DEAD MEADOW, JENNIFER GENTLE, THE OUT CROWD, THE CAN'T SEE
(Chop Suey) For those who saw Dig!, remember the mercurial songwriter in Brian Jonestown Massacre who wasn't Anton Newcombe? His name is Matt Hollywood and he now lives in Portland, revealing his inner Blur/Ride--and, of course, a little BJM--with the Out Crowd. The jangle- and fuzz-heavy band revel in spaced-out bliss and tambourine-accented pop where the male/female vocal harmonies will take you to a higher plane than even their most narcotic-stocked rock riffs. JENNIFER MAERZ See also preview, page 36 and Stranger Suggests, page 21.
BASSKAMP: INHABITANTS, OBELUS
(CHAC Lower Level) Vancouver quartet Inhabitants eke out woozy jazztronica for people still mourning Miles Davis' 1991 death (I know I'm still reeling). Play the group's self-titled disc in your portable music device, go for a long walk, and instantly be transported to a late-night, romantic underworld where the jukebox is loaded with early-'70s ECM titles, everybody's wearing stylish hats, and hearts are melting like globally warmed icebergs. The blissful yet dissonant ambience and lightly shuffling grooves these young cats create may also induce chills in folks with lots of titles from the Constellation and Thrill Jockey labels in their collections. DAVE SEGAL
INFOMATIK, THE STALKERS, THE SUSPICIONS, DJS MAMMA CASSEROLE, TCTL
(Comet) The singer for NYC shower-averters the Stalkers looks so much like the singer for legendary Aussie punk gods the Saints that I refuse to believe they aren't as good as the Saints. They ain't, but a guy can dream, can't he? These guys dream at least, of the days when the cute, doped-up girls in the latest crazy clothes went to grimy punk clubs instead of lounge bars or whatever. Actually, over the course of the Stalkers' year-and-a-half existence, cute girls have always shown up at their frequent NYC gigs, mainly because they have a little hookly magic mixed in with the '77 punk sneer-downs that bring out the 7-inch-collecting boys who really like the Saints. ERIC DAVIDSON
S, HORSES, VOYAGER ONE, PANDA AND ANGEL
(Neumo's) Three excellent bands that all feature former members of the great, lamented Carissa's Wierd come together for this benefit for Fear of Dolls' Bonni Suval. Suval was recently hit by a car--a misfortune that narrowly avoids being tragic thanks to the efforts of doctors and friends. Also on the bill is a recently reunited Voyager One, whose founding members, Jeramy Koepping and Peter Marchese, have made a new record, Dissolver, to be released this summer if all goes well. You hate to call an event that was precipitated by such a terrible calamity "recommended," but it's a testament to Seattle that such an outstanding and varied bill can come together to help raise money for one of its own. SEAN NELSON
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS, SONDRE LERCHE
(Paramount) Elvis Costello remains a puzzle, even to me, his biggest fan of all time (FACT!). The Delivery Man, his latest rock album (or "rhythm record" as he insists on calling them), features great and terrible moments. His opera, Il Sogno, like his last LP, North, was a tendentious bummer. And every time you settle in to just loving him unconditionally, you go and read an interview like the nauseatingly pompous one he did with Joni Mitchell in Vanity Fair a while back. It's like he insists on not knowing why he is important and great. HOWEVER, he remains a revelatory live performer, unafraid of reaching into the treasure chest of beloved material to please the audience--even if he still thinks we're a bunch of fucking swine. SEAN NELSON FRIDAY 4/8
GARBAGE, THE DEAD 60s
(Paramount) See preview, page 33.
A FRAMES, THE PYRAMIDS, PHANTOM LIGHTS
(Fun House) See preview, page 31 and Stranger Suggests, page 21.
ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO, JON DEE GRAHAM
(Tractor) See Border Radio, page 44.
FELIX DA HOUSECAT, EVA
(Element) See Data Breaker, page 51.
MATTHIJS BOUW, RED76, AL LARSEN, IQU
(Department of Safety) See CD revs, page 39.
(Gallery 1412) See Thursday's preview.
CHEB I SABBAH, DAREK MAZZONE
(Chop Suey) Algerian-born DJ Cheb i Sabbah is one of the foremost proponents of East/West mixology. Such efforts often can sound crass and ill-fitting in callow hands, but Cheb's experience and knowledge of ancient non-Western music ensures that he'll reliably get your inner light pulsating. His 2003 mix disc As Far As exhibits Cheb's expert blending of sacred ambience and chants with seductive grooves. Dude has been there, done that, and dipped his toes in the Ganges. Tonight's gig may reflect Cheb's return to his North African roots, which he explores on his forthcoming album, La Kahena (due May 10). Whatever direction he goes, it's sure to be a chakra-opening experience. DAVE SEGAL
THE FALL OF TROY, PORTUGAL THE MAN, THE CLARITY PROCESS, JOULES
(El Corazòn) To get the vibe of Portugal the Man, imagine that the electronic ADD-inspired chaos of Idiot Pilot has been calmed with a sedative and allowed to connect with a more mature, sexy side. Haunting beats, created with sounds ranging from heavy booms to floating keys, lay down the groundwork for the sometimes creepy, always alluring falsetto vocals. Also notable, this show is the kickoff for the Fall of Troy's upcoming tour, where they'll spend two weeks traveling the West Coast with the Clarity Process. Here's an excellent opportunity to see the boys in top form, and get a sneak preview of their new material that will be released later this summer on Equal Vision. MEGAN SELING
CLEM SNIDE, SHIVAREE, MARBLES
(Neumo's) See CD Reviews, page 39.
