THURSDAY 8/19

DELUSIONS, VOYAGER ONE, BUGS IN AMBER
(Crocodile) If you're broke and you can only afford to go out once this week, tonight's show definitely offers the most value for your hard-earned cash. The Delusions have refined their sunny, harmony-laden pop opening for Northwest heroes Built To Spill (yes, that was a gratuitous celebrity endorsement -- and they've earned it). Voyager One continue to mesmerize with their ethereal, hypnotic, out-of-this-world space-pop. And up-and-comers Bugs In Amber are destined for greatness -- their orchestrally-augmented take on emo-pop is both refreshing and genuinely affecting. -- Barbara Mitchell

POLECAT
(Sit & Spin) Polecat are definitely a band to watch. Their debut album, 40hz, packs the emotional wallop and intensity of similarly inclined, emo-friendly, punk-inspired bands like Juno: Melodic, occasionally dissonant, always compelling and slightly unsettling, it's not for the faint of heart -- or ears. How a band can stir up such a racket and still come off as essentially wounded -- and even fragile, at times -- is a riotously beautiful mystery. -- BM

GENERATOR, LOUDERMILK
(Showbox) If you're sick to death of hearing about the resurgence of rock, tonight's show might make you a believer again. Both Generator and Loudermilk are accessible enough to have garnered the attention of major labels (Epic and American, respectively) and yet each one is accomplished enough to justify the attention. Generator fall more toward the glam/industrial side of the spectrum, while Loudermilk excel in the dark and brooding underbelly of "rawk." And whether you like the music or not, tonight's show should be a festival of eyeliner and black clothing -- cause enough for celebration in this sartorially-challenged community. -- BM


FRIDAY 8/20

MINISTRY, L7
(Paramount) This will be a good show for all the wrong reasons. You'll go to see two has-been bands with the intention of laughing your ass off, and you'll get rocked instead. The smart money says these bands know they're mostly washed up, and will have a playlist that heavily features old standards -- Al Jorgenson screaming "Fuck You! Fuck Me! Fuck Jesus! Fuck the Jews!" from "Stigmata," and L7 just screaming. -- Erin Franzman

SHELLAC, SILKWORM
(ARO.space) See Live Preview

ZEKE, THE CATHETERS, LOAD LEVELER
(Crocodile) Girls, Zeke is like your farting boyfriend. Kinda funny, tolerable, but not the type of thing we gals like or want on a regular basis. Guys, however, find it to be all great fun -- the louder and more stoopid, the better. -- Kathleen Wilson

AUSTIN LOUNGE LIZARDS
(Tractor Tavern) If you like your Americana with a hefty dose of humor, Austin Lounge Lizards may be just what you're looking for. Politics, relationships, religion, whatever, all get the hardee-har-har treatment in songs with memorable titles such as "Jesus Loves Me But He Can't Stand You" and "Put the Oak Ridge Boys in the Slammer." -- KW


SATURDAY 8/21

FASTER TIGER (FINAL SHOW)
(Crocodile) I'm holding each and every one of you responsible for the fact that, after several years of slugging it out, Faster Tiger are throwing in the towel. Every single local musician who complains about the scene is going to receive twice the blame, because there's no reason this talented, charming band, who went above and beyond the call of duty in helping to further the cause of local music, shouldn't have gotten the break it deserved. If you never got off your lazy butt and supported this local treasure, do it tonight -- before it really is too late. -- BM

NEVADA BACHELORS
(OK Hotel) Few bands ever achieve that perfect pop song: the one that has you bobbing your head and singing along despite yourself; the one that leaves an indelible print on your memory long after the last note has faded from your stereo. The Nevada Bachelors have done just that with "New Money Parade," off their Pop Llama debut Carrots & So On. A KCMU staple, "New Money Parade" is only one of many quirky gems generated by the Bachelors, one of the few local pop bands whose live show matches the energy of their recorded output. -- BM

