Condominium, White Wards, Dreamdecay
(Black Lodge) See Underage.
Eleanor Friedberger, the Bats, TEEN
(Neumos) Half of the Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger struck out on her own in 2011 with a solo album called Last Summer, and just a few days ago, she released Personal Record on Merge—a record that is, as advertised, very personal. Friedberger's got a grown-up-lady-from-the-'70s voice that surprised me after looking at every single one of her youthful press photos (I just like her beautiful bangs, OKAY?). That clear and straightforward voice sings stories—candid glimpses into her everyday life, thoughts, curiosities, and matters of the heart. The Bats are a New Zealand placid-pop band (formed in '82 and still consisting of the same four members) whose shimmering and melodic songs are coated in just the right amount of melancholy. With the dense and hypnotizing stony alt-rock of Brooklyn's TEEN (don't worry, not actually teens). EMILY NOKES
They Might Be Giants, Moon Hooch
(Showbox Sodo) OMG, TMBG! These intellectual rockers have a dedicated fan base, so y'all already know they're coming to town, right? My first-ever roommate was one of those; she spoke of the Johns (Flansburgh and Linnell, TMBG's two members) by their collective first name, and fondly, as if they were her close friends. I love the dudes because their commitment to nerdiness and music is nearly equal—for example, they played a cover, for years, of a 1959 song about science called "Why Does the Sun Shine?" Its opening lyrics are: "The sun is a mass/Of incandescent gas." Which, it turns out, is not technically true. So they wrote a follow-up called "Why Does the Sun Really Shine?" that starts, "The sun is a miasma/Of incandescent plasma" and fact-checks the original. NERDZ. (Note: This show is 14 and up—don't bring your baby.) ANNA MINARD
KA.lil, Abyssinian Creole, Hi-Life Soundsystem, OTOW Gang
(Barboza) Back in 2005, Abyssinian Creole—rappers Khingz and Gabriel Teodros, DJ WD4D, and producer Kitone—helped launch local hiphop into a new era with the dense, lusty, beat-rich album Sexy Beast. This work must not be forgotten. Not only is one of its guests a then-unknown Macklemore, but it also captured the globalizing mood of that moment—a globalization, furthermore, not from the top down (Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon) but from the bottom up (immigrants, shop owners, taxi drivers, international students). The history of local hiphop would be incomplete without Khingz and Teodros. CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.
(Triple Door) Yes! Another Monkee is coming to town! While Tork is my least favorite Monkee (that sounds harsh, but please realize that's like saying chocolate cake is my least favorite kind of cake—it's still delicious), his appearance at the Triple Door will be a wonderful warm-up to the Monkees concert at Benaroya Hall on August 17. Tork's show, "In This Generation: My Life in the Monkees and So Much More," features unseen footage, never-before-heard songs, and stories about how he became a Monkee and what happened during and after his blastoff into fame. MEGAN SELING
Parquet Courts, Naomi Punk
(Neumos) See Stranger Suggests.
Golgothan Sunrise, Hooves, Spacebag, Caligula
(Chop Suey) The totally fascinating running joke about Golgothan Sunrise, one of Seattle's most riveting metal bands, is that I keep arriving too late to see them perform. It's happened twice now, like some kind of narrowly focused Murphy's Law; it's especially frustrating because these guys rarely play out due to members' commitments in other killer bands (like Lesbian and Fungal Abyss). Maybe tonight I'll be fortunate enough to catch Golgothan Sunrise's forbidding doom-metal convolutions and heavy post-rock meditations. By the way, their 2004 album, Glimpse Paradise Through Sickness, still sounds wicked. Seattle trio Spacebag combine bonkers technical wizardry with refined power. The Stranger's Brian Cook triangulated Spacebag's reference points as Rush, Nomeansno, and Lightning Bolt, and he was spot-on. DAVE SEGAL
Secret Colors, the Numbs, White Poppy, Queen Scott Johnson
(Cairo) See Underage.
Mount Kimbie, Holy Other, Vinyl Williams
(Neumos) See Data Breaker.
The Coup, NighTraiN, Malitia MaliMob
(Crocodile) See My Philosophy.
AM & Shawn Lee, Don't Talk to the Cops!
