TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS, MOJO BIG BAND
(Sunset Tavern) To support Grant Cogswell's campaign for city council, the unique and talented Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players will be performing this benefit show with the Mojo Big Band. While I find it hard to believe that there is a single fan of live music in Seattle who has not yet witnessed the unique good cheer of the Trachtenburg Family, I will reiterate for out-of-towners: A man and his pre-teen daughter perform bright, well-crafted melodic pop (the daughter, Rachel, is on drums) while they anecdotally show a series of family slides that the Trachtenburgs have found and purchased at various estate sales. Sound like a gimmick? Well it is, but it's a really great gimmick. Jason Trachtenburg is an outstanding songwriter, and Rachel Trachtenburg is Seattle's brightest prodigy. JEFF DeROCHE
YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND
(Tractor) With an acoustic guitar, an upright bass, a banjo, and a mandolin, the four members of Colorado's Yonder Mountain String Band tour together a great deal. This is a necessity, of course. In the cold, laptop-generated music culture of today, bands playing straight, uptempo bluegrass are not exactly big audience draws, especially in urban areas. But if you, like many a laptop geek, find bluegrass boring or outdated, consider Yonder Mountain String Band an exception to the rule. With no drums, four great voices, and eight great hands, the String Band is a generously happy and melody-packed live experience. Of particular note is superb mandolin player Jeff Austin. Expect fun, traditional stories about sweet legal transgressions and sappy broken hearts, and plenty of traditional narrative to stimulate your visual senses. JEFF DeROCHE
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK TRIBUTE
(On the Boards) Some folks may blindly jump for joy when they hear about a "tribute" concert to one of their favorites, but my joy is always riddled with skepticism. However, when I heard that saxophonist James Carter was part of this tribute to the late, great multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, my scrutinizing stance nearly buckled. Carter possesses a voluminous jazz vocabulary, with the streetwise confidence to stylishly and inventively strut any of it out, at any moment. Mr. Carter is a perfect choice, and he'll surely do justice to Kirk's classics. Moreover, now is a perfect time to honor eclectic legends such as Kirk, who'd probably stand no chance in today's focus-group marketing miasma. But what about the rest of the group? It's a solid, New York-based assemblage, put together by the excellent trombonist (and former Kirk collaborator) Steve Turre: ex-Herbie Hancock bassist Buster Williams, the swinging Jeff Clayton on alto sax, the McCoy Tyner-influenced Mulgrew Miller on piano, and the been-there-done-that Lewis Nash on drums. I'm sold. JAMES KIRCHMER
THE BETA BAND
(Showbox) See preview this issue.
(Sit & Spin) I suspect that some marvelous musical schizophrenic booked this year's Earshot Jazz Festival. Apart from the living legends your Dad dug in college (Dave Brubeck, Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette), local firebrands (Michael Bisio, the avant all-stars of Stackpole), and Seattle stalwarts (Bill Frisell, Don Lanphere, Floyd Standifer), Earshot has imported Konk Pack, a hardcore free-improvising trio from Europe. The best known of the bunch is Tim Hodgkinson, a co-founder with Fred Frith of the fabled 1970s avant-rock band Henry Cow, a group that made Yes, Pink Floyd, ELP, and other now-forgotten prog-rock coevals (Gentle Giant, egg, and Kansas) sound as hip as Brahms. Hodgkinson, an associate of the legendary Romanian composer Iancu Dumitrescu, plays clarinet and "table-top" guitar, which means he stuffs radios, wires, rods, and who knows what else between the strings. Joining Hodgkinson is German keyboardist Thomas Lehn on analog synthesizers, and percussionist Roger Turner, a veteran of the same U.K. Canterbury scene that spawned the Soft Machine. Despite the ominous name, Konk Pack won't just curl the paint on the walls; expect lyrical moments and poetic turbulence, too. CHRISTOPHER DeLAURENTI
PINEHURST KIDS, VENDETTA RED (CD RELEASE), POST STARDOM DEPRESSION, THE DIVORCE
