Saturday 2/11 at Wildrose Angel Ceballos

Wednesday 2/8

Dengue Fever vs. Secret Chiefs 3

(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests and Sound Check.

Seattle Improvised Music Festival

(Chapel Performance Space) See Underage.

YACHT, Secret Shoppers, Bobby Birdman

(Crocodile) I fell in love with Bobby Birdman after seeing him perform at the Vera Project in 2002. That was around the same time his excellent experimental-pop record Born Free Forever was released. He had a moppy head of curly brown hair and did a Pauly Shore impersonation. Hubba-hubba. It's hard to say exactly where Birdman is now, at least musically speaking. He hasn't released an album since New Moods in 2009, which showcased a more electro-pop dance vibe than Born Free. And he moved from Portland to Los Angeles. Who knows how that affected his sound if at all. One thing is for certain—whether it's more experimental bedroom pop or charming electro dance cuts, Birdman's warm, smooth croon makes whatever he's doing pretty much irresistible. He could just get onstage and sing the words out of Dr. Seuss books for all I care. MEGAN SELING See also the Homosexual Agenda.

Thursday 2/9

Digital Leather, Crypts, Dude York, Sick Secrets

(Comet) See preview.

Eleanor Friedberger, Dominant Legs, Blouse

(Crocodile) Eleanor Friedberger charmed her way into indie rockers' hearts with her literate, Patti Smith–like vocalizing and incisive guitar playing in the Chicago band the Fiery Furnaces. Along with bandmate/brother Matthew, they cut two bona fide classic albums: Gallowsbird's Bark and Blueberry Boat. It's been diminishing returns for FF since the latter's 2004 release, and Eleanor decided to go solo with 2011's Last Summer. The album is solid and not a huge departure from the Fiery Furnaces' well-tempered, melodic rock, but it does lack Matthew's wild-card instrumental and structural ideas. Still, nobody enunciates with more clarity than Eleanor, and that's a seriously undervalued skill. DAVE SEGAL

Tower of Power

(Jazz Alley) Playing brassy big-band funk and soul for 44 years is no joke. The 10-piece Oakland group Tower of Power keep on truckin' around the country with their uplift mojo party plan (roaring somewhere between Chicago and Sly & the Family Stone), and many people still care. Are TOP going to be as electrifying as their 'Fro'd and flared '70s peak, when songs like "Don't Change Horses (In the Middle of a Stream)," "You're Still a Young Man," and "What Is Hip?" scraped the charts and they regularly appeared on Soul Train (RIP, Don Cornelius)? Probably not. However, clips of recent live performances reveal that TOP are still tight and boisterous, if a bit paunchier and jowlier these days. DAVE SEGAL

Friday 2/10

Dancing on the Valentine: John Roderick, Daniel G. Harmann, Fly Moon Royalty

(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests.

Omar S., Nordic Soul, Justin Timbreline

(Re-bar) See Data Breaker.

Second Sight: Cold Cave

(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.

Tower of Power

(Jazz Alley) See Thursday.

JFK, Kublakai, Griff J, Apakoliptic

(White Rabbit) In 2010, JFK (aka Ninjaface) released a dynamite track produced by Jake One—the dubby and bubbly "High School Sweet Heart." In 2005, JFK joined Rob Castro and Onry Ozzborn to form Grayskul and dropped Deadlivers, one of the albums that brought local hiphop from the outskirts of Seattle's music scene to its center. In 2001, JFK contributed raps to several tracks on Oldominion's One, an album that should have placed Seattle on the national map and been registered as an important artistic achievement for hiphop culture in general. Indeed, one of my deep regrets of 2011 is that we did not celebrate the 10th anniversary of One. CHARLES MUDEDE

