Greg Lutze

Thursday 5/20

HUB Lawnapalooza: Throw Me the Statue, Pearly Gate Music, Noah Gunderson & the Courage

(UW HUB Lawn) See preview.

Pussygutt, A Story of Rats, Wildildlife, Thunder Grey Pilgrim

(Black Lodge) See Data Breaker.

The Moondoggies, Grand Hallway, Magic Mountain

(Neumos) The Moondoggies are a group of friendly, often-bearded gentlemen who play good-feeling Americana/folk music marked by rich harmonies and impressive (but not too fancy) guitar work. They've already won over the locals with their Hardly Art debut, Don't Be a Stranger, and in about a week, they'll be taking their show on the road, spending a month touring the nation with Portland peers Blitzen Trapper. Thankfully, you have two chances to get your fill before they hit the road. Tomorrow night, members of the Moondoggies and opening act Grand Hallway perform in Bare, an evening of a cappella that will take advantage of the natural reverb of the Fremont Abbey's Great Hall. Tonight, they play as full bands, along with Magic Mountain, which features Arthur & Yu's Grant Olsen with the 'Doggies as his backing band. MEGAN SELING

Grand Archives, See Me River, S

(Tractor) The title track of See Me River's new album, The One That Got a Wake, takes frontman Kerry Zettel's appealingly droning, low-yet-nasal voice (the band's most constant feature) and adds to it a mess of musical ideas: drunken slow-dancing rhythm, twangy guitar, some uneasy honky-tonk piano, and enough cymbal clatter to choke out every breath of air. There's a bit of a Tom Waits fairy-tale bender vibe, but with a pretty beat-up mix. Throughout, the prolific band's fourth album in as many years sees them expanding their dirgey, rootsy sound—with touches of harpsichord and brass on "Heroine" and "Baba Yaga," and with an overall inclination toward psychedelic pop tropes. It's not a flawless album (the odd pop-culture history lesson of "A Summer to Remember" might strike some as a bit much), but it's another fine showing from this underrated local act. ERIC GRANDY

Southerly, Smile Brigade, Blue Light Curtain

(Sunset) Led by Krist Krueger, Portland's Southerly have one of the year's most gripping releases with Champion of the Noisy Negativists. The five-track EP is a cauldron of methodical yet deeply moving instrumental rock (although "Allostasis" does contain some enchanting oms) that combines forlorn piano motifs with gradually intensifying, swirling drones and portentous orchestral swells (or very convincing simulacra thereof). This is slowcore animated by subtle Sturm und Drang. Southerly understand that you don't have to go over the top to drive listeners to tears and trembling; they wield the killing feather. With Champion of the Noisy Negativists, Southerly have achieved a sublime condition of uplifting downheartedness. More bands should follow their example. DAVE SEGAL

Friday 5/21

Bare: Featuring members of Moondoggies, Grand Hallway, Maldives, Pablo Trucker, Goldfinch, Shenandoah Davis, Kevin Barrans & Family, Caleb Quick & Family

(Fremont Abbey) See the Moondoggies, Thursday.

KEXP's Hood to Hood 2010: Motopony, Head Like a Kite, Chief Sealth High School Marching Band, Victor Shade, the Lights, the Tripwires, Rat City Brass, Damien Jurado

(Easy Street, West Seattle) See preview.

Head Like a Kite, Daedelus, Thee Emergency, DJ Terry Radjaw

(Neumos) See preview.

Hey Marseilles, Sea Fever, Ravenna Woods

(Vera) See Underage.

Spectrum, This Blinding Light, Black Nite Crash, Jabon

(Comet) See Stranger Suggests.

