(Crocodile) The Now are such a peculiar mix of Brit pop and classic rock that they could comfortably share a bill with either KISS or the Charlatans. This show will play up their rock side, as they blow both Droo Church and Matchless out of the water with their mini-rock-opera songs like "Misty," which is one part Pete Townsend and two parts Freddie Mercury. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Gordon Biersch) It will never cease to amaze me how lazy hipsters can be. I know the Gordon Biersch isn't "cool" (can't you just hear the collective gasp when it's revealed that the bartender isn't even in a band?), but I don't know why that ought to mean no one has fun there. It is fun, goddammit. It's fun 'cause you can bring all your pals and start a freak table, as we did one recent night when Ken Stringfellow was playing. It's fun because at midnight, at the beginning of his THIRD set, Ken, on a whim, started playing through Pet Sounds. It's fun because we almost convinced Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie to sing backup on "Wouldn't It Be Nice?" It's fun regardless of whether it's in a mall, in a club, or in fucking Kosovo. And Marc Olsen puts on a great fucking show no matter where he is. ERIN FRANZMAN


(I-Spy) I'm trying to be patient. Really I am. But so few bands excite me the way Kinski does -- the way they shift from fragile to thunderous, the way their songs ebb and flow, the way they've reinstated dynamics as an art form so that each song possesses a palpable sense of anticipation, of climax and release. I keep hearing that there's a new album on its way -- When? When? WHEN? I'm not going to sleep at night until I know I can experience more Kinski whenever I feel like it. But until then -- well, thank God for live shows. Tonight they're playing with Japanese indie noise-gods High Rise. BARBARA MITCHELL

(Art Bar) With a name like Lord Chillum, you know there's nothing too aggro coming from the DJ booth during this venue's drum 'n' bass night. Tamara makes a good partner in rhyme, as both spin downtempo and intelligent grooves that are relaxed without being catatonic. If you're looking for serious jungle, try the Baltic Room on Tuesdays; for a nice Friday night unwinding, this is a good place to start. LEAH GREENBLATT

(Crocodile) Oh mercy. This show is inhuman. It's a kind of cruelty I didn't know was possible. This show is everything you want. Afterwards, there's no meaning, no reason to get up in the morning -- you've already seen the ultimate. How can three of the best Northwest bands play a show together? All that's left is to plod along through the rest of your life: through marriage and children and vacuum cleaners and Pepto-Bismol and Pottery Barn. And you'll fill your life with ephemera, trying to stuff the hole in your heart that was made when you set foot on the (probably) rain-slicked pavement of Second Avenue after seeing the lineup of your dreams. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Graceland) The last thing I remember is seeing a huge wooden mask in my rearview mirror, and hearing the blaring horn of a speeding semi. I woke up in the hospital -- another victim of the Voodoo Trucker. Deadbolt is known as "The Scariest Band in the World," and they play music they call "Voodoobilly." It's surfy and twangy, yet full and menacing. See them live, and marvel at the tricks they pull out of their bag for the show (circular saw? hair spray? a cursing witch doctor?). They have a new drummer, Clay Moore Mines, and a new album, Voodoo Trucker. JUAN-CARLOS RODRIGUEZ

(Hi*Score Arcade) Lots of sweaty, happy kids and lots of sweaty, happy, dissonant music from Seattle's own Nod and Smile. The only thing that can top Ms. Pac Man. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Rainbow) Although our very own Living Daylights have been milking the easy-to-please jam-band circuit as of late, they're capable of pleasing musical minds far more sophisticated. So it's no surprise that they're cutting their next record with Bill Frisell's producer of choice, Lee Townsend, at the helm, and the guitar god himself guesting on a track or two. This trio has a lot to offer, as does Shelley Doty (ex-Jambay), a super-talented, San Francisco-based new-soul singer and guitar-slinger who's been making some serious waves. And for good reason -- she can seemingly do it all. JAMES KIRCHMER

