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This Week's Noteworthy Shows and Parties
James P. Morse
The Quiet Ones, Kinski, MartyMarquis
(Crocodile) The Quiet Ones—three brothers, two of whom are twins, and one friend—are my sleeper hit of the summer. They released Better Walk Than Ride Like That last year, and I remember thinking (and writing) at the time that it was a fine record with obvious nods to Wilco. But "fine" doesn't usually stick, and away they went into the "soon to be forgotten" pile. But after being reintroduced to them weeks ago, on a hot, sunny afternoon, everything clicked into place—their bright Beatles-esque harmonies, their fun guitar riffs, their playful drumming. Their songs are delightful and imperfect packages of pop, and I want to spend the rest of the summer doing nothing but going on picnics while listening to them. MEGAN SELING
Dar Sirena, 100Pieces
(marsBar) Seattle trio Dar Sirena—Katrina Ellison, Erin Lau, and Victoria Jacobs—use Indian harmonium, Middle Eastern drums, castanets, and electronic percussion to forge a kind of mournful, meditative plainsong. If you're into this sort of ritualistic world music, their compositions induce a swirly-headed swooning and a sense of well-being that comes from consuming a plate of organic couscous. They also blend Butoh, flamenco, and belly dance. 100Pieces, by contrast, upset your equilibrium with unnerving ambience, pitiless beats, and tonal aggression. The plaything of one Murder and Joy Von Spain (an über-talented avant-garde/electronic composer who likes to blow off steam in Seattle's noise underground), 100Pieces are more about sonic shocks than chakras, making this lineup an odd one. DAVE SEGAL
Broken Disco: Mochipet, Andrew Luck vs. Dosadi, PrEssHa, WD4D, Jerry Abstract, 31avas, M.Quiet
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker.
The Fucking Eagles, the Girls, Leaders
(Comet) Like their peers in Asheville's Reigning Sound, Tacoma's the Fucking Eagles have garage rock down pat. From the rousing multivocal melodies to the rowdy, fuzzed-out guitar work to the pounding toms and tinny, warm production, the Fucking Eagles' sound seems to originate from that genre's heyday rather than from this decade. Dudes knock out covers and originals with equal aplomb, and if their live show is half as good as their recorded material, tonight will be well worth the price of admission. Maybe there's something in Tacoma's water that facilitates great garage rock. Reportedly, the band have a concept album to be released in August, however, which is totally prog of them. GRANT BRISSEY
Diamond D, Cancer Rising, Eardrumz & Sentric, Scribes, Fever One, Marc Sense
(Nectar) Diamond D is in that class of hiphop producers and rappers who are not exceptional but are far from wack. Diamond D has always made high-grade hiphop. He won't transport you to other worlds, but he will not let you or the art down. He knows his stuff. D's first hit, "I'm Not Playing," which was released over 20 years ago, made the idea of hiphop professionalism a reality. The track was not groundbreaking, in a period of constant groundbreaking (De La Soul, Public Enemy, Slick Rick, etc.), but tight (a modulated blues lick) and hardcore (a muscular bass line). Diamond D also made the classic "Sally Got a One Track Mind" and, in the mid '90s, formed the legendary D.I.T.C. Also, in my opinion, D provided the freshest track on Soundbombing II, "When It Pours It Rains" (I think 50 Cent bit his whole style from that recording). Diamond D's history is as long as it is impressive. CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.
Gene Ween, Solo Amandla, Claude Coleman Jr.
