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Lose your 12 ping-pong balls every night this week!
Feezable the Germ, Props!, Adam Nystrom, Keyboard Kid
(Nectar) See My Philosophy.
Legendary Pink Dots, Orbit Service
(Crocodile) Raise your hand if you own every Legendary Pink Dots release. Congratulations on your affluent lifestyle! Led by glum vocalist/keyboardist Edward Ka-Spel, these Anglo-Dutch troupers have been traversing the world for more than 30 years, doling out oodles of expansive songs that drape a shroud of gothic eeriness over Pink Floydian psychedelia. On this tour, LPD are supporting their new album, The Gethsemane Option; it's one of their deepest, most introspective and unnerving works yet. Gird your synapses... DAVE SEGAL
King Khan and the Shrines, Hellshovel, Spaceneedles
(Neumos) Arish "King" Khan—father, spiritual guru, and tarot card reader—is the enigmatic frontman of the craziest, and probably best, eight-piece psychedelic soul band to ever emerge from Berlin, Germany. There's a horn section, a rhythm section, and sometimes a guitarist who will tuck his dick and drop his pants onstage, without missing a note. KK&S are equal parts classic soul and garage punk. They're touring with a new album, the first in six long years, called Idle No More. The term "Idle No More" comes from a Canadian First Nations protest movement in Quebec, where Khan spent time in his teens. It's an album filled with Khan's personal stories, including a dedication to the late Jay Reatard ("So Wild") and also to his wife ("Pray for Lil"). One listen, and you can hear it: The king is back. KELLY O
Neema, Peta Tosh, John Crown, Cassow, Grynch
(Barboza) See My Philosophy.
Melt-Banana, Kinski, Monogamy Party
(Chop Suey) Rising from the roots of Japanese noise rock, Melt-Banana are still making incredible records 21 years into their career. In the '90s, Melt-Banana wrote some of the most scathing, gnarled, one- and two-minute, stop-and-start noise songs. And all of this was overlaid with the most face-melting, piercing vocals that you've ever heard shrieked into your ears, courtesy of lead singer Yasuko O., who always leaves me in disbelief as to how such sounds can come out of one lady's vocal cords. While their 2007 album Bambi's Dilemma was almost poppy (well, for a noise-rock band), their latest album, Fetch, is a maturation of both their original noise rock and newer, demented dance-pop tracks. This is a must-see live show—I just hope Melt-Banana can fit their gigantic amps onto Chop Suey's stage. BREE MCKENNA
Goblin, Secret Chiefs 3
(Neumos) See preview.
Hunx & His Punx, Wimps, Coconut Coolouts
(Chop Suey) See Sound Check.
Vex, Vats, So Pitted, Freak Vibe
(Black Lodge) See Underage.
Dreamsalon, Diminished Men, Fuzzy Cloaks
(Bogart's) Seattle's own Dreamsalon—a trio (Min Yee, Matthew Ford, and Craig Chambers) whose impressive 206 CV includes A Frames, the Intelligence, the Lights, LoveTan, Evening Meetings, and more—make arty, bent garage rock and fidgety post-punk held together by a humming wall of constant rhythm. It's ominous, slightly trippy, and perfect for your uncomfortable dance moves. With Diminished Men's menacing avant-surf and the woozy psych-pop adventure that is Fuzzy Cloaks. EMILY NOKES
(Crocodile) Macy Gray is perhaps still best known for her smash 1999 single "I Try," which remains in karaoke books everywhere. But Gray is a lot edgier and crazier than her famous torch song, and an awesome performer when she's on her game. I saw her back in the day, and her prowling stage presence was a perfect match for her sexy, rasping voice. Her Facebook page says she wants to be "as famous as midnight. As powerful as a gun. As loved as a pizza." Legend has it she was once nearly arrested in Barbados for saying "motherfucker" onstage too much. Tonight she's set to perform from her debut album, On How Life Is, so enjoy "Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak" and "I've Committed Murder" (and cross your fingers for "Gimme All Your Lovin' or I Will Kill You"). ANNA MINARD
John Vanderslice, Prism Tats
(Sunset) Twitter has ruined our perception of many people; it's not always a good thing to have immediate access to someone's inner dialogue, especially artists you've admired for years. So often the seemingly wise, strong, interesting people are actually total bores or dumbos when typing in 140 characters or fewer. John Vanderslice, though, is not just a scarily talented songwriter—he's also smart and hilarious. His Twitter feed is filled with goofy observations ("Ordering 12 ping-pong balls on Amazon is a lot more exciting than receiving 12 ping-pong balls in the mail") and wisely balanced self-promotion that doesn't come off as pushy or obnoxious. In fact, following him on Twitter has made me love him even more. It's totally weird that I just critiqued a musician's Twitter feed, I know, but I hope you're already so totally in enamored with Vanderslice's songs, as he's been in the game since 2000, that you don't mind. If not, though, get yourself to the show tonight (and follow @johnvanderslice) to start your love affair. MEGAN SELING
Gaytheist, Author & Punisher, Making Fuck
(Black Lodge) See Underage.