(Breakroom) This is going to be an all-acoustic show that will showcase the skills of musicians who don't have screaming effects pedals and howling amplifiers to cloak their songs. Bunnyfoot Charm, at least, have proven their ability to pull this sort of thing off. Their latest seven-inch just happens to be in this very same vein, featuring clean guitar and bass, and even piano. It's sort of a new area for them, but they've already mined some gems like "Gettin' Drunk fer Fun." Come have a beer and sing along with the boys. JUAN-CARLOS RODRIGUEZ

(Sit & Spin) You know, it's getting harder and harder to come up with new Pixies jokes for our No. 13 Baby previews. Q: How many Pixies cover bands does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: To get to the other side! A rabbi, a priest, and a Polish guy are watching a Pixies cover band. The rabbi says, "Aren't you glad you didn't say banana?" Q: Why did the dead baby cross the road? A: To see the Pixies cover band! My god, I'm tired. ERIN FRANZMAN

(OK Hotel) In typical Colorado jam-band fashion, Motet's Afro Cuban-influenced grooves are silly, whitewashed versions of the real thing. And, contrary to popular rumor, there are no members of Galactic in this band -- once upon a time, the drummer (Dave Watts, formerly with Boston-based Shokra) toured with them. JAMES KIRCHMER


(I-Spy) Aphrodite is sort of the Fatboy of jungle. Purists dismiss him as fodder for the mall-going masses, and that may be true, but he also sells a lot of records for a reason. Aphrodite is fun jungle. Sure, he's not an artiste, not pushing any boundaries, but just as Norman Cooke hooked every mallrat and his Mama on Big Beat, thus expanding their horizons, so can Aphrodite bring this far more elitist genre to the great unwashed. I say, good for him -- there's room for more than one DJ out there, for godsakes. LEAH GREENBLATT

(Fenix) Relentless touring, massive grass-roots following, huge sales of their self-released album.... Don't be afraid. Sure, their story sounds a lot like the Dave Matthews Band or Hanson, but this Boston trio plays smart, catchy pop that has more in common with artists like Crowded House or Michael Penn. Besides the fact that their career was launched on the strength of their live show, it's a given that these guys know how to entertain. BARBARA MITCHELL

(Breakroom) Symptoms: frustration, boredom, anger, sadness. Probable causes: shitty people, school, evil machinery of übersociety trying to steal your soul, too much sugar. Primary treatment regimen: punk shows. Recommendation: Go with friends to Breakroom, watch punk bands. Stomp on floor, shake fists and yell. Follow-up: Continue recommended treatment until symptoms subside. If symptoms persist, start own band. JUAN-CARLOS RODRIGUEZ

(Rainbow) Comparisons and smiles abound when Zony Mash guitarist Tim Young's Very Special Forces take to the stage. Their humorous, anything goes, rock-opera-styled pop is wide-ranging, à la Ween, and often outrageously re-arranged and vocalized, à la Mr. Bungle. You'll quickly realize, though (perhaps after hearing their tongue-in-cheek tributes to Shania Twain), that describing these livewires along other bands' lines just doesn't cut it. The same applies to the hard-edged out-jazz openers starring the likes of Project W's Wally Shoup, guitarist Bill Horist, sax shredder Dan Blunck, and former VSF drummer Mike Peterson. JAMES KIRCHMER

(Sit & Spin) The Olympia invasion continues! Is Kill Rock Stars relocating to Seattle? Or is the Sit & Spin actually located in the 360 area code? Ah, well, it doesn't matter -- whatever the reason for the sudden onslaught, it's cause for celebration. Tonight's show features Sleater-Kinney offshoot Cadallaca, Two Ton Boa, Deerhoof, the Tight Bros from Way Back When, Witchypoo, and hands-down winner of the Best Name of the Week award, Sean Na Na. BARBARA MITCHELL

