THURSDAY 11/21


PLEASURE FOREVER, NEED NEW BODY, THE BELLES, THE DARK PLACES
(Graceland) See preview, page 50.

ELECTRIC EEL SHOCK, THE POPULAR SHAPES, THE INTELLIGENCE, THE PEELS
(Crocodile) You've gotta love Japanese garage punk--or at least, I've gotta. Like the King Brothers (my absolute favorite) and Guitar Wolf, Electric Eel Shock are in heat for scuzzy rock 'n' roll, accelerating through it at speeds that make calloused fingers bleed like flesh sprinklers. I saw EES play at a tiny shithole last year, and they rocked it like they were the headliners at the fucking Tacoma Dome. Plus, they have songs (like "Do the Metal" and "I Wanna Be a Black Sabbath Guy But I Should Be a Black Bass") that sound like Zen Guerrilla on truckers' speed, with lots of guitar solos. Rock!! The Popular Shapes are a perfect match for such a spazzfest, as are the Intelligence and the Peels (who I haven't heard yet--but having met the frontwoman, I can say they should command the crowd's undivided attention). JENNIFER MAERZ

DOUG MARTSCH, MIKE JOHNSON
(Chop Suey) There is no more poignant music than that which accompanies one's final years at college. Music fans who came of age in the mid-1980s have Paul Westerberg to remind them of the good old days, and those of us straggling at the tail end of Generation X have Doug Martsch. The Built to Spill frontman defined an era with his convoluted guitar pop: It was his jubilant voice that blasted from the plank-and-cinderblock bookcases in my first apartment, and that annoyed customers at my record-store job. Strangely enough, Martsch's new solo record, Now You Know, finds him calming down at just the right time. More subtle and restrained than BTS, Now You Know features slide guitar-based blues that creeps up slowly and surely, like adulthood. Luckily, its occasional quirks remind us that growing up hardly means giving up. As I round the bend into my "late 20s," it is comforting to know that Doug Martsch is right there with me. TIZZY ASHER

FRIDAY 11/22


DOUG MARTSCH, MIKE JOHNSON
(Chop Suey) See Thursday's listing.

NICK DRAKE COVER NIGHT
(Aurafice) When you ask yourself why there are so many cover and tribute nights in this town, pause to consider that Nick Drake died (as we will all die) alone, fearing that his mother and sister would be the only people on earth to ever truly give a damn about his music. Granted, by now many millions of VW drivers have bonded with "Pink Moon," to say nothing of the tenderhearted weepers who came to Drake via the indie-rock name-drop sub-industry of the '90s (guilty). A night like this is about keeping the flame burning for an artist who could have (like his contemporaries Jackson C. Frank and Fred Neil) fallen through the cracks of time. Plus, the songs are devastatingly beautiful. SEAN NELSON

CIRCULATORY SYSTEM, PIPES YOU SEE PIPES YOU DON'T, THE MINUS 5, THE INSTRUMENTS
(Crocodile) When it comes to out-there indie rock, weirdness for the sake of being weird is not interesting to me. Naming your debut album Isolated Peanut Butter Violence, Part 6 and claiming Captain Beefheart and Michael Bolton as your anti-influences might get some giggles, but it also might be better left in the basement next to the Lost in Space tape loops. That said, the weirdness of this bill is an excellent example of worthwhile weirdness. With the exception of the local and lovable Minus 5, everyone on this bill has some loose affiliation with the ever-splintering Elephant 6 collective--especially Circulatory System, the brainchild of the Olivia Tremor Control's Will Cullen Hart. Unlike his painfully poppy OTC collaborator Bill Doss, Hart keeps his focus on childlike, morbid atmospherics, applying thoughtful touches of ghostly banjo, violin, layered horns, and unpredictable percussive accents to his sweetly infectious vocal harmonies. HANNAH LEVIN

MINUS THE BEAR, ROADSIDE MONUMENT, VERONA
(Graceland) See CD Review Revue, page 51.

C AVERAGE, SEA WOLF, MICO DE NOCHE
(Sunset) I'll never forget the night I walked into some Manhattan club during CMJ '89 and was completely blown away by the metal ferocity of C Average, who--naturally, being from Olympia--were just a two-piece. They're the kind of metal band that plays hard but sings about wee goblins, unicorns, and battles. I don't give a crap about that--they rock my ass despite lyrics I can't wrap my head around. Sea Wolf plays down-and-dirty rock with an obvious love for '70s heavy shit as well as '70s punk. Mico De Noche takes its name from the legend of the ancient civilization of Lemuria, and the lemur-like simians (which the natives called Mico De Noche) that roamed the land. History lesson over. I've never heard the band, but judging from the two others on the bill, it's gotta be dark and heavy. KATHLEEN WILSON

