Wednesday 7/17

The Grandmothers of Invention

(Jazz Alley) Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention were some of rock's most outré freaks of the super-freaky '60s and '70s. Some folks will never tire of reliving those memories of wild-haired shenanigans where weird rock sweatily embraced political and cultural satire. Which brings us to the Grandmothers of Invention. Now featuring keyboard wizard Don Preston and vocalist/saxophonist/flutist Napoleon Murphy Brock, GOI will perform One Size Fits All in its entirety, plus favorites from Bongo Fury, Overnite Sensation, Uncle Meat, Roxy & Elsewhere, and We're Only In It for the Money. Zappa's been dead for two decades, but if you want the best live representation of his classic tunes now, go see GOI. (By the way, check out Sub Rosa's recent archival dig of Preston's innovative keyboard work, Filters, Oscillators & Envelopes 1967–75.) DAVE SEGAL

Portugal. the Man, Avi Buffalo

(Showbox at the Market) WhooooooOOOOooeeeeeooOOOoeEEEEooo! Take a hit off the ol' helium bong, because it's time to wiggle it out to the restless psychedelic/rock/punk (what genre is the Mars Volta?) of Portland's Portugal. the Man. Their new album, Evil Friends, is a mostly upbeat collection of bouncy summer jams (even lines like "after you, hell should be easy" are delivered in a sugary croon over layers of happily buzzing guitars and stompy drums) and youthful "let's do this" anthems. Listen to "Modern Jesus" if you want that last bit to make sense; listen to "Hip Hop Kids" if you want the first bit to make sense. EMILY NOKES

Thursday 7/18

The Postal Service, Big Freedia

(KeyArena) See Sound Check.

Nacho Picasso, Trash Talk, Key Nyata, Keyboard Kid

(Neumos) See My Philosophy.

Qwel & Maker, Th3rdz, Qwazaar, Batsauce & Lady Daisey, Jewels Hunter, Suntonio Bandanaz, MomentumX

(Nectar) See My Philosophy.

Substrata 1.3: Yagya, the Sight Below, Ethernet

(Chapel Performance Space) See Data Breaker.

SK Kakraba, Lori Goldston, iji

(Heartland) See Underage.

Midday Veil, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Panabrite, DJ Explorateur

(Chop Suey) This is the album-release party for Midday Veil's sprawling, gripping space-rock opus The Current; you can read about it on page 21. The rest of the bill's packed with top-flight musical transportation. Master Musicians of Bukkake's own new full-length ritual, Far West, can be heard as a weirder sonic cousin to Earth's recent twang-doom songcraft. Solo synth master Panabrite also has some recent new-age/dynamic-ambient releases for optimal elevation and chillaxation (sorry), Xenon District and Bathysphere Suite. Most conflict-of-interestingly, my partner in the Distortions DJ crew, Explorateur, will spin some of the best, strangest psych-rock and drone records you've never heard (yet). DAVE SEGAL See also Stranger Suggests.

The Magic Mirrors, Man Plus, Gerhardts

(Comet) Man Plus are back! Though they weren't gone too long, the synth-laced dance-pop band has certainly been missed. No other local band is quite as good at writing songs that sound like a modern version of what would've been playing during pivotal moments of a beloved 1980s teen drama. Seriously. "Houdini" would be perfect in the Sixteen Candles dance scene or maybe in the background at the house party; "Color Me Fevered" could play when Duckie is feeling all weepy and throwing cards into his hat in Pretty in Pink; and "911" would be the ideal song to hear when Nicolas Cage, in an attempt to get over Julie, makes out with his ex-girlfriend in Valley Girl. Anyway! Welcome back, Man Plus! And Hollywood, call me if you need a movie soundtrack maker person. MEGAN SELING

David Byrne & St. Vincent

(Chateau Ste. Michelle) Not one writer on The Stranger's staff or in our freelance stable pitched to cover this show, which is one of the most surprising developments of this section in some time. Why? The ex–Talking Heads leader has some creative juice left in his still-limber sexagenarian body—and, you know, he's David fucking Byrne, one of rock's most compelling figures of the post-punk era. Plus, St. Vincent are one of America's more piquant art-rock outfits working now. Together they cut 2012's Love This Giant, a vibrant orchestral-pop album with a sneaky funkiness animating its bottom end. It's high-quality NPR-ish music that will sound perfectly, urbanely at home in the classy environs of Chateau Ste. Michelle. DAVE SEGAL

Grayskul, RA Scion, Continental Soldiers, Clutch Douglass

(Crocodile) Yes, I still mark 2005 as the year that triggered a powerful wave of local hiphop, a wave in which we are still caught, and a wave that has raised one rapper to the highest parts of American popular culture. Tonight features three rappers who made major contributions to 2005: RA Scion, as the rapper in Common Market, and Onry Ozzborn and JFK, as Grayskul. The former released Common Market, the latter Deadlivers. Though they've been around the block several times, these tried-and-tested rappers have yet to sleep. They are still releasing records (RA Scion dropped Adding to the Extra in March, and Grayskul drop Zenith in September); still not showing love for the police, these MCs still got love for the 206. So tonight is about the past, the present, and the future. CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.

