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Lose your anti-Midas touch every night this week!
(Jazz Alley) See Stranger Suggests.
Kid Cudi, Big Sean
(WaMu Theater) See My Philosophy.
Cosmic Psychos, Communist Eyes
(Barboza) Grungy Australian punks who've been carousing around the planet for about 30 years, Cosmic Psychos surely have their bratty/aggro shtick down by this point. Much to my surprise, The Stranger's resident garage/poonk-rock aficionado, Mike Nipper, has zero time for these dudes, and sampling from bits of their albums one can hear why. Cosmic Psychos plow a middling path in these familiar denim- and leather-clad realms of rock, showing no great grasp of melody or ability to spur you into will-to-power mode. In short, after all these years, they're not cosmic or psycho enough. (However, they occasionally do possess a nice, heavy bass tone not unlike that of fellow Aussie group feedtime. So there's that.) DAVE SEGAL
(Puyallup Fairgrounds) Yes, yes, Nothing Can Hurt Me was wonderful, surprising, revelatory, and long overdue, but now that Big Star have received their doc, will some enterprising filmmakers please point their cameras at America's other, much more productive power-pop miracle band? For 750 years, Cheap Trick have been reliable purveyors of smashingly melodic rock. Sure, the closest they get to innovation is adding a heart-exploding key change before a final verse (see "Surrender"), but who cares? They're a great American product (and the story of their weird fake "live" breakthrough record alone will make their hopefully forthcoming documentary a must-see). DAVID SCHMADER
DJ Shadow, dj100proof
(Neumos) See Data Breaker.
Swamp Dogg, Brother James & the Soul-Vation
(Triple Door) Those who've slept on Swamp Dogg—i.e., most of us—can catch up, to a degree, with reissues of three key early-'70s albums by the Virginia-born soul man: Gag a Maggot, Rat On!, and best of all, Total Destruction to Your Mind. These releases (back in circulation via Alive Naturalsound Records) evidence a vocalist of raw, soulful vigor and a lyricist of sociopolitical insight and irreverent humor. The man's music from this era is a loose-limbed combo of Southern-fried funk, animated blues rock with surprising country undercurrents, and heart-punching soul. Now Swamp Dogg (aka Jerry Williams Jr.) is doing a rare late-career tour, and it would be a serious blunder to miss him. He may be 71 now, but recent footage reveals Mr. Dogg's voice has lost very little of its vibrant timbre or emotional turbulence. DAVE SEGAL
(Puyallup Fairgrounds) Look, CeeLo Green just does things his way is what. (There used to be a dash in Cee-Lo, but it appears to have disappeared.) "I am not like them at all, and I cannot pretend," he says in the throat-clearing track on his first studio album (2002), Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, which ends with the spat line, "Now can I do my shit?" Despite the goofiness, you have to respect his skills, and the realness of his compass. Two days before this concert, CeeLo's putting out not another record, but his "tell-all" autobiography, Everybody's Brother. He's both everybody's brother and he is not like anyone at all, and he cannot pretend. JEN GRAVES See also My Philosophy.
Digitalism, Sean Majors, Embolism, Rion
(Foundation) See Data Breaker.
(Puyallup Fairgrounds) As far as American Idol people go, Carrie Underwood is up there in my book, mostly because I have heard of her (my extensive knowledge of the show includes Kelly Clarkson, the closeted-Manilow-esque ginger, Ruben something, William Hung, and a whole bunch of white handsomes with hair). BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY because she is responsible for the song "Before He Cheats." Never mind the fact that this lady-centric cheat-revenge anthem was written by two dudes; if you haven't had the pleasure of hearing someone bleat this jaded gem out at karaoke, you simply haven't lived (in a sorority) (zing!). Seriously, though, folks, her voice muscles are above average and the fair is the perfect place to get your nu country on. EMILY NOKES
Campfire OK, Sean Nelson
(Crocodile) I'm so fucking sick of hand-claps, you guys. And foot-stomps, and folk music that basically sounds like a Pinterest board filled with pictures of Mason jars and birch trees. The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, all of 'em—throw them in a pit and let's never hear from them again, okay? But Campfire OK get a pass. Why? I don't know! There's something about the local band's banjo-laced ditties (a word I generally despise but seems appropriate here) that convinces me that unlike their woodsy peers, they're not afraid to get a little dirty. It isn't perfect, it isn't pure—they have grit on their hands and their songs have a slight darkness within. Unlike those other jerks, who are trying to sell the "I jump trains while wearing spotlessly clean white button-ups" look. LIARS. MEGAN SELING
White Poppy, Secret Colors, Pill Wonder
(Cairo) Vancouver producer/vocalist White Poppy (Crystal Dorval) is yet another young musician making waves in the sugary whirlpools of late-'80s/early-'90s dream pop and shoegaze rock. Her very productive 2013 has, so far, yielded the Drifters Gold cassette on Constellation Tatsu and a self-titled album for the Not Not Fun label. On them, Dorval creates hazy, vaporous songs that swirl in intoxicating, ascending helices of blurry passion. If you like your music dispersed alluringly into the ether, White Poppy will satiate you with melodies of angelic beauty and vocals of feathery breathiness. Float on, babies, float on. DAVE SEGAL
James Murphy, Shit Robot
Peanut Butter Wolf, THE NEW LAW, Zac Hendrix, Shapey
(Re-bar) See Sound Check.