(Sit & Spin) Tonight, Vendetta Red celebrates the release of its Loveless Records debut, Blackout Analysis. Frontman Zach Davidson's softly tattered vocals flex the confines of Vendetta Red's emo-rock wailings, at times coming off as purely dramatic (as the genre demands) and occasionally sounding entirely subdued (as the genre also demands). KATHLEEN WILSON
COLD, DOPE, LIFER
(Breakroom) Limp Bizkit fronted by Gavin Rossdale. Sound like a good time? For a mere $15 it's all yours, baby. JEFF DeROCHE
BUTTHOLE SURFERS, kid606
(Sky Church) "Pepper," Butthole Surfers' gigantic 1996 radio hit (from Electriclarryland), was an excellent fluke that sounded a lot like Beck's "Loser": instantly addictive, dark, narcotic, and totally danceable, especially for lovers of a guitar rock sound. But songs like "Pepper" are not the stuff of which Butthole Surfers are made. As the band's name aptly suggests, what was once fun about Butthole Surfers was the brazenly offensive raunch and genuine silliness. With album titles like Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac and Rembrandt Pussyhorse, songs like "Bar-B-Q Pope," and live antics that included footage of sex-change operations and sawed-off shotguns being shot off, Butthole Surfers used to be a gigantic spectacle. Now on the "Pepper" train toward a downward spiral, the band has released Weird Revolution, the title of which is sadly unwarranted. All traces of punk, metal, and even art have been successfully eliminated from the Butthole Surfers' sound and style, and what you will get at tonight's show is a watered-down, marketable version of something once fascinating. Fans of Smashmouth and Soul Coughing take note: If you've never heard this band, you're going to love it. Nice work, Butthole Surfers! JEFF DeROCHE
KITTIE, DRY KILL LOGIC, ILL NINO, MIND WAR SYMPHONY
(Graceland) Nearly every time the girls in Kittie are in front of a camera or a microphone, they take great pains to explain that their gender doesn't hamper the band's ability to ROCK HARD. Well, they're right; their gender is irrelevant. And who the fuck cares? They do just as good a job with bottom-heavy, one-dimensional, aggro-metal sludge as their equally boring counterparts in Korn or Slipknot. They even use that laughable roar-speak singing style that is supposedly intended to sound intimidating, but usually just sounds like a cloak for a limited vocal range. That said, if you find that subgenre of metal enjoyable, you'll probably love Kittie. The band has done little else but tour since the release of its debut in 1999, sharing arena stages with appropriate mentors like Pantera and Fear Factory, so Kittie's live presentation is rarely sloppy. Just don't try to convince me that its members are breaking any barriers, stylistically or politically. HANNAH LEVIN
STEREO TOTAL, MOMUS, GUESTS
(Graceland) Momus' latest project is called Folktronic, in which he takes themes, both musical and lyrical, from traditional folk music and writes them out in electronica (think polka electronica about mountain girls, that type of thing). This will please his cultish audience, no doubt, as it situates itself between something Weird Al would do and a project that examines musical history. But I resist the value of the project, because it doesn't take electronica seriously enough to realize that certain forms of it (I'm thinking of house and techno in particular) are already folk music. True to the form of traditional folk music, electronica is strictly designed for dancing, and to escalate a crowd's energy, so much so that when you listen to a CD, it seems that the music is distant from its true purpose: to build communities through concerts. Like folk music, the communities that gravitate toward electronica are the tightest and friendliest musical communities out there. Where other crowds are self-conscious (indie rock), nostalgic (jazz), ethically conflicted (hiphop), or wrapped up in some kind of drama that prevents people from loving each other's company, every electronica show I've been to has been simply fun. So how valuable is it to ask, "Will electronica be the folk music of the future?" when it already is? BRIAN GOEDDE
Two condoms are walking by a gay bar. One says to the other: "Let's go inside and get shitfaced."
ELIZABETH ELMORE, CAPTAIN VS. CREW, EVREN GOKNAR
(Crocodile) See preview this issue.
