(Paramount) Say what you will about the Moz... no, seriously--say what you will. I've heard it all. The unanimous contempt held for Morrissey by his detractors has a way of raining down on us devotees like a heavy cascade of chrysanthemums at a particularly amorous Smiths show. The polarizing effect of Morrissey's apathetic croon and cartoonish persona seems unparalleled in contemporary pop music--and whether critic or enthusiast, it's remarkable just how volatile all emotions seem to remain. God knows, he certainly doesn't make it easy for us. Following 2000s bloated, PVC-clad "¡Oye Esteban!" episode, it seems like the former fervor has quelled slightly for King Brood, but there's no question that this show's gonna sell out. Rumor has it that we fans are in store for new material (finally!), and early dates have heard revivals of classics like "There Is a Light...," so mock me if you will, but I'm gonna be there--Band-Aids placed firmly on nipples. ZAC PENNINGTON
SARAH SHANNON, LOS HALOS, LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
(Crocodile) Seeing what's become of Sarah Shannon is like going to a high-school reunion and discovering that the shy, quiet girl has blossomed into a confident and elegant woman. Back in 1992, I stumbled upon a Velocity Girl show while passing through a remote wing of the student union building at the University of Maryland. There, a demure Shannon led the soon-to-be-lauded band through an inspiring set, though her ambrosial melodies were mostly drowned out by the quintet's shoegazery guitars. Ten years on, her immense talents can't be overshadowed by anyone. Shannon's self-titled solo debut, released earlier this year, is a stylish and varied set that finds her teamed with Pedro the Lion alumnus Blake Wescott for songs that travel between lithe indie-pop and string-laden, theatrical jazz. And though her vocal arrangements are more grand and sophisticated than ever, it's nice to see that the old sweetness remains. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG
(Chop Suey) This is the night you've been hearing about, the one that gives Pho Bang a run for its money in terms of reining in the hipsters who like to drink and act all silly and sexy on these hot Thursday nights. Unlike Ursula and Jackie's notorious celebration of debauchery at Re-bar, which features live bands, Summer Lovin' favors a revolving stable of DJs (which, in the past, has included Michael Antonia, Dann Gallucci, French Fillip, W2pk, and the night's lovable host, DJ Cherry Canoe, who tonight bids goodbye to her baby as this will be Summer Lovin's last, and surely the most wild, drunky-pants, and dirty-dance occasion). KATHLEEN WILSON
POINT LINE PLANE
(Pho Bang at Re-bar) Point Line Plane is all about being up in your grille. A Portland duo consisting of drummer Nathan Carson (of Witch Mountain) and keyboard-player/screamer Josh Blanchard (of the Kremlin Bronx, Mome Raths, the Sensualists), PLP drops electric bombs of lightning-heavy synth aggression. Blanchard's vocals buzz with a troubled darkness, often climaxing with him recklessly tossing his body into the audience. Carson's sort-of-dancey, hard-hitting beats keep the keyboards' crash and dissonance tied to earth; by maintaining a spare, minimal sound, the band adds to its electrically charged, dangerous intensity. While Point Line Plane has only existed for a year at the most, they've just returned from a successful tour of the West Coast, playing with aesthetically similar, new-punk-underground bands such as Deerhoof, Experimental Dental School, and Numbers. Point Line Plane is not a perfect band yet, but the arty, brooding sound it has captured is already extremely refined and exciting. JULIANNE SHEPHERD
KASEY ANDERSON, COLVILLE MELODY, MATT KEATING
(Tractor) I love procrastination. I've been meaning to organize my CD collection so I can actually find what I'm looking for--like Matt Keating's first full-length, Tell It to Yourself. There's a song on that album ("Lonely Blue") that's haunted me since the first time I heard it and I've been dying to hear it again, but I can't seem to locate the disc. Then here comes Matt himself--providing me not only with the opportunity to (hopefully) see him perform that particular song in the flesh, but also an excuse to put off a chore I've been dreading. If you're a fan of literate, well-crafted pop (the kind where a turn of phrase can twist the knife in your heart), you won't want to miss a rare West Coast appearance by this talented fella who draws frequent comparisons to the likes of Matthew Sweet. BARBARA MITCHELL
(Emerald Queen Casino) I suppose you could head to Tacoma, see the Nuge live, and get all nostalgic listening to the Motor City Madman's best Camaro anthems like "Free for All" and "Stranglehold." But what on Earth for? Keep it real, man! Go to the library and check out a copy of Ted's new cookbook, Kill It and Grill It!--there are currently three copies available (honest, I checked). Time permitting, grab your constitutionally protected firearm and hunt down some wild game (Ted recommends boar and pheasant!). If you're too damn busy to slaughter your dinner by hand, just hop in your Maserati and hit Seattle's Exotic Meats on Aurora. The only thing missing now is wang, dang, sweet poon tang! Thank God Almighty you're on Aurora! Grab a hooker, go home, don a suede loincloth, grill your kill, and crank up Double Live Gonzo. See? That's much more fun! HANNAH LEVIN
ERASE ERRATA, CHROMATICS, HINT HINT
(Crocodile, early) Chalk another casualty up to Seattle's "thriving" punk scene, as the city's principal sonic minimalists, the Chromatics, plot their impending southern pilgrimage to their future home of Oakland, CA. In this, one of their final shows as Seattleites, the Chromatics (on the heals of the recent split 7-inch release with Monitor Bats) have been afforded yet another diamond opportunity to perform alongside the West Coast's premiere basement punk outfit, the jaw-dropping Erase Errata, in what will surely be the most important show of your whole fucking life. Arrive early--and bring flowers. ZAC PENNINGTON See also preview page 38.
