THURSDAY 4/25

BOB LOG III, PLEASEEASAUR, GET DOWN SYNDROME
(Graceland) See preview this issue.

ROCKY VOTOLATO, AARON SPRINKLE, ROBERT DEEBLE, DOUG LORIG
(Paradox) He's a serious lad, but Waxwing member Rocky Votolato's emotional solo songs manage to convey a quasi-sprightliness simply because you can tell the singer is, at heart, a hopeless romantic. Burned and bitter might be an attractive raison d'être for some dummy who wants to stay stuck all of his or her life, acting as if the world is about to end when informed that, HORRORS!, the Olympia or Pabst keg at the bar has temporarily run dry. Frankly, that kind of shit bores the satin sleep mask off of the rest of us who do our wallowing and then get on with our blasted days and nights. So what if we're back to wallowing two weeks later? New stories to tell, more songs to write is what I say about that. KATHLEEN WILSON

THOSE PEABODYS, THE POPULAR SHAPES, THE INTELLIGENCE, THE DARK PLACES
(Crocodile) I've seen them Popular Shapes a handfulla times, and I digs 'em. In fact, I know a couple old jaded folks who hate EVERYdamnTHING that took one awful quick shine to PS. The band is choppy and punkish--"choppy" like in the "want" of syncopated, Wire-type arty quirk, HOWEVER, they charm up the seriousness of "arty" quite a bit. They're speedy and noisy in a very unselfconscious "garage" rock sense, all the while using bits of pop melody and smart guitar fills to round out their mess--thankfully, 'cause "pop" can be missed in the "progressive" end of our nu wave. MIKE NIPPER


FRIDAY 4/26

ALIEN CRIME SYNDICATE, VISQUEEN, PINEHURST KIDS
(HUB at the UW) I recently asked a kid why a kid would have any interest in Alien Crime Syndicate, given that they make me feel kinda old because they play the same kind of music I've been listening to (and lately, denying still listening to) all of my life. Sagely, she answered that for the kids, this is their first time at seeing the bombastic, pop-infused arena-style rock that I grew up with, and if I got a kick out of it the first time around, then why wouldn't they (the kids) like it their first time around (having, after all, matured during indie and alterna rock's dominance)? ACS has been up to its eyeballs in kids as the opening band for Sugar Ray these past few weeks, and just like in the late '70s and early '80s, the barely post-pubescent girls still like to get up on their boyfriends' shoulders and show their tits to the band. Do you think any girl ever got up on her boyfriend's shoulders and flashed her tits to Joe Reineke when he fronted the Meices in the early '90s? Pheh. The kids, finally, have come into their own. KATHLEEN WILSON

VNV NATION, HAUJOBB
(Catwalk) London-based techno outfit VNV Nation attracts an impressive following in the gothic-industrial underground with epic themes and orchestral synth arrangements. Vocalist Ronan Harris sings hopeful, uplifting messages (the acronym VNV means "Victory Not Vengeance"), with lyrics that on the surface seem at odds with his vampire-obsessed fan base. Like their European brethren Apoptygma Berserk and Covenant, VNV Nation takes the 1980s electronic body music formula a little further with propulsive, four-on-the-floor beats and tweaky, trancelike synth atmospherics. By comparison, Germany's Haujobb sound like techno-industrial traditionalists, offering dark, menacing electronics and moody vocals from frontman Daniel Myer. DAVID SLATTON

IMPERIAL TEEN, KAITO, FIVER
(Crocodile) Bay Area quartet Imperial Teen gives off a sugar rush that wraps a dark undertow and a come-hither attitude together within the wild course of a four-minute song. The hard pop act's latest album, On, was a little heavy on the keyboards for my taste, but it still packs a subversive punch. The spiky bliss of the album opener, "Ivanka," is deliciously bitchy, as guitarist Roddy Bottum and Will Schwartz--owner of one of pop's snottiest voices--swap vocals. The rhythm section--bassist Jone Stebbins and drummer Lynn Perko--rounds out the band to perfection, adding smart-girl swagger. The show is sure to be packed because the whole lineup rocks, so arrive early and be prepared to show some love. NATE LIPPENS See preview this issue.

