THE THIEVES OF KAILUA (Album Release), VELELLA VELELLA, THE LOVE LIGHTS
(Chop Suey) See Album Reviews, page 61.
THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, SOUND TEAM, THE CLUTTERS
(Neumo's) These Arms Are Snakes are a sonic catastrophe, a seizure of sounds created to do two things: crush your eardrums and move your ass. They're a sensation to witness live—the amount of energy expelled from the stage via a light show, blasting instruments, and passionate playing is a wonder to behold. Get up front, get sweaty and thrash, or stand in the back and take it all in—either way you'll get a show. What's going to make These Arms even more cathartic, though, is the fact that Sound Team are opening—an Austin band who're also a mishmash of sparkling guitars, big, bright drumming, and vocals with an indie-rock tinge of Austin-inspired attitude (a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll). Compared to These Arms, Sound Team are a stroll in the park, but their intensity isn't MIA; it's very much there. They're just bringing it with more beauty and less brashness. MEGAN SELING
MIRAH AND SPECTRATONE INTERNATIONAL PRESENT SHARE THIS PLACE
(Triple Door) Originally commissioned in part by the Seattle International Children's Festival (where it debuted this past May), Share This Place is the collaborative work of K Records songstress Mirah and local petite orchestra Spectratone International. Formed by Black Cat Orchestra founders Lori Goldston and Kyle Hanson, Spectratone are much more pared down than the large, shifting roster of their predecessor, but their music is similarly genre omnivorous and dramatically charged. They have been serving as Mirah's band, both live and on select recordings, for years now, and Share This Place may be their most fully integrated collaboration yet. Drawing their inspiration from art-entomologists past, like Jean-Henri Fabre and Karel Capek, Share This Place is a meticulously researched and constructed song cycle dealing tenderly with the true lives of insects. SAM MICKENS
LION OF JUDAH, VANGUARD, LIVING IN RUINS, NEVER LOOKING BACK, HOUSES
(Viaduct Venue, Tacoma) See Underage, page 75.
NAZCA LINES, OPEN CHOIR FIRE
(Easy Street After Hours, West Seattle) Months ago I claimed that Nazca Lines reminded me of One for the Ride—era Waxwing, boasting the same moody guitar work and on-point drumming. But I take it back. It may have been true for their early material (honestly, I can't remember), but their debut record, Cremation/Cruises (being celebrated via this album-release show), is currently blowing my mind in a whole new way: pissed off vocals with boiling, postrock instrumentation, bursts of mid-'90s East Coast aggression, and songs that climax with blasting hooks. The anthemic "4-Star Plagiarism" deserves to be played in front of a rowdy crowd of kids clapping and yelling along, so come to the show prepared. MEGAN SELING
DEVIN THE DUDE, DYME DEF, D. BLACK, I-GANG, THE PARKER BROTHAZ
(Showbox) Devin the Dude likes us here in Seattle. We, in turn, like him. We get each other: Whenever he emerges onstage, red-eyed from the region's finest, and starts in on any of his odes to drank, dank, and makin' love, he knows an appreciative audience will rap and croon along with each fonky verse and sticky chorus. He may not get the worldwide recognition he deserves for being one of Houston's greatest gifts, but we are always one of the towns that gives the Dude his propers. As he once told me, "If y'all feel like I'm up here, then shit, that's exactly where I am." P.S.: Showbox security man, don't blow my high. LARRY MIZELL JR. See also My Philosophy, page 69.
FUCKING ABOUT SONGS: BIG BLACK COVER NIGHT W/THE LUNA MOTH, THE KEEPER, I'M A GUN, AND MORE
(Jules Maes) First of all, "Fucking About Songs" is a fantastic name for a Big Black cover night. Second of all, damn. Big Black. Steve Albini. "Kerosene." How do you even attempt to cover the works of such lauded punk icons? Well, the how will remain a mystery until the night of this show, but the "what" we know: Big Black played their final show in Seattle on August 11, 1987, at the Georgetown Steam Plant. Twenty years to the day, a handful of Seattle bands will gather to pay tribute. Among them: Erin Jorgensen, Seattle's premier (only?) punk-rock marimba player, who will cover "Dead Billy" and "Bad Houses"; acerbic slowcore singer/songwriter Levi Fuller, who'll cover "Pavement Saw" solo and "Fists of Love" and "Things to Do Today" with his band the Luna Moth; and Little Brown (as in neither Big nor Black), a local punk "supergroup" formed for just this occasion and featuring members of the Cripples and the Gloryholes, who will play "Racer X" and "Fish Fry." ERIC GRANDY
(Showbox) So I got to interview Patti Smith, and I asked why she covers the Doors on her latest album, Twelve. She said, "I had this dream that I was walking through this arcade, like in Twin Peaks or something, and I heard this voice: 'You have to do "Soul Kitchen."' Then I saw this weird angel guy behind the curtain, and he's going, 'You have to do "Soul Kitchen."' I woke up and I was like, 'Weird. Well, I'm not going to.' I got dressed to go to my cafe, I go out on the street, and then this big truck comes—it was either a sanitation truck or a snowblower truck. It stops, and the radio was blaring 'Soul Kitchen.' 'Okay.' I said it out loud. 'Okay. I'll do the damn song.'" And she did. MAIREAD CASE See also Stranger Suggests, page 45.
