THURSDAY 9/18


McCOY TYNER TRIO
(Jazz Alley) McCoy Tyner was the pianist for the classic John Coltrane Quartet (Coltrane, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison) that in 1964 gave us the American monument that is A Love Supreme. During this peak period of modern jazz, Tyner's piano playing was (and still is) invariably described as percussive and expressive, but it's also elegant and intellectual. An example of Tyner's elegance can be found on Coltrane's most famous work, his version of "My Favorite Things," which has a piano solo that's beautiful like an autumn in New York. An example of his profound intellectualism can be found on Coltrane's Africa, particularly the first take. Though Tyner has had a substantial career after Coltrane, it's hard for me to give it the same passion that I have for the years he spent with the greatest quartet of the modern jazz period. CHARLES MUDEDE

VERONA, THE SENATE ARCADE, FALL OF TROY, DIOS
(Graceland) There are more than a few bands in this town whose musicianship or charisma makes up for a singer's less than enthralling vocals. Then there are those whose uninteresting musicianship is the showcase for a talented singer. In Verona, not only are the songs well executed and arresting, but vocalist Kyle Logghe's voice is beautiful, wide of range, and full of passion--and never cheesy. And he's a nice guy, to boot. KATHLEEN WILSON

FRIDAY 9/19


TEEN CTHULHU, AKIMBO, WORMWOOD, IRON LUNG, NIGEL PEPPERCOCK
(Vera Project) See Stranger Suggests, page 25, and Live Wire, page 49.

ROSIE THOMAS, ROCKY VOTOLATO, GUEST
(Old Fire House) On her stunner of a second album, Only with Laughter Can You Win, Rosie Thomas again shows that gestures needn't be grand to be powerful. In some ways, her indie-folk sound has a lot in common with close pal and periodic collaborator Damien Jurado's--tender acoustic guitars and piano, gently tapped drums, and whispers of violin, cello, organ, and glockenspiel fashioned into arrangements as modest as a Quaker living. But whereas Jurado, Carver-like, seeks truths by telling the stories of others, Thomas quietly reveals her own self-doubts and foibles while searching for elusive answers. Yet her sanguine faith is present as well, both in the possibility of true love ("Let Myself Fall," "All My Life") and the idea that tomorrow just might be better than today ("Gradually"). Let Rosie break your heart, then put it back together again. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG See also Underage, page 59.

RABID DOGS, MEA CULPA, THE AUTHORITIES
(Monkey Pub) Not every punk can be a lyrical Bob Dylan, and there are few things more frustrating than listening to a so-called political band regurgitate tired party lines with the conviction of an actor selling cleaning supplies on television. There's enough shit happening politically now that it shouldn't be much of a stretch to think of clever ways to criticize the ruling class, but anyone still seeking inspiration should look no further than Seattle's (smartly) socially conscious punks, Mea Culpa. The band, who often get compared to Stiff Little Fingers and the Clash, back the conviction of their words with the muscle of their music, which is packed with gruff, chant-heavy melodies (fronted by frequent Stranger contributor Bill Bullock) that are just as catchy and creative as their lyrics. JENNIFER MAERZ

PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES, VISQUEEN, THE RED LIGHT STING
(Showbox) When it comes to The New Romance, those already sold on Pretty Girls Make Graves have nothing to worry about. Everything an enthusiast could love about the Seattle quintet is accounted for on the band's second full-length release--anthemic sing-along moments garner strength around angular guitar sounds, while experimental laptop noises add an extra layer of texture to the blissful buildup. With Romance, though, lead singer Andrea Zollo finally showcases an element of her abilities previously unused. The frontwoman has already proven that she can yell and scream as well as (or better than) any other frustrated rock singer, but on Romance, Pretty Girls also make space to slow down everything but the intensity, allowing Zollo to round out the fullness of her voice. Their sophomore album is a job (very) well done for Pretty Girls Make Graves, but it also makes apparent that this is only the beginning of something even greater to come. MEGAN SELING

SATURDAY 9/20


NORMA JEAN, THE AGONY SCENE, FIGURE FOUR, BELOVED, EMERY
(Old Fire House) See Underage, page 59.

