ROLLING STONES COVER NIGHT
(CHAC) If you still haven't registered to vote, there's really no excuse for your sorry ass. Except maybe that you haven't gone to a show lately. Tonight's yet another benefit for No Vote Left Behind, who are wooing you to the polls this November with a cover night dedicated to the best rock 'n' roll band of all time (next to Led Zeppelin, of course), the Rolling Stones. Get yer ya-yas out and then get out your vote. JENNIFER MAERZ
MAN OF THE YEAR, YOUNG & SEXY, ROBB BENSON & THE TREE MIND
(Crocodile) For a guy who makes as many albums as Robb Benson, it's especially gratifying to see him knuckle down and make a really strong one, which is what he's done with his new effort, The Tree Mind (Roam). The focus has informed his live act, too, even going so far as to give Benson a new band name in the process. Nice one. And don't forget to stay for Portland's Man of the Year. They're really good. SEAN NELSON
STINK MITT, COBER, THE ART GHETTO, NATION OF TWO
(Graceland) In the case of Stink Mitt, the latter half of their handle has nothing to do with baseball--but everything to do with scoring. The Canadian trio will probably never experience a case of blue balls; their pro-masturbation, pro-sex, pro-everything-leading-to-that-big-moaning-finish-line rhetoric means the group's '80s-tuned electro funk involves a lot of preaching about licking and banging from emcees Jenni Craige and Betti Forde. If you blush at the mere mention of tongue-tangling, you might want to avoid this show, but if lines like "You're better off just fucking me harder" with a Cameo-cloned beat get you off on the dance floor, Graceland could be your kind of grind tonight. JENNIFER MAERZ
DANNY BARNES AND FRIENDS
(Tractor) Danny Barnes is one of the most versatile and intelligent players in the roots and Americana field. As the frontman and fire-fingered banjoist for the Bad Livers, Barnes was a captivating, genre-bending player who was funny, touching, and had talent to burn. That hasn't changed in his work as a solo artist--if anything, he's gotten even better. He stands at the crossroads of various strains of roots music, and the eclectic paths are his destination. Tonight you'll get both sides of his talent: a solo set and a performance with "friends," who in Barnes' case will include local luminaries. NATE LIPPENS
THE VELVET TEEN, THE PALE, CROSSTIDE, RESCUE
(Vera Project) See preview, page 37, and Stranger Suggests, page 27.
COMEBACK: DJ FUCKING IN THE STREETS, MC CHOMPERS, COLBY B, DJ PORQ
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker, page 55.
GRAYLIFE: W/SPIDERBITES, FCS NORTH, GUESTS
(CHAC) See Stranger Suggests, page 27.
THE COPS, THE GRIS GRIS, INVISIBLE EYES
(Sunset) See preview, page 37.
TENNIS PRO, THE JOLENES
(Cafe Venus) Though they're not the first band to commit to Bjorn Borg-era tennis togs as a stagewear gimmick--I recall seeing a very foxy Guv'ner look that way on tour some 10 years ago--Tennis Pro are a strong Seattle-style power pop band, with a liberal sprinkling of art rock dissonance to go with the preppie hooks. And if the Jolenes are the band I saw kicking up a storm while walking through the EMP Liquid Lounge one fateful night, well, pardon me for saying so, but godDAMN, those girls are good. (And good-looking.) SEAN NELSON
HIMSA, AS I LAY DYING, ALL THAT REMAINS, BOOK OF BLACK EARTH
(Graceland) Whether they're ripping your ears apart with their metal/hardcore thrashings or tearing apart a bunch of stuffed animals during a live show on a cold Christmas night (uh, Merry Christmas?), Himsa can definitely destroy. If you've never seen the boiling pool of crowd-surfing, stage-diving, fists-in-the-air fans forming at the front of a Himsa performance, let me tell ya, it's a wonder all those kids make it out alive. But they do, and tonight cameras will be catching that insanity on film as the band records the show for an upcoming live DVD. MEGAN SELING
MINUS THE BEAR, DALMATIANS, MISTER METAPHOR
(Old Fire House) With such song titles as "I'm Totally Not Down with Rob's Alien" and "Hey! Is That a Ninja Up There?" it may appear that Minus the Bear are aiming for novelty--or whimsy, even. But They Make Beer Commercials Like This, the fourth release from the band, finds them in their finest and most accessible form (the two are not mutually exclusive). The six-song EP has the prog weirdness the band has always excelled at, but it's complemented and countered by the lovelorn thread that snakes through the songs. NATE LIPPENS
WAYNE "THE TRAIN" HANCOCK, HEARTBREAK USA
(Tractor) If twangy, nasally voices turn you off, then Wayne "The Train" Hancock is not your man. But if Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, and Jimmie Rodgers touch the corners of your soul with their achingly lived-in voices, Hancock is the keeper of that flame. His is neither a slavish nostalgia trip nor a dry, formalist re-creation of museum-quality Americana. He performs like his life depends on it, delivering a synthesis of honky-tonk, Texas rockabilly, blues, and western swing that doesn't have an ounce of self-consciousness to it. NATE LIPPENS
