THURSDAY 11/22

BLACK SHEEP THANKSGIVING
(Baltic Room) See Stranger Suggests.

DRUMS AND TUBA, THE TERROR SHEETS, MINES
(Graceland) See Stranger Suggests.


FRIDAY 11/23

MR. T EXPERIENCE, BIG IN JAPAN, THE LASHES, LLOYD'S ROCKET
(Graceland) Feeling like a lovelorn loser? Grab just about any Mr. T Experience album, slip it in the player, and you'll soon be jumping around while singing along to the patron saint of all the lovelorn losers who steadfastly refuse to learn their lessons. "Tapin' Up My Heart," "We Hate All the Same Things," "My Stupid Life," and "Hell of Dumb" are but a few of the silly titles produced by this Bay Area pop punk outfit, a trio of revolving members--save for singer Dr. Frank, the most obsessive crush-monger ever, who just can't seem to find the right girl. Frankly, the gals must be crazy; how could anyone not love a guy who pens a song called "I'm Like Yeah But She's All No"? KATHLEEN WILSON

BEBEL GILBERTO, A GUY CALLED GERALD
(Showbox) A Guy Called Gerald first came into fame with a house song called "Voodoo Ray" back in 1989. I'm not certain how popular this song became in America, but in Britain--where I lived at the time--it was massive. It reached the top spheres of the singles chart, and was played at every party I was dragged to by a North London junkie. A Guy Called Gerald was also the mastermind behind 808 State's seminal Euro-techno song "Pacific State." Though he's dropped out of the music scene several times, his returns from silence (such as last year's CD, Essence) have been musical events of the first order. See also preview this issue. CHARLES MUDEDE

KEVIN YOST, JACOB LONDON
(I-Spy) If you like the sounds of lushly produced house, check out the beauty that is Kevin Yost. A favorite among DJs worldwide, the man not only spins but creates some of the most atmospheric sounds this side of the Atlantic. His tunes, especially the ones on the Hi Fidelity House compilation series and the World Cup compilation Copa Mundial Muzique, are flawless arrays in a genre often dominated by "we got to feel good" diva tracks. They are warm, gentler grooves that tend to play with sounds and feel more musical. In other words, this isn't your typical house music. You will dance. You will feel. You will get off your ass and head on down to I-Spy to get caught in this man's choice, hypnotic grooves. FRANK NIETO


SATURDAY 11/24

FLICKERSTICK, PHANTOM PLANET, RUBYHORSE
(Showbox) It goes without saying that last summer's Bands On the Run, on VH1, was the best reality show of the year. Forget Survivor and Temptation Island (the close runner-up), BOTR's episodic story of four "struggling" bands touring the nation while competing in a glorified popularity contest was an undeniable hoot filled with bickering, backstabbing, and groupies (demonstrating the stupidity in believing your boyfriend will remain 100 percent faithful to you while he's on tour). The least of four evils, Texas emo-rockers Flickerstick came from behind to win not only the grand prize (tons of cash and equipment, and an A&R showcase) but a record deal with Epic. The band's 2000 release, Welcoming Home the Astronauts, has been remixed by Weezer/Blink 182 producer Tom Lord Alge, and a single, "Smile," has come out, accompanied by the requisite "band playing in the middle of nowhere" video. Can't wait to see what comes out of next summer's show. KATHLEEN WILSON

