THURSDAY 11/4

LES RYTHMES DIGITALES(ARO.space) Whether you're a bona fide dance music lover or one of those people who appreciates it only as an exercise in irony, you're bound to find something to like in Les Rythmes Digitales. LRD is the brainchild of Jacques Lu Cont, who himself is the brainchild of his own true identity, Stuart Price. The British 22-year-old cooked up the Parisian identity as a means to further his techno cred. A few French beats and a lot of '80s synth lines make for some damn fine grooves. -- Courtney Reimer

THE MISSION U.K./GENE LOVES JEZEBEL(Fenix) Sometimes you have to go back and revisit your youth, and sometimes it's not pretty. I worshipped these bands a decade-plus ago as a budding goth, and while I can't always defend the passions of my youth, I will say this: The Mission always kicked ass live, and I'll still put "Twenty Killer Hurts" up there as one of the best singles of the '80s. Be forewarned, however: The word on the street is that Wayne Hussey has gone ultrasuburban. Frightening? In all the right and, yes, WRONG ways.... -- Barbara Mitchell

EARTHA KITT(Jazz Alley) Eartha Kitt, like Liberace, is the kind of artist who never inspires adulation without a bit of ridicule. She's ridiculed for being a 72-year-old woman who stuffs her bra with a resume of Ernest Goes to Camp films and Batman sitcoms. She's adored for her meowing, prowling stage presence, and for sexualizing St. Nick with her 1953 classic, "Santa Baby." Seattle seems less ambivalent about the Eartha phenomenon -- her unclean thoughts and dripping presentation packed the Alley earlier this year. Expect Eartha to have Seattle eating from her sexy grandma hands once again. -- Nathan Thornburgh

NANA MOUSKOURI(Paramount) She's Greek like Souvlaki and mellow like Bellafonte, but her pop sensibilities will make you sicker than raw pork. She's Nana Mouskouri, and she's spent a lifetime loosing her thick accent and saccharine style upon the traditional songs of countries throughout the world. The latest victim is Mexico, which, on top of floods and a revolution in Chiapas, now has to deal with two nauseating CDs of Mouskouri butchering its traditional ballads. Mouskouri may be the world's best-selling female artist of all time, but just remember that the Big Mac is the world's best-selling food. -- Nathan Thornburgh

MALACHY PAPERS(OK Hotel) As tonight's Art Walk winds down (i.e. the wine and munchies grow scarce), and your buzzed entourage wonders aloud whether any worthy musical brush strokes might be found within walking distance, chime in loudly in favor of this highly expressive Austin and Kansas City-based jazz trio. Led by percussionist/vibraphonist Mike Dillon (Critters Buggin, HairyApesBMX), Malachy Papers' colorful canvases incorporate raucous emo-jazz freedoms, Monk-like dissonance, and spacious backbeat grooves riddled with rockish sensibilities and global connections. It's an expansive palette, but you won't encounter any quirky art-school-induced blends. -- James Kirchmer

SUNSET VALLEY/ADAM ELK(Showbox) Adam Elk is the new incarnation of former Mommyhead Adam Cohen (some punk whose dad is named Leonard was already using that name). As with his last outfit, the emphasis here is on quality songwriting -- this time dressed up in white boy soul. He may have played virtually everything himself on his debut, Labello, but live he's got some of S.F.'s finest musicians helping him get down and funky. The result is good, clean fun with a nod to '70s greats like Steely Dan (fueled by a reported fascination with Michael McDonald). -- Barbara Mitchell


FRIDAY 11/5

FAITH & DISEASE CD RELEASE(Sit & Spin) After a six-week U.S. tour, Faith & Disease return home for the release of Lamentations, a 16-track "best of" collection of songs from their last four albums as well as the previously unreleased track, "Summers Fade." Vocalist Dara Rosenwasser and bassist Eric Cooley combine incense-and-candles ambiance with dream-like melodies, earning them Mazzy Star comparisons. But they have matured over the past seven years, adding folk and traditional elements to their ethereal sound. A rotating band of excellent musicians support the duo, the newest member being cellist Nancy Wharton, who adds a slightly neo-classical touch. -- David Slatton

