THURSDAY 9/27

RATT
(Fabulous Firwood) The last time Ratt was meant to come to our area, the band canceled, which seems like a bit of a luxury (but who knows, maybe somebody got in an accident or something) for this '80s nostalgia act whose career has been dead for well over a decade. But I have to say that Ratt is forgivable, only because I think that of all those girly-boy metal bands from Ratt's time, Ratt is the one whose music still makes aesthetic sense today. In fact, I'm proud to say that songs like "Lay It Down" and "Round and Round" will be buzzing around in my hum-matrix forever. In fact, just thinking of Ratt today, I am proud to be an American. JEFF DeROCHE

MOTÖRHEAD
(Showbox) Rather than pontificate selfishly on the genius of Motörhead, allow me to furnish this horse's-mouth excerpt from the "Motörhead Speaks" section of the band's official website. This will be copied directly with no editing from me: "Q: In the 1988 movie sound track The Metal Years, Motörhead sang 'Cradle to the Grave.' What band did that song to inspire Lemmy and the guys to do this song? Phil Campbell: Ah hah, someone has actually noticed this killer song. It is one of my personal favorites. I remember that we were just having a good time in the Surrey countryside when we recorded 'Cradle' and 'Just Cos You Got the Power.' We had a great guitar sound had ourselves and guy bidmead at the controls cigarettes and plenty of booze when we plowed in to these muthafuckers. Great sound decent lyrics and killer riffs and mangler guitar breaks from myself and Wurzel." KATHLEEN WILSON

SHAKE CITY, THE SHRINKS, SHERRY MANILOW
(Sit & Spin) Don't cha'll LOVE the ever lervin' ever-loo-shun of the Seattle rock! Shewww-weey!!! Shake City is NOW what once was and what remains of the Gimmicks. Hey... don't say "Shake City" too fast tho', you'll say a bad word!!! Okay, so evidently, after a couple years of rotatin' lineups, the band members settled down, ditched the name, and started over. However, as they've only played out a couple times, I dunno quite where they'll end up, being in transition as they are. Tho' when I saw 'em the other week, I was quite struck how they'd lost most of the Gimmicks' strict Scientists/Stooges affection and played cool early-'70s riffy ROCK, without being boogie OR "stoner," WHILE keepin' shit grounded inna groove. Oh, I heard a bit of melody too! MIKE NIPPER


FRIDAY 9/28

PLEASEEASAUR, THE DIRTMITTS, EX-GIRL
(Graceland) See preview this issue.

BOTCH, BLOOD BROTHERS, TEEN CTHULU, SUPER MAGNIFICENT ACTION TRIO
(Old Fire House) Vital and energetic are but two adjectives to describe all of the bands on this expressive, impressive bill. Mostly comprising melodic hardcore bands, this all-ages gathering spearheads the roiling creativity and rampant talent among Seattle's young power players. KATHLEEN WILSON

SKERIK, MIKE DILLON, BRAD HOUSER, MATT CHAMBERLIN, BACHIR ATTAR & MUSTAPHA ATTAR
(Sit & Spin) See Stranger Suggests.

DUSTY 45's, JOHNNY DILKS & HIS VISITACION VALLEY BOYS, LUCKY STARS, ROCKIN LLOYD TRIPP & THE ZIPGUNS
(Tractor) Country music fans and rockabilly kids take note: Johnny Dilks & His Visitacion Valley Boys are a retro Western-swing outfit from San Francisco that you do not want to miss. While even the word "retro" turns me off personally, I can't help but love this band. And the best thing about it is the yodeling. Inspired by yodeler Kenny Roberts, Dilks' voice is a thing of beauty--pure, piercing, and capable of bouncing and bending to extents that seem downright unnatural. You'll find the spirits of Hank Williams, the Louvin Brothers, and Bill Haley all up on stage with Dilks as he and his Valley Boys perform a swinging, archival sort of country that puts them in a league with contemporaries like Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, Deke Dickerson, the Lucky Stars, and Biller & Wakefield. JEFF DeROCHE


SATURDAY 9/29

IVY, CLEM SNIDE
(Crocodile Cafe) See preview this issue.

