pink mountaintops

Thursday 9/17

Grand Hallway

(Fremont Abbey) See Stranger Suggests and Underage.

Method Man & Redman, Spaceman, Fatal Lucciauno, Jay Barz, DJ Marc Sense

(Showbox at the Market) From the Method Man/Redman unit, we get one hiphop classic, "Da Rockwilder," a futuristic, robotic, post-Fordist work of hiphop funk. Method Man, of course, came from Wu-Tang Clan, and Redman from the Def Squad. RZA was the mind behind the former, and Erick Sermon was the mind behind the latter. RZA produced Method Man's darkest jewel, "Bring the Pain," and Sermon produced Redman's largest blast of psychotic energy, "Time 4 Sumaksion." What would the '90s (indeed, hiphop) be without Tical and Whut? Thee Album? CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.

John Vanderslice, Pink Mountaintops, Mimicking Birds

(Crocodile) Between his two main projects, Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops, Vancouver's Stephen McBean has proved himself to be a consistently impressive songwriter. Outside Love, his third Pink Mountaintops release, is that band's most coherent record yet. McBean abandons the drum-machine-driven pop and sexual metaphors of earlier work in favor of heavy, orchestral country-tinged rock ballads about life's big subjects. See "Holiday," where, over a triumphant melody, McBean and covocalist Amber Webber bellow lines like "Those who've seen the backs of the cowards/Have seen how fast they can run" and "Everyone I love/Deserves a holiday in the sun/Almost every day/Till the lions are off of their backs." Amen. GRANT BRISSEY

Om, Grouper, Lichens,

Scout Niblett

(Neumos) A band containing two-thirds of stoner-doom legends Sleep and releasing records on underground-metal label Southern Lord is bound to create certain expectations, but bass and drum duo Om never fit the sinister, thunderous mold suggested by their affiliations. Rather, the band weave prolonged meditations built upon hypnotic pulses and Eastern melodies. Even when the songs reach their apex, the emphasis is more on groove than attack. Rob Lowe, the solo artist behind Lichens, is a fitting prelude to Om's trance-inducing set. Working with little more than a few arpeggiated blips, some sparse guitar work, and countless layers of looped chirping, chanting, moaning, and singing, Lowe creates a haunting drone that is part shaman ritual, part exorcism. BRIAN COOK

Benefit for the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs, Mark

Pickerel and His Praying Hands, Anna Coogan, Tony Fulgham

(Sunset) If you can name a worthier cause than domestic violence, I'll punch your grandmother in the face. Tonight's all-star, alt-country-flavored benefit for the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence features Star Anna (recently seen subtly tearing the house down at the Triple Door tribute to Patsy Cline), Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, and more. DAVID SCHMADER

Friday 9/18

JD Twitch

(Re-bar) See preview.

The Get Up Kids, Youth Group, Pretty & Nice

(Neumos) See preview.

Dirty Three, Chris Brokaw

(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests, page 35.

Modern Techno: M'Chateau, Jonny Romero, Ctrl_Alt_Dlt, Goner

(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker.

Girl Talk, Brother Reade, Junk Culture

(Showbox Sodo) See Data Breaker and My Philosophy.

Dillinger Four, Riverboat Gamblers, the Arrivals, the Little Cuts

(El Corazón) Minneapolis may be famous for birthing Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, and the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, but Dillinger Four deserve to be mentioned in that same breath. This is partially due to the stories—the pre-set head dunk in the notoriously filthy men's toilets at Chicago's Fireside Bowl, the onstage nudity (bear admirers, take note), the unparalleled booze consumption—antics that might rival GG Allin if not for the absence of misanthropy. But that wouldn't add up to much if the music weren't phenomenal. And fortunately, the band's 15-year career has seen nary a stumble. Dillinger Four stripped the varnish off of pop punk to yield a deliciously sloppy yet surprisingly sharp catalog easily on par with the finest work of their Minnesota peers. BRIAN COOK

Revolting Cocks, Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, Blown Land, Left Spine Down

(Studio Seven) Born in a 1983 Chicago bar brawl, Revolting Cocks (aka RevCo) have a new record called Sex-O MiXXX-O, a new tour called LubricaTour, and a touring lineup that includes Josh Bradford (vocals), Sin Quirin (guitar), Clayton Worbeck (keyboards), Aaron Rossi (drums), and Stevie Banch (bass). Though involved in the recording, founding member Al Jourgensen joins RevCo only as a special guest for the El Paso, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York dates. Bummer. Master of unceremonious ceremonies, however, is King of Freaks, Jim Rose of the Jim Rose Circus, who was recently injured on a tour with WWE wrestler Jake the Snake Roberts. Press releases stated he was "brutally beaten with a metal chair by former WWE wrestler Kizarny." Rose comments on the RevCo MySpace page, "I had a plastic hip put in and gave the bone to my dog." A rowdy industrial-rock freak show awaits you. KELLY O

