Thursday 10/16

Desolation Wilderness, Lake
(20/20 Cycle) See Album Review.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker is Back Onstage at McCaw Hall! Tickets start at $27.
Join PNB for a timeless tale of holiday adventure performed by PNB’s amazing dancers and orchestra.

Cancer Rising, Onry Ozzborn, Tulsi
(J&M Cafe) See My Philosophy.

Laurie Anderson
(Moore) Laurie Anderson's last performance at the Moore occurred one week after Bush narrowly won the 2004 election. Between spells on the violin, she explained that she had never felt like part of society's uniform group. But once the country was divided into two distinct halves, she finally found her people. It marked a shift away from Anderson's decades of social commentary wrapped in inventive sampling and synthesizer works. This week's visit continues her trajectory as a political commentator. The performance is based on her next album, Homeland, marked by a "political urgency" and the "current climate of fear." She'll be backed by Okkyung Lee, Eyvind Kang, Peter Scherer, and Skúli Sverrisson. DOMINIC HOLDEN

Pinback, Mr. Tube
(Showbox at the Market) I can't recall the first time I heard a lot bands, but I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard Pinback via their sophomore album, Blue Screen Life. For the record, I was building a diorama in my college classmate's bedroom, but that's unimportant. What's crucial is that it's a rare record that can leave such an indelible first impression, attaching itself to a memory as though predestined or at least digitally added in postproduction, a blue-screened memory. Since then, Pinback have seemed less memorable, as they repeatedly reiterate their perfectly understated, intricate, and subliminally catchy indie-rock sound (although "AFK" is one hell of an earworm). Still, who knows which moments will stick with you? Tonight might be the most haunting Pinback performance yet. ERIC GRANDY

(Trinity) It's telling that before James Lavelle's UNKLE even really launched their debut, Psyence Fiction, cofounder Tim Goldsworthy abandoned the project for NYC and, eventually, the DFA. They're clearly still friendly—the DFA remixed UNKLE's "In a State," for instance—but there is an oceanic divide in style and taste. While there's some overlap in whom the two outfits work with, Lavelle's collaborations tend more toward middle-of-the-road marquee acts like the Beastie Boys or Josh Homme. It's like Lavelle is still looking for that big rock/electronic breakthrough, while the DFA have been making it happen for years. UNKLE's latest, End Titles... Stories for Films (not a proper album, but a collection of unreleased tracks, film/TV scores, and other oddities), isn't likely to change matters. ERIC GRANDY

Friday 10/17

(Lo_Fi) See The Score.

Stereolab, Richard Swift, Monade
(Showbox at the Market) See preview.

Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Golden Triangle, TacocaT
(Chop Suey) See preview.

Duffy, Eli Paperboy Reed
(Showbox Sodo) Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy is a dream come true for people yearning for a blonder, more Lulu-esque Amy Winehouse, sans tabloidy aftertaste. Duffy's debut album, Rockferry (lavishly, tastefully produced by ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, with strings by the legendary Wrecking Crew), replicates the cinematic, orchestral grandeur of producers like David Axelrod and Jack Nitzsche. Duffy negotiates familiar love-song tribulations with requisite tremulousness and seductiveness. Ballads nestle comfortably next to midtempo soul testifying with a natural grace that shows no strain in reaching those archetypal deep and exalted emotions. It might be hyperbole to call Rockferry a 21st-century Dusty in Memphis, but not by much. The album's that sweet. Have "Mercy," and then some. DAVE SEGAL

