GRANDMASTER FLASH, MR. SUPREME
(Baltic Room) See The Truth, page 63.
ANDREW BIRD, PETE KREBS, SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME
(Crocodile) See preview, page 57.
LE TIGRE, THE AISLERS SET, KING COBRA
(Showbox) See preview, page 53.
THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN, ENON, GOLD CHAINS
(Graceland) When I first saw Gold Chains perform in San Francisco a year and a half ago, I thought his dirty techno-sleaze shtick was pure entertainment. With a couple booty-shaking dancers, a sampler, and drum machine at his side (and a voice like Colin Quinn), Chains (AKA Topher Lafata) was the gravel-throated king of his own electrotrash castle. Now that the novelty of electrotrash has grown thinner than a pair of faded legwarmers, though, he doesn't seem to be pushing his music to the next level, kicking back in the same lyrical world of "mountains of coke and coochie" parody he busted out in the beginning. Chains does have his fan base, but personally I don't think he takes it far enough--lyrically or musically. This show belongs to Chains' tourmates the Dismemberment Plan, who are holding their last Seattle show tonight. JENNIFER MAERZ
LISA GERMANO, SID HILLMAN
(Tractor) Woody Allen calls them "kamikaze women": the women ever on the collision course, always ready to crash their planes--and ready to crash them right into you. Long before the affected wilt of Chan Marshall, Lisa Germano gave a voice to this tempestuous breed (who, incidentally, I can't seem to avoid)--a heart-tugged, empathic mess of addiction, id, and slight despair. Germano resonates with the sound of diffident acceptance--a sonic Polaroid of a 3:00 a.m. decision to put away that enticing bottle of sleeping pills and just go to bed instead. Geek the Girl--Germano's landmark 1994 record (easily among my favorite albums of that decade)--finds competition with her long-awaited return, another loosely executed concept record titled Lullaby for Liquid Pig. It's sad, sloppy, sort of unhinged, and, like the best of her work, a convincingly bittersweet damnation of humanity's greatest curse--the indelible specter of hope. ZAC PENNINGTON
VERA PROJECT PROM: THE REVOLUTIONARY HYDRA, PRIS, RACETRACK
(Vera Project) See Underage, page 65.
YO LA TENGO, THE CLEAN
(Showbox) I don't usually do this, but if you aren't familiar with New Zealand's the Clean and you like melodic noise, I recommend you rush out and buy the newly released Anthology instead of one of the band's proper titles. You need a crash course because you've been missing out for far too long. David Kilgour? (Perhaps you've heard of the Bats?) Hamish Kilgour? (Perhaps you're familiar with the temperamental Bailter Space?) In this case, what you don't know can hurt you, and tonight's your night to get educated. KATHLEEN WILSON Also see preview, page 51.
AFRO-MYSTIK, J-BOOGIE, RITHMA, JEROMY NAIL
(Chop Suey) Bay Area turntablist J-Boogie blends hiphop beats with dub effects and basslines, which is not that original a concept--producers in New York and Europe have been blending hiphop and dub since the late '80s. But somehow J-Boogie manages to squeeze more pleasure out of this long-used and abused pop concoction. As far as I can tell, he has yet to release a full-length CD, and his most recognized work is on Om Records' popular Om Lounge series. His best track, however, is on BSI's definitive compilation of modern American and European dub, Docking Sequence (2000). The track is called "Gemini Dub," and unlike the tracks on the Om Lounge series, it's heavy, almost militant, and less utopian--which, in most cases, is the kind of life (utopian life) that dubby lounge and downbeat aspires to score. Charles Mudede
VISQUEEN, THE DIVORCE, ALL GIRL SUMMER FUN BAND, THE GIRLS
(Crocodile) Besides being compadres de la música, Visqueen's Kim Warnick and I both share mean cases of social Tourette's, so she'll understand when I say right here in print that goddammit! tonight is my birthday and Visqueen is at the Crocodile and Party Time is at Graceland! I'd been told for weeks that the two were playing TOGETHER on the night that ushers in the last of my 30s (ugh), and now I'll be spending the night all dressed up, trying to decide which of two places to go. Why should you care? You don't have to. That's the curse of social Tourette's. KATHLEEN WILSON
THE DICTATORS, THE FORTY-FIVES, HEAD
(Crocodile) See preview, page 55.
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, CINERAMA, THE ORGAN
(Showbox) See Stranger Suggests, page 31.
EMPTY RECORDS SHOWCASE: THE CATHETERS, SICKO, MIDNIGHT THUNDER EXPRESS, the ROTTEN APPLES, MEA CULPA
(Chop Suey) See Live Wire, page 58.
