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Lose your bicycle-powered synthesizer every night this week!
Decibel Festival: Peter Hook & the Light, ADULT., Nightmare Fortress
(Neumos) Legendary bassist Peter Hook will run through New Order's first two landmark post-punk albums from the early '80s, Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies. Will you swoon or cringe? Is this worthy homage or crass cash-in? You probably won't care once the choppy-guitar rush of "Age of Consent" and the dolorous euphoria of "Dreams Never End" swirl around your noggin. Detroit's ADULT.—Nicola Kuperus and Adam Miller—have been creeping out freaks with neurotic, anxious electro rock for more than 15 years. Their new Ghostly International album, The Way Things Fall, refines ADULT.'s tense, melodic approach to making urban alienation danceable. DAVE SEGAL See also Stranger Suggests and preview.
Billy Cobham's "Spectrum 40"
(Triple Door) If you're new here, Billy Cobham is among the most powerful and nuanced drummers ever to sit behind a kit. His stints with Miles Davis circa A Tribute to Jack Johnson and fusion gods Mahavishnu Orchestra during their zenith assure Cobham entry into the pantheon. But his own solo career has some monumental peaks, too, including the 1973 LP Spectrum. This tour celebrates the 40th anniversary of that jazz-fusion monsterpiece. Check out "Quadrant 4," which is the fieriest, most adrenalized jazz-rock track that's never scored a chase scene. Unfortunately, no other original members who played on Spectrum will accompany Cobham, but the material's so fantastic it almost doesn't matter. DAVE SEGAL
Dirty Beaches, Sisu, Chasms
(Barboza) Listening to Dirty Beaches (the drifting lo-fi project of Taiwan-born, Montreal-raised Alex Zhang Hungtai) is like trying to look through the grimy windows of a dilapidated summer house where you know something eerie and interesting is happening in every room, but you can't quite see the whole scene. Everything is familiar—Hungtai isn't shy about influences—but also murky and obscured. Some Dirty Beaches tracks summon a band-playing-in-a-flooded-gymnasium/distorted-ESG funkiness or the Elvis-y synth-punk of Suicide, while others could pass for an introspective score to an indie film with the occasional leap into the electronic realm. EMILY NOKES
(Tacoma Dome) See My Philosophy.
Decibel Festival: Kingdom Crumbs, Shabazz Palaces, the Helio Sequence, THEESatsifaction, and more
Decibel Festival: Moby, Loops of Fury, Blondes
(Showbox Sodo) Richard Melville Hall, or simply Moby, as the masses know him, was the number-one bald vegan of the early '90s, making techno that people who loved techno loved. He then released Animal Rights, which alienated everyone and made Moby consider a career in architecture instead of crappy music. But he kept on and made Play, which wasn't noticed until almost a year after it was released, and suddenly it was cool to like Moby again if you were a mega-celeb or a mall-music programmer. Whatever he's been up to since then, his Decibel appearance will be one of only six he intends to do this year. EMILY NOKES
Garage Voice, the Jesus Rehab, Baltic Cousins
(Columbia City Theater) This time of year, I always miss Bellingham's horror-loving punk band Black Eyes & Neckties. Leaves are turning orange, stores are filling up with pumpkins and Halloween candy, and Black Eyes and Neckties, with their riotous organ-laced songs about coming back from the dead and being murdered, were the best thing to listen to before settling in for a night of old horror movies. Baltic Cousins aren't the same, I know, but the band, featuring a couple former BE&N folks, still sound perfect on an autumn day. They're like an Appalachian version of the Thermals. Their punk-folk songs will appeal to fans of Two Gallants and RVIVR, assuming you're a RVIVR fan who doesn't hate the banjo. And how could you hate the banjo? Banjos can be great. Baltic Cousins prove it. MEGAN SELING
Cold Fronts, Dude York, Swamp Meat