Saturday 10/18

D. Black, Bambu, Khingz, Kore Ionz, Nam
(Vera) See My Philosophy.

Legendary Pink Dots
(El Corazón) Anglo-Dutch goth-psychedelic group Legendary Pink Dots have been haunting the musical fringes for 28 years, accumulating a significant, cultish fan base despite little commercial airplay and releases on small labels. Through the band's staunch devotion to their brand of pastoral, spacey, polyglot rock and vocalist Edward Ka-Spel's dramatic, enervated spiels, LPD appeal to melancholy dreamers. Ka-Spel's voice bears a Syd Barrett–like lugubriousness that complements LPD's rambling, oft-disorienting excursions into the Floydian slipstream. This tour is in support of LPD's new disc, Plutonium Blonde (ROIR), which offers the group's usual panoply of moods and styles, most of them fairly spectral and disturbing. DAVE SEGAL

Rob Castro, DIMMAK
(King Cobra) Rob Castro has a hand in much that happens in the local hiphop scene. He has a hand in The Corner at the Rendezvous, in Grayskul, in the new and excellent Gigantics record, in the legendary Silent Lambs Project, in Blak, the Saturday Knights, Seattle Suicide Riots, and Mr. Hill. And this is by no means the end of his accomplishments. The owner of Beacon Hill–based ATB Studios, Castro has played a central role in developing the dark, gothic sound that defines one of the four main streams of local hiphop. His Living Room Prophets CD is hard to find, but worth the search. CHARLES MUDEDE

The Chemicals, Pure Country Gold, the Bill Collectors, Paper Dolls
(Sunset) What a throwdown of tasty Northwest garage! We got local punkers the Paper Dolls, who consist of ex-Glory Holes/Stuck-Ups members, and the Bill Collectors, who have this night's most solid '60s vibe, nodding also to Iggy, his Ashetons, and a Williamson, plus, um, their song called "Pay Your Bills." Nice... so, it's like a theme song without repeating their band name between a bunch of "hey hey" and "woah oh" bits. WOW! Then from Portland, the Chemicals, who play '70s punk in the fine Killed by Death style, and Pure Country Gold with smokin' solid Oblivians-style, bent-black R&B rave-ups. FUCKING whoooo-WHEEE! MIKE NIPPER

Sunday 10/19

Psalm One, Longshot, Abadawn, Sadistik, Alexipharmic
(Nectar) See My Philosophy.

The USA Is a Monster, Wah Wah Exit Wound, the Better to See You With, Attitude Problem
(Comet) Brooklyn/nomad noise-purveyors the USA Is a Monster have been doling herky-jerky scatter-rock for quite some time now. Recent work—Wohaw and Sunset at the End of the Industrial Age—has leaned more toward mathy keyboard-and-guitar harmonies that follow (or are followed by) hilariously articulate diatribes sung by both drummer/keyboardist Tom Hohmann and guitarist Colin Langenus, and a sampling of their latest, Space Programs, continues this trend. Throughout their discography, the USA Is a Monster have mixed and matched anything from no-wave to stoner rock, basement-bargain electronic elements to Native- American mysticism, somehow always fitting it all into a surprisingly cohesive whole. Live, the duo tends to deliver like any self-respecting Load Records act does. GRANT BRISSEY

The Rumble Strips, Birdmonster, Skeletons with Flesh on Them
(Chop Suey) Skeletons with Flesh on Them. The name initially seems morbid, conjuring images of skeletons and flesh and all that. But when you think about it, skeletons with flesh on them are just squishy humans. So it seems less strange, then, that a band with such a name would make some of the sunniest, harmony-laced, guitar-driven pop this side of the Cascades. Their latest EP, The Fish Don't Mind, is chock-full of hooks and memorable lines about "bein' in love." The vocals are boyish and playful, but not cartoonish enough to be annoying. Really, the only complaint I have is that it's been a year since the release of the EP and I'm ready for some new stuff! It's time, guys. Stop teasin' me. MEGAN SELING