Apostropheus, Night Caps

(Josephine) Apostropheus shows a lot of guts, naming himself after an apostrophe, which is undeniably a tiny, subtle bit of grammar and one of the most misused punctuation marks in the English language. It seems like a misnomer for other reasons, too: His flow is so fast, it sometimes seems to read like it was transcribed by a pissed-off Republican in a chat room: ALLCAPSNOSTOPS. But his beats—'80s bleep-bloop is at work in quite a few of the tracks—are strong, and his delivery is strong and emotive. So maybe Apostropheus considered proper grammatical usage when he chose his performing name: Maybe he named himself after an apostrophe because he owns us all. PAUL CONSTANT

Saturday 9/19

Arctic Monkeys

(Showbox at the Market) The initial appeal of Sheffield, England, band Arctic Monkeys, if I'm recalling the middle-aughts correctly, was meant to be their immediacy, not only in the sense of their rapid, file-sharing-fueled rise from obscurity to top of the pops, but also in the twitchy tempo, brash guitars, and hormonally charged attitude of their breakout single, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor." So it's odd catching up with them a few years later, having paid scant attention to their sophomore album or side projects since, to find them markedly mellowed on their new full-length, Humbug. The Josh Homme–produced album is slower, darker, and almost lethargically lurching compared to the band's earlier albums; nothing really makes a racket or a sudden move until nine tracks in, with the smash-and-grab verses of "Pretty Visitors." The overall effect is a little like Franz Ferdinand at their most languidly lecherous—a not entirely bad thing. ERIC GRANDY

The Soft Pack, Rainbow Bridge

(Crocodile) Musically, it's difficult not to compare San Diego slack-rockers the Soft Pack (formerly the Muslims) to the Strokes, as has been done before in these pages. It's a polarizing comparison no doubt, but here it's by all means a compliment. Few bands write such effortlessly catchy material with such minimal ingredients—taut, rudimentary rhythms; tasteful, fuzzed-out guitar work; and leisurely yet soulful vocals. Soft Pack frontman Matt Lamkin channels Julian Casablancas with vague hints of Richard Hell, and his drawn-out croon juxtaposed with the band's swift, self-assured compositions makes for one of the most pleasantly accessible rock formulas since the time when the Strokes produced good songs. GRANT BRISSEY

Bad Brains, P.O.S.

(El Corazón) I love Bad Brains, but I can't get over their infamous homophobic tune "Don't Blow Bubbles," which mars an otherwise perfect album, Quickness. True, Rastafarianism, as with Islam and much of Christianity, scorns homosexuality. But Bad Brains were less Rastas and more musical revolutionaries. The band was something utterly new, something never seen or heard before: four black Americans detonating reggae philosophy and social criticism with the raw power of punk. "I Against I," "Return to Heaven," "Destroy Babylon"—how could such an innovative band be so backward on homosexuality? Without this flaw, Bad Brains easily could have been the greatest thing to happen to rock in the last 20 years of the 20th century. CHARLES MUDEDE

Ruff Gemz: Japanther, Sam Rousso Sound System

(Lo-Fi) Raucous monthly dance party Ruff Gemz (full disclosure: Stranger music editor Eric Grandy is one of its resident DJs, but he's sitting out this edition) goes for a punk-rock infusion tonight with Brooklyn's Japanther. The Big Apple duo (Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly) keep things eminently danceable, so Ruff Gemz regulars won't miss their quota of bounceworthy beats. If you have a problem with instantly catchy, Casio SK-1–enhanced melodies and rambunctious, revel-atory rhythms, then you should give Japanther a wide berth. Everyone else, come gorge at the fun banquet. DAVE SEGAL

Sunday 9/20

They Live!, the New Up, PotatoFinger, the Apple War

(Nectar) Here's an odd (and free!) bill. Headlining are 206 hiphop jokers They Live!, whose MCs Dro-Boy and Bruce Illest pack real lyrical skill into their goofy weed rhymes and carefully selected beats into their ADHD cartoon channel-surfing, and whose engaging stage presence is frequently amplified by a little breakdancing. Then there's the dub-inflected IDM of Seattle artist PotatoFinger. And it's the final show for bright, local indie-rock band the Apple War. (Also in there: execrable San Francisco throwback alt-rock band the New Up.) Just to make matters weirder, the show will also feature live painting from a handful of area visual artists. ERIC GRANDY

Beach House, Avi Buffalo

(Neumos) Baltimore duo Beach House recently recorded their third album, the follow-up to 2008's quietly conquering Devotion, in upstate New York at a place called Dreamland Studios, which sounds pretty perfectly matched to the band's brand of sweet-dreaming, sleepwalking pop. The band will release the as-yet-untitled album early next year on local mega-indie label Sub Pop; between now and then they'll be hitting the road to debut the new material on a fall tour with Grizzly Bear. They come to Seattle sans Bear but with California's Avi Buffalo and his band, who make gently twangy, soft-rocking folk distinguished by Buffalo's ever so slightly braying singing voice. ERIC GRANDY

Team Dresch, Erase Errata, Telepathic Liberation Army, DJ Dewey Decimal

(Vera) Team Dresch's 1994 debut, Personal Best, remains the most criminally underacknowledged record of the riot grrrl movement—a bracing, breathless run of songs that add up to an album that contends with the best of the era. Reports of recent reunion shows have been orgasmic, and the opportunity to see Team Dresch (plus Erase Errata and Telepathic Liberation Army) at the freaking Vera Project should not be missed. DAVID SCHMADER

Monday 9/21

Girl Talk, Junk Culture

(Showbox at the Market) See Friday; Data Breaker and Stranger Suggests.