Total Life, Widesky, Relcad
(Hollow Earth Radio) See Data Breaker.
Zeds Dead, Paper Diamond
(Showbox Sodo) See Data Breaker.
Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar
(KeyArena) Thanks to my decade-spanning appreciation of Bob Dylan, Prince, and Morrissey, my ability to ignore the stupid mouth-droppings of my most beloved artists in order to preserve my appreciation of their art is fully operational, which means my humongous love for Kanye West remains unscathed. The few times my pro-Kanye feelings have been jeopardized (most recently, the BBC interview and Kimmelgate), a return to what made me care in the first place clears things up, because Kanye West has made nothing but amazing music for his entire career. The ground covered from The College Dropout to Yeezus is composed of almost nothing but peaks; no one comes close to his talent, ambition, and—most amazing of all, considering the frantic pace of his output—consistency. Live, he's in a class of his own, having figured out how to make hiphop live onstage like no one else before him on the Late Registration tour and improving his game with every outing. Expect dazzling theatrics, precise arrangements, unhinged mouthscreeds, and an awesome opening set from Kendrick Lamar, who, as Bumbershoot proved, knows how to knock out a crowd at KeyArena. DAVID SCHMADER See also My Philosophy.
The Body, the New Trust, MTNS, Where My Bones Rest Easy
(Highline) If there was a contest for "heaviest band," Rhode Island's own the Body would undoubtedly be one of the top contenders. After seeing these dudes rage several times now, only one question remains: How the fuck does vocalist Chip King still have a voice? With the help of some incredibly loud amplifiers, this two-piece roars louder than most, bringing an ear-piercing load of industrial-tinged metal wherever they go, all the while refusing to use a single microphone for their burly screams and howls. Considering the extreme volume at which they play, this is no easy feat. Do Chip a favor and, please, don't talk to him after the show. KEVIN DIERS
Wavves, King Tuff
(Neptune) Nathan Williams, aka Wavves, was the man/band at the forefront of the slacker sludge/fuzzed-out reverb hype of 2008 (decades ago in internet years). Blankets of distortion over pop melodies and pointedly vapid lyrics, and blam!—the summer/bummer combo that created more buzz than a bee at boot camp. Wavves' most recent album, Afraid of Heights, is heavier—there's more depression and anxiety hiding in the grunge layers (you could almost compare the music of Heights to Wavves' previous King of the Beach on album covers alone: a solemn black-and-white photo of a young man with what looks like a dagger drawn on his forehead for the former versus a colorful stoner beach cat for the latter)—but doesn't stray too far from Williams's signature moves: falsetto oooohs and bored/stoned/girlfriend lyrics delivered with fistfuls of Billie Joe Armstrong. EMILY NOKES
Byron Au Yong
(Chapel Performance Space) Welladay! Welladay! is the latest by this marvel of a Seattle composer. It's a collection of "wayward songs" written to honor the orphans and unwed mothers who once lived in the building that now houses the Chapel Performance Space, where the concert will take place in the fourth-floor chapel itself and on the wooden stairs leading up. Performers are vocalist Betsy Baeskens, a piano trio featuring violinist Tari Nelson-Zagar, cellist Lori Goldston, and pianist Tiffany Lin. Au Yong's most recent "comic-rap-scrap-metal-opera," Stuck Elevator, was based on a true story and had its debut earlier this year at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Rumor is that Stuck Elevator may go up locally soon, too. But this one-night event promises a blending of intimate sound and maybe releasing the ghosts of some historical shame stuck in those walls in Wallingford. JEN GRAVES See also preview.