VOYAGER ONE/BUGS IN AMBER/ RUSTY WILLOUGHBY(Tractor Tavern) I'm still waiting for someone to coin a phrase less unwieldy than "orch-pop" to describe the kind of beautifully textured, dynamic territory mined by the seven individuals who call themselves Bugs in Amber. While still working out the -- ahem -- bugs in their live show, this is nonetheless a band worth investigating. There's an exuberance and sense of melancholy that permeates the music, bringing to mind the best elements of Sunny Day Real Estate, minus the prog-rock and pretension. A work in progress, to be sure -- but definitely a band to watch. -- Barbara Mitchell

CASINO ROYALE(Showbox) It's been slow going at Press Release of the Week Headquarters. Our panel of judges has been very disappointed in the quality of humor we've been seeing lately. But this phrase caught our eyes: "An evening of fast paced fantasy gambling and big prizes." In the absence of punctuation, the panel likes to interpret this to mean that there will be gambling on fast-paced fantasies. Twenty to one odds on the S&M racecar driver fantasy! A Benjamin on the Fabio-on-horseback fantasy! The panel also imagines that the big prizes are a fantasy. The night will be hosted by KNDD morning man Andy Savage, to whose wacky rantings our panel of judges awakens every day. The judges feel that between Savage's nutty banter and KNDD's playlist, they live in appropriate fear of their alarm clock/radio. (The judges recommend you keep the snooze button out of reach.) Fast paced fantasy band H.B. Radke and the Jet City Swingers will perform. -- Erin Franzman


SATURDAY 11/6

IMPERIAL TEEN/SALTINE(Crocodile) In case you haven't picked up on the subtle message in previews of recent Imperial Teen shows: THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BANDS ON THE FUCKIN' PLANET. They write great, catchy-yet-complex pop songs, with lyrics that work whether you're smart as a whip or dumb as a box of rocks. There's an enthusiasm to their live performances that's downright contagious and makes them just plain fun to see. AND they're attractive and color- coordinated. Pinch me. -- Barbara Mitchell

THE MOUNTAIN BROTHERS(8 pm, UW HUB) These Asian brothas make phat beats, started their own record label, and have a pretty twisted sense of humor. Hailing from Illadelphia, PA, the Mountain Brothers have no stereotypical gimmicks, no frontin', just pure, unadulterated hiphop. And after causing DJs worldwide to cream with their first LP, Self: Vol. 1, Peril-l, Styles, and Chops are finally gonna bless the Northwest, along with DJ Roli Rho (5th Platoon, NY). You better get there early before all the Mountain Climbers (MB verbiage for those who jock) knock you on your ass to get to the front. -- Ethrina Gotico

SPYGLASS/JON AUER/MARC OLSEN(Tractor Tavern) Seattle's Spyglass are making a pop-filled push for the big time. Their debut album is full of carefully tended and mood-ridden songs about sleep, heartache, and other topics well-suited to our crappy winter. Led by sulking and sexy vocalist Barbara Trentalange, Spyglass are joined by two equally moody satellites in the Seattle power-pop universe -- Jon Auer from the Posies, and Marc Olsen from Sage. -- Nathan Thornburgh

MARIGOLD/THE AUTUMNS(ARO.space) It's been a long goddamn time coming, but Eugene, Oregon's Marigold have just about finished recording their debut for Outpost Records and it should come out some time next year. Over the course of several years and much media hype, this once-super young band have gone from puberty to the ripe old age of 21, and have evolved from simple popsters to audibly mature songwriters. Marigold don't get up this way that often, so check in and see them before they become superstars (or grandparents, whichever comes first). -- Kathleen Wilson

LES SAVY FAV/LOVE AS LAUGHTER/ CARISSA'S WEIRD(Breakroom) See Live Preview.


SUNDAY 11/7

FIVE GEARS IN REVERSE/PETER PARKER(Fenix) I'm pretty convinced that every band -- no matter how terrible -- has one great song in them (Smash Mouth? Yes. Bush? Yes, even Bush). But right here in our own back yard, Five Gears in Reverse have delivered a debut album (the cleverly titled You're Not Asking the Right Questions) that's packed with material that will happily lodge itself into your cranium and have you humming along for days. It's buoyant, catchy, and eminently likable. Catch 'em at this special all-ages matinee, before they join fellow former... Bellinghamians? Death Cab for Cutie for much-deserved Next Big Thing status. -- Barbara Mitchell

