THURSDAY MAY 20

BLACK HEART PROCESSION, LOVE AS LAUGHTER, ORSO
(Velvet Elvis) Indie rock goth? Yes, it's come to that. But if Black Heart Procession is typical of what is to come of that unholy alliance, then we can all put our eyeballs back into their proper, forward-gazing position because truth be told, the shit ain't that bad. Comprised of members of Three Mile Pilot and Clikitat Ikatowi, Black Heart Procession offers up eerie, melancholic bleakness that manages to shimmer beautifully despite its encompassing opaqueness. In direct contrast is Love as Laughter, a constantly evolving local band that, depending on the lineup, can be the personification of rawk itself. --Kathleen Wilson

Support The Stranger

DANILO PEREZ TRIO AND DAVID SANCHEZ QUINTET
(Jazz Alley through May 23) Much is made of the Latin backgrounds of Perez (from Panama) and Sanchez (from Puerto Rico), and as a result, their credentials as straight jazzmen are often overlooked. Although both men can readily incorporate Afro-Cuban elements into their playing, they find their true calling in straight bop and post-bop. Pianist Perez is a master of rhythmic variations and pregnant silences, while tenor saxophonist Sanchez's improvisations are intellectual without being overly technical. Moreover, these young players are both bandleaders in their own right, and seem to have great careers ahead of them. With their respective accompanying groups, they present the best line-up of pure instrumentalists Jazz Alley has had in a long while. --Nathan Thornburgh

JOEL R.L. PHELPS AND THE DOWNER TRIO, JULIE DOIRON, STELLAMARIS
(Breakroom) Feeling blue? Don't expect this night to provide any relief, other than an excuse to weep publicly without looking like a totally pathetic loser. Headliner Phelps recently shared a bill with sad sack extraordinaire Mark Eitzel, and when all was said and done, it was a draw as to which act jerked the most tears. Formerly of Nova Scotia band Eric's Trip, Julie Dioron tugs pretty hard on the ol' heartstrings as well--her fragile vocals and tales of loneliness and woe make for beautiful swirls of grief.--KW

WILCO, VIC CHESNUTT
(King Cat Theater) See Calendar Box, page 47.

 

FRIDAY MAY 21

BRIAN AUGER AND THE OBLIVION EXPRESS
(The Central) When my legal counsel advised me that a big act was coming to the Central this Friday, I was naturally surprised: I love their hot dogs, but the Central isn't exactly a big-name music venue. Sure enough, when I looked into it further, I found out that the last time Brian Auger was a star, it was the 1970s--and that was mostly in his native Britain. But hey, they don't all have to be stars, and there's truth in what I've been told: Auger had a pivotal role in linking organ jazz with organ rock and fusion. The only problem is, he hasn't evolved along with all those he inspired. If you are scared of dated music, then stay at the Art Bar, but if you aren't, then Auger's ripping organ is definitely worth your nickel.--NT

BLACK ANGER, MAKTUB
(Sit & Spin) Wanna know a secret? I've never actually witnessed the super-dope hiphop of Tacoma's Black Anger. Everyone tells me they're the shit, though, so I have no excuse to miss them when they roll through town. Nor do you. They're one of the more important rap acts in the area, so it's high time you checked 'em. Oh, and they're on K Records, so that means it's okay for you indie kids to go too.--Courtney Reimer

764-HERO, BLACK HEART PROCESSION, LOVE AS LAUGHTER, ORSO
(Breakroom) Now a trio with the addition of bassist James Bertram (Link, Built To Spill, Red Stars Theory), 764-HERO defies gravity by always sounding just one flamesubbed note away from falling to pieces. Yet it's that wavering, shambling quality that makes the band so compelling--all angles and edges and shouts and bangs, held together by sound yet undetectable braces. Orso features Rex/Out In Worship/HIM/ Califone member Phil Spirito as its frontman, and fills out with seven other musicians culled from Spirito's various bands and members of Red Red Meat. See also Thurs May 20.--KW

