Wednesday 8/17

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Hillstomp

(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests.

Grand Groove: Cat, Stas, Ish, OC Notes, Tendai, El Mizell, Chocolate Chuck, Johnny Merlot

(Capitol Club) See Data Breaker.

Fungal Abyss, Yada Yada Blues Band, DJ Ampbuzz

(Comet) Brainy Seattle metal band Lesbian's alter ego, Fungal Abyss, have been holding court every Wednesday in August at the Comet (full disclosure: I'm DJing at the August 24 event). The goal: to curate a night of mycological transcendence, which climaxes with Fungal Abyss improvising as psychedelically as they can. For tonight's edition, they've enlisted DJ Ampbuzz (Kinski guitarist Chris Martin) and Yada Yada Blues Band (consisting of Master Musicians of Bukkake members), with Dumb Eyes' rad image-generator Christian Petersen on visuals. That's a cast you can trust to launch you out of the mundane. To get a further inkling of what Fungal Abyss have in store, check out their forthcoming cassette on Translinguistic Other, Bardo Abgrund Temple, at Shit is deep, heavy, and mind expanding. DAVE SEGAL

Thursday 8/18

Sole & the SkyRider Band

(Nectar) See Data Breaker.

Secret Heart: One Evening of Feist Songs Turned Inside and Out

(Triple Door) Even though she's appeared on Sesame Street and that automatically makes her cooler than you or I, everyone hates on Feist. I totally understand this impulse; record labels love Feist because she works perfectly in the context of a dentist's office. But here's the thing that people forget: She's an excellent songwriter. It takes a real gift to create songs that catchy, and I've long suspected that if she didn't sing her own stuff—her voice is way too clean to like—she'd be the most in-demand writer in the music biz. Tonight, local musicians from the Head and the Heart, Goldfinch, Redwood Plan, and the Courage put that theory to the test. You'll leave with a new appreciation of Feist's talents. PAUL CONSTANT

Winter, Pelican, Noothgrush, All Pigs Must Die, Alpinist, Masakari, Aeges

(Neumos) In its 13-year existence, Southern Lord Records' most notable contribution to the metal community has been its advocacy for the impossibly slow, distended, down-tuned riff. And tonight the label has managed to pull three glacial-paced monolith rockers from hibernation for its the Power of the Riff tour—Long Island doom outfit Winter, Chicago instrumentalists Pelican, and Bay Area sludge legends Noothgrush. On the flip side of the tempo coin, the opening acts reflect Southern Lord's recent shift toward the raging fury of crust and D-beat hardcore. All Pigs Must Die, Alpinist, and Masakari can all trace their sound back to 1990s ragers like His Hero Is Gone and Born Dead Icons. Show up early to get your thrash on; smoke whatever you like at the midway point to get your dirge on. BRIAN COOK

Friday 8/19

Songs About Books: Ryan Barrett, Alex Guy, Levi Fuller, Johanna Kunin, Joshua Morrison

(Fremont Abbey) See preview.

Cut Chemist, Edan, Mr. Lif

(Showbox at the Market) See preview and Data Breaker.

Obits, Disappears, Broomsticks

(Crocodile) Obits' latest, the excellently titled Moody, Standard and Poor, has much in common with 2009's I Blame You—tuneful, tightly coiled guitar work, brisk and unobtrusive percussion, occasionally brilliant bass lines (see closer "I Blame Myself"), and, of course, Rick Froberg's harmonious and gravelly vocal snarl. (Former Edsel frontman Sohrab Habibion still handles vocals on some tracks, too.) Bitterness and ambivalence fire out in the same breath, and winning, losing, blame, and forgiveness still figure heavily in the lyrical content. "Things are just fucked, but they're also just right," Froberg always seems to be saying. They are as flawless live as the Hot Snakes were, if a little less cathartic. Get there early for Broomsticks, whom I've not heard yet, but involve Ruben Mendez and Lacey Swain of Coconut Coolouts, and Dan Paulus, who used to design stuff at this here paper, so shut up and get out the front door already. GRANT BRISSEY

Sound Fest: Jello Biafra, Retox, the Avengers, Reagan Youth, Koozbane, Dreadful Children

(Neumos) I really couldn't ever get into the Locust. Their hardcore sound barrage is not the sort of sound barrage I seek out—it's too busy and there's not enough melody. There's also not a whole lot of melody to be found in Retox, the latest project from the Locust's Justin Pearson and Gabe Serbian. This stuff is all about rhythm at a breakneck pace, but it's infinitely more listenable than the Locust's music. GRANT BRISSEY

