THE APOCALYPSTICKS, THE HOLLOWPOINTS, WOODY
(Graceland) See preview, page 55.
THE FAMILIARS, THE HURT FEELINGS, CUMULONIMBUS, FLING TOY
(Luscious) See Stranger Suggests, page 31.
THE CRAMPS, QUINTRON & MISS PUSSYCAT, THE MILLIONAIRES
(Showbox) The Cramps rule, but opener Quintron is the enigmatic underground hero not to be missed. With a couple records out on Bulb and Skin Graft (and the new Are You Ready for an Organ Solo out on Three One G), Quintron is an electro-noise freak whose music-related escapades are just as interesting as the unusual records themselves. His Drum Buddy Demonstration record was a campy explanation of how to play his self-made Drum Buddy, a contraption he still uses that converts light into analog rhythm patterns (this, after allegedly having created drum machines that could run on spit or that shot out light patterns based on sound). On his less interesting Organ Solo, the music that comes out is freakish James Brown-influenced, as background babbling bumps and grinds against lo-fi organ-thumping funk. JENNIFER MAERZ Also see preview, page 51.
DAMIEN JURADO, ROCKY VOTOLATO, ADAM VOITH
(Crocodile) Without a doubt, Damien Jurado is my hands-down favorite Northwest-based male singer/songwriter, and Rocky Votolato runs a close second. Why? Because they both understand how to convey honest sentiment without embarrassing themselves or the listening audience in the process. Some of the songs on Votolato's 2001 release, Burning My Travels Clean, make note of the unspoken thoughts that mean the most in a relationship, the little things you notice that remind you why you're together. Others convey the intricacies of loss by laying them out in simple terms. On his new EP, Light and Sound, Votolato sounds almost broken, but not quite, as if the muse of Burning My Travels Clean has learned over the course of two years that when it comes to love, there's a lot of shit you can't do shit about. KATHLEEN WILSON Also see preview, page 53.
DJ GREYBOY, DJ SURESHOT
(Baltic Room) DJ Greyboy and DJ Sureshot are a perfect match. Both build funk licks and horns on a foundation of basic hiphop beats, never venturing far from the truth of their songs, and seduce the listener with the bare body of funk, in the slick manner of Pete Rock. The two DJs have different musical backgrounds, though. DJ Sureshot is more a collector DJ, whereas DJ Greyboy is by accomplishment a scratch DJ (he won the West Coast DMC championship in 1988). Greyboy also has released more CDs than Sureshot, with his Dub Breakbeats Volume 1.0 containing some of the smoothest hiphop in the whole wide world. CHARLES MUDEDE
LYRICS BORN, ZION I, LIFESAVAS, ODDJOBS, DIVERSE
(Chop Suey) Lifesavas are proof that you don't need to come from a chocolate city to produce great hiphop. They are from and based in the whitest city in America, Portland, but you will find very few brothers in Atlanta or New Orleans who can match their skillz on the mic and the MPC. The trio is currently signed to the Bay Area's Quannum Projects, and their new CD, Spirit in Stone, which is out on July 1, may very well be the best hiphop release this year. Lifesavas also have the impressive ability to transform the holy power of a Sunday-morning service into the secular energy of a hiphop show on a weekday night. CHARLES MUDEDE
FRUIT BATS, TRIANGLE, SANFORD ARMS
(Graceland, late) See preview, page 49.
