ARMIN VAN BUUREN, JOHNNY MONSOON
(Last Supper Club) It's impossible to think of trance as anything but eight years past its gorgeous, we-are-one, anthemic-synths prime, swallowed whole by its worst cloying and listless instincts. Encouragingly, unlike the genre's other celebrity DJs at the time, Holland's Armin van Buuren was relatively quiet. Basic Instinct was one of the only trance mixes of 2001 that didn't sound like a Lifetime movie with a house beat, and he's been plugging away ever since, up to this summer's A State of Trance 2007—which is bright and casual—unafraid of diminishing returns. With the embarrassing absence of a single modern electronic act at Bumbershoot, it's good to see the city at least get something this weekend. DEAN FAWKES
(Rendezvous) Earlier this month, Sly & Robbie injected fresh, pulsing vitality into dub music—the slow, low, electronically skewed brand of reggae that the Jamaican duo helped define. Tonight, the next generation gets a chance to do the same. Seattle's Library Science (great name—like dub itself, soulful and geeky at the same time) play a poppier, more electro-inflected version, with occasional vocals grounding the music and luscious reverb bouncing it out into dark, gaping chasms. There's more to Library Science than dub, in fact—check out "The Milwaukee Mile" on The Chancellor. Regal horns flap like standards as a crunchy guitar rocks and a shuffling breakbeat rolls. This might be the Seattle yin to Jamaica's yang. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
(War Room) See Stranger Suggests, page 21, and My Philosophy, page 49.
THE LADYBIRD UNITION, THE BISMARCK, POLICE TEETH
(Crocodile) It's no secret that I love what the Beep Repaired gang does—a bunch of musicians supporting one another's ideas and ambitions, and helping each other write, record, and produce records. It takes a lot of stress off the shoulders of all involved to know someone's got their back, which leaves a lot more time for the artists to focus on their art. The Bismarck are one of Beep Repaired's bands—and like BR, they're all about massive amounts of enthusiasm. With distorted guitar riffs, crashing drums, and a good helping of humor, the Bismarck are a post-hardcore sonic assault. They're a little sloppy live, because just like Beep Repaired, it's more about the raw, grassroots energy than the crystal-clean outcome. MEGAN SELING
FLIPPER, LOOM, THE KEPT
(Funhouse) Flipper aspired to be hardcore's worst band, but they never got it right. They wanted to write moronic lyrics, but they ended up being brilliant. They tried to piss people off with tuneless noise and a retarded caveman plod, but everyone copied them anyway. They fought to disturb and anger, but all they did was inspire. So now, 25 years later, the only thing I wonder is: How much snot does Bruce Loose have shoved up that old-ass nose? How can these paunchy, middle-aged men flounder through 25-year-old temper tantrums? It's not 1982 anymore, and time can be cruel. But at least this time around, Flipper might suck the way they intended. BRANDON IVERS
EARLY SHOW: SEAWEED, VISQUEEN
(High Dive) See preview on page 27 in Bumbershoot pullout.