MAKTUB, CHOKLATE, BYRDIE
(Showbox) Local soft-rock/intergalactic-funk mainstays Maktub tonight celebrate the release of Say What You Mean. The band sway between channeling their inner Al Green and their inner Seal--with light touches of mid-tempo electronica--as front crooner Reggie Watts laments on missed connections and sings to the hills about the love in his heart. JENNIFER MAERZ. See also My Philosophy, page 43.
MASTODON, BURNING BRIDES, EARLY MAN
(El Corazòn) See preview, page 36 and Stranger Suggests, page21.
THE RUBY DOE, THE LIGHTS, INSTANT WINNER, NOVATONE, THE JOHN BENDERS
(Chop Suey) Don't call 'em ska, because Instant Winner have been trying to steer clear of that cringe-inducing label for years. You gotta understand where the confusion comes from, though, since the rock band has been utilizing horns since their inception--and they do have that shady past as an… ahem… ska band. But that's all far behind them because now they're rock with horns (and they have been for a while) and have a whole army of members making noise, you can bet rock will indeed be had here. The Ruby Doe bring the rock too, with a sound heavily influenced by a scorching hardcore summer during the 1980s in D.C. Also, it should be said, tonight's all-ages show is a benefit presented by Pink on Vinyl and Rain City Relief, who are donating proceeds to a tsunami relief fund. MEGAN SELING
DEAD VAMPIRES, RAZREZ, STEAMING WOLF PENIS, ELECTRIC KISSES
(Fun House) Two things: Razrez are every bit as good as the hype you inevitably keep hearing about them. Their music is wiry, muscular, sexual, and aggressive, in addition to being fun, rocking, and smart. Certain bands with two guitars leading the charge are going to draw Television comparisons, but I'd put Razrez a lot closer to the Jam (if we must limit our imaginations to the end of the '70s), because they all seem like they're about to bust out of their skins when they play. See them now so you can say you saw them when--even if it does feel like they play once a week. Thing number two: Steaming Wolf Penis, contenders in last year's "Shittiest Band in Seattle" contest (a nice contrast to Razrez' Stranger Big Shot competition victory), nonetheless have the best band name since 20,000 Leagues Under My Nutsack. SEAN NELSON
SARAH LEE GUTHRIE AND JOHNNY IRION, KEVIN KINNEY
(Sunset) He comes with a noted indie-rock pedigree, as a one-time member of '90s North Carolina bands Dillon Fence and Queen Sarah Saturday, but that's a pittance when lined up against her lineage--'60s folk singer Arlo is her father, great American music legend Woody was her grandfather, and the beat goes on. Together Johnny Irion and Sarah Lee Guthrie are husband and wife, parents, and the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris tag-team of the early 21st century, blending their textbook harmonies, lingering hooks, and societal observations for collaborative excursions into folk-rock and straight country originals (as heard on their most recent New West release, Exploration). Produced by Jayhawks' front man Gary Louris, the record displays an unbridled, off-the-cuff streak that should translate flawlessly to the Sunset's intimate setting. SCOTT HOLTER
(Tractor) Though his records reach smaller and smaller audiences as they go, Michael Penn is a great American songwriter--clever, catchy, and classical. The fact that he doesn't fit in either the major label or the indie label cosmology should be considered a great testament to his originality. Fifteen years after his debut LP, and the problematic (though brilliant) hit "No Myth," Penn remains a dignified, interesting, and hard-working musician. And this is an early show. SEAN NELSON
THE PALE PACIFIC, RACETRACK, DORIS HENSON, KANDA
(Vera Project) When a record opens with a line like, "You melt the arctic every time you dance" being gently sung over warm and fuzzy synth sounds, it's impossible not to feel like you're off on the right foot. You know, if you like your music with a high cuddly quotient, anyways. And New York duo Kanda are hoping you do, because that's exactly how their upcoming record, All the Good Meetings Are Taken, starts. The remaining 10 tracks on the album, which won't be released until May 5, radiate just as much adorable sentiment. In fact things only get cuter. Some might be over the sweet electro-pop thing. But if you like to feel sappy, sunburst warmth from your headphones, you'll fall in love with Kanda. MEGAN SELING
MATH & PHYSICS CLUB
(Sonic Boom, Ballard) If you're a fan of the fragile pop crafted by bands like Belle & Sebastian, local indie act Math & Physics Club are vying for your musical crush. Their Weekends Away EP is full of tender will-she-or-won't-she-give-me-a-peck-on-the-cheek hand-wringing, innocent diary entries turned into gentle pop songs. The band was also recently selected to play the Sasquatch! Memorial Day music festival. JENNIFER MAERZ
MOTÖRHEAD, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, ZEKE, CLASS OF ZERO
(Showbox) See preview, page 36.