MARK EITZEL
(East Street Records, Queen Anne) Mark Eitzel, former lead singer of San Francisco's American Music Club, is no stranger to sad songs with clever daggers sewn into them. But with last year's The Invisible Man, he raised miserablism to an art form. The album was a diary of naked emotion casually dressed in spare beats and loops. It wasn't a case of a singer/songwriter trying to spiff up his songs in stylistic drag so much as one trying something a little different and finding it suits him just fine. His keening voice and scathingly intelligent lyrics perfectly complement the spare musical backdrops of the songs. Eitzel can be wily, prickly, and drunk when he plays live, but that's usually par for the course when you're dealing with someone a little too smart for his own good. NATE LIPPENS

MUDHONEY, FLUF
(Sky Church) From the first time I heard Mark Arm scream, "Oh God, how I love to hate," Mudhoney had me wrapped around its middle finger. The band carries a big chip of smart cynicism on its shoulder, one that gets erected by Arm's caustic howls and obliterated by the sheer mass of guitar fury the guys have consistently delivered for over a decade. If the recent Sub Pop birthday bash at the Crocodile was any proof, Mudhoney's still got its smart-ass package intact--a bit slowed down and spaced out compared to the earlier stuff, but still angled to tell the world to fuck off in the noisiest of terms. JENNIFER MAERZ

ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM, SOFCON, DJ SUSPENCE
(I-Spy) See preview this issue.

EVANGELINE, COUNTRYPOLITANS, SCENIC WONDER
(Tractor) I've been singing Evangeline's praises for quite a while now, and I will continue to harass The Stranger's readership with my opinions of the group's greatness for some time. The band taps with great skill the golden period of American country-rock that gave us the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Flatlanders, Gram Parsons, and Emmylou Harris. Evangeline's singer, Jennifer Potter, has a clear, silvery soprano voice that conveys heartbreak and longing with classic country panache. Chris Cline, the group's songwriter and guitarist, also sings on a handful of tunes, adding his grainy Paul Westerberg voice into the mix. Live, Evangeline throws in covers and leans harder into its material, offering spontaneous sets that crackle with energy. NATE LIPPENS


SATURDAY 4/27

POP UNKNOWN, SCHATZI
(I-Spy) I'm confused. Can someone please explain to me how in the hell I'm supposed to differentiate between "emo" and "punk-pop" anymore? When did the line between the Promise Ring and Blink-182 become so fuzzy? Austin, TX's Schatzi ally themselves more closely with the emo community, but their supercatchy, crunchy pop songs remind me a hell of a lot more of Green Day than they do of Jawbreaker. Whatever. Labels be damned. If you enjoy heartfelt sing-along numbers sung by cute boys with guitars, then you should definitely check Schatzi out. Last year's Death of the Alphabet EP packed a nice little wallop and there's more where that came from on their debut full-length, Fifty Reasons to Explode. Besides, with the overwhelming success of Jimmy Eat World, there's no telling what dizzying heights of success await these sensitive punk-popsters. See 'em and say you were there first. BARBARA MITCHELL

EDDIE PALMIERI
(Sky Church) When talking about his inimitable Afro-Caribbean-based excursions, pianist Eddie Palmieri speaks with the contagious enthusiasm of a mad musical scientist who's possibly just put his finger on yet another thrilling new thread of syncopated know-how. Now 65, and still loco after all these years, this fiery bandleader embodies exactly what I love most about our United States: the unique melting pots. He emerged in '60s-era Spanish Harlem, as Cubans and Puerto Ricans mixed it up non-stop with NYC's jazz and funk players. Together, they proceeded to fashion some of the finest sophisticated-yet-funky music that's ever been made. Palmieri is still trying to work through the countless intersections of rhythm that this legendary scene brought to light. Currently knee-deep in salsa, and once again putting his own unique stamp on the style, Palmieri sums it all up nicely when he says, "It's that cross-cultural effect that makes magnificent music." JAMES KIRCHMER

FAIRGROVE, THE DROP, SPYGLASS
(Tractor) If you like rock that borrows a page from the Pink Floyd/Radiohead book of dreamy space noise--soft sounds getting louder, and a tense build-up-and-release dynamic built in--then Seattle band the Drop sounds good on the surface. The dozen songs on the band's new record, Iceland, start out with the soft/loud dissonance as frontman Christian McBride's voice captures the vulnerable quality that makes people swoon for Radiohead's Thom Yorke. As the album progresses it becomes more interesting, adding strings here and dispensing with a guitar crescendo there in its collection of warm, mid-tempo rock. Overall, though, the Drop stays a little too precious and predictable for my taste. NATE LIPPENS

JOHNNY THUNDERS TRIBUTE w/QUICK 66, MEMBERS OF THE BRIEFS, THANKLESS DOGS, HELLO
(Stella Pizza) To a good number of punks, garage rockers, and other restless axmen, God may have created the human world, but Johnny Thunders ruled it. The guitarist for the New York Dolls and the Heartbreakers (who also flew solo for a number of years) sped through life on a steady diet of smack and rock 'n' roll, becoming a lasting legend even if he had trouble standing up straight. After burning the flame at both ends for two decades, Thunders died in 1991 at the age of 41. Tonight, a couple local punks pay tribute to their deceased guitar hero with a lineup that includes my favorite pop-punk weirdoes, the Briefs. JENNIFER MAERZ


SUNDAY 4/28

Hug me.


