Wednesday 2/20

Shelter: DJ Sprinkles, Tyler Morrison, Made Like a Tree

(Q) See Data Breaker.

Mouse on Mars, Matmos, Horse Lords

(Neumos) Germany's Mouse on Mars pretty much have never not been delightfully strange throughout their nearly 20-year career. From the dubadelic and exotica-flavored electronica of Vulvaland and Iaora Tahiti to the disjointed, spasmodic IDM of mid-period releases like Niun Niggung and Idiology to the oblong bass music of 2012's Parastrophics and WOW, MOM have carved out a distinctive niche with their structural oddness, textural eccentricities, and quirkily catchy melodies. If they bring drummer and wild-card vocalist Dodo NKishi, this show should be off the hook with weird hooks. Baltimore's Horse Lords play spiky, smart rock with tricky meters and unconventionally radiant guitar tones Ă  la Rhys Chatham. They'll be serving as Matmos's backing band on this tour. You already know about the unique genius of experimental-electronic duo Matmos, because you read the feature in last week's Stranger, right? DAVE SEGAL

Nightmare Fortress, Slow Dance, Blicky, DJ Jermaine

(Mercury) Whoa! Will the old-guard goths, the card-carrying members of Seattle's most mysteriously private industrial club Mercury at Machinewerks, welcome new goths grave-raver rock band Nightmare Fortress into their dark and nihilistic playpen with open arms? I hope so, because Nightmare Fortress are excellent—in their Velvet-Underground-meets-Nine-Inch-Nails sort of way. I hope the band remembers NOT to wear jeans, though—Mercury has a strict dress code. Baby bats beware! KELLY O

Thursday 2/21

The Residents

(Neptune) See preview.

Double Duchess, Glitterbang, Hoot N Howl

(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests.

Ott & the All-Seeing I, KiloWatts

(Neumos) Ott & the All-Seeing I are British purveyors of fine semitraditionalist dub with funky undercurrents and wonky, recessive dubstep traits. Now that marijuana is legal in Seattle, their brand of laid-back, expansive, and psychotropic jams should go over like a bong full of whatever is the Northwest's premier strain of marijuana. Ott's history as a studio engineer for far-out innovators like Brian Eno, Steve Hillage, African Head Charge, and the Orb assure that his tracks sound magnificent. That he and his All-Seeing I also have a song titled "Owl Stretching Time" is just a bonus for all the Monty Python's Flying Circus nerds out there. DAVE SEGAL

Portable Shrines Present: Ecstatic Cosmic Union, Panabrite, Mood Organ, DJ Eye

(Electric Tea Garden) It's great to see Portable Shrines—who hosted three editions of the psych-rock-intensive Escalator Fest—active on the live-show front again. The collective's operatives—the recently wedded Aubrey Nehring and Rena Bussinger—formed Ecstatic Cosmic Union last year and ever since have been lofting sweet clouds of gentle, warmly glowing psychedelia on guitar, keyboards, and rhythm box. It's aaawww-some. Seattle keyboard savants Panabrite (Norm Chambers) and Mood Organ (Timm Mason) have received copious praise in this paper's Data Breaker column, so I'll just reiterate what's already been written: They're two of our most rigorous practitioners of ambient, cosmically inclined synth music. DAVE SEGAL

R. Stevie Moore, LAKE

(Crocodile) Underground DIY lo-fi pioneer R. Stevie Moore is finally reaping the rewards of his sui generis craft, after decades of toiling in obscurity. Now that his unkempt hair and beard are totally white, lots of young'uns are paying attention to the man's torrent of ingenious songwriting—at once earwormy and off-kilter, jauntily eccentric and subtly sinister—thanks to endorsements from artists like Ariel Pink and T.v. Coahran. The latter's ggnzla label has issued some great work by Moore, and now Coahran and his hero have cut a cassette under the name Prohibituary titled In One Fell Swoop. It's a lovable jumble of ragged, splenetic rock that zags when you think it's going to zig, and vice versa. The songs have a spontaneous charm and manic energy; they're ambitious and accessible in unusual ways. Moore, please. DAVE SEGAL

The Soft Hills, Midnight Blooms, Karl Blau

(Sunset) Go ahead, go on a tender bender. You deserve it. This show will be more relaxing than getting a massage from a lamb wearing mittens, more goose-bump-inducing than R. L. Stine. The Soft Hills really do make you feel as if you're walking along a cushiony landscape. Soothing vocals glide over misty folkadelic melodies with spoonfuls of pop and swirling rock in there just in case you were getting a bit drowsy. Also playing is the enormously talented Karl Blau, whose charms run the rainbow of backyard solo acoustic improvisations to fully crafted wonder-albums. Plus, the romantic, yearning tunes of Midnight Blooms. EMILY NOKES

Friday 2/22

Galactic, Latyrx

(Showbox at the Market) See My Philosophy.

Pony Time, Ononos, Haunted Horses, Chastity Belt

(Black Lodge) See Underage.


(Showbox Sodo) See Data Breaker.

Camper Van Beethoven, Casey Neill & the Norway Rats

(Tractor) See Stranger Suggests.

