Thursday 5/13

Converge, Coalesce, Black Breath, Lewd Acts

(Neumos) Hardcore bands rarely age well: They mellow out or they pine to be part of Ozzfest; they forget how to evolve or they evolve too much and distance themselves from their past. Converge, thankfully, are one of the few hardcore institutions to successfully avoid those pitfalls over the years. The Boston band continues to find new ways to convey its dark vision. Converge are every bit as visceral, violent, and vehement as they were 20 years ago. Their latest album, Axe to Fall, maintains their tradition of fusing diverse realms of extreme music into a cohesive maelstrom of crushing, feedback-soaked guitars; inhuman drumming; and harrowing vocals. Tonight's superb support cast includes resurrected mathcore pioneers Coalesce, heroic hometown Swedish metal/d-beat hybrid Black Breath, and hardcore insurance-liabilities Lewd Acts. BRIAN COOK See also Underage.

The Redwood Plan, the Shondes, Mal De Mer, Young Evils

(Crocodile) Tonight, the Redwood Plan celebrate the release of their debut full-length, Racing Towards the Heartbreak, which is a collection of both new material and favorites from their previously released EPs. To get the most out of their polished dance-punk sound, the band went into the studio with Martin Feveyear, the local producer who's worked with acts such as the Lashes, the Divorce, and the Epoxies—and the results are pretty fantastic. The Redwood Plan's songs are seething pools of frustration, liberation, and sexual tension with fuzzy synths buzzing under choppy beats and confident, sometimes snotty vocals. To bring their live game up to par, the band has added William Brown of Teeth and Hair, who'll not only be playing keyboards, percussion, and guitar, but also tackling some vocals. And dancing. Everyone will be dancing. MEGAN SELING

Stanton Warriors

(Trinity) England's Stanton Warriors (DJs/producers Dominic Butler and Mark Yardley) play the sort of breakbeat-intensive tracks that have become as common as dirt and BO at outdoor festivals. However, they infuse enough infectious energy, off-kilter funk, and straight-up good musical taste into their sets to make this threadbare genre come to vibrant life. Their 2006 and 2008 mixes for the esteemed UK label Fabric, FabricLive.30 and Sessions Volume III, reflect their keen instincts for tracks that keep parties throbbing with excitement. Stanton Warriors' selections explore a rich seam of dance music that splits the difference between mid-'90s big beat and late-'00s UK Funky. Bonus: Their remix of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" is extremely ballsy and bassy. DAVE SEGAL

Sex Mob, DJ Olive

(Triple Door) New York's Sex Mob are renowned for their avant-jazzed and funked-up covers of familiar and obscure songs from films and the charts. Led by slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, Sex Mob (with help on this tour from illbient/dub-wise turntablist DJ Olive) will put their distinctive stamp on exotica, a genre that blew up in the 1950s along with the American middle class's interest in Oceania and tiki bars. Sex Mob's players—who include saxophonist Briggan Krauss, bassist Tony Scherr, and drummer Kenny Wollesen—are extremely versatile, adeptly adapting to myriad styles with quicksilver reflexes. Don't expect stuffy homages to Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman from these fluent feather-rufflers; this will likely be much more unruly—and sexier—than that. DAVE SEGAL

That 1 Guy, Boy Eats Drum Machine

(Tractor) That 1 Guy is a curious case. The one-man band kicks out tunes that alternately remind you of Bootsy Collins ("Mustaches"), early Dr. Dre ("TEN"), and a mellower Rusko ("Guava"). And he does so with an arrested adolescent sense of humor, as evidenced on his ode to the backside, "Buttmachine." It feels and sounds like it shouldn't work, but it does—oh so well. What's really intriguing about That 1 Guy is the homemade instruments he uses to create this genre orgy—such as the "Magic Pipe," a seven-foot-tall contraption composed of steel pipes connected by adjustable joints, with each pipe suspending a bass string and sporting several sample triggers. It's the kind of genius you wouldn't expect from somebody who would name a song "Buttmachine." KALEB GUBERNICK

Friday 5/14

Verse Chapter Verse: Author Cory Doctorow, music by Pillow Army

(Sunset) See Stranger Suggests and preview.