THE CLIENTELE, DESTROYER, ROGUE WAVE, DJVH
(Graceland) See preview, page 43.

EVAN DANDO, CONSONANT, MIKE JOHNSON
(Chop Suey) Though Evan Dando's last swing through Chop Suey made a lot of back-in-the-day college-radio fans happier than they've been in years, I doubt it will be the same vibe this time given that Dando's bound to be playing songs off his not-so-good new album, Baby I'm Bored. Hopefully he'll have shaved, at least. Despite its excellent title, Consonant's new album, Love and Affliction, falls into the not-so-good category, too. Clint Conley (Mission of Burma), Chris Brokaw (Codeine, Come), Matt Kadane (Bedhead, the New Year), and Winston Braman (Fuzzy) should add up to more than the monotony of this uninspired-sounding album, which certainly doesn't reach the cheery heights of their self-titled debut. Despite the star power of the bill, Mike Johnson just may be the night's sleeper, given his ability to evoke "been there too, buddy" reactions with his smoky croon and subtle expansiveness. KATHLEEN WILSON

DISPLAY, SLEETMUTE/NIGHTMUTE, SHOPLIFTING
(Vera Project) Once the gala ball meant to celebrate the long-awaited release of Display's debut album, this show--reduced only in its historical importance--remains as a tribute to the stature of this criminally overlooked local trio. Production issues notwithstanding, when the aforementioned record (and god, is it good) drops, any existing questions will be laid waste. Coupling Display's cement-thick brand of deft and thoughtful punk are two of our region's clearest reasons for living: Seattle's sinewy politicians Shoplifting, and the world's greatest band ever, Portland's Sleetmute/Nightmute. ZAC PENNINGTON

ZZ TOP, TED NUGENT
(Gorge) Aside from Gene Simmons, I can't think of a musician whose political views and personality traits are more repugnant than Ted Nugent. He's a belligerent, conservative Republican with a fondness for bow hunting and racial slurs. Even stranger, he's adamantly opposed to any form of alcohol or drug use, a combination of perspectives that renders him stupid, dangerous, AND boring. As completely inane as that may be, every single time I hear the opening chords of "Cat Scratch Fever" or the chorus of "Free-for-All," I am instantly gleeful and completely oblivious to his less attractive qualities. That inexplicable contradiction is testimony to the enduring worth of the Motor City Moron and almost a legitimate reason to don your own loincloth and head out to the "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers Tour." If you need further convincing, consider the fact that ZZ Top is one of the few classic rock bands still touring with its original lineup, including always-spot-on drummer Frank Beard. HANNAH LEVIN

Sunday 9/21


Walkabouts, Marc Olsen, Larry Barrett
(Crocodile) See preview, page 47.

Laura Veirs, Noe Venable Trio, Karl Blau
(Department of Safety) Laura Veirs is a talented local singer/songwriter. Noe Venable is a talented singer/songwriter from Los Angeles (her work is featured in the underrated film Cherish). But for my money, the reason to see this show is Mr. Karl Blau, one of Anacortes' finest singer/songwriters. Blau's songs are folky--pastoral and gentle, with a bit of Nick Drake's deep soul sadness and a hint of Neutral Milk Hotel's propensity for exploding, trumpet-like, into uncharted emotional waters. Still and all, Blau's most recent record, Clothes Your I's (Knw-Yr-Own), puts the lie to these comparisons, proving that an original is an original, no matter who he might remind you of. SEAN NELSON

Monday 9/22


SUMMER AT SHATTER CREEK
(Green Room) Craig Gurwich, the lone songwriter who comprises Los Angeles' Summer at Shatter Creek, paints in thin strokes his narrowed impressions of the last 40 years or so of pop songcraft, churning out visions of subdued simplicity that marry a lot of the tip-of-the-iceberg historical pop figures (Wilson, McCartney, Argent) with a straightforward indie-pop sensibility. Despite what is so often a formula for mediocrity, Gurwich's pop (as witnessed on his most recent, self-titled effort on Absolutely Kosher Records) is full of transcendent moments--the best of which nearly aligns itself with the subtle brilliance of a master songsman like Joe Pernice. EDITH WONG

Tuesday 9/23


The Sisterhood of Convoluted Thinkers
(Sonic Boom, Capitol Hill) See Stranger Suggests, page 25.

