THURSDAY 1/25

THE CAUSEY WAY, CAPTURED BY ROBOTS, PLEASEEASAUR
(Crocodile) Schtick, schtick, schtick. Wacky doesn't always equal good, as is the situation on the new record Causey vs. Everything, which is, sadly, sort of boring. But the Causey Way's live show is punk rock and amusing enough to be very entertaining. It's a gimmick act, the joke of which is centered around a cult: the Causey Compound and the Causey "Way," as it were, Causey being the band's frontman/guitarist. Easily one of the more entertaining shows around town tonight. JEFF DeROCHE

ERICK MORILLO & LITTLE LOUIE VEGA
(Showbox) Hot on the heels of the highly successful Trance Nation compilations, House Nation, cobbled together by two of the genre's most solid old-school proponents, seems nothing if not inevitable. They couldn't have picked better candidates for the project than Studio 54 and Sound Factory alumnus Little Louie Vega, late of Nuyorican Soul fame and still a weekly champ at NYC's Vinyl, and Erick Morillo, remixer extraordinaire (everyone from Basement Jaxx to Whitney Houston has courted his skills) and Subliminal Records maestro. Both recall the spiritual Paradise Garage feel of house as an uplifting community, rather than a cold club experience. Thus, their time-warpish--even dated--emphasis on soulful, low-bpm vocal sounds will appeal more to an over-30 crowd ready to reminisce. Pig-tailed raver pups are probably better off waiting for the next USC blowout. LEAH GREENBLATT

KEB' MO', WILLY PORTER
(Paramount) "And I found fault/in everyone but me," Keb' Mo' sings on the title cut of his latest album, The Door. It's wrought with the conviction and genuine hurt that ripples through his blues-based material. It also seems ironic, given the generosity and spiritual grace that courses beneath the surface of the album's songs. Following his two Grammy Award-winning albums, 1996's Just Like You and 1998's Slow Down, The Door builds on its predecessors' strengths--modern blues that is still emotionally gritty, and material that is searching and displays depth. The L.A.-based singer-songwriter offers forgiveness after betrayal on "Come on Back," a spiritual journey on "The Beginning," and an assertive version of Elmore James' "It Hurts Me Too." Keb' Mo's live show is an intimate and powerful evening that gives a stripped-down version of one man's vision bending tradition's ear. NATE LIPPENS

BILL FRISELL TRIO, ROBIN HOLCOMB
(EMP) Bill Frisell is an extravagantly talented musician who believes that jazz guitar can stretch to accommodate all kinds of American music. His early, Jim Hall-inspired textures have grown to mix Nashville twang and pedal steel riffs. Last year's Ghost Town was perhaps his greatest solo album, with its haunting, ethereal, and transporting soundscape. With his trio, Frisell is certain to explore a variety of material, all of it resplendent with melodies, spatial possibilities, and guitar voicings that recall John Fahey, jazz, and rural vernacular music. NATE LIPPENS

BLOODBUNNY, TIM YOUNG
(OK Hotel) Tim Young, one of Seattle's greatest treasures, has been hosting at the OK Hotel for the past three Thursdays; tonight will be the grand finale. Headlining will be Bloodbunny, formerly known as Honey, featuring vocalists Erin Sanford and Ivory Smith. If the sound system in the lounge is working at all, you'll find Erin and Ivory's brand of bluesy, improvisational a cappella music transcendent. Opening this evening will be a rare and much-anticipated solo performance by Tim Young, whose ability on the guitar seems at times to have no limits. If you've only seen him in Wayne Horvitz's Zony Mash, then you have only seen a glimpse of what he's capable of. KREG HASEGAWA


FRIDAY 1/26

EDDIE SPAGHETTI & GUESTS
(Barge Inn) Despite the rumors about it being a "rough sailor bar" (hardly a deterrent if you have a blue-collar fetish) and the fact that it's stumbling distance from my Ballard shack, I had never set foot inside the Barge Inn until my buddy Kirk and I checked out a free Supersuckers acoustic set last Friday. The cheerful neighborhood pub was a solid, swaying wall of Carhartt jackets and tattoos. Eddie Spaghetti and Ron Heathman, wearing southern-fried, flowing locks, played everything from Tom Jones' "She's a Lady" to "Sweet Home Ala-Ballard." As we drunkenly sang along with a version of Van Halen's "Jump" that sounded like it had been strained through a sweaty horse blanket, Kirk shouted in my ear, "This is the nicest night of music I've experienced in a long time, and that ain't just the booze talkin'!" I would have agreed with him, but I was busy screaming for them to play my favorite Merle Haggard song. TAMARA PARIS