THE DAMO SUZUKI NETWORK, KINSKI, LAMPLIGHTER
(Crocodile, late) At the risk of boring you all to tears with my self-important annotations on rock chronology, let me simply say that Can's former frontman Damo Suzuki serves as the voice of some of the most enduring European rock recordings of the 1970s. Perhaps the most important non-German in Krautrock's tortuously involved history, Japanese-born Suzuki joins the seemingly endless legions of "seminal" rock acts whose pale revivals just seem to keep draining my pockets as of late--based on little more than ancient achievements. Lord knows what Suzuki's been up to for the last 20 years, but word is that in recent years his backing band has been known to feature various former Canmates, a threat with enough weight to drain another 10 bucks from me. ZAC PENNINGTON
MIKE JOHNSON (CD RELEASE), SICK BEES, BRETT NETSON
(Chop Suey) See CD Review Revue page 40.
ROCKY VOTOLATO, SELDOM (CD RELEASE), DOLOUR, AMY BLASHKE
(Paradox) In recent weeks, the charming lads of Seldom (Yuuki Matthews, Casey Wescott, and Casey Foubert) found themselves unglamorously and mercilessly compared to Marilyn Manson in a profile in another Seattle newspaper. It was either a gross misuse of metaphor, or poetic license gone horribly awry: There could be no image more antithetical to this piano-based pop group, as Seldom's new record, Romance, is about as threatening as a pink sleeper suit with vinyl footsies. Matthews sings in a lovelorn baritone, and the sharpest thing about him is the sardonic wit that pierces his lyrics. He's certainly not the type to writhe about onstage in his underwear (though I certainly wouldn't begrudge him if he decided to), and he plays the piano, fer chrissakes. If for no other reason, it's worth seeing Seldom just to dispel the Manson myth. TIZZY ASHER
VOYAGER ONE, SUSHIROBO,
(Sit & Spin) If you haven't figured out that valium and other woozy, nerve-loosening drugs are but a pinky-flick away these days--especially if you're already hip to the new RX-express--Voyager One is the soundtrack to feedback-dredged, loosey-goosey, psychedelic shoegazer stuff at the caliber of Spaceman 3 and Ride. If you're in the mood to have your head filled with fuzz and swirling haze, Voyager One gets the job done nicely, whether you happen to be blissfully tranquilized or not. KATHLEEN WILSON
FOG, FCS NORTH, PLAN B, THE GETTER FLASH
(I-Spy) See Speaker Freak page 45.
HEY PUNK!: THE DICKIES, ANGRY SAMOANS, THE DWARVES, PORTRAIT OF POVERTY
(EMP) See Stranger Suggests page 25.
