Ball of Wax CD Release
(Sunset) Ball of Wax is a quarterly CD anthology that collects some of the goldurn prettiest music you've ever heard, from artists like Wesafari and Plan B. Volume 11 is a departure from the norm for BoW: On November 17, 2007, 35 musicians got together, split into 11 brand-new bands, then went off and wrote exactly one song each. Tonight, BoW stalwarts Webelos and the Luna Moth, among others, will be performing, and some of Volume 11's featured supergroups might be coerced to climb onstage and perform their one-hit wonders, too. Six dollars gets you into the show and buys you a copy of the record, and if that wasn't enough, the show is also a benefit for Hollow Earth Radio, the local online radio station that plays seemingly endless sets of gorgeous music interspersed with fragments of weird found sound recordings. The world simply was not built to withstand this much pretty. PAUL CONSTANT
My!Gay!Husband!, DJ Colby B, DJ Glitterpants
(Chop Suey) Vancouver, BC, DJ and producer My!Gay!Husband! is huge, both in the intimidating physical sense and in terms of accomplishment. His résumé includes scores of mashups, mixtapes, reedits, and remixes, and his schedule has him playing and throwing many of Vancouver's best dance parties when he's not out on tour. Also intimidating is the man's reputation as a bully of a party starter. When he's not mixing G. G. Allin into Trillville or dropping booty remixes of Feist, he's screaming over the turntables, or pouring beer on your half-steppin' shit. As raucous and loose as he is live, his productions and mixes are impeccably tight. ERIC GRANDY
3 Inches of Blood, Book of Black Earth, Toxic Holocaust, Plaster
(King Cobra) The newest club on Capitol Hill, King Cobra, celebrates its grand opening tonight in the space formerly occupied by Sugar. Tonight's lineup is a hell of a good start for the club—3 Inches of Blood play epic, anthemic metal that's so dramatic it could be considered ironic if they didn't totally shred. They thrash around their long hair, their wailing guitar solos reaching up to the gods of metal. Book of Black Earth slay, too. They're one of the heaviest bands in Seattle, with demonic vocals, blistering guitars, deadly video-game keyboards, and breakdowns that cause concussions. Ho-lee shit. King Cobra's grand-opening weekend continues through Sunday with shows from Visqueen, the Emeralds, and Neutralboy. Visit kingcobraseattle.com for the full schedule. MEGAN SELING
Mahjongg, Calvin Johnson, So Many Dynamos
(Vera Project) See Stranger Suggests, page 25.
Sole, Telephone Jim Jesus, No-Fi Soul Rebellion
(Nectar) From the more confounding corners of Anticon's post-hiphop, freak-folk universe comes Sole and the Skyrider Band. Sole (born Tim Holland) began as a NY-centric, would-be battle rapper, releasing a debut called Mad Skillz and Unpaid Billz at age 16. In 1998, he founded the Anticon label along with Pedestrian and stopped spelling his plurals with z's. Recently, Holland has fleshed out Sole's solo productions with a live band, assembled by drummer/producer Bud Berning, aka Skyrider. On Sole and the Skyrider Band, Holland's breathless rants are backed by Balkan brass disappearing into dub echoes, live drumming mixed with record scratches and warped samples, and electric guitars trading melodies with violins. At its most bombastic, the album flirts with rap-rock cliché, but Sole's brooding is too densely abstract and Skyrider Band's tracks too finessed to fall into that trap. ERIC GRANDY
(ToST) Let's begin by pointing out that the second album by the local band Library Science, The Chancellor (2007), is far superior to their first, High Life Honey (2004). Why is this the case? The first, which is not terrible, lacks the confidence and fullness of sound that is found on every track of the second effort. The Chancellor is a bold record; the timidity on High Life Honey is here completely expunged and we get a record that has an indie-rock sensibility that's not hindered or worried but extravagantly expressed by the dub. Now, every dub is ground in one of the two founders of the form: Lee "Scratch" Perry or King Tubby. Alter Echo, a dub producer based in Portland, has, for example, his ground in King Tubby, which is a more technical approach. Library Science's dub has its base in Lee "Scratch" Perry, which is a more experimental approach. No instrument or sound or mood is a foreigner to Library Science's experiments. They will test anything in the dub, and on The Chancellor these tests frequently have spectacular results. CHARLES MUDEDE
The Pharmacy, Holy Ghost Revival, Wild Orchid Children, Das Llamas
(Comet) See Stranger Suggests, page 25.