Specs Wizard, Hi-Life Sound System, Waves of the Mind, Yirim Seck & LaRue

(Chop Suey) I've been a fan of NW hiphop for a while now. I remember when Khingz was Khalil Crisis of the Maroon Colony crew, and even then he was one of my favorite spitters in the whole of the '6—a vicious MC adept with punch lines and superior cadence. Since then, the Crisis has ended (no DC Comics), and Abyssinian Creole, his group with Gabriel Teodros, has seemingly come and gone, but Khingz still rules. His newest endeavor, with MC B-Flat and producer Crispy of the Godspeed crew, is called Hi-Life Sound System. While I'm a fan of Khingz's dope solo work, I do love hearing him in a group setting, and Hi-Life more than demonstrates why. LARRY MIZELL JR.

Toots and the Maytals, Rey Fresco, Kid Hops

(Showbox at the Market) We expect veteran artists to coast—it's understandable, especially if they've done more than their share of innovating. Toots Hibbert is one of those figures: Along with his co- vocalists the Maytals, he helped popularize the term reggae with the 1968 single "Do the Reggay," contributed a pair of electrifying tracks to the iconic 1972 Jamaican film The Harder They Come, and helped cross the music over to UK and U.S. ears with 1973's Funky Kingston. But Toots can still infuse nearly anything with a spirit so acute it borders on gospel: Just listen to his titanic version of "Let Down," from the Easy Star All-Stars' Radiodread (a song-for-song cover of OK Computer). Not to mention that he remains one of the great live performers in reggae history. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

X, A-Frames, Walls

(Funhouse) Not to be confused with the Los Angeles–based punk band of the same name/letter, Australia's X may have been from the opposite end of the world from Britain's late-1970s punk epicenter, but they kept the spirit of their boorish brethren in the northern hemisphere very close to home. X are an Australian export every bit as important to the punk world as the Birthday Party, and the recent 30th- anniversary reissue of their 1979 debut, X-Aspirations, is a punk classic. Its snarling rhythms, smart riffs, and sometimes sweet gestures are riddled with disgust and apathy for the ordinary, civilized drones of society, taking nods from Tubeway Army and Buzzcocks. A-Frames make a triumphant return to their primal, punk noise playland after grinding axes and severing spinal columns with AFCGT. TRAVIS RITTER

Saturday 5/22

James Hammer, Roman Zawodny, Jimmy Hoffa, Travis Baron

(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker.

Hey Marseilles, the Head and the Heart, Conservative Dad

(Tractor) Surprisingly, when Hey Marseilles put "folk music" and "orchestra" together, they create a sound that's thankfully not the army-of-washboards-and-banjos nightmare you're picturing. Instead, every song on their new album, To Travels & Trunks, is completely unlike every other song. "Rio" is a tango-beat thumper; "To Travels & Trunks" sounds like an epic Irish seafaring ballad. The only things the songs share are an enormous scope and heart-tugging vocals; Matt Bishop's simple, direct voice is a perfect complement to the complex sound, where a cello bounces off an accordion in the midst of a lusty breakdown before sweeping back to a quiet, thoughtful conclusion. PAUL CONSTANT

Plants and Animals, Frog Eyes, Lost in the Trees

(Crocodile) There's a certain theatricality to Plants and Animals, the same this-could-be-in-a-musical feeling you get from, say, Mika. "Bye Bye Bye" is an enormous, tragic set piece of a song that practically writes a scene by itself—something urban and romantic and red-velvet sad. "The Mama Papa" is a jittery, show-starting number with a hand-clap-ready breakdown that sets the stage for a huge romance. Your life seems more dramatic—more daring, more exciting—when you're listening to Plants and Animals; they make any moment seem fraught with peril or glory. This is music that can practically force you to fall into, or out of, love. PAUL CONSTANT

Sunday 5/23

Nas, Damian Marley, Nneka

(Showbox Sodo) I'm sorry to bring this up again and again, but why did Nas turn his back on Illmatic, the crowning achievement of the modern period (1987 to 1994), a monument of hiphop genius? The album rightly established him as our Moses; he, and he alone, was chosen to lead us to the promised land, and we were certain that whatever direction he took, it would be continuous with the themes, techniques, and lyrical technologies of Illmatic. Nas, however, broke with that landmark album and quickly descended into the hell of pop. We will never forgive him for this. Never! The concert he is doing with Damian Marley is supposed to be about the historic links between hiphop and reggae—fuck that. All we care about is his place in hiphop history: Instead of our Moses, he is our Judas, the great betrayer. Nas did not lead us to the light but to the darkness of Tupac and Biggie. CHARLES MUDEDE

