THURSDAY 9/25

MOGWAI, ISIS, COBRA HIGH
(Showbox) See preview, page 33.

UNITED STATE OF ELECTRONICA, THE PARTY OF HELICOPTERS, STADTMILLER
(Vera Project) See Underage, page 47.

PEARLENE, THE FORTIFIED BAND, THE PURRS
(Sunset) Local four-piece the Purrs play delicate rock--the kind that moves at the pace of a Velvet Underground or Luna song and exists in a dreamy, languid state of minimal effects. Their four-song EP is a quiet set of heavy-lidded jangle pop, punctuated by understated male/female harmonies and soft little coos. Co-openers the Fortified Band feature a former member of the Get Down Syndrome, a group that unfortunately disbanded before its time. JENNIFER MAERZ

DEF LEPPARD, RICKY WARWICK
(KeyArena) Def Leppard's classic albums--High 'n' Dry, Pyromania, and Hysteria--hold up much better than their contemporaries' in terms of still sounding as good now as they did then. It's easy to forget that they were still teenagers when their faces were splashed all over Hit Parader and became one of the biggest bands in the world, left to deal with a one-armed-drummer (New Year's Eve mishap) by the time they hit their early 20s. That would be their peak, though, because even though drummer Rick Allen retrained himself to play with one arm, guitarist Steve Clark overdosed, and their fourth record, Adrenalize, was a bummer all the way around. Maybe the show will be as great as the albums still are, though. KATHLEEN WILSON

FRIDAY 9/26

Q AND NOT U, BLACK EYES, ANTELOPE
(Graceland, early) See Stranger Suggests, page 17.

LOCAL H, VISQUEEN, SULLEN
(Graceland, late) See preview, page 31.

INTERPOL, THE STILLS, RATATAT
(Showbox) You could call it Factory Records by osmosis, but Interpol has brought the British rock of the late '80s and early '90s to an influential audience and, oh, well, they just happen to be American. Most will want to compare their sound with Joy Division, but the NYC-based band's full-length debut, Turn On the Bright Lights, fields a wider range of influences and, like the good ones do, Interpol turn that into something which is both informed and exciting at the same time. KATHLEEN WILSON

MARK PICKEREL, DOWNPILOT
(Sunset, early) Besides his stints in the Dark Fantastic, Truly, Screaming Trees, and as the guy who owned the great Rodeo Records in Ellensburg, Mark Pickerel cuts a fine figure in the spotlight. "Dressed to depress and singing songs to inflict sympathy" is his MO (and motto) for the night. KATHLEEN WILSON

THE KILLS, HOLLY GOLIGHTLY, KO & THE KNOCKOUTS
(Crocodile) After all the hype saying that the Kills were super hot and sexy live, it was quite a letdown when their show at Graceland turned out to be almost boring. Playing guitar while staring at someone you purportedly have a romantic relationship with or slinking around the microphone while singing gets a little repetitious after a while, and all of a sudden the songs begin to sound the same as well. Personally, I think Keep on Your Mean Side's swaggering punk is sexier on record than in person. That said, frontwoman VV's body is amazing. KATHLEEN WILSON See also preview, page 29.

TECH N9NE, INSANE CLOWN POSSE, KOTTONMOUTH KINGS, DUB B, BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY
(Seahawks Exhibition Center) Discovered by black Republican and AIDS victim Easy-E, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony changed the whole game and style of rap when they exploded in the mid-'90s. Even father Run, of Run-D.M.C., attempted to revitalize his career by imitating their quick and fundamentally nonsensical flow. The Cincinnati-based group lasted three CDs before going bust at the end of the '90s. These days they do whatever they can to stay alive in the entertainment business; and as it's been a while since they attracted new followers, expect to see sentimental pop fans at this show who have crossed the mid mark of their 20s. CHARLES MUDEDE

SATURDAY 9/27

INTERPOL, THE STILLS, RATATAT
(Showbox) See Friday's listing.

FM KNIVES, THE SPITS, THE INTELLIGENCE
(Sunset) See Stranger Suggests, page 17.

