CALVIN JOHNSON & THE SONS OF THE SOIL, SUGARBUSH
(Vera Project) Meant as a one-off West Coast tour, the Sons of the Soil features K Records mafia members Kyle "Little Wings" Field, Jason "Wolf Colonel" Anderson, and Adam "Yume Bitsu/[[[[VVRSSNN]]]]" Forkner, in what Calvin calls "a Calvin Johnson cover band... with Calvin Johnson." It's 20 years of the Calvin Johnson songbook (meaning Beat Happening, Halo Benders, Dub Narcotic Sound System, and--god willing--Go Team), explored for the first (and possibly last) time in years. Get in. ZAC PENNINGTON
SAVOY BROWN FEATURING KIM SIMMONDS, CLARENCE BUCARO
(Tractor Tavern) Okay, it don't get much better than this. Sure it ain't the original Savoy Brown lineup, but hell, they still rock your socks off. Plus, they've been rotating members for as long as they've been around, and at least Kim Simmonds is still leading the group. How much needs to be said about this legendary '60s/'70s blues-boogie rock band whose albums Getting to the Point and Raw Sienna still are talked about by new fans and old geezers alike? Some will stay away, since these boys are 30-plus years past their prime, but here's your chance to witness the magic up close and personal. WILLIE CRANE
JOAN ARMATRADING, KIM RICHEY
(Pier 62/63) Everyone has had a Joan Armatrading moment at some point in his or her life. If you're still an Armatrading virgin, be assured that you, too, will hear "Down to Zero," "Love and Affection," or "The Weakness in Me" at the perfect moment, and your highwater/backpack emo kids can't top her knowledge of conflicted heartache. Pick up her remastered Greatest Hits album to hear all three songs in one pop, because some of the other songs on the rest of her records aren't so good. KATHLEEN WILSON
DJ CHEB I SABBAH
(Sonic Boom, Capitol Hill) DJ Cheb I Sabbah is one of the few truly interesting producers and mixers of a form of music that has essentially no form or specific geography. Its beats are usually borrowed from urban black American music, its bass lines from Jamaican dub, its melodies and harmonies from Indian and Western classical music, its sonic effects from European techno. Unlike Talvin Singh, who was the leader of this type of music five or so years ago, DJ Cheb I Sabbah does not completely electrify the traditional Asian and Arabian songs he re-produces; much of the original instruments, vocals, and overall sound remains intact, without a hint of what has been added or combined. The changes, however, are there, but so well embedded in the song that it's hard to tell what is new and what is old. CHARLES MUDEDE
POST STARDOM DEPRESSION, BLACK PANTIES, CHINATOWN
(Crocodile) Former Kinski drummer David Weeks, bassist Brian Burnside (XXX Audio, the Bali Girls), guitarist Andrew McKeag (Shuggie), and frontman Oliver Little (the Bali Girls) come together in the Black Panties, a band that had its first outing in Ballard a few weeks back. They sound primed for the Estrus catalog--the kind of rock that can barely keep its pants zipped long enough for a sound check before ripping into a bloozy hard-rock ruckus in which every step is a strut and every riff rumbles in a heavy, early ZZ Top sorta way. The extra feedback and extended instrumental passages only add to the psychedelic overtones on the demo they passed my way; they speed along a Zen Guerrilla-planted path of desert rock in a cloud of mood-altering smoke. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE SUPER POWERS, THE RUBY TUESDAYS, THE KWABS, THE SPEEDLES, SGT. MAJOR, THE SHOCKER, SHESUS, TRANSMITTA OLVIDO
(Sunset) Here's a fab idea--let's celebrate our national liberation by throwing a party where half the day is dedicated to the British Invasion (a tribute band called the Super Powers, featuring Martin Feveyear, Rusty Urie, Kurt Bloch, Nabil Ayers, and Jim Sangster, headlines; Sgt. Major, the Kwabs, and the Ruby Tuesday play also), and the other half to foisting tired old Jennifer Finch of L7's new band the Shocker on us proud Americans. If this sounds like a non-endorsement of the evening, be assured it's not (except for the J. F. part). Shesus, featuring members of Guided by Voices and Brainiac, and Transmitta Olvido round out the "all day and all of the night" blowout. KATHLEEN WILSON
LOVECRAFT TECHNOLOGIES FEATURING DJ PRINCE CHARMING AND BURNINGHEARTS GO GO GIRLS
(Rendezvous) See preview, page 47.
