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Up & Coming

This Week's Noteworthy Shows and Parties

Up & Coming

Andrew Waits

THE DUTCHESS AND THE DUKE

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Thursday 8/13

Sir Thomas Gray vs. Terry Radjaw (one-on-one basketball challenge), They Live!, We Are Not a Cult, Lamborghiniz, Fresh Espresso

(Funhouse) See Stranger Suggests.

The Dutchess and the Duke, Fences

(Tractor) On October 6, the Dutchess and the Duke will release their sophomore record, Sunset/Sunrise, 10 new tracks recorded by Gris Gris frontman Greg Ashley. I asked the Dutchess, Kimberly Morrison, what set this one apart from the last. "The main difference is instrumentation. The last album, recorded in our friend's basement—at the Magical Basement Studios—we worked with percussion, guitars, vocals, and the occasional flute. With Greg and his studio—he had so much stuff hanging around for us to work with. So much, it would have been shameful not to experiment. The new record is much bigger sounding. There's strings, bells, piano... There's also a new optimism. We recorded it when Jesse [Lortz] had a baby on the way. It sounds so much more hopeful." Let's hope they play a couple of the new songs at the Tractor. KELLY O

Ball of Wax 17: Daniel G. Harmann, Solvents, Happy Birthday Secret Weapon, Brian Baillie, Seth Howard, Jack Shriner, Chris Wise, Black Math

(Sunset) An audio quarterly produced by local singer-songwriter Levi Fuller, Ball of Wax for years has featured dozens of local artists in a variety of genres—Katharine Hepburn's Voice, Lake of Falcons, Plan B, Joy Wants Eternity, and many more have contributed a song (or two or three). Sometimes the releases have themes, sometimes they're just random snapshots of the local music scene. Every quarter, BOW celebrates another valiant effort with a CD-release show. Tonight's installment features Daniel G. Harmann, Solvents, Black Math, and Seth Howard, to name a few. And if you missed an issue, don't worry—many back issues are available for free download at www.denimclature.com/ballofwax (however, should you like what you hear and want to support the cause, you can donate money). MEGAN SELING

Rusty Willoughby, Buzzy Shyface, Jim Biggs, the Young Evils

(marsBar) Beloved by many for his work with the Seattle bands Flop and Pure Joy, Rusty Willoughby won me over all by himself, as the sweet solo singer with an acoustic guitar and more melodies than he knew what to do with, playing out in support of an uncommonly strong self-titled EP in 1999. Since then, Willoughby's released one other record—2008's Filament Dust—and played a smattering of shows both alone and with his reunited bands. Tonight, Willoughby is solo once more, and if it holds to past performances, it will be a quiet, endlessly melodic delight. DAVID SCHMADER

Nappy Roots

(Studio Seven) Excluding Goodie Mob, OutKast, and Nappy Roots, the South is nothing but a dead end for hiphop. True, at the beginning of the 20th century, the South gave blues to Northern cities, but the cities in the North transformed it into a high type of music: jazz. However, when the Northern cities gave the South hiphop at the end of the 20th century, they turned it into a lower form of music. It was like giving someone a cow and all they do with it is cook the entrails. Nappy Roots are one of the few Southern crews that made something more out of hiphop's materials. For one, the rap quintet successfully blended black country music with urban hiphop beats and scratches. They are also very much alive and creative on the mic, producing a steady flow of high-quality hiphop. CHARLES MUDEDE

Friday 8/14

Rock the Bells: Reflection Eternal, Slum Village, Slaughterhouse, Raekwon, Supernatural, Khingz

(Showbox at the Market) See preview.

YACHT, Bobby Birdman

(Vera Project) See preview, and Underage.

