Sally Seltmann, Hale May
(High Dive) See preview.
Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, the Purrs, Battle Hymns
(Crocodile) The Purrs don't deliver any surprises on their new record, Tearing Down Paisley Garden, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. They've been a band for 10 years, after all, and have six releases to their name. They know what works, and they reliably deliver solid pop-rock songs full of fuzzed-out guitar solos and catchy choruses like a happier, less weird Sonic Youth. Tonight's opening band, Battle Hymns, fronted by the Western State's Cameron Elliott, is worth arriving early for. They're like a darker Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, with a jangly songwriting style that heavily flirts with good ol' Americana rock and roll. MEGAN SELING
(Showbox at the Market) See preview.
Solvent, Lusine, Relcad
(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.
Mash Hall, Cloud Nice, DJ Suspence
(Columbia City Theater) See Stranger Suggests.
(Tractor) Americans trying their hands (and feet) at Afrobeat should always be viewed with some skepticism. But some Yanks get it right: NOMO, for example. The large Ann Arbor/Chicago ensemble began their existence as fairly blatant Fela Kuti acolytes, but their last two albums—Ghost Rock and Invisible Cities—have found NOMO expanding beyond that narrow if fertile niche into astral jazz, post rock, and trance funk, all of which they execute with grace and soul. Live, NOMO conjure celebratory moods and whip crowds into sweaty, writhing throngs through intricately interlocking rhythms, fluid bass lines, triumphant horn charts, and the magic of electrified likembes built by group leader Elliot Bergman, which give NOMO's jams a hypnotic, Congotronics-esque aura. By gig's end, NOMO will have you saying, "Yes, more!" DAVE SEGAL
The Cops, the Catheters, the Tripwires, the Basements, DJ Danger Nun
(Sunset) Holy shit, the Catheters? The motherfucking Catheters? Hell yes, friends, the very same chaotic punk rock band that took Seattle's music scene by storm and released a slew of blistering 7-inches, EPs, and full-lengths on Empty Records and Sub Pop before playing their last show at the Sunset back in 2004. Woo boy, this is gonna be nuts. Since their demise, the band's members have gone on to play in perfectly good bands like Tall Birds, Black Whales, and the Girls, but the Catheters were still missed by many (read: me), and they left an unforgettable legacy of bratty, beer-fueled garage rock in their wake. Fitting that they'd come back from the dead to play at the very same bar where it all ended, in celebration of the Sunset's 10-year anniversary. Looks like the Ouija board has been working overtime, as the recently deceased Cops have been summoned back from the other side tonight as well. MEGAN SELING
Benny Benassi, Hyperfunk, Kreeper
(Showbox Sodo) Like a lot of brand-name DJs, Italian jock Benny Benassi has one great crossover hit under his belt—in his case, the certifiably bananas, once inescapable anthem "Satisfaction." (Pro tip: Seek out Danish trio Who Made Who's live dance-rock take on the track, which includes a similar version of Mr. Oizo's "Flat Beat" on the flip side.) Beyond that big, cheesy choon, Benassi's prolific discography proves that the producer has kept plenty busy in the years since—releasing a slew of singles and DJ mixes, and recording with or remixing everyone from Iggy Pop to OutKast to Madonna—even if his later efforts haven't quite achieved the same level of mass consciousness penetration. Tonight, expect brash, maximalist club tracks that attack pop music with arena-sized techno buzz saws and ballistic bass thump, all efficiently mixed so you can get your... well, you know. ERIC GRANDY
(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.