Dyme Def, Hobosexual, Sports

(High Dive) Hobosexual have a rather unorthodox promotional approach. First, they've got their own line of action figures. In one edition, drummer Jeff Silva's figure comes with a motorcycle and singer/guitarist Ben Harwood's comes with an eagle. Second, the band recently sent several tapes of their latest—Hobosexual: Live from the CCT—to the office in portable tape players. Contained therein is more of the best '70s stoner rock this city has heard since the '70s. GRANT BRISSEY

Black Mountain, My Goodness, Whalebones

(Mural Amphitheatre) I used to work in the liquor department of a tiny grocery store while I was going to school in Milwaukee. My boss looooved metal and the imagery associated with it. So much so that he decorated the already creepy brick, cobwebbed basement storeroom with skulls and red lights. Hidden in his stack of CDs were a few surprises. Black Mountain's In the Future was one of them. Their signature blend of rootsy stoner rock is quite possibly the perfect music for stocking cases of beer. It also bridged the gap between our tastes, satisfying my need for pop melodies and his for heavy psychedelia. Black Mountain's latest album, 2010's Wilderness Heart, is another, lighter, exploration of their sound. DAN OBERBRUNER

Weezer, the Thermals

(WaMu Theater) My love for The Blue Album and Pinkerton is so strong, that even now, in a post-Raditude world, I still call myself a Weezer fan. The Blue Album is power-pop perfection—a record that wonderfully balances both sincerity and fun. The guitar-driven Pinkerton, while still a pop record, is more aggressive, with brutally honest and dark lyrics about fucking groupies and falling in love with underage Japanese girls. To hear those classic records performed live should be a dream come true. But it is not. After it was initially a commercial failure, Pinkerton was shunned by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, and I still haven't forgiven him for reembracing it only after the cult favorite proved to be essential to his second wave of success. Sure, I fucking L-O-V-E Pinkerton, and I yearn to relive that age of Weezer, but tonight will not be what I dream it to be. To watch Weezer v. 2.0 play both Pinkerton and The Blue Album, after all the comparatively vapid songs they've written since (and with the glaring absence of Pinkerton's costar Matt Sharp), it will likely feel more like watching a really good cover band play some of your favorite songs. And is that worth $40-plus? MEGAN SELING

Saturday 8/20

Debacle Records Fest: Brain Fruit, Konntinent, Operative, Golden Retriever, Brother Raven, Plankton Wat, Panabrite

(Lo-Fi) See Underage.

Vibrations Festival: Seapony, Flexions, Metal Chocolates, Stephanie, Witch Gardens, Charles Leo Gebhardt IV, Grass Widow

(Volunteer Park) See Underage.

Milk Music, the Men, Big Crux, Cold Lake

(Josephine) See Granted.

Linda's Fest: Black Breath, Tit Pig, Glory Hole

(Linda's) Black Breath? Amazing! Tit Pig? Entertaining! But I deem the star of today's totally free Linda's Fest to be Glory Hole, a Hole tribute band starring members of Tacocat and Stickers. They stick to Live Through This and "Celebrity Skin" (the song, not the record), and that's all I know about them, but they're already my favorite thing on this lineup. (That's saying a lot—I fucking love Black Breath.) Linda's Fest starts at 6 pm and goes down in the parking lot behind the bar. Like I said, it's free, but bring money for nachos. Linda's has really good nachos. MEGAN SELING

Richard Buckner, David Kilgour

(Triple Door) The pairing of two critically acclaimed cult favorites should be a no-brainer, but there's something strangely jarring about putting Richard Buckner and David Kilgour on the same stage. The former's dark twangst has always seemed oppressive (even to this recovering goth), while the latter's work—both solo and as a member of legendary New Zealand band the Clean—possesses an irrepressible sunniness. In yet another year where that glowing orb seems reluctant to make a long-term appearance, Kilgour's friendly, laid-back indie pop could be just the shot of vitamin D necessary to boost your spirits. Who knows—maybe some of that might rub off on his tourmate. BARBARA MITCHELL

Royal Baths, the Apollos, XDS

(Sunset) Almost one year ago, I stumbled upon a sparsely attended all-ages show in downtown Portland where San Francisco three-piece Royal Baths were performing. Despite the small turnout, the band powered through a procession of droning Velvet Underground–like rock dirges that navigated the frenetic, electric tones of White Light/White Heat. While the drummer emulated certain characteristics of Moe Tucker's heavy tom hitting, the highlight was watching the two guitarists, who shared equal time on the microphone, creating a tense, distorted musical language that could only be translated under the influence of drugs. I remember feeling very sober when I walked in (it was an all-ages show, after all), but after having my ears scrubbed clean by their brilliant, narcotic rock, I was in another dimension entirely, knocked on my ass like a junkie who just got his fix of the real good shit. TRAVIS RITTER

Sunday 8/21

Reggie Watts

(Neptune) See preview.

