Thursday 3/28 at Vera

Wednesday 3/27

Mano Le Tough, Slowpøke

(Q) See Data Breaker.

Ducktails, Mark McGuire, Monopoly Child Star Searchers

(Barboza) Ducktails is Matt Mondanile of New Jersey band Real Estate's solo-plus (increasingly more collaborative and full-band-like) project that spans everything from dallying bedroom instrumentals to cosmic yacht rock and sandal gaze. It's breezy and thoughtful, like Crystal Light and brandy. On tour with Ducktails is multi-instrumentalist Mark McGuire, formerly of dronescape-makers Emeralds. I put on a Monopoly Child Star Searchers track over the weekend while I was in bed with the flu, and I think I really enjoyed it. I remember it sounding like a melting VCR broadcasting a mating call to an antique, malfunctioning video game; 'tis the soundtrack to flu toughing or glue huffing. EMILY NOKES

The Specials

(Showbox Sodo) I don't want to get into the whole ska history thing, the dreary business of determining this and that wave, and pointing out which band in which country belongs to which wave (for example, the Specials—an English band—are in the second wave, which runs between the late-'70s to mid-'80s). Nor do I want to explain why I think the Specials are the best ska band that England ever produced (and please don't get me started about the iconic face of their lead singer, Terry Hall). No, no—none of that. All I want to say are just two words and leave the rest to you: "Ghost Town." CHARLES MUDEDE

Thursday 3/28

Christopher Owens, Melted Toys

(Vera) See Underage.

Dirtyphonics, Crizzly, Nerd Rage, MCFunk Brothers

(Showbox Sodo) See Data Breaker.

Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade

(Benaroya) Even if you can't hum it off the top of your head, you will probably recognize Scheherazade, the late-19th-century orchestral suite by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov based on The Arabian Nights. The other two pieces on the program are tantalizingly unfamiliar: the impressionistic The Enchanted Lake by another Russian composer, Anatoly Liadov (who had a reputation as a slacker; Rimsky-Korsakov expelled him from composition class because he cut too often), and Styx, a vividly theatrical piece for viola, mixed choir, and orchestra written in 1999 by the living Georgian composer Giya Kancheli. Featuring the Symphony Chorale, Maxim Rysanov on viola, with Andrey Boreyko conducting. Also March 30. JEN GRAVES

The Bushwick Book Club: the Bible

(Town Hall) The Bushwick Book Club takes book-nerdery to the next great level. After reading a book, the members of the club compose songs based on its themes and then perform them live. Tonight, they take on the best-selling book of all time: the Bible, specifically the Old Testament, which means tonight should be a flood-fleeing, brother-slaying, Sodom-burning delight. Tonight's performers include Lisa Koch, Beth Fleenor, Spekulation, Tai Shan, Seattle Jazz Composers Ensemble, and Captain Smartypants. DAVID SCHMADER

The Shrine, Dirty Fences, Occult SS, Ubu Roi

(Comet) In the interest of due diligence, I listened to three of the bands on this bill. Both the Shrine and Dirty Fences land as serviceable but green-horned punk-rawk outfits—not at all a bad place to start. Ubu Roi, however, are four dudes who have got the thing figured right out. They recorded whatever I listened to on one microphone, and the sound just gnashes at you like a PCP addict in the back of the squad car you're driving. I hear a slight hint of PDX's the Hunches (RIP) in their sound, and there's really not a higher compliment I could give. GRANT BRISSEY

Jon Russell, Damien Jurado, Tomo Nakayama

(Neumos) I overuse the word "magical." I'd like to apologize for that right now, because I'm sure my constant use of the word means you're less likely to take me seriously when I really mean it. For instance, with this show—with poignant songwriting from Jon Russell, Damien Jurado, and Tomo Nakayama—it will be SO FUCKING MAGICAL. And when I say that, even in all caps, you could think, "Seling, you say that about burritos and puppies, too, which are great but not at all magical." And you'd be right! So let's wipe the slate clean. I will promise to stop misusing the word "magical" if you promise to take me seriously when I tell you that this trio of musicians—stripped down and vulnerable, without their bands—is going to be magical. I really mean that. MEGAN SELING

Friday 3/29

Verse Chapter Verse: Fly Moon Royalty, Sherman Alexie

(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests.

Vox Mod, DJ Riz, Olav, OCNotes

(Vermillion) See Stranger Suggests.

