(War Room) See CD Reviews, page 53.
NORTHERN STATE, NO-FI SOUL REBELLION, OPTIMUS RHYME
(Crocodile) To those who dismiss the XX chromosome-toting honky hiphoppers Northern State as opportunistic wannabes—get over it. Gripes from hiphop aestheticians about the ladies' scrappy flow remind me of late-'70s Yes fans griping about the crappy musicianship of the Ramones; sometimes a collision of form and content is so rich the rules get rewritten, and even rough early work becomes magical. Plus, when it comes to live performance, Northern State don't fuck around. Few who caught the band's last Croc show will forget it anytime soon, and tonight should be another knockout. DAVID SCHMADER
THE POSIES, ORANGER, VILLAGE GREEN
(Neumo's) Tonight the Posies celebrate their seventh full-length, Every Kind of Light. While it's not quite up to par with the band's previous efforts, the record isn't a complete loss. "Could He Treat You Better?" is a strong blues-influenced tune that moves in a different direction than anything the band has done before. "I Guess You're Right" and "Love Comes" revisit more classic Posies sounds with strong harmonies, but they ultimately lack punch. If there's one thing about the Posies, though, it's that they can't let go of the past either, so they're sure to fill tonight's set with old favorites as well. MEGAN SELING
BETTYE LAVETTE, CHOKLATE, DJ GREG VANDY
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 47.
(Paramount) See preview, page 48.
LUCERO, BLACKPOOL LIGHTS, DECIBULLY
(Crocodile) After the Get Up Kids broke up earlier this year (without a Seattle date on the farewell tour, for shame!) singer/guitarist Jim Suptic jumped headfirst into a new project, Blackpool Lights. A record is expected early next year, but in the mean time, the band has a limited number of hand-stamped EPs floating around (available at their shows). On it, we're reintroduced to Suptic's worn vocals, this time paired with more country-flavored tunes ("Cursed by Yourself") and head-bopping pop ("Starry Eyes"). While the Blackpool Lights sound fresh, Suptic's presence makes their sound welcomingly familiar at the same time. MEGAN SELING
SAGE FRANCIS, SOLE, SOL.ILLAQUISTS OF SOUND, SLEEP
(Neumo's) "I like 99 rappers, but Jay-Z ain't one," Sage Francis rapped at a February gig. For an MC who often rages against an undefined "them," naming names is a bold step toward becoming a real rebel. Jigga hasn't responded, but New York Times critic Kelefa Sanneh mocked Francis's "ill-considered lyrics" (God's not a woman/He's a big white guy in the sky/And the deserts are reflections of his eyes). Francis fans counter such criticism by touting the taut syllabic structure of his abstract wordplay, the jolt of his one-liners (Give me ethnicity or give me dreads) and his fiery slam-poet delivery. ANDREW MILLER
TURBONEGRO, DANKO JONES
(Showbox) Near-deified stalwarts of the European rock scene since the mid-'90s, Sweden's Turbonegro have had a tougher go of it in the States. Their particular brand of leather-clad, NAMBLA-positive mock rock is often lost on prudish, empire-ending America. Party Animals (Abacus) retains their nasty sweaty 'n' swishy vibe. From the creepy "Steven Hawking" spoken intro to the hidden Serbian fanboy exhortation at the very end, they're still standing as clown princes of party hardy darkness. At this point, they're also fairly redundant recording-wise, but as solidly, fist-pumpingly fun as ever when they stomp onto the stage. ERIC DAVIDSON
THE DIVORCE, SLENDER MEANS, HOT IQS
(Crocodile) See preview, page 40.
IRON & WINE, CALEXICO
(Moore Theatre) See CD Reviews, page 53.
HARVEY DANGER (CD RELEASE), HOLY GHOST REVIVAL, PACETRACK, GRUFF MUMMIES
(Vera Project) See Stranger Suggests, page 27.
CHUCKANUT DRIVE, THE PLAINS, HEX COUNTY
(Sunset Tavern) Unless your parents shell out the big bucks for pony rides, most eighth birthday parties don't get any wilder than a sugar high and some Pin the Tail on the Donkey. But the folks who run NadaMucho.com are celebrating their special event the same way they pass every day: By promoting great local music, in this case a trio of noteworthy alt-country acts. Headliners Chuckanut Drive are rolling down from Bellingham to peddle early release copies of their fine sophomore set The Crooked Mile Home. Arrive early for Hex County, who specialize in dark, heavy fare as riveting as a thunderstorm rolling in across the Wyoming landscape. KURT B. REIGHLEY
THE PALE PACIFIC, YOUTH GROUP, DERBY
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests, page 27.
