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Lose your mystical folkie magic every night this week!
Purity Ring, Blue Hawaii
(Neptune) See Underage.
Cio D'or, Rubidium, Eddie Lee
(Q) See Data Breaker.
Marnie Stern, SISU, Heavy Petting
(Barboza) Once best known for her maniacal technical flamboyancy on the guitar, which involved tapping it like a stenographer on meth, Marnie Stern has toned down her fretboard hysteria on her last two albums, Marnie Stern and The Chronicles of Marnia. Where she used to challenge Battles' Ty Braxton and Ian Williams for math-rock complexity and velocity supremacy, she now channels her restless energy into composing songs with more blatantly beautiful melodies and slightly slower tempos. Her playing retains that percolating radiance and sugary clamor, but the songs they're servicing sound more like an anxiety-stricken Blonde Redhead than an estrogenic Hella. Tonight you'll probably get to revel in both of Stern's phases. DAVE SEGAL
Grave Babies, Dreamsalon, Starskate, Bat, DJ Jermaine
(Mercury) Dreamsalon is the band you probably haven't seen but already love. I mean, if you've lived in Seattle for any length of time and listen to rock/punk/post-punk, you already know and love the A Frames, Factums, the Intelligence, Pyramids, and/or LoVe TaN. Dreamsalon is a baby-child of former members of all of these bands—Min Yee, Matt Ford, and Craig Chambers. The three are lifelong friends, and you can hear it plainly in the music. The chemistry is electric, eclectic, tangible. Like their lo-fi, jangly song "Northern Comfort," it's comforting to know that these humble yet supremely talented musicians aren't moving off to LA or Brooklyn to jump on any trendy garage-rock bandwagons. They're unwavering Northwesterners. And Seattle wins. KELLY O
YG, Jay Barz, ILLFIGHTYOU, Royce the Choice
(Neumos) Compton's YG (that's Young Gangsta) burst onto the charts with his catchy, disrespectful pop-rap hit "Toot It and Boot It" in 2009, but in the years since, he and his Pu$haz Ink label crew have blown up with their stripped-down-yet-turnt-up "ratchet music" sound. Built on producer/DJ Mustard's sparse, snappy, hard-knocking beats (see Tyga's ubiquitous "Rack City" for a prime example) and YG's flexin', VIP-section baller lyrics, it's young LA's post–N.W.A, post–Dr. Dre party music—set in luxury cars or in the club, but still very much rooted in and affiliated with the area's gang culture and tradition. A quick listen to YG's recent Just Re'd Up 2 mixtape should be enough to determine whether this is all a fun time or a "ratchet mess" for you. MIKE RAMOS See also My Philosophy.
The Thermals, Wimps, La Luz
Relcad, Eric Moon, Phaedrus
(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.
Pac Div, Johnny Polygon, Dyme Def, After the Smoke
(Nectar) See My Philosophy.
(Neptune) Here's some 21st-century heresy: I didn't much care for Searching for Sugar Man, the Oscar-winning documentary that introduced Rodriguez to a new generation/the world at large. The story the film tells is unquestionably amazing, charting Rodriguez's blip of a '70s career and "posthumous" rise to superstardom in South Africa. But the "quest for a lost man" framing the film uses feels forced—as Slate's Dana Stevens noted, "Sugar Man didn't really seem that hard to find"—and I exited the film thinking the Great Rodriguez Tale would have been equally effective (and shorter) as an episode of This American Life. But nothing can diminish the glory of Rodriguez, the man and musician, whose backstory is so amazing it won an Oscar, and whose current life finds him bringing his mystical folkie magic to the stage of the Neptune. (So thanks for that, documentary makers.) DAVID SCHMADER
Week of Wonders, Seacats, Detective Agency