OURS, THE COMPLEX
(Graceland) Graceland assistant booker/publicist Frankie Chan loves him some Ours, claiming the hot-shit Brits to be his favorite band of all time, "hands down." Chan especially loves how Ours singer Jimmy Gnecco conveys emotions that he himself is not able to express nor describe, but notes with great passion (emotion?) that the band is most often compared to Radiohead. And though many are quick to raise fingers and point out that there aren't any musicians quite in Radiohead's league, Frankie Chan stalwartly begs to differ--ARE TOO!! KATHLEEN WILSON
THE COUP, CASUAL, DJ MR. BRADY
(I-Spy) I am still getting letters for a recent interview I did with the Coup's MC Boots Riley, though the letters have evolved into a debate on whether or not I drink my own pee. I'm here to tell you right now, I DON'T. And furthermore, I'm NOT a POOPYPAMPERS!!! In any case, the discussion has derailed a bit, so I'm glad the Coup is coming to town to get things back on track. The Coup is a good rap group. Although I don't love his flow, Boots' lyrics are sharp, and the songs are crafted with ideas in mind. Best of all, the Coup is political in an advanced way. That is, other rappers rap politics, but when people talk about those rappers they talk about something else; when people talk about the Coup, they talk about politics. That's very important. BRIAN GOEDDE
CAVE IN, THE ICARUS LINE
(Paradox) There is no denying how talented the members of Cave In are. But I can't stand Jupiter, the band's most recent album, because it's overproduced and melodramatic. The live show is energetic, and the members of this once-hardcore group of Bostonians can certainly play their instruments. So if you like your rock fraught and inordinately angstful, check out this show. I'm guessing that the kids are going to love it, and that's all that really matters, isn't it? JEFF DeROCHE
SPIRITUALIZED, DJ ASHLEY WHALES
(Showbox) See preview this issue.
KELLY HOGAN, SCOTT MILLER, EVANGELINE
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests.
SONIC BOOM/SPECTRUM, THE MELODY UNIT, DUTCH FLAT
(Graceland) I was told this is a secret... BUT, as I've established over the years, I gots a BIG-assed mouth... and I can't seem to keep NUTHIN' inside... much less no "secrets"! Right, so... there's a Spacemen 3 "tribute" band, featuring ex-Spacemembers Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember and Will "no cool nickname" Carruthers, who, with a handfulla other sike-minders, assembled for a one-off U.S. tour. Cool... it's almost a complete S3, and cooler indeed as S3 never toured the States before. However, years later... will this incarnation be GOOD?? Why not? Merrily they'll drone along, drone along, drone along the S3's hits... and that's all we need. Oh, if you ain't took acid since the 3 split... you best get to lookin'! Hey, is this show really the night AFTER Spiritualized? MIKE NIPPER
URSULA RUCKER, PIECE OF SOL, ISANGMAHAL ARTS COLLECTIVE
(I-Spy) The spoken word and music of Ursula Rucker are both feminine and feminist. Her lyrics aim to agitate one into examining a number of feminist issues, but the music is always soothing. This is fine. Her views on music, however, are faulty. On the song "What???" she says, "We were talking about the state of black music today--or maybe I should say the near nonexistent state of black music today...." It doesn't exist? It's wildly conflicted, as this song demonstrates, but nonexistent? "And we were also discussing the responsibility of music artists--or shall I say the lack of responsibility...." You can guess where she's going with this. At one point she says, "Let me show you an example of what you could do," and guest rapper U-Love starts off with, "U-Love's about to kick this/don't resist this/I'll take eight bars and flip that shit/Don't get it twisted/Now watch me while I rock this/Naw, not the Casbah." Going back to the idea of an "artist's responsibility," artists are responsible for the content of their messages in the sense they have to own up to what they say, for sure. But first, foremost, and most importantly they have to be responsible for the aesthetic quality of art. The Eazy-E phrase "Addicted to what my dick did" remains uneffected by Rucker's efforts. BRIAN GOEDDE