IMMOLATION, GRAVE, GOATWHORE, CREMATORIUM
(Graceland, early) It's taken more than a decade, but the members of Immolation have officially become history's leading authors of anti-Christian screeds, musical division. They've tweaked bumper-sticker slogans ("No Jesus, No Beast") and anachronistic rural phrases ("Stench of High Heaven"), all in the name of providing fans with tunes that are as sacri-licious as a chocolate-iced communion wafer. Still, headbangers cannot live on blasphemy alone, so Immolation considerately provide scorched-larynx vocals and percussion that throbs like a fatally arrhythmic heartbeat. Openers Goatwhore, a refreshing voice on the Satanic circuit, aren't so much anti-God as they are pro-Baphomet; arrive early to witness their heartwarming pledges of devotion to this underappreciated devil figure. ANDREW MILLER
ED HARCOURT, SONDRE LERCHE, GUESTS
(Crocodile) While I live in hope that someday, like Ed Harcourt sings in his new single, ALL of my days will be blessed, I do know at least one of my days will--this one. Whoever decided to send Harcourt and Norwegian whiz kid Sondre Lerche out on the road together deserves a medal--this is the kind of perfect bill that happens once in a blue moon. Harcourt's new album, From Every Sphere, might take first place in my summer soundtrack sweepstakes. (Just listen to "The Birds Will Sing for Us" and its great "let the sun shine through" refrain, or check out the lilting "Bittersweetheart.") It's the kind of intelligent, breezy, catchy, winsome, and well-crafted pop that was made for this time of year. As for Lerche--it's almost inconceivable that someone so young can write music with such depth and soul. Breathtaking. Barbara Mitchell
PLEASEEASAUR, CANNED HAMM, ANNA OXYGEN
(Chop Suey) Pleaseeasaur sucks. His beats are lame, his rhymes are disastrous, and on stage he often dresses up in ridiculous costumes that he takes very, very seriously. But, you see, here's the thing: Pleaseeasaur is also fucking hysterical--one big joke hammered upon you so far past the point of funny that, always, eventually, it becomes funny once more. Tonight he is celebrating the release of his brand-new CD, The Yellow Pages, and, if I know Pleaseeasaur--and I think I do, at least as much as one could know such a complete wack job--then I can pretty much guarantee the show will be worth your time. BRADLEY STEINBACHER
ANNA MONOXIDE, THE SUCK, THE EPOXIES, GUESTs
(Vera Project) Tonight the Vera Project presents its drag showcase, a concept that rightfully evokes images of gender-bent teens toying with notions of identity and sexuality. The event's musical accompaniment, however, comes in another form of imagined ambiguity altogether, with brief performances by Anna Oxygen doppelgänger Anna Monoxide, as well as the Suck, the Blow's Khaela Maricich in electroclash burlesque. Maybe it's a clever look at identity politics. Maybe it's skirting contractual obligation (as Miss Oxygen is clearly scheduled to perform elsewhere this very evening). Either way, it's destined to be a confusing mess of... something--a primordial stew in which both performers have the capacity for greatness. Zac PenningtonSATURDAY 6/7
(Showbox) See Stranger Suggests, page 31.
THE MAGIC MAGICIANS, COBRA HIGH, THE CHARMING SNAKES
(Graceland) In terms of a straight rock band--and by straight I mean without a shtick--I don't think any can make me giggle as much as the Magic Magicians. Former 764-HERO/Hush Harbor singer/guitarist John Atkins possesses one of the most powerful yet affable presences and his enthusiasm is instantly infectious. Drummer Joe Plummer is an extremely talented drummer, but a wild card, to say the least. Just when it seems like he's fucking around he'll step it up a notch to prove that he was actually working some incredibly abstract, around-the-time rhythm, and his aloofness about it all makes me giggle. As they play the songs off the brand-new, self-titled album tonight at their CD release party, pay attention and see what I mean. KATHLEEN WILSON Also see preview, page 45.
POST STARDOM DEPRESSION
(Sonic Boom Records, Ballard) Though their progression from Tacoma to Seattle was a short journey, Post Stardom Depression sound as if they've traveled through time to get here--all the way from Detroit circa 1973, when Brownsville Station and Alice Cooper could have influenced this quartet's loud, overdriven sound. Their new album, Ordinary Miracles, is party music, the kind that kicks in the front door and walks straight to bedroom with a rack of beer on one shoulder and a trashy chick hanging off the other while Jeff Angell sings, "Sometimes I feel like I just want to fuck." Now how's that for an opening line? Angell uses his husky voice to sing about cheap hotels, cars with big backseats, and lots of sex. Post Stardom Depression's songs are hot promises and smoldering observations, the sound of the life the cool kids lived straight out of high school. KATHLEEN WILSON
FUNKSTÖRUNG LIVE PA, ELECTRIC BIRDS, NORDIC SOUL, JERRY ABSTRACT
(Chop Suey) See Speaker Freak, page 63.
MUSIQ, VIVIAN GREEN, dj vitamin d
(Showbox) Come here, girl, lemme talk to you. My name is Musiq. With a Q, like Hypnotiq. Matter of fact, call me Taalib. I don't drink neither. What's your sign? Word? I'm a Virgo. There's something about you, I can tell. I like your ring. Is that turquoise? Juslisen. I'm not the triflin' type of brotha you're used ta. Aijuswanaseing. See, I brought my band and we're only in town tonight. It's God's work, y'know, traveling from city to city, touching people. I hit up some thrift shops this afternoon, copped these cords and a Donny Hathaway LP. Really, though, I feel something between us. It's cool, though, no rush. No keys. No ignition. Let's span time together. Maybe take a bubble bath and sip brown rice tea. We could be soul mates. Neo-soul mates. DANIEL MITHA
RACEBANNON, HELEN OF TROY
(Hurricane Cafe) See preview, page 55.
