THURSDAY
APRIL 15

RANDY BACHMAN
(Parker's Casino) As founding member of the Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive, Randy Bachman is one of Canada's largest-selling, and longest-performing, artists. Though Bachman left BTO in 1977 (thankfully not before penning "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," a song which mocked his younger brother Gary's stutter), he continues to produce solo projects, including two albums (1992's Any Road and 1996's Merge, featuring son Tally playing drums, piano, guitar, and accordion, and a 10-minute collaboration with Neil Young) and demo CDs featuring early garage versions of a few future BTO hits. Expect to hear samplings from each of Bachman's musical incarnations in what is sure to be a night rich in rock history. -- Kathleen Wilson

MAKTUB, PIECE OF SOL, SOURCE OF LABOR, FELICIA LOUD, BEYOND REALITY
(ARO.space) Our thriving hiphop and soul community is no longer Seattle's best kept secret. Bands like Maktub and Source of Labor have worked long and hard to help our fair city shake its stereotype as a rock-only metro-polis. We journalist types are just a little slow to catch on sometimes. This lineup boasts not a single weak act: get there early and stay late. -- Courtney Reimer

MOWGLI, EYES LIKE MARS
(Sit & Spin) Mowgli has gotten a slather of good gigs recently, throwing their sounds down at the Art Bar, the Showbox, the 700 Club, and beyond. Being curious as to what bookers across the Emerald City were going gaga about, I went down to Mowgli's recent gig at the Showbox. It was easy to see what people were excited about -- a Björk-voiced singer wearing lavish second-hand clothes fronted a band that included a turntablist, an impassive didge player, and a cellist, among others. It's just the kind of instrumentation that attracts attention on the left coast, but it also has its drawbacks. For example, Mowgli had trouble creating a unified sound, and it seemed as though bringing "cool" instruments together was the first priority, and creating good music was more of an afterthought. Conflicting playing styles and a hopelessly lost alto sax player only added to the disjointed nature of the group. In order to keep working steadily outside of Pioneer Square, Mowgli will need to do a better job of providing substance, not shine. -- Nathan Thornburgh

CHRIS WHITLEY, JOSH ROUSE
(Tractor Tavern) Guitar geeks love this Houston native, whose commendable musical skills showcase an amazing range, encompassing psychedelic wing-outs and quiet acoustic pickings. Whitley's songwriting is cinematic and impressive, his vocals becoming hushed or impassioned accordingly. One never knows what to expect from Chris Whitley with each appearance -- sometimes he's a little velvet underground, others he's full-on Seattle rock. To see him once is... a wild card. -- KW

FRIDAY
APRIL 16

NEBULA, PROMISE KEEPERS, RC5
(Crocodile) "I was sitting at my desk over lunch listening to my copy of the Promise Keepers CD. I had just finished reading my noontime devotionals when I decided to log on to the Promise Keepers website. I felt an overwhelming urge to express my newfound intense relationship with my Lord.... I've attended Promise Keepers events in '97 and '98, and I was present for "Stand in the Gap" in Washington, DC. These events have given me the opportunity to become vulnerable and to allow the Lord to take full control of my life. The peace that has come into my life has been amazing. I want to shout it to the heavens! Our God is AWESOME!! I'm now 52. It took a long time for me to realize it, but with God, nothing is impossible. Praise his Holy Name!" (from the official Promise Keepers website) -- Everett True

WILLIS, MARC OLSEN, BINGO, THE BAND THAT MADE MILWAUKIE FAMOUS
(Showbox) If his new lackluster My Own Planet CD, didn't ever... hasn't since..., is anything to go by, Marc Olsen plays a particularly insipid form of turgid, slow, post-grunge music. I believe they used to call these people like Olsen "slackers." The word was meant as an insult, not a call to arms: it indicated that the pampered, whiny generation in question couldn't be bothered to get out of bed, wash their hair, go to work, be creative. On the strength of the torpid, enervating didn't ever..., it seems Marc could barely be bothered going into the recording studio, much less writing a tune or coming up with an original way of expressing himself, beyond slowing everything down and smothering it in reverb. Only in America could anyone like this crap. -- ET

SATURDAY
APRIL 17

VOYAGER ONE, PEDRO THE LION, SALTINE
(Crocodile) How do I love Seattle? Let me count the ways.... There are three on the bill tonight -- bands who make braving the Northwest's relentless rainy season worthwhile. Relative newcomers Voyager One harken back to more shoegazing days with their hypnotic, hallucinatory brand of pop. Pedro the Lion's David Bazan possesses a rare gift for turning melancholy into something pure and beautiful and genuinely affecting. And former Posie Ken Stringfellow forges on in his quest to write the perfect pop song with Saltine. All in all, a damn fine way to reinforce your civic pride. -- Barbara Mitchell

