THE FUCKING CHAMPS, LAST OF THE JUANITAS, DRUNK HORSE
(Graceland) See preview this issue.
THE VILLAGE PEOPLE, DINA MARTINA, DJ EL TORO
(Showbox) See bio box this issue.
NEIL HAMBURGER, PLEASEEASAUR, CANNED HAM
(Chop Suey) See preview this issue.
(Liquid Lounge) The first time I saw eXBeSTFRIeNDS live, they were preceded by Watery Graves, grunge great woulda-beens if they hadn't imploded mere months later. Now, eXBeSTFRIeNDS includes an ex-Watery Graves guitarist among its members, so the band that played metal bordering on grunge now has actual grunge in the mix--and a new drummer to boot. While you might call that overuse of what was, in the mid '90s, referred to as "the G word," I call it the pure anticipation of heaven. Too bad all that weight will be crammed into the tiny space that is the EMP's Liquid Lounge. KATHLEEN WILSON
THE TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS, itzatomic darling (ana saskia), BICYCLE, DORKWEED, POEINA
(Sunset Tavern) As you hopefully already know, the Trachtenburg family will be moving to Manhattan the day after this show, so for this special occasion nine-year-old Rachel will be allowed to stay up late and play in a bar. Your next chance to see this zany family could be on The David Letterman Show, so come wish them well and earn your chance to say "I was there when...." CORIANTON HALE
FRANK JORDAN, DEAR DARLING, DANIEL ERBE
(Paradox) Though the singer of Sacramento's Frank Jordan is a little heavy-handed on the vibrato--like Jeff Buckley, but with doilies--the trio is a very solid rock band with intriguing melodies, great drumming, and, of course, maximum hookage. On their latest release, Enemies, they stay away from the wafting stench of the pop junkyard by using subtle tactics, such as complex bass melodies, a smattering of guitar distortion, or weirdo drum fills. They can even save jazz-mad reverb and Billy Joel-style vocal melodies from the cheese pile somehow. Perhaps it is their incredible drummer and post-punk edge--or maybe, like yellow eye shadow, pleated pants, and espadrilles, Billy Joel is just coming back into vogue. Either way, Frank Jordan is a band you'll want to listen to, rather than use as background music while you drink your broken heart into a stupid oblivion. JULIANNE SHEPHERD
MEAT IS MURDER
(I-Spy) Do you love the Smiths? Love them so much that you'd pay good money to hear their songs played live, even if the real Morrissey is nowhere in sight? Then you'll love Meat Is Murder, where The Stranger's own Sean Nelson takes the Mozzer's place, backed by members of Faster Tiger, the Long Winters, and Voyager One. Black attire--on the inside and the outside--strongly encouraged. JENNIFER MAERZ
WAYNE KRAMER, MOTHER SUPERIOR, THE SPITFIRES, CAMAROSMITH (featuring members of ZEKE)
(Graceland) L.A.'s Mother Superior are a pretty standard, no-frills blues-rock band stuck in the heart of the '70s. Definitely not my cuppa, well... anything, from the sound of their records. But picture a scene that caters to balding fortysomething dudes shaking their guts to Ted Nugent covers and you get the idea what kinda crowd would enjoy these guys. Their new album, Sin, is a harmless collection of rock toughness, with slow electric blues jams crammed between meatier cock rockers. Apparently Henry Rollins likes these guys so much he used them as his backing band on his most recent solo stuff. Use that as a mark for or against MS, depending on your opinion of His Thick-Necked Angriness. Wayne Kramer, one of the founders of the MC5, headlines. JENNIFER MAERZ
NEO, KING BLACK ACID, HYPATIA LAKE
(Sit & Spin) Spacey, psychedelic rock rarely sounds as romantic as the kind made by King Black Acid. Sure, there are loads of psychedelic rock bands whose music makes you want to grab people and fuck their brains out, but there are very few feedback- and distortion-laden bands that make you swoon or think about a long-lost love or just drift peacefully for a day or two after hearing them. Thankfully, King Black Acid has the latter effect, because it's nice once in a while to have something so visceral provoke a welcome pause without being all sappy or angsty about it. KATHLEEN WILSON
ACEYALONE, BUS DRIVER, DJ DREZ
