THURSDAY 6/22

WANNABES, THE FORTY-FIVES, DRUNK HORSE
(Graceland) If you like the big-sounding stadium rock of yore--I'm talking Rush or Foghat as opposed to Slipknot--then Drunk Horse is for you. They're very serious about it, but I get the giggles every time they come to the end of a song and then out blows a guitar-noodly finish à la 1979. Go back a little further in time and you'll recognize the Forty-Fives' Hammond-riffic sound from those cool-ass, blue-lit basement parties that, for most of us, took place in the movies rather than our real lives. This band played Foxes recently and had the place jumpin'; if you were there, then lucky you. If not, get your ass into your finest hipster gear and get on down. KATHLEEN WILSON


FRIDAY 6/23

THE MELODY UNIT, KINSKI
(Crocodile) Instead of grumbling about the fact that summer refuses to actually arrive, embrace the dark side with an evening's worth of first-rate drone, courtesy of the Melody Unit and Kinski. The Unit bring their slightly Stereolab-ish take on moody, textured pop, and Kinski step up to deliver an early dose of Fourth of July fireworks with their patented sonic pyrotechnics. By the end of the night you'll be in an alternate universe. BARBARA MITCHELL

WEEN
(Showbox) Do we really need more New Jersey joke rock, you ask? (After all, we've still got Bon Jovi.) Yes, Gene and Dean Ween are weird, as are most of their fans, and while I often enjoy their cover art and song titles ("Spinal Meningitis Got Me Down"), I always resisted a band I thought would swiftly grow tiring. That is, until one particularly devoted co-worker dedicated an entire summer to Twelve Golden Country Greats, and I was hooked. Songs like "Powder Blue" and "Piss up a Rope" grew on me like a fungus, and their mastery of the Nashville sound was actually pretty stunning. Aside from the help they received on that one from Elvis' original backing band, they have some other interesting compadres; try picking up their album with Japan's Boredoms, or call TRL to request their years-old video done by a then-unknown Spike Jonze. If you want to see what came before Tenacious D, head on down. LEAH GREENBLATT

THE PUSH STARS, THE SAMPLES
(Catwalk) Ah, yes--the '90s. While every other alt-rock band on the planet gambled on the major-label system, the Samples quietly spent the decade touring, releasing their own albums, touring, touring, and, um... touring. As a result, while their contemporaries are readying for the inevitable episode of Where Are They Now: College Rock!, the Samples are still doing what they do best (you guessed it--touring). BARBARA MITCHELL

HANDSOME FAMILY
(OK Hotel) The husband/wife (hence, "Family") team of Brett and Rennie Sparks record music in their living room. Sad milkmen, a phobia of bridges, and beautiful fireflies that are dead in the jar by morning are celebrated in song. The Handsome Family take horror and darkness and turn them into something far more sublime. KRIS ADAMS

BOB MOULD, PEDRO THE LION, JUNIOR BROWN
(Flag Plaza) When Bob Mould toured in 1998 for The Last Dog and Pony Show, he got lots of press for his insistence that it would be his "last electric band tour." Mould kept at least part of that promise, as he's been performing solo ever since, but he has pulled out the electric guitar on occasion. No one's complaining, though--Mould's remarkable ability to carry a crowd with only his luminous singing, guitar playing, and stage banter is legendary. And tonight's gig will likely be anything but dull: Recent shows have included new acoustic numbers and "techno" songs with a DAT machine, and even some old Hüsker Dü ballads. MELODY MOSS

METALLICA, DR. DRE, SNOOP DOGG & EMINEM, FILTER, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, KID ROCK
(Memorial Stadium) Not much here you can't get on The End, except the exciting prospect of seeing three of the most influential rappers of the past 10 years together. With N.W.A., Dre was instrumental in the defining and directing of hiphop into a gritty, no-bullshit medium, and with Snoop Dogg he codified the laid-back gangsta style that would be the hallmark of the West Coast Sound. His support of Eminem has stolen the thunder of rap-metal hybrids and wussy pop, to the tune of over 2 million copies of The Marshall Mathers EP sold in three weeks. Between Em, Dre, and Snoop, the flow will be on. ERIN FRANZMAN

PATTI SMITH, CHRISTY McWILSON, DAVE ALVIN & THE GUILTY MEN
(Mural Amphitheatre) Patti Smith is the only person in rock who has a sincere agenda to change the world but who has also managed to not end up looking like a dumbass. A shaman and a revolutionary who never resorts to bitterness or tribalism, her shadow hangs over a generation of women songwriters, but her influence and achievements are universal. Rather than open the door for women in rock, she simply walked in and took over. The records following her third and finest, Easter, fail to reflect her capabilities, but performed live the later material somehow stands almost level with her best work. Rock music has produced no more profound a figure, and none who will be loved as long. GRANT COGSWELL

