Parts & Labor, Gowns, Medieval Women
(Vera Project) See Underage.
Lou-Lou, Quiet by Ten, Please Do Not Fight
(Mix Gallery) See Data Breaker.
Eagles of Death Metal
(Neumos) I'm normally immune to the charms of new American hard rock. But somehow Eagles of Death Metal have snaked their way into my cold, brittle heart. It could be because EODM have a sense of humor about their stock in trade in these post-post–This Is Spinal Tap days. They seem to be slyly winking with every lyrical sexual innuendo, machismo-laden riff, and clap-enhanced drum beat. The title of their new album, Heart On, exemplifies the band's gauche gumption. EODM's Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes and Josh "Baby Duck" Homme put their manic, metallic, ZZ Top–like blues riffs through the Rolling Stones' sexily torqued rhythms, snarl and falsetto their way into your libido, and then make you sleep in the sonic wet spot—which you do, gladly. DAVE SEGAL
Shudder to Think, the Dead Science, Capillary Action
(Showbox at the Market) Shudder to Think were something of an anomaly in the late-'80s/early-'90s D.C. punk/hardcore scene where they came of age and released a string of records for esteemed independent label Dischord. In a DIY world that forgave or even rewarded amateurism, Shudder to Think emphasized virtuosity, and frontman Craig Wedren sang with what was for their milieu an uncommonly refined, operatic style. Wedren successfully battled Hodgkin's disease, the band petered out in the late '90s, and since then he's released a solo album and contributed vocals to a dizzying variety of projects, from Mirwais's electro-disco cover of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" to Wet Hot American Summer's epic cheese-rock soundtrack to openers the Dead Science's recent Villainaire. This reunion is the band's first tour since 1998. ERIC GRANDY
Wild Orchid Children, Navigator vs. Navigator, Bronze Fawn, You.May.Die.in.the.Desert
(Comet) After being somewhat underwhelmed by my initial impressions of Wild Orchid Children's The Elephants EP, the band's set at Cha Cha during last summer's Block Party downright blew my shit away. Every member ruled his respective instrument, and the frayed-edges blues with grinding organ, unhinged vocals, heavy drumming, and impressive guitar work combined for one of the best acts of the whole festival. It doesn't hurt, either, that these dudes are some serious showmen—front man Kirk Huffman jumps and thrusts about with the best of them, and guitarist Thomas Hunter shreds like he's possessed by some otherworldly rock 'n' roll force. This band is destined to do great things. GRANT BRISSEY
Torche, Coliseum, Clouds
(El Corazón) See preview
Partman Parthorse, the Lights, Coconut Coolouts, Black Daisy
(High Dive) See preview.
Diplo, Abe Vigoda, Boy 8-Bit, Telepathe
(Neumos) The two times I've seen Telepathe—once at Neumos, once at SXSW—they have been totally underwhelming: three listless waifs singing monotonously against droning, druggy, preprogrammed synth and drum-machine backdrops, exuding what can only be described as an infectious amount of apathy. Their new Chrome's On It EP proves that at least they're working with a pleasant-enough sonic palette—the remixes from Mad Decent, Mae Shi, and Free Blood are able to invigorate their source material with some bonus beats and enhanced production (these collaborations also suggest that the trio know some of the right people)—and the vocals are more appealingly melodic than was evident in their live sets. Still, Telepathe are the weak spot on an otherwise killer-looking Halloween party. ERIC GRANDY See also preview, and Stranger Suggests.
Paul van Dyk, Moby, the Crystal Method, Andy C
(WaMu Theater) Tonight is a three-for-one late-'90s-nostalgia trip with DJ sets from (1) the Crystal Method, our country's karaoke Chemical Brothers, (2) Moby, who slit the throat of his own best songs ("Porcelain," "Go") to shower their blood on grateful marketing executives, and (3) Germany's Paul van Dyk, who sounds kind of anachronistic in today's dance culture. He's gradually locked himself into squirming sentimentality, but his early singles like "For an Angel," "Tell Me Why," and "We Are Alive" helped define the trance genre, which few others can claim. It's quintessential stuff, even if the peer-pressure instinct is to laugh behind its back. DEAN FAWKES
The Sonics, Girl Trouble
(Paramount) The Sonics basically perfected, prolly by late 1964, what (by 1970) would be called punk rock... and, even after 40-plus years, they ain't EVER been bettered. You kids might be surprised they played punk without any pretense OR politics; they were white kids who, like all locals, wanted to be as GOOD as the Wailers, so they pounded and screamed the SHIT outta black R&B till it was wide fucking open. Funny thing is, for all that pounding and screaming they were a DANCE band, like a TEEN dance band. Yep. And, turns out, they're from Tacoma. Right, so the Sonics are playing here for first time in years; hope you got your ticket! MIKE NIPPER
(Lo-Fi) Truckasauras's recent debut Tea Parties, Guns & Valor was a long-gestating affair (I can recall vibing with Truck's Ultimate Warrior multimedia displays during Bush's first term), but one can hardly fault the timeline given the record's unmitigated radness. No other contemporary artist channels the kind of warbly, slightly nauseating ecstasy present in the 8-bit video-game soundtracks that Truck mine or in the synth-drunk scores of John Carpenter and Giorgio Moroder. Capable of producing haunting left-field beauty even as they rock the bells, Truckasauras are about the best Halloween party band you'll find this side of Morris Day and the Time. SAM MICKENS
Wayne Horvitz Retrospective, Zony Mash, Pigpen
(Tractor) See The Score.