UNIDA, DIXIE WITCH, CAMAROSMITH, ARGONAUT
(Crocodile) See preview, page 45.
BEANS, SIENTIFIC AMERICAN, BUMBLEBEE
(Baltic Room) See preview, page 43.
BY A THREAD, BLUE MONDAY, THE NOVEMBER GROUP, THE PHYSICAL CHALLENGE, TO SEE YOU BROKEN
(Studio Seven) Go to this show. No, I mean it. If you support Seattle's hardcore scene, this is something you really shouldn't miss--not only does it boast a fantastic group of fantastic bands, it's also a benefit for NWhardcore.com. Just take a look at this stellar lineup. To See You Broken open--I just caught their set a few weeks back when they opened for Champion, and those girls are sounding better than ever, finding a strong sound and sticking to it. And the November Group? Those dudes (I've said nine millions times before) are seriously good at the more experimental, drum-heavy hardcore sound. And with By A Thread headlining, this is verging on too much of a good thing. BAT's melodic rock fury (yes, that's what I said) is going to tear down the house! If anyone ever needed proof that not all hardcore sounds the same ('cause, uh, it doesn't), this varied lineup is gonna prove it. MEGAN SELING Also see Underage, page 53.
STAGGER LEE, I CAN LICK ANY SONOFABITCH IN THE HOUSE, MEMPHIS RADIO KINGS
(Tractor) Stagger Lee are the kind of band most rock 'n' roll followers in this city already know about, but they still seem to exist under the radar despite top-notch songwriting and performance skills. Think shaggy longhairs and tight jeans. Think bottles of red wine and a couple of joints, scattered around a room cluttered with old Stones and Skynyrd records. Think easy summertime rock that replaces macho bravado with a softer side of the '70s sensibility--one that rocks without having to scream about it. Stagger Lee are one of Seattle's best tributes to the groundwork laid by Mick and company, and they're a damn good live band to boot. JENNIFER MAERZ
(Gorge Amphitheater) Another year, another Warped Tour, and another summer spent listening to kids arguing about who's punk and who's not ("Dude, I am too punk, I was listening to Green Day in 1995!"). My advice to all those in attendance: Give up the act. Warped Tour stopped being about punk rock a long time ago (one of the many sponsors is Kraft Easy Mac, for chrissakes). Warped Tour is about fun. Mohawks will be there. White-hat frat boys will be there. Girls in halter and/or tube tops will be there. Girls who don't find it necessary to "dress to impress" will be there. Rancid will be there. Local boys Vendetta Red will be there. Andrew W. K., Pennywise, Face to Face, Glassjaw, Less Than Jake, Simple Plan, Suicide Machines, Taking Back Sunday, the Ataris, the Used... they're all gonna be there. Stop giving a shit about whether or not you're cooler than the kid next to you and start partying. MEGAN SELING
RUKUS, RUN ON ANYTHING, THE ENVY, COMMON HEROES, MECHANICAL DOLLS
(Graceland) I was all set to see the Mechanical Dolls for the first time when they played at the Fremont Fair a few weeks back, but instead I got trapped in a massive crowd of patchouli. This time I'll find out firsthand if the all-girl punk rock trio, whose members' average age may or may not allow them to legally drive, really does have an impressive live show like I've been told. Despite the fact that they probably weren't yet conceived when many of their '70s and '80s snot-punk and rock influences (think AC/DC and the Runaways) were makin' records, these girls are good! MP3s are available on their website and I highly suggest you at least download song one, "Got Nothin'," because that's all it will take to convince you that you cannot be late to tonight's show. MEGAN SELING
THE VANDERMARK 5