Trainwreck, We Wrote the Book on Connectors

(Chop Suey) Tonight, rock meets hyuk! at Chop Suey, with not one but two bands that don't get pissed off if audiences laugh at them. Headliner Trainwreck are the comedy-rock-band side project of Tenacious D's Kyle Gass, here called "Klip Clahoun" and clad in a mullet wig. Openers We Wrote the Book on Connectors identify their musical genre as "Mustache Rock," cite Max Weinberg and the Max Weinberg 7 as a major influence, and pose for band photos while eating giant hot dogs. DAVID SCHMADER

Goatwhore, Super Happy Story Time Land, Deathmocracy, Tirosis, Bloodhunger

(Studio Seven) Over the past two decades, Louisiana has earned itself a solid reputation as a breeding ground for heavyweight-class metal. From Down and Eyehategod to Acid Bath and Soilent Green, New Orleans has an incredibly fertile and incestuous metal community, whose members frequently spread themselves thin with side projects and side projects of side projects. God-bashing band Goatwhore formed from the ashes of lead vocalist and guitarist Sammy Duet's former band Acid Bath in 1997. Since then, they've become known for their beastly brand of blackened thrash. For their most recent effort, 2009's Carving Out the Eyes of God, Duet and company plumb the dark side once again, as "A machine for the will of Satan/Whose tongues bless in a diabolic spite," provoking uptight audiences everywhere. KEVIN DIERS

The Young Evils, the Exploding High Fives, Bend

(High Dive) In a recent interview with Trent Moorman on Line Out, The Stranger's music blog, Young Evils singer/guitarist/KEXP DJ Troy Nelson said he is striving to write "two-minute memorable songs, like the Violent Femmes meets the Vaselines meets Magnetic Fields." Well, that's my work done, then. But seriously, the deadpan Nelson and dulcet-toned covocalist Mackenzie Mercer do make for a delightful Pacific Northwest analogue to the Vaselines' Eugene and Frances. The (misnomered) Young Evils' infectious bonhomie in the singing department bolsters the immediate catchiness of the band's lean, clean, and carefree ditties. Augmented by drummer Mark Pickerel, bassist/producer Barrett Jones, and guitarist Cody Hurd, the Young Evils seem poised to charm their way into many indie-pop lovers' hearts—sooner rather than later. DAVE SEGAL

Night School: Chamber vs. Chamber No. 3 with "Awesome," Sarah Rudinoff, Nick Garrison

(Sorrento Hotel) Good on the Sorrento Hotel for using its elegant, dark-wood-and-Oriental-carpets interior as a center for culture: the monthly Silent Reading Party, lectures from bartenders on the histories of certain cocktails and spirits, and Chamber vs. Chamber, a series that pairs good music with good conversation. Tonight, the seven-piece theater/music collective "Awesome" will play songs (with their famously crazy harmonies, bouncy sense of humor, and odd instruments). They'll also discuss West, their recent music/theater performance at On the Boards, with director Matthew Richter. Some people loved West for its slow, meditative, somber tone. Some people loathed it for the same reason. Maybe tonight they'll discuss the disparate reactions. With Seattle songbirds Sarah Rudinoff, Nick Garrison, and others. BRENDAN KILEY

Monday 5/24

Got nuffin'.

