Thursday 10/8

Pete Swanson, Nadja, Hemingway, Tecumseh

(Josephine) While in D. Yellow Swans, electronics wiz Pete Swanson helped to forge some of America's most nuanced noise sculptures. By 2007's At All Ends, the Portland duo were even delving into blissful, My Bloody Valentine–esque drone poems, albeit with more disturbing undertones. Now solo, Swanson releases prodigiously on cassette and CD-R in damnably hard-to-find editions. Based on his past achievements, though, it's safe to assume he'll find ingenious ways to toxify the air around you. Speaking of MBV, Nadja cover that band's "Only Shallow" on their recent covers album, When I See the Sun Always Shines on TV, swathing it in thousand-pound layers of opium-soaked gauze. Wooozzzyyy. With Nadja, metal meets shoegaze in the drone-atorium, ambient accrues substantial girth and dirt, and heads loll ever so pleasantly before they're steamrolled. DAVE SEGAL

NoMeansNo, the Pack A.D.

(Neumos) Mention a punk band that's been around for 30 years and chances are you're referring to weathered alcoholics playing dive bars on the outskirts of town, or a group shamelessly pandering to the next generation of Warped Tour attendees, or even some sad reunion tour featuring one original member. NoMeansNo, thankfully, are none of the above. Rather, the band continually favored challenging audiences' minds over challenging The Man. Through the span of their career, the trio amassed an impressive catalog of cerebral punk, brimming with odd time signatures, polyrhythms, and unique instrument interplay—a distinction that's led several critics to cite them as a primary influence on the math-rock explosion of the '90s. Even after three decades, NoMeansNo are as relevant as ever. BRIAN COOK

Sleepy Sun, This Blinding Light, Justin Ripley

(Sunset) San Francisco's Sleepy Sun create psych rock that's in a fairly constant struggle between dreamy tranquility and intoxicating tumult. They carry something of the early Verve's flair for dramatic song structures and charismatic choruses, and Brightblack Morning Light's stoned air of spiritualized blues. This Blinding Light rank among this city's top outward-bound rock bands. The first time I saw them perform at the Comet, they fireballed through my senses like Loop in a flaming, priest-driven ambulance. This Blinding Light feature two members of Hypatia Lake, but TBL hit the FX'd-to-heaven, trance-rock bull's-eye more solidly than those solid dudes do. DAVE SEGAL

Jack Wilson & the Wife Stealers, the Whiskey Wailers, James Hunnicutt

(Chop Suey) Jack Wilson has the kind of heartfelt, wizened voice that lots of country-folk men have: It's a warm, pull-up-a-barstool-and-I'll-tell-you-a-story-of-heartbreak-my-friend kind of a voice. Lots of musicians coast on that kind of voice, writing songs about how their true love has hair like shafts of wheat but not anymore because she is dead or some silly shit like that. But Wilson ventures out into the fringes of country to push at expectations in a tremendously satisfying way. He out-and-out croons, for instance, on "Out of Bed," stretching his voice in a way that, say, Bonnie "Prince" Billy would never dare to risk. And Wilson writes some straight-up romantic duets, too; he's not afraid to drop the pretense and craft a love song that works. PAUL CONSTANT

Friday 10/9

The Dutchess and the Duke, Dead Ghosts, Meth Teeth

(Crocodile) See preview

Bonkers!: Sutekh, Randy Jones, the Icarus Kid, Misha

(Re-bar) See Data Breaker.

Starfucker, Deelay Ceelay, Phantogram

(Vera) I guess it had to happen eventually. Portland electro-rock band Starfucker are changing their name so they can really "make it" in the music world. Fair enough. They've seemed destined for success from the start, and they certainly deserve all they can get for their brand of playful, breezy, and occasionally sinister synth pop. Still, I wish they could keep the profanity. After all, Holy Fuck, Fuck Buttons, the Fucking Champs, Fucked Up, the Fucking Eagles, and of course Fuck have all achieved highly lucrative mainstream breakthroughs, right? Right? In any case, they are soliciting suggestions from fans for their new band name; e-mail them at or tell them in person at tonight's show. I wonder if the Fucking Sellouts is taken. JK! ERIC GRANDY