OMAR TORREZ BAND
(Tractor Tavern) Omar Torrez will keep rocking no matter what I say. But I'll say it anyway--hire a real singer! Omar is everything I've always wanted from a guitarist: fast-fingered, sensitive, and flamesuent in a number of different musical styles. On the other hand, his uniform vocal approach, which includes crescendos, bends, and vibrato on almost every note, is nothing I've ever wanted from a vocalist. I know that those problems are less apparent in a live setting; I also know how tempting it can be for instrumentalists to grab the microphone. Nevertheless, Omar is going to have to find somebody else to sing his songs if he's ever going to have the kind of success we all wish for him.--NT

LINK WRAY, GAS HUFFER, THE MANATEES
(Crocodile) Gas Huffer need to get down on their knees and thank whatever god they believe in (if any, the heathens!) that they get to open for Link Wray. After all, without Link, there would be no Gas Huffer. In fact, there would be no rock music as we know it. You see, Link invented the power chord--that simple little finger placement that separates silly guitar noodling from sheer rock thunder, and talented musicians from rock stars. No Link, no rock. It's just that simple.--Bradley Steinbacher

ZONY MASH
(Rainbow, through Saturday) Their wicked musicianship alone provides plenty of cause for celebration (as does the bargain $5 cover for each of these shows), but it's keyboardist (Hammond B3 & Nord Lead) Wayne Horvitz's inimitable and memorable tunes that ultimately make Zony Mash a must-see band. There's no going back to the same ol' smoked-out grooves once you've checked out Zony Mash's comprehensive array of high-minded, retro-flamesavored instrumentals. Countless adventurers have funked up our local scene since my arrival in '87, but I've yet to encounter a more resonant strain than Zony Mash's. Shit this good rarely comes around.--James Kirchmer

 

SATURDAY MAY 22

DEDICATED (Showbox) Things haven't been the same since Electrolush ended its three-year run at the Showbox. When this Saturday night favorite closed down late last summer, it left a gaping void in our club scene. Many nights have tried, unsuccessfully, to take its place. This latest attempt does have good, crowd-drawing bookings in its favor. In its few weeks of existence, Dedicated has brought in Supa DJ Dmitri (formerly of Deee Lite), as well as Vancouver's superstar, DJ Czech. Time will tell if that's enough to keep 'em coming back.--CR

GIRL TROUBLE, THE WOGGLES, ACCEL 4
(Breakroom) Hailing from Athens, GA, the Woggles bend '60s pop, surf, rockabilly, R&B, and blues into a Southern-flamesavored garage rock that is strictly American. And speaking of American garage rock, its greatest Japanese imitator is Guitar Wolf--and tonight's opener, Accel 4, just happens to be the Wolf's brother. Enough said.--KW

VANILLA ICE, SMP
(Fenix) Well look who decided to show his pretty face in our city after all. A newer, tougher Vanilla Ice was supposed to make an appearance at ARO.space late last year, but chickened out at the last minute. D'ya think it might've been because consumers and critics had nothing nice to say about his rough 'n' tumble album Hard to Swallow? Count on this show to provide some comic relief in your otherwise serious live-event-viewing schedule.--CR

 

TUESDAY MAY 25

SUNSHIP
(Last Supper Club) The basement area at the Last Supper Club was recently remodeled, and now features a larger, more attractive seating and bar area. Some of the nightmarish paintings remain, but an entire brick wall was knocked down, and the resulting space feels like a club within a club. Full bands are more easily accommodated, and tonight marks the weekly debut of Sunship, a promising assemblage of transcendent locals consisting of drummer Stephen Cavit, keyboardist Dara Quinn, bassist Kevin Hudson, DJ Erok, and singer LaTanya Horace.--JK

 

WEDNESDAY MAY 26

JONATHA BROOKE
(Showbox) The last time I saw Jonatha Brooke perform, she was wearing a Spam T-shirt and no makeup. There was not even the slightest hint of cleavage or lipstick. But make no mistake, hetero males. Before you start snickering about granola-crunching dykes, watch her work the room in that canned meat T-shirt. Who needs girl gimmicks when you've got the voice of a honey-chugging angel? The lovely Ms. Brooke and her guitar will charm your pants off as soon as she starts singing and chatting between songs about her French mother-in-law.--Min Liao

COYOTEMEN, THUNDERCRACK, THE GIMMICKS, THE FLAMING SIDEBURNS
(Crocodile) See Live Preview, page 31.