(Kirkland Senior Center) While I know that this is an all-ages show, I can't help but imagine Juno's Arlie Carsten, before launching into a song, chastising an auditorium of senior citizens for not supporting the scene or for selling out their punk principles. Bring a can of food and get $2 off the admission. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Crocodile) Don't miss Sea Wolf, an awesome leather and lace cover band that spews punk rock versions of "Life after Love," "Larger Than Life," "Livin' la Vida Loca," and the disco version of "My Heart Will Go On." It's not all scowls and spit, however. When Sea Wolf feel like spreading a little love, you can bet they'll bless the Crocodile with their heartfelt trademark ska rendition of "The Rose" -- sung through headset microphones, of course. KATHLEEN WILSON

(Paramount) In typical Colorado jam-band fashion, the String Cheese Incident's Telluride-based bluegrass-influenced grooves are silly, whitewashed versions of the real thing. And, contrary to popular rumor, the string cheese their name refers to is the obnoxious, aerosol can kind. Cheese Whiz, if you will. JAMES KIRCHMER


(Crocodile) For anyone who's never seen the Catheters' Lars Swenson and Mike Maker fighting over control of the record player at the Chicken Soup Brigade, this show is a chance to see what you've been missing. And if there are any ladies who can tear their gazes away from Brian and Lars for even a minute, tell me, isn't drummer Dave looking good these days? ERIN FRANZMAN


Just stay home. Your rock and roll lifestyle is catching up with you.


(Showbox) The Head Trauma Coalition returns tonight with a show that features Sludgeplow, For the Love of Suffering, and Ton. If the idea of heavy music frightens you, you might want to ease into things with Ton. This local trio doesn't sacrifice melody for monster riffs (or is that vice versa?). There's enough big-rock action to cause inadvertent head banging, but there's an underlying tunefulness that's missing in a lot of music that falls into this genre. Plus, it's only a dollar to get in. Go ahead -- live a little! BARBARA MITCHELL

(Crocodile) It's been almost two years since Grant Lee Phillips (better known as the voice of Grant Lee Buffalo) played an official show here. Those two years have seen significant changes for Phillips -- a part with Warner Bros. and a split with long-time drummer Joey Peters have left Phillips free to pursue his singular vision on his own. What's certain not to have changed is Phillips' otherworldly voice, not to mention his tremendous charisma as a live performer: He possesses the magnetism of an old-fashioned revivalist, the passion of a true believer, and a keen but off-kilter wit that keeps things firmly grounded in the here and now. If you can avoid falling under his spell, I'm convinced you have no soul. BARBARA MITCHELL


(Fenix) Oh, my. Subset (a.k.a. Sir Mix-A-Lot and the Presidents of the United States of America) are gearing up to take their show on the road. Tonight's appearance kicks off an 11-date tour of the West Coast, so if you want to stay one step ahead of your hipster friends in, oh, say, Tuscon, you'd better get your behind down to the Fenix tonight so you can say you saw this unholy union first. BARBARA MITCHELL

(The Backdoor Ultra Lounge) A.k.a. "the Future of Funk," this night touts itself as an East Coast-style party, featuring lots of hiphop, jungle, and turntablism. Enjoyed, of course, by lots of West Coast white folks. Still, the crowds for similar nights at the 700 Club and Art Bar have managed to "mix up" pretty nicely -- hopefully this new mid-week shaker will do the same. Party hosts will include the seriously oldskool Ch. 29, plus LSDJ, Rico, and MC Mia. LEAH GREENBLATT

(Showbox) I'm not quite sure why the Showbox has started doing all-ages, and on a school night, no less, but I admire them for putting kids before cash. Donald Glaude's a fixture both at local raves and at this club's own over-ager Saturday nights; now the twain shall meet. So head down there, have yourself a Pepsi, and git yer groove on for a few hours -- just don't be late for homeroom tomorrow. LEAH GREENBLATT