Ssleeperhold, Troller, Airport, Hair and Space Museum
(Therapy) See Data Breaker.
Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa, Secret Colors, Will Do, DJ Retina Burn
(Chop Suey) Dustin Wong is one of the most interesting and ebullient guitarists working today. Like that venerable master of guitar-looping, Robert Fripp, Wong relies on repetition and intricately interlocking rhythms to create his hypnotic compositions. While Mr. Fripp's music can be a bit dry and antiseptic (but in a magnificent way!), Wong's is radiant, beautiful, and bursting with optimism. His latest album, Mediation of Ecstatic Energy, will surfeit your serotonin centers with fizzing, six-string electric sunshine. Wong also collaborated this year with ex–Buffalo Daughter member Takako Minekawa on the Tropical Circle LP, which veers into a gentler, more pastel realm of oneiric indie pop. The track title "Party on a Floating Cake" perfectly encapsulates the mood. DAVE SEGAL
Earshot Jazz Festival: Philip Glass
(Kirkland Performance Center) Philip Glass is coming, y'all! No, we do not know exactly what he will play, but it's a rare solo piano recital by the world's most loved art composer, so you don't really need to know. You can just trust. JEN GRAVES
The Blow, Kisses
(Neumos) Let's brush up on the Blow: originally the intimate/sparse solo endeavor of Olympia's Khaela Maricich in the early 2000s (with two self-released albums under her belt before jumping to K, of course), then joined by YACHT's Jona Bechtolt, who popped up the project from 2004 to 2007. The most recent Blow added visual artist Melissa Dyne after Bechtolt's departure, and Dyne is now a musical contributor/producer on the newest, self-titled album. The Blow (six or seven years in the making, now on Kanine Records, rumored to originally be written for Lindsay Lohan to use during her manic quasi-lesbian phase) wins for me because it's a more cohesive, catchy sound, and Maricich's purring vocals and clever lyrics are even more of a highlight against the shiny electro-pop background. EMILY NOKES See also Stranger Suggests.
Earthless, the Icarus Line
(El Corazón) Like everyone else in the publishing business, guitar-player magazines are struggling. Consequently, you can't really fault them for continuing to focus on old standbys like Eddie Van Halen and Eric Johnson, or overstating the significance of newer Billboard-ers like Jack White. Gotta keep selling those subscriptions somehow. But if credit were given where credit was due, Isaiah Mitchell would be a recurring cover boy for those publications. As the guitarist in the heavy instrumental psych band Earthless, Mitchell blazes with the electric soul of Hendrix, the dexterous stab of D. Boon, and the warped blues of the Groundhogs' Tony McPhee. This isn't to say the molten groove laid down by drummer Mario Rubalcaba and Mike Eginton isn't worth the price of admission alone, but, Jesus, someone give Mitchell a signature model guitar already. BRIAN COOK
Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion
(Jazz Alley) The cantankerous old drummer for Cream, Blind Faith, Fela Kuti, PiL, and several other units has returned to one of his earliest musical loves—jazz (duh). Of course, Baker, even at 74, can't do anything too straight or trad, so he enlists Ghanaian percussionist Abass Dodoo to skew his hard jazz workouts toward that continent's rhythmic undulations. Along with saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown, Van Morrison) and bassist Alec Dankworth, Baker concocts a lively (con)fusion of originals along with covers of tunes by Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Rollins. Footage of recent performances shows that Baker's as deft and commanding as ever behind the kit. Also recommended: the documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, a scintillating look at one of the most gifted and meanest bastids in the music biz. DAVE SEGAL
Grave Babies, Vice Device, Male/Female, So Pitted
(Chop Suey) Portland trio Vice Device feature guitarist/bassist Devin Welch, a onetime mainstay of Seattle avant-rock outfits like Flexions, Past Lives, and Shoplifting. Anyone familiar with those groups won't be too surprised by the direction of Vice Device. Andrea K's stark vocals power over sinewy bass throbs and analog-synth geometry, conjuring grim, gripping post-punk grit and Neue Deutsche Welle atmospheres. Everett's Male/Female are a pleasurably bent, bi-gendered rock group who write odd little melodies that nonchalantly nestle into your brain. I liked them a lot upon initial contact. DAVE SEGAL