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Up & Coming
Lose your halfway-clever punch lines every night this week!
Black Pus, MTNS, the Numbs
Kate Nash, Peach Kelli Pop
(Crocodile) Make sure to go this show early and check out the bubblegum magic of Oakland-via-Ottawa's Peach Kelli Pop, aka Allie Hanlon from the White Wires. In this side project, Hanlon does all the songwriting and recording, and she recently released a self-titled first album on Burger Records. Her backup band is a rotating cast of characters, including members of the Mean Jeans and Guantanamo Baywatch and sometimes her twin sister. After finishing the tour with Kate Nash, Peach Kelli Pop will play the Go! Go! fest with Hunx and His Punx. Fans of the latter will most likely fall in love with Hanlon's sugary twee bop. KELLY O
Nightmare Fortress, Tempers, Black Diva
(Narwhal) The Narwhal is the Unicorn's even more elaborate basement area that houses a stage and arcade games. What the Narwhal lacks in windows, it more than makes up for in gold and teal and red; practically every inch has been decorated to resemble an olden-timey French circus. Anyway, they're having shows down there now, which is fantastic news! Dance your Wednesday away with the sinister-pop/techno-raveyard darkness of Nightmare Fortress, whose live shows, I was informed, have "really awesome lights and smoke." Also playing are the Tempers, a spooky glam trio (of siblings) whose live performances will enchant your ears and your eyes. EMILY NOKES
Constant Lovers, X Suns, Dust Moth, Black Swedes
(Barboza) Holy Seattle supergroup! Dust Moth is a new dark, atmospheric rock band featuring members of Eighteen Individual Eyes, These Arms Are Snakes, Shift, Undertow, and Sparkmarker. WHOA. They're so new, in fact, that you can count the number of shows they've played on one hand, but let's hope it won't be too long before we see a release, because just last week the group went into the studio with superproducer Matt Bayles (read an interview with him here!). For now, get a taste of Dust Moth's sound by way of two clips at dustmoth.bandcamp.com. Such teases. MEGAN SELING
Speck Mountain, Stranded Sullivan, Ephrata
(Sunset) Fans of Opal, Kendra Smith, Mazzy Star, and Hope Sandoval should devote some quality headphone time to Speck Mountain. The Chicago band's lazed, glazed rock locks into the same time-stopping beauty-mongering of those artists' mellowest meanderings. On albums like Summer Above, Some Sweet Relief, and Badwater, Speck Mountain eke out gorgeous, laid-back melodies marked by Marie-Claire Balabanian's consolingly downcast vocals and her and Karl Briedrick's dewy, bejeweled guitar textures. Easy does it, over and over, for Speck Mountain—who are promising a cover of Alex Chilton's jaunty "Hey! Little Child" on this tour. DAVE SEGAL
Cascadia, Weed, FF, Neighbors
(Heartland) See Underage.
Dick Binge, Fucking Dyke Bitches, Pony Time, Half Breed
(Cockpit) See Underage.
Yo La Tengo
(Showbox at the Market) See Stranger Suggests.
Beat Connection, Onuinu, Painted Palms
(Neumos) See Data Breaker.
Little Wings, Heavy Hawaii, Stickers, Mega Bog
(Cairo) See Underage.
Toys That Kill, Big Eyes
(Highline) Named for the (best!) Cheap Trick song, NYC transplants Big Eyes are fronted by guitarist/powerhouse Kate Eldridge, who wears her influences on her sleeve (literally—she has a Descendents tattoo on one arm and an All tattoo on the other). Fast, bratty, and emotionally driven, the music of Big Eyes is all heartbreak, babes, breakups, get-togethers, rock shows, and more heartbreak... basically, all the elements of good pop music. And when Big Eyes stare you down, snarling, you are engaged; their odd chord changes and sinister undercurrent throw unexpected little turns and textures into otherwise seemingly straightforward punky pop. The songs are deceptively complex, and they never lose the angst, urgency, or sincerity. BREE MCKENNA
Man or Astro-Man?