MONDAY 4/29

THE CHROMATICS, GLASS CANDY & THE SHATTERED THEATRE, DJ SEAN REVERON
(Graceland) See preview this issue.


TUESDAY 4/30

CHICAGO UNDERGROUND DUO, ORTON SOCKET
(Graceland) Certain Chicagoans I know like to mock their city's tendency to market its rich musical history, sarcastically reminding visitors that it's actually the "Home of the Electric Blues" as they buy commemorative "Art Ensemble of Chicago" chain wallets and tea cozies. But you can't argue with the music, and there's no doubt the Chicago Underground's stuff is steeped in their hometown's history (or at least carrying the torch). Nudging Chicago jazz in its fancy belt buckle, longtime experimentalists the Underground consist of varying numbers of people, who, at different points, called themselves an Orchestra, Trio, or Quartet. Tonight, they're the very percussion-reliant Duo, with founding members Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor, who leap into a dreamy puddle of jazz and electronics that sounds like the cusp between daydreams and nightmares--all eerie, tinkling vibes, dramatic blats of horn, creepy/pretty melodies, and dodgy rhythms. Most importantly, by mixing a postmodern pie of free jazz, techno, African beats, and scary loop sounds, they remind skronk lovers and haters alike that jazz is meant to sound progressive, daring, and alive. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

REVEREND HORTON HEAT, NASHVILLE PUSSY, TIGER ARMY
(Showbox) Nashville Pussy used to be a no-brainer for fans of nasty punk metal--every time the band came through town, the faithful would line up to offer their tongues to guitarist Ruyter Suys' sloppy kisses and to get sprayed with gasoline as Amazon bassist Corey Parks spat flames from the stage. Now that Parks quit, the band's lost its fire, so to speak, getting dropped from rock label TVT and disappearing from the press. This tour is aimed to put the band back in the spotlight, as KatieLynn Campbell takes Parks' place and the band is set to release another slutty rawk mess, Say Something Nasty (Artemis), in the next month or so. JENNIFER MAERZ


WEDNESDAY 5/1

JUCIFER, AUTOMATON, SPOOKY DANCE BAND
(Graceland) God I love sludgy, burly, bawl-busting STONER ROCK that makes you feel like you just took a big ol' Vicodin when the monstrous riffs vibrate through your bones and flatten your vital organs against the speaker. Jucifer's a two-piece that combines three-dimensional, giant-slaying guitar parts and a vicious drum attack with wispy, breathy female vocals. Jucifer's female seductress, Amber Valentine, is such a stoner rock siren, she lures punk metal fans in with her sweetness, only to crush them into dust with the power of the next distorted guitar swarm or a sudden bloodcurdling scream. Dude... heavy. JENNIFER MAERZ

X-ECUTIONERS, THE COUP, KENNY MUHAMMED
(Showbox) The Coup is the second-best soulful rap band on the West Coast (the first being Medusa & Feline Science), playing with a full live band, a prodigy 17-year-old drummer, and great political rhymes drenched in ass-shaking charisma. The powerful team of MC Boots Riley and DJ Pam tha Funkstress is joined by the kings of the turntables, X-Ecutioners, and Kenny Muhammad, who is rumored to rival Rahzel on the human beatbox skills. I feel compelled to also note, though, that this tour is sponsored by SoBe Adrenaline, an energy drink geared toward young men who snowboard and listen to hiphop music. When we called the Coup's manager about it, he said that SoBe sponsoring this tour is similar to a company like the House of Blues setting up a show for them, and that, aside from Fugazi, he can't think of anyone who lives outside of the realm of corporate sponsorship. So, I wonder if the head of SoBe has ever heard the Coup song "Five Million Ways to Kill a CEO"? JULIANNE SHEPHERD

BLINK-182, GREEN DAY, JIMMY EAT WORLD
(Tacoma Dome) This show is gonna be hella sweet! You know why? One word: nudity. 'Cause, dude! Have you seen that Jimmy Eat World video? That one for their totally bitchin' rock anthem "The Middle"? There are like hundreds of hot girls running around in nothing but their bras and panties! It's totally Girls Gone Wild 3! And there are people making out all over the place, too! We're talking T&A, baby! And now that JEW are opening for Green Day and Blink-182, you just KNOW that the crowd is gonna show some skin. Blink-182 is all about the hot nudie action, and back in the day, Green Day's Billy Joe never could keep his clothes on. Sure, there'll be some sweater-clad geeks there, swearing they're "here for the music!" but whatever. Give those guys a Bud Light and tell 'em to ditch the act. And the clothes. MEGAN SELING

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