DJ Stingray 313, Ya No Mas, Mr. Zillion, 214

(Re-bar) Detroit's DJ Stingray 313 (aka Sherard Ingram) specializes in that dark, cerebral, aquatic electro in the vein of Drexciya (for whom he's DJed), Dopplereffekt, and AUX 88. Whereas much electro fixates on boobies and booties (not that there's anything wrong with that), Stingray 313's sets bump along a higher plane of aesthetic existence, without sacrificing the funk that's electro's lifeblood. He complexly moves asses in a more scientific manner, but you'll still get sweaty by the end of the night—and will still respect yourself the next morning. The rest of the bill's like an all-star squad of Northwest-centric electro production, proving the genre has vitality more than two decades after its birth. DAVE SEGAL

Red Fang, Lions, Little Cuts

(Sunset) Red Fang like beer. This is evident from their spectacular music video for "Prehistoric Dog," which pits the band—clad in armor made of beer cans—in a bloody war against a gang of larpers. I also speak from experience, as I once found myself in the middle of a similarly bitter drunken fight between Red Fang and a friend of mine over the issue of thrown beer cans. Beer and battling are apparently crucial components to Red Fang. And their music—a ruthless, no-frills, skuzzed-out cocktail of pissed and piss-drunk anthems—reflects that particular brand of bottled violence. Opening act Little Cuts are the new garage outfit featuring Dave Hernandez of the Shins and Drew Church of, uh, the Droo Church. BRIAN COOK

Conrad Ford; Or, the Whale; Jack Wilson

(Tractor) Conrad Ford are a band, not a person, a Seattle quartet led by singer/guitarist Andy McAllister. McAllister's voice is low and hushed, and his lyrics are simultaneously stark and image-rich; the combination gives his songs a compelling darkness. The band accompany his singing and acoustic/electric-guitar playing with sturdy and restrained drumming, trembling keyboards and steel guitar, and hollowly resonating strings. This is the sort of rootsy Americana in which Seattle (and, who knows, maybe the rest of the world) seems to be drowning these days, but Conrad Ford do it all right. Or, the Whale are a San Francisco septet from that same sea of folkies, only with hokier country accents, more electrified guitars, and some unfortunately bombastic choral harmonies. I guess it's not just Seattle. ERIC GRANDY

The Dodos, Army Navy

(Mural Amphitheatre, Seattle Center) The Dodos' winsome pop recalls the sweet vocal harmonies of groups like the Hollies and the alternately tender and strident jangliness of the Sarah Records and Elephant 6 stables. The San Francisco trio's records show nuance, restraint, and memorable hooks, although sometimes their songs bubble up into uproarious anthems (see especially "Jodi" off of Visiter). L.A.-based Army Navy whoosh and scamper in a similar vein, but with dollops more sucrose in their melodic bloodstream. And, holy shit, they cover one of the most uplifting songs of all time—Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From"—and do it serious justice. This show starts at 6:00 p.m. and is free. DAVE SEGAL

Head Like a Kite, Dyme Def, Mad Rad

(Crocodile) Head Like a Kite's slithery, signature style—a bold chamber of glitchy, genre-fucking-beats rock—is plenty swoon-inducing as it is. Last year's There Is Loud Laughter Everywhere snuck up on me, confounding me with its downtown-Tokyo-street stimulus, then proceeded to straight set up shop in my skull and iPod. (Full disclosure: HLAK drummer Trent Moorman is a Stranger contributor.) But to take that band and pair them with Seattle's high-energy kings of two-steppin' slick talk Dyme Def and the town's oh-so-controversial (if recently exonerated) bad dudes Mad Rad? Lunacy, I tell you—of the best and sweatiest kind. Drink water. LARRY MIZELL JR.