THE RAVEONETTES, STELLASTARR*, KITTENS FOR CHRISTIAN
(Crocodile) See preview, page 29.

THE FIRE THEFT, LAGUARDIA
(Graceland) When the Fire Theft (Nate Mendel, William Goldsmith, and Jeremy Enigk) came to be earlier this year, it seemed that everyone in the country threw up their arms in happiness because some form of Sunny Day Real Estate had returned. Everyone except me, that is. Being only 14 years old when Sunny Day's celebrated Diary was released, I was just beginning to escape from the cruel claws of mainstream R&B. Sunny Day was far from my radar. I was happy, though, when I received the Fire Theft's self-titled debut, finally allowing me a chance to see what all the commotion was about. As soon as the record began, my head started swimming, getting pulled along with all the thick layers of lush sounds, coming and going in dynamic waves. Piano, cello, violin, drums, bass, guitars, and synthesizer sounds intertwined with one another, dancing behind Jeremy Enigk's vocals. The only time I could catch my breath was during the brief moment of silence between songs--otherwise I was swirling between beauty, frustration, happiness, and passion. The first listen, honestly, was exhausting, but amazing. I still don't own a Sunny Day Real Estate record, but you can be damn sure that I'm now throwing my arms up and rejoicing about the Fire Theft too. MEGAN SELING

XIU XIU, 7 YEAR RABBIT CYCLE, GOOD FOR COWS
(Luscious) 7 Year Rabbit Cycle features founding Deerhoof guitarist Rob Fisk and Kelly Goodefisk, a former 'hoof keyboardist. The couple alternated between living in Alaska and San Francisco before settling out in Knoxville, TN, for a while. The migratory nature of this group explains the double duty of this tour, as a trip back to Alaska beckons. Good thing they released a full-length, Animal People (Free Porcupine Society), with their former Owls (not the Kinsella band) collaborators Steve Gigante and Miya Osaki, a lo-fi affair that shared some of the bristling tension that characterized Fisk's guitar contribution to Deerhoof. Genuinely pretty melodies nestle amongst terrifying wilderness shrieks, a mix of eco-terror and Hobbit rock. Prepare for enchantment. Good for Cows features versatile showstopping drummer Ches Smith (Xiu Xiu, Theory of Ruin) and upright-bass player Devon Hoff. The Oakland duo covers Ornette Coleman and does more straightforward originals on the band's self-titled album (Evander Music) when not backing up Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart. GEORGE CHEN

INSTANT WINNER, THOUGHT CRIME, D.E.K., AIDEN
(Hell's Kitchen) As I'm writing this, the four Seattle teens in D.E.K. (Don't Even Know) are sitting on a plane en route to Burbank, California, where the very young, very snotty old-school punk rock quartet will open at T.S.O.L.'s CD-release party. And this won't be the first time the young punkers leave sweat on the same stage as their punk rock heroes have: Just earlier this month, they blew the minds of many in attendance at the sold-out Social Distortion show at the Showbox. I was there in the crowd, and when the boys (who are 14-16 years old) took the stage, a woman next to me hollered out, "They're kids!" almost in disgust. They threw it in her face, though, because for the next 30 minutes, her head didn't stop bobbing along and the smile didn't leave her face. I think she especially liked the closing song, "Captain Pickle," when lead singer Bret Chernoff bravely stage-dived into the hands of the onlookers. MEGAN SELING

SUNDAY 9/28

The Cripples, The Mind, Tractor Sex Fatality, Electric Kisses
(Sunset, early) See Live Wire, page 34.

Garage a Trois, The Bad Plus
(Showbox) Unfortunately, one of this year's most promising new avant-garde collectives has saddled itself with an unappealing name. Despite its pun-drunk moniker, Garage A Trois is no slop-rock slouch. On the group's debut disc, Galactic drummer Stanton Moore, guitarist Charlie Hunter, saxophonist Skerik, and percussionist Mike Dillon concoct riveting instrumental tunes that could make an endless jam session seem like paradise. GAT's similarly singer-free tourmate the Bad Plus attracted attention with its incendiary version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," but that's not its only compelling cover. The jazz trio gets rough with Blondie's "Heart of Glass," shattering the pristine pace and dragging the melody over the jagged shards until it's mutilated. By contrast, it coddles Aphex Twin's "Flim," thawing its icy electronic casing with warm grooves. ANDREW MILLER