(High Dive, early show) See Stranger Suggests, page 25.
Sound Off! Finals: the Nextdoor Neighbors, New Faces, Man Down Medic
(EMP Sky Church) For the past three Saturdays, underage bands have played before a panel of judges, being scored in categories like how innovative their sound is and how competent their playing is. The band with the highest score each night has advanced to tonight's Sound Off! finals to compete for a grand prize that includes a gig at Bumbershoot and a bunch of free shit like guitars and studio time. Tonight's the night the month-long battle comes to an end. The Nextdoor Neighbors, a cute and simple pop act made up of two girls from Olympia; New Faces, a lush and gentle pop-rock outfit; and Man Down Medic will face the judges one last time, playing the best 45-minute set they can muster. When it's all over, one band will join the ranks of past Sound Off! champs like Mon Frere and the Lonely Forest. Of course, losing isn't so bad, either—past losers include Idiot Pilot and Schoolyard Heroes, and they're doing okay for themselves. MEGAN SELING
Huun Huur Tu
(Triple Door) I once had a roommate at some punk house who wanted to pick up throat singing. The technique involves creating harmonic resonances in ones breathing passages while intoning through ones vocal cords to create formant frequencies below the singing voice. It's not really the sort of thing that you just casually pick up. More commonly, it's a practice that originates among certain indigenous cultures—the Sami of Northern Europe, the Inuit, and, perhaps most famously, the Tuvan people of Central Asia. Huun Huur Tu are maybe the most well-known group of traditional Tuvan throat singers. They are, to say the very least, more accomplished in the technique than any anarcho-punk with whom I've ever bunked. ERIC GRANDY
Stay home and practice your throat singing. Or go see Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks play at Sonic Boom in Ballard at 11:00 p.m. (Their new album, Real Emotional Trash, will be available for sale immediately afterward.)
Panther, Gil Mantera's Party Dream, Talbot Tagora, Check Minus
(Nectar) See Interrogation, page 41.
British Sea Power, Colourmusic
(Neumo's) The other day at the office, Eric Grandy literally threw a CD at me. It was Do You Like Rock Music? by British Sea Power. The name sounded familiarish. They are, according to Wikipedia, four guys from Brighton who like and make rock music and whose live shows involve bear costumes and stage diving. Last month at a show, the keyboardist and cornet player reportedly jumped off a 12-foot-high PA system and landed on his head. He was rushed to the hospital where he got "a maze of stitches" on his chin and was treated for a concussion. This has to be commended. The music itself? It's the sort of rock that takes itself for powerful and British but is actually thin, generic, cheesy. I listened to "No Lucifer" and "Waving Flags," the two singles on Do You Like Rock Music?, over and over again, and I can't remember a thing about them. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
The Gutter Twins, Great Northern
(Showbox at the Market) The paths leading to the Gutter Twins are two. One path, taken by Greg Dulli, is the Afghan Whigs, and another path, taken by Mark Lanegan, is the Screaming Trees. The first complete work at the end of these paths, the Gutter Twins, is called Saturnalia. The title of the work is faithful to its content. All that is implied by the word "saturnalia" is realized in the music. Saturnalia as a word and as a work is "a period of unrestrained revelry." The work has no restraints; it's an orgy of complicated emotions, perverted poetry, big mountain drums, soaring arrangements, moments of troubled peace, moments of panic, moments of hope, moments of hysteria. In all, the work has too much stuff in it and one longs for the simplicity and poverty of the Screaming Trees and the Afghan Whigs. CHARLES MUDEDE
Taken by Trees, White Hinterland
(Triple Door) Victoria Bergsman, aka the female voice on the Peter, Bjorn, and John track "Young Folks"—a song I whistled and whistled and whistled last year (you try not to!)—quit the Concretes in 2006 and started a solo project called Taken by Trees that is pretty much all about her voice. There are instruments, too—strings, a vibraphone, other pretty stuff—but they're faint, downplayed, beside the point. Bergsman's voice has many levels and sounds good no matter what you do to it: On "Above You" it's amplified and echo-y, like a multitude of angels singing at the other end of a hallway; her cover of "Sweet Child o' Mine" is so great because it's so simple. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Bisc1, Metermaids, Domer
(Sunset) See My Philosophy, page 48.