(Heartland) The undeniably catchy power trio Dude York are playing with Philly-based foursome Cold Fronts, who come on strong like a bouncier Strokes soaked in a bucketful of hooks. See them in this intimate space while you can; they recently signed to Sire/Warner Records. Swamp Meat bring a lazy '60s feel to their lighter, floral-patterned, psychedelic-tinged garage. Frayed and a little off, their casual approach wins. You want some harmonica in there? Put some harmonica in there. You want that high note in there, but you're not sure you can hit it? Whatever, it's great. That's seriously what makes it great. If I wanted to listen to perfectly executed vintage pop, I wouldn't. EMILY NOKES
Broken Bow Ensemble Presents Mer
(Chapel Performance Space) John Teske is a tremendously interesting human you should start watching this minute. He listens for natural rhythms and follows them. Otherwise, he's pretty unlimited. He writes for all kinds of instruments, including a bicycle-powered synthesizer, and himself is a double bass player. (In the summer months, he performs by carting his bass around behind his bicycle in a custom-made trailer. He also happens to run sound and visuals for the Frye Art Museum on the side.) This past year, we saw his work at the ONN/OF Festival, where he and Nat Evans set up the transporting (truly, it was) Space Weather Listening Booth, inspired by the northern lights. Now, the ensemble Teske founded, Broken Bow Ensemble, with 26 strings and woodwinds, will present his new, 40-minute composition guided by local tide data, called Mer. JEN GRAVES
Decibel Festival: Henrik Schwarz, Max Cooper, Little Boots, Lusine, many more
(Moore) See Stranger Suggests.
(Vera) See Underage.
Buck 65, Open Mike Eagle
(Tractor) Two decades into a career that's seen him morph from DJ/turntablist to literate indie-rap powerhouse to searching post-hiphop performance artist, Buck 65—the stickiest nom de musique of Nova Scotia's Rich Terfry, who's also recorded as Dirk Thornton and Stinkin' Rich—remains a great force for musical good. 1999's "The Centaur" will forever be hiphop's deepest big-dick brag, 2003's Talkin' Honky Blues is a start-to-finish killer, and everything the man's released since the turn of the century is worth your time. With no new Buck 65 product to be pushed, here's hoping tonight's show is the career retrospective Terfry deserves, in front of an adoring packed house. DAVID SCHMADER
Chelsea Wolfe, True Widow
(Barboza) At some weird imaginary aural crossroads, past Comus and Swans, but somewhere before Strawberry Switchblade and Julee Cruise, you'll find the otherworldly darkness of Chelsea Wolfe. For her last several records, Wolfe experimented with ethereal doom-folk (she's also covered Burzum's "Black Spell of Destruction"). Her newest album, Pain Is Beauty, is less sparse then the haunting acoustic work of Unknown Rooms, but still hints at a panicked numbness, akin to a sensory depravation tank or a near-death experience... perhaps even more so, as the electronic undercurrents exploit that tension. Heavy and gauzy Texas outfit True Widow reference rhythmic post-rock repetition and swirling shoegaze haziness without submitting to either. They balance a chaotic underbelly with cactchy, simple melodies and compelling harmonies. Dark, deep, and unique, they make music to get lost in. BREE MCKENNA
Young Evils, Branden Daniel & the Chics, Black Whales
(Sunset) Whales don't hibernate, but it seems Seattle's Black Whales do—Lindsay Lohan gets arrested more often than the psych-leaning rock band plays out these days, so you should definitely seize the opportunity and get to the Sunset on time to catch 'em. A little extra incentive: They'll be playing new songs from their upcoming record! Just when I thought they had maybe fizzled, the band confirms that a new album is on the way. Speaking of bands that went (temporarily) MIA, the Young Evils are getting back on the stage, too, after taking a short show break. They're also putting finishing touches on a new album, which they recorded in the legendary Sound City studios. Cool! I wonder if Dave Grohl makes an appearance. MEGAN SELING
Stranger Genius Awards
(Moore) See Stranger Suggests.
Marisa Anderson, Walrus Machine, Overcasting
(Gallery 1412) See Underage.