(Chop Suey) Shawn Lee is a phenomenal multi-instrumentalist who can play a zillion instruments in a zillion different styles. Check out his ever-expanding catalog for ample proof. Miles of Styles might be an opportune place to start; Tabla Rock—a clever track-by-track reinterpretation of the Incredible Bongo Band's breakbeat bonanza Bongo Rock—might be a fortuitous spot to end... but only temporarily, as more Lee-conceived music's surely coming. With guitarist/vocalist AM, Lee focuses his songwriting within a more accessible funk/pop framework, with occasional forays into reggae/dub (check the Sleng Teng riddim of "Two Times."). Their two albums together—Celestial Electric and La Musique Numérique—are slick, pro-studio-dude works that abound with big, honkin' hooks and in-the-pocket beats. The duo's sparkling, devotional cover of "Steppin' Out" surely will make Joe Jackson—and probably you—ecstatic. DAVE SEGAL
Warm Soda, Ketamines, the Cry, Boom City, Zebrassieres
(Highline) Oakland's Warm Soda record for Thee Oh Sees mastermind John Dwyer's Castle Face label. That should be recommendation enough for most sensible people, but I have space to fill, and you're naturally skeptical, so here's some more verbiage to clue you in to the merits of this foursome led by ex–Bare Wires member Matthew Melton. Like a Bay Area King Tuff, Warm Soda effortlessly pump out immediately catchy glam-pop with punk undertones (no Feargal Sharkey). The songs on Warm Soda's Someone for You debut album are not at all innovative, but they are a damn enjoyable simulacrum of the best too-good-for-radio pop you've ever air-guitared to. Toronto's Ketamines play delightful, reckless garage punk—think a Canuck Intelligence—and are the authors of at least one instant classic song, "All the Colours of Your Heart." DAVE SEGAL
Shenandoah Davis, Exohxo, No Clouds
Rob Garza, Nordic Soul, Toast
(Neumos) See Data Breaker.
Under Pressure: A Night of Queen and David Bowie
(Crocodile) Sure, they shared a sense of camp and drama and whimsy, but didn't Queen and Bowie only collaborate on a one-off song? Yes, but holyshitfuck what a song. Released in 1981, "Under Pressure" is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, deeply weird in its construction, presenting a slightly jagged series of lyrical images and vocal emoting—almost scat-singing at points—that somehow coheres into one of rock's great finales. It's sure to be on cover band HalloQueen's set list tonight, along with a variety of songs from the individual ouevres of Queen and Bowie, which are, of course, awesome. If tonight is anything but, it's totally HalloQueen's fault. DAVID SCHMADER
Vans Warped Tour: Reel Big Fish, Hawthorne Heights, Motion City Soundtrack
(White River Amphitheater) This is the year that summer festivals are finally getting called out on the pathetically low ratio of female-to-male performers (with Sasquatch!/Bonnaroo/Coachella estimated to be 16 percent female). Of course, in the case of Warped Tour's ultimate gathering of all the young dudebro punks, the numbers are even worse—female artists appear in the festival at a shockingly low 6 percent! It often appears as though festival organizers view women in bands more as a footnote or subgenre, dismissively allowing an insignificant quota of "girl bands" to be filled in the same manner that they fill a quota of '90s third-wave ska relics (Reel Big Fish are headlining!). Yes, Gwen Stefani, at least according to the Warped Tour, you ARE just a girl... BREE MCKENNA
Summer Babes, Acapulco Lips, Le Sang Song
(Blue Moon Tavern) Acapulco Lips sound like La Luz's more disheveled, rowdier sonic sibling. Their fuzz-toned surf-garage rock screams 1966 vintage, but their fun-filled melodies, sincerity, and tight chops win the day—and probably the night, too. Le Sang Song is former Lights/Love Tan guitarist Craig Chambers's outlet for his loner-rock explorations. With his deadpan bass vocals and bare-bones, folk-inflected song structures, Le Sang Song casts spells in the vein of talented cats like R. Stevie Moore, Lee Hazlewood, and Bill Callahan. Seattle quintet Summer Babes specialize in indomitably bubbly, frown-eradicating rock songs that thrive in temperatures above 70 degrees. DAVE SEGAL
Bat Country, Hounds of the Wild Hunt, Bakelite 78, Jason Webley, The Mongrel Jews
(Columbia City Theater) This is a very special show for Bat Country. For one, it's a record-release party for an album the band's been working on for over a year called Love's the Only Engine of Survival—named after a line from Leonard Cohen's "The Future." Survival is key for this Seattle noir-country-cabaret eight-piece, who lost their bassist and friend, "Meshugunah Joe" Albanese in the May 2012 shootings at Seattle's Cafe Racer. After the tragedy, the band made the decision to cease performing live, and instead focused on recording the album based around tracks they had recorded with Joe before his death. The second reason this show is so special is that it will be their final live performance. Don't miss it. KELLY O
SCORE: Twenty Years of the Esoterics
(St. Joseph Church) This spring, the technically impeccable, artistically risk-loving Esoterics perform what their audience members and singers voted for: two concerts of a cappella masterpieces, one secular (Saturday night, of course) and one sacred (Sunday). Composers range from dead Strausses to living Seattleites. You won't be disappointed with the Esoterics. JEN GRAVES
(Triple Door) With violinist Geoffrey Castle, deep and electrified Celtic soul meets a variety of black American rhythms: gospel, rock, blues, and jazz. A rapper once stated that the more emotion he put into his rhymes, the harder he rocked. Something along these lines can be said about Castle—the more emotion he puts into his violin, the more mystical (indeed, foresty) his sounds get. His new CD, Deep Well Sessions, however, makes it clear that Castle is a man on a mission. And what is this mission? To resuscitate virtuosity in the age of digital reproduction. There was a time when mastery of an instrument was all the rage, when technical wizardry won you fame and even a small fortune. Those times are gone, and what we have today is music that's not about performance but production values. Castle wants nothing less than to return virtuosity to the main stage of popular music. This is by no means a small or easy mission. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Chapel Performance Space) Improvised music with roots in Kurdistan and "Psychedelistan." JEN GRAVES
SCORE: Twenty Years of the Esoterics
(Holy Rosary) See Saturday.