TOM JONES(Emerald Queen Casino) I'm not much the type to swoon over the older fellas, with only a few exceptions: Charlie Rose, Salman Rushdie, Paul Newman, and, lord have mercy, that Tom Jones. I'm not much the type to ogle a fella's derriere, either, with a few exceptions: Derek Jeter (well you didn't think it was his mind Mariah was after, did you?) and, good heavens, Tom Jones. And I'm really not much the type to go in for the male "vocalist" genre, with a few exceptions: Ol' Blue Eyes and his crew, Mel Tormé, and, for chrissakes, Tom Jones. With Tom Jones, you know you're paying for quality. He'll play all the songs he's famous for (unlike some rock bands who delight in begrudging a paid audience what they came there for), and that includes one of the most practical and conceptually clever covers in history: Prince's "Kiss." And sweet Jesus, when Jones swivels his hips, it's so good you can imagine you're at the Ed Sullivan Show watching Elvis Presley. Try not to squeal too loud. -- Erin Franzman


MONDAY 11/8

GODSMACK/JIM ROSE CIRCUS(Paramount) See Stranger Suggests.


TUESDAY 11/9

NOBUKAZU TAKEMURA(Breakroom) A Japanese avant-garde minimalist DJ with a rare gig on American soil makes Tuesday night a hipster's wet dream. Nobukazu, who delicately times patterns of electro-gurgles and laser clicks, has only appeared in the States once before, and that was at a highbrow Steve Reich lovefest in NYC. This time he's bringing it to the blood-and-guts Breakroom, and this show should be a wonderful gauge of poser pretension. Anyone in the crowd stroking their chin as if Nobukazu's random sound files are really speaking to them is definitely full of shit. -- Nathan Thornburgh

YES(Paramount) Prog rock is alive and wailing in Yes, Birmingham's high-pitched, multi-layered, never- say-die art rockers. They've been doing it since 1968, and have gone under the knife more times than Jacko. But despite cycling through 10 bands' worth of personnel changes, their selling point for this tour is that they haven't changed their sound a bit in 30 years. That could actually be a good thing, because Yes' Moog-guitar confluence used to be as close to perfect as rockers could get. The bad news is that even if their music has survived unchanged, the prices have been adjusted for inflation, cost-of-living increases, and maybe even the rise of the Yuppie -- ticket prices range from $40-$60. -- Nathan Thornburgh

JR/KULTUR SHOCK/WILLOW(OK Hotel) As I listen to singer/songwriter/guitarist JR's fine sophomore effort, Songs of Angels, and try to come up with some adjectives, the words "soulful," "soothing," "evocative," and "emotional" come to mind. But it's ultimately JR's own description -- mood blues -- that best reflects her sultry voice, guitar style, and band arrangements. Her shows are intimate, candlelit affairs, perfect for dark nights when a warm voice is welcome and introspective thoughts take hold. -- James Kirchmer


WEDNESDAY 11/10

MICHAEL KRASSNER/MICK TURNER(Crocodile) Tonight's show should be a curious affair, and I mean that in the best possible way. Soundtrack music comes alive with the Seattle appearance of Mick Turner and Michael Krassner. Turner is probably best known for his role as the guitarist in the incomparable instrumental outfit, the Dirty Three. He'll be playing tracks off his beautifully minimalist Drag City album, Tren Phantasma. Krassner is the founder/composer of the Boxhead Ensemble, the man behind the live soundtrack performances of Dutch Harbor, and a key player in Chicago's avant-rock scene. Stark, beautiful, compelling. Curious? -- Barbara Mitchell

REEL BIG FISH W/BIF NAKED(King Cat) It's industry night at the King Cat with the completely disposable pairing of a fake ska band and a media-driven pop singer. Reel Big Fish hope that wearing nothing but snorkels and their skivvies in publicity photos makes them legitimate feel-good skankers, but these Orange County, ditty-pumping prostitutes forget that ska is about rebelliousness, not slavish servitude to corporate pimps. Meanwhile, Bif Naked used to punk it out with Gorilla Gorilla, but since going solo, she's been trying to sell her punk package in a pop wrapper. It's a Debbie-Gibson-with-tattoos thing, and I smell a greedy producer somewhere behind Bif's transformation. -- Nathan Thornburgh

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