THE SOFT BOYS, THE CHRIS AND TAD SHOW
(Crocodile) See CD Review Revue, page 41.
EYES ADRIFT, LOVELESS & GOODNIGHT TRAIL, COBER
(Graceland) It's a strange alliance: Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, Meat Puppets guitarist and singer Curt Kirkwood, and former Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh form a band that rocks less than one might think. At times Byrdsian and folksy, at other moments bleeding with Americana and alt-country heartache, Eyes Adrift's self-titled debut, released on spinART in late September, is worth a listen when you're feeling the blues for our hometown spirit. KATHLEEN WILSON
HALLOWEEN ON BALLARD AVE
(Tractor, Sunset, and Hattie's Hat) The most frightening thing happening this Halloween might just be taking place on Ballard Avenue, where a group of locals are embarking on a moustache contest for charity. The competition just started (hence the alarming explosion of dodgy facial hair in the vicinity), but in honor of the challenge, Hattie's Hat and the Sunset and Tractor Taverns are joining forces this evening for a joint Halloween celebration centered around the 'stache. Sporting hair on your upper lip will get you a reduced admission price and better deals on drinks, but even the fresh-faced can take advantage of the joint cover for the clubs. Musical happenings at the Tractor center around local legend-in-someone's-mind Jimmy Flame and the SexXy Boys, but the Sunset is where it's at for hot moustache action; tonight's entertainment is a Queen cover band (tell me Freddie Mercury's magnificent 'stache doesn't make him THE poster boy for the evening) featuring Firebrat's Sean Bates. BARBARA MITCHELL
THE bronze, alta may, the fakes
(Sunset) See preview, page 36.
(Sit & Spin) See Stranger Suggests, page 25.
THE LONG WINTERS, POSEUR, LIGHTHEAVYWEIGHT
(Crocodile) The Long Winters are finishing up their second record (which LW keyboardist/backup singer/Stranger film editor Sean Nelson tells me will be out on Barsuk in the spring), the follow-up to this year's All You Can Do Is Harm. Featuring members of the Posies, Built to Spill, Sunny Day Real Estate, Fountains of Wayne, and Death Cab for Cutie, Harm threads together catchy swatches of pastoral pop and buoyant vocal harmonies. The songs remind me what I liked so much about bands like the Connells and Buffalo Tom back when MTV's 120 Minutes was the only televised outlet I had to interesting music. The show is a benefit for the UW's comparative history of ideas program, so your money will help fund good music and feed a bunch of hungry college kids a new idea or two. JENNIFER MAERZ
DE LA SOUL
(Expo Center) Most hiphop stars are like tennis players--they get into it in their teens, reach the pinnacle of success in their early- and mid-20s, and then by the time they hit 30, they begin to fade away to either retirement or some kind of irrelevant seniors tour. But cagey vets De La Soul haven't lost their passion for the game, even though it's been a long time since they were at center court. The trio's melodic serves and lyrical volleys are as skillful as ever, and they've earned their deserved place as fan favorites because their performances are solid without sacrificing style, wit, grace, and fun--qualities all too lacking in the younger set. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG
THE SPITS, ZOMBIE 4, THE CURSES
(Monkey Pub) See Stranger Suggests, page 25.
LOUDERMILK, ALIEN CRIME SYNDICATE, POST STARDOM DEPRESSION
(Graceland) See preview, page 35.
CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE, ANNA OXYGEN, THE BADGER KING, BOBBY BIRDMAN, PANTHER
(Vera Project) See preview, page 40.
BADLY DRAWN BOY, ADAM GREEN
(Showbox) See also CD Review Revue, page 41. Does this ever happen to you? You're watching TV and a car commercial comes on, and as some catchy riff plays, you think to yourself, "Hey, I like this tune. What is it? Maybe I should get the album," until you realize it's a song from a band you detest, and you remain inwardly shamed for the rest of the day. This happens to me every time I go to Barnes & Noble, where undoubtedly I'll hear some sweet-sounding singer-songwriter stuff wafting over from the deplorably suburban music section and decide to walk over and see who it is--and nine times out of 10 it's Badly Drawn Boy, and I skulk away inwardly shamed for the rest of my day. Sure, Manchester's Damon Gough can write a catchy tune, but it's nothing more than pop lite for the masses, despite his enthusiastic critical praise and numerous awards. His soundtrack for the Hugh Grant-starring adaptation of Nick Hornby's About a Boy is Gough's best work, full of musical interludes and subtle lyrical comment, but Have You Fed the Fish? finds Gough back in background-music mode, which means he'll be selling well at the Pacific Place Barnes & Noble. Live, Gough's been known to stink up the joint with his Mancunian hooliganism and rampant jamming, so if you like him as an artist, consider leaving it at that and preserving your imagined impression. KATHLEEN WILSON
(King Cat Theater) I first discovered these anonymous art-rockers in the late 1980s, when I was briefly immersed in Captain Beefheart's similarly intoxicating weirdness. The absurd lyrics and bizarre compositions of the three "Mole Trilogy" albums paled only in comparison to the group's surreal video work (some of which is now part of the permanent collection at New York's Museum of Modern Art). Now the famous quartet of unknown performance artists and musicians behind the "giant eyeball masks" celebrate their 30th year of existence with a new album, Demons Dance Alone, a collection of gently neurotic pop tunes like "Mickey Macaroni" and "Make Me Moo." According to their press release, this show promises less video than previous tours, but more band members, increasing the likelihood of onstage collisions. This will be two nights of strange rock theater that simply cannot be missed. DAVID SLATTON
THE NO-NO'S, McLUSKY, AUDIO LEARNING CENTER
(Crocodile) Rarely are such polar opposites expected to share a stage, especially in our genre-conscious and exclusive music scene. Portland's the No-No's play anxious, harmonious pop that balances itself on the brazen (and occasionally off-key) vocals of Robin Bowser. Bowser has an uncanny ability to sweeten up even the sourest sentiment. On the other hand, McLusky is a Welsh trio that makes no excuses for its bitterness; it slams the angular art-punk of Wire against the unbridled anger and psychosis of someone like our little ol' D.C. sniper. In the middle, Portland's Audio Learning Center play run-of-the-mill emo laced with refreshing licks of melody. If you bring your pop ears, you'll probably need earplugs. If you bring earplugs, you'll wish you didn't. I say, just come prepared for surprises. TIZZY ASHER
(King Cat Theater) See Saturday's preview.