THE TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS, THE GRAZE, THE CAROLINES
(Sunset, late show) I'll admit I got into the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players' fan club late--the first time I saw the trio was at Chop Suey during their most recent swing through town. But that doesn't change the fact that next to a Polyphonic Spree show, a performance by the Family is one of the most uplifting pop events I've seen. They're armed with a slide projector; a sassy, cute-as-a-button young daughter-drummer; a mother who sews everyone's outfits and runs the machinery; and a guitarist-keyboardist father whose banter is as clever and funny as his songwriting--there's no way you can watch this threesome and not walk away beaming. JENNIFER MAERZ

Dashboard Confessional, MXPX, Brand New, Vendetta Red
(Seahawks Stadium) Before you write off Brand New as another "screamo" band in the company of Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, and the Used, listen to its new record, Deja Entendu. Sure, the group's current single "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows" fits in perfectly with the late-night MTV2 crowd (it combines some heavy guitar riffs with screaming over a catchy melody), but Deja Entendu offers up much more than that song would suggest. The album is an experiment of different beats, sounds, and musical styles, housing everything from the creepy and calm "Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis" ("If you let me have my way, I swear I'll tear you apart") to the dynamic and bass-heavy "Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades," making Brand New a standout in this year's version of "emo" punk rock. MEGAN SELING

MONDAY 9/29

Joe Henry
(Sunset) See Drunk by Noon, page 39.

KINGS OF LEON, JET
(Graceland) I really don't get the Kings of Leon hype. The band of brothers and a cousin, raised under Pentecostal doctrine, sounds too much like a Counting Crows-style modern rock band to me (better, but still similar). Sure, they play pleasant enough rock, but it's just that: pleasant music that sounds best when it's a little dusty around the edges. I'm more of a fan of Jet, who may not be rewriting the rules of rock but are at least punching them up a bit. The Australian band is a little schizophrenic with styles--one minute they're yelping garage rockers, the next they're Jellyfish or the Jayhawks--but their super catchy debut, Get Born, pulls all the styles together well. JENNIFER MAERZ

TUESDAY 9/30

Pole, Bruno Pronsato and Aaron B., Caro, Thee OutFIt
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker, page 45.

BeneFIt for Alejandro Escovedo feat. Radio Nationals, Evangeline, more
(Tractor) See Drunk by Noon, page 39.

SCOUT NIBLETT, ALASDAIR ROBERTS, BOBBY BIRDMAN
(Showbox Green Room) Scout Niblett is a young, female, mildly eccentric musician. And like every other woman in this less than enviable position, the Nottingham native is nearly universally equated with one Chan Marshall. Which is a shame. Scout Niblett's music is, by comparison, an incredibly confident affair--as clearly evidenced, even in title, by her remarkable sophomore effort I Am. An assurance recalling that of early PJ Harvey--the band before the solo act--an alignment benefited in no small part, I imagine, by the knob-twiddling of Steve Albini. Close your eyes, and it's 1993 all over again--and I can't think of a higher compliment. Niblett is joined by former Appendix Out frontman and current Drag City constituent Alasdair Roberts, and Portland's Bobby Birdman--who recently had the auspicious distinction of having a song hosted in the "lifestyles" section of the Abercrombie & Fitch (!) website. ZAC PENNINGTON

WEDNESDAY 10/1

Ween
(Moore) Sorry to slay another sacred cow here, but someone's gotta say it: Ween must stop. Yeah, I laughed my ass off at that "Hey Fat Boy (Asshole)" song and "Push th' Little Daisies" (both off Pure Guava), but 1994's Chocolate and Cheese and all that followed are the sound of "snarky" being driven into the ground. Yet, it comes! Quebec is out on Rough Trade, and it's more of the same: some cute tunes, and some rockers that are ruined by vocals, and "satire," if you think that a song about Zoloft in 2003 is new and hilarious. God Kill the Ween. KATHLEEN WILSON

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