THE GATHERING (A D&D-THEMED PROM): THE BLOOD BROTHERS, KRMTX, GATSBY'S AMERICAN DREAM, DJ OGRE-MAGI
(Graceland) See Underage, page 65, and Live Wire, page 58.
(Marymoor Park) Call me a geek, but I still loves me some Moody Blues. Theirs is the most gorgeous psychedelia ever to make it onto the pop charts and in my opinion, the album Days of Future Passed is the most palatable mix of rock and classical music ever pressed into vinyl. I swoon over "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon" as primaly now as I did when I was four years old and despite my parent's attempts to shield, the Summer of Love swirled around me at Golden Gate Park. Even then, however, I thought people should get naked in the privacy of their own homes. KATHLEEN WILSON
MARC OLSEN, STEVE TURNER, JESSE SYKES & PHIL WANDSCHER
(Tractor) Tonight marks the official launch for new Seattle indie label Roslyn Recordings with a showcase for its first two releases, Searching for Melody from Mudhoney's Steve Turner and Brighter When from Marc Olsen (co-released on Burn Burn Burn). Both men skillfully show the delicate side of songwriting, singing with acoustic guitars over beautiful melodies in what's been labeled simply as "soft rock." Turner also has a great split with opener Jesse Sykes on Burn Burn Burn that includes my favorite of his songs, "Nothing but the Blues" (also on Melody). A good night for tuning in to the quieter side of songwriting. JENNIFER MAERZ
DOLOUR, THE MINK LUNGS, Crosstide, dakona
(Graceland) See preview, page 57.
MESSENGER GIRLS TRIO, SUNBURNED HAND OF MAN, HERZOG
(Sunset) Comprising two Climax Golden Twins, one Sun City Girl, and a qualified music therapist, the Messenger Girls Trio is actually an all-male quartet whose approach lifts the mythical fog that swamps the men involved to reveal four sweet, gentle balladeers. Their acoustic guitars strum the sorrow of Lebanese divas and croon longingly for luscious tobacco and tall boys of Bud. At times at odds, at times in love, they scale an emotional range the length of their fretboards. Nimble fingerpicked ditties mingle with rattling open-tuned slides to forge paths of shambolic beauty while the players stomp, moan, and groan a backdrop drone. The Girls rarely perform live and their recorded output remains unjustly limited to 207 LPs, so attendance tonight is, like, mandatory. DANIEL MITHA
ALKALINE TRIO, ONE MAN ARMY, THE START
(Graceland) The first time I heard the Alkaline Trio was back in '99 when the song "Cooking Wine" was on a compilation a friend bought me. The comp was a two-disc collection, but of the 40-plus songs, "Cooking Wine" was the only one I would listen to (over and over and over again). A seemingly drunk Matt Skiba pathetically sings, "Sorry I'm late, I was out spoiling my liver/I couldn't wait/The sun was up for far too long today/And I can't see straight/But the two of you look awfully pretty/You're fucking beautiful!" Call me crazy, but I would swoon every time I heard it. The Trio has seen a few changes since inception (two original members, Glenn Porter and Rob Doran, have been replaced by Dan Andriano and Mike Felumlee, respectively), but one thing stays the same: Matt Skiba can write some romantic-in-a-fucked-up-way lyrics. For that, I love him. MEGAN SELING
Turin Brakes, Patrick Park
(Chop Suey) A friend once told me that the only reason purringly minimalist folk music has reached such re-popularity in the UK recently is that the country's been experiencing survivor's guilt over Britpop and wants its citizens to stare at big, powerful piles of old Nick Drake records and pay up for it with low self-worth. But if Travis, Starsailor, Elbow, Lowgold, Kings of Convenience, and the rest of the new acoustic movement have all since spiraled into hyper-sincere self-parody, there was always something effortless to Turin Brakes. The English two-piece's approach to NME indie rock would often mix folk strum with soft linear chord changes and pop colloquialisms about suitcases, like in last March's Ether Song LP, which was balanced and slow-shuffling and somehow produced by Beck's Tony Hoffer. Their music is the kind of thing that'll either translate into rays of California sunshine melting apart Chop Suey like an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or a long, dull night of faceless indie horseshit. Options! Guy Fox
MELT BANANA, NUMBERS, SHOPLIFTING, GODS AMONG MEN