Kaki King, An Horse

(Neumos) Kaki King is a supremely gifted guitarist who's proven herself fluent in jazz and post-rock idioms, as a soloist and within a group context. Early King albums, such as the all-instrumental Legs to Make Us Longer (2004) and ...Until We Felt Red (2006, produced by Tortoise's John McEntire, and you can tell), displayed her supple dexterity and knack for serpentine structures. I lost track of King after Red, so her new full-length, Junior, surprised me: She sings on it and composes fairly straightforward rock songs that surge somewhere in the zone between Helium and Sonic Youth's streamlined Geffen-era output. King is trending toward more accessibility, but with her advanced skills, this isn't necessarily a detriment. The secret weapon is her seductive voice, which sounds like a more grown-up Juliana Hatfield. DAVE SEGAL

Pee-Wee's Acid House: Computer Controlled, the Icarus Kid, Ya No Mas, Graz, Erictronic

(Re-bar) Tonight's show is a competition, conceived by local video artist Looptid and Seattle producer Naturebot (Ian Scot Price), in which artists are asked to make tracks mixing the raw materials of Mr. Herman's utterances and his old TV show's songs with the nostalgic strains of acid house. The potential for hearing music that could drive you insane with smiley-faced vibes is off the scales; you may never frown again. The contenders for the goofy happiness crown include some of the region's craftiest knob-twiddlers: Computer Controlled, the Icarus Kid, Ya No Mas, and Graz. There's also a contest for the best costume in the vein of Pee-Wee's Playhouse and a raffle to win a replica Chairy. DAVE SEGAL

Saturday 5/15

Re!Bonk?: Rave On It, Hanssen, Tron Sister

(Re-bar) See Data Breaker.

TRUST: My Cousin Roy, Kid Hops, SunTzu Sound

(Chop Suey) The reedit has been an undeniably important part of the past decade's disco revival. Unlike a remix, in which separate constituent parts of a song (drums, bass, vocals, etc.) are rearranged and even augmented with additional production, a reedit takes an intact song and simply resequences it, whether just looping its best bits for a few more bars or cutting out a duff vocal or radically reordering things to create builds and breaks not found in the original. With his Wurst Edits series of vinyl-only reedits, NYC's My Cousin Roy (aka Roy Dank) has overseen modern dance-floor-friendly reworkings of vintage artists ranging from Teddy Pendergrass to John Carpenter. Dank's label, recently relaunched as Wurst Music Co., is now focusing on releasing original material, including My Cousin Roy's own, that grooves just as seamlessly as his streamlined edits. ERIC GRANDY

Corespondents, Orkestar Zirkonium, Diminished Men

(Josephine) Tonight is the CD-release party for Seattle trio Corespondents' Ur. It's fitting that they're sharing the bill with Orkestar Zirkonium and Diminished Men, as Corespondents sound like a perfect midpoint between those two local groups' approaches. Ur carries some of Orkestar Zirkonium's Romany-music-tinged melodic flourishes and exudes some of Diminished Men's slightly sinister auras and weirdly bent, twangy guitar tones. (Those Josephine bookers are on it!) Olie Eshleman, Doug Arney, and Kieran Harrison-Buhlinger are acutely sensitive players with fantastic chops, and their music efficiently transports you to a more antique-y place and time without sounding overly reverent or staid. Corespondents have that old-soul spirit in spades, but without the kitsch, thankfully. DAVE SEGAL

Shout Out Louds, Freelance Whales, the Franks

(Neumos) Swedish band Shout Out Louds recorded their new album, Work, here in Seattle with longtime local producer Phil Ek, replacing their previous album's engineer, Björn Yttling (of Peter Bjorn and John). But Ek's too damn good at disappearing into (rather than dictating) a band's sound, from Built to Spill to Les Savy Fav, to make too much of his involvement here. Some frosty synths are out, some twangy, summery guitars are in, while Adam Olenius's vocals and the band's poppy indie-rock chops are retained, if not radically improved. Shout Out Louds still haven't released a single better than 2007's "Impossible" (and have never done anything as great as Studio's bliss-disco reworking of same). Freelance Whales are a twee indie-pop outfit from NYC, equal parts twinkly and twangy, with lyrics and vocals just a little too sickly sweet for my tastes, like a baby-safe Arcade Fire or a secular Owl City. ERIC GRANDY

Wiz Khalifa, Fashawn, Jasmine Solano

(Nectar) Here we have two of XXL magazine's newest Freshmen 10, Wiz Khalifa and Fashawn; the latter is a talented MC from Fresno, the newest Califas rapper to benefit from Exile's classic production (the last one being the underground prince Blu). Khalifa, however, is one of rap's new-style stars—happy to be indie (he used to be on the Warner Bros. plantation), with a couple official albums, a gang of free mixtapes, and a boatload of internet savvy. He can sell out all-ages shows in cities he's never even been to, with kids climbing over themselves to claim his clique (Taylor Gang) and clamoring for his supremely stoned brand of fly (I very much appreciate his rejection of blunts in favor of the less carcinogenic classic, rolling papers). His latest tape, Kush & OJ, might just end up being his So Far Gone, even if he doesn't have the same mass-market appeal of Drake—either way, it's clear his flight is just taxiing for takeoff. LARRY MIZELL JR.

