Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs

Thursday 4/22

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs, Meisce, Le Sang Song

(Funhouse) Holly Golightly is one of those performers who has been doing solid work for so long that she's become a figurehead. She explores different genres—here a blues stomper, there a 1960s Dusty Springfield soul kick, here a country song—with such precision that her taste in selecting projects is praised more often than her skill as a musician. And don't get me wrong: Her taste is unimpeachable (barring that one unfortunate, muddled, self-indulgent collaboration with the White Stripes, "Well It's True That We Love One Another"). But Golightly could make a zydeco song sound sexy and subtle; she's the first lady of roots music, goddamnit. Go pay your respects. PAUL CONSTANT

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Fences, Nico Stai, Campfire OK

(Chop Suey) The gist of The Stranger's November 2009 profile of Fences, aka singer-songwriter Chris Mansfield, was basically "Why doesn't this guy have a record deal yet?" All the pieces are there: catchy songwriting, able but understated singing, moody acoustic guitars, a face full of tattoos and just enough of a bad reputation to match, plenty of promising industry connections. But still no takers. Well, those industry connections have decided, "Fuck it, let's just put the thing out ourselves," and now Fences' official debut is due out early this fall via an as-yet-unnamed record label being started by Dave Meinert and Fuzed Music (who also represent Blue Scholars, Presidents of the United States of America, and Hey Marseilles). In the meantime, Fences' sometimes rocky live shows and whatever demos he has floating around would be well worth checking out. ERIC GRANDY

Deer Tick, Holy Sons, Jeremy Burk

(Tractor) It's been said that the only legitimate "alt-country" music comes from folks raised on the old-timey stuff and exposed to rock subcultures later in their lives. It's a dismissive rule of thumb that could unfortunately slight some undeserving acts. Case in point: Deer Tick. Who knows which came first for these boys—maybe it was Johnny Cash, maybe it was Johnny Ramone. But it's hard to doubt the honesty of their ragged electrified brand of Americana. Their forlorn tales of whiskey and women may be nothing new, but folk and country have never been about reinventing the wheel, but about resonating that common chord that bonds us all together. And there's something in John McCauley's voice and that rough-around-the-edges guitar... I'm a believer. BRIAN COOK

LaRue, Spaceman, Bad Company Gang

(Rendezvous) One thing you cannot miss on Spaceman's recent mixtape Greeting Earthlings is that the man loves the ladies like nobody's business. The space he is most into has nothing to do with what's beyond the earth's atmosphere, but that which is between the legs of the gentler sex. Spaceman is a fucking poet, and a very talented one at that. True, he has other things to say about life, the city, and the state of hiphop. But these concerns are only digressions; the main concern, the activity that fills a good part of his mixtape, is the coupling of human bodies and the generation of pleasure, fluids, moans, and eruptions. Not space but sex is the place, Spaceman's place. CHARLES MUDEDE

Band of Skulls, 22-20s, Saint Motel

(Crocodile) Southampton, England, trio Band of Skulls tap into that vein of raw, bare-bones blues rock the White Stripes and Black Keys have taken to the (Mississippi River) bank. Of course, trace back further and you'll find recessive Led Zeppelin traits in Band of Skulls' 2009 debut album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, which never hurts a group's ascent of rock hierarchy (it's also no shock that BOS covered the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil"; they're new traditionalists to the core). Band of Skulls make lean meat-and-potatoes rock that takes little effort to like, but a lot to love. They've not set the bar that high, but they do get props for rhyming "insolence" with "innocence" in "Death by Diamonds and Pearls." DAVE SEGAL

Friday 4/23

Wolves in the Throne Room, Earth, the Low Hums

(Neumos) Sometimes you get the sense that Wolves in the Throne Room, a meditative pagan-metal band from the woods around Olympia, are really a bunch of sensitive sweethearts. There's a human warmth and longing to their compositions—and they feel less like songs than compositions—that gives WITTR more texture, nuance, and basic humanity than more aggressive or ostentatious metal bands. They still love their croaking screams and tsunamis of cymbals and guitar, but they sound more like wounded creatures genuinely dismayed by the state of the contemporary world than posturing, macho dickbags from the sticks. And if they occasionally dip into medieval-sounding vocal arrangements or murmured prayers, who can blame them? BRENDAN KILEY