MELVINS, TIGHT BROS FROM WAY BACK WHEN, HOMO-ERADICUS
(EMP) Melvins are like taking a shit. All tension and turmoil, they roil around your guts like something you need to expel, finally releasing in a grand epiphany of freedom and relief... oh, wait, you're not quite done yet. Between this show and the recent Mudhoney gig, the kids are getting a chance to brush up on a couple of chapters of grunge history. DAN PAULUS

SWAMP MAMA JOHNSON, DARREN LOUCAS
(OK Hotel) There's something for everyone in a spicy set served up by Bellingham-based Swamp Mama Johnson, who've been rocking houses almost nonstop for the past six years. These blues-rock-and-almost-everything-else ladies hail from all corners of the U.S., bring their respective local blues traditions to the band's music, and are uniformly talented. It's hard to pick a standout from this lineup. Also appearing is Juke frontman Darren Loucas. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS


SATURDAY 1/27

MOMUS, STARS, ALCHEMY JONES
(Crocodile) Forty-year-old Scottish iconoclast Nick Currie years ago chose as his nom-de-tune the Greek god of blame and mockery, Momus. Like Serge Gainsbourg meets the Pet Shop Boys, Currie's literate, baroque pop stylings are too smart and strange for the pop charts. Aside from his longtime association with Creation Records, only two events ever floated the Momus name on the mainstream: first, a commercially fruitful collaboration with whispery woman-child Kahimi Karie, who sent several Currie-penned tunes straight to the Japanese Top-Five; and second, a rather more unfortunate run-in with musical pioneer and all-around wacky tranny Wendy Carlos. Her subsequent libel lawsuit against the artist led to 1999's Stars Forever EP, a cleverly executed novelty project that aimed to cover court costs by immortalizing--for a price, of course--rabid Momus fans with 30 personalized "song portraits." Tonight's show should introduce some of his latest work from Folktronic. LEAH GREENBLATT

BLÖÖDHAG, HOG MOLLY, RUBY DOE, MEDULLA PI--ATA
(Breakroom) While you may remember last year's series of Shake the Stacks gigs at the Seattle Public Library, Blöödhag raised the stakes a notch or two last summer with a full-blown tour of our region's most neglected of socialist institutions. To combat an alarming illiteracy and ignorance among fans of punk rock, Blöödhag has created "Edu-Core." Writing kick-ass heavy metal about famous science-fiction authors (authors whose tomes the band has a penchant for hurling at its adoring fans), Blöödhag threatens to turn seething masses of heavy-metal knuckleheads into a legion of well-read literati. If the lure of getting clocked by Ray Bradbury isn't enough, the rest of tonight's hard-hitting bill makes a good argument for throwing energy conservation to the wind and cranking the volume up to ear-splitting. NATE LEVIN

QUEEN IDA
(Showbox) Louisiana-born Ida Guillory was crowned Queen Ida in 1975 during a Bay Area Mardi Gras celebration where she was christened Queen of Zydeco Music. By that time she had amassed a following and the respect of her peers with accordion-playing noted for its melodic emphasis on the treble side of her instrument. That focus makes her style similar to Mexican playing styles, which she grounds in Creole traditions and integrates with Caribbean, Cajun, and blues. She was the first woman accordionist to lead a zydeco band. In 1988 she became the first zydeco artist to tour Japan. Now in her early '70s, Queen Ida continues to be an off-handed trailblazer whose stage show mixes a variety of party music influences and variants to create a hybrid that shows its roots. NATE LIPPENS

TAGGING SATELLITES, THE DROP, LILA
(Elysian) Like that dark-haired poet you had a crush on in high school, there's something mysterious and slightly dangerous about Tagging Satellites. The band's second album, Abstract Confessions, is almost a flashback to the moody, art school-influenced underground of pre-breakthrough Jane's Addiction L.A.--wonderfully detached, on-the-verge-of-a-breakdown female vocals paired with music that finds the middle ground between the ethereal and the razor's edge. When vocalist Zera Marvel (who turns out not to be dark-haired at all) intones, "I don't know/what it means/to have things/go my way," you'll remember that there was a time when pain was art, not commerce. BARBARA MITCHELL

ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM
(I-Spy) The Anti-Pop Consortium makes intellectual rap. MCs High Priest, Beans, and Sayyid deliver verses to plug into your cerebrum. The New York trio revels in alliteration, in breaking up words and phrases, in clustering up its rhymes, and not rhyming when expected. And from this vantage point of experimentation-over-expression, its MCs construct narratives and themes with figurative language. The music, produced by the Consortium plus E. Blaize, plays like a series of experiments; the soundscapes give possibilities of distortion, dissonance, and the loops that suggest more of a thought-project than the V6 power motor typical of rap. BRIAN GOEDDE

THE BRIEFS, THE BELLRAYS, THE BLOW UP
(Sit & Spin) In a world where morons like Fred Durst want us to know that They Have Feelings, Too, the Briefs are as refreshing and irreverent (and occasionally as satisfyingly infantile) as a well-timed fart during a long sermon. Their excellent album Hit After Hit actually lives up to its name--delivering 13 cheeky punk rock anthems with titles like "Poor and Weird," "Rotten Love," and "I'm a Raccoon," while still clocking in under 25 minutes. The best part? They're even more fun live than they are on Memorex. Do you love a good time? Then get out and see the Briefs! BARBARA MITCHELL


SUNDAY 1/28

HAIRYAPESBMX, OTA PROTA
(I-Spy) Let me offer some basic facts about HairyApesBMX, because once the Butt Moving eXperience begins with the band's Latin-tinged hiphop beats, you won't care what I have to say. First, the Seattle connection here is Mike Dillon, the percussionist for Critters Buggin', but instead of being stuck on the kit, here he also romps all over the vibraphone with a sensual precision. Second, this band is all about the percussion. Now, don't get the idea that this is some drum circle. While there are nods to African drumming, world consciousness, and plenty of swinging jams, hiphop has a much heavier influence here. Add to this a wacky but smooth rapping style, and you've got both fun and frolic. KREG HASEGAWA


MONDAY 1/29

AMY DENIO, STUART DEMPSTER, MOUNT ANALOG
(I-Spy) Chinese cosmology splits the natural universe evenly into two opposite yet wholly complementary elements. You could argue that the same split orders the universe of improvised music today, and if easy-listening is the yin, then Amy Denio and Stuart Dempster definitely make up the yang. Or, to use the name of a group that trombonist Dempster recorded with, artists like these require "deep listening." Stuart plays it spooky; vocalist and saxophonist Denio plays it jagged. Eminem may talk about shooting his family, but musicians like Denio and Dempster do more violence to the very notion of what music is supposed to be than Marshall Mathers ever could. But don't worry--if Monday night at I-Spy wrecks your jangled nerves, you can always go for a deep-tissue calming with the yin of easy-listening Spyro Gyra at Jazz Alley on Tuesday and Wednesday. NATHAN THORNBURGH


TUESDAY 1/30

HAIRYAPESBMX, BRAD HOUSER
(OK Hotel) See Sunday listing.


WEDNESDAY 1/31

EXBESTFRIENDS, TRANSMARINE, TEXAS INSTRUMENT
(Graceland) If you like dreamy, guitar-driven music that's not quite pop and not quite rock, that shimmers similarly to local acts such as Voyager One and Kinski or the departed My Bloody Valentine and the Verve, then Transmarine may just be up your alley. The band is young and not without its butterflies or glitches, but holds much promise for the future. Headlining the show is another young band that has already proven itself to be worth the billing, playing artful, grunge-fueled rock that is anything but outdated. I won't tell you about the fire-breathing, because it surprised the shit out of me when I first saw it. KATHLEEN WILSON

SPRYO GYRA
(Jazz Alley) If you go to a live show to be cornered and confronted by the music, then stay away from Spyro Gyra. The veteran smooth-jazz group may have intense musicality and a knack for lubing complex world rhythms, but the end product is no more challenging than a sweet narcotic sleep. It's easy to ridicule easy-listening, but groups like Spyro Gyra do have a legitimate place in jazz. Specifically, easy-listening and avant-gardism form the two poles that encompass all of improvised music, and as such, I would recommend going to Spyro Gyra, but only if you saw Amy Denio and Stuart Dempster (see above) a day or two ago, or if you suffer from chronic mania or hypertension and just need to chill out for a few hours. NATHAN THORNBURGH

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