Wednesday 9/18

Neko Case

(Paramount) See Stranger Suggests.

The Chicharones, Shelton Harris & Tyler Dopps, Kublakai

(Crocodile) See My Philosophy.

Bankie Phones, Chris Davis, Bath House, Bad Motivators

(Pony) See Data Breaker.

Dizzy Wright

(Neumos) See My Philosophy.

LAKE, Elissa Ball, Your Heart Breaks

(20/20 Cycle) Often found performing at DIY spaces rather than at open-mic coffee shops or slam-poetry nights, Elissa Ball goes the Patti Smith route with her live shows, usually pairing her readings with a rock drummer. Her work comes off as more of a minimal punk band minus guitars: The combination of shouts and whispers emphasize her sincerity, and her largely feminist-centric pieces range from hilarity to heartbreak, from political to personal. She will be doing a few poems from her first book, The Punks Are Writing Love Songs, but will mostly be presenting new unreleased work and hinting at possible plans to incorporate electronic-music elements into her shows. Her stylized performances are unique presentations of what poetry can be, the energetic punk aesthetic a welcome addition to an oft-dismissed art. BREE MCKENNA

Stres, Them Are Us Too, Dark Features, Silty Loam

(Comet) Seattle trio Silty Loam only have two songs available for public consumption, but one of 'em, "Rest," sounds like it could be a long-lost showstopper by Detroit soul-funk bros Rare Earth. The other one, "Blood," carries the lust-mad urgency of Music Machine or ? and the Mysterians. Man, it feels good to hear a young local band that doesn't seem to be auditioning for a gig at the library. Stres—Seattle musician Josh Bolof—has a new Erik Blood–produced EP, Old Lives, that will morosely charm the trousers off you, and then make cutoffs out of them. This is good, moody one-man-band action, its yearning melodies pointed downward for teasing out more Novocained poignancy. This night is part of Liquid Sky, "a monthly darc danse nite of pure Aural Therapy," it says here. DAVE SEGAL

The New Mastersounds, Rippin' Chicken

(Nectar) When musicians from countries other than America excel at funk, it's probably because they've put in serious practice and study. Such is the case for Britain's the New Mastersounds. They've, uh, mastered that late-'60s/early-'70s funk feel originally pushed into the world by artists like the Meters, Dyke and the Blazers, Eddie Bo, and the Gaturs. Because this OG funk sound is so primal and satisfying, it's not annoying to hear it replicated by bands working today, as long as they have the chops and innate feeling for it. And the New Mastersounds have both in abundance. They've earned the right to title two of their songs "Dusty Groove" and "Yo Mamma." DAVE SEGAL

Thursday 9/19

Lori Goldston, Cock & Swan, Ionophore, Corey Brewer

(Heartland) See Underage and Data Breaker.

Tape Deck Mountain, QunQ, A Province of Thay, Uh Oh Eskimo

(Black Lodge) See Underage.

Glitterbang, Double Duchess, Magic Mouth

(Chop Suey) There's a chorus in the new Double Duchess song "Bucket Betch" that simply states, "We're poppin' up and takin' over the place!" And who is the "we?" The hiphop homos, that's who! Not unlike Chicago's bear rapper Big Dipper, San Francisco's Double Duchess make campy-queer electro-hop anthems that are primed and ready to take over clubs coast to coast. Paired with the duo's high-energy live performances (I've seen singer Krylon Superstar spin on her head at Chop Suey, and MC davO rap flawlessly while swinging from the stripper pole at Pony) Double Duchess are about to be your new favorite neighbors, swiftly gentrifying our new musical gayborhood. KELLY O

Friday 9/20

Burgerama Caravan of Stars Tour 2013: The Growlers, Cosmonauts, Gap Dream, Together Pangea, La Luz, and more

(Neumos) See Sound Check.

The National

(Paramount) See Thursday.

