Behind door number one, for those feeling a bit more reflective, we have Dear Darling playing at the Paradox with the Western States, J. Tillman, and Turn Around (8 pm, $7). The show celebrates the release of Dear Darling's self-released full-length Songs of Friends and Family, which will break your heart and pick up the pieces all in one fell swoop.
Their sound is comparable to the more somber tunes on Death Cab for Cutie's Something About Airplanes but with a heavier (though still subtle) rock framework, thicker guitar, and occasional keyboard riffs. And there are sadder lyrics being sung by an even sadder-sounding boy (Jesse Smith), whose voice amazingly wavers on the edge of meltdown.
When he sings, "You're the one with problems here/if you can't love me now/I can't wait for you, my dear/to come around" on "When Love Doesn't Love You Back," one of the more aggressive songs on the album, everyone currently batting for Team Heartbreak will probably feel a little empathetic lump form in his or her throat.
If staring at your shoes while trying to fight back tears isn't your scene, however, door number two has the Shook Ones CD release party at West Seattle American Legion Hall (3618 SW Alaska St) with Sinking Ships (also releasing a new record), Greyskull, and Legit.
In a perfect world, a Shook Ones show would be like an Andrew W.K. lovefest, with everyone sweaty, smiling, and singing along while hugging and piling on top of each other and taking turns singing into the mic. Shook Ones are that much fun.
From Bellingham, and featuring members of Blue Monday and Ancille, Shook Ones rework the punk blueprint laid by the sadly disbanded Jersey group Lifetime, infusing it with the raw energy of fist-in-the-air posicore breakdowns.
"Scott [Freeman, singer] and I just wanted to play some music that we both agreed was good," says guitarist Funds Maljat about how Shook Ones came to find their sound. "This was a difficult task, as we are not terribly likeminded. I think the only bands we both like are Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, and the Adolescents. Perhaps Billy Bragg as well. Playing melodic hardcore punk was pretty much our only option, as we don' t own acoustic guitars and aren't British."
So, long story short, the duo eventually hooked up with Chris Pratt (drums), Jazzy Florence (bass), and Kelly Aiken (guitar), and now they're releasing their debut, Sixteen, on Endwell Records (www. endwelletc.com). If you see 'em Friday, wish 'em well because immediately afterward the five boys will climb in the van and cruise down the coast to play a few California dates, including a show at the legendary Berkeley venue 924 Gilman Street.