(Columbia City Theater) Now this here is a perfect "maybe-it's-kind-of-getting-warmer" show at the beautiful Columbia City Theater! Kelso, Washington's, whimsical pop masters Seacats have been working their soggy tails off recently—touring down to SXSW, playing several shows around Seattle, hitting up Bellingham's all-ages music fest Yellingham, and releasing a perfectly catchy 7-inch called The 7" Burger on Ballard label Fin Records on 4/20 (do you like the Rentals? Do you like fun?!). Catch the 'Cats with dreamy, melodic janglers Detective Agency and shimmering tropical sunbursts Week of Wonders. Go ahead and wear sunglasses, friends, but bring a light jacket. EMILY NOKES
ABSU, Cross, Bone Sickness, Old Skin
(Highline) Hailing from Dallas, Texas, ABSU have concocted a strange brew, mixing raging black metal with jazz, prog rock, death metal and most things in between. Their last two records, Absu (2009) and Abzu (2011), have highlighted the experimental side of the band, with the latter opening with a soaring anthem that will make you nostalgic for Judas Priest. Olympia's own Bone Sickness will be opening. These dudes have been getting a ton of press lately—and with good reason. The stripped-down death-metal band releases their new raw-as-fuck EP, Alone in the Grave, on April 30th. It's a release that will surely draw some attention from lovers of the sloppier, less technical side of death metal. KEVIN DIERS
Kithkin, Constant Lovers, Pleasureboaters, Edie Sedgwick
(Chop Suey) I don't care how hungry you are, there is not a single band on this bill you should miss even a second of. After working up a sweat during Edie Sedgwick's (of Dischord Records!) dance punk and Pleasureboaters' raucous set, those Rancho Bravo nachos will be calling your name, and you'll probably think that you can run down the hill and be back in time for Constant Lovers, but DO NOT RISK IT. Every band on this bill is incredible in different ways, and to miss even a moment would be foolish. Constant Lovers' show is even more commanding now that they're armed with Helms Alee's Ben Verellen on drums, and Kithkin's tribal percussion party often ends in the entire audience getting onstage and partaking in the music-making. Rancho Bravo is open until midnight. Nachos can wait. MEGAN SELING
(Q) See Data Breaker.
Vendetta Red, Moneta, the Female Fiends, Curse of the North
(El Corazon) Local screamo (sorry, there really is no better description) band Vendetta Red have always had a flair for the dramatic. To mark the release of their two new EPs, Scripture and Light Year Anniversary, the band has made limited-edition books, which are hardbound and filled with CD copies of each record, handwritten lyrics, and the band's autographs. Very cool! Right now, the only way you can get one is at tonight's show, so if that sounds like something you need, better bring some extra cash, as they're $30 a pop. Here's another tip: Show up early for openers Curse of the North—the former quartet is now a duo, and, I'm told, their Sabbath-inspired hard rock is more powerful than ever. MEGAN SELING
Darto, Dreamdecay, Mutant Video, Thee Samedi
(Heartland) The Stranger's perspicacious Underage columnist Brittnie Fuller has praised Dreamdecay as "unfuckwithably heavy," and this is true. I'm reminded of early Swans—nearly the ultimate in heavy and demonic rock during the first half of the '80s—but more prone to jaggedly up the tempo from Swans' mastodon trudge; plus, the singer's voice eerily resembles Michael Gira's stone-faced, stentorian bellowing. Fuller has also noted that Dreamdecay "have gone underappreciated in the local music community." Let's end that nonsense now. The few songs I've heard by Seattle's Darto suggest a rewarding blend of Joy Division, the noisier end of post-punk, and slowcore stalwarts like Seam and Codeine. DAVE SEGAL
Fly Moon Royalty, Le VICE, the Bad Tenants
(Comet) See Homosexual Agenda.