Friday 7/19

Paul McCartney

(Safeco Field) See Stranger Suggests.

Black Flag, Good for You, Piggy

(El Corazón) See Stranger Suggests.

Substrata 1.3: Noveller, Grouper, Ken Camden, Sean Curley

(Chapel Performance Space) See Data Breaker.

Terrible Buttons, the Hoot Hoots, Candysound, Secretary

(Comet) Spokane's Terrible Buttons play the kind of music that might run through your head as you wander through the exhibits at Philadelphia's Mütter Museum. Have you been there? It's eerie and fascinating. They have a large wall display of various human skulls. They have a giant filing cabinet filled with objects that were found in choking victims' throats. They have jars filled with dead babies and tumors, and old medical equipment that, when you realize someone ever used it on a human, will make your stomach churn. It's a place that delights in the dark side, much like Terrible Buttons seem to do through their mixture of blues, psych rock, and haunted vaudevillian vibes. Come celebrate the release of their new album, Runt, and watch shit get creepy. MEGAN SELING

Peter Murphy: 35 Years of Bauhaus

(Showbox at the Market) Peter Murphy—the Subaru Forester–driving Godfather of Goth—is out on the road with his "Mr. Moonlight Tour." Don't expect any of solo songs from the high-cheekboned King of Gloom—Murphy will perform 100 percent from the Bauhaus catalog. No other members of Bauhaus will perform with him, but expect rivers of mascara-soaked goth tears to flow anyway when Murphy croons the infamous 1979 hit "Bela Lugosi's Dead." KELLY O

Debo Band

(Triple Door) Even if you approach Debo Band with born-yesterday ears, you likely can't help getting swept away by their celebratory, hip-swiveling dance jams and stirred by their lush, melancholic ballads. Led by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen, the 11-strong Boston ensemble translates the complex euphoria and solemnity of Ethiopian pop into accessible songs that make you feel as if you can do improbable things, like abolish racism, dunk a basketball, and find a parking spot on Capitol Hill on the weekend. These Sub Pop/Next Ambiance artists whipped up a frenzy at last year's Bumbershoot; it should be interesting to see how their rousing juggernaut of sound fares in the Triple Door's vastly different confines. DAVE SEGAL

Saturday 7/20

Twin Peaks Dance Party: Glitterbang, Night Cadet, DJ Rebel Rebel,

(FRED Wildlife Refuge) See Stranger Suggests.

Joyce Manor, Merry Christmas, the Exquisites

(Vera) See Underage.

Wimps, Satan Wriders, Dude York, the Narx

(Cairo) See Underage.

Substrata 1.3: Kim Cascone, Jacaszek, Christina Vantzou

(Chapel Performance Space) See Data Breaker.

Jani/Jussi, Emotional, Vitamin Baby Slaughter, Little Pilgrims, Dreamsalon, Glam Code

(Black Lodge) Freaks rejoice! Copenhagen's avant Skrot Up label is hosting a drool-worthy night of fiercely experimental sound. Dreamsalon are Seattle's answer to Mark E. Smith's cantankerous messthetics, bubbled down to a fragmented garage-rockin' rumble. Though their deliberately spookified proto-/post-/whatever-punk debut album (released July 13 via Skrot Up) is rife with Fall-isms, it also possesses its own charms. Glamtastic noise rager Jani/Jussi (aka Peter LaCombe of Jeans Wilder) also freaks steady with tangled post-synth on the Pleasure Boy cassette. Ranging from minimalist, LSD-junkyard blues to '80s synth pop sliced through blown-out post-discodelia, it's an ear-muddling triumph even more awash in retro vibes than Ariel Pink's distorted psychmares. Vortex-opening highlights include oceanic wall-of-synth closer "Nastalgia" and junk-funk club hit "JV," which cements Jani/Jussi as a mover of the groove-ably bizarre. Dark synths, asymmetrical beats, and skewed (post-)punk should permeate the night with weirdness. BRITTNIE FULLER