CAPTURED! BY ROBOTS, BLÖÖDHAG, BEARSKIN RUGBURN
(Sit & Spin) What you have here is a night of mystery science theater. The mystery is in Bearskin Rugburn, who I've yet to see, so I can't summarize. The science and theater come with the two other acts. San Francisco's Captured! By Robots return to light up the stage with their single-human/four-robot metal show, and BlöödHag hurl science fiction novels at the crowd while lecturing about the genre's most famous authors and shredding some badass metal of their own. Na nu, na nu. JENNIFER MAERZ

MEA CULPA, TARANTULADA, ME INFECTO
(Zak's) With their cynical take on corporate power and critical stance on government greed, Mea Culpa take the strong political stand one expects now that the Republicans are about to command this nation. Their street-smart punk is as catchy as it is sharp, and I'm not just saying that because frontman Bill Bullock is one of our writers--I swear. I finally saw Me Infecto play with the Ruby Doe (another great band) recently, and was impressed with the might of the metal that comes from this unassuming two-piece. JENNIFER MAERZ

SATURDAY 11/23


THE GLORYHOLES, THE TRIGGERS, THE AUTHORITIES, MUDDY RIVER NIGHTMARE BAND
(Zak's) See preview, page 47.

DOUG MARTSCH, MIKE JOHNSON
(Chop Suey) See Thursday's listing.

THE ALUMINUM GROUP, PARKER AND LILY, UNITED STATES OF ELECTRONICA
(Crocodile) This evening's performance by the excellent orch-synth-pop act the Aluminum Group (in support of the Chicago combo's fine new LP, Happyness [sic]) should be notable for several reasons. First, because the brothers John and Frank Navin, TAG's braintrust, are touring as a duo, their elaborate string and horn arrangements are condensed to MP3 form and loaded onto an iPod for a backing band. Brilliance. Also, there will be a fashion show in between bands, conducted by Atlas, Double Trouble, and Vain--if you like that sort of thing. Fashion, I mean. Gross. SEAN NELSON

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT, DOLOUR, C.O.C.O., THE GIFT MACHINE
(Ground Zero) Light Heavyweight is neither one nor the other, I'm sorry to report. So I guess the name is perfectly descriptive of their tepid, benign rock. A few years ago I saw Dolour's first live show on this side of the lake, and was impressed with their Brit-pop leanings. Dolour's debut, Waiting for a World War (Sonic Boom), was a small disappointment; it came off like a first album written and sung by someone who hadn't yet decided what he wanted to sound like. Every track featured a different kind of pop. Shane Tutmarc is Dolour, technically--and his latest album, Suburbiac, is really, really good. No more schizophrenia, just a personalized brand of pop informed by all the great pop idols: Brian Wilson, the Beatles, and Blur (think Parklife, especially the fantastic songs "To the End" and "This Is a Low"). KATHLEEN WILSON

THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES, CATO SALSA EXPERIENCE
(Graceland) I hate to say it, but when I heard the new Soundtrack of Our Lives, it felt as if some evil studio head had kidnapped a band I used to really like (a band whose previous incarnation released the great Extended Revelation for the Psychic Weaklings of Western Civilization). In place of the original spacy, psychedelic Swedish band was an overproduced, scattered Beta Band (minus the quirks) in the making. They've become a Beatles/Who hybrid whose every note sounds cleaner than the inside of a BMW dealership. That said, maybe this is a band that just takes time to get reintroduced to--one for which you have to create a completely clean slate that allows room for grandiose ballads and shortened trips to the group's psychedelic side. As much as I'm resisting their change, I'll still be there to see how they pull off this newer, sometimes-shoegazery Behind the Music sound live. Except I'll get there after Cato Salsa Experience (who are the second worst act I've decided to recommend since working for this paper). JENNIFER MAERZ

AIKO SHIMADA, CORREO AEREO
(Mr. Spot's Chai House) Born in Tokyo, educated in Oregon, and currently living in Seattle, Aiko Shimada dazzles every critic who hears her Delphic vocals. One reviewer says her music is "magical"; another says she is "unique and enchanting." I say her music is beautiful--sometimes too beautiful, which is why I like the songs that have electronic noises. The buzzing and beeps break the ghostly flow of her Japanese songs. CHARLES MUDEDE

40 (U2 TRIBUTE)
(Mulleady's Irish Pub) The only reason I can figure that this U2 tribute band is called "40" is that Rolling Stone ranked the band's pivotal War in the 40th position on their "100 Best Albums of the '80s" chart. Either that, or it's because the members are all in their 40s at the moment. Even li'l Larry Mullen, the baby of the band, is a ripe old 41. KATHLEEN WILSON