Drew Grow & the Pastors' Wives, Ships, Bryan Free

(Columbia City Theater) Ships just made the announcement last week: Justin Cronk of Vendetta Red and With Friends Like These fame has joined the impressive band roster. That's great news for Ships, who released their debut full-length, Compulsory Listening, in 2010—it will be very interesting to see how Cronk's heavier musical experience plays into Ships' experimental-pop sound. Both Vendetta Red and With Friends Like These had a tendency to get loud and yell a bit, after all. I can't wait to see if that causes Ships to turn things up a notch. Tonight's show is also the first show of a two-night Amigo/Amiga Records event at the Columbia City Theater. When you buy tickets to the Drew Grow/Ships show and tomorrow's Kelli Schaefer/Hobosexual/Tope lineup, you get $4 off the total cost.MEGAN SELING

Northwest Sinfonietta

(Benaroya) Candies and cards are for second graders and suckers; opera is old-school romantic. The underappreciated, medium-sized local professional orchestra Northwest Sinfonietta (plus a soprano, a tenor, and a baritone: love triangle) is presenting semistaged scenes, all from Puccini. Women will be birthing love children, starving in garrets, and flinging themselves from balconies because Cupid is supposed to hurt. JEN GRAVES

Gun Outfit, Cairo Pythian, M. Women

(Cairo) Olympia's Gun Outfit and Seattle's M. Women sharing this bill seems fitting. Though Gun Outfit's material leans more toward '90s indie territory while M. Women's takes a harder, noisier approach, both trios craft scrappy, punk-spiked rock with alternating male/female vocals. Olympia's Cairo Pythian, however, offer something completely different. The low-profile duo features Mary Russell on electric violin, Alex DeCecco on vocals, and a drum machine on beats coming together in a gothic, new-wave, performance-art fashion. Capitol Hill's Cairo gallery is an ideal place to see what the group is all about, and not just because of the two parties' apparent shared interest in Egypt's capital city. MIKE RAMOS See also Underage, page 62.

John Gorka

(Triple Door) John Gorka looks ridiculous, and his name sounds ridiculous, and he's just some beardo white guy playing a guitar, but damn if his wordplay isn't mighty fine and his voice pretty nice. His are the kind of songs that end up on your mix CDs because your (beardo white guy guitar-playing) dad listened to him in the '90s and somehow you got a hold of a couple of good songs and I mean who doesn't need a good antigentrification folk song for a mix every once in a while? "Buy low/Sell high/You get rich/And you still die." Right? And mad respect to anyone who writes smart songs about white privilege. ANNA MINARD

Saturday 2/11

Mux Mool, Danny Corn, Ghost Feet, DJAO, Hooker

(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker.

Tower of Power

(Jazz Alley) See Thursday.

Brad Paisley, the Band Perry, Scotty McCreery

(Tacoma Dome) There are a few things that will forever retain the ability to make me cry. Dolly Parton's dead-dog anthem "Cracker Jack." Cloris Leachman's performance in the final scene of The Last Picture Show. And a handful of moments scattered across Brad Paisley's 2009 album American Saturday Night. Part of it is where I'm from: Having grown up in emotionally stoic West Texas, I respond to openhearted displays of emotion by good ol' straight boys with almost instantaneous mistiness. When such displays are paired with the wit and concision found in the best of Paisley's songs—American Saturday Night's pro-melting-pot title track, pro-progress anthem "Welcome to the Future," and lifelong love song "Then" (all of which flirt openly with mawkishness and win)—I become nothing but liquid. Bring Kleenex. DAVID SCHMADER

Atrocity Exhibition, Perpetual Ritual, Red Liquid, Crimewave

(Highline) Seattle's Perpetual Ritual (Mitchell Saulsberry with a rotating cast of players) compose a sort of murky, droney noise folk that's one of the best takes on the age-old genre in recent memory. Red Liquid's self-described "Nick Cave meets the Swans doing futuristic murder ballads" is a thing to keep an ear on. Atrocity Exhibition take their name from either "an experimental collection of 'condensed novels' by British writer J. G. Ballard" or the Joy Division song, take your pick. GRANT BRISSEY