(I-Spy) One of the main reasons underground hiphop is preferable to the mainstream is that there's only so much machismo posturing people can take. You wouldn't want to date a guy who only talked about his bank account and dick size all the time, so why would you want to buy his records? Though battle culture dictates otherwise, for the most part, underground hiphop tends toward having some humility. One perfect example of this is Los Angeles emcee Bus Driver, part of the Afterlife crew that includes 2Mex and Hip Hop Kclan. Bus Driver rhymes in a kooky, almost jazz-singer style, and his near-unbelievable phrasing makes it so he can spit for something like 35 measures without actually taking a breath. But here's the best part about Bus Driver: self-deprecation. On his record, tellingly called Memoirs of an Elephant Man, he raps about how he can't dance, about how he feels uncomfortable, and about how he's a dork--sentiments everyone can relate to. On the bill with super DJ Drez and Aceyalone (whom, if you don't know by now, you will never, ever know). JULIANNE SHEPHERD
THE PROM, TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY, THE DIVORCE, ASHTRAY HEARTS
(Crocodile) Minneapolis' Ashtray Hearts remind me a lot of the Counting Crows when August and Everything After first came out. The Hearts' CD, Old Numbers, is full of similarly styled, twangy, angst-filled Americana, and the singer's voice is a dead ringer at times for the Crows' Adam Duritz. Luckily, there are no "Mr. Jones" nods to the more commercial side of the genre, as most of the CD moves at a slumbering pace suitable for broken-hearted rainy days and other occasions that call for slow country waltzes. This show is also the pre-CD-release show for the Prom. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE WALKMEN, MINUS THE BEAR, ARLO
(Graceland) See preview this issue.
HALOU, ORBITER, THE GETTER FLASH
(Crocodile) See Speaker Freak.
DJ CHEB I SABBAH, PETER MADRIL
(I-Spy/Nation) It's easy for a DJ to sound contrived--or just fucking ridiculous--while attempting to spin world music. The possibility of extreme cheesiness lurks within every looped bodhran and sampled sitar that shows up in the mix. Algerian-born, San Francisco-based DJ Cheb I Sabbah, on the other hand, lives and breathes his preferred subject matter, the music of Algeria's rai artists, giving his work a sense of authority. On his latest disc, Krishna Lila, DJ Cheb forgets about beats and uses traditional Hindu devotionals to provide undercurrents of rhythm. He knows that humans have long memories, and don't require artificial assistance to find the internal cadences that have kept them swaying and intoxicated for centuries. Before I start sounding like a WOMAD reject, I'll stop with the flowery description, though. Just go settle into Nation's darkened corners on Saturday night and enjoy Sabbah's fascinating history lesson. MATTHEW COOKE
(Chop Suey) No offense meant to all you guys and gals out there making a living from it, but I've had it up to here with cover bands in these parts. Basically, they are a one-shot deal, or should be, but folks seem happy to see them again and again and again, paying no mind to the fact that the bands are covering another act and playing the same songs every single time. HOWEVER, I guess I'm one of the guilty when it comes to Ants Invasion, who do such a dead-on tribute to Adam and the Ants that it's impossible to not get caught up in the fun. But we're talking costumes, two drummers, and everything here, so I'll go see them again because they're not just standing up there in T-shirts and jeans. Know what I mean? KATHLEEN WILSON
POWER OF TEN COMPILATION SHOW W/HIMSA, LEFT WITH NOTHING, POSITIVELY NEGATIVE, SPITTING TEETH, THE NOVEMBER GROUP, TO SEE YOU BROKEN
(Paradox) A few months back, two local labels (Excursion and 1-2-3-4 Go!!!) put their heads together and came up with a totally bitchin' idea--give a handful of local hardcore bands one minute each on a seven-inch record. The result? The Power of Ten compilation, a blistering representation of the NW hardcore scene with 10 heavy hitters including Himsa, Staygold, To See You Broken, and Left with Nothing. Since its February release, the record has been selling steadily, even making an appearance on the NW Top 20 list. So to celebrate, this afternoon (the show has an early 1 pm start time) many of the bands that appear on the release are bringing it live. If you want to hear more than just a minute of all their hardcore goodness, never has there been a more perfect opportunity. MEGAN SELING
THE STUCK-UPS, THE MIDRIFFS, THE HIGH BEAMS
(Industrial Café) The Stuck-Ups (Tiffany on guitars, Bre on keyboards, Meredith on bass, Justin on drums) go-go through jerky pop--think the Runaways-with-art-punky-attitude. They're a mix of straight-ahead garage rock, three- and four-part harmonies, and quirky keyboard melodies. With songs about boys, and commands to "Kiss Off," the Stuck-Ups give off a shit-eating sneer, with Tiffany's vocals shifting from candy-coated to affected ice queen. Cute without being kitsch, the Stuck-Ups jam together the '60s and the '80s, bubbling pop up through layers of hardened rock. JENNIFER MAERZ
Tonight is a night to be spent alone.
