(Baltic Room) The kids at Double Trouble are throwing a monthly party at the Baltic Room, and tonight's the kickoff. So when you're done getting drunk with your blood relatives, get trashed with another kind of family, while DJ Master Stan (Hannah from the Chromatics) and Fig 1 spin punk, indie rock, and old-school hiphop. JENNIFER MAERZ
HELIO SEQUENCE, THE STANDARD, TREASURE STATE
(I-Spy) See Stranger Suggests, page 17.
SUPERSUCKERS, THROW RAG
(Crocodile) I have to thank the Supersuckers for introducing me to "The Cowboy Song," the best Thin Lizzy ballad ever--a tune about a lonesome man on his horse who misses his woman. And while the whole cowpunk thing can get tired with other bands, I still love all the Supersuckers songs about devils, drugs, and (of course) cowboys. The band proudly admits they're doing this tour with no new record to show, but their back catalog is good enough for me. Opening the set is Throw Rag, a band that (Kathleen Wilson would like me to add) included a trumpeter sticking his instrument down the backside of his pants at a recent Graceland show, giving new meaning to the word "butt trumpet." JENNIFER MAERZ
RICHARD BUCKNER, KATHLEEN EDWARDS
(Sunset) Richard Buckner, a tattered and deeply troubled troubadour, has been blown by some mighty dark winds since his 1994 debut release, Bloomed. On his 1997 major-label offering, Devotion & Doubt, he used his peculiar, haunting voice to tell us what a human heart might sound like if a woman who just didn't give a damn anymore dragged it behind a pickup truck. Then in 2000, back on a smaller and undoubtedly more understanding label, he released The Hill, a chilling oddity in which Buckner set passages from the poet Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology to music. Who else but Buckner--with that incomparable, rattling, swooping instrument--could give such moving voice to the dead? But apparently even the spooks get lonely and long for some human warmth. His most recent CD, Impasse (made with only the backing of his wife, Penny Jo), is uncharacteristically luminous, layered and suffused with light. Mr. Despair even hauls out a keyboard, if you can believe that! It's a lovely and heartfelt work, and if we're lucky, he'll let loose with some of that happy hillbilly magic and show us that even a sad, old dog like Buckner can wag his tail every now and then. TAMARA PARIS
DEAD MOON, THE INTELLIGENCE
(Graceland) You'd expect Kelly Osbourne to be wearing a Dead Moon T-shirt by now: A dark, sleazy, great Portland cult band with history stretching from here back to wherever, they've got killer hooks, primordial ooze unmatched this side of the Cramps, and a frontman (Fred Cole) who's even craggier than Dad; you'd think someone would have had a word. Dead Moon have reduced rock to its vital components (a wavering, guttural voice, chilling lyrics, black nail varnish, and voodoo guitar) and continue to do so in their 15th year, with a force and sleazoid charm that belies their age. Like a rediscovered bottle of dusty old Jack, the vintage only improves with the passing of time. Come dressed to thrill. EVERETT TRUE
BECK, FLAMING LIPS
(Benaroya Hall) See preview, page 33.
VOYAGER ONE, POSEUR, SAETA, WONDERFUL
(Sit & Spin) See preview, page 32.