(Barboza) See Data Breaker.
Shelton Harris & Tyler Dopps, Kung Foo Grip
(Crocodile) See My Philosophy.
(Nectar) See My Philosophy.
Golden Gardens, Space Waves, Jetman Jet Team
(Chop Suey) A sampling of Portland band Space Waves' new record, You Can Ride a Beam of Light Like a Musical Strum (apparently, the title was received during a radio pet psychic's communication with a band member's childhood cat), brings to mind heat-mirages on a long stretch of Southwestern highway in the summer—I particularly like the songs that mix reverb-heavy twang with psychedelic shimmer (Moogaze?). Golden Gardens are a duo whose lingering dream-pop is misty and shadowy, like a gothic fairy casting unintelligible spells on you in a satin-dipped voice. Be on time so Jetman Jet Team's beautiful spacegaze can transport you to another galaxy where dense clouds and skeins of vibrating meteoroids swirl around lavender planets. EMILY NOKES
Across Tundras, Hellbender, Scriptures, Lightning Kills Eagles
(Highline) It took a bunch of English blokes—Cream, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath—to transform American blues into heavy metal. The most blatant pilferers were also arguably the most influential—Led Zeppelin certainly owed royalties to our Delta blues musicians. But Zeppelin's sound also stemmed from British folk music, not the American country music that originally fused with blues to create rock 'n' roll. Now we see a new generation of stateside bands taking the blown-out blues riffs of the Brits and pairing it back with American twang. Tennessee's Across Tundras, for instance, take the darker moments of the Anthology of American Folk Music and crank it through Ritchie Blackmore's amp settings. Similarly, local instrumentalists Scriptures offset the swampy riffing of the Deep South with pastoral passages as expansive as the Great Plains. BRIAN COOK
Radar Bros., Ola Podrida, Sons of Warren Oates
(Tractor) "If We Were Banished," the new single from Radar Brothers' latest record, Eight, sounds like the kind of music that would be playing during a sun-bleached montage in a quirky indie flick, where young, beautiful Yo La Tengo fans say, "Fuck it all," and hop in a car to run away. They take a road trip along the coast, stop every now and then to jump into swimming holes, take painfully adorable selfies in a field, and build sand castles on the beach. Their troubles will catch up with them, certainly, but for now everything is the perfect vacation. In fact, while most songs on Eight aren't nearly as dreamy, just about every one has a cinematic quality to it. Turn it on, turn everything else off, and let your brain float away. MEGAN SELING
(El Corazon) See My Philosophy.
Quadron, Nolie Durham
(Nectar) Danish electronic-soul duo Quadron have only been around since 2009, but in that four-year span, singer Coco O. and composer Robin Hannibal's crowd-pleasing combination of classic and modern vocals/production elements have caught the attention of everyone from punk-rap controversialist Tyler, the Creator (Coco O. is featured on Wolf standout "Treehome95" and joined him to perform the song live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) to Hollywood director Baz Luhrmann (who got O. to contribute to The Great Gatsby's original soundtrack). Their recent Avalanche picks up right where their self-titled debut left off, offering a short-but-sweet collection of sultry, soulful love (and anti-love) songs—and a Kendrick Lamar guest spot on "Better Off"—that should pack Fremont's Nectar Lounge with embracing, swaying couples. MIKE RAMOS