(Neumos) See preview.
White Rainbow, Airport, USF, Dani Shivers
(Cairo) See Data Breaker.
John Templeton, Randy Jones
(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.
The Beets, DJ CMRTYZ
(Barboza) New York–based the Beets make laid-back, lo-lo-lo-fi rock music for hanging out. I've been listening to their 2011 album, Let the Poison Out, quite a bit lately—the guitars and drums meander along, not too slowly, just not beat-your-brains-out hotshot rock. Lead Beet, Uruguay-born Juan Wauters, sings relaxed (and really funny) lyrics over stumbling melodies, and even complicated subject matter, like giving in to the daily grind of adulthood or, y'know, dying, feels as heavy as a Bart Simpson balloon floating over a pizza picnic. EMILY NOKES
Kinski, Baltic Cousins, Nu Klezmer Army
(Columbia City Theater) Kinski's musical trajectory can be viewed as a long, gradual descent from their first few albums' spacey rambling to their post–Don't Climb on and Take the Holy Water output, which plowed a beefier, more torqued, earthbound groove. The Seattle quartet recently released their Kill Rock Stars debut, Cosy Moments, six years after their last full-length. In some ways, it's their most accessible work to date, featuring more of guitarist Chris Martin's pleasantly flat vocals than previously and greater emphasis on speedy punk-rock ramalama. Earlier tendencies to ramble—albeit interestingly—have largely been scaled back to more concise, structured songwriting, and Kinski have come through with some of their catchiest songs ("Throw It Up," "A Little Ticker Tape Never Hurt Anybody," "Conflict Free Diamonds"). They've always killed live, and now Kinski have a bunch of brilliant new tunes to drop on you—including my new favorite, the blissed-out "We Think She's a Nurse." DAVE SEGAL
(Vera) Stand back, dudes, I'm about to turn into a spastic fangirl, because Olympia's RVIVR are one of my VERY FAVORITE bands right now. ALL CAPS. I've listened to their new album, The Beauty Between, at least twice every day since it was released last month (and by "twice" I mean "10 times"), and it has been more effective than my antidepressants. Their blasting, poptimistic punk-rock songs have helped pull me out of an unexplainable spring rut, giving me the same heart-fuzzies I had when I heard Operation Ivy's Energy as a teenager. It's the ultimate example of why I started listening to punk rock in the first place—nonpandering lyrics about how shit can suck, maybe it'll get better, maybe it won't, but we'll get through it together. For further esteem-boosting, check out their cover of Shellshag's "Resilient Bastard." It is required listening for those moments in life when you've read one too many internet comments. MEGAN SELING
Paul Collins Beat, Cute Lepers, Loud Eyes, Big Eyes
(Comet) Stop what you're doing right now! Wait, no, you're reading this, so don't stop quite yet. Keep reading. Read this long enough for me to tell you that Big Eyes have released their great new full-length, Almost Famous, and it is going to be your go-to soundtrack this summer. The Seattle trio plays a buzzing rock-and-roll/punk-rock hybrid that sounds like if the Runaways (attitude!) were really into Cheap Trick (melodies!)—it'll fit your mood whether you're stoked about life or ready to kick some ass. They'll open tonight's show for the legendary Paul Collins of the Beat and the Nerves. Pair that with Cute Lepers and Loud Eyes, and this show is a punk-rock dream come true. Now stop reading and go get that Big Eyes record! MEGAN SELING
Boris, drcarlsonalbion, DJ One Eye
(Crocodile) Boris took their name from a song off the Melvins' Bullhead. And while there are vestiges of Aberdeen sludge in the Japanese trio's sound, there is also a shared tendency for huge artistic leaps. Boris felt like flirting with J-pop? They did it (2011's Attention Please). They wanted to bask in hair metal? No problem (2008's Smile). Tonight they embrace both their diverse past and their exploratory future by playing the majority of their classic minimalist psych album Flood, in conjunction with a sampling of their noise, drone, and experimental material. Considering the influence of Earth 2's monolithic dirge on their debut album Absolutego, it's only fitting that Boris invited Earth mastermind Dylan Carlson to open with a set under his drcarlsonalbion moniker. BRIAN COOK
Black Moth Super Rainbow, the Hood Internet, Oscillator Bug
(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests.