Spencer Moody, Ben von Wildenhaus, Corey J. Brewer

(Cairo) There is something casually sinister about the art-damaged drug folk of Ben von Wildenhaus—his track titled "The Limping Axeman" is a pretty good summary of the pacing and winking menace often found on his 2011 LP Great Melodies from Around. It's a codeine-dipped woven blanket of worldwide influences, sound splinters, and looping hiss made by a sweaty man who often performs wearing a used-computer-salesman suit. His pagan/Christmas/Hanukkah album Yule, Year of Our Lord 2012 has song titles such as "Angels We Have Heard When High" and "Which Child Is This?" and is definitely worth the off-season listen. EMILY NOKES

Saturday 2/23

Jarv Dee, ILLFIGHTYOU, Gift uh Gab

(Comet) See My Philosophy

Sadistik, the Chicharones, the MC Type, Graves33

(Nectar) See My Philosophy.

Dream Decay, Broken Water, Negative Press, Mega Bog, Monogamy Party

(Black Lodge) See Underage.

18 Individual Eyes, Gibraltar, Ever-So-Android

(Lo-Fi) Just as I start making up my mind about where Gibraltar's debut EP, Storms, falls on the spectrum of all sounds ever made, the fairly new Northwest band pitches a changeup, leaving me with more questions than answers. Is it classic rock? Is it a more aggressive take on new wave? Is Elton John playing that piano? Is that Neil Young singing? Wait, no, that was definitely some blues right there. How do these local musicians, including members of Visqueen and Exohxo, who appear to be relatively young, sound so seasoned? As a music writer, it is my job to be able to answer these questions for you, but Storms just leaves me confounded. I know I like it, but what is it?! MEGAN SELING

Grave Babies, Crypts, Vice Device, Youryoungbody

(Highline) It was a sad day when These Arms Are Snakes announced they were breaking up. Their live shows had become a staple in this city—riotous pits of sweaty, experimental punk rock, with singer Steve Snere leading the crowd in thrashy sing-alongs like some kind of possessed pastor. But hallelujah! Snere is back in the position of wild frontman with Crypts. Great news! But one thing—Crypts are fucking creepy, man! Their self-titled album, coproduced by the talented Erik Blood, is full of electronic exorcisms that will make your skin crawl. And live, as you'd expect, shit gets even more chaotic. Be prepared for anything to happen during their set tonight—curdling blood, dancing demons... anything. MEGAN SELING

La Bohème

(McCaw Hall) Arguably the opera to end all operas, Bohème can do a great deal to its audience without even trying. Still, this particular Bohème brings together the director who made such an impression at McCaw with his 2010 Lucia di Lammermoor (Tomer Zvulun) and the young Sardinian tenor the Seattle Times called "not merely spectacular but profound and potentially great" for his performance as the second-cast Alfredo in La Traviata in 2009 (Francesco Demuro), and the Italian conductor who led the soul-shredding Attila at the start of 2012 (Carlo Montanaro). Through March 10. JEN GRAVES

Sunday 2/24

Israel Vibration and the Root Radics

(Neumos) If you were to ask me who the greatest band in the history of pop is, I would not say the Beatles, or the Stones, or anything like that. The greatest band will not be found in England or the United States, but on the little island of Jamaica. That band is the Roots Radics. Established in 1978 by the bassist Errol "Flabba" Holt, the guitarist Eric "Bingy Bunny" Lamont, and the drummer Lincoln "Style" Scott, the Roots Radics built a sound that not only cemented dub but had the profoundest sense of space and time. Scott's drumming could be as hard as dry land and Holt's bass as substantial as a heartbeat, but they always made sure there was plenty of room for words or echoes to float about like slow-moving clouds. The Roots Radics' music is never rushed, nor tight and robotic like Sly and Robbie's, but very sensual, very physical, and very earthy. Listen to King Tubby's Dangerous Dub to hear what the greatest band ever sounds like. CHARLES MUDEDE

Monday 2/25

Rakim, Grynch, Fearce and BeanOne

(Neumos) See preview and My Philosophy.

The 9th Annual Seattle-Kobe Female Vocalist Audition

(Jazz Alley) This is an annual Jazz Alley tradition, a sort of jazz exchange—Kobe, Japan, has long held a contest for female jazz vocalists wherein the winner gets to make her US debut right here at Jazz Alley. Eight years ago, Jazz Alley began holding a contest of its own, so the club could send vocalists to perform as special guests at the Kobe contest. At Jazz Alley, they have two categories of finalists: a group of adults and a group of high-schoolers. I've been to this contest before, and it's a shit ton of fun. It's always insane to hear real, huge jazz voices come out of these small, nervous teenagers. ANNA MINARD

Tuesday 2/26

Method Man, RA Scion, Leezy, Serge Severe

(Neumos) Who is your favorite Wu-Tang Clan rapper? Mine is Method Man. True, he has not done anything interesting in a decade, but his first solo album, Tical (1994), is up there in the timeless realm of Nas's Illmatic, A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders, and Mobb Deep's Hell on Earth. But why pick Method Man over, say, GZA—another amazing Wu-Tang spitter? GZA is certainly smarter than Meth, but he can't swing as hard as Meth. When it comes to rap, one must always first judge the swing before judging the ideas or content. CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.

Indians, Night Beds, Cat Martino

(Barboza) Copenhagen's Indians is the starry-eyed project of Sørren Løkke Juul. Very dear and almost timid, Indians' album Somewhere Else has the indie du jour delicate synth and lackadaisically woeful vocals down pat—one song, "I Am Haunted," is perfect for a zoned-out walk in the cold or the heart-tugging drive to a breakup you know you should have initiated a while ago. Cat Martino was in Sufjan Stevens's and Sharon Van Etten's bands and has quite a nice voice. She is a looper of vocals, a pusher of pedals, and a genuine person with an interesting history and intriguing tales for each of her albums. EMILY NOKES