Âme, Kid Hops vs. SunTzu Sound, M'Chateau

(Chop Suey) Âme (Germany's Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann) have built a reputation as deep-house übermenschen. Their tracks combine rigorous tone exploration with soulfulness and a tendency toward hypnotic repetition that reveals an appreciation of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass. (Âme's listing of Stevie Wonder, Moodymann, Herbie Hancock, and Weather Report as influences hints at the duo's emotional and technical profundity.) With 2006's "Rej" (which became as ubiquitous on mix CDs and club sound systems as Isolée's similar-sounding "Beau Mot Plague"), Âme put a timeless Teutonic stamp on Kenny Dixon Jr.'s Motor City house austerity. But there's more to Âme than "Rej," as they manifest many fascinating variations on the "house is a feeling" meme. DAVE SEGAL

Throne of Bone, Guns of Barisal

(Morgue) Throne of Bone vocalist Michael Freiburger delivers what can be categorized as "The Call of the Orc": pained plaints and bloodied minotaur declarations all screamed as loudly as possible and surrounded by fully pumping, half-stack, Gibson SG–riffed havoc. Throne of Bone's formula involves abrasive volume + mortar driving drums + smart-bombed scream-singing + an upside-down cross necklace made out of sticks. But the reason Throne of Bone are worth seeing is that the enjoyment they have making their annihilized ruckus onstage is contagious throughout a room. Maybe it's due to their preference of playing house parties, where they've honed their formula. Throne of Bone make their metal act like a neighborhood Orc kegger. And the Morgue is what's good about Georgetown DIY. TRENT MOORMAN

Saturday 4/24

Emerald City Soul Club presents: Talcum

(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests.

Wehrwolve, Prehumanity, Gape Attack!, the Fruiting Bodies

(Rendezvous) See preview.

Grudge Rock: We Wrote the Book on Connectors vs. At the Spine

(Crocodile) Grudge Rock is a rock-and-roll game show hosted by Jake Stratton, the king of mutton chops (and quite possibly the best game-show host since Richard Dawson). Two bands play a Family Feud–style game, answering questions about music, and the crowd is invited to get drunk and cheer them on (or boo them when someone gives a stupid answer, which always happens). It's a whole lot of fun no matter who's playing, but tonight's Grudge Rock will no doubt be extra spectacular with the very goofy We Wrote the Book on Connectors battling At the Spine. MEGAN SELING

Sunday 4/25

Bonobo, Yppah, Anomie Bell, Surrealized

(Showbox at the Market) Yppah's songs breathe deeply, using voices for air and ears for lungs. Their blood is pumped around the body and directly to the heart through a melodic network of distorted guitars, samplers, synths, flutes, and live percussion, triggering euphoric feelings of joy and beauty and inducing a mind state that could be in heaven five galaxies away. Four years ago, the prolific electronic label Ninja Tune signed Yppah (Houston-based producer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Corrales Jr.) and released his gorgeous debut, You Are Beautiful at All Times. Last year's follow-up, They Know What Ghost Know, took the greater parts of Beautiful's glacial, beat-centric shoegaze on a journey as connected to earth and our natural surroundings as it is to the vast universe we have yet to discover. Yppah comes to Seattle for his first time opening for labelmate Bonobo with a full band in tow. Breathe it in. Beat it out. TRAVIS RITTER

Ying Yang Twins

(Bull Market Bar & Grill, Tacoma) When the time comes for the Smithsonian to institutionalize crunk, Atlanta's Ying Yang Twins will be championed among the genre's most gifted artists. Within crunk's stripped-down sonic world, where entire songs can hang on what sounds like a car trunk being slammed over and over, the Holmes brothers have regularly concocted ludicrously intoxicating music, both on their own ("Salt Shaker," "Shake") and with a host of others (key collabs: Lil Jon's genre-defining "Get Low" and Da Muzicianz' ridiculously wonderful "Go Dumb"). Ying Yang Twins' lyrics consist almost entirely of instructions for women to shake it. The music is so good, you will not care. DAVID SCHMADER

Monday 4/26

His Name Is Alive, Perfume Genius

(Crocodile) Last month at the Vera Project, local artist Mike Hadreas played his first Seattle show as Perfume Genius, a solo piano act that expands to a duo live, with Hadreas's frail, bruised balladeering backed by additional keys and guitar. Hadreas sang his first couple of songs so quietly as to be almost inaudible, before adjusting the mic closer and testing it with a kissing noise. ("Can you hear that? That's me kissing it.") After that, he still squirmed, sniffled, and flinched at the mic, but he managed to make himself audible, and his terminally melancholic songs—reminiscent of Antony and the Johnsons or the more restrained moments of Xiu Xiu—proved worthy of all the fuss. Tonight, he opens for Michigan-based ex-4AD veterans His Name Is Alive. ERIC GRANDY

