ROCKY VOTOLATO, THE CASKET LOTTERY, BUGS IN AMBER
(Studio Seven, early) See Underage, page 45.
KALIBAS, SWARMING HORDES, MYIASIS
(Studio Seven, late) Rochester, NY, five piece Kalibas specialize in the sort of musically inventive, yet unpretentious and fast-as-shit grind-metal that their new label, Relapse, has long been known for. Half of their recent untitled split with the band Rune has enough squealing, avant-death-metalriffs and vomit-inducing vocals to fill an entire album, only it's over in less than 10 minutes. (Let's hear it for efficiency, an increasingly lost art in the CD era.) Expect stamina to come into play a little more in their live act, as they take the stage after sets by Swarming Hordes and Myiasis. WILL YORK
THE EXPLODING HEARTS, RC5
(Chop Suey) Who says being a little fucking snot gets you nothing but a broken nose? Tell that to the Exploding Hearts, Dirtnap's latest punk gold mine, who've graced Maximum Rocknroll's cover with their power-pop-meets-'80s-punk-meets-flip-of-the-bird-and-sliver-of-a-smile. Although I've seen (and heard) mixed things when it comes to the Hearts' live show, their newest CD, Guitar Romantic, is the kind of disc that sticks to your player like a wad of wet gum under a desk, so maybe it's time to give the Hearts another chance to detonate their cynically charming, intensely upbeat sound. JENNIFER MAERZ
PERNICE BROTHERS, WARREN ZANES, SPARROW
(Tractor) See preview, page 37.
ELECTRIC SIX, THE WITCHES, MIDNIGHT THUNDER EXPRESS
(Crocodile) See Live Wire, page 38.
RILO KILEY, M WARD & THE BAND OF FOUR, CALVIN JOHNSON, THE GOLDEN AGE
(Graceland) Most people were drawn to Rilo Kiley because the band is on the indie-prestigious Saddle Creek label, home to Bright Eyes, the Good Life, Cursive, and all that is good about being sad. It's Rilo Kiley's singer, Jenny Lewis, who drew me in, because she was that kick-ass girl from Foxfire, also starring Angelina Jolie and Jenny Shimizu. It filmed in Portland and though it was an adaptation of a Joyce Carol Oates story, it was really the Foxes (Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie of the Runaways) for the Gen X girls, and I was all over it. Lewis' band is like an extension of her character, grown up and smarter for her adolescent experiences. It's one of the better female-led bands I've heard in a long, long time. Any toughness is tempered with realism. Sadness is seen for its sarcastic value, and love and heartache are dealt with in earnest, no cutesy stuff. And the instrumentation is full and versatile. Lewis is still a kick-ass girl in my book. KATHLEEN WILSON
MINDHEAD, THE PALE, IN PRAISE OF FOLLY, THE DRAFT
(Studio Seven) In Praise of Folly appeared in the Cutest Band in Seattle contest earlier this year at the Fusion Cafe, but I bet the boys are tired of hearing about that event--even though they did almost win the Audience Choice Award. The band is adorable, yes, but I think the crowd was taken more by the band's dreamy pop lullabies and wispy vocals that ring in your ears long after the show. They have just finished recording their first full-length album at the Hall of Justice (with Joel Brown at the boards), so now's the perfect chance to catch 'em before the album drops in September and they take over the indie rock world. MEGAN SELING
LITTLE WINGS, BOBBY BIRDMAN, GHOST TO FALCO
(CoCA) Kick off an expansive weekend of music on the Hill with three amiable bands--or rather, three amiable guys--with nomadic Northwest ties. First there's Kyle Field, whose trill folk project, Little Wings, is something like a carefree approximation of the summer-camp song circle. Next is Rob Kieswetter, better known in these parts as Bobby Birdman, the crooning piano man/IDM dance machine whose recent Born Free Forever is quite possibly the most beautiful record to come out of the Northwest this year. Finally, it's Eric Crespo, Portland's sparkling son, and his one-man beacon of guitar-looped beauty, Ghost to Falco. HELENA F. HANDBASKET
CALIFONE, BROKE BACK, THE ETERNALS
(Graceland, late) This very fine Chicago band features former members of the inestimable Red Red Meat, and makes an amalgam of musical forms--blues, folk, country, rock--all of which basically feed into and grow out of one another anyway. What makes Califone special is the inspired miscegenation of those styles into a hybrid creature that feels very much like its own animal. Their music is beautiful, tuneful, austere, smart, and pleasing, and their records--particularly the latest, Quicksand/Cradlesnakes--are highly recommended. SEAN NELSON
CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY
(Capitol Hill) See Pullout Guide.
