Steezie Nasa, Peta Tosh, the Good Sin, DJ Same
(Nectar) See My Philosophy.
Toots and the Maytals, Kid Hops
(Showbox at the Market) Toots Hibbert's voice offers the listener a clear bridge between church and Jamaican popular music. If you listen to the singers who followed Toots's peak moment (the late 1960s to early '70s), they sound much more polished, much more worldly, much more secular and cosmopolitan. Toots's voice has none of the erotic beauty of Cornell Campbell, the dandy elegance of Gregory Isaacs, or the rock internationalism of Bob Marley. Instead, Toots's voice communicated the earthiness of rising up from the pews, clapping hands, praising the lord, and feeling the spirit. In "Got to Be There," one of Toots and the Maytals' many great tunes ("Pressure Drop," "54-46 [That's My Number]," "Time Tough"), we get to the core of a church congregation, a church service in some remote part of the sunny island. Where have you got to be? You've got to be where his voice is, brother; you have got to be in church. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Showbox Sodo) Once, my friend and I pulled up at a traffic light next to an absolutely enormous red pickup truck, inside of which was a douchey-looking guy who was blasting some terrible-sounding metal. The whole thing was such a stereotype that we cracked up. When he saw us laughing at him, he turned the music up so loud that our car started vibrating, and this is what came out: "If you were a hooker, you know/I'd be happy to pay/If suddenly you were a guy/I'd be suddenly gay/'Cause my heart belongs to you/My love is pure and true/My heart belongs to you/But my cock is community property." It was a long light, and we spent the whole thing laughing until we cried, while he rocked out so hard. Turns out that music was Steel Panther, and we've basically never gotten over it. Well played, dude. ANNA MINARD
Branden Daniel & the Chics, the Young, the Universe People, Zebra Hunt
(Funhouse) From Treasure State's ashes comes Zebra Hunt, a Seattle trio that plays jangly pop songs that sound like they belong in a Wes Anderson movie. Seriously. Their song "Half Right" is begging to be the soundtrack to a montage of a weirdly handsome kid with a bad haircut trying to win a girl's heart while mowing a poem into her front lawn and decorating it with handmade paper flowers or something. You can check out their new three-song EP at www.zebrahunt.bandcamp.com. In other internet news, when you go to www.universe-people.com, you do not learn anything about the band the Universe People. Instead, you're treated to a hilariously illustrated slide show that talks about Jesus, aliens, and angels of light—and being chipped and enslaved. "Don't let infernal saurians chip your hearts!" it shouts in all caps. I have no idea what the band sounds like because I ended up watching that website for 15 minutes and forgot what I was looking for in the first place. Sorry. MEGAN SELING
Punk Rock Karaoke
(Funhouse) See Stranger Suggests.
The Beat Down: Tim Sweeney, Nark, Kadeejah Streets
The Planets: An HD Odyssey
(Benaroya) Gustav Holst's orchestral suite (with female voices during the Neptune section) is musical science fiction, an invitation to project oneself into unvisited places. Conducted by Seattle Symphony's fresh music director Ludovic Morlot and accompanied by NASA's photos of these places—more projections—this will be a galactic imaginative trip. (Through July 14.) JEN GRAVES
Agalloch, Taurus, Eight Bells
(Crocodile) Tiptoeing between the cracks of black metal, post rock, and folk music, Portland's Agalloch thrive on the mystery that encapsulates their band. From day one, John Haughm and company have worked their asses off to create success on their own terms, building a strong cult following through soaring albums that elude genre restrictions. Today, rare Agalloch vinyl and T-shirts regularly go for hundreds on eBay, and while their artistic vision is large in scale, their profile remains the same, hidden behind shadows and obscurity, truly allowing the music to speak for itself in all situations. KEVIN DIERS
Seattle Occultural Music Festival: Swahili, Hair and Space Museum, Honey.Moon.Tree, Kelli's Starlight Wishes
(Josephine) You've probably heard me drone on and on about Swahili and Hair and Space Museum's loamy, tribal psychedelia and celestial symphonies to pantheistic deities, respectively. Enough already, right? But Honey.Moon.Tree and Kelli's Starlight Wishes are new names (to me, anyway), so let's focus on these Seattleites. Honey.Moon.Tree's one track on their Bandcamp page, "(((((hmt)))))," is some of the deepest, holiest drone motion to oscillate in Northwestern airspace. Folk-rock ensemble KSW tremble and swell with ominous intent, sounding like Tiny Vipers with more volume and orchestral firepower. This is the final Seattle Occultural Music Festival, and its three nights of adventurous bookings (through July 14) find it going out with a refined bang. DAVE SEGAL
The Spits, Mean Jeans, Monogamy Party
(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests.
Tearist, Rxch Wxtch, Sh6rl6s6, Ozma Otacava
(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.
(Showbox at the Market) When I agreed to write this blurb hyping Frank Ocean's appearance, I knew him only as the man responsible for Nostalgia, Ultra, the deeply satisfying mixtape that proved to be one of last year's best releases. One week later, I now know Frank Ocean as the man responsible for the most lyrical coming-out statement in the history of the form, one that eschewed diagnostic labels for an openhearted testimony about a previous relationship. It was gorgeous, and cryptic, and secured Ocean's stature as the ballsiest, most forward-thinking dude to rock the R&B mic since Prince. DAVID SCHMADER See also My Philosophy.