Sightings, Physical Demon, The Dead White, Jeffery Taylor, Hair Friend

(Josephine) The phrase that recurs when hearing almost anything by Sightings is "blasts of static." Perversely, Sightings steamroller rock's standard tropes while using typical rock instrumentation, forging abattoir ambience and the sound of heavy machinery being noisily dismantled into radio-unfriendly outbursts. Over the Brooklyn trio's seven albums, their aim seems to be a cranky kind of catharsis through chaotic cacophony. Their album Absolutes makes Sonic Youth sound like Coldplay, while Arrived in Gold scrupulously knifes your speakers with no-wave-y ruthlessness. Sightings' new album, City of Straw (on Oneida's Brah imprint), finds them quieter yet maintaining their unsettling aura, more through suggestion than blatant assault of your ears (though the record's still cantankerously anti-song and often in the red). Sometimes, Sightings suggest, implied violence terrifies more than blitzkriegs. DAVE SEGAL

Tuesday 4/27

Jazzsteppa, Samiyam, Dirty vs. Nordic Soul

(Neumos) See Data Breaker.

Unnatural Helpers

(Easy Street Queen Anne, 7 pm) It occurred to me while watching Unnatural Helpers open for King Khan & the Shrines at Neumos recently that drummer/vocalist/leader Dean Whitmore is the Northwest's Robert Pollard. As with Guided by Voices' auteur, Whitmore's songwriting principle is "always leave 'em craving more." He pens curt, burly garage rock that's both highly torqued and effortlessly tuneful. Even when they throw in a menacing bass line or doom-y, descending guitar riffs, UH come off as shaggy goofballs whom you can take home to mother—although they may drink all the dear woman's booze. The Helpers' instantly enjoyable new album on Hardly Art, Cracked Love & Other Drugs, contains 15 songs that rush by in 26 minutes; they're like ruffians who drag mud across your carpet but get away with it through sheer charm and pluck—while revivifying pleasurable moves from rock's most ramshackle realms. DAVE SEGAL

The Ponys, Disappears, Scraps

(Tractor) Man, I was worried the Ponys had ridden off into the sunset, never to return. The Chicago garage rockers sort of fell off the face of the earth about three years ago, not long after their Matador Records debut, Turn the Lights Out, sold over 20,000 copies, and not long after playing a Lollapalooza main stage and doing successful American and European tours with the Fall, Spoon, Deerhunter, and Black Lips. It seemed curious that Ponys guitarist Brian Case was in new band Disappears, and singer/guitarist Jered Gummere and bassist Melissa Elias (now married) had done shows as the backing band for the Dutchess and the Duke. Whatever the reason, I'm just happy they're back. Ooh, and they're back with a brand-new EP, Deathbed Plus 4. KELLY O

Wednesday 4/28

Nocando, Dumbfoundead, Intuition, Open Mike Eagle, DJ WD4D

(Chop Suey) The only time I've ever seen Nocando (Scribble Jam '07 winner, L.A. underground vet affiliated with Project Blowed) rap, it was in the Brainstorm 3 MC battle some seven years ago, and he was getting way in the ass (Catholic Church–style) of an unnamed, then-quite-young local MC who's now very gangsta. It was clear he was a hellafied freestyler and battler, but conventional wisdom holds that those guys can't record music to save their life. His new LP, Jimmy the Lock, however, proves him to be the exception. Its strange yet tasteful balance between funny, bottled-up bellicosity raps and space-blap production works a good deal of the time, at times reminiscent of a gassed-up version of Soul Position. Also bumpworthy is his podcast with L.A.'s Low End Theory, the world-famous weekly where he is the resident MC, in the mix with some of the coast's illest beat-minded such as Daddy Kev, Nobody, and the motherfucking Gaslamp Killer. LARRY MIZELL JR.

Baby Dee, 200 Years

(Triple Door) Of all the world's transgender, fiftysomething, circus-sideshow folk musicians, Baby Dee is among the very best. Dee has been a street performer, playing classical harp from atop an unusually tall tricycle, and a freak-show attraction at Coney Island; she's been the music director of a Catholic church in the Bronx; she's played with idiosyncratic musicians as disparate as Antony Hegarty and Andrew W.K. But beyond all the superficial spectacle suggested by the Cleveland-bred musician's storied bio, Baby Dee's songs can be surprisingly traditional—chamber piano pieces, blues ballads, Ren-faire folk, with often broad and pastoral lyrics—if still marked by her distinctive warble. ERIC GRANDY