This list is the best of what's coming. Unless somebody dies. Or falls off the stage. Or just has a shitty day. What can we say? Sue us if you don't end up liking this stuff. TRY IT, BITCHEZ.
Seattle hiphop populists Blue Scholars only seem to take the stage in their hometown a few times a year. The duo of MC Geologic and DJ Sabzi surf on top of the current wave of Seattle hiphop, and they make it look easy. Geo's rhymes balance Chuck D rhetorical fire with an easygoing vibe that's distinctly West Coast (or Seattle in the summertime), and his lyrics sleeplessly give it up to the 206, or, on the recent OOF! EP, to Hawaii's 808. And Sabzi's productions are impeccable: beats heavy, samples dusty, hooks deep. March 26–27, Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 8 pm, $16 adv/$21 DOS, all ages. ERIC GRANDY
Animal Collective's ODDSAC
Recently, experimental electronic pop band Animal Collective and director Danny Perez staged a happening, a "kinetic, psychedelic environment" that New York's Guggenheim Museum called Transverse Temporal Gyrus. There were masks and robes, glowing blobs and fans in face paint, and hours of music with no discernible songs. ODDSAC is Perez and the band's new "visual album" (aka totally trippy movie, bro!), and it's probably the closest thing you're going to get to that Gyrus this side of the Guggenheim. The film is 54 minutes of Brakhage-esque multiple exposures and quick cuts set to new music by the band—expect less Merriweather sing-along and more early AC psyched-punch freak-out. March 30, Egyptian Theatre, 805 E Pine St, 781-5755, 7 and 9 pm, $15. EG
Spoon, Deerhunter, Micachu & the Shapes
Veteran Austin band Spoon satisfy that school of fans who want rock stripped down to its bare, swaggering basics. Britt Daniel sings with the kind of sultry, lip-curling "aw c'mon" that, as some have pointed out, could make him sound cool doing something as mundane as ordering a burrito. The band hits town headlining a tour of impressive diversity, supported by the drearily psychedelic, Sonic Youth–ful noise of Deerhunter and the grimy art-school snot-rock racket of Micachu & the Shapes. Something for everyone. April 9–10, Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave, 443-1744, 6:30 pm, $27.50, all ages. EG
Public Image Ltd.
If anyone actually got the feeling they'd been cheated by the sudden onstage demise of the Sex Pistols in 1978, then John Lydon's post-Pistol project, Public Image Ltd., should have provided more than enough of a payoff. PiL embraced dub dread, safety-pinned it to punk's increasingly ratty threads, and then took it all out dancing in the newly dead discos. The band was a bastard sound clash that produced anthems every bit as enduring, if not as idiotically immediate, as the Sex Pistols—the searing, sneering art-as-commerce screeds "This Is Not a Love Song" and "Careering," that inescapable crap bass line of "Death Disco." This is their first U.S. tour in 18 years. April 20, Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 7 pm, $39.50 adv/$45 DOS, all ages. EG
Wolves in the Throne Room
Seattle has one of the world's foremost black-metal bands in its backyard—well, on a farm outside Olympia, anyway. Wolves in the Throne Room mine black metal for its more ambient and symphonic possibilities, stretching blasts of noise into near static and scoring ambitious songs that shift through multiple melodic passages, with feral screaming always far off in the distance. The trio also handily dispenses with the genre's more unsavory ideological tendencies (cf. Burzum), instead evincing an apocalyptically minded green-anarchist agenda that they walk as well as they talk. April 23, Neumos, 925 E Pike St, 709-9442, 8 pm, $12, 21+. EG
Los Angeles–based art-rock band Liars strike an imposing figure onstage. Much of this is due to the sheer physical stature of lanky, scowling, stage-stalking Australian frontman Angus Andrew, but it's also an effect of their sound—an alternately droning and jarring take on rock music that shifts from relentless, jaw-clenched amphetamine riffing to spooked séance chants to unlikely, upset dance rhythms. Their latest album, Sisterworld, adds orchestral touches (such as a seasick cello) to the band's established mess of percussion, guitars, and samplers. Far from a mellowing influence, it only makes things more sinister. Expect Liars to put the Mayday back in your May Day. May 1, Neumos, 925 E Pike St, 709-9442, 8 pm, $15, 21+. EG
"Welsh indie pop septet" is perhaps not a phrase you use very often—but it should be. That's because, beyond fitting that description, Los Campesinos! are the most giddy, thrilling, morbid, and romantic rock act going today, and you should be spreading the word. They walk a tightrope between gothic and twee, and their latest album, Romance Is Boring, finds them leaning toward the former, though with tongues still firmly in cheek. The music is an increasingly acrid fizz of bass, drums, and guitar, but also violin, keys, and brass, with singer Gareth Campesinos! spitting out cute and cutting epigrams faster than he can catch his breath. And they're fucking fantastic live. May 4, Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 8 pm, $17.50 adv/$20 DOS, all ages. EG
Yeah, we know—the drive, the camping, the $28 beers. But this year's Sasquatch! Festival boasts the best lineup of the event's history, anchored by the long-anticipated reunion of 1990s indie-rock icons Pavement. Also playing: smart, heartfelt dance/rock powerhouse LCD Soundsystem, one of the best live bands going; the archly preppy, Afropop-inflected indie rock of Vampire Weekend; the equally Afro-influenced (and Ivy League educated) but far more disjointed avant pop of Dirty Projecters; triphop pioneers Massive Attack; polymath pranksters Ween; sprawling Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene; the intimate electro pop of the xx; and on and on and on. The most good music in 72 hours you're going to get this season. May 29–31, Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Road NW, George, www.ticketmaster.com, $70–$86/day, all ages. EG