JACKIE-O MOTHERFUCKER, MARISSA NADLER
(Sunset) When recommending a Jackie-O Motherfucker concert, it's best to scare off the people who will likely hate it. First off, JOM can't exactly be called a "band," as Portland native Tom Greenwood has seen countless musical friends come and go in the, er, nomadic sonic concern's ever-morphing lineup. Both their live output and records (often recorded live as well) reflect that disarray—what began over a decade ago as a psych-folk act has since adopted an even greater love for improvisational noise and free-form jazz. But unlike many of JOM's improvisational peers, their payoff in concert is often huge, as unforgettable folk-jazz and rustic drones rise from their sound's murky waters. Assuming no beer-guzzling haters are heckling loudly, the crowd just might be turned into Motherfuckers for life. SAM MACHKOVECH
FAVELA ON BLAST! W/DJ SUJINHO, KRNL PANIC, RECESS
(Nectar) A veteran of the NYC club scene, DJ Sujinho drops baile-funk bombs straight from the hearts of Brazilian favelas, raunchy gems that combine the ass-motivating qualities of '80s electro and Miami bass. Most famously championed by Diplo, the sound has trickled into the American club consciousness over the last few years, playing nicely with our more homegrown booty music. One of America's top DJs of the genre, Sujinho fearlessly moves between the foreign and the familiar, using baile funk as a backdrop for forays through various incarnations of the "party jam," whether that involves hiphop, Baltimore club, or ghetto tech. The evening also features a "welcome home" set by KRNL PANIC (aka Rama), who left Seattle for NYC last year. DONTE PARKS
THEY SHOOT HORSES DON'T THEY?, T.V. COAHRAN, BIRD LANGUAGE, ONE MILLION TEETH
(Comet) I know that today's Bumbershoot lineup is really tempting—Seaweed, Art Brut, the Bouncing Souls, Fergie (ahem)—but should you not want to make your way through the maze of discarded corn cobs, baby strollers, and sun-dazed tourists only to stand in line for two hours to maybe get into the venue, then steer clear of that mess and stay on the hill. The Comet's got beer and liquor for ya, and a great show with They Shoot Horses Don't They?, a messy little indie punk band from Vancouver, British Columbia. To put them in local terms, think Boat's endearing "goofing off in the garage" vibe crossed with the Pharmacy's DIY ethos and danceability. They're fun, but they're more than fun—they're pretty good too. And they break out some horns sometimes. Who doesn't love a well-played brass breakdown? MEGAN SELING
STEREO TOTAL, THE OCTOPUS PROJECT, WELCOME
(Chop Suey) See Album Reviews, page 47.
LMNO, SLEEP OF OLDOMINION
(Nectar) Sleep is from Portland and a founding member of Oldominion. So far, his solo career has produced two full-length CDs. The better of the two releases is the first, Riot by Candlelight, which came out in 2002 on Under the Needle Records. Sadly, it didn't receive the attention that his weaker and second solo CD, Christopher, did in 2005. Christopher, however, is not bad; it has its solid moments—like the track "Testimony"—but overall the production is just not as good as its predecessor. (Christopher also has the distinction of being released by a nationally recognized label, Up Above Records.) Like most of the rappers in the Oldominion camp, Sleep's style is dense, psychologically twisted, and confessional. CHARLES MUDEDE
KORBY LENKER, KRISTIN ALLEN-ZITO (OF THE TRUCKS), STAR ANNA
(Crocodile) When a friend told me to check out Kristin Allen-Zito's solo music, I scoffed. After all, Allen-Zito is a member of the Trucks, one of the most intelligence-insulting bands in the Seattle area right now (They look like models, wear leotards, and sing about oral sex over drum loops! Edgy!). But my friend was right—it turns out that the Trucks' music is an intensely dumbed-down version of Allen-Zito's work. The subject matter is similar—love, sex, and their incumbent drama—but there are a lot more words in her solo songs, and they are a lot more meaningful. Allen-Zito's voice, which sounds ditzy in the Trucks, is sweet and practical when accompanied by simple acoustic guitar. I guess all some people have to do to make substantial, sparkling songs is change their approach. ARI SPOOL
(Triple Door) Eddie Turner's "Devil Boy" nickname stems from the yarn about guitarists selling their souls for skills, though the self-appointed genre purifiers giving him one-star Amazon reviews might see it as proof that he's Satan's spawn. An innovator in the tradition-tethered blues world, Turner incorporates spacey rock, Steely Dan–style jazzy tangents, and Afro-Cuban rhythms into his electric shuffles. Like Jimi Hendrix, whose "The Wind Cries Mary" he covered on 2005's Rise, Turner uses blues progressions as the cornerstone for aural architecture that spirals into the stratosphere. Rise marked his debut as a bandleader, after a decade of adding psychedelic atmospherics to fellow Chicagoan Otis Taylor's aggressively stark dirges. Turner's live shows revolve around his solar-hot guitar solos, which impress more with unique sonics than speed. ANDREW MILLER