DOLOUR, THE CATCH, AQUEDUCT, GUESTS
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 53.
ISIS, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, WORMWOOD, GUESTS
(Neumo's) See CD Reviews, page 65.
KMFDM, DJ? ACUCRACK
(Fenix) Our music is sampled, totally fake/It's done by machines 'cause they don't make mistakes. KMFDM chanted these lines during "Sucks," poking fun at its programmed and processed percussive perfection. As the tongue-in-cheek tune implies, KMFDM's use of electronic enhancements makes them an error-free live act. Their straight-razor riffs and pacemaker-set-to-hummingbird drum tracks sound just as sharp and speedy as they do on disc. For closed-eyed concertgoers, the aural experience would be largely indistinguishable from home listening. However, it's best not to even blink during these sensory-overload-inducing parades of pleather costumes, pulsing strobe lights, and flashy backdrops. For their 20th anniversary tour, KMFDM features only one original member (founder Sascha Konietzko), but this is no nostalgia trip. The group focuses on 2003's WWIII, an incendiary industrial-metal anti-Bush screed, and they indelicately accelerate older tracks so that they never break their mad-dash stride. ANDREW MILLER
MENOMENA, THE DIVORCE, TOURIST
(Crocodile) The project of Portland's Brent Knopf, Danny Seim, and Justin Harris, Menomena is lovingly sprawled and scrawled lo-fi pop. Tense and teetering, their self-recorded debut, I Am the Fun Blame Monster, is insistent even when placid. The album offers processed loops of odd-angle muscle and melody as guitar, drummer, and pianist lurch forward neck and neck. Dense meters of throb and thistle are derailed by diametric dynamics--from frantic percussion to frail piano--before being set right. Menomena's kaleidoscopic amalgam jars and caresses with equally puckish precision. TONY WARE
BLUES EXPLOSION, THE GOSSIP
(Neumo's) See CD Reviews, page 65.
CLIMAX GOLDEN TWINS, CHARALAMBIDES, SIR RICHARD BISHOP
(Sunset) See Stranger Suggests, page 41.
THE UPSIDEDOWN, CALLED IN SICK, SPLENDID VENGEANCE
(Fun House) Both the Upsidedown and the Dandy Warhols share an affinity for crafting spacious pop songs set adrift in ripples of lush, retro-leaning arrangements. In fact, "Demonic Invasion" and "At the Gates of Hell" off the Upsidown's Trust Electricity could be Dandys outtakes, with their careful handclaps, hushed and harmonic vocals, and light dusting of shoegazer haze--which makes sense since this band was formed from the ashes of PDX shoegazers Bella Low. Add a couple cooing, "Baby, that's cool"s and you have the beginnings of a stylish, substantive act coming from the same canon that birthed earlier fashion fiends like the Warhols and Brian Jonestown Massacre. JENNIFER MAERZ
S, THE CAN'T SEE, PANDA & ANGEL
(Crocodile) Like many indie rockers before her, Jenn Ghetto (ex-Carissa's Wierd guitarist/vocalist) has retreated to the bedroom and 4-track, this time under the enigmatic moniker S. Puking and Crying, the follow-up to her 2001 solo debut, Sadstyle, bears the expected intimacy of such a setup; you can practically smell the cheap domestic whiskey on Jenn's breath as she intones her heartfelt, hurting lines. Musically, the lo-fi, homespun electronic rock recalls Broken Spindles jamming with the Spinanes in Liz Phair's Oberlin College dorm circa 1992. Puking and Crying is one of those therapeutic "feeling good about feeling bad" albums that make life bearable. "Boredom's my worst fear," Ghetto sings in "I'm So Board [sic] I'm Going to Sleep," but her songs will leave you anything but that. DAVE SEGAL
TYPICAL CATS, OUTERLIMITZ, MESTIZO, BLUE SCHOLARS, DJ KIP KILLAGAIN
(Vera Project) Chicago true schoolers Typical Cats consist of the formidable triple threat of speech cobras Denizen Kane, Qwel, and Qwazaar, plus the digital dexterity of DJ Natural. The rarely achieved level of mic chemistry they possess lies in the time-honored tradition of meshing distinct flows; Denizen's poetic attack, along with Qwel's dizzying juxtapositions and Qwazaar's viciously rhythmic disses make for some truly original hiphop. While their music is unquestionably forward-thinking in its approach, their essential sound is anchored in the primeval boom-bap of hiphop's glory days. In the four years since TC's much-revered eponymous debut on the Galapagos4 label, all three MCs have dropped solo material, and this process of refinement shows on Civil Service, the group's long-awaited follow-up. Along with Windy City comrades Outerlimitz and G4 labelmate Mestizo--not to mention the Blue Scholars and Oldominion's indefatigable Sleep--this right here ought to be some shit. LARRY MIZELL JR.