Wildrose Pride 2010: Fresh Espresso, Luxury A.K., Sev and the Sins, Queerbait!, Glitterbang, Glass Candy, Rude Dudes, DJs Tim and Sharlese
(Wildrose) This show at Seattle's preeminent lesbian bar is part of Seattle's Gay Pride celebration this weekend. Tonight's main attraction, Portland's Glass Candy, reek of Euro-trashy fabulousness with their mannered, debauched disco productions for the respected Italians Do It Better label. GC also have the gumption to cover Kraftwerk's immortal "Computer Love," but they deserve props for not marring one of the most beautiful songs ever. Fresh Espresso (Rik Rude and P Smoov) create tracks that exude "champagne living on Kool-Aid money," to quote one of my musician friends. Smoov's productions gleam with a tacky glamour and come caked in rich, sugary melodies, and they're bolstered by beats made to make you move with much more grace than you're endowed with. It's commercial rap created with utmost precision and skill; no shame in Fresh Espresso's game, which is as it should be. DAVE SEGAL
Man or Astro-man?
(Triple Door) Auburn, Alabama's Man or Astro-man? thrived in the early '90s thanks to a deft mix of surf and punk rock, an extraordinary science-fiction fixation, and a commanding, theatrical stage presence. Core members Birdstuff (drums), Coco the Electric Monkey Wizard (electronics), and Star Crunch (bass and vocals), along with a rotating cast handling various guitar duties, dealt mainly in muscular, instrumental constructions injected with errant sound bites from classic sci-fi films and television. The band toured and recorded relentlessly in the '90s. They also sent out "clone" bands to tour under the names Man or Astro-man Clone Tour Gamma and Man or Astro-man Clone Tour Alpha. Clones and original have been quiet in the late double-aughts, playing only one major date, for the Touch & Go Records 25th anniversary party back in 2006. Tonight's show—a steep $125 wine tasting and dinner to benefit KEXP—may be the last chance to see them before they teleport back to whatever planet they came from. GRANT BRISSEY
Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles, DJ Mario Orduno, Past Lives
(High Dive) Reflective, lo-fi garage pop is like alchemy—to synthesize something exciting ("gold") requires the exact right combination of potentially unsociable "metals." Too much Sodium and you've got excessively brackish, blown-out fuzzscapery. Too much mercurial surf-rock noodling and you risk venturing into kitsch territory. And the last thing you want is leaden revivalism that sinks instead of sustaining a brisk and buoyant vibe. It's a wonder that L.A.'s Dum Dum Girls (whose very name, natch, is a nostalgic, over-the-shoulder cultural wink) should prove to be such keen metallurgic mixologists. The flawless 11-song LP I Will Be is like that fabled "elixir of longevity"; it repurposes vintage song structures, lyrical motifs, and aesthetic preferences into something at once refreshing and satisfying. You don't need a philosopher's stone(r) to tell you that's no small feat. JASON BAXTER
Eddy Current Suppression Ring, A Frames, Partman Parthorse
(Funhouse) Eddy Current Suppression Ring embody in sound that common perception of Australians as ruffians with charming accents. They play a rough-hewn brand of garage punk but also have the ability to stretch out with a sort of 1969: Velvet Underground Live epicness (see especially "Tuning Out" from ECSR's new album, Rush to Relax). ECSR are at their best when locking into a rugged chug, a polluted, biker-rock take on motorik (see "Second Guessing," also off Rush to Relax), but they also excel with tender, sweetly tuneful songs like "Gentleman," which evokes Oz legends the Saints. Seattle's A Frames remain one of the city's—and country's, for that matter—preeminent practitioners of charred and smart post-punk. Few bands balance the cathartic with the tuneful as well as A Frames do. DAVE SEGAL
John Tejada, Nordic Soul
(See Sound Lounge) Long before Los Angeles enjoyed its current reputation as a world-class incubator of forward-thinking (and floorward-moving) electronic music, Vienna-born producer John Tejada was down there doing his thing. Now, surrounded by the bass-heavy futurisms of Flying Lotus, the omnivorous ADHD of the Gaslamp Killer and Daedelus, the bit-crunched crunk-tronica of the Glitch Mob, and the introspective dubstep of Nosaj Thing, his thing looks like something of an anomaly. The hallmark of Tejada's kinetic tech-house productions is a cleanliness and attention to sonic detail that might make him more a peer of slick Hollywood sound designers than Low End Theory's playful bass-pushers. Still, for all his obvious care in the studio, Tejada's live sets can be blistering hot, tweaked-in-real-time techno workouts sure to put sweat on the walls. ERIC GRANDY