Tuesday 5/25

Broken Bells, the Morning Benders

(Showbox at the Market) I'll give you a dollar if you can hum a Broken Bells song for me right now. Go! See, you can't do it, can you? That's because this James Mercer of the Shins + Danger Mouse "super" group has, on its debut album, failed to produce anything half as memorable as even Mercer's meekest moments with the Shins. The whole arrangement is kind of a baffling move—presumably, Mercer didn't want to just go it solo, and it would seem weird to just add Danger Mouse to the Shins (not that they don't have the lineup openings). It's weird and not a little disappointing to see Mercer make his major-label debut with a batch of songs this underdone when his career shows he's clearly capable of so much more. ERIC GRANDY

Wednesday 5/26

Tiny Vipers, Svarte Greiner

(Triple Door) Svarte Greiner is the nom de musique of Erik Skodvin, one half of Norwegian ambient-noir duo Deaf Center. Kappe, Svarte Greiner's latest album on the Type label, taps into prototypical Scandinavian desolation and foreboding atmosphere-mongering. Unmoored from the tyranny of rhythm, Svarte Greiner's music solemnly floats like a black cloud over a charred forest of sparse chimes, wan brass fanfouls (the opposite of fanfares, generated by Ultralyd saxophonist Kjetil Møster), and chilling synth wails and billows. Fans of Lustmord should appreciate the severely honed soundscapes that Svarte Greiner creates, ashen scores that would prove to be too bleak even for Ingmar Bergman's harshest films. Seattle singer/songwriter/guitarist Tiny Vipers' spare, steely severity drains folk-songsmithery of its often-cloying smarminess. She claws out the genre's marrow and presents it to you mostly unvarnished. It's invigoratingly nutritious. DAVE SEGAL

Josiah Wolf, the Donkeys, AU

(Vera) For his solo work, Josiah Wolf doesn't just step out from behind Why?'s drum kit; he also has to get out from under his brother Yoni's considerable shadow as that band's singular singer-songwriter. That he only partially succeeds in this on debut album Jet Lag is no great discredit—the brothers have similarly resonant, reedy voices, although Josiah sings softer where Yoni spits and snarls, and both artists' lyrics tend toward romantic dissolution (Jet Lag was inspired by the breakup of an 11-year relationship). The album leads, on "The Trailer and the Truck," with the same forceful drumming and deft mallet work Josiah's displayed with Why?. Other songs favor simpler arrangements that still display a familiar depth of production, as though recorded in studio downtime with his other gig. But Josiah lacks something of Why?'s mordant, morbid wit and musical daring, and Jet lags rather more than it takes off. ERIC GRANDY

Support The Stranger

Jacuzzi Boys, Coconut Coolouts, Indian Wars, Butts

(Funhouse) Apart from death metallers Deicide, the Jacuzzi Boys are the best thing to ever come crawling out of the swampy armpit that is the state of Florida (sorry, Skynyrd). But the trio has less to do with little round pools of massaging water jets and more to do with making raw, garage-psych black magic. Not kidding—their first LP, No Seasons, is straight-up haunted. I came home from work once, and it was playing itself on the stereo—a stereo I know I turned off when I left. Then, last October I took pictures of the band as they were playing "Smells Dead" (a song about a dead snake and a bathtub full of flies), and every single photo was blurry—and one had a weird colored orb floating around in it. See? Haunted. There's just no other possible explanation. KELLY O

3OH!3, Cobra Starship, Travis McCoy, I Fight Dragons

(Showbox Sodo) To a generation of gearheads ago, a 303 was the mighty Roland bass synth box responsible for acid house's indelible squelch; to younger Guitar Center shoppers, it might just refer to their favorite make of Dr. Sample sampler. Neither machine deserves the dishonor of having its name besmirched by the aurally syphilitic Boulder, Colorado, "crunkcore" duo known as 3OH!3 (even if the digits are also the band's home area code). 3OH!3's music and videos look and sound like Axe body spray commercials, only more crass and crudely misogynistic. They rap like cavemen, they sing like androids, and their overglossed music basically drugs and date-rapes the dumbest sonic specimens of the electronic-pop spectrum (with sincere apologies to guest vocalists Katy Perry and Ke$ha). If history remembers Cobra Starship, it will be as "that band that had that song on the Snakes on a Plane soundtrack." ERIC GRANDY