FAUX BANG! w/THE TURN-ONS, GUN ST. GIRLS, URSULA & THE ANDROIDS, JACKIE & THE CONTROL TOPS
(Sit & Spin) The Turn-Ons have all the right moves, with the possible exception of frontman Travis' fancy tops: those Flintstones-inspired (but form-fitting) one-shouldered "fashion" shirts scare me on men. I shudder, I really do. However, if you're excited by the idea of a retro early-'70s-style glam rock project, you'll definitely be impressed by the amount of homework Travis' band has done. (Think less David Bowie and more Mott the Hoople.) The Turn-Ons, by glam rock standards, are subtle. They aren't loud and melodramatic; they're rooted firmly in rock; they're visually authentic; and their sound is fairly muscular. It definitely works in a nostalgic sense, but it's 2001: The songs could be stronger and more adventurous, and the Mott-the-Hoople-style homosexual taunt is simply uninspiring at this stage in the game. Still, the Turn-Ons are a good ticket for fun. Balancing out the homosexual shenanigans are Gun St. Girls, upon whom I refuse to comment--burlesque does not compute; don't ask, because I just don't get it, I never will, and I'm not sure why. (I shudder, I really do.) Lastly, the weekly shock/schlock rock of the nearly gorgeous Ursula & the Androids (whom I would love to see doing cut-art one day), and the Frogs-esque self-mutilation that is Jackie & the Control Tops, will be rounded out tonight by the addition of Cripples key-tarist Ross Marshall on synths and bass. JEFF DeROCHE

NATALIE MERCHANT
(Paramount) A minor irritant with a soothing voice, Natalie Merchant has enjoyed a long career by hovering slightly below the "just fucking shutup" radar. When she fronted '80s college-rock favorites 10,000 Maniacs, it was hard to hate someone who took herself so seriously at such a young age, especially when she was strangely pretty and didn't try to hide her poochy stomach like the rest of the girls. And then there was her questionable relationship with the as yet not-out-of-the-closet Michael Stipe. Over the years Merchant has matured into an adult crooner whose interesting voice is merely that. She's not compelling, but not awful; she titles her latest album Motherland and dedicates it to the victims of 9/11, but acknowledges Mother Jones, Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, and all the great female Southern authors (who heavily influenced the disc) in her liner notes. The songs on Motherland are dark and depressing, mushy and scarily soothing despite their obvious trademark pretentiousness. KATHLEEN WILSON

SOURCE OF LABOR, BEYOND REALITY, VITAMIN D, CANDIDT
(I-Spy) The Seattle underground hiphop scene is shaped by three groups: the Silent Lambs Project, Full Time Soldiers, and Source of Labor. The members of Source of Labor, whose CD Stolen Lives was recently picked up by SubVerse (which has talented hiphop acts like Micranots and MF Doom on its roster), are not only musicians but hiphop activists, who have sustained a vivid, cultural discourse in this city. I honestly think underground hiphop would gravely suffer if they were to disband and leave Seattle hiphop, as Black Anger did a year ago. CHARLES MUDEDE


SUNDAY 11/25

FLAMMABLE
(Re-bar) See preview this issue.


MONDAY 11/26

MINUS THE BEAR, C.O.C.O., DJ DANN GALLUCCI
(Graceland) With members of Kill Sadie, Botch, and Sharks Keep Moving, Minus the Bear is a new project with a new release called This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic (Suicide Squeeze). It's a beautiful record, a bit tamer than what you'll expect from members of Botch and Kill Sadie, but emotionally charged and heavy nonetheless. Gigantic is smartly rounded out with pretty electronics, compliments of Matt Bayles, and Jake Snider's vocals are generously emotive. If the band members' other projects are any indication, the live show will more than adequately live up to the expectations Gigantic has created. See also Stranger Suggests. JEFF DeROCHE

ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE W/SEAN NELSON
(Showbox Green Room) Tonight, Stranger film editor Sean Nelson (doesn't it sound pretentious when I do that? But then, if I didn't, you'd write angry letters saying I was covertly fluffing one of my co-workers--and if I were willing to fluff Sean Nelson, you can bet I would have no problem doing it in public) will be hosting another installment of his excellent Monday night variety show, All Things to All People. Scheduled guests include Aaron Huffman (of Harvey Danger, Red Eye to Tokyo) and Sarah Paul Ocampo (of Muy Triste, Red Eye to Tokyo) performing something very pretty together. Also on the bill: the smart, lovely, and occasionally very funny David Schmader (who also works at The Stranger), John Roderick (Western State Hurricanes, the Long Winters); and likely anyone else who swims in that many-splendored cesspool of talent which surrounds the brainy, well-connected, and blissfully drunken Nelson. JEFF DeROCHE


