SCOTT McCAUGHEY, STEVE TURNER, IAN MOORE, SARAH SHANNON, ROBB BENSON, GUESTS
(Easy Street Saloon) Have you ever noticed that 45-minute sets can be a bit much, even when you really like the band? Even before someone started paying me to write about music, I'd often find myself getting twitchy after 30 minutes or so. Whether it's a side effect of my short American attention span or a justifiable belief that audiences should be left wanting more, I find brief sets from multiple artists a refreshing change of pace. Apparently, so do the nice folks at Easy Street Records. This bill (to launch their newly christened Easy Street Saloon) focuses on quality and brevity, with short sets from local favorites like Scott McCaughey and Robb Benson, a showcase of new solo material from Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner, and the morosely stirring folk yarns of Barton Carroll, a hidden gem in Seattle whose growing group of fans includes Crooked Fingers/ex-Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann. HANNAH LEVIN
(Seattle Art Museum) What is it about English bands (or bands that sound like English bands) that's so irresistibly charming? Light Heavyweight are as domestic as Hale's Ale, but they come across like an import--all swooping melodies and gorgeously sweeping, swoon-worthy guitar pop. They're as romantic as a candlelit Valentine's Day dinner at an intimate French restaurant, and they seem destined to give British counterparts like Coldplay a run for their (or your) money. In a world overcrowded with emo bands sporting sensitive lyrics that are as clumsy and overwrought as a junior high school girl's diary and "new-rock" bands fronted by recovering bullies and frat boys begging for your sympathy, it's refreshing to hear vulnerable music that's graceful, thoughtful, and intelligent--and the real deal. If you've been looking for a local band to pick up where Morrissey and Co. left off, Light Heavyweight will fit the bill quite nicely. BARBARA MITCHELL
MC QUEEN LUCKY
(Baltic Room) MC Queen Lucky's importance has yet to be recognized or celebrated properly. The transformation of Seattle from an outpost to an actual global city (not a world city, but a global city--Seattle will never be a world city) was facilitated not only by corporate profits but also, on the level of the music scene, by DJs like MC Queen Lucky, who in the early '90s played hiphop and funk at the Re-bar--the birthplace of modern Seattle. MC Queen Lucky played (and still plays) black music: not triphop or French hiphop, but real black American hiphop and R&B. She is not scared of the live, direct energies generated by the grooves of black funk. CHARLES MUDEDE
THE REVOLUTIONARY HYDRA, RAT CAT HOGAN, METRIC
(Crocodile) The miniature turret sketch that graces the back of all Elsinor Records releases serves those familiar with the Bellingham label's diminutive catalog with a clear indication of what's inside: intimate, melodic, and often gallingly literate pop music. Like their Seattle brethren at Barsuk Records, Elsinor's output is often deceptively sugary-sweet, causing many a guilty toothache in their wake. I say guilty because, as embarrassingly unfashionable as it might be, I now (hesitantly) divulge my complete inability to resist Elsinor's particular brand of guilty-pleasure pop--due in no small part to the likes of Rat Cat Hogan and the Revolutionary Hydra. Celebrating the release of their latest Elsinor titles--Vitamins & Calcium = Health & Happiness and Knockout to Dispense, respectively--Rat Cat Hogan and the Revolutionary Hydra are guaranteed to satiate your secret indie-rock sweet tooth, whether your pasty ass'll admit it or not. ZAC PENNINGTON
ONALASKA, TREASURE STATE, YEEK YAK AIR FORCE, TRUCKER OF THE SEA
(I-Spy) Expect to see some complicated musicianship with tonight's bill. Onalaska is a supergroup of sorts featuring Brian Cook, Stephanie Goldade, Cory Murchy, Jake Snider, and Erin Tate--who figure in Botch, Kill Sadie, Sharks Keep Moving, and Minus the Bear--and Yeek Yak Air Force's Phil Ek-produced, self-titled debut displays a wealth of skilled math rock that won't bore even the most lyric-loving types. KATHLEEN WILSON
ATMOSPHERE, MURS, DJ BIRD
(I-Spy) See Speaker Freak, page 53.
SEASPOT MAGAZINE ANNIVERSARY PARTY
(Sky Church) See preview, page 47.
GAS HUFFER, THE BRIEFS, THE HIT, SCHOOLYARD HEROES
(Old Fire House) See preview, page 45.