Discs of Fury, Death Star
(Crocodile) Only one band in this city has the shameless courage to write, produce, and perform a rock opera complete with fake swords, handmade costumes, and epic battle scenes scored with glam rock and fantasy metal anthems, and that band is Discs of Fury. DoF's members have stage names like Marvin Lazer, Swiftblade, and Ravenwood, and their productions are inspired by years of playing old-school Nintendo, watching The Beastmaster, and (no surprise here) doing some smoking. If you don't take music too seriously (and aren't too shy to engage in occasional audience participation), then run to the Crocodile tonight, hand over some cash, and you will have the time of your life—or at the very least, the time of your week. MEGAN SELING
Red Fang, Kinski, Virgin Islands, Eugene Wendell & the Demon Rind, DJ Tim Hayes
(Sunset) Red Fang are one of the few Portland rock bands that should make Seattleites jealous every time they roll through town. Fueled by too many PBR tallboys and an affinity for '70s rock, Red Fang fall into the same category as Georgia's Kylesa or even Mastodon, supplementing a loud-and-fast metal formula with an extra layer of everlasting groove. Jealous or not, Seattle can take plenty of pride in Kinski. When the heavy rock mainstays aren't touring the world with bands such as Tool (gasp!) and Acid Mothers Temple, they're back here, crafting their unique brand of fuzzed-out, experimental rock jams. KEVIN DIERS
Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Iron Lung, Unnatural Helpers
(Vera) See Saturday.
Pride Celebration: Reporter, Stickers, Secret Shoppers, DJ Amateur Youth, DJ Timmy Taco
(Funhouse) Portland trio Reporter used to operate under one of the best names in local music, Wet Confetti, which with two words painted a vivid scene of drenched dance-party aftermath that made perfect sense for that band's herky-jerky new-wave jams. Maybe the name change was necessary, though, given how radically the restless act (there are side projects) have reimagined their sound since the switch. On 2008's Dust & Stars, Reporter relaxed their rhythms, rounded their sharp edges, and ramped up the reverb and fuzz for a suite of softer, chiller indie-rock songs. A new batch of tunes on their webpage points toward yet another evolution: Drum machines and loops, sharp buzzing synthesizers, and gauzy, processed vocals join their twitchy guitars and rubbery bass, as if Reporter tried some of whatever Glass Candy's been taking and quite liked it. ERIC GRANDY
The Bash Brothers, Apollo Ghosts, Angelo Spencer et les Hauts Sommets, Shenandoah Davis
(Josephine) Olympia's Angelo Spencer et les Hauts Sommets play that good old instrumental surf/prairie rock, and they do it with plenty of satisfying twangy and dusty guitar textures and interesting dynamics (check especially "Shivers" and "Le Mont Pourri" from their fab self-titled album on K Records). Spencer and company sound like an amalgam of Pell Mell and Scenic, which is indeed a rare, very welcome mix. Nanaimo, British Columbia, bass/drums duo the Bash Brothers are actually two women who sound like they should be on local label GGNZLA. Their splenetic riot-grrrl squall sounds like X-Ray Spex circa their first rehearsal. They're funny, they don't give a fuck, and they're probably a blast to party with. Apollo Ghosts' K-cute indie rock and Shenandoah Davis's askew, Newsom-esque orch pop round out the bill. DAVE SEGAL
Cage, Hate Your Guts, Sadistik
(Nectar) It's a little baffling to watch Canadian R&B-singer/rapper/Degrassi-heartthrob Drake sweep up the critical accolades for daring to bare his poor, mopey, rich-kid soul on Thank Me Later, given that the hiphop game has had no shortage of would-be oversharers over the years (and many of them have been better or more interesting about it). Grim, grimy emo MC Cage definitely has a grittier bio than most and isn't afraid of spilling his guts over rap tracks that rock goth tropes until it's hard to tell where the black eyes end and the eyeliner begins. But Cage's latest Def Jux joint, Depart from Me, thoroughly squanders what talents the MC displayed on his 2005 opus Hell's Winter—which is just more bad news to go cry about. ERIC GRANDY See also My Philosophy.