RICKIE LEE JONES
(Bagley Wright Theatre) Although she'll probably always be remembered primarily for the single "Chuck E.'s in Love," Rickie Lee Jones is much more than a one-hit wonder. This former Olympian infuses her work with a jazz sensibility that differentiates her from the female singer/songwriter pack she's unfairly lumped into, but it's her voice that's really and truly something to behold. She's got a new album due later this year, which should make this evening's show a bit of a preview, and very much a near-religious experience. BARBARA MITCHELL


SATURDAY 6/24

DIALECT
(OK Hotel) The spell has been broken. The dance stranglehold of Seattle's Saturday night Holy Trinity--the Showbox, I-Spy, and Last Supper Club--and the seemingly impenetrable force field which renders all other venues invisible to that crowd, is no more. That may be in part because Wesley Holmes and Brian Lyons are two of Seattle's wiliest pied pipers: Their hard, thumping house is like extra-sharp cheddar to the city's ravenous, workin'-for-the-weekend mice. It's a good bet that the dreaded Dedicated kryptonite won't manage to destroy San Francisco's DJ Buck, Dialect's special guest this week, so don't be surprised to see a steady line of reformed Trinity devotees swiveling on their platform heels and goose-stepping it down Alaskan Way for a change; you might even find yourself compelled to fall into step. Surrender. LEAH GREENBLATT

DAVE ALVIN & THE GUILTY MEN, JOHNNIE JOHNSON, BIG JAY McNEELY
(Mural Amphitheatre) Singer-songwriter, Merle Haggard enthusiast, blues artist--there's not much Dave Alvin hasn't done. He's played with everyone from Mojo Nixon to Candye Kane, but Alvin's music is never pretentious, never overblown, never trying to be anything other than itself. He works from a blues base, but the end product doesn't resemble the blues much at all. Maybe it's that the other genres he touches on--country, American folk, classic-style rock and roll--are equally unpretentious and charming. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS

IDA, HIS NAME IS ALIVE
(Paradox) I gotta say, I don't know how IDA do it: They aim for pretty and evocative and every time, they end up wussy and dull. Sorry. ERIN FRANZMAN

IMPERIAL TEEN, MAKTUB, NEKO CASE AND HER BOYFRIENDS, IQU
(Flag Plaza) Holy cow! It's Christmas in June! It's been almost a year since San Francisco's best export graced the Northwest with their darkly effervescent presence. It's definitely time for a fix of Imperial Teen's incredibly catchy, ultra sexy, impossibly irresistible brand of guitar pop--a little something to hold us over until a follow-up to last year's aptly named What Is Not to Love? appears. Also definitely worth getting excited about is Neko Case--in a world where contemporary country music has somehow morphed into post-millennial pop-metal, Neko is the real deal. Her latest, Furnace Room Lullabye, has been a staple since its release, and for good reason: It burns with the kind of gritty, mournful-yet-plucky, pick-yourself-up-after-the-heartbreak-and-dust-yourself-off kind of soul that's a mark of classic twang. BARBARA MITCHELL

GUS GUS SOUNDSYSTEM, HEAVYWEIGHT ART INSTALLATION, SUPREME BEINGS OF LEISURE, NASIR AND SWEETMOTHER
(Flag Pavilion) Apparently Gus Gus are now Gus Gus Soundsystem, since their female vocalist left to pursue an acting career. This means they will be more DJ-oriented, though hopefully they'll still play a few greats, like "Why" or "Is Jesus Your Pal" from 1997's Polydistortion. Oddly, one of the best things about this show won't be making any noise at all, except for the unobtrusive little scritch-scritch of paintbrush on canvas. Montreal's Heavyweight Art Installation create amazing on-the-spot murals, reminiscent of the vaguely mod cover art of Moon Safari. It's a sort of guerrilla street art taken to the next level, and the results are pretty remarkable. The guys who do it are surprisingly nice, too, in that special Canadian way. LEAH GREENBLATT

BECK, ALANIS MORISSETTE, EURYTHMICS, MATCHBOX TWENTY, NO DOUBT
(Memorial Stadium) Nothing here you can't get on The End. Yep, nothing here. ERIN FRANZMAN

BO DIDDLEY, TAJ MAHAL & THE PHANTOM BLUES BAND, THUMBS UP FEATURING CAROL KAYE
(Mural Amphitheatre) The famous Bo Diddley Beat is the one thing most directly responsible for the development of rock and roll as we know it. I vow to catch the man himself in concert. Equally worth seeing is Taj Mahal, who's done more for the preservation and development of traditional blues than anyone else alive today. And then there's Carol Kaye, who originally hails from Everett (!) and plays a mean bass guitar. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS

DEBORAH COOPER, C&C MUSIC FACTORY
(Manray) Yes, the "Things That Make You Go Hmmmm..." C&C Music Factory. We're not kidding (but lordy, how we wish we were). ERIN FRANZMAN

WEEN
(Showbox) See Friday listing.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK & GRANT LEE PHILLIPS
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests.