THE START, Q AND NOT U, NOISE RATCHET, DAME FATE
(Paradox) It must be a blessing and a curse to be signed to D.C.'s Dischord Records. On one hand, you have the covetable cachet of being under the iconic wings of label owner and Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye. On the other hand, you have to endure the inevitable comparisons to Fugazi, the assumption that your band will be emblematic of that "D.C. sound," and the expectation that you'll steer your career according to the DIY rulebook. Dischord's latest signing, Q And Not U, seem to be straddling these challenges well, exercising the influences of go-go and dub punk while demonstrating a youthful, pop-fortified take on the angular, aggressive style of earlier Dischord bands. They're toeing the line, though--just a few more soaring choruses and self-lacerating lyrics would push them straight into the narcissistic and sanitary world of emo. Let's just hope those DIY ethics keep them lean, mean, and far away from Jimmy Eat World's fan base. HANNAH LEVIN
MARK EITZEL, KASEY ANDERSON
(JBL Theatre) Mark Eitzel is one of those artists you can put away for a while and trust that they'll sound just as good when you pull them out again--be it their albums or their live performances. Always an interesting conversationalist and singer, you can bet tonight Eitzel will shine with both of these qualities. KATHLEEN WILSON
THE MAKERS, TYCO PARTY, POST STARDOM DEPRESSION, NEW LUCK TOY
(Crocodile) Ten years ago, the Makers were a very different band. Rolling up to shows in a hearse, the group was known for their trashy, distorted garage-rock style. Over the past decade, though, the Makers have created a new image, morphing into a grander-sounding glam-rock act. Their most recent disc, Strangest Parade, has an aching vocal swagger usually reserved for fey British singers--a dramatic, Bowie-esque presentation that makes every personality crisis sound like the end of the world. Parade is showy and pretentious in all the right ways, layering instrumental touches (harmonica, grand piano, keyboards) on thicker than the layers of leather and fur the band sports in public. The Makers' new sound has both depth and breadth (especially "Calling My Name," a Prince-style slow song I couldn't take off repeat mode after I first heard it), and takes a very different direction from the usual garage-punk trajectory. Tonight's show celebrates the Makers' 10 years of rock 'n' roll style. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE ROTTEN APPLES, RIGHT ON!, PARTY TIME
(Sunset Tavern) See preview, page 43.
THEMSELVES, ALIAS, JOSH MARTINEZ, ONRY OZZBORN
(I-Spy) When you notice that Anticon's members--Dose, Sole, Jel, and why?, to name a few--release a new project practically every six weeks, it can seem like the squishy Oakland hiphop collective is just too frigging prolific. But when you actually listen to their records, you realize these boys are compelled by some unstoppable force of art, creating tons of bent, arty hiphop that plays like a sound installation in your diary. Themselves, which features brilliant MC Doseone and producer Jel, is a lot more beat-oriented than cLOUDDEAD or Jel's solo production. It actually has some bounce--granted, it bounces in a Mills College, electro-experimental way--but it's undeniably bounce. Anticon's Alias, who declares himself "the humble godfather of goth-hop," wrecks with shockingly bare emotion. The dark feel of his production is akin to that of RJD2's Dead Ringer, but with better flow, and Alias declares, "I'm sure to lose but I'll be a good sport to keep it smooth and act as though I got something to prove to everyone around me." Goth-hop, indeed. JULIANNE SHEPHERD
THE LEGACY OF DEBUSSY
(ArtsWest) There are only two composers I care for in the "musical tradition": Bach (1685-1750) and Debussy (1862-1918). One was German, the other French. One was baroque, the other impressionistic. In jazz, I have a similar arrangement: Art Tatum (1909-1956) and Bill Evans (1929-1980). Art Tatum was baroque, Bill Evans impressionistic. Evans' style owed everything to Bud Powell (1924-1966) and Debussy, whose European lyricism ornamented Evans' American piano. I read somewhere that Debussy composed his works while surrounded by flowers; how I wish rock bands and hiphop DJs of our day did the same. CHARLES MUDEDE
JON AUER, ANDREA MAXAND, CHRIS WALLA
(Liquid Lounge) Andrea Maxand, as you must know by now, is one of Seattle's most distinctive talents; her songs are strong and physical, but they're also filled with lyrical nuance and double meaning. Her voice is the unlikely kind of beautiful, defined by conviction rather than obvious polish. In between the demands of his rampant production schedule, Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie fame) is putting finishing touches on the debut LP of his solo project, the Martin Youth Auxiliary. I have heard some of it. A good reference point is XTC. Another is Sloan. Another is (middle-period) Genesis. I will say no more, except that it is likely to astonish you. Jon Auer remains Jon Auer, a man with one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard, the talent to do hammer-ons faster and better than your death-metal stoner cousin, and the serenity to know the difference. In all, local shows don't really come any better. SEAN NELSON
REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN
(Secluded Alley Works) The Slender Means Society, an itinerant indie rock Weimar cabaret (with a dash of Algonquin flavor), drops its trousers to the world and pulls on a skirt for "The Revolution from Within," a show featuring only female performers. The identities of the lady musicians, filmmakers, and spoken word-ists are being kept secret to ensure that the evening be kept "intimate and manageable," but be assured that all the participants, be they luminaries or latecomers, will be worthy of your time and attention. Six bucks for boys, gratis for girls. All-ages. SEAN NELSON