PEDRO THE LION, SELDOM, OWN
PEDRO THE LION, SELDOM, SCIENTIFIC
(Crocodile, late) I haven't seen Pedro the Lion since their Sonic Boom in-store appearance way back in April. They were celebrating the release of their then-new album, Control, and they sounded as good as they ever had, creating songs perfect for the cold, rainy spring nights. But not long after that show, the bright summer sun began to warm everything up, and I kind of forgot about them (sorry for that, guys). It's just too weird for me to listen to that band when the sun's shining and the air is warm enough to go sans jacket. But now that all the leaves have fallen, the fog is starting to settle in for a long Seattle winter, and we're forced into sweaters for the next four to five months, I'm ready to embrace Pedro the Lion with wide-open arms. Come home to mama, boys, it's gonna be a long winter. MEGAN SELING
QWEL W/MEATY OGRE, OFFWHYTE W/DR. JONES, PLAN B, SWEATSHOP UNION, McENROE, DJ RISK, ABSYNTH
(Fremont UNconventional Centre) The Fremont UNconventional Centre deserves praise. It is the second best thing in its utopian neighborhood (the first is Adobe's world-famous suicide parking lot, which is beneath the Aurora bridge), and it's perfect for large music and art extravaganzas of this kind. The only performer I'm familiar with at this particular FUNC event is Plan B, who makes watery, pretty, introspective b-boy beats. So I recommend going in order to see Plan B, and also to check out the FUNC space. I wish there were more such venues in the city. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Showbox) "Tainted Love," a formerly obscure soul song, became one of the most endurable synth-driven tunes in the '80s--and it remains popular this year. Those who were willing to check out the entire album, 1981's Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, no doubt found something worth keeping, whether or not they listen to it anymore. (I still have my copy on cassette.) "Sex Dwarf" is sleazy and itchy, and the pretty "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" still gets stuck in my head from time to time. The albums that came after--before it all ended in 1984--stank up the joint, especially the one that had the medley of Hendrix tunes. Singer Marc Almond had a solo revival a few years ago, but it was too fey for my tastes. (Fey? It was all fey, for chrissakes!) Regardless, I'm intrigued enough by my memories of the first album to check out this revisitation of an otherwise crappy era. KATHLEEN WILSON
THE MEXICAN BLACKBIRDS, THE STUCK-UPS
(Monkey Pub) You can keep your emaciated, slim-hipped "garage-rawk" boys, with their feathered hair and flawless jaw lines. If that automatically equaled "rock" for me, I'd be listening to David fucking Cassidy. If you want somebody who sings from the gut, you'd better get somebody with guts to sing from. The Mexican Blackbirds' lead singer, Chris Trashcan, is a big man with a big voice and more stage presence than 90 percent of this town's singers, while the Blackbirds' rhythm section is savage enough to compete for your attention. Headlining are the Stuck-Ups, whose inescapably catchy spazz-punk you already know about if you've been paying any attention at all. Finally, the show is at the Monkey Pub--the sinful rarity of the space's live shows is most likely a precaution against the raw energy of events like this provoking an all-out war with the gawd-awful frat-boy bar across the street. BILL BULLOCKSUNDAY 12/1
PLAYING ENEMY, HARKONEN
(Graceland) See preview, page 34.
(KeyArena) On the song "Ova Here," veteran hiphopper KRS-One raps: "Yo, Nelly! You ain't fo' real and you ain't universal/Your whole style sounds like a *NSYNC commercial.... Let these bitch-ass rappers know we in here/Go to the shows, and boo 'em offstage/Tell 'em KRS told you they at the end of they days/Let me tell you let's give hiphop a lift/And don't buy Nelly's album on June 25th/That'll send a message to all them sellouts/House fag rapper, your bottom done fell out." Again and again, in rap music and books (Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice, for example), the figure of the "house fag" haunts the heterosexual black male psyche. Indeed, of all the things that could humiliate a black man (premature ejaculation, unemployment, someone stepping on a pair of brand-new shoes and not apologizing), being anally penetrated by a white man seems to be the worst. CHARLES MUDEDE
LOOP LOOP FEATURING LAZY DOG
(Chop Suey) See Speaker Freak, page 39.
SECOND ANNUAL GUITAR TOSS
(Sunset) I'm not quite sure what this is all about, but I know it involves a shitload of today's and yesterday's best guitar-slingers--including the Believers, Larry Barrett, Robb Benson, Kurt Bloch, Jim Sangster, Carmela, Mia Boyle, Earl Brooks, Billy Joe Huels, Phil Hurley, Jon Hyde, Dawn Jewell, Grant Johnson, Andrew McKeag, Jason Staczek, Marc Olsen, John Ramberg, Johnny Sangster, John Shaw, Britt Jamgochian, Jesse Sykes, Jeff Taylor, Laura Veirs, John Von Feldt, Phil Wandscher, Rusty Willoughby, Sheryl Wiser, and Jen Wood (or what ever moniker she's going with these days). KATHLEEN WILSON
DISCO: A DECADE OF SATURDAY NIGHTS
For those interested in disco, polyester pantsuits, and the origins of the dance club, the EMP has put together a cultural history that runs now through the end of May. Titled "Disco: A Decade of Saturday Nights," the exhibit is an eclectic collection of Andy Warhol photographs, descriptions of the house parties and gay politics that launched the Studio 54 lifestyle, and video footage of the great disco demolition in Chicago's Comiskey Park (the event used as a benchmark for the end of the disco era). The large display room--which includes a miniature dance floor--also shows how the genre developed into an identifiable sound and how that sound has bled into other genres, from rock to hiphop. Although hearing the word "disco" gives me icky flashbacks of teenagers in line for places like Polly Esther's, it's interesting to see the basement origins of what became such a lifestyle of excess, and how the music--like so many other genres--got co-opted to promote products like gum and lunch boxes. JENNIFER MAERZ