(Crocodile) Ween have been maddeningly inconsistent over their two-plus decades of making stoners snort beer through their nostrils via the absurd power of their music. Their large catalog is awash with both sublimely beautiful art rock (see especially The Mollusk) and banal, misguided goofs and spoofs of nearly every genre under the moon. Guitarist/vocalist Gene Ween (aka Aaron Freeman) is a gifted player with an idiosyncratic voice that spans many timbres and styles. So it's a shame he sometimes adopts Frank Zappa's most juvenile tendencies to provoke cheap laughs in his own work, because when Gene's in serious mode, he can move you as deeply as late Funkadelic ax hero Eddie Hazel or twisted psych-pop mavericks like Syd Barrett and Skip Spence. DAVE SEGAL
Khingz, the Physics, Yirim Seck, DJ Daps1, Spaceman
ISIS, Thrones, Mamiffer
(Neumos) ISIS are stars in the burgeoning metalgaze movement, in which beauty and beastliness jostle for supremacy in your headspace, often resulting in a bloody draw—but, wow, look at the pretty spatters all that plasma makes. On ISIS's latest disc, the aptly titled Wavering Radiant, Aaron Turner and Michael Gallagher's alternately spangly and rumbling guitar tones swell above Turner's tormented and wistful vocals—all of which coalesce into grandiose arrangements that reveal some members may have enrolled in a serious composition course at university. It wouldn't be crazy to note Neurosis's artfully heavy influence here. Oregon's Thrones (Joe Preston) has been trafficking in artfully heavy metal and doomy dirge-ology for 15 years. He's got 'em down to a diabolical science. A local unit led by Faith Coloccia, Mamiffer create a brooding, droning strain of chamber rock that's heavy in a nonobvious manner. DAVE SEGAL
Papercuts, Port O'Brien
(Vera) Papercuts is the quietly commanding indie-pop project of prolific San Francisco–based musician Jason Robert Quever. Quever has recorded with Vetiver, Cass McCombs, and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, and has toured with Grizzly Bear. These associations give some idea of Quever's style—gentle, pacifically paced, often acoustic, and inhabiting intimately small spaces overlooking wide-open fields of echo and reverb. His latest, You Can Have What You Want, is one of those undemanding albums that imperceptibly worm their way from pleasant background music to persistently haunting before you know it. Port O'Brien sing sad, lonely, sometimes satisfied songs about life on the sea, working a fishing boat, which is how singer Van Pierszalowski has spent many a summer. ERIC GRANDY
Naked Hearts, PWRFL Power, Cap Lori
(Healthy Times Fun Club) PWRFL Power's (aka Kaz Nomura) newest release, I Am a Confident Woman, is a mini-CD set in clear plastic with only a picture of Nomura and the words "Half Yogurt" printed on it. Previously an alias for Nomura's instrumental semi-improvisational performances, Half Yogurt is now the name of Nomura's new folk record label (scheduled releases include Cap Lori and Dennis Driscoll) and aspiring pornography concern ("pornography releases will take a bit as it is more complicated process," Nomura explains). The first song on the CD is a typically dexterous acoustic-guitar number about falling in love with a 16-year-old girl and how everything is possible when you're a teenager in love. The CD and the new label came with the announcement that Nomura and Cap Lori (aka Tennessee Rose) are engaged to be married, which by a weird twist will make him Spencer Moody's son-in-law. Congratulations, everyone. ERIC GRANDY
Johnny Vinyl's Half-Century Rock and Roll Circus: the Cripples, Blue Collar, the Missing Link, Aaiiee!!, and others
(Funhouse) This nine-band freak-out is in honor of Johnny Vinyl's 50th birthday. It seems to be a tribute and a celebration of old-skool Seattle garage punks. See, Johnny's been playing since, what, the 1970s? He started in garage band the Innocents and was then linked to the Missing Link, Radios, Cleavage (with Duff McKagan), and the Macs. I remember the Macs from that great '80s comp Seattle Syndrome Volume One (think the Fastbacks, the Fartz, and the Refuzors). Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, there'll be a lot of history in the house. I'm most excited to see synth-punks the Cripples reunite and play. They're a slice of more-recent Seattle history—2002-ish—when Fallout Records was still open and local Dirtnap Records still reigned supreme. KELLY O
Cut Off Your Hands, Thee Emergency
(Vera) See Underage.
KEXP Father's Day Kids' Dance Party: DJ Riz, DJ Kid Hops, Darek Mazzone
(Showbox Sodo) Today the Showbox Sodo throws open its doors at the ungodly hour of noon for a most wonderful reason: the KEXP Father's Day Kids' Dance Party, featuring family friendly DJ sets from KEXP stars DJ Riz, DJ Kid Hops, and Darek Mazzone—along with cupcakes from Cupcake Royale and breakdancing demonstrations by Massive Monkees. Perfect for dads and families and weird shy adults who haven't danced in public for years but might be up for trying in a room packed with happy dancing kids. DAVID SCHMADER
Toy Soldiers, Man Party, the Horde and the Harem, Pillow Army
(Neumos) Man Party's song "Robot Overlords" really should be featured in the new Transformers movie. It'd be perfect! The local electronic band's synthed-out dance track could play while the Decepticons tear shit up: "We are the robots/We will control you... We will soon destroy you all at the time of our choosing." And just as Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox think they've gotten away after the second verse, the chorus could kick in again: "Robots fucking humans fucking robots fucking humans fucking robots..." It'd be a hell of a lot better than whatever shitty Linkin Park song they're currently using, anyway. MEGAN SELING
Candysound, the Ronz, Reservation Cops
