CLUB POP: TOMMIE SUNSHINE, THE GIRLS, NEW GREY AREA, DJ COLIN
(Chop Suey) See Album Reviews, page 33.
(Paramount) See preview, page 28.
JAPANTHER, DD/MM/YYYY, LITTLE PARTY AND THE BAD BUSINESS, SAM ROUSSO SOUNDSYSTEM
(Vera Project) See Stranger Suggests, page 17, and Underage, page 47.
17TH CHAPTER, SISTER PSYCHIC, WILL WAKEFIELD & THE CONGRESS HOTEL
(Tractor Tavern) A few weeks ago I wrote about the band 17th Chapter after seeing them play the Crocodile. I didn't really like them, but I didn't hate them either—I said they were "fratern-indie rock." I also said the bassist was a bad dancer, the singer needed a haircut, and my judgment was being made after hearing only 1.5 songs. Well, I got a couple letters, one from a member of the band, and while he could see where I was coming from, he explained the band is actually more varied than I made them sound. Fair enough—I hadn't even heard two songs. So maybe 17th Chapter isn't fratern-indie rock. I say yes, he says no—so you go to the show and make your own damn decision. For the record, he didn't explain why his bassist did those bad rock-star moves while wearing aviator shades, but maybe there's just no explanation. MEGAN SELING
(Jazz Alley) I'm assuming they're not expecting many asymmetrically coiffed hipsters at this show, but if you were born to hippie parents sometime between 1975 and 1980, there's a chance you've got a teeny guilty-pleasure crush on Michael Franks, of "Popsicle Toes" fame. Maybe it's the bitchin' 'stache he's rocked since the Ford administration, or maybe deep down you'd really like him to feel your warm Brazil and touch your Panama, but something about Franks's mellow contempo-jazz tugs at your heartstrings. Less Kenny G smooth than James Taylor sensitive, Franks keeps on keepin' on with his latest, 2006's samba-sational Rendezvous in Rio, which sounds like it might as well have been recorded in 1976. And yet, it went to number four on the contemporary jazz chart. Guess that explains his four-night stand (!) at Dimitriou's. MAYA KROTH
PRIESTBIRD, PIT ER PAT, WHALEBONES
(Atlas) New York's Priestbird (formerly Tarantula A.D.) are as adept at crafting painfully beautiful slowcore as they are at lurching, sludgy metal. Their best songs combine the two, with devil-horned riffs erupting unexpectedly out of tensely quiet piano passages. Chicago's Pit Er Pat work an alchemy that's similarly odd on paper but brilliant in execution. They mix spidery postrock guitar and distorted piano with stoned grooves and layered vocals to create music that's as pleasant as it is perplexing. The most obvious reference point might be Blonde Redhead, but Pit Er Pat thankfully avoid that band's recent tendency toward extravagantly boring melancholy. Whalebones eschew such odd contrasts in favor of straight-up, backwoods psilocybin blues. ERIC GRANDY
CHUCKANUT DRIVE, THE CRYING SHAME, PROSSER
(Tractor) A lot of bands call themselves country. A twang here, a whiskey reference there, and a long, lonesome look to the sky seem to be the only requirements these days. Bellingham's Chuckanut Drive, however, are the real thing. It all starts with the music: an aching, keening steel guitar; percussion's slow shuffle across a barroom floor; a stiff pour of bass; and peripatetic guitars that follow the highways and byways mapped out by Gram Parsons and Roger McGuinn. Steve Leslie's heartfelt vocals luxuriate in the soulful swoon of the band's wide-open western sound. Tonight's hootenanny celebrates the official release of the band's second album, The Crooked Mile Home, recorded in a church in Bellingham and appropriately brimming with sin and salvation. CHRIS McCANN
SASQUATCH!: BJÖRK, ARCADE FIRE, M.I.A., OZOMATLI, NEKO CASE, THE HOLD STEADY, THE SATURDAY KNIGHTS, AND MORE
(Gorge) See Stranger Suggests, page 17.
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM, PLEASEEASAUR
(Neumo's) For their last tour, in support of the DVD The Face, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum collaborated with Butoh clown Shinichi Momo Koga, who occupied a suspended metal cage on a Plexiglas catwalk. The Oakland-based quintet's current concerts, showcasing material drawn largely from the release In Glorious Times, feature no auxiliary entertainers, but the new record's intriguingly bizarre avant-prog songs, performed on exotic instruments (slide-piano log, found-object percussion tools) of the band's own design, require no supplementary spectacle. SGM open their shows with "The Companions," In Glorious Times' dramatic 10-minute first track, which evolves from a forlorn horn blast to Matthias Bossi's fragile falsetto to psychedelically fractured metallic grooves. It's an appropriately eclectic overture for a set that incorporates Eastern European folk, spastic jazz, industrial clatter, and theatrical banter. ANDREW MILLER
SASQUATCH!: BEASTIE BOYS, INTERPOL, MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD, SPOON, THE POLYPHONIC SPREE, BAD BRAINS, BLACKALICIOUS, AND MORE
(Gorge) See Stranger Suggests, page 17.