STATIC-X, KITTIE, SOIL, GUESTS
(White River Amphitheatre) Kittie, the Avril Lavignes of heavy metal, have a new record out. It's called Until the End, and it's hilarious. Their "I'm singing like I'm possessed by a demon!" vocals sound like shit. Maybe they're supposed to add this really heavy and morbid layer to the band's generic "chug chug boom" metal sound, but it actually makes me giggle--metal should never make you giggle--because it feels so contrived. Maybe it's the lyrics that make it all so hard to swallow, because while every song has the same basic layout, they also all have the same ridiculous "14-year-old girl poetry" lines: "Desperation strips me/These last days have not been free/Stealing every breath from me/Whispering defeat." Seriously, is there actually a market for this kind of artificial, lame bullshit? That the answer might be yes is the saddest thing in the world. MEGAN SELING SATURDAY 8/28
INSTANT WINNER, AMBER PACIFIC, NOBODY WINS, AIDEN
(Graceland) See All Ages Action, page 57.
SOME BY SEA, LOVE HOTEL, ASAHI, AUTUMN POETRY
(Kirkland Teen Center) See All Ages Action, page 57.
THE RED LIGHT STING, AKIMBO, THE FALL OF TROY, MIKAELA'S FIEND
(Vera Project) Rest in peace, Red Light Sting. The rumors are true: In the worst thing to happen to music since Rick James died, the Red Light Sting have broken up. Don't take that statement out of context--both were ridiculously talented artists with the power to make you laugh. And just as Rick James was experiencing a resurgence with the assistance of Chappelle's Show, the Red Light Sting were about to experience their big day in the sun with the release of their second full-length, Hands Up, Tiger. Now who in spazzy hardcore will 14- to 18-year-old boys turn to when they need a good laugh? And not laugh at, laugh with. Sadness fills my soul. ARE-E SCHMOOL
ARTS IN NATURE FESTIVAL
(Camp Long) Returning from a one-year hiatus, this rustic weekend festival in West Seattle has a healthy dose of the avant and hard-to-classify artists alongside classical (Windsong, a trio featuring KUOW's Dave Beck), folk, and rock (ToadJam, which better not be a jam band) performers. Sunday spotlights the spinning musical sculptures of Ela Lamblin and Leah Mann, a solo set from cellist/Up Records fixture Brent Arnold, and a duo of avant violist Eyvind Kang and Black Cat Orchestra chanteuse Jessika Kenney. The Museum of Sound, a set of eight sound and visual art installations, includes Troy Swanson's Thaddeus Clavorganum III, a clockwork-like set of mechanically driven musical instruments, and Perri Lynch's A Heap of Water, which uses hydrophones and other underwater acoustic sensing equipment to capture wave action and underwater sounds of Puget Sound. CHRISTOPHER DeLAURENTI
WARRANT, JUST DIRT
(Fenix) My money's on the W.A.S.P. night (at the Fenix on Tuesday) to kick this Warrant night in the nuts. I mean, c'mon: "Down Boys"? "Cherry Pie"? A frontman named Jani? Compare that to W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes drinking himself into a stupor in his mom's swimming pool for Decline of Western Civilization Part II, and W.A.S.P.'s blood 'n' gore shock treatment of metal. Neither one's offering brain surgery, but "I Saw Red" just puts the nail in that Warrant coffin. Now, were the fight about the hair detail between W.A.S.P. and, say, Winger.... DAVID MUSTAINED
MURDOCK, THE GOLDEN GODS, HOOF, KANDI CODED
(Graceland) Tad Doyle has never let me down. Tad the band used to be my favorite Seattle export, ranking way higher on the grunge food chain than Nirvana or Soundgarden; they blew me away at a show in Trenton, New Jersey, back in '91 (kicking headliners Primus into the seas of cheese in the process). The same thing happened a couple months ago when I caught the debut of Hoof--the brand-new, nitrous-fueled combo fronted by singer-guitarists Doyle and Ben Rew (Camarosmith) and anchored by drummer Josh Sinder and bassist Tannar Brewer. I went with the knowledge that first shows can be dicey, but the foursome ripped through their colossal, growling riffage (a killer mix of Sab-style heaviness and flashy cock-rock swagger) like men possessed, and, hyperbole be damned, it was the best pure rawk spectacle I've seen in some time. Now that they're starting to gig regularly, Hoof's likely to get even better--a scary prospect, but I just can't see Tad and company letting anyone down. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG
THE GLASSES (CD RELEASE), BLACK NITE CRASH, ANYBODY HUMAN
(Sunset) Help the Glasses celebrate the release of their excellent new record tonight, and learn to enjoy the smart indie-flavored pop that is their birthright (and if you haven't already, you may as well go check out the fine webzine at least some of the band members contribute to, nadamucho.com). Black Nite Crash, with a name taken from the best Ride song of them all, makes a nice addition to this bill, thanks to dark-mood-textured space rock songs that also display a healthy command of melody and propulsion. SEAN NELSON
I just kidding.