Phoenix, Mac DeMarco

(Paramount) See Underage.

The Heels, Typical Girls, Space Trash

(Cafe Racer) I chose to write this blurb based on band names—specifically Typical Girls, since that's the name of a top-notch Slits song. When I was not able to find anything about Typical Girls online (other than Facebook says it's "Tiffany, Frankie, Melanie, and Chris' new thang"), I moved on to Space Trash, which made me think of "Space Junk" by Devo, among other things. (Doritos Extreme bags and tampon wrappers lazily floating out into the final frontier, choking poor space seals, blocking star views, etc.) ALAS, nothing on Space Junk, either. Then we have the Heels, who are ready to be googled, and play hot 'n' heavy rock or "RAWK," if you will (I will, for them)—boozy fishnet tunes perfect for roller-derby practice. EMILY NOKES

Ecstatic Cosmic Union, Jon Collin, Demian Johnston, John Krausbauer

(Cairo) Led by Adam Svenson (Karnak Temples, Dull Knife), Eiderdown Records is becoming a major force in the local experimental-music scene. This Eiderdown-curated show features headliners Ecstatic Cosmic Union, the husband-wife duo of Portable Shrines operatives Aubrey Nehring and Rena Bussinger, who create blissful, trance-inducing rock for gentle souls. British guitarist Jon Collin consoles the lonely by wringing plangent, angular, and glinting tones from his electric guitar. It's an intimate yet spectral sound that should appeal to Loren Mazzacane Connors fans. On a totally different tip, Seattle's Demian Johnston forges sonic nihilism and anomie for hard-to-impress grown-ass folks. On recordings under his own name and as BLSPHM, he issues refined noise torrents, cataclysmic industrial meltdowns, and postapocalyptic ambience that overwhelm your adrenal glands, helping you to learn something valuable about human endurance. (This is the cassette-release party for ECU and Collin.) DAVE SEGAL

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, Joe Walsh

(Tacoma Dome) Like Kraftwerk, Bob Seger refuses to acknowledge his best work. His 1969 debut LP, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, is an all-time garage-psych classic and the Detroit troubadour's pre-'69 singles contained some of the hardest, most indelible riffs ever. Seger also had a quintessential, Midwestern-white-boy soul voice—gruff, feral, libidinous. Of course, he blanded out and wrote some of the most annoyingly ubiquitous songs to which you've ever broken speed records to get away from: "Old Time Rock and Roll," "Katmandu," "Like a Rock," etc. Now 67 and comfortably wealthy, Seger can't be expected not to play it safe, so don't hold your breath waiting for searing psych cuts like "White Wall," cutthroat garage burners like "Heavy Music," or bizarre freak-outs like "Cat." DAVE SEGAL

Saturday 3/30

Mudhoney, Unnatural Helpers

(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests and preview.

Jake Shears

(Q) See The Homosexual Agenda.

Flume, Natasha Kmeto, DJAO

(Lo-Fi) See Data Breaker.

The English Beat, Kore Ionz

(Triple Door) I Just Can't Stop It, the English Beat's phenomenal 1980 debut LP, is probably the Two-Tone movement's crowning achievement. The songwriting is fantastically catchy, transcending its second-wave-ska trappings to excel simply as golden pop. Subsequent albums like Wh'appen? and Secret Beat Service have their moments, but they lack the front-to-back punchiness and sweet hookiness of I Just Can't Stop It. Now based in LA, English Beat leader Dave Wakeling is the only remaining original member. This scenario usually makes for a depressing night out for die-hard fans, but the English Beat's catalog emits so much pleasure—even when telling an odious political leader to quit with "Stand Down Margaret"—that even a makeshift lineup should result in a memorable stumble down memory lane. DAVE SEGAL

Magma Fest: The Need, Behead the Prophet No Lord Shall Live, Hysterics, Body Betrayal

(Vera) Based on limited exposure, it would be easy to assume Behead the Prophet No Lord Shall Live were just another one of the many spastic DIY hardcore bands flailing about in basements back in the mid '90s. Sure, they shared some of the frantic energy and reckless abandon of their contemporaries in Angel Hair and Antioch Arrow. But Behead the Prophet weren't merely some sassy project for a bunch of petulant sweater-punks. Even Nation of Ulysses didn't have the gumption to incorporate Behead the Prophet's '70s-rock panache and queercore politics, let alone their retirement-age improvisational electric violin player. Remember when "emo" was used to describe bands challenging the hardcore scene's masculine paradigms rather than maudlin, suburban nasal-singers? You couldn't ask for a more inspiring reminder of that era than Behead the Prophet's reunion tonight. BRIAN COOK See also interview.