SUNDAY 6/25

HOVERCRAFT, BRATMOBILE, COLD CRUSH BROTHERS, MURDER CITY DEVILS, SOURCE OF LABOR
(Flag Plaza) Hovercraft are less a band than an occasional public ritual in observation of the passage of our last, mad century. Through film collage scored with propulsive, id-expanding show-length pieces, they reveal the insect-like behavior of the human hive. To go on their strange trip in a crowd of thousands will prove that your individuality is as superfluous as a hairdo, and that you are the pawn of a history older than speech and as organic as sex. GRANT COGSWELL

THE DYNAMICS WITH JIMMY HANNA, JR. CADILLAC, MERRILEE RUSH, THE VENTURES, THE WAILERS, PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS, THE KINGSMEN
(Mural Amphitheatre) How could you pass up a free show featuring a bunch of really old Northwest bands from the '60s and '70s--most of whom recorded versions of Washington's (almost) state song, "Louie, Louie"? Let's see, we've got the surf-errific Ventures; the recently royalty-rich Kingsmen; "garage R&B" band the Fabulous Wailers (not to be confused with Bob Marley's crew); "Angel of the Morning" Merrilee Rush; local wonderbands Jr. Cadillac and the Dynamics with Jimmy Hanna, and my personal favorite of the bunch, Paul Revere & the Raiders--who, after 40 years of hard-rockin', are still decked out in Revolutionary splendor! MELODY MOSS

ANN WILSON, SCREAMING TREES, YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS, FASTBACKS, BUILT TO SPILL, SUBSET, QUEENSRŸCHE, SCRAP METAL, NEW STRYCHNINE
(Memorial Stadium) Despite the odd mixture, the sum total of this Northwest-Band-O-Rama is pretty hard to beat. Former Heart/Lovemongers diva Ann Wilson is always a pleasure, regardless of who her "Special Guests" turn out to be. The recently out-of-hiatus Screaming Trees and the Young Fresh Fellows come closest to the image the rest of the world still has of Seattle music--you know, that forbidden "g" word. Throw in ubiquitous locals the Fastbacks, Built to Spill, Sir Mix-A-Lot and the Presidents of the United States of America (as Subset), as well as a hodgepodge of other genres--metal bands Queensrÿche and Scrap Metal, Sonics tribute band New Strychnine--and you've got a lineup that'll keep the Seattle hype going till God knows when. MELODY MOSS

JAMES BROWN, MACEO PARKER, THE JB'S
(KeyArena) Who hasn't bounced around the room at least once in their lives, contorting their faces around the lyrics to "I Got You"? Soul, funk, R&B--James Brown does it all, and he directly influenced the formation of two of the above genres to boot. Maceo Parker's one of Brown's former sidemen, which would give you an idea of how good he is even if he hadn't already established himself as a solo artist. Parker, in turn, has been involved with the JB's, who, as the name implies, are a sometime-backing band for Brown who also record and tour in their own right. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS


MONDAY 6/26

TIM FINN
(Tractor Tavern) If you're a fan of well-crafted guitar pop, your presence is required at the Tractor Tavern tonight. The late great Split Enz's Tim Finn is here in our fine town in support of a new solo album, Say It Is So. If someone could possibly explain why schlock like Vertical Horizon are enjoying massive success while true talent like Finn can't seem to reach beyond cult status, I'd truly appreciate it. BARBARA MITCHELL

WYNTON MARSALIS with the LINCOLN CENTER JAZZ ORCHESTRA
(Benaroya Hall) See Stranger Suggests.


TUESDAY 6/27

YO LA TENGO, LOIS
(Showbox) Yo La Tengo means "I have it" in Spanish, and last summer, a series of street ads appeared with pictures of young girls cavorting on a playground proclaiming "Yo La Tengo!" Turns out it wasn't a marketing stunt for the beloved indie rock band (ever see a Yo La Tengo For President bumper sticker?) but an ad for lupus awareness. All those little girls on the playground had lupus! So sad. ERIN FRANZMAN


WEDNESDAY 6/28

DE LA SOUL, BIZ MARKIE, TALIB KWELI, PHAROAHE MONCH, COMMON
(Paramount) See Stranger Suggests.

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