Seattle Occultural Music Festival: Nommo Ogo, Fauna, Paintings for Animals

(Rendezvous) The Seattle Occultural Music Festival celebrates experimental music—as in, the beauty of noise that's not contained. The nudity of sound. It's what Jimi Hendrix would have sounded like had he been a tadpole. The organizers of SOMF are interested in the tentacular action of sound waves and in auditory experiences that contain psychic, ecological, or otherwise deeply resonant importance. Seattle is ripe with psychics who dig such ambient soundscapes. This is their time. Nommo Ogo, the Oakland-based crypto-noise fathomers, farm sequencers, analog synths, and electro-acoustic processors. They submerge your ears into a place where you think, "I'm not sure what the fuck is sonically happening, but I kind of wish I were a squid that was mating with a fax machine, for life." TRENT MOORMAN

Sunday 5/16

Fuck Buttons, White Rainbow

(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests.

Frightened Rabbit, Maps & Atlases

(Neumos) Scottish band Frightened Rabbit only really do one mood, but they do it damn well. It's a kind of bottom-of-the-bottle, back-against-a-raging-sea desperation not quite yet given over to total despair: one last square go at probably still hopeless odds. (Like, I suppose, a cornered animal.) Leavening the band's bleak disposition and lyrics is frontman Scott Hutchison's cracked but compelling voice (and that accent) and a tendency for their drums and guitars to break into a spirited stampede when the going gets really rough. Their latest album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, adds some orchestral touches and a greater sense of spaciousness, but songs like the weirdly upbeat "Swim Until You Can't See Land" and the rushing "Nothing Like You" retain the band's best essence, a timorousness always ready to bolt, brawl, or bawl. ERIC GRANDY

Monday 5/17

Box Elders, Jaguar Paw, Evander Brolyfield

(Funhouse) Box Elders are a noisy, lo-fi, self-described "hippie punk" band from Omaha, Nebraska. Their first album, Alice and Friends on Goner Records, got a mess of mixed reviews—the main critique being that the trio's Nuggets-lovin' vintage leanings make them a wee bit derivative. That said, the Midwest young'uns (the band was born in 2005, the musical baby-child of 16-year-old Clayton and his younger brother Jeremiah) have a sound that, however rooted in tradition, is still raw and irrefutable. And it's worth seeing live, because, as is so often true with messy, poppy-proto-punk bands, the live show is where the music really shines. KELLY O

Tuesday 5/18

Dying Fetus, Arsis, Misery Index, Annotations of an Autopsy, Conducting from the Grave

(Studio Seven) It's not hard to guess what kind of music a band named Dying Fetus might play. (Survey says: "metal.") Since their 1996 debut, this Maryland trio has stuck to pretty much the same punishing formula—pure, unapologetic brutality delivered through twisted-together breakneck blast-beats, plenty of chunky classic New-York-hardcore-style breakdowns, and conspiracy-theorist lyrics (if you can decipher Cookie Monster growls that are the musical equivalent of a chainsaw to the face). If you're looking for a little more melody, though, show up early for Virginia quartet Arsis. While still punishing, their soaring guitar solos show they draw as much inspiration from Iron Maiden as they do Cannibal Corpse. KEVIN DIERS

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Wednesday 5/19

Whalebones, Hard Drugs, Low Hums

(Comet) Oh, Whalebones. If only you'd started making music in 2000, you'd be the biggest band in the world by now. I bet people compare you to the White Stripes all the time, but that would be a shame. You've got your bluesy stompers, your pained wails, your hot guitar licks and frantic drumbeats, but you're not just some too-late fad jumper. "Don't You Know" and "Against the Sky" are both atmospheric pieces, with a stretched-out feel that the blues-rock revival would never have had the patience for. You make tremendous clouds of sounds, and the bursts of energy that crackle and explode from those clouds make the earth move. You're awesome, is what I'm saying. PAUL CONSTANT

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

(Triple Door) Let's return to the eponymous 2005 documentary about Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. It offers a very important way to think about Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars in the context of the emerging global society. In that documentary, the singer-songwriter Reuben M. Koroma says: "When I became a refugee [during the Sierra Leone civil war, he and his family fled to Guinea], I thought it would be for a short while, a year or so. I had no idea it was going to last so long." What does this all mean? He was transformed from a regular refugee to a regular inhabitant—a person who must live, work, dream, and support family members "sans papier," without the status of citizenship. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, a band that formed in a refugee camp and blend reggae, funk, and African pop, are expressing the reality of those deracinated not just by war but also by global economic forces—the inhabitants. The distance between the two (the refugee and the inhabitant) is very small. CHARLES MUDEDE