CALLIOPE
(Sit & Spin) Before it was an annoying circus organ, Calliope was the name of a Greek goddess who inspired some damn good poetry. Now it's a fitting name for a night that centers on women and song (wine optional). The second in what's shaping up to be a seasonal series -- the first Calliope took place in winter; the next is scheduled for the summer -- this edition celebrates spring with some of Seattle's budding talent. Leading the pack is the majestic Nikol Kollars, along with true diva Felicia Loud and beat-poet Piece of Sol. Also, don't miss DJ Lay-D Caroline, whose eclectic tastes, ranging from soul to drum 'n' bass, never fail to please. -- Courtney Reimer

DUB NARCOTIC SOUND SYSTEM, THE CRABS, GAZE, KICKING GIANT
(Western Washington University) The recent Dub Narcotic package tour has seen the welcome return of Kicking Giant's Tae Won Yu and his fragile, stark songs -- like Mod, if Mod bands ever stripped themselves right back and laid bare their tales of style and love. The Crabs' recent Sand and Sea, meanwhile, is fast establishing itself as one of my favorite albums of '99: simple, direct, poignant love songs given a sugar coating of Farfisa and a healthy smattering of FUN! Show up early and book your slot as a tambourine shaker. Gaze I can do without, but Dub Narcotic simply gets funkier and funkier... you miss 'em now, you'll be denying it in years to come. -- ET

CHRIS ISAAK, SHAWN MULLINS
(Paramount) Anyone catch former big deal Chris Isaak's recent stint on Melrose Place, playing himself playing at Amanda and her jarhead, drunk-ass, pill-poppin', hamfisted husband Kyle's dinner club? The way the episode played out, he must have been booked in the "Upstairs" for at least a week. No wonder he's on the road. -- KW

SUNDAY
APRIL 18

THE RESIDENTS
(Showbox) Tonight the eyeballed ones will be showcasing songs from Wormwood, their multi-media interpretation of tales from the Bible. Expect some top (hat) entertainment. See also Live Preview, page 36. -- ET

MONDAY
APRIL 19

ATOMIC PLAYERS
(Owl 'n' Thistle) Drunk and sweaty after a Mariners home game, the masses in Pioneer Square want simple funk: the kind one might hear on the PA system between innings -- James Brown, P-Funk, that sort of thing. Mondays at the Owl 'n' Thistle, the Atomic Players are more than happy to give the people what they want -- unpretentious feel-good instrumental funk. Now it might be true that, with the exception of the fine-soloing keyboardist, these players aren't spectacular, but that's not the point. The Atomic Players will have their chops down, and there's never any cover charge, so, you know... go! -- NT

THE NEED, MOCKET
(Velvet Elvis) Olympia's female duo the Need are almost worth catching for their flustered, witty onstage banter alone. Don't get me wrong -- this is an all-around stylized performance. The Need's songs are sharp, brittle explosions of fury and frivolity: strangely recalling the New Wave nuances of Hazel Breaking Glass O'Connor, only without so much sax. (Or indeed, any sax.) Mocket's Matt Steinke, meanwhile, sometimes moonlights for Octant -- or is it the other way round? Whereas Octant are succulent -- robot electronica given a chance to revel in wholesome pop -- Mocket are far weirder. Their forthcoming Kill Rock Stars CD Pro Forma sparks with all manner of irresistibly strange analog noises and home-made melodies: kinda like early Kraftwerk turned mischievously experimental. -- ET

WEDNESDAY
APRIL 21

BURNING AIRLINES, DISMEMBERMENT PLAN, POLECAT
(Breakroom) See Calendar Box

JIM NORIEGA TRIO
(Baltic Room) Precocious young keyboard man Jim Noriega ventures into the Baltic Room, backed by drummer Eric Eagle and bassist Michael Glynn, for some thoughtful arrangements of Beatles tunes. Noriega is an accomplished and earnest player who's loaned his chops to the Sharpshooters' live incarnation, their jazzy offshoot Push, and the live hiphop band Taut, so his crossover credentials are rock solid. With a background like this, it's a given that Jim's interpretations of the Fab Four are more than mere jazz trickery. -- Matthew Corwine

JAY-Z, METHOD MAN, REDMAN, DMX
(Tacoma Dome) If you've happened to catch a rare music video on MTV in the past few months, you've probably left humming two of hiphop's more contagious smash hits. Method Man's "Judgement Day" exhibits perfection in lyrical rhythm and production innovation. Likewise, Jay-Z's "Can I get a..." is further proof that hiphop is one of the few remaining popular genres that isn't afraid to change with the times. Sure, they're both a little silly, but then a sense of humor is just what hiphop society needs right now. Catch this lineup -- which boasts nearly the entire roster of reigning hiphop heavyweights -- and you're sure to get your money's worth. See also Live Preview, page 37. -- CR

 

   

Support The Stranger