Ozzfest feat. ozzy osbourne, korn, marilyn manson, others
(White River Amphitheater) See preview, page 35.
SPOON, THE VELLS, THE NATURAL HISTORY
(Showbox) Apparently I'm the only person on the planet who didn't much care for Spoon's latest album, Kill the Moonlight, but that doesn't mean, as everyone seems to think, that I don't still think the band is one of the very best things to come out of the '90s. Indie guitar rock with an edge? What's not to love? I'm loyal in my love of Spoon, rest assured, so get off your high horse already. I love the Vells so much it hurts, as their sunny pop reminds me of the Zombies, the Monkees, and everything in between. KATHLEEN WILSON
SMOG, THE HEAVENLY STATES, THE TERROR SHEETS
(Crocodile) Bill Callahan's brilliance seems to alternate between idiot savant and master craftsman--his greatest moments are a slop of impossible song structure, juvenile longing, and rib-fracturing punch lines, glued together almost accidentally by some of the most evocatively simple language ever put to tape. That said, I haven't bought a Smog record in years (with the exception of the recent singles compilation Accumulation: None), as Callahan's progressive wade into the world of folk 'n' roll does little justice to the poetry that offsets it--and Supper, his latest (what is that, like 11 records now?), is no exception. But boy, are the words nice. Maybe you should ask the merch guy if you can borrow the lyric sheet. ZAC PENNINGTON
HIGH ON FIRE, DRUNK HORSE, SWARMING HORDES
(Graceland) The last time I saw High on Fire, it was at Northgate Theater (RIP Northgate, we hardly knew ya), when the band played a very close second to Motörhead's ferocious metal monstrosity. But while King Lemmy and company ride up like a loud, practiced band of Hell's Angels sonically pillaging everything in sight and threatening anyone who'll listen, High on Fire are the more sinewy brand of brawlers, working in tight, precise movements that convey a seriousness that has more to do with brains than brawn. Paired with Drunk Horse, another Bay Area act that goes well with the narcotics, as well as local metal addicts Swarming Hordes, this show should really only disappoint if someone forgets to turn on the electricity--and that ain't gonna happen. JENNIFER MAERZ
TRACTOR SEX FATALITY, SWEET J.A.P., MHZ, THE FAMILIARS
(Hell's Kitchen) The woozy, crazy noise punk of Tractor Sex Fatality and the flop-all-over-the-ground garage of the Familiars might have nothing on Sweet J.A.P., a Minneapolis-via-Japan act on Big Neck Records who howl at the moon and fall off the stage on their way to ripping the seat off screaming, string-breaking punk rock. Write-ups about this band use words like "amphetamines!" and "chainsaws!" and, like, "Minnesota!" to describe how these broken-English-howling Japanese American Princesses (the name their acronym describes) stand proud alongside acts like Guitar Wolf and Teengenerate. Expect much mayhem from this lovely lineup. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE BRIEFS, THE ENDS
(Comet) They're back! After taking what felt like months to tour across Europe--and pretty much taking over David Hasselhoff's place in Germany as the #1 American musical import (albeit with much pastier complexions)--the Briefs have returned to Seattle with white shades intact to drown in Capitol Hill punk, rock, and roll with a big old party at the Comet that includes Austin act the Ends as openers. Time for the "poor and weird" to act up once again. JENNIFER MAERZ
CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY
(Capitol Hill) See Pullout Guide.