Jonatha Brooke

(Triple Door) From the late '80s to the mid-'90s, Jonatha Brooke made a name for herself as half of the acclaimed singer-songwriter duo the Story. Since then, she's been an acclaimed singer-songwriter in her own right, releasing a handful of albums on a handful of labels and—whaddya know?—providing the theme song for the Joss Whedon TV series Dollhouse. Last year, Brooke returned to collaboration, diving into Woody Guthrie's archive of unused lyrics to create The Works, an album of Guthrie's words set to Brooke's music. When Billy Bragg and Wilco did this on the Mermaid Avenue records, the results felt like long-lost classics. The Works feels like something new, with Brooke spinning wily, sexy, complex music around Guthrie's plainspoken words. The result is gorgeous, Starbucks-friendly jazz-folk with bite, all delivered in Brooke's alternately sweet and prickly voice. DAVID SCHMADER

Saturday 8/15

Bert Wilson, Syncopated Taint Horn Quartet, Greg Sinibaldi, Jabon, Figeater, Melbatones

(Cal Anderson Park) See Data Breaker, and The Score.

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

(Mt. St. Helens) You read that right: Tonight's Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band show is on the fucking volcano. We can't be too surprised—the vibrant indie-rock outfit have never been too shy when it comes to publicity stunts. They hyped their debut performance for months with quirky, homemade public service–esque videos. And for their CD-release party, they had their own Molly Moon's ice-cream flavor (a yummy blend of coconut, huckleberry sauce, and chocolate chunks). And today, they'll be the first band to perform live on Washington's only active volcano. But it's not just a rock show; it's also an educational experience. The $25 ticket price includes a live performance as well as a lecture about the volcano's history, and for an extra $10, you can go on a preshow guided hike of the area with the band. All proceeds will benefit the Mount St. Helens Institute, and tickets are available online at www.mshvbconcert.eventbrite.com.MEGAN SELING

M'chateau vs. Ctrl_Alt_Dlt, Method to the Madness, Skyler

(Gallery 2308) Gallery 2308 is a new art space in Belltown that also contains a big room that can accommodate musical events; it can also be rented for band practices, photo shoots, and parties. Tonight, some of Seattle's savviest techno and house selectors occupy these arty digs. M'chateau typically works the funky and soulful end of the tech-house continuum while Data Breaker fave Ctrl_Alt_Dlt (Chris Aldrich) messes with the more minimal, cerebral specimens. In a similar vein to Aldrich, Skyler killed it at Electric Tea Garden opening for New York's Big Bully earlier this year, so I'm stoked to catch another set by him—and to experience what looks to be a promising venue. DAVE SEGAL

Solillaquists of Sound, the Let Go, DJ Indica Jones

(Nectar) This hiphop crew hail from Orlando, Florida, but their sound has nothing to do with the South. Rather, their sound is global—or, better yet, it's something like internet hiphop. Solillaquists of Sound make music that is less about unifying world space and more about exploring virtual space. Their program: Everything is open, anything goes. And it works. The music on their new album, No More Heroes, is fast, passionate, melodic, exotic, and experimental. There is even a touch of dubstep melancholy on a track or two. The vocalists (Swamburger, Tonya Combs, and Alexandrah) swing like soul singers, but they also draw deeply from triphop divas like Martina Topley-Bird and Wendy Stubbs. Solillaquists of Sound's sound isn't new or exceptional, but the crew know what they're doing and do it well. CHARLES MUDEDE

Sunday 8/16

Vermillion, Shane Tutmarc, Ghost of Kyle Bradford

(Neumos) Seattle's Michael Vermillion, Shane Tutmarc, and Kyle Bradford all play within the largely acoustic, folky singer-songwriter tradition, with varying degrees of country twang. Tutmarc, for his latest album, Shouting at a Silent Sky, has assembled a nine-piece band (including backing-vocal trio the Chromettes) to flesh out his bluesy ballads. The songs are pretty standard fare, but the band arrange them ably, and Tutmarc is as confident a songwriter as he is a charismatic singer. Bradford's solo project is a far sparser (and appropriately haunted) affair, all cold acoustic-guitar strum and foggy-breathed vocals in the style of Bon Iver. The couple songs of Vermillion's floating around have him singing in a smoky, low whisper of a voice, his acoustic guitar backed by a sturdy rhythm section and accented with harmonica and steel guitar. ERIC GRANDY

