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Lose your Deadheads who miss the real deal every night this week!
Pet Shop Boys
Glenn Tilbrook, Joe Michelini
(Tractor) Glenn Tilbrook has earned entry into whatever songwriting hall of fame you and your mates care to construct for his work with UK new-wave pub rockers Squeeze. Their first four albums—Squeeze, Cool for Cats, Argybargy, East Side Story—abound with some of the juiciest, most supple melodies and indelible choruses ever conceived. Seriously, "Another Nail in My Heart" is the kind of song that could (and probably did) make John Lennon and Paul McCartney jealous. Now 56, Tilbrook is still slogging around the circuit, even if his last album, Pandemonium Ensues, came out in 2009. It's a very fine middle-aged-guy pop-rock opus, better than most such efforts and of relevance to hardcore Squeeze fans. Tilbrook's compositional chops are aging like a champ. DAVE SEGAL
Headhunterz, Coone, Brennan Heart, Wheelz
(Foundation) See Data Breaker.
Xperience of Oldominion, Vitamin D, Nissim, John Crown, Dice, Perry Porter, Neema
(Crocodile) Those who have heard the local rapper John Crown on Fleeta Partee's "This Is Hip Hop," a slamming track produced by Jake One, and also on RA Scion's "Amalgam X," one of the best tracks on Adding to the Extra (an album that was released earlier this year), know that he has a lot of talent that's just waiting to be tapped. Crown is a rapper with the rare ability to not only express his ideas well, but also generate interesting ideas. Line after line, you hear great idea after great idea. And, unlike standard rappers, the ideas come out of his mouth with almost no effort. I actually think the world would be a better place if there were a 10.4 Rog/John Crown collaboration. Those who know what I'm talking about know what I'm talking about. CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.
Cumulus, Kithkin, Sundries
(Neumos) Cumulus is the little local band that could, and this is their record release show! At the foundation, the songwriting is the work of Alexandra Niedzialkowski. After initially pairing with her childhood friend Lance Umble and meeting first-time bassist Leah Julius at a Bruce Springsteen tribute show, the core trio was formed. Watching the band mature from self-recording via Kickstarter to their current state has been delightful, and finally their debut album was picked up by Trans-Records (Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla's label) and produced at Phil Elverum's Anacortes studio. Besides being compared to contemporary acts like Best Coast and Tennis, their music also makes me think of Yo La Tengo and dreamy indie rock that wanders into twee territory only to be interrupted by the contrast of raucous guitars. So go watch these happy little clouds soar on their record release day! BREE MCKENNA
Dark Star Orchestra
(Showbox at the Market) Dark Star Orchestra keep the indomitable legacy of the Grateful Dead twinkling with their spot-on tribute concerts. They plunder the mother lode of the jam-band progenitors' vast output for Deadheads who miss the real deal or for those unfortunates who never had the chance to witness them live. DSO's MO is to replicate momentous Dead set lists from the group's deep archives, and then nail every facet of the music. Clearly, DSO have their inspiration's wonderfully tight/loose chops, fluid sense of time and space, and that all-important stamina to keep on truckin' through the transitive nightfall of diamonds. DAVE SEGAL
Fiona Apple, Blake Mills
(Benaroya Hall) Way back in the mid-'90s, Fiona Apple impressed my impressionable young self, first with her venomous, bruised-heart lyrics and the overall woozy darkness of Tidal (telling boyfriends to go to hell with a ferocity twice her age!), then with her heavy public image—Apple's past issues (rape, eating disorders) were no secret—and her refusal to shimmer synthetically under the spotlight (see: her "this world is bullshit" VMA acceptance speech). Since then, her often excessively wordy-titled albums have been even more intriguing, brutal, and strange, with Apple still marching to the beat of her own, perfectly offbeat drum. EMILY NOKES
No Joy, Heavy Hawaii
(Barboza) Montreal's No Joy are frozen in a perpetual 1991 of the fuzzily distorted guitar tone of the mind. They could be Central Casting's go-to modern-day shoegaze band. Which is a good thing if you like that classic 'gaze sound: sugar-rush tempos, hazy female vocals, tuneful feedback, a sense of fiery dreaminess, melodies that induce light-headedness, and dutiful worship of My Bloody Valentine and Lush's back catalogs. If you don't like those things, you may need to readjust your aesthetics. San Diego's Heavy Hawaii make muted, quasi-camp, Beach-Boys-lovin' surf rock. Of course they do. DAVE SEGAL
Universe People, Dreamsalon, Le Shat Noir
(Rendezvous) Universe People consist of some excellent Seattle people who kinda remind me of Kleenex, Country Teasers, and/or Raincoats—though it's hard to keep track of who's in this newish, female-fronted garage-pop band. First it was Kellie Payne (the Snacks, Charming Snakes, See Me River), Min Yee (A Frames, Dreamsalon), and a rad lady named Jo Claxton (Welcome, the Intelligence). Now, I believe the lineup has changed to Jo Claxton, Dave Ramm (Wimps), and Kimberly Morrison (Dutchess and the Duke). In any case, they'll debut some new songs at this show and, if all goes well, play one that I love from their debut LP, Go to the Sun, called "Bad French"—a droll and fantastic song about having bad friends and committing crimes. KELLY O
(Tacoma Dome) See Sound Check.
Queer F*ck Fest: Cold Lake Ox, ET Russian, Nation of Two, My Parade
(Heartland) See Underage.
Swamp Meat, Waxing Hearts, Pitschouse, Julie Byrne
(Atlas Space) See Underage.
