Rain Machine, Diane Cluck
(Neumos) After a double whammy of masterworks—2006's bottomless volcano Return to Cookie Mountain and 2008's art-rock funk blast Dear Science—TV on the Radio are taking a hiatus while individual members get busy elsewhere. Last week I was happy to see Tunde Adebimpe giving a perfectly lovely performance in Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married; this week I'm happy to see Rain Machine—aka the solo project of Kyp Malone—get to work at Neumos. The just-released Rain Machine sounds pretty much how you'd expect/hope—like stripped-down, rough-draft TV on the Radio, what Malone might bring to the table to be digested and refined by the deeply collaborative band. A constant: the voice, that rich, layered near-whine that either leaves you cold or makes you want to follow it anywhere. DAVID SCHMADER
Paintings for Animals, Demian Johnston, New Red Sun, Sokai Stilhed
(Josephine) I think it was the smart folks in Midday Veil who told me about Paintings for Animals (Seattle musician Pearson Wallace-Hoyt and myriad highly evolved cats) a while ago, but somehow his name slipped my mind—until now. Thankfully, Paintings for Animals returned to my consciousness—and proceeded to raise it to astronomic heights. PFA's gist resides in mysterious drones filigreed with field recordings of equally enigmatic origins. Uneasy atmospheres redolent of Coil and Organum's work drift through your sensorium, hover and whir for a while, and then rearrange the ganglia there. It's really something else—a weird party soundtrack at the microcosmic level or a score to your most mystical, baffling dreams. DAVE SEGAL
Sian Alice Group, Black Nite Crash
(Sunset) See Stranger Suggests.
DJ Icey, Kreeper, Rob Cravens
(Heaven) Florida's DJ Icey is a reliable provider of high-energy, acid-funky breaks tracks that are better than average, if not life changing. A prolific producer and dogged touring machine, Icey knows very well how to keep dance floors humming with sexy activity; after 15 or so years in the game, there ain't no stopping him now. Cool trivia learned from Icey's Wikipedia entry: He became hooked on electronic music after hearing Edgar Winter Group's phenomenally freaky metal/electronic instrumental "Frankenstein." There follows the greatest non sequitur ever: "[Icey] went on to study ballet." You so crazy, Wiki. DAVE SEGAL
Motörhead, Reverend Horton Heat, Nashville Pussy
(Showbox Sodo) Motörhead are one of those archetypal bands—like Ramones or Buzzcocks—who make everyone who emulates them seem sort of superfluous. Motörhead fused (and continue to fuse) metal with punk so perfectly, with no extraneous bullshit, that everyone else who followed in their path—and they are legion—pretty much pales before their majesty. The badass speed and power with which peak-time Motörhead imbue their songs results in one of the purest musical rushes one can experience. I recommend going to this show and intently staring at frontman/bassist Lemmy Kilmister's facial wart—which has its own Facebook page—the entire time. You will emerge from the club a changed person. DAVE SEGAL
Hypatia Lake, LSD and the Search for God, C'est la Mort
(Comet) Their moniker might lead you to believe that LSD and the Search for God will take you on a synapse-frying journey from which you may never return in anything resembling a "normal" mind state. But no. These San Franciscans dwell in shoegaze rock's swirly, creamy core. Matter of fact, they're often downright cuddly, sometimes not even as stinging as the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Deceptive band name aside, LSD and the Search for God create pleasant, gently psychedelic tunes that will appeal to fans of the Church at their most out-there and Slowdive at their most animated. Seattle's Hypatia Lake rock harder and more psychedelically, and they will more likely lead you to acid and a deity than will their billmates. DAVE SEGAL
Captured! by Robots, Madraso, Warning: Danger!
(Funhouse) When you go to a show whose bill features two exclamation points (plus the really dramatic use of a colon), you should expect some fucking action. This lineup at the Funhouse shouldn't disappoint. Warning: Danger! are a sci-fi punk outfit with enough enthusiasm for three Godzilla movies. And Captured! by Robots make screamo music that doesn't suck, in part because they have a great sense of humor (I defy you to listen to the sped-up-to-Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks scream of "Passover"—"You killed my baby! I hate you!" rages Theodore—without giggling) and an ability to bring disparate elements, like horns and dramatic, Queen-style vocals, to their sound. PAUL CONSTANT
Visqueen, Throw Me the Statue, Little Cuts
(Crocodile) See preview.