GOLDENBOY, CHRIS McFARLAND, WEBELOS, THE GHOST OF KYLE BRADFORD
(Comet) Goldenboy's Shon Sullivan has played guitar with Neil Finn, Elliott Smith, and the Eels—a fact that makes absolute sense if you listen to the perfect, wounded pop he creates under the Goldenboy moniker. Summery, laid-back SoCal melodies dazzle like the sun's reflection off a backyard swimming pool, while Sullivan's low-key vocals manage to convey his feelings whether you understand what he's singing or not. Somehow, Goldenboy manages to create meticulously unfussy and utterly beguiling indie pop without any attitude or pretension, which means you're as likely to hear him wafting from a car stereo outside a Diamond Bar Circle K as you are out of your über-hipster friend's iPod. BARBARA MITCHELL
THE LONELY FOREST, CAPITOL BASEMENT, NATALIE PORTMAN'S SHAVED HEAD, THE SUTURES
(Vera Project) After seeing the Lonely Forest for the first time sans guitar player (he left late last year to attend school), I was so impressed that I had to immediately gush about them on Line Out—they have consciously made their new material just as dynamic as before, even without the oh so important six-string, and as a longtime fan, that made me very happy. Drummer Braydn Krueger is a machine—one of the best young drummers in the city (and by "young," I mean under 21). Singer/keyboardist John Van Deusen's voice can cleanly croon, but he also gets emotional and cathartic, adding a nice dichotomy to the beauty of his piano. Get stoked for their upcoming album, Nuclear Winter—it's a self-described "space rock odyssey into an alternate dimension," and based on the songs posted on their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/thelonelyforest), it'll no doubt carve them a nice, long-standing niche in the local scene as not just an "underage" band, but a talented one too. MEGAN SELING
(Neumo's) There are nice hippies and then there are mean hippies. And Vietnam are definitely mean hippies. They will totally dose your drink while you're not looking and then harsh your whole trip with a bunch of damaged, rambling New York City neofolk and displaced roadhouse blues. But even mean hippies that radiate bad vibes can occasionally turn a good song, and Vietnam, for all their off-putting tendencies, do have a couple of stellar tracks on their latest self-titled album. But live, the tiring-psychedelic-jam-to-satisfying-song ratio is distressingly weighted toward the former. Of course, the real reason to go to this show is to catch "Secret Special Guest Headliner" and Vietnam tourmates the Black Angels, who can't announce any Seattle shows coinciding with their Sasquatch appearance, but whose death-trip dirges consistently achieve the kind of brilliance that Vietnam only occasionally stumble upon. ERIC GRANDY
THE CLIENTELE, BEACH HOUSE, FLEET FOXES
(Crocodile) Like a well-made cosmopolitan, the music of the Clientele has always been a good companion on dark, rainy evenings. On their newest album, however, God Save the Clientele, the band trade in a bit of their gorgeous pop melancholy for a peppier, more optimistic sound. There's still some of the old swooning romanticism there in songs like the sweet "These Days Nothing but Sunshine" and the blissful "Queen of Seville," but the Clientele seem to enjoy rocking out in the upbeat "Bookshop Casanova." The record was produced by Lambchop's Mark Nevers down in Nashville, so it's no surprise to hear the bell-like chimes of an expertly played steel guitar, the shuffle and shake of some dusty drums, and the down-home yearning of Nashville channeling rainy London. CHRIS McCANN
SECRET CHIEFS 3, FAUN FABLES, THE STARES
(Neumo's) See preview, page 31.
CHRIS GARNEAU, J. TILLMAN, LEVI FULLER
(Crocodile) Brooklyn piano balladeer Chris Garneau barely raises his voice above a bruised whisper, but he hardly needs to—his restrained singing is still totally arresting at low volume. His melodies are gorgeous and weepy, his lyrics delicate and occasionally disturbed. J. Tillman's downtrodden acoustic songs roam similarly hushed territory. But where Garneau's vocals are crystalline, Tillman's are faded and warm. In his haunted prairie songs, his voice hovers above spectral ambiences and buried, dirty guitar. Local singer-songwriter (and avid Line Out commenter) Levi Fuller rounds out the low-decibel bill with bird-crazy, dark-folk song cycles. ERIC GRANDY
SEX VID, BLACK BREATH, BRAINHANDLE
(Atlas) Black Breath are dirtbags. They drink a lot—most of them at least—and they will break your lawn furniture if you give them the chance. The grime that covers their existence comes through strongly in their music; it's like the perfect soundtrack to a case of Natty Ice and/or kicking a hole through somebody's door at a party. There's a definite Gummo element to this band, which can be frightening when forced upon you but strangely comforting when embraced. Don't be overly surprised during their set at Atlas if, without warning, shirtless men holding beers start wrestling a chair. JEFF KIRBY