(Tractor) Led by reed-master Ken Vandermark, the Chicago-based V5 have been introducing the world to their brand of skronk and chunky avant-jazz since the mid-'90s, becoming one of the most respected acts on the creative improvisational front. With Jeb Bishop (trombone), Dave Rempis (saxophone), Kent Kessler (bass), and new recruit Tim Daisy (drums), the group rides somewhere between the explosiveness of Ornette Coleman and the more civilized Blue Note recordings of Jackie McLean. At home on Atavistic, the group has just released its sixth album, Airports for Light, and it purposefully tosses out leisurely noir along more full-frontal improv assaults and can just as easily rock the party like a juke-joint R&B combo. Each track is dedicated to greats ranging from painter Gerard Richter to soul stylist Curtis Mayfield, and they fail to fall into mere imitative praise, instead establishing their own nonlinear way of expressing gratitude. Witnessing the group travel the spaceways and delivering these messages live will undoubtedly free your mind, and who knows what will follow. JON PRUETT
MIRAH, DEAR NORA, NOMY LAMM, SINI ANDERSON, RIGAMORTIS
(Vera Project) Nomy Lamm is one of the few performers around who has consistently transformed sparkling eye shadow and feather boas into political objects. The Olympia singer/drama queen/writer (now transplanted to Chicago) is touring with a live version of her latest record, Effigy (Yoyo), a sleek collection of accordion- and keyboard-based tunes that may have the distinct honor of being the glossiest dance-pop record ever produced in Olympia. The Effigy show involves Lamm assuming the role of pop diva (complete with headset mic!), while her co-performers, including Sister Spit's Sini Anderson (who co-directed), rapper Rigamortis, and baton twirler Laurel Kirtz, create a synchronized array of chaos and make hash of gender roles. If you're a manly man, come prepared to have all your conceptions about female sexuality upended; if you're a girly girl, wear your best glitter and glitz and shake it. If you're somewhere in between, then consider yourself Lamm's target audience. TIZZY ASHER
K.I.T. (KEEP IN TOUCH), DOPPELGÄNGER YELLOW SWANS, KISSKISSKISS, GUESTS
(CoCA) See Live Wire, page 48.
KOUFAX, KAITO, IRVING
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests, page 28.
BRAND NEW, THE BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE, SENSES FAIL, MONEEN
(Graceland) Whenever a package from Vagrant Records comes to The Stranger, chances are it'll end up on my desk, as I have a weak spot for many Vagrant bands (old Get Up Kids, Face to Face, and Reggie and the Full Effect, for example). Sure enough, when Vagrant sent the new Moneen disc, Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now?, it was handed over to me. The packaging was dark, covered with images of morbid moths and that gothicy-lookin' script--it looked like it was going to be the most despondent record I ever heard. But it is my job, after all, to listen to CDs and offer an opinion, so when I finally played the disc, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I didn't want to die after it was over. In fact, it was the opposite. The whole album, creepy layout design be damned, is more about accepting that shit happens, dealing with said shit, and then rocking out Vagrant-style in celebration that you got through it and you're still alive to remember. I like it. MEGAN SELING
PALOALTO, WHITE LIGHT MOTORCADE, living things
(Crocodile) Landing somewhere between bland Brit-pop and catchy glam rock, New York's White Light Motorcade parade out a stream of flashy, radio-friendly jams that sound tailor-made for consumption by the commercial masses without having much lasting flavor of their own. While songs like "It's Happening" and "My Way" are the kinds of anthems you curse yourself for singing along with in the car (and can imagine just the sort of high kicks and flashy stage tricks that would accompany them), the pass-the-crackers-for-this-cheese ballads like "All Gone Again" remind you that these guys aim for old Radiohead/Oasis, but often make it closer to Matchbox Twenty. JENNIFER MAERZ
AVERAGE WHITE BAND
(Jazz Alley) Average White Band is one of the wonders of the postmodern world. The Scottish band formed in the early '70s to play some serious soul. Not Euro soul, or average pop soul, or the whitened soul of bands like Simply Red, AWB made the real thing--black American soul. The imitation was so good that it wasn't imitation anymore, and they had considerable success on the American R&B charts of the '70s. During the late '80s, AWB's songs were sampled almost as frequently as James Brown and Parliament. From Too Short to Eric B. and Rakim, the Average White Band was lavishly looped. CHARLES MUDEDE