THURSDAY 6/14

THE PIPETTES, SMOOSH
(Chop Suey) There is absolutely nothing original about UK girl group the Pipettes. But who cares? On their debut full-length, We Are the Pipettes (which finally sees U.S. release in August), the trio gleefully synthesize the best bits of all the ladies who have come before them: the hand-clapping sass of the Shangri-Las ("Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me"), the tongue-in-cheek sexuality of Vanity 6 ("One Night Stand"), executed with a polished sloppiness that lands somewhere between Thee Headcoatees and Bananarama. Hell, "Pull Shapes" is practically a Spice Girls song! Even the polka-dot frocks have a precedent in '80s act Strawberry Switchblade. None of which detracts from the sheer exuberance of the Pipettes' witty originals and enthusiastic performances. If you don't plan to dance tonight, please stand against the wall. KURT B. REIGHLEY

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GANG GANG DANCE, ARIEL PINK, MICK BARR
(Crocodile) It's been three years now since Ariel Pink was picked up by Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label, and since then, Pink (Ariel Rosenberg) has watched his profile soar with each subsequent rerelease of his extraordinary catalog from 2000's The Doldrums up until last year's reissue of 2002's House Arrest. The intervening years have seen Pink transform from a stoner-pop bedroom savant to a full-blown touring musical machine. The limited-run of Pedestrian Pop Hits (2006), his first newly recorded output since 2003's Worn Copy, is a single 17-minute hardcore-pop opus, and is his first release ever backed by a full band instead of his usual homemade, pop-perfect analog creations. Ariel comes to the Croc tonight with Mick Barr and NYC sensation Gang Gang Dance. SAM EWALD

FRIDAY 6/15

CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY BATTLE OF THE BANDS
(Vera Project) See Underage.

SWEET WATER, THE PROTOCOL
(Crocodile) See Saturday.

SKY CRIES MARY, THE FADING COLLECTION, THE FURNITURE GIRLS
(Neumo's) See Album Reviews.

NEW SEATTLE ORCHESTRA
(Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center) "There's a genuine appreciation of all the different cultures in the Seattle music community, and the level of acceptance for intertwining different genres is growing," says Ahamefule J. Oluo, local trumpet wiz and composer. Tonight's cross-genre, cross-cultural, cross-generational blowout will prove his point. Oluo's compositions, along with those of bass standout Evan Flory-Barnes, will be played by a 23-piece orchestra comprising Seattle's finest in jazz, classical, and avant-garde rock. Further spicing up the mix, local hiphop heroes Gabriel Teodros and Common Market will rock the mic to their own songs set to orchestral arrangements, with comedian Hari Kondabolu and Mass Line maestro Sabzi hosting. If it all sounds like a big deal, that's because it is. JONATHAN ZWICKEL

KINSKI: BERLIN: SYMPHONY OF A CITY
(The Triple Door) Gosh damn this looks cool: a black-and-white silent film from 1927 about a day in the life of living in Berlin put to the music of Kinski. The film cuts quickly from rich to poor, from man to machine, from distant perspective views of the city to the sewers beneath it. And what do we hear? We hear Kinski, the experimental rock psychics. The sound of the scenes is theirs. A train brings viewers into the city at sunrise and takes them through a day of work into afternoon play and patterns. Then there is dancing and drinking deep into the night. The Triple Door will find this night snug in the fitting combination of film and sound. TRENT MOORMAN

ROCKY VOTOLATO
(Old Fire House) On his fifth album, The Brag and Cuss (being released June 19 on Barsuk), local singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato has once again created a collection of songs derived from some of the most common and familiar material (loss, longing, alcohol), while still managing to wrap those moments and ideas in little musical packages that are stunning and captivating. Whether Votolato is telling tales of sunny-day road trips ("Before You Were Born") or crooning out the defeated ballad "The Blue Rose," his lyrics paint vivid pictures of every moment while the music (even more country-tinged than his previous material), stands in as the perfect soundtrack to his stories. He's been a part of the Northwest music scene for many years, so it's hard to think of Votolato as anything but the gentle and modest man he is, but with the success of last year's Makers paired with the success that will no doubt come from The Brag and Cuss, we just might have a full-blown icon on our hands. MEGAN SELING

SATURDAY 6/16

SWEET WATER, THE PROTOCOL
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests.

JOHN DOE, DEAD ROCK WEST
(Tractor) See Album Reviews.

NEW SEATTLE ORCHESTRA
(Langston Hughes Cultural Center) See Friday.