764-HERO, LOVE AS LAUGHTER, SIX PARTS SEVEN
(Breakroom) Folks who dislike 764-HERO seem to do so because the local band's fine debut album, Salt Sinks and Sugar Floats, didn't do a very good job of conveying frontman John Atkins' powerful onstage energy. Subsequent albums, especially 1998's Get Here and Stay, better interpreted the manic angst resonating throughout 764-HERO's live set while toning down the earlier mopey indie-rocker sound. The former two-piece also has added a bass player, so if you haven't seen them lately, do yourself a favor and check 'em out. -- KW

LYLE LOVETT & HIS LARGE BAND
(Pier 62/63) You don't have to like country music to love Lyle Lovett -- in fact, it might even help if you don't. This Nashville outsider is the kind of stuff legends are made of: a self-effacing, wry-witted, natural born storyteller who absolutely shines in the live environment. He has the inherent grace and charm to be able to pull off such genre-bending classics as "Stand By Your Man" without cheapening the original (or the outcome), and the class to pull off utilizing the aptly named, and constantly-shifting, Large Band to create a live show that will leave you absolutely spellbound. -- BM

THE NATURIST'S SOCIETY SECOND ANNUAL JAZZ FEST
(Lake Associates Recreation Club, Conway, WA, $20) Yeah, you read it right, it's a clothing-optional jazz festival at an amenity-filled (yippee! hot tub!) nudist park. The music starts at noon and includes the Emerald City Jazz Ensemble, Living Daylights (the highlight), and Greg Williamson's swing-influenced Big Bad Groove Society. Although I know all of ya would love to see the bands' big bad butts, don't bet on it. For directions and further info visit www.lmrr.com, and to those of you who'd like to see Living Daylights in a more, ahem, "conventional" setting, note that they'll also be playing at Habana tonight. -- James Kirchmer

BARENAKED LADIES, SEMISONIC
(Gorge Amphitheatre) Word is the Barenaked Ladies are some of the kindest rock stars you'll ever hope to meet. You can't get anyone in the music industry to say a bad word about them. But they're pretty annoying. This show will probably look like a gently undulating sea of white baseball caps until the Ladies play their radio hit, "One Week." Then it'll look like a tsunami of white baseball caps. Sometimes these shows feel more like sheep-herding than entertainment. -- EF


SUNDAY 8/22

GUANO BUENO
(Owl 'N' Thistle) Bassist Keith Lowe (also of Zony Mash, Bill Frisell's Willies, Crack Sabbath, and Toast) has gotten together with some fine veteran musicians (two of which used to play with Doug "the Ragin' Cajun" Kershaw) to form this rockin' bar band. Their repertoire seems to have been fashioned during a tour of the Mississippi River, from St. Louis (Chuck Berry) down to New Orleans (the Meters). With a fiddle in tow, the band favors Louisiana and does mostly covers (I also heard some Johnny Cash, Allman Brothers, Little Feat, and Jimmy Reed), but they do have some originals and PLENTY a gusto. -- JK

EYELID, HIMSA, BACK SIDE DISASTER
(Auburn's Best Annex) Don't know much about the others, but SoCal's Himsa plays schizophrenic aggro-rock that blends throat-shredding hardcore with fucking annoying slap bass. -- KW

UKULELE FREEDOM FRONT FESTIVAL
(Tractor Tavern) Having stumbled upon the wide-eyed DIY-vibes of our very own Ukulele Trance Project (imagine a Tiny Tim-inspired version of the Dead Milkmen) a while back, I was not altogether surprised to hear this festival was on its way, but looking at the big ol' lineup sure as hell startled me. There are 10 acts, with several outta-towners on tap from as far away as New York (golly, New York City?!). Some are folky, some are punky, and all are grin-inducing. If ya fancy yourself a stone-faced "Make Me Laugh" master, your true test has finally arrived. For training purposes, visit www.riotukes.org. -- JK