Michael Nesmith

(Neptune) I've always loved the goobers; I liked Gus Gus, the plump dumb mouse in Cinderella, and H. M. Murdock was my favorite member of The A-Team. If there was ever a weirdo in the bunch, my heart was theirs, so of course when I would watch The Monkees reruns as a child, it was the squishy-faced Micky Dolenz who caught my eye. I never gave Michael Nesmith a second glance. But now that I'm older, I understand that Nesmith is more responsible for my Monkees adoration than 8-year-old me would've ever guessed—he wrote some of my very favorites: "Mary, Mary," "Papa Gene's Blues," and "You Just May Be the One." And did you know he was also the executive producer of Repo Man? I did not know that! MEGAN SELING

Mean Jeans, Big Eyes, Criminal Code, Big Crux, Pelvis Wrestlies

(Comet) Big Eyes are my new favorite local band. The trio came to Seattle by way of the East Coast, and thank goodness we can call them ours, because they're great! Big Eyes deliver fast and fun pop rock with a fantastic Fastbacks vibe. Singer Kate Eldridge's vocals are upbeat and bratty—and lots of fun to sing along to. And speaking of the Fastbacks, Big Eyes' "Back from the Moon" makes a cute second chapter to the Fastbacks' "Gone to the Moon." Seriously! Listen to them back-to-back—a song about blasting off, then a song about waiting for someone to come back. It's so perfect that I might not believe it wasn't done intentionally. MEGAN SELING

Sunday 3/31

Anthrax, Exodus, High on Fire, Municipal Waste, Holy Grail

(Showbox Sodo) Metal fans have to be the most hair-splitting bunch when it comes to categorizing bands in subgenres, but even the staunchest analyzers would agree that this power-bill tour includes some of the pioneers of American thrash metal. New Yorkers Anthrax are headlining by performing their 1987 breakthrough album Among the Living in its entirety with original vocalist Joey Belladonna back on the microphone, which should guarantee plenty of moshes to get caught in. The Metal Alliance Tour openers include Bay Area–based Exodus, who are responsible for their own genre classic, Bonded by Blood; High on Fire, Matt Pike of Sleep's faster, more aggressive but still-sludgy current band; and Municipal Waste, whose crossover sound and ripped-jeans style seem straight out of metal's best decade. MIKE RAMOS

Deadkill, Mass Games, Trash Fire

(Cha Cha) I stayed pretty quiet about that whole "Punk Rock Is Bullshit" article in the Seattle Weekly a few weeks ago. I hope, in retrospect, John Roderick also understands that such a statement would include having to tell new bands, like Trash Fire, that THEY ARE BULLSHIT. Trash Fire, since their debut at the Capitol Hill Block Party, have been compared to classics like the Misfits, the Ramones, Exploding Hearts, and sometimes even the Buzzcocks. But, hey, should we ask these three Seattle dudes, Jonah, Austin, and Curtis (formerly of Schoolyard Heroes, Noxious Fumes, and Grand Archives) to throw down their instruments? Tell 'em PUNK IS DEAD? Oh, and don't miss Trash Fire when they open for Nomeansno, another "bullshit" punk band, on April 27 at the Crocodile. KELLY O

Monday 4/1

Jamie Lidell, Empress Of, Ludwig Persik

(Neumos) Jamie Lidell's metamorphosis from riveting electronic-music experimentalist to slightly left-of-center R&B crooner has not always been satisfying. Blessed with a chameleonic soul man's voice and expert beat-boxing skills, Lidell peaked with 2005's Multiply, a phenomenal convergence of his impulses for creating challenging and accessible tracks. Since then, though, he's leaned a bit too hard on sentimental balladry and rote, slick dance numbers. The new Jamie Lidell album reveals flashes of his mid-'00s brilliance, but more often sounds effortfully mediocre. Lidell's more conventional moves likely have made his label and manager happy, but they've surely left many fans of his earlier, riskier works disgruntled. Here's hoping Lidell brings some of the next-level funk and vocal origami that left a speaker smoking at 2006 Bumbershoot to Neumos tonight. DAVE SEGAL

Tuesday 4/2

More like Snoozeday.