ROSIE THOMAS, DENISON WHITMER, JEFF HANSON, DANIEL G. HARMANN
(Studio Seven) See Stranger Suggests, page 19.
EELS, MC HONKY
(Showbox) Eels are nothing if not enigmatic, and on the band's latest release, Shootenanny, singer, songwriter, instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett--or just E, if you will--mixes it up again. In the past, Eels have gone from stripped-down indie to dark and moody orchestral to sample-laden dance grooves, and now with Shootenanny, we have lighthearted pop. All good. KATHLEEN WILSON
FOO FIGHTERS, MY MORNING JACKET, PETE YORN
(Paramount) In the beginning, what wasn't to love about Dave Grohl's instantly popular post-Nirvana band Foo Fighters? The self-titled debut--featuring "This Is a Call" and "Big Me"--was great and went platinum. David Letterman called the band his favorite. Things fell apart a little before follow-up The Colour and the Shape appeared in 1997--drummer William Goldsmith had been replaced with the showy Taylor Hawkins, and Pat Smear departed. There Is Nothing Left to Lose was a fine return to form, spawning singles "Learn to Fly" and the sweet "Next Year," a song Letterman used as the theme to the NBC drama Ed, which he produced. Around this time, though, Mr. Grohl began to wear out his welcome by having some kind of connection to just about every project or event under the sun and I am so sick of his ubiquitous donkey bray that even the thought of 2002's One By One makes me break out in hives. My Morning Jacket, however, is a wonderful bunch of Southerners I wouldn't dare speak ill of, and if they became ubiquitous, more power to them. What do Dave Grohl and Pete Yorn have in common? Ask Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst about that. KATHLEEN WILSON
BARDO POND, HERZOG, MARS ACCELERATOR
(Chop Suey) Bardo Pond were way ahead of the psych revival, making trippy, narcotized music (led by singer/flautist Isobel Sollenberger) since 1995. Kinski leader Chris Martin's Herzog has a less noisy kind of psychedelic sound than his main band, who reel out glorious blankets of the stuff. KATHLEEN WILSON
REGGIE & THE FULL EFFECT, MIDTOWN, A STATIC LULLABY, MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK
(Graceland) It was exactly one year ago (at last year's Block Party, actually) when I heard Reggie & the Full Effect for the first time, when a DJ blasted Reggie's "Thanx for Stayin'" over the loudspeaker. The song stuck in my head for days, and thanks to my wicked detective skills, I found the track on the album Promotional Copy. It was totally worth the effort, for I remain a fan of the Full Effect to this day. James Dewees (drummer for Coalesce, keyboardist for the Get Up Kids) is Reggie & the Full Effect. His records--40 percent poppy and playful indie rock songs and 60 percent crazy and silly experiments--are littered with song titles like "Megan Is My Friend to the Max," "Doot Doot Pause Doot Doot," "Dwarf Invasion," and "Ain't Gettin' Paid to Dance." Tonight's show will be fun for sure. MEGAN SELING
LONGWAVE, STELLASTARR*, BLACK NITE CRASH
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests, page 19.
HOWE GELB, SANFORD ARMS, CHRISTOPHER BLUE
(Tractor) People do love to talk a lot about cities and scenes when they talk about the indie rock. In the case of Howe Gelb, musical linchpin of the glorious town of Tucson, AZ, it might well be warranted. I can't say I know Tucson well, but every time I go there, I get a strong feeling that it's where I'd like to die. How that relates to Gelb--member, variously and formerly, of Giant Sand and Friends of Dean Martinez, and satellite of Calexico, Spoke, and lord only knows what else--I'm not sure, but a city is partly defined by the music that arises from it, and Tucson feels like Gelb's music: dry, warm, humble, and a little creepy. In short, killer. SEAN NELSON