The Beach Boys
(Chateau Ste. Michelle) The Beach Boys getting back on the touring circuit 50 years into their existence means one thing: Mike Love needs to scrounge up some cheddar to make a significant contribution to Mitt Romney's campaign coffers. But, seriously... hating the Beach Boys—even at this late date—is akin to disliking eating a hot dog while flying on a bald eagle while shooting a TV with Billy Graham preaching on it. Get with the program. These California guys have enough classic songs that burst with sophisticated, perfect-wave-gorgeous melodies and sun-glowed vocal harmonies to fill a boxed set. And "Feel Flows" is one of the 10 most sublime songs ever. Know this. DAVE SEGAL
Deep Time, Mega Bog
(Cairo) See Underage.
Ray Davies, the 88
(Neptune) Creator of some of history's most indelible, powerful riffs ("You Really Got Me," "All Day and All of the Night," "Big Sky"), crafter of some of history's most beautiful melodies ("Shangri-La," "Waterloo Sunset," "See My Friend"), author of some of history's sharpest rock lyrics ("I'm Not Like Everybody Else," "David Watts," "Lola")—Kinks main man Ray Davies occupies one of the most zenithy spots in the pantheon. So even if he's only playing solo acoustic guitar or being backed by the 88, Davies has the stacked catalog and London-cured charisma to deliver world-class entertainment, even as a sexagenarian. DAVE SEGAL
Doomriders, Heiress, Baptists, Occult SS
(Highline) When I tried to find some Occult SS to listen to online, a pop-up window asked me, "Nazi UFOs—do they exist?" You know, I'm not sure if UFOs do exist—especially not ones flown by the Nationalsozialismus—but I can say Seattle's Occult SS are real. They do not sound like Germans. They sound like Swedish hardcore punks all mixed up with a couple of death-metal dudes. Their drummer seems to have mastered the d-beat (named after late-'70s UK street-punk band Discharge), which is now most commonly found anchoring crust bands. This music is all very fast, hard, and heavy. It probably would be appropriate to play OSS while riding around in a UFO (but again, I'm not saying those even exist). KELLY O
Screeching Weasel, the Queers, the Piniellas
(El Corazón) I used to love Screeching Weasel. And I've known all along that singer Ben Weasel is an asshole—that's his shtick! But last year, he took it too far. Not only did he punch two women during the band's SXSW performance (including one woman who was just trying to break up the fight), but he also went on a rant on the Pop Punk Message Bored, attacking a transgender user by saying things like "I'd like to see you without your wang tucked between your legs" and "What's it like to force yourself to call a dude 'she'? If he tells you that you have to pretend the Earth is flat or his feelings will be hurt, will you do that too?" It's no wonder his band has broken up 800 times, his label and management have left him in the dust, and the Queers are one of the only bands left who'll still tour with SW. These days, Ben is just a pathetic, right-leaning, cantankerous old man clawing to stay in the spotlight any way he can. MEGAN SELING
Anhedonist, Vastum, Bone Sickness, Patibulum
(Funhouse) Merriam-Webster defines anhedonia as "a psychological condition characterized by inability to experience pleasure in normally pleasurable acts." BUMMER FOR YOU, DUDE. Seattle doom quartet Anhedonist, however, clearly experience pleasure in creating expertly understated mid-tempo double-kick thunder and sludge-riff dirges. The outfit deserves high ranking in the recent surge of like-minded Northwest bands gaining more mainstream appreciation (thanks for that, internet!). Similar to brethren like Wolves in the Throne Room or Samothrace, Anhedonist cut out the aural highs and lows to form a sort of unstoppable chugging bulldozer of sound; it might not hit you right away, but when it does, you'll be left horizontal. GRANT BRISSEY
Wasteland Hop, Down North, the Echo Chamber
(Chop Suey) On paper, a group that fuses the Roots' raw, live hiphop with the White Stripes' stripped-down blues rock sound like they're destined for CMJ chartdom, at the very least. Fort Collins, Colorado's Wasteland Hop—marked by a take-no-shit female vocalist—claim those bold influences, but they lean heavier toward the Jack White end of this musical equation, with middling results. Down North were one of those Seattle bands that became miffed when The Stranger's Megan Seling jokingly dissed funk, but their ire was justified: Down North—super-competent players and singers all—have mastered that taut, coiled groove science that marks much of the best funk, past and present. DAVE SEGAL
Deep Time, Bouquet, Hags
(Hollow Earth) See Underage.
In Cahoots, the Juliettes, Black Plastic Clouds
(Comet) Seattle's own In Cahoots soothe the occasional ache I get for kickass female-fronted bands from the mid-'90s like Tilt and Dance Hall Crashers. Wait! Don't let that deter you! In Cahoots aren't at all ska, but they have the same infectious harmonies as DHC, delivered with a more pop-rock kick. "Waiting for You" and "Got It All" will definitely lift your spirits if you're still sad about Visqueen's demise, and "Hollywood" will have you dancing about your bedroom, singing into a hairbrush like you were 16 again. MEGAN SELING
Wolf Hotel, Barfly, Graves33, White China Gold, OC Notes
(Barboza) Where would Seattle's sound be without Oldominion, Nite Owls, and the Saturday Knights? And where would Seattle's underground be wisthout Barfly, a rapper who participated in the creation of each of these influential and period-defining crews? And where has Barfly been all of this time? Not a word, not a peep, not a rap from him for a good three years. I will not get into his private life (that's his business), but I will say Barfly is not only an excellent, witty, and wickedly twisted rapper, but also a fine human being. Welcome back, Kotter. (Yes, I know his name is not Kotter.) CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.