Decibel Festival: Lorde, Until the Ribbon Breaks, Flosstradamus, John Tejada, DJAO, many more
Joan of Arc, Arrington de Dionyso's Songs of Psychic Fire
(Barboza) The first couple of Joan of Arc LPs were difficult, but there were some really golden moments of warped beauty tucked away in Tim Kinsella's deconstructed art-rock. Around the time of their ironically titled studio album Live in Chicago 1999, though, you sensed that Kinsella and company were done making music and were now just fucking with you. Roughly a dozen albums later, Joan of Arc seem to have roped in the more puzzling bouts of experimentation. Sure, their moments of nimble instrumentation are still littered with found-sound detritus, and their passages of quirky beauty are still hacked to pieces before you can fall under their spell, but recent records feel less like "how much art can you take" tests and more like the exploratory math-rock collages of their early years. BRIAN COOK
The Evaporators, Thee Goblins, Acapulco Lips, Bottlenose Koffins
(Comet) If you've ever seen any of the hundreds of interviews—skillfully and hilariously conducted—by the Evaporators' founding member and lead singer, Nardwuar the Human Serviette, then you know the potential for wild surprises exists in everything he touches. A band since the late '80s, the Evaporators' first garage-rock LP was called Oh, God, My Mom's on Channel 10! (Channel 10 being what I can only imagine as an old public access channel). The last time I saw the Evaporators, Nardwuar asked everyone to lie down on the filthy floor of the Funhouse for the last song. If you ever really even SAT on the Funhouse floor, you know what a stellar request this is. Eventually people did it, though. Nardwuar is a very powerful man. KELLY O See also preview.
Decibel Festival High & Tight Boat Party: Kyle Hall, Matias Aguayo
(Islander Boat Cruise) If it's a High & Tight event, you know you're going to get low and loose. This afternoon soiree features Chilean minimal-techno charmer Matias Aguayo and Detroit maverick Kyle Hall. Better than almost everybody in his genre, Aguayo combines mischievous percussion, textural touches, and endearingly goofy Spanish vocals and chants, demolishing the argument that minimal techno's dry. Hall's a prodigy sprouted from a city filthy rich in techno history, but he's not beholden to it. His house productions sport adventurous textures and bold rhythms while maintaining soulfulness. Hall's not reinventing the wheel so much as he's putting dazzling new rims on it. DAVE SEGAL See also preview.
Jarboe, Helen Money, Eye of Nix
(Chop Suey) To understand the enigma of awesomeness that is Jarboe, you have to immerse yourself in the duality of her work. After years of formal classical vocal training, she joined now-classic noise rockers Swans in 1985, adding another layer of hauntingly beautiful bliss to the chaos that Michael Gira had created. From there, she's been all over the place, branching off to do her own solo work and collaborating with everyone from Neurosis to members of black-metal overlords Mayhem. In seconds, her voice goes from delicate to destructive, and her immense discography displays many emotions in between. KEVIN DIERS
Serenity for Saniah Benefit Show
(Chop Suey) See My Philosophy.
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette
(Benaroya Hall) Back in 1983, the great Keith Jarrett (piano) joined forces with the great Gary Peacock (bass) and the great Jack DeJohnette (drums) to release two significant records, Standards, Vol. 1 and Standards, Vol. 2. The jazz on these recordings is solid, beautiful, and simply stated. There is no wizardry on these recordings, but instead a display of mastery. This is jazz with the confidence of a major institution that has a huge institutional memory. Indeed, tonight's performance is a celebration of the memory of those recordings, which happened 30 years ago. For those who do not know of Jarrett, he is famous for participating in the electrified end of Miles Davis's history-making career, for his own solo masterpiece, The Köln Concert, and, finally, for banning audiences around the world from taking pictures of his performances (check out the other Perugia controversy). CHARLES MUDEDE
Youth Code, Night Sins, Crypts
(Chop Suey) Youth Code want to convince you that industrial music is hip again. Channeling a ravaging Wax Trax!–style angst to which you can shake your dreads, the young LA duo set their synths—and voices—to harsh mode, but they can also finesse some subtly chilling horror-film maneuvers when they so desire. Oldsters with stacks of Ministry and Nitzer Ebb discs in their libraries may scoff at Youth Code, but their devotion to the genre is undeniable. Enough time has passed for a new generation to slap its own fingerprints on industrial dance music, as the Young Gods did for a while in the late '80s/early '90s. Maybe Youth Code will do so as they continue to progress. DAVE SEGAL