VICTOR NORIEGA TRIO
(Bait House) Victor Noriega is a young, talented jazz pianist. His character, his tastes, and his refinement are inspired by pianists like Billy Strayhorn, John Lewis, and Erroll Garner--the dandies of jazz. Noriega often plays for crooner Mark Mitchell and cabaret empress the Swedish Housewife at venues like Cafe Septieme and ING. Tonight, Noriega works with the elements of jazz elegance: drums, bass, piano. CHARLES MUDEDE
HELL'S BELLES, RC5
(Chop Suey) Several readers are under the incorrect assumption that I have never been a fan of all-girl AC/DC cover band Hell's Belles. Except for those readers having only recently moved to Seattle (when my interest in Hell's Belles began to wane), you'd be wrong to assume that I was anything but highly impressed when I witnessed the girls' debut at the Sunset Tavern. All of the women are accomplished musicians and Om Johari's emotive singing is ferocious, but you can only carry on so long with a tribute to a band that still manages to tribute itself just fine. Tonight's Chop Suey date will be Hell's Belles' last in Seattle (they'll play Thurs Aug 22 at Olympia's Go Club, Fri Aug 23 at JA Michaels, Fri Sept 6 at Fairhaven in Bellingham, and Sat Sept 7 at Tacoma's Hell's Kitchen), and they deserve a warm tribute themselves for putting together such a fine example of women rocking just as hard as (tiny) Aussie men. KATHLEEN WILSON
CLINTON FEARON, BLUMEADOWS
(Rainbow) When I first came to Seattle in 1989, I was amazed to discover that an actual roots reggae band was based in the city. The band was called the Defenders, and the 12-inch I owned and played with great pleasure was "Chant Down Babylon." I later discovered that the reason for the band's authenticity was Clinton "Basie" Fearon, who, along with another defender, had been a member of a successful Jamaican band, the Gladiators, and a studio musician for Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark Studio. How he found himself in Seattle is still a mystery to me (how I found myself in Seattle is also a mystery to me). Fearon's current band, Boogie Brown Band, has the reputation of being the premier roots reggae band in the Pacific Northwest. CHARLES MUDEDE
M. GIRA, SUFFERING & THE HIDEOUS THIEVES
(Tractor) Those who occasionally wax nostalgic for the surgical amphitheater of the 1800s will undoubtedly find a macabre and voyeuristic thrill watching M. Gira play this rare acoustic set. The Angels of Light/Swans frontman spares no gruesome detail when he performs in a stripped-down setting, letting his personal revelations spurt out like bad humor. Songs from last year's Solo Recordings at Home should sound particularly riveting, as they were designed to be exposed to scrutiny. Jeff Suffering, the aptly named leader of Suffering & the Hideous Thieves, will provide more of the same--though judging from the band's debut, Real Panic Formed, it might be slightly more tongue-in-cheek. Even so, spending several hours in the same room with these two--and all their naked vulnerability and unending inner turmoil--should make one feel utterly in need of a hot bath. TIZZY ASHER
MEDUSA, ZAP MAMA, FISHBONE, GUESTS
(Petrovitsky Park, Renton) It's interesting that the attempts made by rapper Mos Def and slam poet Saul Williams (and even DJ Logic, to a certain extent) to leave bloated rap and explore alternative rock have met with unambiguous failure. But this was not always the case: Black artists didn't always have to rap or sing in R&B bands to make it in the pop world. In the '80s, there were numerous big-time black rock bands such as the Beatnigs, Bad Brains, 24-7 Spyz, Living Colour, and Fishbone, and even moderately successful local black rock bands such as Action Buddie and Imij (one of the few, if not the only, black bands to make it on the cover of The Rocket). But all of that has now come to end. If you are black and want a record deal, you can't be like Fishbone, whose music ranges from rock to ska to thrash; you have to be like dumb Nelly or dumber Craig David. Yes, times are bad for black folks. CHARLES MUDEDE
BLÖÖDHAG, MEA CULPA, THE HOLLOW POINTS, THE ABODOX
(Downtown YMCA) I've proclaimed my love for BlöödHag in the past, and I'm not ashamed to do it again. Even though some may think seeing 'em once is enough, that's entirely untrue! Why should you go this time (besides the free books they throw out to the audience)? Because this time the literary metal/hardcore geeks are on an all-ages bill boasting some other very worthy local bands--Mea Culpa, the Hollow Points, the AbodoX. Don't you think it's about time to check 'em all out? Damn right it is! So go to see BlöödHag, but get there early to check out all the other bands. You'll be glad you did. MEGAN SELING
HEY PUNK!: AGENT ORANGE, THE HUNNS, JFA, THE BRIEFS, DIRTY BIRDS, CLAY WHEELS, THE FUTURE NOW DJs, D.I.
(Seattle Center Skate Park) See Stranger Suggests page 25.
Let the bodies hit the floor.
(The Gorge) Ozzfest hit a somber setback last week as touring act Drowning Pool's frontman, Dave Williams, was found dead on the band's bus after choking on his own vomit. On a lighter note, though, Blood Brothers co-frontman Jordan Blilie called Ozzy "boring as all hell" in one of the band's recent press releases. He said he listened to Obourne's set at a recent Ozzfest show and that although he's addicted to The Osbournes, he could only stand three songs by the mealy-mouthed metal icon. Claiming that Ozzy could "hardly sing a whole verse" and that he spent too much time spraying the crowd with a firehose, Blilie was more interested in consuming chilidogs than watching the headliner's set. You have been warned. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE CHERRY VALENCE, FEDERATION X, SHAKE CITY, THE ARM
(Graceland) See Stranger Suggests page 25.
GRANMASTER FLASH, DJ JAM, LIVID
(Showbox) See preview page 37.