(Moore Theatre) See preview, page 24.
SONNY BONOHO, DJ FUNKDADDY, GUESTS
(Chop Suey) See My Philosophy, page 31.
THE 88, DERBY
(Crocodile) If you like your pop more Beatles than Britney, check out L.A.'s the 88, who wear pinstriped suits while churning out polished, radio-ready power pop that goes down easy. Taking their name from the number of keys on Adam Merrin's piano (or maybe the velocity needed to get Michael J. Fox back to the future), the 88 recently released their second record, Over and Over. Since then, the album's tracks have been used, over and over, on shows like The O.C. and Grey's Anatomy—probably because their soaring hooks stick to your brain like a discarded piece of Bubblicious to the bottom of Ms. Spears's bare feet at a gas-station bathroom. MAYA KROTH
DANAVA, DJ JACK, DJ III
(Re-bar) Every time I hit Portland band Danava's MySpace page, I have to wipe the drool off the keyboards when I'm done. Had David Bowie seduced Black Sabbath and the coupling been consummated in a waterbed of liquid LSD, the music would sound as epic as Danava's two demo songs. This band should come with their own laser light show, as their songs shoot celestial lightning bolts skyward, and they're equal parts heft and haute. Although I've yet to see them live, this is by far my show pick for the week. It's also the launch of Capitol Hill art gallery No Space's new night, Physica—a "new-age discotheque" featuring DJ Jack of the Pleasure Boys and DJ III. Only three bucks gets you into a whole new headspace. JENNIFER MAERZ
(Neumo's) Former frontman for the highly-regarded (yet eternally flat) Red House Painters, Mark Kozelek somehow eluded any awareness of Portland-via-Issaquah mainstays Modest Mouse for the decade or so until just before the band's frat rock triumph "Float On." Understandably taken with the wealth of Isaac Brock's back catalog, Kozelek made the somewhat-misguided decision to do with Modest Mouse what he did with AC/DC four years prior—record an 11-track cover album devoted entirely to Kozelek-ized interpretations of the band's songs with his latest band, Sun Kil Moon. And while the announcement of his intention was enough to cause a collective groan through most of the indie populace's least forgiving corners, a focused, well-crafted Modest Mouse covers project was actual a fairly interesting prospect—a chance to evaluate the band's work divorced from the trappings of Brock's oppressive presence. Unfortunately, it turns out that without Brock's lisping, Cro-Magnon delivery, Tiny Cities sounds suspiciously like boring ol' Red House Painters. Bummer. ZAC PENNINGTON
SHAWN SMITH, CHRIS BLUE, MASSY FERGUSON, OVAL LEAGUE
(High Dive) A couple weeks back I wrote in Live Wire about local musician Christopher Blue's arrest in Kansas after police found a pound of pot in his tour van. He's now out on bail and could face up to four years' jail time/probation. Blue's contacted NORML to help with his cause, and tonight's show is billed as a benefit for both Blue and the marijuana-friendly organization. Come out to show support for the Sensation Junkies frontman and his friends and throw cash in the coffers of pro-pot types around the country. JENNIFER MAERZ
DJ HIVE, IMPULSE OF CORRUPT SOULS, TZA, SYZE, OTHERS
(Chop Suey) DJ Hive tried to go Hollywood by recording "Neo" for The Matrix Reloaded. It ultimately got rejected, but the L.A. drum 'n' bass producer ain't no sellout. He still ranks among America's finest practitioners of bombastic tech-step, and also excels at mellower, jazzier jungle. Hive calls his music "hardcore breakbeat fusion," signifying his output's refreshing lack of purism. Witness the eerie, Miles Davis goes triphop of Working with Sound and his cut with tech-house titan John Tejada, "Air Raid," a sizzling combo of finesse and power, as well as dynamics and outré tones. Hive's diversity and quality are definitely buzzworthy. DAVE SEGAL
GAS HUFFER, GIRL TROUBLE, CANNED HAM
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests, page 17.
PLAYING ENEMY, LESBIAN, UNION OF THE SNAKE, THE KEPT
(Funhouse) Lesbian don't take the easy route. This Seattle quartet starts with an already-complex framework of metal assault and stretches the stuff out into epic prog-ish, psychedelic suspense. This is the kind of noise that serious enthusiasts will call in sick to their kitchen jobs in order to witness. Take two bong hits and call me in the morning. GRANT BRISSEY
BOBBY BIRDMAN, PANTHER, THIS SONG IS A MESS, YACHT
(Gallery 1412) Freddy Ruppert's one-man band, This Song Is a Mess, but So Am I, was a project created to deal with the loss of his mother to cancer. His genre-skirting-yet-defying songs are like the best parts of Skinny Puppy's dark, creepy synths—teeth-rattling bass beats combined with harsh electronic noise not above giving way to smart pop. Listening to the extremely stark lyrical content of Church Point, LA is like reading the diary of a desperate and introspective young man. Live, Freddy is a fireball of wonderfully melodramatic performance energy, throwing his body into every beat, windmilling his arms, and cursing God with his fists. You'll love it or hate it and nothing between. JAMES SQUEAKY
SCREAM CLUB, STINK MITT, THE PUNK GROUP, FANKICK!, DJ FITS, DJ SCORPIO
(El Corazón) El Corazón lightens up the rock load for a night to bring on a bit of an art-punk dance party. The theme for the night is a post-holidays holiday party, as the Rat City Roller Girls throw a "derby prom" featuring humorous entertainers, including Oly hiphop duo Scream Club, '80s dance pop from Fankick!, and Portland's new-wave Punk Group—all of whom put the spaz back in pop pizzazz. JENNIFER MAERZ
CRUCIAL CHANGE, DURANGO 95, ROAD TO RUIN, SNOT ROCKETTES
(El Corazón) Crucial Change works as a synonym for essential alterations, which in turn serves as a reminder about New Year's resolutions. This bill offers fodder for resilient self-improvers of all stripes. The Snot Rockettes test twentysomethings who've vowed not to behave like lecherous jackasses in front of teenage girls. For household helpers determined to take out the trash and clean the garage, there's the trashy garage group Durango 95: close enough. Witnessing Road to Ruin's old-school-indebted rock 'n' punk set counts as respecting elders, and surviving the mosh pit during Crucial Change's blistering Oi! anthems kills more calories than a treadmill marathon. ANDREW MILLER
D.I.A.'S GLOBAL ROCK SHOWCASE: HR, DUB AGENTS
(Neumo's) HR was the lead singer for the punk band Bad Brains. Bad Brains came from Washington, D.C., and comprised four black Americans who mixed Rastafarian religion with some of the most powerful punk ever known to man. I Against I is the band's best album, and Quickness, their last record (or at least the last record HR made with Bad Brains), has the band's best track, "Soul Craft," an explosion of rasta imagery, thunderous drums, and electrical energy. HR, whose vocal range is operatic, has had a so-so solo career that regrettably abandoned punk and focused on reggae. Particularly as a solo artist, HR's reggae has never been more than second-rate, which was certainly not the case with the punk made by Bad Brains, the oddest band of the hardcore age. CHARLES MUDEDE
FEDERATION X, SHELLSHAG, HEADLINERS
(Funhouse) Federation X have honed their backwoods dual-guitar howl considerably since 2001's excellent American Folk Horror. But some who found wide grins upon riding the feedback swells and churns of Horror reckoned 2003's Albini-cleansed X Patriot a little too sterile, so this time the trio turned to the hometown boys at Mars Studio in Bellingham. The resultant Rally Day makes you wish that town could crank out a little more of this beer-splattered growl and buzz. Throughout Day, two guitars—strung only with the four heaviest strings and necessary treatments of duct tape—send down riffs that rip through nine tracks like chainsaws through an old-growth forest, and drummer Beau Boyd follows the carnage, chopping it up with firewood-sized percussion. The faster the trailblazing on Day the better, but slower cuts still exhibit some adept guitar swagger. Live, though, it really doesn't matter what era of the band we're talking about, because they always deliver. GRANT BRISSEY
THE OLD HAUNTS, TALL BIRDS, GHOST MOTOR
(Sunset) You can break up a band, but you can't always keep the old members from playing music together again. And thank god for that, especially in the case of Tall Birds. The Catheters split just as their energy seemed to be waning, but Brian Standeford, Leo Gebhart, and Davey Brozowski are combining forces once again under that fowl moniker—proving you can't keep a solid musical connection down. I've only heard very early demos, but there's almost no better way to catch what the newest Catheters incarnation has in store for Seattle than to see them live. This show is part of the Sunset's 4 O'clock Rock series, and what better way to spend another dreary end-of-the-weekend afternoon than with this bill of garage-rock aficionados? JENNIFER MAERZ
ELIOT LIPP, LOZEN, LEO 123, SUBTITLE
(El Corazón) Eliot Lipp's new full-length, Tacoma Mockingbird, is the finest sonic valentine to our southern sister city since Neko Case's "Thrice All American" from Furnace Room Lullaby. But musically, the two expatriates (the former now resides in L.A.) couldn't be more different. In lieu of plaintive Americana, Lipp deals in sleek—but not slick—electronic sounds, starting with a foundation of classic hiphop breaks, atop which he unfurls burbling analog synthesizers and mesmerizing repeated keyboard figures at casual dance-floor tempos. Fans of the classic spacey disco of Rinder & Lewis and/or the modern underground house crew at Environ (Metro Area, Daniel Wang) will approve. KURT B. REIGHLEY
DJ PETER HOOK, INFOMATIK, THE LIGHTS, DJ MAMMA CASSEROLE
(Neumo's) While Infomatik are a talented band in their own right, and it's great to see the Lights back on the scene, the bulk of tonight's crowd will most likely comprise Joy Division and New Order fans. The newest crop of post punks to hit Seattle owe those early visionaries a huge debt, and Peter Hook can collect it himself when he DJs for two hours at this installation of the Chinese Rocks club night. Echoes of Hook's signature bass lines will probably snake through both the live bands and his vinyl collection, making for an education in the power of influencing generations to come by simply making music that comes naturally (rather than following the latest moneymakers). JENNIFER MAERZ
(Electric Heavyland) See preview, page 24.
(Bad Juju) Jesy Fortino is a cowboy-booted lady who sells burritos on Pine Street. She is also Tiny Vipers, a one-lady guitar-plus-mic outfit who sounds kinda like Cat Power, kinda like butter on a stack of pancakes. Picking since tweendom, Fortino was weaned on soundtracks and musicals, and states a gamut of influences from Muddy Waters to Sharmila Roy. In the post-Lilith Nilla waif-er world, this is both refreshing and noteworthy. Fortino's "They Will Follow You" (streamable via MySpace) hypnotizes with a voice patterned around single-string simplicity, as if words and guitar played musical chairs and everyone won. See her while you still can—next year, it'll be eight bucks at the Croc with Matador and Conor Oberst in the greenroom. MAIREAD CASE
POP SMEAR TEST
(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests, page 17.
COLIN MELOY, LAURA VEIRS
(Showbox) There's nothing more charming than a geek who's fully embraced her geekiness. Except maybe when somebody gives that geek a guitar and lets her write an album or five of heartbreakingly great songs. Enter Laura Veirs, the local-via-Colorado songwriter who ditched college geology classes for the musician's life, taking her interest in rocks and trees and stars and transforming it into powerful metaphors for love. Fellow brainiac Colin Meloy rounds out this righteous bill; as frontman for Portland's the Decemberists, Meloy skips generic lovelorn poetics and looks instead to dusty history books for lyrical inspiration. When these two put their formidable noggins together for a show, everybody wins. MAYA KROTH See also preview, page 27.
SUPER GEEK LEAGUE, THE SACRED TRUTHS, GONKEN
(Crocodile) I saw Super Geek League at Neumo's some time ago, and the visions of performers jumping on trampolines with dead fish, nuns stripping down to their undies, and warped clowns dancing to distorted carnival music still haunt my dreams. How the crazy cabaret turned rock band will fit all their antics into the smaller (and lower ceilinged) Crocodile showroom is a mystery, but if you're not afraid of being slapped around by decaying sea life or wrapped in miles of plastic wrap, it might be worth the few bucks it costs to find out. MEGAN SELING