Im Namen Des Volkes, youryoungbody, SH6RL6S6, Dr. Troy
(Electric Tea Garden) Medical Records boss Dr. Troy's Rx night has gone out on a limb and booked Neue Deutsche Welle synthmeister Im Namen Des Volkes (aka Matthias Schuster). Schuster created some very unusual electronic music in the late '70s and '80s, in the cold, alienating vein of work by Pyrolator, S.Y.P.H., DAF, Suicide, and the Normal. Im Namen Des Volkes possesses a killer instinct and acute feel for sick synth tones and distorted vocals. This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to catch an underground German synth legend in the Fleisch. DAVE SEGAL
(Tacoma Dome) Tonight, the Tacoma Dome's going to look like a convention for people longing for the '70s, when they were slimmer and enjoying more vigorous and frequent sex. And that's just the multimillionaire headliners... But seriously, Fleetwood Mac, as anyone with ears can discern, have enough indestructible, gilded pop tunes to push nostalgia buttons nonstop for two hours plus. Stevie, Lindsey, Mick, and co. are going to give the people exactly what they want, and then the people are going to smile and go home and have the best sex they've had in decades. Especially if Fleetwood Mac do "That's All for Everyone," one of the most beautiful songs ever written under the influence of Bolivian marching powder (allegedly!). DAVE SEGAL
Detroit Cobras, Pangea, Tacocat
(Chop Suey) The Detroit Cobras are original family members of Detroit's late-'90s garage-rock revival—which exploded when the White Stripes became king and queen of the Motor City music scene. Since 1998, the Cobras have released records on Rough Trade, Bloodshot, and Sympathy for the Record Industry labels, and they still often record with guitarist Greg Cartwright (of the Oblivians and Reigning Sound). You can plainly hear the cigarette smoke in singer Rachel Nagy's voice, and it is glorious. Nagy and guitarist Mary Ramirez blur the lines between R&B and soul, and they take classic songs by James Brown and inject them with an unfuckwithable and raw femininity. KELLY O
Karl Blau, Baby Copperhead, the Webelos
(Crocodile) New York's Baby Copperhead (aka Benjamin B. Lee) can be described with words like "banjo" and "electro." In fact, I was going to start the previous sentence with "electro-banjo," but then I thought you would get the wrong idea. Backed with cello and swirling deep-space-style sounds, it's one of the more interesting things I've ever heard a banjo be a part of. The song "Howl" is particularly pleasant—with low, careful vocals and tiptoeing, swelling loops, the sheer curiosity of it has a hypnotizing effect. With the local soft-surf scouts the Webelos and the Northwest's number-one whimsical indie master, Karl Blau. EMILY NOKES
Fabolous & Pusha T
(Showbox at the Market) Brooklyn's Fabolous and Virginia Beach's Pusha T (aka the half of the Clipse that didn't become a reverend) released their first solo albums in 2001 and 2002, respectively, and are both currently 35 years old. That they're coheadlining a national tour at this point in their careers could be seen as a testament to their longevity and staying power as artists, or their ability to evolve and adapt their styles with the ever-changing climate of rap music. And while their raps are still mostly materialistic odes sprinkled with halfway-clever punch lines, both have sounded alternately more seasoned or more detached/disinterested on their last few projects. But the fact that they have the right kind of people (and their people) in their corners—Pusha T is on Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music imprint, and Fabolous is part of Diddy's Ciroc Management Company—may have just as much to do with all this. MIKE RAMOS
(Meany Hall) Every year, UW's ethnomusicology program presents a concert of music from around the world. This one features Srivani Jade, a Hindustani singer specializing in the North Indian classical form of Khayal, and Thione Diop, a percussionist from Senegal. JEN GRAVES