Mono, Maserati, Sleepy Eyes of Death

(Neumos) Conversations regarding instrumental post-rock inevitably reference soundtracks. After all, film is the most common source of instrumental music in pop culture. But the absence of vocal narratives also grants listeners greater license to project their own context onto the music. Well, who am I to buck the trend? Mono's dynamic delay-and-distortion-soaked compositions evoke the tragedy and triumph one would expect from a modern adaptation of a Wagner opera. Maserati take krautrock's driving rhythmic patterns and apply wee-hours-of-the-morning somberness to yield a sound suitable for an '80s drug tale. Sleepy Eyes of Death, with their lush wall of sound and mix of organic and electronic tones, provide the perfect score for a hallucinogenic sci-fi film. Tonight's show is a fine opportunity to make your own mental movies. BRIAN COOK

Juliette Lewis, the Ettes, the American Bang

(El CorazĂłn) Pay little mind to Juliette Lewis's mediocre hard-rock vanity project. Sure, Lewis shone in Natural Born Killers, but despite trying very strenuously to be the brunette Courtney Love, she just can't compensate for her lack of distinctive musical ability. Instead, train your ears on the Ettes, the riveting garage-rock plaything of Coco Hames, Jem Cohen, and Poni Silver. The Nashville-based trio sink enchanting melodies into sexy rhythms and cast the proceedings within a shadowy, trashy, B-movie aesthetic. This approach has been done thousands of times before, but the Ettes simply execute it with more panache than most. Against the odds, it sounds as vital as your heartbeat. DAVE SEGAL

Saturday 10/10

The Pogues

(Showbox Sodo) Do I really have to tell you why you should go see the Pogues? Fine: Because Shane MacGowan is the greatest lyricist alive. Because they are the greatest band in the universe to drink to, and because you haven't gotten head-over-heels shitfaced in a good long time. Because MacGowan, when he's actually able to stand on his own two feet (the odds are probably five to one against this happening tonight, but whatever), uses his rough-hewn voice like an instrument in the same magical way that Louis Armstrong always used to. Because the Pogues sound like they know everything there is to know about love and heartbreak and war and sadness and death that there is to know. Because. Period. PAUL CONSTANT

Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3, Young Fresh Fellows

(Crocodile) Last year brought the rerelease of what will forever be my favorite Robyn Hitchcock albums—1985's Fegmania! and 1986's Element of Light, which I encountered as a Beatles-and-R.E.M.-obsessed teen and love to this day. But I've never heard Hitchcock music I haven't liked, up to and including this year's Goodnight Oslo, made with the Venus 3 and packed with more of the bookish, Syd-Barrett-meets-John-Lennon psycho-Britpop that is Hitchcock's life calling. DAVID SCHMADER

School of Seven Bells, the Depreciation Guild, Warpaint

(Neumos) You know how the crisp details of a dream can linger for just a moment upon waking, then promptly fade into the recesses of your subconscious? The blissful, droney dazzle of School of Seven Bells is like that. This Ghostly International triumvirate—twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza (On!Air!Library!) and Benjamin Curtis (Secret Machines)—live up to their label's chimerical name. In the moment, songs like "Iamundernodisguise" and "Half Asleep" pop with a refreshing brightness. But as the fuzzy synths, echoing pulses, and haunting harmonies loop in song after song on last year's Alpinisms, it all begins to blur and slip away. Luckily, this tour reportedly sees SVIIB heavier and louder, with new songs from their upcoming sophomore album. I'm hoping for a dream I'll remember. JESSE VERNON

Junior Boys, Circlesquare

(Chop Suey) I wasn't that stoked to see Junior Boys last time they came through town. For one thing, I was more excited about catching their opening act, the inimitable Max Tundra, but for another, I remembered their live sets being kind of anemic, a problem given that their icy-cool elecro pop is already pretty understated on record. But either I remembered wrong or else the duo have stepped up their game, because that show killed. The Boys gradually dialed up the intensity, building from frosty soul jams to subtly persuasive percussive tracks, making for a surprisingly sweaty dance party for a Sunday night. So color me converted—I can't wait to see how they'll warm things up on a proper Saturday night. ERIC GRANDY