(Crocodile) Do you know what a "spinal headache" is? It's what you get--after exploratory surgery in which a very long needle is guided into the spinal canal so it can be shot full of dye so a radiologist can snap x-rays while the patient (who has been given nothing more than a measly 10 mg. Valium, for god's sake!) hangs from pegs--when you don't heed the doctor's repeated warning that not staying in bed for the following 48 hours can cause spinal fluid to leak, resulting in the most nauseating headache you could ever imagine. Six hours after leaving the hospital for one such exploratory surgery, I was at the Graceland watching Melt Banana tear through the shit because that's how much I love the Japanese noise metal band. They were worth the dreaded "spinal headache," but I'm telling you, I really, really recommend paying attention to doctors' orders. KATHLEEN WILSON
DJ UNKNOWN, KRIS MOON, COLBY
(Chop Suey) Fischerspooner, the performance-art collective for whom DJ Unknown often opens, failed to translate UK-journalist hyperventilation ("The best thing to happen to music since electricity," screamed NME) into impressive album sales. Given that the widely forecast Fischerspooner-led electroclash revolution failed to materialize, one might expect that Unknown would consider his stage name unpleasantly overapt. Actually, he couldn't be happier. Like the similarly monikered Gong Show comic, Unknown wears a paper sack over his head, his personal protest against overhyped superstar spinners. (In a nod to his host band's glitzy image, he dons sunglasses, which hover mysteriously on a brown-paper slate devoid of facial features.) He provides some hipster touchstones--Le Tigre, Devo, and, of course, Fischerspooner--for clubgoers who require familiar funk, but he focuses on breaking obscure artists, a job requirement he argues too many of his DJ peers have abandoned. ANDREW MILLER
TSURUBAMI, PARDONS, KINSKI
(Crocodile) Japanese "soul collective" Acid Mothers Temple are among the few bands operating today that can make you feel as if you're tripping on Owsley's finest LSD and sitting in the Creator's right hand. Whether in mellow troubadours-from-another-heavenly-world mode, freaking out like Blue Cheer on steroids, bringing swarming guitars to Terry Riley's minimalist classic In C, or getting gloriously lost in Ash Ra Tempel-like guitar labyrinths, AMT always keep it surreal. For this four-date American tour, AMT mastermind Kawabata Makoto has decided to divide his troupe into two offshoots in order to spread his brain-bombing gospel. He, bassist Hiroshi Higashi, and drummer Emi Nobuko will perform as Tsurubami, while Hiroshi and nutty synth player Cotton Casino comprise Pardons. Local quartet Kinski set the scene with their robust, combustible space rock, which they've been honing on recent triumphant tours of America and Japan. DAVE SEGAL
THE BLANK-ITS, THE STELLAS, DJ KEN DIRTNAP
(Zak's) See Stranger Suggests, page 31.
2003 DMC AMERICAN BATTLEGROUND NW REGIONAL DJ COMPETITION W/DJ SCENE
(Chop Suey) The only competition that actually means a damn in hiphop is the DMC DJ competition, which begins with local DJs battling each other to determine who is technically superior and who has the best command of his or her equipment and records. Once this is determined, the winner moves to the next, larger stage of the competition. For but a moment, allow me this brief reverie: There is nothing more beautiful than a man or woman standing behind two rotating turntables, scratching and preparing records for a continuous mix, listening through a pair of thick Sony professional earphones for the cues, the patterns, the precise beat speeds. It's all so marvelous! Tonight, the one who can do this best (mix and cut) in our region moves to the next round--a higher level where the best DJs battle the best DJs. CHARLES MUDEDE
JETS TO BRAZIL, JOHN VANDERSLICE, WHYSALL LANE
(Graceland) Let's just get this out of the way: Jawbreaker was totally awesome. I love, love, love that band, and singer/guitarist Blake Schwarzenbach. After Jawbreaker was all done, Schwarzenbach went on to (among other things) form Jets to Brazil. Since he was joined by former Texas Is the Reason drummer Chris Daly and former Handsome singer/guitarist Jeremy Chatelain, you'd think Jets to Brazil would totally kick ass, right? Well, they kind of don't. It seems the members have grown out of their anger and calmed down a bit. Good for them, bummer for their songs. JtB's latest release, 2002's Perfecting Loneliness, contains quiet pianos, slide guitar, gently sung lyrics, and sad strings. For a lonely summer road trip, it might be the perfect company. Because I love Jawbreaker and Schwarzenbach so much, this show is still practically irresistible, so I'll be there--as a Jawbreaker fan, though, more than a Jets to Brazil fan. But you know, I hated Bivouac when I first heard it too. MEGAN SELING