(Electric Heavyland) See Stranger Suggests, page 31 and Live Wire, page 57.
SUICIDE MACHINES, LOST CITY ANGELS, BULLETS TO BROADWAY, GUESTS
(El Corazón) The Suicide Machines were a huge deal for the ska-loving punk kids loitering around RKCNDY back in 1998, when the band released their second full-length, Battle Hymns. While times have certainly changed (RKCNDY is long gone and, well, so is popular interest in ska), nothing about the Machines seems to have evolved. They continue using a fast, fierce beat and choppy ska-influenced guitar parts to help deliver their fiery political lyrics. There's something almost comforting in the Machines' consistency and refusal to leave the dead to die. MEGAN SELING
FEY RAY, DOWNPILOT, J TILLMAN, OLD BLACK
(High Dive) For those who like to wallow in thoughtful melancholy, local boy J. Tillman is a master of slowcore not too far removed from the likes of Rex and Nick Drake. Live he fleshes out his gorgeous tracks with musicians playing slide guitar, banjo, and even accordion, adding old-timey arrangements to songs that are anything but downers, even if they are a bit somber. JENNIFER MAERZ
DJ JEPPE (OF JUNIOR SENIOR), DANDY WARHOLS LISTENING PARTY
(War Room) You'd be hard-pressed to find a Northwest frontman cockier than the Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor. And yet despite his flagrant arrogance, the band still manages to crank out bombastic pop tunes that occasionally stick to you like chewing gum. Tonight is a listening party (with the band) for the upcoming Dandy release, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars, an uneven, try-everything record with a couple catchy singles that's out September 13. See also Data Breaker, page 64. JENNIFER MAERZ
GUS GUS, DJ COLBY B
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker, page 64.
CLOUDS OF BLOOD, BARR, THIS SONG IS A MESS BUT SO AM I, BONUS
(Vera Project) Tonight marks the debut gig of Seattle's Clouds of Blood. Composed of the Dead Science's singer/guitarist Sam Mickens and bassist Jherek Bischoff, Infernal Noise Brigade bass-drum specialist Pol Rosenthal, scrap-metal percussionist Noah Mickens, drummer Paul Kikuchi, saxophonist Gregory Reynolds (Xiao Gu Fang), and Davey Oil (visuals), COB have been hinting at influences that embrace Prince, Birthday Party, Boredoms, and Fela Kuti—exactly what Seattle needs now. Local ambient gangstas Bonus have expanded to include Schlaze Cubed keyboardist Matt Carlson. The addition intensifies the group's swarming, black-lunged atmospheres on the new Double Odyssey CD-R until they become hallucinogenic aural holograms. DAVE SEGAL
HUMP! AMATEUR PORN CONTEST GALA W/DJ FITS, FOURCOLORZACK
(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests, page 31.
DINOSAUR JR., LOVE AS LAUGHTER, ALASKA!
(Showbox) See preview, page 41.
THE FALL OF TROY, MON FRERE, MAIDA, HEAVY HEAVY LOW LOW, SHOTS FIRED
(El Corazón) See CD Reviews, page 53.
THE MINUS 5, JEREMY WILSON, THE MAKERS
(Crocodile) In the early '90s, the Dharma Bums were kings of Portland's indie guitar-pop scene. The band masterfully welded rock hooks to country twang, and frontman Jeremy Wilson's warbling vocals contributed a rough-hewn edge to the whole endeavor. A decade later, Wilson is releasing Independence Vol. 1: Demos and Out-Takes, a solo effort extending the more introspective moments of his previous output, while still burning a candle for early '90s college-rock grit. The disc's a fairly mellow affair, but for fans of that distinctive voice, Wilson still has much to offer. JENNIFER MAERZ
JEFF THE MASTODONLEORNARDO, THE DEAD PEOPLE, THE FEMURS, GUESTS
(Funhouse) This little birthday bash starts at 6:00 p.m., promising a barbecue and keg at the outset and ending with teasers like "half-naked men"—something you don't see often advertised around town. There will be local pop and punk rock for everyone, including Vas from the Girls' new band, the Dead People and the sweet, speedy indie rock stylings of local boys the Femurs. Party on, Mastodonleonardo. JENNIFER MAERZ
ENGINE DOWN, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, BELLA LEA, DES ARK
(Vera Project) After just a year shy of a decade together (they formed in 1996), Richmond, Virginia's Engine Down has decided to call it quits. But first they're granting fans of their dark, melodic indie rock (think a less-cartoony Alkaline Trio mixed with the haunting sounds of the Casket Lottery), with one final tour. In their long run they've released five full-length albums (including this year's Under the Pretense of Present Tense), signed to Lookout! Records, and toured with acts like Thursday, Sparta, and Poison the Well. They're leaving on a good note, that's for sure, and for their farewell tour (featuring friends Bella Lea and Des Ark) fans can help celebrate that successful run. MEGAN SELING
SCISSORS FOR LEFTY, SOME BY SEA, KEY NOTE SPEAKER
(High Dive) In their heyday, Pulp swaggered around the Brit-pop party with a bottle of bubbly in one hand and dancing shoes in the other. They were calculated cool with enough rock to help the club kids do the stiff shuffle all night. San Francisco's Scissors for Lefty follow a similar trajectory, with icy vocals lording over a mix of moody post punk, electronic beats, and whispered nightcaps. Stylish without sounding too self-aware, Scissors for Lefty are an interesting amalgam of calculated styles. JENNIFER MAERZ
CASS McCOMBS, MT. EGYPT, CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE
(Crocodile Cafe) That elusive period between day and night is explored fully in the muggy musings of Cass McCombs. The songs on his latest—the effervescent PREfection—hit on all the high points of underground guitar pop from the past few decades.Velvets-style simplicity, the jangling glory of the Paisley Underground, the blaring fuzz of the Nuggets box set, lost-at-sea vocal drama, it's all there. Now get your wounded ass out the door and go. JON PRUETT See also preview, page 50.