Islands, Bear Mountain, Hibou

(Vera) No matter what he does, Islands' frontman/principal songwriter Nick Thorburn will likely always have his output unfairly held up against his 2003 demented indie-pop classic with the Unicorns, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? And while it may be impossible to equal the freewheeling lo-fi weirdness of that album, his work with Islands is a slicker, more polished, and more mature-sounding take on the Unicorns' quirky formula that still contains much underlying lyrical angst and emotion. Islands' just-released latest album, Ski Mask, is deceptively bright and shimmery in some parts—see lead single "Becoming the Gunship"—but at its core is "a record about being angry." The beautifully dark balance struck here sounds like exactly what Islands have been striving for since their 2006 album, Return to the Sea. MIKE RAMOS

Prissy Clerks, Wimps, Blooper

(Heartland) Minneapolis, Minnesota five-piece Prissy Clerks make '90s-infused danceable grunge-gaze balanced with just the right mix of buzz and polish. It's fast and sweetly catchy—shy vocals whisper-sung through non-abrasively noisy indie. I imagine Prissy Clerks could be the young, adorably nerdy stepsibling to a band like the Breeders (but softer) or maybe Belly (but less boring). Also on the bill are unstoppable pizza punks Wimps (have you heard their new songs? Have you??) and soda-poppy Blooper, so unless the power goes out, this show is a sure bet. EMILY NOKES

Star Anna, Sassparilla, Mark Pickerel

(Tractor) If you glance a few blurbs down, you'll see that I kind of trash Chicago's Wild Belle for having about as much passion as a slice of cheese. What a snoozefest! One will never be able to say the same about Star Anna, though. Whether she's performing solo, just her and a guitar, or playing with her band the Laughing Dogs, Star Anna cries with her entire body and soul. Her Americana-tinged rock tunes focus on familiar feelings—leaving, being left, looking for hope—making her emotional delivery hit the heart even harder. We've all been where she's singing from, but most of us can't make those moments sound so fucking good. MEGAN SELING

Saturday 9/21

Cock & Swan, IG88, Benoît Pioulard

(Cairo) See Underage and Data Breaker.

Hakim Murphy, Aaron Clark

(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.

The Vibrators, New Iron Front, No Buffer, Frog Flag

(El CorazĂłn) Certainly the headliners of this El CorazĂłn punk showcase had to be some whippersnappers getting sexy with what they do not realize is a previously taken name. BUT NO, IT'S JUST THE FUCKING VIBRATORS, the British punks whose 1977 debut Pure Mania will sparkle forever in melodic slam-bang majesty, and who have, uh, released follow-up records in every decade since then. (Sorry, guys, it's been busy.) Tonight, the Vibrators are joined by 21st-century punks New Iron Front, No Buffer, and Frog Flag. DAVID SCHMADER

John Coltrane Birthday Celebration: Matt Jorgensen

(Tula's) I was disappointed by the appearance of the Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church, which is on the famous San Francisco jazz strip Fillmore Street. It's small and looks like the kind of place that sells cheap cigarettes and bizarre pipes. The place was nothing like the closest thing I have to a religion, the music of John Coltrane. A Love Supreme, Impressions, and Giant Steps are in my mind equal in power and majesty to the Gothic cathedrals of medieval times. If you can't build a church that compares with this music, then do not build anything at all. Let the music be the house of worship. Anyway, tonight the local and very productive jazz drummer Matt Jorgensen celebrates with friends the birthday of a man who really was an American saint, John Coltrane. CHARLES MUDEDE

Dirtnap Showcase: Marked Men, Bad Sports, White Wires, Sonic Avenues, Mind Spiders, Low Culture, Big Eyes

(Highline) The Marked Men's third album, Fix My Brain, was released to little fanfare back in 2006. There was no high-profile touring, no noteworthy press coverage. But in a testament to the record's undeniable hooks and ecstatic velocity, it's become one of those word-of-mouth albums that transcended the garage/power-pop scene. Of course, cult classics don't attain their reputation overnight; even the equally excellent follow-up, 2009's Ghosts, was a sleeper. Yet despite the band's recent inactivity and low profile, Fix My Brain increasingly pops up in unlikely places—over the PA between bands at metal shows, in the background of neighborhood coffee shops, in fickle indie-rock DJs' sets. There are plenty of reasons to be excited about tonight's lineup, but the Marked Men's return is undoubtedly the biggest cause for celebration. BRIAN COOK