Rabbit in the Moon

(King Cat Theater) Rabbit in the Moon haunt the peripheries of my mind like wacky apparitions from my '90s-rave-going days. They always seemed ludicrous as fuck to this cynical clubber, what with their costumed shenanigans and melodramatic, soft-cushioned trance techno. Rabbit in the Moon spoiled more than one acid trip back then, and here they are in the twilight of the '00s, still realizing their thespian aspirations, peddling bland dance music, and ham-fistedly besmirching David Bowie's "Let's Dance"—which was already pretty ham-fisted. This show's slated to be a DJ set, so maybe the corniness will be kept in check. DAVE SEGAL

Sunday 10/11

Native Guns, JFK, EyeASage, Jern Eye, DJ Daps1

(Nectar) California-based Fil-Am hiphop crew Native Guns started putting out their street-level revolutionary hiphop around the same time Seattle's Blue Scholars (whose MC Geo is tonight's host) rose to local, then national prominence with their own complementary aesthetic. Composed of ex–gang members Bambu and Kiwi on the mic and Chinese-American DJ Phatrick on the tables, the Guns, like the Scholars, pay no mere lip service to social justice—community work is just as much a part of their routine as writing rhymes and playing shows. This is their first set together since an amicable split in 2007; they'll be celebrating Filipino American History Month along with wax/fitted-cap collector DJ Daps1, Grayskul's incendiary JFK, and the Bay Area's own Jern Eye, whose new album, Vision, is a sneak attack of dope rhymes and block-cracking beats. LARRY MIZELL JR.

Passion Pit, E-603

(Showbox at the Market) This week is just ridiculous with the soft-edged electro pop. To my ears, Passion Pit aren't the most exciting of the bunch (that would be Starfucker or Junior Boys), but neither are they the worst (Metronomy). Passion Pit's songs are marked by singer/keyboardist Michael Angelakos's ebullient falsetto croon and by the generally ecstatic mood created by the band's glittering, maximalist synth arrangements. This is gleefully unsubtle dance music, fluffy and insubstantial (and, duh, sweet) as cotton candy. E-603 appears to be the post-mashup laptop dude you book for your tour when you can't afford Girl Talk. I know it's problematic to accuse someone of "ripping off" a guy whose music is made entirely of samples of other people's music (and who himself "ripped off" Negativland and Double Dee & Steinski), but this shit just sounds like a cheap, hasty, and utterly tasteless knockoff. ERIC GRANDY

Lightning Dust, the Purrs

(Tractor) Vancouver, BC's Lightning Dust consist of Black Mountain's Amber Webber and Joshua Wells, "sometimes with Ashley Webber, Ryan Peters, Fish Tacos and the odd Cave Singer." They keep some of Black Mountain's smartly adapted '70s-rock components but rely more on classical instrumentation, with piano often taking a prominent role. Their self-titled debut sounds like one of those albums that tricks me into saying in print that it's not all that great, and then by the time the paper comes out I'm listening to the shit out of it. Well, this time I'M NOT GOING TO FALL FOR IT. Already I can tell you that "When You Go" is a jam. This show is going to kill. GRANT BRISSEY

Monday 10/12

Metronomy, Fool's Gold

(Nectar) Somewhere in between the actual Africans (the Kutis, the Tourés) and the white, American indie-rock bands incorporating African styles with varying degrees of experimentation, sincerity, and success (Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend) are L.A.-based band Fool's Gold. Like the metallurgically superior benga band Extra Golden, Fool's Gold are multiethnic, international, and reverent re-creationists of African music (unlike Extra Golden, they don't count among their membership any authentic African musicians). They are fronted by Israeli-born singer/bassist Luke Top (he sings in Hebrew and English) and guitarist Lewis Pesacov, and are rounded out by a gaggle of musicians on guitar, keys, horns, and percussion. Fool's Gold don't focus on one style or region of African music but take an omnivorous approach, fusing several styles with other world musics and their own slightly smoggy but still sunny L.A. vibe. ERIC GRANDY

