come from a fearlessness that could only exist after several years of classical training—you have to know the rules to break the rules, after all. And Pollens' ability to use layers of harmonizing voices like they're some kind of percussion instrument makes my head spin with dizzying delight. MEGAN SELING
(Triple Door) Brent Amaker and the Rodeo are elegant tough guys, a country-noir band as imagined in manga. (No fooling: Their webpage has ink drawings of Edo-era Japanese buildings around its borders.) They dress all in black, claim Devo as an inspiration, and sing Kraftwerk covers—but while their style is affected, it's in no way effete. If their public personae give any clues, they value their whiskey and weed, and the singer has a voice that has the growly, talking-song quality of Johnny Cash. Quality country music has a closer kinship with punk rock than maudlin alt-country crooners. These boys are from the more interesting side of the family. They're joined by the gorgeous, multi-instrumentalist pop-psychonauts Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground; let's hope their next bill pairs them with a local hiphop band like Don't Talk to the Cops! BRENDAN KILEY
(Chop Suey) Guided by Kerry Zettel's satisfying baritone, local mainstays See Me River's previous somber ballads have given way to a brighter sort of Americana on their newest album, Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest. You know about that mnemonic Seattle street-remembering trick, right? If not, you should google it! Speaking of searching for things by way of internet browsers... the other two bands on the bill are called Spaceneedles and S. Only about a year old, but with members dating back to Grand Archives and Feral Children, Spaceneedles play turbulent grungy snarl rock. S is the soft and simple vocal/guitar bedroom tunes of Jenn Ghetto (ex–Carissa's Wierd). EMILY NOKES
(Comet) Sometimes in this space, you pick a show to write about based on band names. Such is the case with Don Peyote. I don't know this Seattle group, but I'm a sucker for a pun, especially if it involves literary references and drugs. Based on the five songs I've heard, Don Peyote crank out cantankerous, heavy punk metal that wants to hurt you, badly. Their thuggish might, Lemmy-with-polyps vocals, and oppressively dense, search-and-destroy guitar/bass attack recall the most ornery artists on the Touch & Go and Amphetamine Reptile labels. One track is titled "Bob Loblaws Law Blog," which is poetry. Go see Don Peyote, and don't forget the codeine-enhanced aspirin. DAVE SEGAL
Thanks for not electing Mitt Romney, America.
(Showbox Sodo) See Sound Check.
(Hollow Earth Radio) See Underage.
(Vermillion) See Data Breaker.
(Sunset) Everett-raised rapper Ripynt's latest offering, The Hurt Locker, is solid. It has several top-notch tracks ("Devil Juice," "Looky Looky," and "Blast Off," which is produced by the man with the biggest beats in town, MTK) and one outstanding track, "Shifty," which has a dusty/digital beat, lots of electronic noise and disruptions, a spastic bass, and a rap that handles the swirling chaos with great steadiness and control. When Ripynt connects, he does well. But when he really, really, really connects, he hits the whole damn thing right out of the ballpark. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Sonic Boom) Sera Cahoone plays steady, yearning indie-country, singing with a sweet voice steeped in folky sadness. Banjos, strings, and steel pedal lend her songs the rustic sensibility of a warm cabin in the woods—a cabin that might be weather-beaten but has a cozy fireplace in it nonetheless. I have it on good authority that Cahoone is the perfect soundtrack for "being in love," so go ahead and grab your husband, wife, sex partner, OkCupid date, or Thanksgiving crush and take them on a hot Black Friday afternoon date to Sonic Boom. EMILY NOKES
(Columbia City Theater) Columbia City Theater hosts an amazing music history lesson in real time with a night of old-school Seattle grungeheads revving up for the 21st century. Love Battery are Ron Nine, Kevin Whitworth, and a dozen other dudes over the years, beloved for their early Sub Pop records, and who are reportedly working on new stuff right now. Truly is another classic Sub Pop band, bringing together a founding member of Soundgarden (Hiro Yamamoto), a founding member of Screaming Trees (Mark Pickerel), and singer-guitarist Robert Roth. And Rusty Willoughby is the former Flop frontman who's been making gorgeous solo music for a decade and a half. Go, go, go. DAVID SCHMADER
(Comet) Silas Black is the definition of a local hiphop veteran. From appearing on both of the definitive mid-'90s Seattle compilations Do the Math (with a verse on the title track posse cut) and 14 Fathoms Deep (with Blind Council), releasing low-key classics Soul Liquor with Silent Lambs Project and solo effort 1986, and his current work with soul/rap fusion group Black Stax, his contributions to the city's hiphop community span decades. Production wizard Specs One—who has been cooking up beats since long before the Pro Tools/FL Studio days—and postmodern/prefuture multi-instrumentalist OC Notes are the ideal openers to make this a Black Friday event actually worth showing up early for. MIKE RAMOS
(Deep Down Lounge) See Data Breaker.
(Vermillion) See Data Breaker.
