Thursday 2/17

Yo La Tengo, the Corin Tucker Band

(Showbox at the Market) Yo La Tengo have hit the road with a winning gimmick: a two-tiered show whose first chunk will be decided by the spinning of a modified chore wheel (among the options the band must be prepared to execute: comedy skits, audience Q&A, performances as their garage-rock alter egos the Condo Fucks) and whose second chunk will be a set of classic songs spanning the band's 27-year, 12-album career. DAVID SCHMADER

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thrones

(Showbox Sodo) At the apex of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's active years, the Montreal collective was playing venues like the Crocodile and RKCNDY. Filling these sizable rooms was quite an achievement for a media-shy group known for postapocalyptic ambience and creepy Nurse with Wound–esque sound collages. Such ventures have a low popularity ceiling; if Godspeed's story ended with the onset of their indefinite hiatus back in 2003, cynics could easily chalk up their existence to an interesting but exhausted run in the experimental field. But nestled within the gloom and clatter of the GY!BE canon are transcendent moments of Wagner's dramatic battle cry, Morricone's sorrowful guitar twang, and punk's alienated aesthetic. After an eight-year absence, GY!BE have sold out the Showbox Sodo, a testament to their pervasive beauty and sustaining power. BRIAN COOK

Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction

(Neumos) See My Philosophy.

Smith Westerns, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the Pharmacy

(Crocodile) Smith Westerns are three youngsters from Chicago who make innocuous pop rock with a small helping of weirdness lightly sprinkled around the edges. Anyone wishing for the Posies 2.0, updated for the '10s, you have found your band. GRANT BRISSEY

Awol One & Factor, Ceschi, Cars & Trains

(Chop Suey) Nothing cuts through a beat quite like the signature molasses-thick gruff produced by Awol One's vocal cords. His raps don't quite fit the bill of stream of consciousness; they're more like raging rivers of consciousness. Always keeping his slap-happy sense of self-deprecation alive and well, Awol keeps on churning out an ever-morphing catalog of hiphop spectacles running the gamut from more traditional boom bap (see Souldoubt) to whimsical, hallucinatory expeditions of near spoken word (see Slanguage). His newer records with Factor (with whom he's touring) inch slowly toward a twisted version of more contemporary underground territory, but Awol always does it his way. And just a quick pro tip: Be sure to check Ceschi. He fuses equal parts coffee-shop singer-songwriter and slick-tongued MC into an incredible, sometimes tear-jerking one-man performance. KALEB GUBERNICK

Friday 2/18

Konrad Black, Riz Rollins, Nordic Soul

(Lo-Fi) See Data Breaker.

The Decemberists, Mountain Man

(Paramount) The Decemberists have reinvented themselves as folk singers with the studious gusto of virgin teens memorizing colorful maps of erogenous zones, and the result is ultimately pleasing: The King Is Dead, their tribute to Americana music, has the clever, wistful lyrics you've come to expect from lead singer Colin Meloy coupled with a restraint the unapologetically theatrical band has never really employed. And the bare-bones vocals of Mountain Man's Amelia Meath, Molly Sarle, and Alex Sauser-Monnig are high and sweet, like songbirds in heat. CIENNA MADRID

Yuni in Taxco, Feral Children, Ocean Age

(Columbia City Theater) Tell me if this is wrong: Chillwave is lazy music made by neon-sunglasses-wearing Pacific Northwest surf bums who smoke a lot of pot and eat tacos. Case in point, someone also once told me that newish Seattle band Yuni in Taxco are chillwave. Fittingly, their new album, Sanpaku (whose release they're celebrating tonight), sounds a lot like what a surfer dude would listen to while eating tacos. Their songs have warm, tropical-inspired guitar parts, the dreamy vocals sing about beaches and love—it could be that my body and brain are both aching for a relaxing vacation in the sun... or shit, maybe I like a chillwave band! Now if only someone could tell me what the fuck chillwave actually is. MEGAN SELING

Saturday 2/19

Red Fang, Argonaut, the Absolute Monarchs

(Sunset) See Sound Check.


(Showbox Sodo) See Data Breaker.

Urinals, Big Crux

(Funhouse) Two great punk bands from different ends of the historical continuum. First up: Urinals, a pleasingly minimalist punk trio that began as a joke in 1978, in a parody performance of a dorm talent show at UCLA. They couldn't play their instruments, but that didn't stop them. They learned to put together noisy and sometimes drone-y basement-rock songs, played with the Go-Go's and Black Flag, changed their name to 100 Flowers, and changed their name a few more times. Sometimes, Urinals sound a little like early, anthemic Clash (they've got a few choruses that bounce like "White Riot"), and what they eschew in musical complexity, they make up for in texture. Second up: Big Crux, who play exuberant, bluesy punk-rock-with-angles. As James Burns wrote on Line Out: "This is a good-ass band... Big Boys, lots of Minutemen, maybe a little Gang of Four or Mission of Burma." I'd say lots of Mission of Burma. This is punk you can jerk around to. BRENDAN KILEY