Fleet Foxes
(Moore) Fleet Foxes' ascent to medium-sized popularity has been swift and somewhat surprising. The bins overflow with the Seattle quintet's brand of beardy, meticulously crafted folk rock (much of it issued by the Foxes' label, Sub Pop), but not all of these groups play large festivals at home and abroad, get booked on Letterman, and accumulate reverent praise (the Guardian deemed their debut, Fleet Foxes, "a landmark in American music." Really?). So, why did the Foxes zoom to prominence? Well, their vocal interplay is impressive and their timbres pleasant—scrubbed, innocent, Simon and Garfunkel-ed to the max. Their melodies are haloed with a penumbra of solemn beauty. Clearly, the Foxes put much thought into their arrangements, creating an illusory, rich, aural 1972. Ultimately, though, Fleet Foxes is sonic comfort food—albeit attractively displayed—that lacks spice. DAVE SEGAL

Monday 10/20

The Mountain Goats, Kaki King
(Showbox at the Market) The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle belongs to a rarefied class of singer-songwriters whom I'll call, for lack of a better term, Acts My Girlfriend Can't Stand. This lot includes Darnielle, Why?'s Yoni Wolf, the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, and the Weakerthans' John K. Samson. What it boils down to is this: amazing lyrics, annoying voice (or at least less than Mariah Carey–level vocal prowess); Bob Dylan is the patron saint of this sect. Some people prefer voice to lyrics at seemingly any cost, but that's their loss. Especially in the case of Darnielle, whose razor sharp if slightly pinched portraits of human dysfunction and tenacious hope are just heartbreakingly good. Tourmate Kaki King comes from the It's-Not-Fair school, for those possessed of guitar chops, voice, and songwriting skill. ERIC GRANDY

Kings of Leon, We Are Scientists, the Stills
(Paramount) Kings of Leon's latest, Only by the Night, features the unstoppable song "Sex on Fire," on which Caleb Followill's vocals absolutely soar. "Yooouuuuu, your sex is on fiiiyaaah." Ears are held in the honey and strength of his vocal grip. The song goes off. The rest of the album, however, lacks that fire. It falls into a midtempo rut. KOL have said they're upset by lack of sales in the U.S. compared to those in Europe. Maybe if their albums were more full of the fire, sales would increase. We Americans like fire. KOL still need to be seen, though. They're carrying the Southern-rock torch. TRENT MOORMAN

Tuesday 10/21

D Menace, G.T.S, Mega Man, S Dubb, A.T.G, I Gang
(High Dive) See My Philosophy.

Tierney Sutton
(Jazz Alley) See The Score.

Neil Young, Death Cab for Cutie
(Comcast Arena, Everett) Remember that one time Neil Young played "Rockin' in the Free World" with Pearl Jam on some MTV awards show? Wasn't that awesome?! Tonight's not likely to see Death Cab and Young engage in any similar torch-passing, generation gap–bridging collaborations, but wouldn't it be sweet if they did come out for some rendition of, say, "Ohio" or "Heart of Gold" or "Computer Cowboy" (aka "Syscrusher")? Okay, they probably wouldn't pick that last one. If nothing else, this is a show you can take your "cool"/"sensitive" dad to if you don't mind the greater Everett metropolitan area. On the drive home, you can talk about how awesome a CSNY/Fleet Foxes tour would be. ERIC GRANDY

Support The Stranger

Wednesday 10/22

The Heroine Sheiks, Emeralds, Sex Vid, Black Tooth
(Comet) Shannon Selberg used to be in an infamous Minneapolis punk band called the Cows. Now he fronts a band called the Heroine Sheiks. (No, not "heroin chic"—Heroine Sheik!). Selberg seems to be known for his frantic, unpredictable, almost-menacing onstage persona. I hear he screams a lot—and plays an "aggressive" bugle. A loud, aggressive bugle. I've never seen the Cows or the Sheiks, but I expect fucking chaos. I hope for spitting, headbanging, and men in women's underwear. Saith Comet booker Mamma Casserole, "I might have to take the next day of work off... Last time they were here, there was an incident involving jumper cables, Shannon, and my boobs." Oh, bring it, Midwest, brrrr-ring it. KELLY O