Vaz, Pygmy Shrews, Whiskey Tango; the Trashies, Shannon and the Clams, Street Eaters

(Rendezvous) I never go out on Sunday nights. My friends get mad, but Sundays are for falling asleep in the bathtub, with a glass of white zin in one hand and Anna Lee Waldo's 1,424-page paperback about Sacajawea in the other. There's no reason to do anything else. This Sunday, however, I'll break the tradition. Upstairs at Rendezvous, there are noise-rock heavies Vaz and Pygmy Shrews with Seattle fun-time punkers Whiskey Tango. Then, downstairs in the Grotto, Seattle's newly reunited trashcore heroes the Trashies will destroy the basement, along with Bay Area garage punks Shannon and the Clams and Street Eaters. Also, this'll be the last Seattle Trashies show for a while, so don't sleep (in the tub)! KELLY O

Operation ID, Prawnyxx, Religious Girls

(Tractor) Seattle quintet Operation ID blew me away earlier this summer at the Comet. Hearing them for the first time, I was gobsmacked by their flagrant prog-rock-y maneuvers, a rarity in local-music circles. Operation ID flex the sort of complex jazz-rock songwriting chops that make one think of Gentle Giant and post–Robert Wyatt Soft Machine. Excelling at mesmerizing minimalism, unpredictable dynamics, and mellifluous tunefulness, Operation ID prove that high-IQ music doesn't have to be a grim grind. Check out their coruscating debut album, Legs, for ample proof. DAVE SEGAL

Sound Fest: Stiff Little Fingers, Swingin' Utters, Tim Barry, My Life in Black and White, Hanover Saints, Pascal Briggs

(El Corazón) Some of you black-leather-jacketed punk historians may disagree, but I think Stiff Little Fingers' 1979 classic Inflammable Material ranks in the top five of all punk albums. The Northern Irish group brought all the righteous fury of youths living during the Troubles and mustered the rough eloquence and brash, bashing tunesmithery to animate their predicament for the (r)ages. Vocalist Jake Burns's gruff, rabid barks were the perfect foil for SLF's napalmic anthems. Speaking of which, none is more caustic than "Alternative Ulster," which makes most other punk sound like effete loungezak by comparison. SLF cut a couple of other decent records, but nothing beats Inflammable Material. Let's hope they do the whole thing at Sound Fest—minus "Barbed Wire Love." DAVE SEGAL

Sound Fest: Zero Boys, Cro Mags, Crutches, Get Dead, Ill Intent

(Vera) Big coastal cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC, dominate early American punk history, but kids in the culturally deprived flyover states—such as Indianapolis quartet Zero Boys—responded emphatically to its urgency and impertinence, too. Almost 30 years after its release, Zero Boys' 1982 classic Vicious Circle still measures up alongside the Germs' (GI) and the Ramones' debut, with razor-sharp guitar riffs and Paul Mahern's snotty tenor cutting to the quick. Playing the all- ages Vera Project is an especially smart way to shore up the band's modest but important legacy: Even kindergartners should appreciate their succinct, tuneful songs—and, for better or worse, lyrics like "Civilization's Dying" are just as relevant today as in the Reagan era. KURT B. REIGHLEY

Monday 8/22

Atmosphere, Evidence, Blueprint, DJ Babu, Prof

(Showbox Sodo) Atmosphere's Family Vacation tour is technically in support of their new album, The Family Sign, but I like to pretend that this is a victory lap for 2008's When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold, because that album didn't get anywhere near the attention it deserved. I know it was critically acclaimed, but that thing was in the top three albums of the year, and it certainly didn't sell like it. Atmosphere should be one of the biggest hiphop acts in the business, and Lemons should have been a breakthrough, their Reasonable Doubt. And, somehow, it wasn't. What the fuck is wrong with you, America? Look, this is not to say that Family Sign isn't a good album—it is—but you should have to eat your peas before you get your dessert is all I'm saying. How are you ever going to grow up, America, if you don't eat what's good for you? PAUL CONSTANT

Tuesday 8/23

Can the Boy Tell Time, Riot in Stereo, Pocket Panda

(Comet) You've gotta love it when a band sounds like a beautiful fistfight. Can the Boy Tell Time inspire verbs like "clash" and "crash" and "battle," because they're always pitting melody against discordance. Any one choice from their discography sounds like two or three songs that have been loosely combined into a new song—a disco stomp like "Versieren," say, or the twinkling, limping march of "British Columbians"—but they err just on this side of melodiousness. Can the Boy Tell Time don't quite make sound collages—they're more like sound montages, a series of disparate thoughts and concepts that work together to bring forth a specific theme. You'll find some aggression between elements of their music, but it's all choreographed with such self-assuredness that you always want more. PAUL CONSTANT