Monday 8/17

Aerosmith, ZZ Top

(White River Amphitheatre) The never-ending History of Rock train that's chuggin' through the Northwest this summer is about to make another stop at White River, this time with forever-bearded and sharply dressed super-Texans ZZ Top onboard. It's also got most-radio-friendly-American-hard-rock-band-in-the-world Aerosmith in tow. I saw Aero in 1989 with my mom and my uncle Ken. We were all secretly stoned and pretending we weren't. I wanna see Aerosmith again (not-so-secretly stoned), because rumor has it that this toured is cursed. They can't stop hurting themselves. In addition to Joe Perry's emergency knee surgery, guitarist Brad Whitford's head injury (caused, somehow, as he was getting out of his Ferrari), bassist Tom Hamilton's recent "noninvasive" surgery for who knows what... Steven Tyler just danced his way right off the stage at the annual Sturgis Bike Rally—and earned himself some head and neck injuries. See Aerosmith before it's too late! KELLY O

Tuesday 8/18

The Cave Singers

(Easy Street Queen Anne) See preview.

Six Organs of Admittance, Master Musicians of Bukkake

(Crocodile) Sprawling local troupe Master Musicians of Bukkake explore and manifest the mind-altering properties of myriad world musics, and then warp them to their own peculiar specifications. Reverence for tradition mingles with maverick musical instincts, resulting in a hydra-headed beast oozing exotic, sublime frequencies. Six Organs of Admittance (Seattle transplant Ben Chasny and various accompanists on his lofty wavelength) is supporting his new Drag City opus, Luminous Night. Abetted by Eyvind Kang's viola, Randall Dunn's keyboards, Matt Chamberlain's drums, Dave Abramson's percussion, and Hans Teuber's flute, Chasny hypnotically picks his way to orchestral-folk glory. The dominant vocal style on Luminous Night is solemn and devotional; the dominant sonic tone is dark purple, arboreal splendor. Six Organs creates a delicately beautiful efflorescence of sound that will endure like an evergreen. This is Chasny's "Seattle" album, and he done us proud. DAVE SEGAL

The Octopus Project, the Animals at Night

(Chop Suey) The largest octopuses in the world live in Puget Sound, and they can grow to 200 pounds of muscular tentacles. Their mouths are sharp beaks, their saliva is venom, and they've attacked divers. (Seriously.) No fatalities have been reported but, as biologist Dr. Roland Anderson wrote, "there have been diver deaths where no cause is found to explain the tragedy. Perhaps octopuses were involved..." Polynesian myths say octopuses will eventually leave the ocean and declare war on humankind. The Octopus Project, on the other hand, are an "indietronica" band from Austin. They play innocuous, poppy instrumentals and attract pale waifs in oversized Run-D.M.C. glasses. What connects these Texans, their predatory namesake, and their tender fans? And what is this "Project"? Does it involve a midnight boat ride? Summoning octopus overlords from the deep? Offering them a kid, bound and squirming, as a human sacrifice? Well DOES IT? BRENDAN KILEY

Wednesday 8/19

Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death, Silk Flowers, Flexions

(Cairo) Silk Flowers are a New York–based band signed to No Age member Dean Spunt's Post Present Medium label. The trio use extremely lo-fi-sounding synths, drum machines, and samples to create moody, muddy, and often cheap synth pop with light industrial touches. "Costume" and "Flash of Light" have the kind of alternately icy-sharp and gaseous synths you'd hear in early Depeche Mode or Human League or those few Joy Division tracks into which Martin Hannett snuck some keyboards. "Flash of Light" also displays the band's most common vocal mode, a gothic baritone moan that apes and exaggerates Ian Curtis at his lowest. It's murky stuff, but an occasional groove or melody does emerge from it. Two of these guys used to be in Soiled Mattress and the Springs, if that means anything to you. ERIC GRANDY

This story has been changed since its original publication.

 

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