Diarrhea Planet, the So So Glos
(Barboza) Naming your band Diarrhea Planet says a few things about how much ambition you're going to put behind the thing, but it also belies the talented and earnest nature of this Nashville six-piece guitar-rock outfit's sound. Not, as one might imagine, glib and unpracticed punk rock, Diarrhea Planet employ no fewer than four guitars to bring this midtempo and serviceable brouhaha into reality (obviously, one of those guitars is backstage pounding a tall boy at any given time). But there is squandered greatness here. Diarrhea Planet's latest, I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, screams undelivered potential; it also screams "fucking great live show." In case you need things spelled out for you, this is an endorsement. GRANT BRISSEY
Monogamy Party, Gaytheist, Haunted Horses, Prism Tats
(Chop Suey) I'm shocked that the world didn't implode when Monogamy Party added Pleasureboaters' main guitar shredder Ricky Claudon to the mix earlier this year. Claudon's six-stringed spasms brought an even more exhilaratingly unpredictable element to Monogamy Party's already craggy sonic fits—it is the most perfect pairing. Tonight Monogamy Party, now a foursome, celebrate the release of their debut full-length, False Dancers. It's an album that seems to be trying really hard to make the listener physically uncomfortable—gut-rattling bass lines and relentlessly piercing guitars stab and shake you to the core while wily vocalist Kennedy Carda spouts out lines like "Take one look around the room/Nobody wants you!" It's punishing, yes, but it's just too good to leave be. MEGAN SELING
The Julie Ruin, La Sera
Seattle Symphony: Opening Night Concert and Gala
(Benaroya Hall) The Symphony's season-opener features star pianist Lang Lang (Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3) and the Seattle Symphony Chorale and Seattle Symphony performing folk-inspired music by Brahms, Dvorak, and Bartok, and Borodin's Polovtsian Dances (which once inspired Warren G, so there's that). If you want to get really done up, there are private pre-concert receptions and a glitzy post-concert gala dinner. The music will be the main course, given Ludovic Morlot's fresh direction. JEN GRAVES
Happy 87th birthday, B.B. King!
Blouse, Feathers, Week of Wonders
(Vera) See Underage.
(Marymoor Park) I feel weird telling you about this show because DUH. Legends, friends. I mean, you're already excited, right? New York's Blondie (who are celebrating their 40th anniversary next year, Deborah Harry is a 68-year-old goddess, etc.) and Los Angeles's X (whose original lineup is still intact with Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake) were both pioneers of the best new-wavey neat punk their respective coasts had to offer—their contributions to music way back in the mid to late '70s probably influenced (and continue to influence) your favorite bands. If you're not convinced, Wikipedia just told me that "Marymoor Park is King County's largest, oldest, and most popular park." Hot damn. EMILY NOKES
Woods, the Fresh & Onlys
(Barboza) Brooklyn's Woods have a split personality. Sometimes they come off as overly earnest folk-pop dweebs featuring Jeremy Earl's yearning, high-pitched vocals, making you think of pleasant and innocuous early-afternoon Pitchfork Fest acts. At other times, Woods summon a deep psychedelic vibe, like a cleaner-veined Velvet Underground going long and hypnotic on a couple of choice chords and Eastern-leaning tonalities (see "September with Pete" from Songs of Shame or "Sol y Sombra" from Sun and Shade). Then there's the über-cool krautrock epic "Out of the Eye" from Sun and Shade—tremendous. One wishes Woods focused more on the latter two facets of their sound, but why should they pay attention to a music journalist from Seattle with the anti-Midas touch, anyway? DAVE SEGAL
Windhand, Wounded Giant, Addaura
(Highline) When did all the Southern metalheads ditch speed for "Sweet Leaf"? Seriously, how many stoner/doom bands does Dixie have at this point? I'd argue that there's enough that it's almost tempting to shrug off Relapse Records' recent Richmond-based signees Windhand solely based on the press release comparing them to Black Sabbath. But curiously, Relapse also compares the doom band to Nirvana. And, fortunately, it's a strangely apt comparison. If you take Cobain's most flagrant moments of Melvins-worship, tuned them down a couple steps, dragged the tempo a few dozen BPMs, and cranked up the fuzz, you actually get a pretty close approximation of Windhand's remarkably simple-yet-effective riffage and powerful Grohl-like drum stomp. Add singer Dorthia Cottrell's smoky and soulful vocals to the fray and any cynicism toward Southern metal disappears. BRIAN COOK
(Studio Seven) New Orleans's Curren$y is (1) one of the best modern-day rappers with a dollar sign in their name and (2) at least partly responsible for making weed as insanely popular as it's become since his 2009 release This Ain't No Mixtape, a step outside his previous No Limit/Young Money comfort zone. With a drawl that's relaxed by the herb, but somehow never lazy, and an ear for jazzy, sample-based beats that never sound outdated, Curren$y's music is the audio equivalent of being extremely stoned in an expensive foreign car, perhaps with "Arizona grape in the cup holder." While weed rappers' live performances can be hit-or-miss, a chance to hear some new material from Spitta's upcoming Pilot Talk III may be reason enough to head to Sodo for this show. MIKE RAMOS