(Crocodile) The only female member of Minneapolis rap collective Doomtree since their first release, False Hopes, Dessa has always stood out from her peers with her poetic, spoken-word rap style. On her latest solo effort, Parts of Speech, she indulges further in the singing and songwriting abilities she often hinted at in her past solo material and work with supergroup Gayngs, but wisely spares any acoustic cheesiness by sticking to her tried-and-true in-house producers Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak. Even the softer songs still manage to hit hard, Dessa's lyrics taking focus when the beats thin out. There's definitely an art-house element to it all, but it should go over well in a live setting with a local crowd that's been down with Doomtree since their backpack glory days. MIKE RAMOS

Rrose, Eddie Lee, Ctrl_Alt_Dlt, Roddimus, Eugene Fauntleroy

(Electric Tea Garden) The SpaceRock Saturdays team have really done it this time. These local techno aficionados have enticed Rrose, a gender-switching pseudonym of one of the Bay Area's greatest experimental-techno producers, to DJ their monthly. (I might get sued, technically, if I reveal her/his name.) Anyway, the important thing to know here is that Rrose spins some of the darkest, most psychedelic minimal techno you'll hear in 2013. If you're still unsure, go to YouTube and search for Rrose's Resident Advisor mix for proper dilation of your mind and soul. DAVE SEGAL

Piano Royale: Torture Garden

(Royal Room) There's nobody better in Seattle to reanimate Naked City's Torture Garden than Wayne Horvitz. The renowned keyboardist played with John Zorn's group when they cut the infamous 1989 album. A collection of brief, violent spasms of grindcore jazz, Torture Garden is a phenomenal display of instrumental dexterity and ferocity. Unfortunately, original "singer" eYe (of Boredoms) won't be here to wail agonizingly, but Master Musicians of Bukkake's Brad Mowen is no slouch in the vocal-extremity department. Alto saxophonist Reed Wallsmith will assume Zorn's role, while guitarist Tristan Gianola subs for Bill Frisell. Bassist Keith Lowe and drummer Mike Stone fill out the lineup. Imagine Napalm Death skirmishing with Albert Ayler in a pressure cooker, and then pray for the structural integrity of your eardrums. DAVE SEGAL

Sunday 7/21

Bruno Mars, Ellie Goulding

(KeyArena) I'm actually surprised one of my female relatives "of a certain age" has not e-mailed me a Bruno Mars video with the subject line "ADORABLE!" because he's totally the kind of nonthreatening pop star/male human that aunts and grandmothers can get behind. Mars churns out music for the mainest of streams—think an Old Navy commercial for a bikini meets a Target commercial for a hot-pink blender. Now, Ellie Goulding is also pop, but she's got more sparkle and dramatic flair to her. Her newest album, Halcyon, is almost entirely about breakups, but it has that powerful "I'M SAD BUT DEALING" punch of La Roux or Florence + the Machine, with Skrillexesque (say it fast) electronic backbone. EMILY NOKES

Monday 7/22

A fine night to back up all of your hard drives.

Tuesday 7/23

Shelby Earl

(Sonic Boom Records) See preview.

Courtney Love

(Moore) Sure, people talk about her being a psychotic Twitter monster, a shit-talking drug addict, a bad mother, a wicked witch, but whatever—I've always had a soft spot for wicked witches. So even if popular culture's unforgiving stance on Courtney Love's larger-than-life persona was decided long ago, I challenge anyone to deny her brilliance as a performer. Live Through This is the masterpiece of her reign as grunge-noise queen, and classic cuts of that almost-20-year-old record will be performed at the Moore for the first time since her revamped version of Hole toured in 2010 (unfortunately, sans all core-era members). Regardless of your take on Courtney Love, the live spectacle is bound to earn her some credit in the straight world with her endlessly entertaining array of beautiful garbage. BREE MCKENNA See also Stranger Suggests.

The Cat Empire

(Neumos) I obviously chose to blurb this show based on the strength of the band name, and it looks like I've gotten myself into an Australian ska situation. SKAUSTRALIA. The Cat Empire formed in 1999 and have released six studio albums, which have actually been progressively less ska-flavored and more Latin- and jazz-influenced, with layers upon layers of rhythm and horns. Like a giant conga line of cats, or a cat-trapeze-heavy circus, or a cat beach party with too much rum. Obviously the name has had an effect on me, but I will leave you with this maybe helpful info: This band has six members who are backed by four horn players, six string players, and six dancers. That's a lot of cats onstage. EMILY NOKES