Pearl Jam, Ben Harper and Relentless7

(KeyArena) One of my earliest assignments for The Stranger was to write the scathing "con" side of a pro/con piece about Pearl Jam. It was fun, and I took to it with bilious gusto, but I must confess: I don't really hate Pearl Jam. It's more that I just haven't cared about them one way or the other since around 1994's Vitalogy. Before that, I actually really liked the band. Hell, Ten was the first "cool" cassette tape I ever owned (thanks, Uncle Brian). The band have kept on churning out good-hearted, unsurprising alt-rock 'n' roll over the years, and they've continued to be unassailably good guys, supporting righteous political causes and charities and sticking up for their fans against the corporate ogres. Their new album, Backspacer, is reportedly as vital a record as the band's done in years. And I still couldn't care less. ERIC GRANDY

Manic Street Preachers

(Neumos) In February 1995, Manic Street Preachers' guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards (who once famously carved "4 Real" into his arm with a razor in response to a music journalist questioning the band's sincerity) went mysteriously missing, leaving his car abandoned with a dead battery near a bridge notorious for suicide jumpers. In 2008, he was declared presumed dead. In between, the band carried on without him, adopting a bigger, brighter Brit-pop sound and with bassist Nicky Wire taking over for Edwards on lyrical duties. This year, the band released their ninth album, Journal for Plague Lovers; its lyrics are written by Edwards, culled from notebooks he left to his bandmates before his disappearance. Miraculously, the album comes off as reverent and resonant rather than grave-robbing. In support of the album, the band are embarking on their first U.S. tour in 10 years, which kicks off tonight in Seattle. ERIC GRANDY

Tuesday 9/22

Pearl Jam, Ben Harper and Relentless7

(KeyArena) See Monday.

DJ Vadim, Pugslee Atomz

(Nectar) Abstract hiphop, a genre that is usually branched with triphop but really should be associated with hiphop (on this side of the Atlantic, it is called instrumental hiphop), has four important producers: DJ Cam (France), DJ Shadow (USA), DJ Krush (Japan), and DJ Vadim (UK/USSR). Vadim's masterpiece is U.S.S.R. Repertoire (The Theory of Verticality), which appeared in 1996 (the best abstract hiphop albums came out between 1994 and 1997), and what he introduced to the movement was something we now call hauntology (Cam, for example, introduced samples of modern jazz). Long before Burial, ghosts were moving in and out of the deep and dark sonic spaces of Vadim's hiphop. CHARLES MUDEDE

Wednesday 9/23

Meat Puppets, Dead Confederate, Ume

(Chop Suey) Detroit 1985: Meat Puppets are touring behind the immortal Up on the Sun LP. The band tear into "Split Myself in Two" with terrifying speed. At one point, guitarist Curt Kirkwood shakes his head back and forth so fast while riffing that he appears to have two heads, thereby manifesting the title's organizing principle. It was one of the most amazing spectacles I've ever seen. Sadly, inevitably, Meat Puppets no longer harness that sort of fleet fury. Their early albums of fierce country punk, Leo-Kottke-on-meth folk, and serpentine psych rock eventually gave way to ZZ Top–like boogie ordinaire. As rock comeback efforts go, Meat Puppets are no Mission of Burma, Slint, or Polvo. DAVE SEGAL

Support The Stranger

Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions, Dirt Blue Gene

(Crocodile) Hope Sandoval makes lassitude sound incredibly sensual. When she fronted Mazzy Star, she cast a languid spell with creamily soft deadpan vocals that oozed over David Roback's maroon, paisley-patterned psychedelia. Now fronting her own group with My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig in tow, Sandoval takes an earthier, folkier approach. Her voice quavers intimately as the duo create spare, spectral songs that induce a sweet-tuned calmness with just enough tension to avoid milquetoasty tedium. Sandoval & the Warm Inventions are supporting their new album, Through the Devil Softly, which doesn't depart much from their exquisitely hushed debut, Bavarian Fruit Bread. DAVE SEGAL

The Gaslight Anthem, Murder by Death, the Loved Ones, Frank Turner

(Showbox at the Market) Chances are you're going to this show to see the headliners, the Gaslight Anthem, who broke into the mainstream after releasing The '59 Sound last summer (and got to perform the title track with Bruce motherfucking Springsteen at the Glastonbury Festival). And that's okay! They're a good band. But heed my advice: You'll definitely want to get there early for the Loved Ones. Not only have they been around nearly five years longer, they deliver a similar anthemic sound with more punk-rock vigor (they rose from the ashes of Kid Dynamite and Paint It Black, after all). Props to Gaslight for having the balls to bring 'em along for this ride. If there's one band that could possibly steal their show, it's the Loved Ones. MEGAN SELING recommended