DJ Spooky, eR DoN, M'Chateau
(Vera Project) See Album Review.
Coosh Crash Test, Massive Monkees, Big World Breaks, BlesOne, Dyme Def
(Paramount) This is an international, two-on-two B-Boy Championship. Breakdancers from Korea, Brazil, Finland, Miami, L.A., and New York will be competing for $10,000. An extravaganza will unfold and freeze. The Massive Monkees crew will be performing their massively incomprehensible dervish of moves. Atlanta's B.o.B., Cali's Pacific Division, Paris's Salah, Seattle's own triple rap-stack Dyme Def, and the collective funk-groove armada of Big World Breaks provide the music. DV One and BlesOne will DJ. Tilson, the ever-flowing Saturday Knight, will be hosting and stirring mirth. Mayor Greg Nickels is even set to speak. Nickels has been working on his downrock and power moves. He's a politician who wants to redefine spin. TRENT MOORMAN See also My Philosophy.
Chris Cornell, Timbaland
(Showbox Sodo) Oh, Chris Cornell, you wandered off and now you're the example—the standard by which we measure all that we are thankful our fallen grunge heroes never had a chance to become. What sort of fucked-up stuff has to happen to a musician that he starts with Badmotorfinger and ends up here? Scream, the full-length collaboration between Cornell and Timbaland, has had its release date moved from October to January. The Verizon-sponsored tour finds the duo performing the album in its entirety, and if the samples on Cornell's MySpace are any indication, it will surely go down as one of the most vapid, soulless efforts ever issued by once-respectable musicians. Someone needs to find the rustiest cage on Earth and lock Chris Cornell inside it until he realizes what he's done and apologizes. JEFF KIRBY
Electric Six, Local H, Japanese Motors
(Neumos) Ex-Detroit disco-metal clowns Electric Six strut loudly and carry a big shtick. Their 15 minutes of fame (in Britain anyway) expired in 2003, but E6 continue to ply their heavy-handed—albeit sometimes funny—sonic snark as a glam-rock pick-up group for front man Dick Valentine's ironic bluster. On this tour, they're supporting the mediocre Flashy, which reveals that much of their former "danger" and "high voltage" have dissipated. New Vice Records artists Japanese Motors are one of Orange County's greatest rock hopes in 2008—which doesn't exactly speak well of OC's rock talent pool. That being said, if you like the Strokes, you will find Japanese Motors to be proficient emulators... of a band considerably indebted to Television and Lou Reed. JM's self-titled debut disc is peppy, no-risk rock from handsome surfer dudes. DAVE SEGAL
Sunburned Hand of the Man, Franklin's Mint, Diminished Men
(Sunset) Massachusetts's communal-jam commandos Sunburned Hand of the Man are hippies—but hippies with more free jazz than free love in their genes. On any given night, though, SHOTM could morph into something else: kosmische couriers who make Krautrocksampler author Julian Cope delirious; perpetual percussion machines who rehabilitate the drum-circle concept; Funkadelic disciples who (thankfully) don't know when to quit; or who knows what. SHOTM's Four Tet–produced Fire Escape (2007) shows they can incorporate electronic elements without losing their trance- inducing zest to quest. Drummer John Moloney's the de facto leader of this free-floating, psychotropic circus, and, due to his impeccable taste and instincts, he will guide this juggernaut to the center of your mind—and vigorously tweak your opioid receptors. DAVE SEGAL
DragonForce, Turisas, Powerglove
(Showbox Sodo) I know, I want to hate DragonForce, too. The clichéd fantasy-metal lyrics, the two- minute-long masturbatory guitar solos, everything dripping with heavy production. It all seems too goofy to be taken seriously, but they're too serious about it to be a joke. But no matter what you think of the music, you can't deny that the dudes really do put on an entertaining show—to a ridiculous degree. There are trampolines and tsunami-strength fans involved. There are lots of lights and lasers and leather, and at least one man with hair grown down way past his ass. So whether you're up front, reveling in their every move, or standing in the back, mocking them during the "ballad," for the hour or so they're on stage, you're sure to at least be entertained by the sheer spectacle of it all. MEGAN SELING
The Stranger's Election Party with Dan Savage
(Showbox at the Market) Listen to the sweet music of an Obama landslide victory (knock wood), with running commentary from the witty and wise Dan Savage. But vote first! DAVE SEGAL
Method Man, Redman
(Showbox Sodo) See My Philosophy.