(Poncho Concert Hall) If you've never heard the gently percolating metallic percussion of Javanese gamelan music, imagine a clangorous toy piano ensemble miniaturized by a Martian shrinking ray and you've got the idea. Gamelan Pacifica honcho Jarrad Powell has corralled a slew of guests including Persian singer and ney player Hossein Omoumi, the flamenco artists Rubina and Marcos Carmona, Balinese artists I Wayan Sinti and Cokorda Istri Nilawati, and Jessika Kenney, best known for singing with the Black Cat Orchestra. CHRISTOPHER DeLAURENTI
WHATCHA WANT 3: SILENT LAMBS PROJECT, DRED-I, DJ SEAN MALIK
(Lo_Fi Performance Gallery) See Stranger Suggests. page 41.
PARTICLE, DJ HARRY
(Graceland, late) See Data Breaker, page 78.
(Poncho Concert Hall) See Friday's preview.
BOY GEORGE, MC QUEEN LUCKY
(CoCA) See Data Breaker, page 78.
GLOBAL SESSIONS 5: DJ CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE, DJ DAN, DJ KIPPY
(Showbox) See Data Breaker, page 78.
GRANDMASTER FLASH, MC QUEEN LUCKY
(Last Supper Club) "Grandmaster, cut faster!" Well, he may not possess the blinding reflexes he did in the '70s, but Flash (Joseph Saddler) still deserves worship for being one of hiphop's initial R&D engineers. Seminal tracks Flash cut with the Furious Five--e.g., "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel," "White Lines," and "The Message"--still sound as fresh as anything this minute's hottest beatmakers are producing. When he came through town in January, Flash gave heads a thorough history lesson in funk, soul, and rock (hiphop's foundation), but marred the evening with too many banal exhortations to party and "make some motherfucking noise." Pray he lets his world-class hands do the talking tonight. DAVE SEGAL
VANESSA CARLTON, LOW MILLIONS
(Crocodile) I really wish I'd had Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles" as my 12-year-old, hairbrush-in-hand bedroom sing-along diva anthem instead of Wilson Phillips' "Release Me," because Cartlon actually seems, y'know, approachable. Plus, when you're a preteen trying to sing all three vocal parts of one jam like some pimpled hydra child, it's ugly. Despite her weird child-as-adult vocal vibe (sweet, yet sultry; wise, yet innocent!), Carlton leads the pack of freshman-aged white-ish female pop stars whose handlers have decided that they need to provide a semi-intelligent response to Brittany and Jessica. Keeping in mind that this semi-intelligence is defined as a lack of thrusting pelvises and L'Oréal hair bleach, Carlton does a fine job of citing her classical training and love for Pink Floyd in interviews, which makes her seem human. And props to that. JOAN HILLER
(Northwest Film Forum) Several months ago, this longtime Seattle multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer did what a lot of us would like to do right now: Move to Italy. Blessed with a multi-octave voice that can veer from glowering rumbles to siren squeaks in a trice, Denio (rhymes with "Ohio") returns for a late-night set of songs for solo voice and accordion. Expect whimsical, wistful tunes and if you're lucky, some ear-bending room resonance tones. CHRISTOPHER DeLAURENTI
THE BUTCHIES, BITCH, LKN
(Vera Project) It's odd to think that it's been over a decade since Kaia Wilson was the baby dyke heartthrob of seminal queercore band Team Dresch. It's even stranger to realize that her newer band the Butchies have now released four albums. Their latest is Make Yr Life, which is perhaps the bounciest lesbian breakup album I can recall (Wilson split with filmmaker and Mr. Lady Records founder Tammy Rae Carland). It's a departure from some of their more overtly political material (that is, if you consider women singing about having hot sex with other women and being joyously defiant apolitical). Single, horny, and exuberant Wilson and her rhythm section (drummer Melissa York and bassist Alison Martlew) play like they are having the time of their lives, and they even cover the Outfield's "Your Love," turning that track into a breathy heartbreaker. Who knew? NATE LIPPENS
GIRLSCHOOL, DIRTY POWER, ROTTEN APPLES, THROWAWAY ANGELS
(Graceland) See preview, page 57.
MINUS THE BEAR, IDIOT PILOT, FALL OF TROY, MON FRERE
(Neumo's) See All Ages Action, page 81.
LE TIGRE, LESBIANS ON ECSTASY, ROBOSAPIENS
(Showbox) Lesbians on Ecstasy is an even better name than Chicks on Speed, and their image is too. Their hyper-active, ranty third-wave feminism crashing into new wave terrorism is from--where else?--Montreal, and the Lesbians are fronted by Fruity Frankie, who has Peaches' swagger and shake without the art school hang-ups. Using samples galore, keyboards, and a mix of electronic beats and live drums, they plunder the lyrical obsessions of a hundred dykes reimagining the Michigan Women's Music Festival as a blend of hard techno, electro punk, and pop. Best of all they make you want to dance, even to their Cuisinart cutup of k.d. lang's toxic "Constant Craving" (the dyke "I Will Always Love You") turning it into an anti-consumerist rant that you can dance on the grave of. NATE LIPPENS See also preview, page 55.