Wild Belle, Saint Rich, the Comettes

(Crocodile) For months, I didn't know who sang the song "Keep You," which was featured in the film Pitch Perfect and played here and there on the radio. I assumed it was Lana Del Ray contemplating why, despite a pretty face and a nice dress, her guy would keep straying. I was wrong. The slightly whiny, psych-plus-reggae-inspired track, is by Wild Belle, a brother-and-sister duo from Chicago who serve up their music with about as much passion as a chef would hand over a slice of Velveeta cheese on a paper plate. While singer Natalie Bergman does have a lovely voice, she sounds bored by her own words. Her brother's baritone sax solos come with a matching lack of energy. Sax solos should never lack energy! It sounds nice, but so, so tired at the same time, giving me no reason at all to presume their live show would be any more stimulating than staying home and watching their record spin in circles. MEGAN SELING

Sunday 9/22

Mistah Fab, Neema, Feezable the Germ

(Nectar) See My Philosophy.

Lovers, S, Night Cadet, Eighteen Individual Eyes

(Chop Suey) I know, I know—Breaking Bad is on tonight and it is the penultimate episode and you CANNOT MISS IT. I get it. But that shit will be online by tomorrow morning, and this show is such a perfect lineup that you really shouldn't miss a single band. I wouldn't recommend skipping Breaking Bad for just any ol' concert. Eighteen Individual Eyes play love songs from another galaxy; Night Cadet will have you contemplatively gazing at your shoes; S's sad songs will turn your heart into a puddle of tears; and the headliners, Lovers, will put it back together with their space-age love songs that worm their way into your brain for days. Just remember to not look at Twitter or Facebook after the show to avoid any Breaking Bad spoilers. MEGAN SELING

Monday 9/23


(Crocodile) See My Philosophy.


(Neumos) At first listen, I wasn't completely sold on Savages. But I may have had the setting wrong, which is to say that sometimes listening to chilly new music on a gleaming, lazy Popsicle day doesn't quite translate correctly. But now that poor summer is on its deathbed, Savages have made for a welcome moody partner on dark walks through puddles. They're harsh and dramatic; the vocals feel almost cruel—like a semi-wicked witch with a broken heart. While waiting for the Julie Ruin to go on at Neumos last week, I turned and asked a friend, "How do you feel about Savages?" To which the person behind us said, "Savages? We were just talking about them! That's a must-see show, absolutely," the friendly stranger gushed. "She sounds exactly like Siouxsie from early Siouxsie and the Banshees!" Agreed. It's pensive and perfect for the haunted-house ride into winter. EMILY NOKES See also Stranger Suggests.

Jackson Scott, Prism Tats, Neighbors

(Barboza) Asheville, North Carolina's Jackson Scott makes intimate, gently twisted pop that's lushly lo-fi—a winning paradox. On his new album for the unpredictable Fat Possum label, Melbourne, Scott sounds like the cleverest 5-year-old ever to enter a studio. Has his voice broken yet? The jury's still out. His eerily low-lit pop songs toggle between sinister and sugary and sometimes—like on "Wish Upon"—Scott will just let the music float around the room like Eno-esque ambient ectoplasm. His deceptively simple and catchy songs could be the products of a savvy faux-naïf or an outsider-sike-pop prodigy. Whatever the case, I'm skeptical that Scott's even old enough to get into his own 21+ show. DAVE SEGAL

Tuesday 9/24

Sly & Robbie, Michael Rose, Kore Ionz, DJ Select Matsul

(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests.

BlesOne, K. Sabroso, Introcut

(Lo-Fi Performance Gallery) Seattle's BlesOne is a hiphop quadruple threat: He can break, rap, DJ, and produce. A member of hiphop mobile party unit Don't Talk to the Cops!, Bles exudes the sort of all-around-entertainer vibes that should elevate him to least half the popularity level of Macklemore. (Plus, has Mack remixed Can's kraut-funk klassik "Vitamin C" or R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)"? I don't think so.) Bles is an elastic-limbed encyclopedia of hiphop's foundational funk, and this scholar has the skills to animate that knowledge into vivid reality onstage. The Stop Biting weekly continues to rule. DAVE SEGAL