Nomeansno, Ford Pier, Trash Fire
(Crocodile) Nomeansno's latest studio album, All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt, is almost seven years old. Seven years. The entire Beatles discography was released in that much time. It's almost tempting to accuse the long-running Canadian prog-punk trio of having a poor work ethic. But considering their extensive back catalog, relentless touring schedule, and recent penchant for tour-only EP releases, the wait for a new full-length is excusable. Any accusations of laziness are further dispelled by Nomeansno's career-spanning high-energy live shows. One can only hope to have as much physical vigor and musical agility as they approach the ages of these three fiftysomethings; the rhythm section alone makes most musicians half their age look tired and arthritic in comparison. But c'mon, guys—seven years? BRIAN COOK
Lou-Lou Hernandez, the Midget, Noel Brass Jr., the Syrinx Effect
(Moon Temple Restaurant) Would you like some excellent, adventurous music with your Chinese food? You've come to the right place, then. Seattle duo the Syrinx Effect improvise chamber jazz with sax, trombone, guitar pedals, and "toys." The effect, so to speak, is woozy and pregnant with some kind of intangible menace or blessing. They have a distinctive thing going. Another local twosome, the Midget, purvey attractive electro-pop songs that sometimes motor(ik) like Stereolab or Quickspace. Their melodies and guitar/keyboard textures are gloriously, gleamingly retro-futurist, and their rhythms are supremely efficient. Noel Brass Jr. is leader of fab soul-jazz trio Afrocop and one of the city's most accomplished composers of moving, Tarkovsky-film-worthy keyboard odysseys. Seattle lo-fi electronic explorers Lou-Lou Hernandez celebrate the release of a new full-length cassette, Doors Closing, Doors Opening. It's their richest, strangest batch of enigma-dispersing electro ditties to date. Dig their sinister charm. DAVE SEGAL
Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz, Busdriver, Grayskul
(Neumos) See My Philosophy.
Mercy Ties, Lord Snow, La Luna, Body Betrayal
(Black Lodge) I'm bummed to have missed Seattle band Body Betrayal's set when they opened Vera Project for Behead the Prophet/the Need last month, because the songs on their Bandcamp are ripping. BB's harshed-up queer punk seethes with witchy screaming, brutal percussive freak-outs, and jarring stops/starts, with occasional moody interludes. Also from Seattle, heavy grinders Mercy Ties had me from the Some Kind of Monster (aka the best/worst Metallica documentary ever) quote at the beginning of their song "No Harm, No Foul." With mathy hardcore four-piece La Luna (Calgary) and spastic chaos creators Lord Snow (Chicago). EMILY NOKES
Mourn the loss of your innocence.
Killing Joke, Czar
(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests.
(Moore) See Sound Check.
Willie Nelson's Birthday Celebration: Michael Stegner, Jeff Fielder, Robin Holcomb, Cuong Vu, Jeremy Manley
(Royal Room) I love birthday parties—what a lovely focus for communal celebration: Hey, this one person is great! So happy birthday to the beloved double-braidin', pot smokin', bandanna-wearin', folk strummin' Willie Nelson. Here to make this celebration feel worth your while are all the pot brownies in the world (must make yourself and consume at home, sorry!) and a troupe of local musicians. The best parts of this show, though, are its unexpected location and diverse lineup—the Royal Room is mainly a jazz club, and the lineup is a jazz trumpeter (Cuong Vu), a soft and slow pianist (Michael Stegner), a famous genre-transcender (Robin Holcomb), and more. Now this is a new tribute to the grizzled country poet. ANNA MINARD
Brad Mehldau Trio
(Jazz Alley) Brad Mehldau, a New York–based jazz pianist who received his education at the New School, is a real-deal genius. Whenever he plays something, you start saying to yourself: This is the music of a gifted mind. He is up there with the genius of Art Tatum—this is no exaggeration. What the two have in common is the ability to translate incredibly complex thoughts into understandable music—Cecil Taylor, on the other hand, translates complex ideas into even more complex music. For those who need an introduction to Mehldau's work, check out Songs: The Art of the Trio, Volume Three, which contains, among other things, his dazzling cover of Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)." Giants still walk the earth. CHARLES MUDEDE
Childbirth, Fancy Lads, the Bad Machines, Acapulco Lips
(Sunset) After a heavy week of news, I suggest heading to a place where the sharply dressed Fancy Lads transport you back in time, to an era when the biggest parental worry was boys with guitars and swoopy haircuts causing teen hysteria. The Lads combine ageless hits from the likes of Chuck Berry and the Kinks with a sprinkling of originals and suspicious accents. (Though they claim to be from England, I feel like I've seen Fancy Lads around town, and they bear very strong resemblance to Seattle's best Christmas-only band, Dancer and Prancer...) If you'd rather not dress up, a hospital gown would also be appropriate tonight, as supergroup Childbirth (featuring members from Pony Time, Chastity Belt, and Tacocat) will be delivering their second show ever. [Full disclosure: One of my bandmates is in this band.] EMILY NOKES