MESHUGGAH, GOD FORBID, THE HAUNTED, MNEMIC
(El Corazón) One of last year's best metal releases was Meshuggah's I. A 20-minute EP consisting of just one track, it summed up everything great about these Swedish cyber-metallists—imaginative guitar riffing, mind-boggling rhythmic complexity, and genuine, Metallica-inspired thrash-metal heaviness, mixed in with just enough of their hackneyed sci-fi existentialism to keep us honest. Their most recent album, Catch 33 (Nuclear Blast), is nothing special in comparison, but it does give them an excuse to tour again, which is always a good thing. WILLIAM YORK
DAVID GRAY, JOLIE HOLLAND
(Key Arena) Probably due to those lame late-'90s one hit wonders (Meredith Brooks, Jill Sobule, Natalie Imbruglia, etc.), female singer/songwriters usually get relegated to some music-world nether-road of tours with David Gray/John Mayer/et al, and no follow-up CD until the meager hype is long passed—with B-movie soundtracks the final destination. Jolie Holland is too talented for such a fate. She channels ghosts of Depression-era dustbowls, Celtic boozers, and lost '71 Joni Mitchell demos. We were hoping for a new CD on the heels of yet another tour. Hopefully her next record won't be the soundtrack to Monster-in-Law 2. ERIC DAVIDSON
KRS-ONE, COMMON MARKET (CD RELEASE), ABYSSINIAN CREOLE, DJ B-MELLO
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 45.
(Crocodile) 4AD is an apt home for Celebration. The trio's dark electropop has a serious goth complex, with frontwoman Katrina Ford wailing histrionically over a custom-made "guitorgan," plodding drumbeats, and synth riffs made for swaying in bruise-colored velvet. Celebration's theatrical torch songs and cabaret aura inspire legendary live shows, as well, with the band promising as much spontaneous acrobatics as a bout of inebriated sex. TV on the Radio members added finishing touches to Celebration's new self-titled release, in both the production (David Sitek worked the controls) and backing vocals from TVOTR's rich talent pool. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE WARLOCKS, GRIS GRIS, GUESTS
(Neumo's) See preview, page 43.
HEROINE SHEIKS, A FRAMES, AUDIO INFIDELS
(Funhouse) Considering the Heroine Sheiks' lineage—which includes the Cows frontman Shannon Selberg and Swans' Norman Westberg (who left the band after 2002's Siamese Pipe)—you'd think the resultant sound would be a cacophonous mess. But it's a bit more refined—sort of like a lounge version of Pailhead, except they still end up with such lyrical flattery as "Let's fuck/I'll fuck anything that moves." Selberg's notoriously crazy-assed live performance should find good footing in the A-Frames' heavily structured time-warp punk. GRANT BRISSEY
THE GO! TEAM, THE GRATES
(Showbox) "Let's go for a rocket ride," sings Ninja, and somewhere over the rainbow and keyboard sparkle, you are reminded of all the good things with exclamation points: packaged cookies, for example, and teenage perfume-in-a-can, also the Go! Team. You can fake the first two, but there's no knocking off the third, a six-piece funk-with-drums hybrid fresh from a 8.7 Pitchfork rating and the hallowed mystery spot at this summer's KEXP BBQ. Never mind that the name actually refers to triage; there will be harmonicas sampled, plus sturdy basslines, and aforementioned frontwoman Ninja, who raps in a Brit clip and swings her arms fast enough to levitate. All told, it's as if your good friend's band really are as great as you want them to be. Best of all, the feeling lasts much longer than chocolate chips and aerosol kisses. MAIREAD CASE
CRYPTIC ONE, HANGER 18
(Rainbow) See preview, page 51.
VITAMIN D, BLACK SHEEP, BEYOND REALITY, H-BOMB
(War Room) See preview, page 39.
DEERHOOF, LAVENDER DIAMOND, WE ARE WOLVES
(Chop Suey) See previews, page 39 and 51.
FOO FIGHTERS, WEEZER, HOT HOT HEAT
(KeyArena) See All Ages Action, page 39.
GUITAR SHORTY, HENRY COOPER, AL KAATZ
(Tractor Tavern) Mr. Guitar Shorty picks the uptown city-fried blues with a twist. Well, "twist" might be misleading... Shorty is known for his mid-fucking-air flips! I'm, like, so serious! Shorty does flips as part of his stage show. Yep, that's a 60-year-old man who plays the blues and does acrobatics. Hell yes. And he don't miss no licks while midair, so you SO hafta see it. Oh yeah, he also plays with his teeth and behind his back... a student of Mr. T-Bone Walker's flash, indeed. His acrobatics and kick-ass "mullet-fro" notwithstanding, he's a talent blending blues into rock, as rock was bent outta blues. MIKE NIPPER