First Annual Macefield Music Festival: Polyrhythmics, the Intelligence, the Blakes, Constant Lovers, Young Fresh Fellows, Special Explosion, Hounds of the Wild Hunt
(Multiple venues) When the Seattle Weekly announced it was canceling its annual Ballard-based Reverb Fest, local music fans were not havin' it. The festival was already (mostly) booked, and the venues and bands were already counting on the shows to happen, so folks banded together to keep it alive. They renamed it the Macefield Music Festival, paying tribute to another resilient Ballard icon, Edith Macefield, who refused to give up her house to developers. The lineup features performances from dozens of great local acts, including Constant Lovers, Lori Goldston, Keyboard Kid, Special Explosion, Vox Mod, and so many more. Buy tickets (for just $10!) and get the full schedule at macefieldmusicfestival.com. MEGAN SELING
Le1f, Antwon, Lakutis
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker.
Grayskul, Sadistik, Graves33, Continental Soldiers, DJ Spark
(Neumos) See My Philosophy.
Father John Misty
(Moore Theatre) When most of the talk about an artist is about his or her offstage antics, the general rule is that his/her music must not be that interesting. That is not the case with Father John Misty, aka J. Tillman, who wiggles onstage in .gif-worthy ways and makes blog news by taking on his critics via Twitter and bonding with drunk women who interrupt his interviews. But while that might be what so many people choose to talk about, it's easy to forget that Father John Misty's vintage-tinged psychedelic-rock music is actually great. Tonight we'll have extra evidence of that fact as he performs solo, stripping down his songs to their vulnerable cores. Comedian Kate Berlant, who could possibly out-weird Tillman, will open the show. MEGAN SELING
And So I Watch You from Afar, This Town Needs Guns, Mylets
(Crocodile) Never heard of And So I Watch You from Afar? What would you think if I told you they're an instrumental post-rock band? A bunch of mopey dudes playing boring, delay-drenched ballads? You'd be way off. Instead, imagine Fucking Champs trying to fuse Riverdance melodies with Just a Souvenir–era Squarepusher, and you get a vague idea of the Belfast quartet's super-ecstatic sound. Oxford trio This Town Needs Guns don't aim for the same level of tooth-gnashing, pupil-dilating ecstasy as their fellow UK tourmates, but their adept math pop certainly suggests an Adderall-fueled study of American Football and Owls. Be sure to show up early for Mylets, the solo project of 18-year-old Henry Kohen, who crafts jittery and jagged songs by looping guitar lines and electronic percussion on the fly. BRIAN COOK
Christian Death, Sioux City Pete and the Beggars
(El Corazón) Whoever booked this show hit things right on the nose. If there were ever a local band to support the depravedly dark sounds of groundbreaking LA noisemakers Christian Death, Sioux City Pete & the Beggars are just that band. While their sounds don't necessarily match up—Sioux City Pete plays a downright dirty blend of punk rock and blues, while Christian Death are forefathers of goth—it's all in the delivery. Both are hauntingly catchy, but most importantly, both are fairly odd, right-brained projects created for the freaks by the freaks. Fitting, freaky, and fucking awesome. KEVIN DIERS
Guitar Wolf, the Coathangers, Coward, Trash Fire
(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests.
The Cuntz, Acapulco Lips, DJ CMRTYZ, Bad Future
(Bogart's) I'm pretty excited to check out Bogart's since Brian Foss (former Funhouse owner, punk champion) recently started booking there. Local quartet Acapulco Lips had me at the first song on their Bandcamp, "An Instrumental about Weed." Their popidelic grooves have a ramshackle movie-soundtrack feel, like an early John Waters movie (cue Divine: walking down the street, about to do something horrible). Maria-Elena Juarez's vocals may bring a carefree sweetness to the Cramps-y tunes, but she's definitely not crying over you, buddy. Also on the bill: the Cuntz, bringing you post-offensive headache rock from down under, the lo-fi best-friend necklace that is CMRTYZ (Ty Ziskis and C.M. Ruiz), and the speedy pop punk of Bad Future. Wee! EMILY NOKES
(Neptune Theatre) Mark Lanegan's gravelly, Tom Waits–esque voice is so quintessentially Northwestern to me. I found his 1990 album, The Winding Sheet, within the first week of moving to Seattle. It's still one of my favorite rainy-day albums. Listening to it reminds me of how darkly beautiful and sometimes melancholy the winters are here. The former Screaming Tree and friend of Kurt Cobain is currently touring with his new covers album, Imitations, which includes him covering songs by Nick Cave, Chelsea Wolfe, and Andy Williams. My favorite Mark Lanegan cover, though, will probably forever remain the folk classic "Where Did You Sleep Last Night"—which, of course, was also later covered by Nirvana. If Lanegan busts this one out at this show, I won't be melancholy. I will full-blown cry. KELLY O
Tal National, Cascadia '10, DJ Darek Mazzone
(Tractor) The press materials hail Tal National as "Niger's #1 band," and, honestly, I'm not up on that African country's scene to dispute the designation. On their latest album, Kaani, Tal National—who sound way more lively and interesting than THE National—roil with an almost-maniacal complexity and mantric intensity... like a more prog-rock-oriented Konono Nº1. (Both of these African groups record for England's FatCat Records, by the way.) Check the track "Banganeseba" for exhaustive proof. Niger's a cool place if music like Tal National's regularly charts. This is more boisterous than most of the highlife music I've heard and nearly as soulful as the Tuareg Desert blues made famous in the West by Bombino and Tinariwen. Work up a righteous sweat to it. DAVE SEGAL