Ty Segall, Idle Times, Watch It Sparkle, Prison
(Comet) I know a guy who got so stoned once that he thought melted hunks of cheddar cheese on a plastic plate fresh from the microwave would make a perfect and delicious snack. He was right! San Franciscan garage-psych wunderkind Ty Segall's third album, Melted, is kind of like that Super Stoner Cheese Plate™—it's stupid simple but super-tasty, and its warm, brain-buzzing goodness is immediately gratifying. Segall's recipe requires more than one ingredient, though: some '60s-sounding garage rock fuzz, some happy psychedelics, and a dash of skuzzy lo-fi punk. It's nothing new, but Segall is a talented enough songwriter to make it seem not like reheated leftovers but like a brand-new, magical treat. And you don't even have to be stoned to enjoy it! KELLY O
Femi Kuti & the Positive Force
(Showbox at the Market) Fela Kuti's oldest son has always seemed a little bit ill at ease with his inheritance—part of him wants to honor the family legacy (one of the most resonant grooves of the last century) and part of him wants to move on. When he's on his game, you can hear both sides pushing and pulling the other, particularly on the best parts of 1998's Shoki Shoki. Even if his records aren't up to his dad's level (or even youngest brother Seun's, who's a lot more fiery), live Afrobeat is something to behold, especially when it's from someone who comes by the sound firsthand. MICHAELANGELO MATOS
(Triple Door) Why is it fitting for Meshell Ndegeocello to perform an evening of Gil Scott-Heron covers? What connects these two artists? Before answering that, let's look at what disconnects them. The main disconnection is that they come from and represent very different moments and moods in the history of black popular music. Scott-Heron is associated with the black power movement of the early '70s; Ndegeocello is associated with the post-feminist rebellion of the '90s. Scott-Heron is all about race, about the color of his skin, and the history of that skin color in America. Despite being political, Ndegeocello is not so much about her skin. She instead has about her the mode of the post-racial. So what connects them? It is their relationship with the arts. Both emerged from an education in the arts. In the way Ndegeocello could easily have followed a path to a career in jazz, Scott-Heron could easily have followed a path to a career in literature. CHARLES MUDEDE
Zoroaster, Black Tusk, Dark Castle, Sin Dios
(Funhouse) The forthcoming documentary Slow Southern Steel showcases a particular breed of metal flourishing below the Mason-Dixon line. You might know the sound: the sludgy guitar lines, the ear-punishing volume, the dirty punk aesthetic, and, of course, the crucial weed factor. If you're unfamiliar with the likes of Eyehategod, Kylesa, and Baroness, tonight's show will bring you up to speed with three prime examples of the Southern phenomenon. Zoroaster and Black Tusk do a fine job representing their geographic roots with their rough-hewn stoner thunder, but Dark Castle are poised to steal the show. Shedding the popular Sabbath riffs and opting for more nonharmonious note progressions, the Florida duo carry a distinct blackened metal edge that sets them apart from their Dixie peers. BRIAN COOK
Old 97s, the David Wax Museum
(Showbox at the Market) "On April 6, 2010, Rhett Miller confirmed through his Twitter that the Old 97's would start making a new record by the end of the week," reports Wikipedia. Ten weeks later, the beloved Texas rockers land at the Showbox at the Market for a set that, if we're lucky, will range from mid-'90s nuggets to hot-shit new stuff. (Also: Attention must be paid to the band's overlooked 2008 release Blame It on Gravity.) Opening the show: Boston's Mexi-folk outfit the David Wax Museum. DAVID SCHMADER