Thursday 9/25


Maceo Parker
(Jazz Alley) See The Score.

Decibel Festival
(Various venues) See Data Breaker.

Book of Black Earth, Black Breath, Immiserate, GALDR
(Comet) It's been a busy year for dark-metal rockers Book of Black Earth. They've recently signed to Prosthetic Records, cut Horoskopus, a second full-length with the label that will be released October 14, and they're kicking off a North American tour tonight at the Comet. "Funeral of Peace" from the forthcoming album features drummer Joe Axler's honed attack of unrelenting blast beats, much guitar churn-and-chug, and frontman TJ Cowgill's typically gruff-but-intelligible growl. Generally, things are sounding tighter and looking up for the local five-piece, and fans of scary metal could do worse than tonight's show, which is sure to register somewhere on the Richter scale. GRANT BRISSEY

Friday 9/26


Decibel Festival
(Various venues) See Data Breaker.

Blue Scholars, Hieroglyphics
(Showbox at the Market) See My Philosophy.

Calexico, the Cave Singers
(Moore) Named after a California-Mexico border town and based out of Tucson, Arizona, Calexico naturally blend folksy Americana with more southerly influences, maintaining a musically fruitful open-border policy. Founded by Joey Burns and John Convertino of veteran L.A. indie band Giant Sand (as well as Sub Pop act Friends of Dean Martinez and a touring lineup of Iron and Wine), Calexico have expanded to include a half-dozen musicians, incorporating steel guitar, trumpet, vibraphone, and stand-up bass, as well as the usual guitars and drums. Their recently released album Carried to Dust finds the band laying down more of the same mariachi-accented indie rock with impeccable musicianship and a handful of guests, including Iron and Wine's Sam Beam and Tortoise's Doug McCombs. ERIC GRANDY

Hypatia Lake, Black Whales, Spirit Vine, Rocking Horse People
(Comet) Black Whales are the latest project featuring Davey Brozowski (formerly of the Catheters, more recently of the Tall Birds), and the band are much less dirty and loud than any previous Brozowski endeavor. Some songs ("Books on Tape," "The Boxer") evoke the familiar Cave Singers' "Tennessee back-porch" vibe. Other tunes ("Dirty Business," "The Diamond Divide") have more meat on their bones—influenced more by rock than folk or country. In fact, it's hard not to hear a little Tom Petty and Elvis Costello, maybe even a little of the Kinks, at times. Hear it for yourself: You can download their self-titled, four-song EP for free at www.blackwhales.com. MEGAN SELING

A Place to Bury Strangers, Sian Alice Group, Mono in VCF
(El Corazón) Founded in 2006 by vocalist Sian Ahern and multi-instrumentalists Rupert Clervaux and Ben Crook, Sian Alice Group incorporate a wide array of styles on their latest album, 59.59, foraying into ambient interludes, acoustic folk, offbeat jazz, chamber pop, slowcore dirges, and more. Throughout, though, the group maintain a subtle cohesion of sound and mood, thanks largely to the constants of Clervaux's atmospherically rich production and Ahern's soaring singing voice, which practically demands the dusting off of that hoary music-critic cliché "ethereal." A shared penchant for sweet studio sounds and female vocals make Mono in VCF a safe choice of openers, although their noirish spy themes are far less ranging. Headliners A Place to Bury Strangers come heralded as the "loudest band in New York." Although last time they were here, their postindustrial shoegaze was no match for the noise complaints of Chop Suey's fussy neighbor. Here's hoping they have better luck this time. ERIC GRANDY

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Pattern Is Movement, the Terrordactyls
(Healthy Times Fun Club) Having recently gotten the internet goin' nuts, Philadelphia duo Pattern Is Movement prove to be the rare case for believing the hype. Singer-keyboardist Andrew Thiboldeaux provides stately grandeur via both his clarion moan and his electronics-augmented faux ivories, while drummer Chris Ward is a winning glutton for bombast. Their recent album All Together (released earlier this year on Hometapes) is one the most successful records in some time at sounding joyful without sounding sappy. Their music glitters like the golden rooftops of Constantinople and soars and swoops like the sun-drunk birds above. SAM MICKENS

Saturday 9/27


Decibel Festival
(Various venues) See Data Breaker.

Blue Scholars, Hieroglyphics
(Showbox at the Market) See My Philosophy.