DONNER PARTY OF 4, GRAFTON, MAYHEM GIRLZ
(Funhouse) Named after a nowhere town on the outskirts of Cleveland, Grafton paint the Red State Everyone Loves to Hate even redder as they squeeze blood from the Stones, the Stooges, Sabbath, and whatever other primal influence you can deduce in their redneck blooze-rawk. The Columbus-based trio takes only second to let their lyrics sink in, bashing out downshifting riffs and rough-hewn tunes with enough piss to power their van to the next bar. FRANKLIN SOULTS
(Sonic Boom Records, Ballard) Sixty minutes prior to the release of their third and most-talked-about release to date—the indelibly cohesive, hook-laden, melody-bound Twin Cinema—the Vancouver, B.C. supergroup sneaks into Ballard's revered record haunt for an intimate preview set leading up to the midnight-sale gold rush. With louder guitars, chunkier keyboards, and vocalist Kathryn Calder added to the mix, the new album plays power-pop perfect, led by A.C. Newman's mythically peculiar "Sing Me Spanish Techno," Dan Behar's house-burning "Jackie, Dressed in Cobras," and Neko Case singing her Porno best on the Jimmy Webb-ish "These Are the Fables." Don't forget your lemonade money, but leave your claustrophobia at the door. SCOTT HOLTER
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 47.
GRIZZLY BEAR (WITH LASER LIGHT SHOW)
(Laser Dome at Pacific Science Center) See Stranger Suggests, page 31 and preview, page 39.
400 BLOWS, YEAR FUTURE, ME INFECTO, SADIE HAWKINS REJECTS
(El Corazón) See preview, page 49.
(Jazz Alley) A dominant Latin jazz pianist, Eddie Palmieri is still keeping it caliente on the 88s 50 years into his career. Palmieri's latest album, Listen Here!, abounds with vivacious, rhythmically robust numbers from his versatile eight-piece band, who also tactfully handle mellower material for the romancers. Delve further into his catalog and you'll find loads of scorching Latin boogaloo LPs and others that deftly fuse the buoyant charanga with the deeper bop-centric harmonic/melodic stylings of Thelonious Monk. For his six-date engagement (Aug 23–28), he'll be joined by most of his Listen Here! band. Much respect is due to Señor Palmieri. DAVE SEGAL
BLÖÖDHAG, LORDS, LESBIAN
(Re-bar) Louisville's Lords are a speedier next of kin to Unsane's punk-metal insanity. Relentless, ferocious vocals burst into bilious tantrums as the rhythm section careens like a getaway car on fire. Their latest release, Swords, offers pure chaos and unpredictability, where you never know from which angle the next punch will be thrown and both tempos and tempers shift with bipolar intensity. JENNIFER MAERZ
DJ Z-TRIP, BLACK SHEEP, GOLDENCHYLD
(Neumo's) See Data Breaker, page 64.
KYLEA, FELICIA LOUD, PIECE, CHOKLATE
(War Room) See preview, page 47.
SUNBURNED HAND OF THE MAN, MAGICK MARKERS, GHIDRA, DYNAMITE CLUB
(Sunset Tavern) Despite recordings that sound like an air conditioner falling down the stairs, the Magick Markers have earned wide-eyed praise from witnesses to their debauchery onstage, so this might be the noisefest of the summer. The sputter and drone becomes full-fledged aural murder in person, a gory, uninhibited no wave. The drummer fucks it up on the tubs with a spasmodic eyes-rolled-back bludgeon, and his lovely cohorts drag an unholy buzz from their broken guitars. Thurston Moore likes them, if that means anything to you. FRED BELDIN See preview, page 41.
(Crocodile) Eventually music critics will stop calling electro-pop bands like SF's Hey Willpower "guilty pleasures" just because they crank dance music that makes smug indie kids involuntarily tap a foot. But until indie admits its wholehearted love of Top 40 in an embarrassing, Gloria Swanson–style breakdown, Hey Willpower will stand convicted of showing hipsters a good time with booty-shakin' beats, synchronized backup dancers, and lyrics like "Hook me up with that cheddar/I like it by the pound." Those of you unafraid of embracing a band that proudly cites L'Trimm among its influences, get thy skinny asses to this show. MAYA KROTH
MONSTERS OF ACCORDION! W/JASON WEBLEY, DANIEL ARI, AARON SEEMAN
(Paradox) When Okkervil River's Will Sheff reached for an accordion at a show early in his career, an unimpressed observer blurted, "Oh great, the fag machine." The noble Who-euphemized squeezebox gets its due respect during the Monsters of Accordion tour, which kicks off its third installment with this gig. Jason Webley, whose spellbinding songs blend romance and quirkiness like the accordion-scored film Amelie, headlines a bill that also includes Daniel Ari (setting his comic rants to an accordion backdrop as Weird Al does on his non-parodic tracks) and Aaron Seeman (whose Dead Kennedys covers outshine that group's current insert-singer-here concerts). ANDREW MILLER