ELVIS COSTELLO, PHANTOM PLANET
(Paramount) The last time Mr. Costello came to town, I previewed the show by way of saying his latest record, When I Was Cruel, wasn't as good as people were saying it was. After seeing him play not once but twice (courtesy of the magicians at Easy Street Records, where I stood no more than five feet from my living hero as he played a short set of intimate, vital, fucked-up new songs), I retracted that statement in the following week's paper. Now I can say that Cruel is aging very well, for all the reasons I thought and said it wouldn't, and the new band, the Imposters--featuring two Attractions (the two important ones, keyboard wizard Steve Nieve and drummer Pete Thomas) and a guy from Cracker--is killer. Mixing new stuff with classics and curios from all Costello eras (they played "Waiting for the End of the World" SECOND! "I Want You" was the THIRD encore!), the last Paramount show was one of those perfect evenings that made you zoom home and fill the CD changer with the only Elvis who ever mattered. There's no reason to suspect this show will be any different. SEAN NELSON
C.O.C.O., HEADPHONE, DJS FRANKI CHAN & RED LEATHER CHAPSTICK
(Graceland) According to their website, the Olympia five-piece Necktie Party broke up in July. But don't fret--two of their members, including leader Mikey, have gone on to form Headphone, and they are every bit as interesting as the Party. With extra helpings of intensity, the duo's screamed, half-guttural vocals wail over a wall of keyboards, samplers, and drum machine. What ensues is a crazy, interesting mash between battleground electro, dancey distortion, and new wave jacked up on hardcore--plus a little black-metal synth action going on (you know, the doom-y, funeral-home melodies, but minus the Viking soloist). It's tuff as shit, and it will get your ass shaking--a winning combo if there ever was one. JULIANNE SHEPHERD
THE NATHAN SMURTHWAITE FOUNDATION, TABLELAND, DANIEL THRALL
(Paradox) You know, the beach-friendly vapidity and general bonhomie of summer music is just fine for the warmer months, but after a while I find myself sun-scorched and empty-headed, with sand in all the wrong places. Just in time, then, come the lush and moody melodies of Tableland. The songs on the Seattle band's debut disc, Tremulous Elementals, are spiraling and sprawling, near-orchestral in their intricate layering (think Aloha, Mogwai, a souped-down Joan of Arc), and the perfect accompaniment for the quivering trees and mellow gray skies of a Seattle September. Throw out your tank tops and take up your secondhand Pendleton sweaters! Fall has arrived, and the intelligent elementals of Tableland are here to remind you why that's a good thing. KATIE PREUSSER
THE JOHN SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION, THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS, THE LIARS
(Showbox) See preview, page 41.
MONEY MARK, A.I.
(Graceland) Jesus, Norm Abram, Richard & Karen--all quality carpenters, sure. But none of them knows their way around a roomful of vintage keyboards quite like handyman Money Mark. You may know the backstory: The Detroit native builds the Beastie Boys' Check Your Head studio, where they find out he's as deft with the organs as he is with a hammer. He writes one of their biggest hits, "So What'cha Want," tours the world as "the fourth Beastie," collaborates with Beck, then lands a solo record deal... which brings us to his latest album, the funky and soulful Change Is Coming. But here's a few things you might not know: He was a Lakers ballboy, he was in an early incarnation of the Wallflowers, and he's an origami master who says if you make three simple folds in a $20 bill, you can see the Twin Towers and Pentagon burning (I checked, it's true). MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG
CARISSA'S WIERD, IRON AND WINE
(Crocodile) Sub Pop struck gold when it aligned itself with Iron and Wine. Springing forth from the talented mind of Sam Beam is a seemingly endless collection of singer/songwriter material that I've been listening to for two and a half years via various mix CDs. His work is about to go from rough to official with the release of The Creek Drank the Cradle, an authentically Southern-informed ode to love and loss and everything before, after, and in between. It's a wonderful album, and this will be Beam's first Seattle performance despite his long association with Carissa's Wierd, who also plays tonight. KATHLEEN WILSON
THE PHARCYDE, THE HIGH & MIGHTY, AFURA
(Showbox) A lot of people begrudge the Pharcyde for growing up. Their 1992 debut, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, was packed with the same kind of playfully cosmic comic-jams sported by De La Soul--a lighthearted alternative to the political rhetoric and gangsta posturing of the time. Subsequent releases, however--sandwiched around a lengthy hiatus from 1995 to 2000--found the cheery vibe replaced by something far more weighty and reflective (as challenging life experiences will sometimes do to ya), much to the chagrin of those who still long for hiphop's Happy Days. But though the past may be over and none of us can really return to our idyllic little sandboxes, don't jump off a bridge about it--the Pharcyde still kick it live with enough tight beats, dexterous flow, and nods to the old-school to bring back all the fun, even if just for one night. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG