MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT, SPACE VACUUM... FROM OUTER SPACE
(El Corazón) Touring behind their Gay, Black, and Married album for Rykodisc, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult continue to hammer home blatant, harmlessly risqué sex-oriented lyrics to camp, goth-disco beats that have shown a remarkable ability to please black-clad hedonists for nearly two decades. As part of the "Twothousandsex Tour" (ho), this gig should provide ample opportunity to resolve the important matter of how to clean bodily fluids from leather garments. DAVE SEGAL
ROBERT DEEBLE, THE CRITICAL HITS, OPEN CHOIR FIRE, BILL HORIST, OLD MAN WINTER, PETTING ZOO, GIRLS ON STRIKE, LEVI FULLER, BORING GHOST
(Conor Byrne Pub) Seattle's premier avant guitarist Bill Horist has achieved, through years of concerted development, a uniquely personal sonic vocabulary, a feat that many experimental musicians strive for but never fully achieve. Horist wields a potent juxtaposition of tangible implements and techniques applied to his guitar, and textural weirdness via a wealth of slightly out-of-date pedals to wrench wholly new sounds and patterns from his lovingly abused six string. The sounds and spaces he attains are not only exciting and new in the often rut-stuck world of noise guitar, they're also the product of his willfully crafted and hard-earned mastery. SAM MICKENS
69 LOVE SONGS PRE-VALENTINE'S DAY CELEBRATION
(Crocodile) This world is home to two types of people: those who recognize the Magnetic Fields' 1999 opus, 69 Love Songs, as the most brilliant work of postmodern art to ever bear the name, and idiots. Tonight members of the first group convene at the Crocodile for an all-star tribute to Stephin Merritt's peerless cache of love songs about love songs about love songs, with performances by members of Visqueen, Tullycraft, the Long Winters, Vendetta Red, Harvey Danger, Kane Hodder, and many more. Get tickets early, as this shit is sure to sell out. DAVID SCHMADER
THE CLOUD ROOM, HALF ACRE DAY, PARIS SPLEEN
(High Dive) Get ready to meet your new favorite band. Or at least your new favorite song. While the Cloud Room is, yes, another buzz band from Brooklyn with a massively infectious single ("Hey Now Now"), don't write 'em off yet, because there are at least two things that set them apart from their eyelinered brethren. One, they're less derivative than, say, the Bravery (who make Interpol look original by comparison), and two, these guys sound like they're actually, you know, having fun. It's the kind of high-energy indie-pop the UK wishes it could claim credit for. MAYA KROTH
DEAD MEADOW, THE OUTCROWD
(Neumo's) The depths of this dark, wet winter is the perfect time to peel yourself off of the couch, rub the crap out of your eyes, and go get pummeled by Dead Meadow's high-volume, low-end psychedelic rock. And while the droning buzz of last year's Feathers has drawn this Washington, D.C. quartet the most attention, they will, we sincerely hope, unload some of their denser, more riff-heavy back catalog. GRANT BRISSEY
WOLFMOTHER, THE DIVORCE, DJ FRANKI CHAN, DJ SHORTNIN
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 59.
HOLY GHOST REVIVAL, THE TALL BIRDS
(Old Fire House) Here's a mysterious bunch, at least to the world outside of Seattle. Never touring much and releasing hard-to-find EPs, Holy Ghost Revival keep up the creepy on their latest CD, Bleeding Light (Johnny Cat). They use cryptic black-and-white cut 'n' paste cover art that ain't exactly scuzz-punk style, though there's a bit of that in the tunes. Like like-minded West Coast crooning gutter-stucks the Starvations or Central City Transmission, HGR take Gun Club graveyard swig 'n' stumble and desperately grope for grace. Singer Conor Kiley wails so star-ward, it's as if Klaus Nomi came back and demanded the Bad Seeds get fabulous without losing a stitch of doomed glory. ERIC DAVIDSON
NORFOLK & WESTERN, KARL BLAU, MOUNT EERIE, PALEO
(Vera Project) Mount Eerie is the self-mythologizing avatar and muse-charging artistic vehicle of Anacortes, Washington's most distinguished resident, Phil Elverum. Regardless of one's attitude toward his lengthy, cultishly beloved career as the Microphones (which concluded with the great, if perilously close-to-drowning-in-its-own-conception album Mount Eerie), you have to admire the flagellant zeal with which Elverum pursues his work. The first "real" album as Mount Eerie, last year's No Flashlight, while somewhat less rich in architecture and design than his last couple of Microphones records, does its part in the continual evolution and dissemination of Elverum's cottage musical universe. SAM MICKENS
BLACK ANGELS, FILM SCHOOL, SILVERSUN PICKUPS, COMMON MARKET, SERA CAHOONE
(Chop Suey) Critics have been sniping at Texas's Black Angels from every direction since the release of their self-titled EP on Seattle's Light in the Attic Records. And while there's admittedly little in the way of originality here (they sound a lot like a more rhythm-section-focused Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), the Black Angels are a band so dedicated to their sound that they deliver three-hour multimedia concerts in their Austin hometown. We'll likely not see such a spectacle here, but at least they'll get a chance to prove their chops in a live setting. GRANT BRISSEY
ALTA MAY, JUHU BEACH, THE BEAUTIFUL MOTHERS
(High Dive) I demand all rock-loving Seattleites (that's you!) to stop ignoring Juhu Beach and immediately embrace their vastly underrated and pissed-off convulsions. Sure, they only have three songs out there right now via CD-R demo, so it's not a lot to love, but they're three great songs that really need to be heard. Trust me. Juhu Beach's scribbling guitars try to confuse the rough vocals that throw some of the best temper tantrums this city's seen and heard in a long time ("I'm not okay, you know!!!"). MEGAN SELING
AKRON/FAMILY, SIR RICHARD BISHOP
(Tractor) More so than many of their "freak-folk" brethren, Akron/Family drag Americana kicking and screaming into the new millennium. After moving to New York City, the band built a cultish mystique through Dead-like marathon live sets that helped to land them a debut on Young God Records as well as to appear on an arresting collaborative disc with Michael Gira's Angels of Light. Whether they're teetering between viscous aural backdrops or acoustic spirit quests, these bearded songsmiths break all creative binds while also remaining tunefully classic. The Sun City Girls' Sir Richard Bishop opens. JOSH BLANCHARD
THE HONORARY TITLE, LIMBECK, KOUFAX, JEFF KLEIN
(El Corazón) Aw, the Honorary Title are sad! Well, not completely. But on their record, Anything Else but the Truth, the Doghouse Records duo (Jarrod Gorbel and Aaron Kamstra) utilize piano, cello, and lyrics like "Don't ever leave me alone, not this evening/I am cold and shivering without you near" to paint weepy memories that are no doubt relevant to many heartbroken saps this coming Valentine's Day. So for those who find themselves with no hand to hold on February 14, the Honorary Title will do their best to bring bittersweet comfort to your lonely heart. They even have an aching song about getting dumped on Valentine's Day! What more do you want? MEGAN SELING
THE JUAN MACLEAN, TIM SWEENEY
(Consolidated Works) On his stellar NYU radio program, Beats in Space, Tim Sweeney goes a-diggin' for some danceable, delectable cuts from the past, oh, 35 years, and mixes them into a seamless two-hour show, often featuring guest DJs from all over the globe (2005's guests included Superpitcher and Lindstrøm). Now he brings his skills live to complement DFA labelmate the Juan Maclean. And once Sweeney has worn out your ass-shaking muscles with a blend of prog, disco, electro, punk, house, and everything in between, you can stumble home and download every one of his radio shows in their entirety at www.beatsinspace.net. NICK SCHOLL See also Stranger Suggests, page 40.
THE FRENCH PROJECT
(Sunset) See Stranger Suggests, page 40.
ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI, BELONG, LILLYDALE
(Chop Suey) You're going to Chop Suey mainly to catch Ariel Pink, and that's cool, but do try to get there early for Belong (and locals Lillydale). On their debut album for Carpark Records, October Language, the New Orleans duo (Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones) disperse the sort of gorgeously fx'd guitar billows that made My Bloody Valentine's Loveless so influential (witness Fennesz and his followers). Belong's poignant waves of ambience also recall William Basinski's decaying keyboard loops. Only a bliss-hater would choose to miss that sort of beauty. DAVE SEGAL See also preview, page 54.
(Nectar) Seven years ago, while living here, singer/songwriter Amelia White recorded her first album with ace Seattle producer Tucker Martine. The ex-leader of Boston folk duo the Iguana Poets—and one-time English student at Tufts University—White marks her return to town with a new album (Black Doves) and hometown (Nashville), and with an edge to her beguiling compositions that is both literate and raw. Her country-folk melodies and a nasally, twanged-up delivery fetch tired yet true contrasts with Lucinda Williams. But White's spirited live shows are unique and unadulterated, and the fact that this one's free in an intimate club in Fremont makes the gig hard to resist. SCOTT HOLTER
VALENTINE'S DAY BASH W/DAN SAVAGE, DJ COLBY B
(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests, page 40.
SOME GIRLS, AKIMBO, BOOK OF BLACK EARTH, IRON LUNG
(Neumo's) See preview, page 54.
(Jazz Alley) Never thought you'd find a 79-year-old cabaret singer sexy, let alone exalt her as a hipster icon, did you? But Eartha Kitt never was the type to bow to other people's expectations. Four decades after redefining the femme fatale with her Catwoman purr, Ms. Kitt charmed a new generation when the scandalous details of her illustrious life were splashed across a five-page spread in the hipster bible, the FADER. Expect a mixed crowd at this show and hope to hear Kitt classics like "C'est Si Bon," a naughty number no other septuagenarian on the planet could pull off, but Eartha owns it. MAYA KROTH
ROB SWIFT, THE REBELZ, THE GOONDOCKS, RA SCION, DJ INDICA JONES
(Chop Suey) A New York mutant of beats and crates, Rob Swift was recruited into the X-Men DJ collective in the '90s, recognized for his turntablist ability to make obscure hiphop, jazz, and blues records go "weesh-weesh!" and "pwronnk!" But then Captain Copyright came and made them change their name to the X-Ecutioners. And then Swift went solo. What sets him off from the rest of the subculture's beard-stroking dangers is a mashed-down contradiction of populist accident—Herbie Hancock collaborations, Total Request Live gig—and a sense of political dread, like on last year's Bush-and-Chomsky-sampled War Games, which is narrow-corridor claustrophobic and a very angry thing indeed. GUY FAWKES
THE KING COBRA, KYOZIN YUENI DEKAI
(Sunset) Rock! Clip art! Temporary tattoos! Exclamation points! Olympia does something to guitars, making them sound like loud sewage and the King Cobra sound happy to oblige. With false stops, undermixed female yelps, and miniature brass freak-outs, the King Cobra peddle an unremarkable indie-punk in a grew-up-with-SST-records kind of way, and it'll be interesting to see if they can make something that distinguishes them from the long chug of hardcore. The King Cobra aren't addictive or odd enough to leave a mark, and won't be a breakout like Lightning Bolt, but their enthusiasm is nice. GUY FAWKES
BOB MOULD, ROCKY VOTOLATO
(Neumo's) When a musician leaves the band that made him kinda famous, it's awesome when the solo stuff is just as good as the old stuff. It's rare (Billy Corgan, we're talking to you), but it happens, and former Waxwing frontman Rocky Votolato is proof. One in a series of guitar-wielding Votolatos (brothers Cody and Sonny shred too), Rocky just released his fourth album, Makers, which, if there's any justice, should make him a national name. Rocky (who also plays Thursday's "69 Love Songs" show) hits Neumo's with another newly solo guy, Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould. MAYA KROTH
SIGNOR GROOVE, THE TRANSMISSIONS
(Rainbow) Seattle's Signor Groove (AKA Jeff Beauvoir) celebrates the release of his new Scrambodia CD tonight with his seven-piece band. They play a summery, shimmery brand of funk with sing-along choruses that implant themselves in your rum-soaked noggin after two listens. The album is all about the party. If you're all about the party (you know, that party), you should strongly consider going. DAVE SEGAL