(Neumos) The Black Crowes have never meant much to me, but their blown-out blues rock is adequate enough. Now that Southern band's lead singer, Chris Robinson, has a side project, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and the wild, gorgeous cover art for the 2012 companion albums The Magic Door and Big Moon Ritual suggest he's given free rein to his psychedelic inner child. If only the music were as far-freakin'-out as Alan Forbes's extravagant design, we might be talking serious tripping material. But, no. This music is more earthbound than it is interstellar. Still, CRB occasionally catch a wave of inspiration and pick out a lovely melody of Jerry Garcia–esque mellifluousness, and Robinson and Neal Casal's guitars sometimes trigger thoughts of the transitive nightfall of diamonds. DAVE SEGAL
(Rendezvous) WAKE THE FUCK UP, TURKEYS. This show is sure to shake you out of that tryptophan haze while representing three different aspects of the currently thriving heavy and hard music scene. Lesbian whip a little bit of a psychedelic vibe into their doomy blasts of metal. Sandrider (featuring members of the late Akimbo) recall beloved stoner band Sleep, but without the annoying several-minute-jam-session aspect that my husband expertly describes as sounding like "one of the members wanted to go outside to smoke a bowl, so the rest of the band just killed some time until he came back." And thank God for that! And He Whose Ox Is Gored throw a synthesizer into their sonic storm, making it sound like the soundtrack to some kind of epic space battle between evil and eviler. So have an extra slice of pie on Thursday. You'll have no problem burning the extra calories during this headbangathon. MEGAN SELING See also Sound Check.
(Sunset) Regular readers of these Ups & Comingses may recall the numerous times I have extolled the excellentness of Ancient Warlocks' wide-swinging stoner-rock chug, but taking equal glory tonight are Valis and Mos Generator, who are both celebrating record releases. Valis (Van Conner of Screaming Trees, his brother Patrick, and drummer Matt Vandenberghe) are apparently named after Philip K. Dick's book of the same name, and they assign a brawny '70s-rock soundtrack to that science-fiction affinity (retrofuturism with guitar riffs!). Mos Generator have only recently returned to the game, but they clearly mean business, tonight dropping Nomad from the nearby backdrop of Port Orchard, which obviously spurns greatness, because that's where I spent the first three years of my life. GRANT BRISSEY
(Conor Byrne) Ball of Wax, if you don't know (shame on you!), is local musician Levi Fuller's "audio quarterly," which he deftly curates into themed compilation albums and live shows—from the "Parental Advisory Edition" after George Carlin died, to the Paul Constant–cocurated "Songs About Books," to the most recent "No Guitars." They are charming and clever experiments. And then sometimes the theme is just good local music gathered together by a smart dude. That's what this next one is, the 30th installment, and it's sure to be as wonderful as ever. ANNA MINARD
(Crocodile) In their early incarnation, Earth took the core of heavy metal—the guitar riff—and served it up like a museum piece. Currently, the band has a similarly hypnotic approach, albeit with a foreboding country twang in lieu of big crunching guitars. Issues of distortion-versus-twang aside, Earth mastermind Dylan Carlson has always made us cognizant of the dimensions contained within each chord by reducing the riff to its bare essentials—minimizing additional instrumentation, slowing the tempos, and hammering the phrases home through repetition. Lest you yearn for the crunch of Carlson's first records, the Body's economic, volcanic sludge serves as a suitable reminder of Earth's formative years. Should you prefer Earth's more subdued tones and exploratory nature, show up early for the dark jazz of occasional Earth collaborator Stebmo. BRIAN COOK
(Crocodile) Seattle ensemble Rose Windows recently finished recording their debut album with in-demand producer Randall Dunn of Master Musicians of Bukkake. The Sun Dogs isn't out till early 2013, but KEXP has already been playing tracks from it. The nine tracks here diverge from the group's early live outings, which tended toward amoeboid jams of impressive density and synapse-frazzling. Through maturity and perhaps Dunn's guidance, Rose Windows have reeled in their wildness and crafted an epic-sounding psych-folk record with memorable choruses, beautiful melodies, and surprising poise for such a young band. It's no wonder they're opening for the Cave Singers at the Showbox in December. Also, MMOB and Brain Fruit are two of the region's most reliable catalysts of mind alteration. Best Monday show round here since Faust. DAVE SEGAL
(Tractor) There are so many songs I want you to listen to and so many videos I want you to watch, I don't even know where to begin! Jonathan Richman is the rare sort of genius who shines completely genuine and original—like a gangly sunflower in a field of genetically modified red roses. Even back in his Modern Lovers days, Richman's wide-eyed sincerity set him apart from just about every other rock 'n' roll act (though if one had to compare, there's a hint of Daniel Johnston in Richman's "I'm just singing exactly what I'm thinking" brand of savant pop). If you don't already have this date circled on your calendar with a giant heart, do so now—he's a magical human being. EMILY NOKES
(Studio Seven) Back in 2002, before the Asking Alexandrias and Falling in Reverses of today had rubbed their musical feces all over the term "metalcore," the word didn't hold the insulting weight that it does today. Sure, there had been a whole couple of generations of hardcore kids playing metal riffs—Unbroken, Integrity, Ringworm, etc.—but there was something so easy to digest about the approach that Massachusetts rippers Killswitch Engage took on the sound, layering Gothenburg-lite riffs atop crunchy hardcore breakdowns and soaringly catchy and clean vocal harmonies. In 2002, it was ahead of its time; in 2012, this shit is unacceptably generic. KEVIN DIERS