X, RICHMOND FONTAINE, XXX AUDIO
(Showbox) What is there to say about X that hasn't already been said a hundred times by people far wiser than myself? Nothing, that's what. And so, let me take this chance to say that I listened to Wild Gift the other night, and it still rules. So does Los Angeles. So, for that matter, does More Fun in the New World, even. This is all because of the elemental harmony created by the voices of John Doe and Exene Cervenka, which do not age, and cannot be diminished by repeated listens. SEAN NELSON

MATT MESSINA
(Town Hall) After losing a family friend's four-year-old daughter to an unspecified illness six years ago, local composer Matt Messina decided to start performing benefit concerts to raise money for children's hospi tals. Tonight Messina presents Ritual, which incorporates elements of flamenco, tango, salsa, and bossa nova, and includes guests Children of the Revolution and Artis the Spoonman. JENNIFER MAERZSUNDAY 11/24


THE LIGHTS, lazy comets, the swastika girls
(Sit & Spin) The last time I saw the Lights, a nefarious guitar strap cut short their show. Which was a shame, since the crowd, though only about 25 people strong, was firmly planted in their palms. A decidedly whacked-out three-piece specializing in the kind of messy indie rock that shouldn't really work (which is to say, it's loud, occasionally droning, and often out of tune), the Lights nonetheless... er, rock (for lack of a better term), and are well worth whatever buckaroos you're asked to fork over. BRADLEY STEINBACHER

THE BRONZE, SOUR VEIN, BROTHERS OF CONQUEST
(Zak's) I've said it before and I'll say it again--the Bronze keep heavy rock on the map in a really good way. Fronted by Craig Mueller and featuring Sludgeplow's rhythm section, the Bronze and Alta May (who head off to tour Europe soon, and aren't on this bill--but I recommend them anyway) are two local bands that fans of acts like Queens of the Stone Age and Soundgarden should do themselves a favor and check out. JENNIFER MAERZ

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JIMI HENDRIX
(EMP Sky Church) In honor of what would have been the great guitar god Jimi Hendrix's 60th birthday, the Experience Music Project has pulled together bassist Billy Cox, drummer Buddy Miles, and headliner Buddy Guy to pay tribute to the talented classic-rock master. Also on the bill are various musicians from Kid Rock's band, guitarist Eric Gales, Steely Dan, Chaka Khan, and Earth, Wind & Fire. JENNIFER MAERZ

MONDAY 11/25


PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES, JR EWING, FEDERATION X, HINT HINT
(Graceland) See preview, page 50, and Stranger Suggests, page 29.

TUESDAY 11/26


SIGUR R"S
(Moore Theatre) See preview, page 48.

THIEVERY CORPORATION
(Showbox) The ultra-cool society that exists in Thievery Corporation's music is structured in this way: draws its religious and political beliefs from Rastafarian humanism; it gets its economics, or mode of production, from global high-tech corporations like Motorola; its sexuality comes from Brazil; and its capital city is defined and designed by hiphop, or the American inner city. The music also has layers of Eastern philosophy, African polycentrism, British club culture, and dub dreams of distant and lost histories. Thievery Corporation's latest and most ambitious CD, The Richest Man in Babylon, has a few great cuts, but it's not as fresh as their debut release, Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi, nor as perfect as their second album, The Mirror Conspiracy. CHARLES MUDEDE

WEDNESDAY 11/27


VISQUEEN, NEW LUCK TOY, THE NEW CANDIDATES, THE LASHES
(Crocodile) There's gonna be a whole lotta what the early-MTV generation refers to as CHARISMA in the house tonight, as at least three of the bands on this bill are full of it. Headliners Visqueen are a trio fronted by a dynamic-voiced redhead who writes excellent power pop; she's backed by drummer Ben Hooker and bassist Kim Warnick. New Luck Toy messes with late-'70s punk and new wave, and the Lashes possess the most unabashed ham of a frontman since--oh, I don't know, since Your Enemies Friends left on tour. This show is also a canned food drive, and the cover is $5 with can of food. KATHLEEN WILSON

YES
(Benaroya Hall) Here we go AGAIN!?! Yes, YES is back in town!!! Y'all know I'm like a HOG when it comes to LERVIN' the PROG... um, as a general rule at least. YES, this IS still the North American tour in PROGress, and the lineup is as it was when they were last here... um, in July. So, like... (ahem) hell YES... it's then still the reformed "classic" lineup of Jon Anderson, Mr. Squire, shake-him WAKEMAN (!), Alan White, and the ever-nimble-fingered Steve Howe. This time, tho', they'll be in the Benaroya Hall... and the PROGnosis for the PROGram, I PROGnosticate... wait... it's on the tip of my PROGlottis... oughta be smack-dab in the middle of my brain's PROGraded motion! MIKE NIPPER

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