ANDREW BIRD, LAURA VEIRS
(Tractor) See CD Reviews, page 39.
TWO GALLANTS, LIARBIRD, THE STRANGERS
(Vera Project) What's great about Two Gallants is that they conjure up images of the dirtiest, dustiest pre-war blues numbers while remembering to keep them in the context of a riveting narrative. Adam Stephens' vocals are shaky and frantic, but they're also confident and totally perfect when you hear the sort of lonesome, white-hot guitar leads he's playing. Don't think that this is just the old-timey-Jim Crow-revival hour, either--Two Gallants are bringing their raucous, shiftless energy into the here and now. You can hear it in their debut, The Throes, you can hear it in the single that they just pressed up on vinyl, and you can especially hear it live, where the duo and their anachronistic songs (often sung "in character") live, breathe, and bleed on command. JON PRUETT
THE RADAR BROTHERS, WESAFARI, HENRY HANKS, THE SOFT DRUGS
(Neumo's) See CD Reviews, page TK.
UNDEROATH, THE CHARIOT, HOPESFALL, FEAR BEFORE THE MARCH OF FLAMES
(El Corazòn) If I were to describe to you Fear Before the March of Flames' sound, they'd probably come off sounding just like every other "too math to be screamo/too emo to be math" eyeliner and hot pants train wreck that's taken over the MTV2 airwaves. And listening to the band's 2004 release Odd How People Shake, you do hear the dueling vocals, the metaly guitar solos, and the heavy as shit breakdowns that often litter such cliché acts, but what FBtMoF has that most other bands don't is a blatant sincerity and ability to actually fucking rock. MEGAN SELING
ADAM GREEN, KIMYA DAWSON, THE VELLS
(Chop Suey) Beneath its glittering cover, Gemstones*, the third solo album by Adam Green, is a dirty, dirty CD. Just in the title track, he references fornicating cavemen and more flavors of pharmaceuticals than are lurking at the bottom of Courtney Love's handbag. This is not something you want to play around your mother--unless she's a high-priced call girl putting herself through grad school. In that case, Mom would probably observe that Green's warts-and-all singing, pitched between a Dr. Demento-worthy novelty disc and the NYC anti-folk scene that spawned his band, Moldy Peaches, has an uncomplicated, everyman appeal. And so what, if he warbles ditties entitled "Choke on a Cock" and "Crackhouse Blues"--Brecht & Weill and Jacques Brel peddled catchy, literate songs about derelicts and whores, too, and they're respected as geniuses. KURT B. REIGHLEY See also Stranger Suggests, page 21.
SOILWORK, DARK TRANQUILITY, HYPOCRISY, MNEMIC
(El Corazòn) Soilwork's latest album combines the title Stabbing the Drama with ludicrously literal thrust-dagger clip art. Their singer's stage name, Speed Strid, rhymes when pronounced correctly. And their music--all blast beats, chugging riffs and relatively cheesy keys--occasionally sounds like Pantera mauling Europe's "The Final Countdown." Unintentional hilarity aside, Soilwork have evolved intriguingly from standard, if savage, Swedish thrash to unabashedly melodic metal, with Strid's gradual metamorphosis from relentless barker to chorus-hook crooner playing a pivotal role in the progression. Strid's part-time job as a counselor for troubled teens informs his lyrics, giving an unusual authenticity to his adolescent-angst-themed anthems. ANDREW MILLER
(Laser Dome) More custom Laser Floyd on tap for this week: original Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason will be in town for a book signing/reading of Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd and short Q and A session. That will be followed by a special laser show where Mason's top couple of Pink Floyd songs will be set to lights inside the magic dome. JENNIFER MAERZ
(Triple Door) French-Canadian cellist/singer- songwriter Jorane sings in English, French, and her own invented language in a tremulous, Lilith Fair-y manner: think Kate Bush times Sara McLachlan divided by the square root of Sinéad O'Connor. Produced by talented guitarist and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan collaborator Michael Brooks, Jorane's American debut album, The You and the Now (Six Degrees), displays her rigorous cello chops in a passionate, chamber-orchestra setting. Despite her accomplished sawing, Jorane's ballads come across as unbearably precious. And her cover of Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder's throbbing disco classic "I Feel Love" wilts some of the original's incomparable sultriness--an unforgivable sin. DAVE SEGAL
BOYJAZZ, MICO DE NOCHE, CHINESE FINGERCUFFS
(Sunset) Evil women, deals with the devil, strange desires--sound familiar? Oakland's Boyjazz tread familiar rock territory on In the City Tonight, but for fans of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and irony, their glam-stocked cock rock is a fuzz-drenched homage to our leather-bound musical past and a heavy-metal rallying call to get it on. JENNIFER MAERZ