(Skylark) Candysound is Burlington, Washington, vocalist and guitarist Teo Crider. Though he's assisted live with a bassist and drummer, he's one of those virtuosos whom other musicians hate: He plays guitar, sings lead, and harmonizes as the backup singer—and all his songs are perfectly beautiful works of art. Candysound's compositions have the tunefulness and raw-skin emotion of an Elliott Smith track, but he's got some surprises up his sleeve: Listen to his cover of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," and you'll hear a happiness that even Elvis's great, self-satisfied cover of the song couldn't muster. Like Beirut and other one-musician acts, it's in song arranging where Candysound really shines. Let's hope he'll surprise us with some covers tonight. PAUL CONSTANT
White Rabbits, the Subjects
(Crocodile) New York's White Rabbits are a six-piece rock band that combine worn, whiskey-scented singing (which has earned them some not entirely unfair comparisons to the Walkmen) with disorientingly busy percussion that, on their latest album, It's Frightening (produced by Spoon's Britt Daniel), wanders all over the stereo field. White Rabbits have two singers and two drummers, so it makes sense that they impress on those fronts, but that's not all that's going on; there's also looming, low-octave piano tones, rumbling bass, and loose, electrified guitars. Gripping enough in the moment, the songs seem like they should be catchier after the fact, but instead it's like trying to recall details from a blurry but pleasant night out. Their highly charged live show, on the other hand, looks totally memorable. ERIC GRANDY
(Vera) Deastro (22-year-old Randolph Chabot) is Ghostly International's entrant in the Animal Collective emulation sweepstakes. It's probably not as calculated as all that, but there's no denying that Deastro's ebullient, slightly quirky pop—it's not so much left field as it is shallow center—resembles bits of Merriweather Post Pavilion. Tastefully bathed in reverb, his voice assumes an angelic cleanliness amid equally pristine textures that recall Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's subtly glowing productions. A cover of Steve Reich's Different Trains speaks of Deastro's good taste and ability to bolster minimalist composition with thick dollops of electronic sweetness. And "Vermillion Plaza" thrillingly takes urgent Giorgio Moroder dance tropes to the underage concert circuit. Deastro's Moondagger album is PG stuff, but undeniably engaging. DAVE SEGAL
Rodriguez, Arthur & Yu
(Triple Door) See preview.
The Present & Queens, Flexions, Sokai Stilhed
(Comet) Brooklyn-based producer/musician Rusty Santos has earned low-key kudos as a behind-the-boards savant for Animal Collective, Panda Bear, and White Magic. As excellent as those artists are, they don't quite delve into the real weirdness like Santos does in his current trio, the Present. The group's debut full-length, World I See, explodes traditional song form into a miasmic mosaic of tones and textures, resulting in a bizarre new form of ambient unrock that makes Black Dice's beatless passages sound new agey (and I'm the Dice's number-one fan). On first listen, the new The Way We Are is another surreptitious reality-eraser on the lofty level of Biota, Vas Deferens Organization, and early Deuter. This record will fuck your mind so it stays fucked for a long time. Mental contraceptives are powerless. DAVE SEGAL See also preview, page 37.
Cursive, Mt. St Helens Vietnam Band
(Neumos) Cursive's latest album, Mama, I'm Swollen, is not their greatest work—most would say that's the bitter breakup opus Domestica, though I'm partial to the reflexive brooding (bordering on dark comedy) of the Burst and Bloom EP and The Ugly Organ. Still, Swollen contains some classic Cursive moments, with Tim Kasher shredding his throat and his soul in equal measure, and his band backing him with perfectly bombastic arrangements of distortion, rhythm, and brass. Best of these is "I Couldn't Love You," whose subtle double entendre—I couldn't love you enough; I couldn't keep on loving you—Kasher belts out over a rousing chorus of brightly harmonious organ, brass, guitars, and big, volatile drum rolls. Live, Cursive swerve from uncomfortably quiet to painfully loud with aplomb, their already dramatic songs delivered with such exaggerated force that it seems like the band might just tear themselves apart. ERIC GRANDY
(Paramount) See Stranger Suggests.
Oscillate: Frivolous, Incite
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker.
Tom Brosseau, Zera Marvel
(Tractor) Listening to Tom Brosseau's semi-nasal voice, you wouldn't initially think of it as a successful vehicle for the blues. (In fact, some of his tracks sound more like the ragtime classics that Robert Crumb has built a whole noncartoonist side career championing.) But combined with his minimalist guitar playing, some of Brosseau's sadder songs—especially "Rose"—definitely evoke some of that dust-bowl longing. If his tracks came with an old-record pop and hiss added in, you might get confused about when the songs were written. You can draw a family tree that would make perfect sense: Brosseau's folk is as much a full-blooded cousin to the blues as Josh Ritter's early work was kin to bluegrass. PAUL CONSTANT
(Moore) Writing about the Canadian-by-way-of-Somalia rapper K'naan back in March, I said, "Time will tell if [the just released] Troubadour jells into something as significant as [2006's] The Dusty Foot Philosopher..." And three months later, I can report that it has not. Still, consider that a testament to the brilliance of Philosopher, not a dis of Troubadour, which remains a sturdy if unspectacular release by a spectacular talent whose gifts are fully evident in his live show, which headliner Matisyahu will have to work his ass off to top. DAVID SCHMADER