DEL THA FUNKEE HOMOSAPIEN, HAIKU DE'TAT, ZION 1, BUKUE ONE
(Showbox) One of the best opening lines in all of rap can be found, strangely enough, on the Gorillaz' popular "Clint Eastwood." Produced by the prolific Dan the Automator, and rapped by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien (one of the founders and last emperors of the Bay Area's underground hiphop), the opening line of "Clint Eastwood" goes a little something like this: "Finally, someone let me out of my cage." Exactly whose let Del out of his cage? And why was he in a cage in the first place? And now that he's out, what is he going to do with his freedom? You will find many great lines in Del's impressive body of work (I Wish My Brother George Was Here, No Need for Alarm, Deltron 3030), but none mystifies more than this dubious declaration of independence. CHARLES MUDEDE
ROCK SCHOOL BENEFIT SHOW FEATURING THE OSWALD EFFECT, BETTY FORD FALCONS, STRANGE OCCURRENCE, THE MOB LAW
(Chop Suey) Rock School has been thriving on the Eastside, teaching kids the ins and outs of being in a rock band (or any other kind of band, for that matter). Its students learn the basics, and then some, with classes that include how to play an instrument and record an album as well as how to handle the business side of the music industry. Tonight's show is a benefit for the organization because they're planning on expanding their programming by adding a second site in Seattle in the same building that houses the Vera Project. If you'd like more information about classes offered, tuition, and registration, visit their website www.rock-school.org. MEGAN SELING
GOLD CHAINS/SUE CIE
(Chop Suey) Bay Area MC Gold Chains puts the cheese in machismo. Dude's like 5'3", but his mic presence fools you into thinking he's a foot taller and hung like John Holmes. His new album with Sue Cie, When the World Was Our Friend (Kill Rock Stars), slickens and sweetens his usual repertoire of Cali-centric electro, minimal techno, and rap, and adds some garage-rock sass. But even fab microhouse producer Vladislav Delay can't make the flat-sounding Friend lovable. Still, Gold Chains is a commanding live presence. DAVE SEGAL
EVERCLEAR, AVION, MICHAEL TOLCHER
(Crocodile) When you think of Everclear, forget about "Sick & Tired," "Heroin Girl," and "Your Genius Hands." Instead focus on "Volvo-Driving Soccer Mom," with the lines, "Where do all the porn stars go?/When the lights go down?/I think I know where all the porn stars go/They all become Volvo-driving soccer moms." Where, I'd like to ask, do all the sobered-up and pissed-off post-grunge rockers go when the lights go down? I think I know where all the sober and pissed off post-grunge rockers go, they all become boring adult-contemporary songwriting bums. MEGAN SELING
THE POSIES, THE PALE, DOLOUR
(Neumo's) Carrying on the tradition of Big Star--and later carrying the actual music of Big Star as part of Alex Chilton's '90s revival band--Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer presented glossy power pop harmonies in the era of muddy contorted chords. In the early to mid-'90s college radio loved 'em, as did critics, and no wonder, because the Posies' high melodies paired with slightly distorted, mildly psychedelic jangly hooks come on like the Rapture (the religious frenzy, not the post-punk band). And the Posies remain equally shiver-inducing plugged in as acoustic. The Pale, founded from the same Washington town as the Posies, intricately weave wit and warmth within polished, riff-dappled indie pop, making the earnest ebbing of innocence approachable. TONY WARE
PINBACK, NEIL HAMBURGER, THE ADVANTAGE
(Showbox) Sadly, I never squandered a second of my youth on video games. But for the millions of you who did, the Advantage's self-titled CD will take you back to those carefree days of obsessive Nintendo action. The album packs 26 songs from various NES games into 42 minutes, played by four musicians with amazing hand-eye coordination from all those hours in the Super Mario Brothers zone. But instead of cranking out cheap, bleepy electronic versions of those damnably memorable tunes (most of which were written by classically trained Japanese composers), the Advantage realize 'em in hopped-up prog-rock style. Powered by Hella and Crime in Choir members, the Advantage reveal the Nintendo corporation to be a surprisingly fertile font of catchy, carpal-tunnel-syndromed tunes. DAVE SEGAL
360 BPM ANNIVERSARY PARTY
(Neumo's) See Stranger Suggests, page 41.
CLUB CLUB BRITAIN
(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests, page 41.
CAKE, HEIRUSPECS, THE WALKMEN
(Moore) That whole "geek-rock" genre has about a five-minute expiration date on the attention span surface and 15 years of cultdom in nerd world where boners are erected on the basis of one-hitters like "Going the Distance." Such is the case with Cake. While 99.9 percent of the public forgot they existed, the remaining .1 percent defends the band like they're the last bastion of snide humor and wisecracking rock this side of Ween. Here Cake are paired with Minneapolis hiphop crew Heiruspecs and that wailing bastion of moody indie rock, the Walkmen. ZIGGY TOP