KOMMUNITY FK
(Breakroom) Despite the fact that I've personally witnessed not one but TWO "final" Kommunity FK shows, Patrick Mata is back (in black, one would assume) with his groundbreaking death-rock outfit. And while it would be easy to dismiss this as another crass reunion-for-cash endeavor (see also: the Cult), there's still something satisfying about hearing KFK's take on gloomy, Joy Division-influenced post-punk. Sure, eyeliner and black lipstick look less dignified once you've passed the big 4-0, and no, the new material is probably not that great (and let's be honest, songs like "Trollops"--"It's the trollops in you, it's the trollops in you"--haven't aged quite so well...), but I'm willing to cut the band some slack for the chance to hear classic mope-rock anthems like "Something Inside Me Has Died" and "The Vision and the Voice" live again. Now where'd I put that black nail polish? BARBARA MITCHELL

EXOTIC DANCERS UNION BENEFIT W/THE GOSSIP, BAMBOO CLAN, BOBBIT, SHEZAM, PINK CHIHUAHUA, GRETTA HARLEY
(Elysian) Exotic dancers? Well, Beth Ditto from the Gossip certainly has that base covered. The last time I saw her band was at the Capitol Hill Block Party, which had Ditto freaking out on the audience, demanding that they all wave (or clap) their hands (I don't remember which) in support of all the fags and dykes and trannies of the world. She was breathless as always, somehow managing to generate her characteristic sonic boom from the gut, all the while shaking her groove thing (exotically) like there was no tomorrow. That girl's a fucking whip. And while I generally have no patience for sloganeering and overt politics in contemporary music, I recall the way a stunned, shrugging morning audience watched her--obeying her half-heartedly--and thinking what a genuinely beautiful person Ditto must be. JEFF DeROCHE

SCARED OF CHAKA, CATHHOULA HOUNDS, SEAWOLF
(Sunset) I was thinking that maybe "Chaka" could be the name of a dog, and then this entire lineup could be some sort of fucked-up psychodrama. But then life is never that interesting, so here's the straight skinny: Scared of Chaka is a local punk-pop (or pop-garage) band with a big, accessible guitar sound and catchy, resonant vocals. The live show is aggressive and game, and the recent LP, Crossing with Switchblades (Hopeless Records), contains 14 songs that seem to go by in about three minutes, compliments of the band's excellent energy and pop palatability. Scared of Chaka may be afraid of hounds and wolves, but with bent-up strings, staccato punk-rock rave-ups, and distorted on-key screaming, the group certainly isn't scared to entertain. JEFF DeROCHE


SUNDAY 9/30

ROCK SOLID: NW RED CROSS RELIEF BENEFIT
(Crocodile) At 6 pm, the Crocodile will open for a silent auction featuring visual art, signed vinyl, and other hot items from the likes of Patti Smith, Coldplay, Emily McLaughlin, and David Walega. (Yes, that's the Patti Smith.) At 7 pm, the showroom will begin featuring live bands to include the Minus Five, Acoustic Posies, Shawn Smith, No. 13 Baby, DJ Suspense & KO (of IQU), and DJ Cherry Canoe. One hundred percent of what is brought in at the door (admission is $10), as well as all proceeds from the auction and a raffle, will go directly to the NW Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Cash donations will also be accepted. You must attend this event, and it will no doubt be well worth it. JEFF DeROCHE


MONDAY 10/1

BLIND SPOT TRIO, NORMAL MAN
(I-Spy) Though I hadn't heard of the band before I put the CD in, Blind Spot Trio's Relics of the Thing immediately captivated me. I guessed immediately that the guys who make up the trio are from the Midwest. Most of their songs (all instrumental) develop slowly, with the patience one feels driving miles through spacious landscape. I hesitate to call what Blind Spot Trio does jazz. The tunes are structured in pastiches (one melody elides the next), and the basis of the improvised compositions is not so much blues, but Americana. "Uncle Butch" is a good example of this, and it reminds me of what Bill Frisell is up to. "House with No Spoons" bowls me over with a thrash-funk conviction. The Blind Spot Trio mixes it up nicely. KREG HASEGAWA