Monotonix, the Girls, the Heavy Hearts
(Comet) Everything you've heard about Monotonix is true. The fire, the flying trash cans, and the drum solos on top of the crowd (yes, on top of the crowd) are becoming the stuff of legend. And though Tel Aviv's greatest punk export might not be the first band to trash the stage and risk life and limb for the sake of rock and roll, they are one of the few who manage to balance their rambunctious behavior with such unbridled enthusiasm and genuine good nature that the destruction seems less like an act of defiance and more like a drunken dance party gone too far. Here's hoping that those crazy Israeli stoner/garage rockers can maintain the mayhem without getting stuck with a lawsuit. BRIAN COOK

Akimbo, Helms Alee
(King Cobra) Tonight, local low-end crushers Akimbo celebrate their 10th anniversary of blowing amps, farming hair, and harshing mellows, as well as the release of their latest album (and first for Neurot Recordings), Jersey Shores. Over the past decade, Akimbo have cycled through a few guitarists, navigated the country many times over in their trusty (and road-killing) van, and evolved from thrash-and-wail, D&D-inspired hardcore to the sort of riff-heavy, bass and drum–driven plow that could make even the hardiest hesher shudder like a deer in high beams. Joining them tonight is up-and-coming Tacoma trio Helms Alee. If that band's Ben Verellen weren't such a scene stalwart, you might say Akimbo were passing them the torch; as it is, it's more like they're just sharing a mighty joint. ERIC GRANDY

Sunday 9/28


Decibel Festival
(Various venues) See Data Breaker.

My Morning Jacket
(McCaw Hall) Around these parts, My Morning Jacket may hold an unfair (and chronologically impaired) reputation as That Band That Sounds Like Band of Horses. But, c'mon, those other guys don't even live here anymore. In any case, My Morning Jacket's most recent album, Evil Urges, should go a long way toward putting that tired comparison to bed, as it finds MMJ lead singer–songwriter Jim James stretching his already airy voice to an ozone-hole-high falsetto while his bandmates trade their festival-circuit friendly psych and back-roads rock for studio-slick, dry-docked yacht rock and electro-tinged funk that ranges from inoffensive to, well, highly offensive, nowhere more so than on "Highly Suspicious," on which the band's backing vocals sound—no disrespect to the Kids of Whitney High—retarded. ERIC GRANDY

Monday 9/29


Jackson Browne
(McCaw Hall) It's all been downhill for Browne since he wrote those three classics that Nico recorded in 1967 for Chelsea Girl. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. DAVE SEGAL

Tuesday 9/30


Larry Coryell
(Jazz Alley) See The Score.

Hater, the Cops, the Curious Mystery
(Tractor) Is it heretical to like Hater more than Soundgarden? I don't care. A psych-garage unit featuring the 'Garden's Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron, and Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain, Hater put out an undersung self-titled gem in 1993, right before Superunknown blew up. The album ranges from delicately gorgeous folk meditations ("Lion and Lamb") to fuzzy, clenched Cat Stevens covers ("Mona Bone Jakon") to brawny ballads ("Roadside") to ill-tempered garage pop ("Circles," "Who Do I Kill?"). The three principals later formed the similarly inclined Wellwater Conspiracy and also recorded Hater's sophomore full-length in 1995 (The 2nd, unreleased until 2005), but their profile has remained low for over a decade. A pity the same can't be said for Chris Cornell. DAVE SEGAL

Wednesday 10/1


Andrea Neumann
(Free Sheep Foundation) See The Score.

Mission of Burma, Welcome
(Neumos) When Mission of Burma released their seminal debut record, Vs., in 1982, I was still in diapers, and punk rock's meteoric marks were still being made on the musical landscape. Count Vs. as one of those marks. This frenzied, fractured slab of jittery post-punk, which was rereleased this year as a triptych with the two MOB albums that followed, picked up at a time that two of the band's not-too-distant predecessors—Gang of Four and Pere Ubu—had fallen flat. The urgency of Vs. still resonates, capturing a fervent energy guitarist-vocalist Roger Miller once said was meant "to mimic the natural feel of a live performance." Vs. as presented as an actual live performance in its entirety promises to be an essential experience. TRAVIS RITTER

Support The Stranger

Todd Rundgren
(Triple Door) Few musicians have fallen off as precipitously as Todd Rundgren. The Philadelphia singer/songwriter/studio sorcerer peaked early and often with psych-garage foursome Nazz (whose "Open My Eyes" is a contender for greatest song in the universe) and solo LPs bursting with maverick blue-eyed soul pop like Something, Anything? and A Wizard, A True Star (whose "International Feel" electrifies Daft Punk's Electroma), and the prog opus Initiation. Rundgren flaunted a devastating melodic touch with baroque arrangements and odd electronic embellishments. But even as he kept up with technological innovations, Rundgren faltered compositionally, sporadically falling prey to gimmickry and triteness. Those treasuring his '60s and '70s output will probably get their fill of faves, but they'll have to suffer some cringeworthy duds in the process. DAVE SEGAL

Global Drum Project, Mickey Hart
(Benaroya Hall) Please bag your knee-jerk disdain for the Grateful Dead and hippies in general for a minute. I feel your skepticism, but Dead drummer Mickey Hart has done some worthwhile music in the post–Jerry Garcia era. For instance, Hart's latest ensemble with Zakir Hussain, Taufiq Qureshi, and other exotically named players rides hypnotic percussion excursions, Dilshad Khan's blissful, glinting sarangi, and sage, inspirational male vocals (including some by the legendary Babatunde Olatunji) to a noncheesy place of profound peace. You can listen to Hart and Hussain's Global Drum Project, get your gentle groove on, align your chakras, chant "om" till the gurus come home, and still respect yourself when morning yoga class rolls around. DAVE SEGAL