Calexico, The Frames
(Graceland) Everyone knows how wonderfully talented Calexico is, but I wanted to put in a word for the openers. The Frames remind me of an older Bright Eyes--same kind of lyrics and style, but less angst and more crescendo. The EP Fake is full of frustration, but pulls back almost poetically before snarling it all up again, then throws in a beautiful weeper at the end. The band should sound pretty great live. KATHLEEN WILSON

The Long Winters, Centro-Matic
(Tractor) The only way you could avoid the Long Winters in this town is by immersing yourself in a stainless-steel casket at the bottom of the Duwamish River--and even there, someone would probably find you to tell you how great John Roderick is. The overlooked gem on this bill is Centro-matic, a Denton, Texas combo that specializes in heart-on-the-sleeve sentimentalism and sprawling, country-tinged sadness. Prolific singer/songwriter Will Johnson croons about nothing much in particular on the band's recent record, Love You Just the Same (Misra), his rough croon sliding over tinkling pianos and nebulous guitar. The rumor is that Centro-matic put on a consistently fantastic live show, and that Johnson is a compelling stage presence. Arriving late for this show may seem fashionably in tune with the local scene, but those who get there early may get the true reward. TIZZY ASHER

Wednesday 9/24


Rooney, The Sounds, Palo Alto
(Studio Seven) See Some Candy Talking, page 76.

Ted Leo (solo), The Lashes, The Quails, Radio Berlin
(Graceland) See preview, page 47.

Tribute to Johnny Cash w/Eddie Spaghetti, Jesse Sykes, Larry Barrett, Blue Spark, the Cappilaries, Radio Nationals, Huge Spacebird, more
(Sunset) See preview, page 45.

PEARLENE, THE FORTIFIED BAND, THE PURRS
(Sunset) The blues go together with rock 'n' roll like a big back porch and cold cooler stacked with beer. But with everyone and his or her two-dollar-guitar-playing brother jumping on the Mississippi Fred McDowell bandwagon--and another generation of second-rate Eric Clapton types heading your way--it's easy to put up your guard. With Pearlene, though, I recommend releasing that guard completely. The Covington, Kentucky band is at times like the slower moments of the Immortal Lee County Killers II and at times like the woozy, bloozy side of the Stones. But then they'll sweat it up and trip it out like Zen Guerrilla, working themselves into a frenzy of swampy goodness. The trio started out on Sympathy for the Record Industry, but their new Dim Mak release, Murder Blues and Prayer, accents some solid rock 'n' blues rhythms with harmonica, standup bass, and piano (thanks to some help from their friends the Soledad Brothers), making for a full-sounding, energetic record that's as thick with anticipation as a slow seduction on a hot Southern night. JENNIFER MAERZ

Manitoba, Dabrye, Sientific American (live P.A.)
(Chop Suey) I once made a papier-mâché voodoo man with an IDM T-shirt that said "Be a Sport, Give Nerd-Blessed Glitch-Funk a Chance" on the front, and I'd throw darts at it when I was having an off night. But I like people like Manitoba because he's one of the few producers of ours who look at boringly chopped-up electronic genre clichés and rip the centers of them out to make room for humor and pop music. Ahoy, flute-streaked '60s pastiche, drum-scattering xylophone attacks, and speed-garage sub-bass! The video for "Jacknuggeted" features sad-looking golfball heads with scarfs in a forest. Finally. Guy Fawkes See also Data Breaker, page 57.

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