Last week might have been a little slow for live music, but the latter half of July has so many offerings, it's hard to know where to start.

This weekend in particular is, well, pure insanity (in the best possible sense, mind you). Friday, July 14, will be a good day for conservative Christians to avoid downtown: Inimitable metal masters Slayer are playing in the Qwest Field Event Center, along with their impressive disciples Mastodon (Thine Eyes Bleed, Lamb of God, and Children of Bodom are also on the bill). Longtime fans will appreciate the fact that original drummer Dave Lombardo is back behind the kit and that the band's forthcoming album, Christ Illusion, was executive-produced by Rick Rubin, the man responsible for what's generally perceived as their masterwork, 1986's Reign in Blood (I'm more of a South of Heaven fan myself, but that's a topic for another column). The only downside to this show? It's within the less acoustically desirable confines of the Event Center, not on the venue's outdoor field. Should metal fans have any energy left the next day, they'll want to check out one of the genre's most impressive and progressive newcomers, the Sword at El Corazón (see preview, page 42).

I was pleasantly surprised to see how impressive the lineup for this year's West Seattle Summer Fest is—especially given the fact that it's entirely free. Friday, July 14's schedule includes sets from John Doe and 50FootWave; Saturday, July 15, is anchored by local singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato; and two reliably stellar performers, Ian Moore and Mark Pickerel, will close things out on Sunday, July 16. More information and set times can be found at westseattlefestival.com.

Wednesday, July 19, will mark the final edition of Members Only at the Baltic Room. Promoters Amy Dials and Kristen Finstad (Doubledutch PR) decided to pull the plug while the night remained so popular. "Members Only was Doubledutch's first party, which we started at a time when—with the exception of Comeback—people weren't really putting on many successful club nights," explains Dials. "Now the club-night epidemic has spread over the Hill like a nasty STD... we just want to jump off this wagon before it breaks and we are eaten by buffalo. Like any good British comedy, you want to cancel it before it gets lame and keep people thirsty for more. We will probably do a few one-off nights here and there, but wait a few months before we curate anything new, and when we do, we will add more to the boring formula than just DJs, dancing, and drinking." The last Members Only night will feature six rotating DJs, including DJ Fucking in the Streets and DJ Curtis.

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Looking ahead to Labor Day weekend, Bumbershoot has announced its complete lineup with some excellent headliners, including the New Pornographers and Spoon. There are also some strong smaller acts to look forward to, such as 3 Inches of Blood and Dengue Fever—but the primary addition that I'm stoked for is Blondie.

hlevin@thestranger.com

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