Triumph of Lethargy, Blood Red Dancers, John Atkins

(Rendezvous) A Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death show is a mesmerizing event. Spencer Moody yowls things like "There is/No hope/There is no hope here," "Hey asshole," and "Did you come home/To find your bags packed/Did you come home to find another man's boots/Where your boots should be?" over plodding bass lines that coil like a boa constrictor, lumbering mallet-on-toms percussion, and wistful guitar progressions. While the music may sound bleak, before long you catch your body moving in time with that slithering bass, and the guitar parts sound inexplicably beautiful, and then Moody sings, "When you lose your love/It's time to learn how to live," and things suddenly seem like they might turn out all right. GRANT BRISSEY

Friend-Enforcer, Scum Eating

(Full Tilt Ice Cream, Columbia City) Something wicked this way comes out of Stanwood, Washington. Friend-Enforcer, three subversive dudes with a lot of effects pedals, came to my attention via an unsolicited e-mail with simply a link to their SoundCloud page. We receive dozens of these types of entreaties daily at The Stranger, but every once in a while they induce a "eureka!" Friend-Enforcer are sowers of enriching chaos through noise and distortion in the grand tradition of Butthole Surfers, Lightning Bolt, and Psychic Paramount. Their brawny brand of psychedelia will hit you like a hurricane of anvils. DAVE SEGAL

Benefit for Drew Grow: the Maldives, Kevin Murphy, Mychel Goodweather, Jake Hemming, Bryan John Appleby

(Columbia City Theater) One of the hallmarks of the Seattle music community is just that—it's a genuine community. While Drew Grow actually lives in Portland, he's a part of the Doe Bay collective, and his friends and family are coming out of the woodwork to raise money to help him after a nasty car accident last month. You should, too. The Maldives, Kevin from the Moondoggies, Mychel from Campfire OK, and others are taking to the stage for their injured comrade with a night that's sure to be an epic hug-fest in the best possible way. It's a great chance to immerse yourself in good vibes and pastoral melodies, while rocking extra karma points. Epic WIN. BARBARA MITCHELL

Sunday 2/20

The Fruiting Bodies, Ayahuasca Travelers

(High Dive) The Fruiting Bodies moved en masse from Detroit to Seattle last year, and it looks like both the band and the city should benefit from this decision. Seattle gets another interesting psych-rock band in its domain, and the Fruiting Bodies get a less economically depressed, less crime-ridden city in which to ply their trade. Judging by the three tracks I've heard, the Fruiting Bodies have a facile way with heroically ascendant melodies and powerful drumming that recalls such dynamic hell-raisers as Oneida, Volcano Suns, and Parts and Labor. DAVE SEGAL

Monday 2/21

Sod Hauler, Razorhoof, Broxa, Slave Traitor

(Funhouse) Through a sea of fuzzed-out Black Sabbath riffage and punishingly heavy drums, local noise polluters Sod Hauler bring enough mind-melting low end to turn the liveliest of dance parties into the bleakest of bong-rattling feedback-fests. Monterey, California, natives Razorhoof add a little punk-rock speed (but not too much) to the evening, ensuring that doom virgins won't be lulled into too deep of a coma. KEVIN DIERS

Tuesday 2/22

The Cave Singers

(Easy Street Records, Queen Anne) See preview.


(Sunset) The month-long Tuesday night residency by local acoustic duo Thousands is drawing robust crowds—until the music starts. Once Kristian Garrard and Luke Bergman take the stage, fans close ranks and sit on the floor. And that's marvelous (the carpet's cleaner than you'd expect), as it facilitates concentrating on their dexterous guitar work and vocal interplay, elements that coalesce into a sweet sound that evokes Kings of Convenience and Simon & Garfunkel, albeit with welcome ragged edges. Tonight might be the last opportunity to see Thousands in an intimate setting for a while; this spring, their debut, The Sound of Everything, is getting a big push on both sides of the pond from Bella Union, the label that broke Fleet Foxes overseas. KURT B. REIGHLEY

Wednesday 2/23

Beans, Suntonio Bandanaz, OC Notes

(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker.

Black Milk, Candidt, Grynch & Sol

(Nectar) Hello, my name is Curtis, I mean Black Milk. What? You wanna see my résumé? It starts in 2004, in Detroit, Michigan, when I was 21. That's when I started producing—first a producer, then an MC. If you really want dates, I can give 'em—but let's just say that since then, I've worked with the best of the fucking best in Detroit—J Dilla, Slum Village, Elzhi, Royce Da 5'9"... I've also worked with Pharoahe Monch, um, Bishop Lamont, and Genius/GZA. I've released five solo albums. I called the last one Album of the Year. Whaddya mean that's a cocky name? You've never been to Detroit, have you?* *These are not actual Black Milk quotes. He would never say "the best of the fucking best." Thanks, KELLY O See also My Philosophy.