FAMILY UNDERGROUND, FURSAXA, DULL KNIFE, KATARINA TUNICATA
(S.S. Marie Antoinette) Tara Burke is a sound-loop artist, but not that kind of sound-loop artist. Unlike the legions of dudes who use their digital delay pedals to stack snippets of guitar-based noise into a clumsy jumble (a trick that stopped being clever around 1999 or so) the woman behind Philadelphia psych outfit Fursaxa looks for the negative space in her compositions and harnesses it. Pacing her heavily improvised songs across delicate 15-minute spans, she'll play a melodica line, and wait for the natural pause before adding hand bells, moaning a bass line vocal, or singing lead vocals. It might not be the trick of 10 people playing, but it will sound more beautiful than messy. JOHN VETTESE
YARD DOGS ROAD SHOW, GILL LANDRY
(The Triple Door) When Yard Dogs played the Showbox in May, their cabaret-style presentation was especially disjointed and the vaudeville troupe were easily upstaged by the opening act, local favorites Circus Contraption. YDRS founder and frontman Eddy Joe Cotton didn't seem to be at the helm of his ship, and one flat act consisted of an absent magician's routine projected onto a portable screen. Let's hope they've tightened the show in the last few months. The Yard Dogs' eight multitalented musicians deliver a rowdy mishmash of styles (guitar-driven acid rock, Gypsy jazz, jug-band folk, surreal melodic interludes), but it's the visual delights that earn the price of admission: Entertainments include a sword-swallower, a fire-eater/muscleman, a trio of burlesque darlings, and a truly extraordinary belly dancer, Zoe Jakes. AMY KATE HORN
THRONES, LOZEN, DOOMHAWK
(Greenhouse) Thrones' menacing, sludgy doom and boom is made all the more impressive by its source: the lone figure of Joe Preston, wrangling a double-necked bass/guitar, surrounded by pedals and machines, and glowering into a mic. The punk noisemaker has been wrestling with lo-fi low end for years now, and his live show is a finely tuned, bowel-liquefying machine. But for all the bass rumble, programmed double-kick drums, and digitally mangled vocals, there are also moments of serene calm in Preston's epics, sublime drones and sustained tones that hang in the air just a little longer than seems possible. ERIC GRANDY
CONRAD FORD, BIRDS & BATTERIES, OTHER DESERT CITIES, MIKE DUMOVICH
(Comet Tavern) Listening to Andy McAllister's plaintive voice, you can be forgiven for imagining a younger, more innocent Jeff Tweedy. McAllister's band, Conrad Ford, traverses the lonesome back roads and deserted highways of Americana, accompanied by strummed acoustic guitar, contemplative banjo, and the occasional accordion—and the always-welcome pedal steel, which could turn even the theme to The Jeffersons into a tear-in-your-beer country classic. The band is working on a new album now to follow up their 2006 debut, the quiet, devastating Don't You Miss Yourself. McAllister is a devotee of Townes Van Zandt and it shows in his straightforward delivery and the sneaky way he breaks your heart at every turn. CHRIS MCCANN
GRAF ORLOCK, COMADRE, TRAINWRECK
(S.S. Marie Antoinette) Every band has its niche, and Graf Orlock is pure gold for movie nerds. Comprising five film-school dropouts from Studio City, California, Graf Orlock play brutal hardcore metal themed in everything cinematic. Half the fun of listening to their albums is trying to figure out which movies their samples and song titles are from. The coup de grâce on their new album, Destination Time Tomorrow, is much better than clever samples, though. I have a friend who, for a long time, would ask my old band every time he saw us if we were going to "cover Jurassic Park." Every show: "Dude, are you guys going to cover Jurassic Park tonight?" We never did. Imagine my surprise then when I listened to the new Graf Orlock album, and sure enough, they cover Jurassic Park. Turns out it was a good idea after all. JEFF KIRBY
TALIB KWELI, DJ CHAPS, COMMON MARKET,
(Showbox) See Album Reviews, page 59.
SLY AND ROBBIE WITH HORACE ANDY, CHERINE ANDERSON, TRINITY SOUNDZ
(Neumo's) See Stranger Suggests, page 45.
OKAY, THE ELEPHANTS, WALLPAPER, TREE ROOTS IN THE BASEMENT
(Club SOTA) If you miss this show, you'll regret it for the next two years—that's how much time has passed since Marty Anderson, the elusive force behind Berkeley pop phenomenon Okay, last took the trip up north to perform his consummately orchestrated melodies. The man is a musical architect, building towering walls of tightly arranged polyphony and reinforcing them with his strange, hauntingly frail voice. Bells, chirps, and radio waves bend and meld with organic guitar chords and synthetic drums. His minimalist lyrics are anthems of the runner-up: dark, disheartened, but never defeated, and at times even buoyant. While High Road and Low Road, the twin albums released in 2005, are divided based on their thematic leaning (the former slightly more optimistic than its glass-half-empty brother), listening to either is a heavy and affecting experience, and not without good reason. The records were written and recorded entirely by Anderson while he was confined to his home with a debilitating disease, one that makes regular travel impossible. This show is a chance occurrence, not even part of a tour; it could be another two years, or longer, before Okay is back in these parts. MOLLY HAMILTON