The English Beat, Get Down Moses
(Showbox at the Market) Ska's second wave emerged from a period of economic crisis. In the late '70s, the UK, like the rest of the West, was deindustrializing and shifting from social democracy to a neoliberal order. This shift put a lot of pressure on the urban poor, and from this pressure emerged the 2 Tone sounds of the Specials, the Selecter, and the English Beat. 2 Tone was not just a fusion of British punk rock and Jamaican ska (the parent of reggae)—it was also, and more crucially, a fusion of working-class whites and working-class blacks. In the English Beat, for example, Ranking Roger's toasting channeled the spirit of the new working class (black immigrants from Jamaica) and Dave Wakeling's singing channeled the spirit of the old working class. With this winning combination, the English Beat generated a lot of energy, a lot of excitement that is still with us today. CHARLES MUDEDE
Undertow, Unbroken, Strain, Balance of the World, the Helm, Marginal Way
(El Corazón) Tonight's four top-billed bands broke up in the mid-'90s. Seattle's seminal Undertow ditched the breakneck speeds and positivity of late-'80s straight-edge hardcore in favor of half-time beats, heavy riffs, and emotional bloodletting. San Diego equivalents Unbroken were even bleaker, with their recurring theme of depression eventually proving all too sincere with the suicide of guitarist Eric Allen. Strain and Balance of the World were also highly revered players in the small and isolated Pacific Northwest scene. While the show is a celebration for the grown-up "kids" and the youngsters who missed it the first time around, the addition of current locals the Helm and Marginal Way makes the event a passing of the torch as much as a nod to the past. BRIAN COOK
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Coconut Coolouts, Unnatural Helpers, the Girls, Final Spins, Erik Blood, Telepathic Liberation Army, Born Anchors, Katharine Hepburn's Voice, Little Cuts
(Sunset) Katharine Hepburn's Voice are like a sedated version of the Blow, but with just as much charm; Coconut Coolouts are fun garage rock; Telepathic Liberation Army are an all-girl post-punk outfit featuring members of Shoplifting and Diamond Cut Diamond; and Kay Kay close out the day on a lighter, happier note with their wondrous explosion of vaudevillian pop songs about how awesome everything is (except for California; they hate California). MEGAN SELING
Dethklok, Mastodon, Converge, High on Fire
(WaMu Theater) High on Fire: a gnarly, howling tornado of ferocity that take the chops and aesthetics of '70s metal to modern extremes. Converge: a classic Boston band that transcend the confines of hardcore with powerful iconography, exceptional technique, and unabashed rawness. Mastodon: perhaps the most vital contemporary metal band, worshipped by both the fickle press and the Heavy Metal Parking Lot crowd. And the band that plays over these three enormously influential acts? Dethklok—the fictitious metal band from Adult Swim's Metalocalypse cartoon. Now, I know the show is very popular with the metal community and the fans assert that the songs are actually pretty good, but at the end of the day they're still a joke band. The concert is a must-see, and a must-leave-early. BRIAN COOK
Thee Satisfaction, Fatal Lucciauno, Spaceman, SK, GMK, Fresh Espresso, Grynch, Champagne Champagne
(New York Fashion Academy) Thee Satisfaction could not have picked a worse time to leave Seattle. Just as things are picking up for the eccentric hiphop group, just as their new and excellent album, Snow Motion, is released, just as everyone I know is talking about the album (even Rich Jensen, a former Sub Pop executive and cofounder of Up Records, is e-mailing me about the album), Thee Satisfaction up and move to San Francisco, whose hiphop scene is not making much noise at the moment. Not over there but right here, the capital of the Pacific Northwest, is the place to be for now. CHARLES MUDEDE
Datarock, Esser, Mad Rad, Kav, DJ Darwin
(Nectar) Datarock: Love the red tracksuits and oversize shades; don't love the Red album you Norwegians just dropped. Compared to your first album, 2005's Datarock Datarock, which filtered some of Devo and Talking Heads' most appealing qualities (jittery danceability, memorable tunesmithing) through 21st-century Scandinavian sensibilities, Red is a slick, facile, cheesy romp through the radio dial/MTV agenda of the '80s, an unseemly revel in the icky, coke-encrusted-mustacheness of it all. We get it, Datarock: You love the Smiths, Naked Eyes, a-ha, Simple Minds, the Call, and melodramatic dance-pop acts. But you're not really adding anything worthwhile to a musical decade whose homages were played out at least three years ago. Still, I want your damn tracksuits. DAVE SEGAL
Deadmau5, DJ Colby B
(Showbox at the Market) See preview.