PLAYING ENEMY, NECKTIE PARTY, DJ FRANKI CHAN
(Graceland) See preview this issue.
MOMUS, PHIILIIP, THE GONGS, SUPER MADRIGAL BROTHERS, RROLAND
(Graceland) See Stranger Suggests.
HEAD FULL OF STARS, JAKE LONDON, JOHN RAMBERG AND PETER BLACKSTOCK
(Sunset) If you haven't made time to check out this monthly showcase curated by singer-songwriter Jake London, tonight's the night. London goes out of his way to encourage unusual configurations of musicians, often in the form of rare reunions, such as this performance by producer/guitarist Bill Bernhard's pet project, Head Full of Stars. Initially formed in 1989, Head Full is an ambient collective piloted by players known for their work with Sanford Arms, Voyager One, Orbiter, and Ruston Mire, but also for their comically shared title of "Damn Talented Musicians Who've Been Foolishly Fired by Gerald Collier." Bernhard, bassist Jeff Wood, and drummer John Fleischman last shared the stage when Collier opened for Bob Dylan and Van Morrison several years ago, but are now exploring their mutual appreciation of quirky and quiet neo-psychedelia--an introspective but wank-free offering that's sure to please fans of Grandaddy or the Red House Painters. HANNAH LEVIN
THE WAXWINGS, MAYFLY'S
(Graceland) See Stranger Suggests.
THE AMAZOMBIES, VALERIE'S TROUBLE
(Hell's Kitchen) First off, thank gawd that Tacoma finally has a club that's specifically focused on the punk rock. Bands and showgoers had to make due with places like the Fifth and Proctor Grill (which doubled as an amateur comedy club, for the love of Christ!) for far too long, and the kind of fierce, scrappy music community that exists in places like Tacoma deserves an appropriate focal point where all the freaks can throw one back. So it would be well worth the drive (and Tacoma's strangely endearing odor) to check out Hell's Kitchen and catch criminally under-the-radar Seattle band the Amazombies. With extensive touring under their belts, sharp, well-crafted songs reminiscent of the Bangs or Stiff Little Fingers, and hugely charismatic front women Kim and Noriko Zombie, it's only a matter of time before this band becomes the next big thing that the hip kids didn't have a clue about. BILL BULLOCK
CANDYE KANE, REV. BILLY C. WIRTZ
(Tractor) Zaftig blues babe Candye Kane recently returned from Israel, a risky field trip for anyone these days, but even more risqué for a divorced, bisexual former stripper and porn star whose cow-punk catalog includes songs entitled "Let's Commit Adultery" and lesbo-savvy advice on stealing a cowboy's girlfriend. Not only did she avoid a stoning during her Middle East excursion, she returned reinvigorated and ready to start a whirlwind West Coast tour two weeks later. Her endurance is impressive, but so is her growth as an artist. Once easily catalogued as a novelty act, Ms. Kane has sharpened her rockabilly ruckus into a technically skillful blend of jump-blues and yodel-lit country twang, proving she's as disciplined as she is daring. Kane is paired perfectly with the kitschy-sleazy evangelism of Reverend Billy C. Wirtz, a lunatic piano player with a knack for audience antagonism. HANNAH LEVIN