JUNGLE BROTHERS, BLACK SHEEP, GUESTS
(Graceland) The Jungle Brothers have so far produced two masterpieces (Straight out the Jungle, Done by the Forces of Nature), two underrated CDs (JBeez Wit the Remedy, Raw Deluxe), and one true dud, V.I.P., which was produced by the overrated Propellerheads. But we all make mistakes, and the Jungle Brothers have not made that many. Like Large Professor, the Jungle Brothers produced a full-length recording in the early '90s that was never released by their label; a small part of it makes up the second part of Remedy (1993). This unreleased CD, and what remains of it at the end of Remedy, advanced hiphop not just to its future but to its dusty digital "afterfuture"--a place that is now inhabited by labels like Def Jux and Under the Needle. CHARLES MUDEDE
BUZZCOCKS, BILLY TALENT, GUESTS
(Showbox) Over the last decade, as '77-class punk bands re-form under dubious circumstances and fans play the increasingly pointless "should they or shouldn't they" games, the Buzzcocks have dodged the cred debate because they never totally quit in the first place. Aside from a brief rest in the mid-'80s, these Mancunians have frequently toured and recorded, with minor lineup switcheroos. The last few years have been especially active, with 1999's Modern (Go Kart) being one of their best records. They've finally found a smart indie (Merge) whose roster includes bands inspired by the Buzzcocks' fevered pop. Their bow for the label, Buzzcocks, won't inspire much, as age is sapping some vocal melodic twists and overall the record is a fairly rote run-through of their sound. But with the requisite four really good songs, it's worth nabbing for fans, and the live show is still a total pogo a gogo. ERIC DAVIDSON
(Mars Hill) I don't know how to talk about Matt Sharp without sounding like I'm completely head over heels in love, so I'm not even gonna try. I've seen him twice already in the past eight months, and I plan on bein' first in line for this show too. Sharp's soothing voice is paired with backing harmonies, simple drumming, quiet acoustic guitar, heart-tugging piano, and various other lullaby sounds that are all gentle and warm to send a spaz like me into a deep state of daydreaming. His semisweet solo material is the soundtrack I'd have playing in my movie while the main character drives down an empty country highway on a late summer day, smiling to herself and realizing that the only thing that matters in life is finding pure happiness. MEGAN SELING
THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN, ENON, GOLD CHAINS
(Graceland) If you're a Dismemberment Plan fan, you've probably already heard the news about this being their last tour ever. If not, I'm sorry to bear the bad news. The band announced the "breakup" quite a few months ago, actually, on their website. The Plan, who have been a funky D.C. rock (and so much more) band since 1993, have been a staple in my CD collection ever since I saw them play live with Juno at Bellingham's defunct Showoff Gallery. Since then, I've seen them various other times, and the Plan's crazy frontman, Travis Morrison, always dances and shakes like the baddest mother you've ever seen. Though the D-Plan is done, I'm sure we'll hear more from him. Until then, you won't want to miss their last two Seattle appearances ever (they're also playing Thursday night). I'll be at both of 'em. MEGAN SELING
(Re-bar) Now that Confounded Books and Wall of Sound have moved from their old Belltown location to Capitol Hill's Pine Street, I might have to ask for a raise. There's no way I'll be able to pay rent when I have to walk past the welcoming bookstore with eye-catching art books, punk zines, and oodles of interesting fiction screaming my name. But after the big move, both Confounded and WoS can use all the help they can get--hence tonight's benefit show. Local bands and various musicians (the long list features members of Kinski, the Dead Science, Hypatia Lake, Sun City Girls, and Tractor Sex Fatality, among others) will take the stage to support the stores while playing their own renditions of their favorite Beatles songs. MEGAN SELING
THE CUTS, THEE FLYING DUTCHMEN, DJ KEN DIRTNAP
(Zak's) It's impossible to hear Oakland, California's Cuts and not think you're listening to some old Television tracks, dug up and dusted off three decades later. Frontman Andy Jordan hiccups through his lines like a young Tom Verlaine, playing less the feral rock 'n' roller and more the intellectual pinup. The music is buoyed with plenty of melody, thanks in large part to Dan Aaberg's skilled work on the keyboards and the jingle-jangle rhythm section of Garett Goddard and Carlos Palacios. When I first heard the band's eponymous 1997 vinyl release, the Cuts stood out as more careful sonic crafters than their garage-obsessed brethren, and the newly released 2 Over Ten continues their travels around the Marquee Moon. Live, they're even better to behold. JENNIFER MAERZ
MIRAH, LIARBIRD, GOLDSTAR, ODESSA CHEN
(Department of Safety, Anacortes) Yet another in the seemingly endless list of reasons to move to Anacortes, the shining star that is the Department of Safety commemorates its first year of operations with a welcome performance by the great Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn. Hers is without question the most universally appreciated voice of the K Records canon; I count at least six copies of her Advisory Committee in our offices alone (there's even one at Charles Mudede's desk, for god's sake)--and if the collective staff of The Stranger likes it, it just must be good, right? I mean, right? ZAC PENNINGTON