I'm so not just kidding.
(KeyArena) See Stranger Suggests, page 27.
THE FEMURS, THE PURRS, MOC MOC
(Crocodile) The Femurs, a duo of friends who relocated to Seattle after a fortuitous breakdown in Olympia a few years back, make old-timey pop rock 'n' roll that's heavily influenced by the 1950s strain that ran through bands like the Ramones. Their self-titled, self-released record has just come out, and is definitely worth a listen for people who like their garages clean, even if that means an acoustic guitar now and then. SEAN NELSON
W.A.S.P., UNDERRIDE, GO LIKE HELL
(Fenix) Rising from the swamp of hair and mascara that clogged the Sunset Strip in the early '80s, W.A.S.P. had more sinister motives than most of their good-time L.A. brethren. With an eye for grand theatrics (mock-torturing an onstage sex slave, throwing raw meat to the crowd, the gleaming circular saw-blade hanging from the crotch of frontman Blackie Lawless) W.A.S.P. helped pave the shock-rock bridge between Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson, even earning a shout-out from an indignant Tipper Gore during the PMRC shenanigans. It's now 20 years later and the world has moved on, but W.A.S.P. is still recording and touring, which leaves Blackie Lawless as some sort of elder statesman from a highly mythologized time and place. Weird. DAN PAULUS
GIFT OF GAB (FROM BLACKALICIOUS), VITAMIN D
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 41.
BLACKHUMOUR, BROKEN HUMAN MACHINE, BILL HORIST
(Sunset) Drawn from the local noise/power electronics scene, the omnibus group Broken Human Machine includes members of WaZu, komafuzz, the painfully named Broken Penis Orchestra, PLETHORA, and other outfits associated with the PsychForm label. I haven't heard the forthcoming BHM release, the promisingly titled my cat pissed here...., but PsychForm's recent compilation The Bone Tickling Nightmare Pig ranges from feedback-scarred soundscapes, echo-drenched voices, and rowdy cut-ups of obscure vinyl records to winsomely looped accordion licks and 60 Hz line hum corrugated and crumpled by lo-fi digital delays. CHRISTOPHER DeLAURENTI See also preview, page 43.
THE PAYBACKS, THROWAWAY ANGELS
(Crocodile) Paybacks frontwoman Wendy Case is one of the most undersung heroes of the current rock 'n' roll scene. Backed by a talented collection of Detroit rock mainstays (some of whom double as members of the Henchmen) who blast out Cheap Trick-doused anthems, Case sings like she's been yellin' and screamin' since the day the doctor first smacked her backside on that initial world debut. Her perfectly ragged delivery helps punch out lyrics in which she turns the tables in the love-'em-and-leave-'em scenario--but in place of anger and regret, she maintains a constant ebullient vibe. The Paybacks' latest record, Harder and Harder, is a must for jukebox junkies who love to crank newer acts that can maintain the free-flowing good times of the best classic rock. JENNIFER MAERZ
KHANATE, ASVA, EARTH
(Graceland) En route to San Francisco's Three Days of Darkness doom-metal fiesta, this lineup is cathartic like cracks from a dull machete to your nervous system. Mega-heavy, NYC-based, legendary doom all-stars Khanate--Stephen O'Malley, Alan Dubin, Tim Wyskida, and James Plotkin, who tend the flocks of southern lords like Sunn0))), Burning Witch, and Old--traffic in death and flesh, slowing the pace of time with Dubin's occasional anguished, curdled screech and a caravan of flattening 50-ton guitars. Like a wounded and determined bantha--or Seattle's legendary Earth--they stalk slowly, but will crush you with their weight. For Asva's first tour, members of Burning Witch, Secret Chiefs 3, and Men of Porn make doomy ambiance your reality. JULIANNE SHEPHERD