MICHAEL BISIO QUARTET
(New Orleans) This Pioneer Square venue's rootsy musical fare hardly ever disappoints, especially when it serves as a refuge from the indistinguishable meat-market and drinking-game soundtracks heard at the other joint-cover clubs. Recent Sundays at the New Orleans have featured a number of talented local jazz ensembles, and the trend continues tonight with bassist Michael Bisio's Raku trio (featuring saxophonist Brian Kent, a wonderfully sensitive and underappreciated player), who'll be backing special guest pianist (and Montana resident) Bob Nell. -- JK


MONDAY 8/23

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER ENSEMBLE
(Rainbow) With the raucous jazz-meltdowns of Sauce on hiatus, that band's formidable tag-team rhythm section (Bob Heinneman and Mike Peterson) has been free to roam. Their latest stop finds 'em in the company of the equally experienced Dave Carter (Aiko Shimada's trumpet player) and the relatively new face of guitarist Pete Reilly (also of the Millennium Bug Revue) for some unpredictable, theme-based jams, some of which'll take you right back to Miles' buzz-filled electric days. -- JK


TUESDAY 8/24

ZAWINUL SYNDICATE
(Jazz Alley) And the award for best press release of the week goes to... "The Zawinul Syndicate is perfect for these times: The leader cooks up a hot multicultural stew without watering down all the ingredients. Only Paul Simon has been this successful combining musical forms from various continents." "'I remember taking some green felt' he says, 'felt like on a billiard table, and gluing it to the sound board of my accordion. I got this nasal sound, a sound which I used on the Weather Report tune "Black Market" 25 years later.'" "... the most vibrant and invigorating music that Zawinul has been associated with since the heyday of Weather Report." Come on, what else are you doing tonight? -- EF

TRAILER PARK HOOTENANNY
(Showbox) Every Tuesday the Showbox likes to celebrate the Northwest's rich White Trash heritage, without which garage music would have died a long time ago, and there'd be no beloved hydro-planes -- who else but industrious, salvage-savvy white trash would have thought of slappin' a jet engine on a raft and calling it a sport? Tonight's musical entertainment includes Under A Loco-motive (former members of Running With Scissors) and the publicity-seeking Brian Cohen and the A.M. Disasters. Rev up the Bonneville and head downtown for this fun night of retro-dancing that'll boost your civic pride. -- KW


WEDNESDAY 8/25

JUNO, SEVERNA PARK, RAFT OF DEAD MONKEYS
(Breakroom) This fun but quirky lineup runs the gamut from impassioned to silly. All are good in their own right, but the standout has got to be Seattle's Raft Of Dead Monkeys, a theatrical fourpiece who claim to offer an answer to the millennium's secret -- an equation involving sexy dead nurses. In other words, RODM are art fools who somehow manage to put on a good show despite all the hoo-haw. -- KW

SWITCHBLADE SYMPHONY, RAZED IN BLACK
(Fenix) While gothic music generally suffers the ridicule of critics and contempt of the public, San Francisco's Switchblade Symphony have slowly built a mini-revival of the genre. The captivating duo of vocalist Tina Root and keyboardist Susan Wallace routinely sells out two shows each year in Seattle, performing catchy pop songs about haunted dollhouses and nightmarish fairy tales. Their third album, The Three Calamities, deftly showcases light drum 'n' bass beats under sinister melodies, and offers introspective lyrics about the magic and fear of childhood. Switchblade Symphony transforms goth, making it a word better suited for describing their fans than their music. -- David Slatton

THE PUNK-O-RAMA TOUR: BOUNCING SOULS, H20, U.S. BOMBS, STRAIGHT FACED, UNION 13
(RKCNDY) This all-ages show of all-Epitaph bands promises to be the jailbait cruise-scene of the week. Bouncing Souls plays great melodic punk. They're reliable, which should be anathema to a punk band, but somehow it works for them. You know they'll always play a loud and fun show. Touring to promote their new release Hopeless Romantic, which is slightly mellower than usual, they're the workhorses of the punk circuit. U.S. Bombs are riding on heavy hype these days, so catch 'em before they go Green Day on us. -- EF

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