STEVE FISK, BRAN FLAKES, BOBBY KARATE
(I-Spy) There are plenty of people in the world who can strike fear in my heart, but Steve Fisk is not one of them. Sure, he's a little grizzly about the face, but he's no Himalayan yeti. As a producer, he's worked on a few stinkers (Some Velvet Sidewalk, anyone?), but by and large, his discography is flawless: Witness the dreamy instrumentals of Pell Mell, the chunky beats of Pigeonhed, and last year's charming Sub Pop solo outing, 999 Levels of Undo. But word on the street is that Fisk has recently been associating with Survival Research Laboratories' Mark Pauline, a man who makes me wet my pants with trepidation. Pauline has been known to stage technology-driven, (literally) explosive art pieces that comment on the nature of violence, war, and fear. This live appearance should be an opportunity to see whether the usually mild-mannered Fisk will blow anything up onstage. TIZZY ASHER
LOVERS & THE GOODSHIP, THE GIFT MACHINE
(Crocodile) From the bafflingly energetic indie-rock microcosm of Anacortes comes another constituent of Knw-Yr-Own Records' lo-fi army: the Gift Machine. Though perhaps not as inventive, original, or even interesting as some of their sleepy seaside contemporaries, the Gift Machine's charmingly snug fuzz-pop fits in rather pleasantly with the rest of Anacortes' admirable heritage. Also on the agenda tonight are Lovers, a droning, dreary quartet out of Athens, GA, and a perfect sonic complement to the golden abbreviation of autumn's return. Vague allusions to the thinner elements of early-to-mid-'90s-era 4AD weave seamlessly with a distinctly Southern sensibility on Star Lit Sunken Ship, the band's beautifully literate record released recently on Orange Twin records. ZAC PENNINGTON
DOLOUR, PLAIN WHITE T'S, SERENE
(Paradox) Shane Tutmarc, writer/singer/what-have-you behind Dolour, is superduper pretty, and evidently, he's well aware of it. Hence the cover of his CD, which is emblazoned with only his rigorously juicy mug. Hence, also, the posters currently spackled across light poles throughout the city--not to mention the thirty or so dropped off at The Stranger's office entrance last week in a spectacular display of self-promotion. "Why is The Stranger ignoring me?" such a display obviously begged, to which we can only respond, "We dunno, Shane. Your record is filled with catchy, pristinely recorded pop, and, as stated earlier, you're superduper pretty--as in, meow pretty (at least to some of the women in our office)--so we don't really have an excuse. So sorry." BRADLEY STEINBACHERWEDNESDAY 11/6
DEERHOOF, DEGENERATE ART ENSEMBLE, STEVE GIGANTE, BRENT ARNOLD
(Crocodile) I guess the catch phrase for San Francisco's Deerhoof is "avant-rock," which means post-rock so post- that it sheds continuity, form, and accessibility like layers of wet clothing on its way to arty weightlessness. The band's most recent album, Reveille, chops up elements of sparse guitar experiments, placing them between smaller dicings of primitive Casio melodies and Satomi Matsuzaki's purring, childlike vocals. The overall results are songs that at times become more interesting for their constructions than any sense of catchiness, as there's never much time to settle into a rhythm before the band jars you out of it and into the next one. Live, I've heard stories of Deerhoof's greatness from friends who have an appetite for the experimental, and it should, at the very least, be interesting to see how these helter-skelter sonic collages are created onstage. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE ROLLING STONES
(Tacoma Dome) I know the tickets to this show are so expensive that the cheapest seats most of us can afford will offer views of what the Rolling Stones would look like as ants. And I know that you can write off every Stones album after Tattoo You (and before all you haters of post-'70s Stones chime in that they'd lost it by the '80s, what about "No Use In Crying"????). BUT this is the GODDAMN ROLLING STONES, the band responsible for "Salt of the Earth," "Tumbling Dice," and "Sister Morphine." This band is the biggest influence on every band I love with some kinda hip-swaying honky-tonk coming out of their garage, and it's time to pay respect. You never know when the magic dam that keeps the toxic pollutants from reaching Keith Richards' lifeline will give out. And I hear the band is concentrating on the old stuff, which is enough to get me off my ass and down to Tacoma to watch the Stones' magic take place. JENNIFER MAERZ