The Bob Dylan Show
(WaMu Theater) Remember this joker? Not only did he release the woozy Together Through Life earlier this year, it featured "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'," his best single-qua-single since, oh, "Hurricane" back in 1976. That counts for something, right? Well, how about this: On October 13, Dylan is going to dip his big toe into the lucrative holiday-music market with Christmas in the Heart—spanking-new Santa-ready classics given the man's inimitable touch. Yeah, we can't figure him out, either, though it's always fun to try. Ditto figuring out which songs are which on his still-never-ending-tour stop, which if his '05 Paramount show is any indication, ought to be pretty entertaining. MICHAELANGELO MATOS
(Showbox at the Market) Mutemath are a New Orleans synth-rock quartet with roots in the Christian-music world. They won a Dove Award (the Christian version of the Grammy) for Best Modern Rock Song in 2005 for "Control." In 2008, they won a Grammy (the regular version of the Grammy) for Best Video for the clip "Typical," a backward-running bit that owes everything to Spike Jonze and the Pharcyde's superior-in-every-way 1996 video "Drop." But I guess honoring weak rehashes 12 years too late is what the Grammys does best. Dubious awards and religious affiliations aside, though, how is Mutemath's music? God fucking awful—schmaltzy, whining, overglossed pop rock not nearly saved by its slight traces of rhythmic tension or its lead singer's keytar. The more Mute the better. ERIC GRANDY
Thursday, Fall of Troy, the Dear Hunter, Touche Amore
(Neumos) To follow up 2007's Manipulator, Fall of Troy went into the studio with producer Terry Date, who's worked with Deftones, Soundgarden, Slipknot, and Ozzy Osbourne. But the record, titled In the Unlikely Event, didn't come out nearly as big or as heavy as Date's portfolio suggests it could have. The best Fall of Troy moments have always been when they unleash the crazy—fit-throwing vocals; unwieldy, piercing guitar; core-rattling drums—but on their latest, those moments are scarce. Instead, they are more melodic than ever. "Nobody's Perfect" is Fall of Troy's version of a love song, and perhaps their poppiest effort yet. Some parts are still killer—after a melodic intro, "Battleship Graveyard" turns into a tantrum with some devastating breakdowns, but just two tracks later, in "Single," they're back to being melodic and almost mopey. The album's not a failure; I just miss the crazy, is all. MEGAN SELING
Polvo, Bronze Fawn, Water Beds
(Crocodile) See review
The Horrors, Japanese Motors
(Neumos) Something fantastic happened to youngish, stylishly gothic British band the Horrors in between their debut album and this year's sophomore effort, Primary Colours—and the leap can be pretty neatly illustrated just by their choice of covers: the Sonics in 2007 to Suicide in 2009. Where the previous album was all brash, preening garage thrash, their new one is full of coolly motorik rhythmic grooves, dark and droning vocal moods, and the kind of bent, smeared, and backward-masked guitar tones with which My Bloody Valentine nearly bankrupted Creation Records. It's a rare treat to see a band so outstrip their early hype and so successfully outgrow their initial sound. The Horrors have become a band to be reckoned with. ERIC GRANDY
Jolie Holland, Michael Hurley
(Triple Door) On the surface, it's so hard to tell what you're going to get with female vocalists who traffic in acoustic instruments and tuneful arrangements. For every exciting, intelligent Mirah, you'll find 10,000 crappy Norah Jones wannabes. Jolie Holland makes you forget about all those melancholy Feist-y rip-offs, though. She's a challenging, witty songwriter, and she has just enough of a flair for the dramatic—2006's experiment in chanteusery, Springtime Can Kill You, is an ornate concept album—to keep things interesting without indulging in the mopiness of your average coffee-shop musician. Maybe one day Holland will produce the heartbroken, blowsy country album I know she has in her, but for right now, I'll just enjoy her jazz-inflected laments and torch songs and be grateful. PAUL CONSTANT
Children of Bodom, the Black Dahlia Murder, Skeletonwitch
(Showbox at the Market) Finnish quintet Children of Bodom play metal with a swift, trebly attack, plenty of rococo instrumental flourishes that might please an ELP fan, and vocals (by Alexi Laiho) that suggest tremendous inner torment. Their chops are fairly amazing, even if they sometimes bloom into annoyingly fidgety arabesques. However, Children of Bodom's cover of Credence Clearwater Revival's "Looking out My Back Door" is a fruitlessly fast and grooveless marring of an American roots-rock classic. The baleful thrashing they give Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," though, is totally justified. DAVE SEGAL
The Rosewood Thieves, the Dead Trees, Blood Hot Beat, the Bedouin Jacks, Eugene & the 1914
(El Corazón) Erick Jordan, frontman of New York City's the Rosewood Thieves, takes more than a few cues from John Lennon, et al. His leathery croon even conjures Lennon's occasionally. And while the Rosewood Thieves aren't the Beatles, their laconic folk rock has some medium-interesting moments. Also playing are Blood Hot Beat, who boast much funk-inflected boogie guitar and bass, taut drumming, and frontman "Kevin Magnum," who is reputedly quite the showman. Blood Hot Beat have an album in the works that's being engineered by Toy Box studio's Justin Cronk. Magnum thinks it will be released in late October... 2017. GRANT BRISSEY
Brother Ali, Evidence, Toki Wright, BK-One
(Neumos) See preview, page 39.
Nick Lowe, Aimee Mann
(Moore) See Stranger Suggests.
Rock 'n' Roll Family Feud: Mad Rad vs. They Live!
(Re-bar) Rappers?! B-b-b-but! It says "rock 'n' roll" right there in the name! Some troglodytic leather-and-denim heshers might get their shits all in a fit about this one, but it would, as ever, be their loss. Mad Rad and They Live! are both highly entertaining comic hiphop outfits, ideal contestants for Rock 'n' Roll Family Feud's faux TV game show. As for who will win, I have to go with They Live!, whose MCs include Stranger hiphop columnist Larry Mizell Jr., a font of music-trivia knowledge of all genres. I'm sure Mad Rad will be perfect gentlemen, win or lose, of course. Between bouts of trivia, both bands perform live, and everybody wins. ERIC GRANDY