TUESDAY 10/2

SUNSET VALLEY
(Crocodile) In the mere half-decade of its existence, Portland's Sunset Valley has displayed admirable integrity in its dedication to sounding like no other Northwest band. On the new album Icepond (Barsuk), songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Herman Jolly once again has set to disc a stunning (and substantial: 15 tracks) collection of multilayered songs ranging from glimmering pop to itchy, sexy rock. Jolly's lyrical characters are infinitely quirky, just this side of sideshow, and remarkably lifelike within his confused, clever stories. Any time this band graces a Seattle stage is a night to take note of and attend. KATHLEEN WILSON

SIGUR R"S, THE ALBUM LEAF
(King Cat Theater) Seven minutes and 33 seconds into the second song from Ágætis byrjun, the 2000 FatCat release by Iceland four-piece Sigur Rós, all the swelling majesty wears thin. The song has gone beddy-bye, spinning out over and over again, milking Jon Thor Birgisson's honeyed falsetto for all it's worth. I, like many a sucker, was duped a while back by the overwhelming emotionalism that soaks the voice of Sigur Rós' cherubic frontman. And Ágætis byrjun is, without question, a beautiful record in spots. The buzzing shoegazer feedback in the guitars, the orchestral string-swells, and Birgisson's embellished croonings all interweave for an intoxicating, pixie-dusted tapestry of sound. It melts in the mouth upon first listen, before turning to sugar. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with sugar. Sugar's just not the great white hope Sigur Rós has been repeatedly touted as being. JEFF DeROCHE

GORDON LIGHTFOOT
(Paramount) Aside from making one feel ancient in one's mid-30s, this show also serves as a reminder to admire Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" for its sweeping, epic historical storytelling. But Lightfoot's deft narratives were not limited to his many hits ("Sundown," "Carefree Highway," "If You Could Read My Mind"), as each album quietly boasted universal songs about love, misery, or--in the case of the wrenching tale of infidelity "Softly"--both. Lightfoot also penned the line, "It took most of the time to do what was never done," a lyric that could stand toe-to-toe with lines from any of today's celebrated, misanthropic indie singer/songwriters. KATHLEEN WILSON

ANGELIQUE KIDJO, DJ DAREK MAZZONE
(Showbox) Walk into any record store and chances are you'll find this Benin-born and Paris-raised singer's new best-of CD in the "world" music section, where all foreign-sourced or foreign-tongued music tends to get dumped, regardless of style. In a perfect world, however, Angelique Kidjo would be located in the "pop" section instead. For no matter how wide-ranging her output, it's nearly always been thoroughly accessible and highly produced. She's a modern, eclectic pop star at heart. Fueled by funk, soul, cosmopolitan dance grooves, and the voodoo roots of her homeland, Kidjo delves into everything from reggae, samba, salsa, gospel, jazz, rumba, zouk, and makossa. Most of her work strikes me like the perfectly pulsating soundtrack for a futuristic French fashion show. Whether that sounds enticing, of course, depends on one's tastes. I, for one, prefer the timeless imperfections of the world's dusty byways to the fleeting impeccabilities of its pretentious runways. JAMES KIRCHMER


WEDNESDAY 10/3

MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT
(Catwalk) My first taste of dance clubs (after my formative years as a mullet-haired buttrocker) showcased the likes of Lords of Acid and TKK, so it is fortuitous that the Chicago collective hooked up with Lady Cherrie Blue (a.k.a. Lady Galore, of Lords of Acid) on its new album, The Reincarnation of Luna. I admit that I'm partial to the group's Wax Trax! era, especially 1989's industrial-tinged Confessions of a Knife, which featured the propulsive and irreverent "Kooler Than Jesus." And the diseased disco of 1991's Sexplosion! makes me smile, especially the B-movie horror of "Sex on Wheelz." But Luna shows that TKK is capable of changing with the times, launching into the hyperactive techno of "Radio Silicon" and showing off the heavy house track "Temptation Serenade." Buzz McCoy hasn't lost his libidinous style, nor has Groovie Mann forgotten how to turn the crowd into writhing Dionysian acolytes. DAVID SLATTON

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