Steely Dan

(Paramount) America's preeminent perv-jazz rockers light up the Paramount for two nights to showcase two of their beloved albums. Tonight brings Aja, the long-songed, smooth-jazz-dabbling hit of 1977. Tomorrow night brings 1976's The Royal Scam, a lesser hit but a better album, packed with more of the twisty, brainy, slightly queasy-making pop that made the band's first five records one of the great runs in rock. Both nights' sets will feature an array of hits from nonfeatured LPs. Expect pristine musicianship and lots of old honkies getting down. DAVID SCHMADER

Tuesday 10/13

Karl Blau, LAKE, Shana Cleveland, Manners

(Josephine) See preview.

Steely Dan

(Paramount) See Monday.

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Future of the Left, Born Anchors

(Neumos) Future of the Left put on the best performance at the Capitol Hill Block Party this year. Despite the fact they played Neumos the same time Beth Ditto and company took the main stage, they packed out the venue and inspired a sweaty mess of fans to thrash around to their post-rock battle cries. But FOTL deliver more than an amazing live performance. They're also known for heckling back at the hecklers, adding another element of entertainment to their show. No one heckled at Block Party, so they had to make due with finding humor in other observations. Example: Regarding the amount of sweat dripping down his entire body halfway through the set, bassist Kelson Mathias proclaimed, "I feel like an elephant has come on me." Gross. And hilarious! MEGAN SELING

A Hawk and a Hacksaw

(Sonic Boom Ballard, 7 pm; Tractor) One of the best things to happen to music in the last few years is the surge of competent, spirited traditional music (see also: Beirut, Orkestar Zirkonium). A Hawk and a Hacksaw have the same wind instruments and accordions that the other purveyors of Balkan folk music have, but they've got some tricks that other bands don't have: Nobody else has thought to mix Middle Eastern strings, for instance, into a traditional waltz. And nobody else has a percussion section that booms in quite the satisfying way that A Hawk and a Hacksaw do. Their experiment with blending nontraditional international vocal and instrumental tricks into the sound feels respectful and innovative. PAUL CONSTANT

Butthole Surfers, Psychic Ills

(Showbox at the Market) The classic '80s Butthole Surfers lineup—Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary, Jeff Pinkus, King Coffey, and Teresa Taylor—will appear for this tour, meaning we can expect a vertiginous tour through some of that decade's most absurdly outré, brain-bonking psych rock, if all goes according to plan. Will Haynes set his hand on fire and spew spontaneous surrealistic brilliance? Will Coffey and Taylor still be able to bang the tubs in time? Will Leary still peel off those searing, acidic leads? Will the scabrous Sabbath homage "Sweet Loaf" be accompanied by those lovely synchronized leg kicks? Will "Lady Sniff" befoul the air? We wait on tenterhooks in anticipation. As for the openers, Psychic Ills remain one of our time's slyest psychedelic seducers, as their last Seattle gig made crystal clear. DAVE SEGAL

Wednesday 10/14

Why?, Mount Eerie, No Kids

(Vera) See Stranger Suggests, preview, and Fucking in the Streets.

The Oregon Donor, the Femurs

(Sunset) The Oregon Donor's new record, A Pageant's End, starts with "Pageant," which spends the first minute or two tricking you into thinking it's a pretty ballad. But don't be fooled; the song evolves into a swirling and fun flurry of piano, fuzzy guitars, and harmonies. The following track, "Hostages," does the opposite—spending the first couple minutes paying homage to Built to Spill's infamous, frenzied jam sessions before chilling out into a romantic pop song. But just as most romances do, it gets sour at the end. In fact, that seems to be the Oregon Donor's MO—lure in the listener with sonic sweetness, and once the victim's in their sights, blast them back against the wall with an epic, distorted freak-out. Well played, Oregon Donor. MEGAN SELING