SHIM, CAST OF CHARACTERS, BEATBOXER DARRICK BOB JONES, TRANSFER
(High Dive) The new sound of San Diego has less to do with overgrown skate punks and more in common with reverb-drenched psych-rock foursome Transfer, whose latest long-player, "Faded Signal," impressed enough SoCal scenesters to win last year's San Diego Music Award for Best Alternative Album. At their most aggro, the guitar-bass-drums triangle set up a steadily propulsive platform for the impassioned vocals of incredibly tall frontman Matt Molarius, but the band are just as captivating when they're quiet—though Transfer's best songs are always both. In melody and lyrics, the word "epic" comes to mind, and their locked-in groove and trippy visuals are probably best enjoyed after a bong hit. They work the suit-and-tie gimmick when playing live, but that shiny finish is just a facade for their dirty, stony, Zeppelin-y rawk. MAYA KROTH

SUNDAY 6/17

SILENT LAMBS PROJECT
(Rendezvous) See Stranger Suggests.

SWEET WATER, THE LONELY H, NATALIE PORTMAN'S SHAVED HEAD
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests.

NE-YO, TREY SONGZ, PAULA CAMPBELL
(Showbox) With only two albums under his belt (last year's debut, In My Own Words, and its follow-up, the newly released Because of You), Ne-Yo has already developed a standing as one of the absolute top dogs of modern R&B. Regrettably, both in the songs he sings and in those he writes for others (he's contributed to hits by Beyoncé, Rihanna, Mario, and many others), he leans toward a sort of pan-genre radio-rushing blandness that somewhat betrays the term "R&B." While some of his deeper album cuts contain more surprising and satisfying pop-soul experimentation, his singles have all been possessed of a crushing AOR sensibility. And, as a vocalist with a strange, preternatural nasality, Ne-Yo is capable of making even a Ghostface song sound a little square. SAM MICKENS

CALI AGENTS, ROB SWIFT, RA SCION, GUESTS
(Chop Suey) Years before the Game was praised as the most high-profile West Coast MC to lyrically embrace a New York state of mind, L.A.'s Cali Agents were spitting Rotten Apple-esque with grimy aplomb. Combining Rasco's gruff roll with Planet Asia's well-honed, GZA-like flow, the duo of indie veterans proved themselves, with their 2000 debut, How the West Was Won, a truly complementary and powerful team. Last year's long-overdue sophomore album, Fire & Ice, found them in fiercer form than ever, with both MCs keeping their noses to the lyrical grindstone over consistently intense and thrilling beat choices. Being that this night has the Agents paired with brilliant turntablist and X-Ecutioner Rob Swift, it should prove a heroic showing of hiphop's two musical elements. SAM MICKENS

MONDAY 6/18

Just another manic Monday. Ooh wee oh. I wish it were Sunday. Oh wee oh. 'Cause that's my fun day. Ohoh wee oh! My I don't have to run day. Just another manic Monday.

TUESDAY 6/19

JULIE DOIRON, CALVIN JOHNSON, CANADA AND JOHANNA KUNIN
(Atlas) K Records king Calvin Johnson's latest release, Calvin Johnson & the Sons of the Soil, finds the veteran DIY popster teaming up with a band of K mainstays (Wolf Colonel's Jason Anderson, Yume Bitsu/White Rainbow's Adam Forkner, and Little Wings' Kyle Field) to perform a retrospective survey of Johnson's songs from Dub Narcotic Sound System, Halo Benders, the Go Team, and his solo albums. If this sounds self-congratulatory or vain—well, maybe it is. But Johnson's work warrants it, and the Sons of the Soil versions of his underground classics give them a decidedly different feel, something more rooted in Americana and soft psychedelia than Johnson's dream pop or Dub Narcotic's offbeat funk. And it's mostly just a way for one of punk's great iconoclastic artists to take his vast back catalog out on the road. Julie Doiron, formerly of Eric's Trip, headlines. ERIC GRANDY

WEDNESDAY 6/20

DJ FOOD & DK, FCS NORTH, SUNTZU SOUND
(Chop Suey) See Bug in the Bassbin.

THE HORRORS, THEE EMERGENCY, SKULLBOT
(Crocodile) See Album Reviews.

THE CAVE SINGERS, LIGHTNING DUST, CARRIE BIELL
(Neumo's) Lightning Dust are the duo of Amber Webber and Joshua Wells of Black Mountain. Webber plays acoustic and electric guitar, Wells plays organ and piano, and both of them sing. Like their other band, Lightning Dust reference 1960s and 1970s psychedelic rock but update it with a dark, purely postmillennial dread. Unlike Black Mountain, Lightning Dust keep things mellow and spare, favoring mournful ballads over bluesy rockers, and none of these songs sound like they have more instruments than the duo could play live. Which isn't to say their songs lack dynamics or depth. In fact, Lightning Dust manage to scare up both frightening heaviness and gently haunting atmospheres from their limited sonic palette. Cave Singers work with similarly intimate arrangements of guitar, banjo, and light percussion to create some truly ghostly, moonlit folk. ERIC GRANDY