(Wildrose) KEXP ass-kicker Sharlese Metcalf is thankfully keeping the Wildrose punk-show dream alive with the monthly night Brush Off. This evening includes dream poppers Seapony, whose live sets may enchant you, even if you don't like their songs on record. This will be a dance party with guitars (the best kind). GRANT BRISSEY

Theatre of Early Music: Purcell's Dido & Aeneas

(Town Hall) Booziness, boats, a sorceress, a coven of witches, the queen of Carthage, a Trojan refugee, and tragic love: It's amazing this baroque opera doesn't get performed more often. It even has a popular aria, "Dido's Lament," sometimes used on movie and TV scores. It will be a rare treat to hear it by this renowned Canadian group led by countertenor Daniel Taylor. JEN GRAVES

White Coward, Mtns, Haunted Horses, Stephanie

(Seasick Halfshell Embassy) All of these DIY local bands playing a DIY Capitol Hill house show is sure to be a righteous all-ages time. White Coward kick out loud, spastic, multidirectional guitar-rock numbers anchored by pummeling drums. Mtns (or MOUNTAINSS) are equally noisy and experimental—a saxophone is even involved here—but add in some slower, heavier drone elements to certain songs to keep you guessing. Haunted Horses, who released compelling four-song EP They Set Us Fevered Water in January, push even further into spaced-out electronic noise but stay rooted in the same punk direction as the other bands here. Stephanie's happily disquieting indie pop should lighten the mood and round out the bill quite nicely. MIKE RAMOS See also Underage.

Sunday 2/12

Tower of Power

(Jazz Alley) See Thursday.

Glitterbang, the Blind Photographers, Terabyte & the Battery Eaters

(Comet) To honor the recent passing of Soul Train's Don Cornelius, everybody should pick a night, at least once a week, to go out and dance. I think sometimes we as a Northwestern people forget the importance of dancing. I know when it rains, I don't feel like moving, even though it's probably the sunniest thing I could do for myself. And while there's hundreds of excellent DJ nights in this city, we should also pay attention to local bands and to our newish local electro-pop scene. Northwest bands like YACHT, Secret Shoppers, and my favorite duo, the Bonjour-jeans-wearing Glitterbang, really want nothing more than to make you (finally) dance again. KELLY O

Monday 2/13

Gary Clark Jr., White Dress

(Crocodile) If you ignore his duet with Alicia Keys (and you should ignore the "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" cover currently making the rounds on the information superhighway), you'll notice that Gary Clark Jr. plays some mean blues guitar, as evidenced on his debut EP, Bright Lights (for some annoying reason, iTunes calls it the Bright Lights Bootleg EP. I blame the marketing department). Add to that singing chops and the fact that he's a handsome young man, and you've got a record contract with Warner Bros. Either way, "I Don't Owe You a Thang" is a fucking jam, and this dude is going places. Opening are White Dress, whose experimental punk blues is scary and interesting. Download their EP for zero dollars at GRANT BRISSEY

Support The Stranger

Tuesday 2/14

Julian Priester/Rob Scheps Project

(The Royal Room) See preview.

Gold Wolf Galaxy, Postmadonna, the Endorfins

(White Rabbit) Seattle duo Gold Wolf Galaxy (Johnny Roger Schofield and Spencer Ramsey) traffic in a heavy, somewhat dark breed of disco—an interesting twist on a genre that usually frowns upon allowing frowns to enter its domain. Bulbous bass and sassy female vocals predominate with staunch, metronomic 4/4 beats pounding adrenaline and guitars skewing toward the crunchy and metallic end of the spectrum. Bellingham foursome the Endorfins generate an expansive, outdoor-festival-ready sound that ropes in nonobvious dance music and jam-band and prog-rock extravagances. Unsurprisingly, then, the group's songs sprawl, and their technical proficiency is flashy without grandstanding. Thankfully, the Endorfins eschew vocals, whose misguided application mars about 87 percent of all music. DAVE SEGAL