Perennially touring, Simian Mobile Disco's duo of Jameses (Ford and Shaw) have spent the last year on the road in support of their breakout debut album, Attack Decay Sustain Release, but have done so mainly from behind turntables in the U.S., working crowds into a frenzy while leisurely playing records between sips of beer (remember Decibel's opening night last year?). For their first U.S. headlining tour, they've brought along their entire live rig, and while their setup might not rival veteran Daft Punk's visual cornucopia, it combines the best elements of their newly arrived electro brethren's live shows.

These peers include both Justice and Digitalism, a duo of duos that have taken vastly different approaches to re-creating their studio output. Justice have created an entire leather-clad image to go with their scuzzy production. Problem is, there's not much there below the facade. Live, their cross is provocative (and so bright), but between the towering stacks of unplugged amps and disconnected synths, it's all show and little go, like a Honda with an oversized spoiler. Digitalism are much more authentic, with live vocals and tables covered in electronic gear (and the occasional technical issue), but, by its very nature, knob twiddling is only engaging for so long.

Seemingly taking a cue from both camps, Simian Mobile Disco's live setup strikes a balance between spectacle and practical, placing the duo onstage around a circular table with a laptop, MIDI controller, drum machine, and synths, surrounded by a series of upright "intelligent" LED towers for the synchronized "ooh shiny" effect. The table contains an entire studio in compact form, giving the duo freedom to reconstruct their tracks on the fly, with enough inherent variability in their analog gear that it will never sound (or look) exactly the same way twice. It's the full realization of the term "mobile disco," appealing to gear heads as well as those who demand showmanship in a live performance.

Simian Mobile Disco play Thurs April 24 at Neumo's, 8 pm–2 am, $12 adv, 21+. With JDH, Dave P, Pretty Titty, and Fourcolorzack.


Where most minimal artists lean on lofty prose about delicate textures and abstract aesthetics, Guys on Drugs (true to their name) want you to "shut the fuck up and rock the fuck out"—truly the noblest of goals. The Detroit duo headline the inaugural Sweatbox, a new event from pantycontrol and Ctrl_Alt_Dlt, a night meant to celebrate the renaissance of Seattle techno. The party's way down in Sodo, but with plans to run all night, it's looking to be the destination for techno fiends Saturday. recommended

Guys on Drugs play Sat April 26 at Sweatbox at 3924 Airport Way S, 10 pm–5 am, $10, 21+. With Kristina Childs, Uncommon Forms, Pantycontrol, Ctrl_Alt_Dlt.