TUESDAY 11/27

ORSO, THE BUILDING PRESS, WIMBLEDON
(Crocodile) Red Red Meat's Brian Deck and Ben Massarella join forces with Rex's Phil Spirito to play experimental music with banjos (typical of Deck, if anything about Deck is typical), organs, computers, typewriters, piano strings (plucked from outside the piano), and toilets, among a plethora of other scraps and varied instrumentation. Orso is guaranteed to be a terrific time if you're into banjos, toilets, tuning pegs, Red Red Meat, and Rex. JEFF DeROCHE

GIRLY FREAK SHOW, DOG FASHION DISCO, RUB RING
(Graceland) Considering the fact that the majority of women have a much higher pain threshold than men, a femme freak show incorporating all the requisite forms of self-torture (chowing on light bulbs, driving metal stakes into one's appendages, lounging luxuriously on a bed of nails) makes perfect sense. Girly Freak Show's ringmistress is Slymenstra Hymen, a fetching character who showed promise in her early days with Gwar by shooting large volumes of various liquids out of her vagina. She has expanded her gross-out repertoire, recruited an estrogen-infused crew of like-minded ladies, and will be making herself a willing conduit for thousands of volts of electricity, shooting loads of sparks out of her fingers à la the Emperor in Return of the Jedi. It all sounds potentially goofy or gory, but undoubtedly more exciting than the bearded lady ghetto in which female freakazoids have previously resided. HANNAH LEVIN

DAVID SÁNCHEZ
(Jazz Alley) David Sánchez imbues his tenor saxophone with the sounds of his native Puerto Rico. Although he has a tendency to venture into the typical jazz themes of free-floating improvisations, deconstructed melodies, unresolved ponderings, and so on (which is to be expected: he ascended the jazz ranks in a traditional, step-by-step, learn-from-the-masters way), Sánchez anchors himself in the sharp rhythms and big, solid sounds that he brought with him from the Caribbean. Sánchez's polished percussion section won't let him stray too far into the typical, either. That said, there's nothing particularly avant-garde to his playing; his recent release Travesía takes virtually no risks to challenge his formula. A perfect show for sipping overpriced drinks at Jazz Alley. He plays for six nights, from November 27 through December 2. BRIAN GOEDDE


WEDNESDAY 11/28

WILCO, MERCURY REV
(Moore) Since parting ways with Jay Farrar and dissolving Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy has followed his muse anywhere he damn pleases with Wilco. That's led to a definitive fork in the alt-country road and some of the most interesting music of his career. The dark and rich orchestrations of 1999's Summer Teeth was a giant step from Wilco's previous albums, and its unreleased fourth album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, promises even further wanderings. Recorded with Chicago's emissary of the avant-garde Jim O'Rourke, the album features synthesizers and strings surrounding Tweedy's acoustic guitar and plaintive, yearning voice. Apparently the experimentation was too much for Wilco's label, Reprise Records, which dropped the band after hearing the songs. So the album remains unreleased, but this live show promises to preview some of the material and to allow fans an opportunity to hear Wilco's new lineup compress its expansive material with wild-card flare. See preview this issue. NATE LIPPENS

NIKKA COSTA, MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS
(EMP) Nikka Costa is the progeny of famous arranger/producer Don Costa (who also worked with Paul Anka, Dinah Washington, and Tony Bennett), is the goddaughter of Frank Sinatra, and once opened for Don Ho and the Police (separate occasions, mind you). She's released a number of records around the world, all of which went platinum. However, she didn't break in the U.S. until late last year with the release of Everybody Got Their Something (Virgin) and the subsequent single "Like a Feather." You may have gotten your first brush with Ms. Costa in a Tommy Hilfiger commercial, where "Feather" had its debut. Remember? It was set in a dimly lit room, Lenny K. and Eve were cold chillin', while off in the corner there's a DJ spinning that glorious voice and that wicked backbeat. I went into a fucking tizzy trying to figure out just who that voice/song was. Now, thanks to that sneaky marketing and a fly video where Costa is sporting a blue top that barely sticks to her ta-ta's while her name Nikka is featured in bright lights in the background, we all know who she is, selling a few million records here in the U.S. to boot. Nice one. FRANK NIETO

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