(Chapel Performance Space) See Stranger Suggests.
This Blinding Light, Füxa, Jabon
(Sunset) You know that zealous guy who collects every scrap of ephemera about his favorite musicians and then forms a band to emulate said musicians? That guy is Randall Nieman of Füxa, the long-running Michigan psychonauts who were among the catalysts during Detroit's brief reign in the 1990s as Space Rock City. Difference is, Nieman actually went on to record with his heroes (members of Spacemen, Suicide, Galaxie 500, Stereolab, the Telescopes, etc.). Over the last 15 years, Füxa have forged fleets of outward-bound jams that traverse similar stellar regions and tap into, as Nieman calls it, "unexplained transmissions." Nieman's gentle touch and melodic grace on guitar and analog synths imbue his songs with a soulful timelessness and an eerie otherworldliness. Check out Füxa's 1995 single "Photon" for one of the greatest bliss-out tunes ever. Heavens, this is going to be a special show. DAVE SEGAL
Gay Beast, Chinese
(Josephine) It's hard put guitar/synth/drums trio Gay Beast into a neat little genre box, as they make some seriously, awesomely weird noise. The Minnesota three-piece (a soft butch, a hard femme, and a just right) have coined the term "neo-wave" to distance themselves from the no-wave and the now-wavers. They're labelmates with AIDS Wolf and Melt-Banana on the also awesomely weird label Skin Graft Records. They mix progressive rock with some math and little bit of saxophone. They have songs about second-wave feminism that you can dance to. They have supercool T-shirts because synth man Dan Luedtke is an amazing artist and graphic designer. They look and sound like something NEW. That's not easy. Hell, in this age of recycled everything, doing something different or new is almost impossible. They should have called themselves the Gay Pioneers. Or the Queer Pathfinders. KELLY O
Abstract Rude, Seatown Edition, Musab, DJ Zo, Toki Wright, Suntonio Bandanaz
(Nectar) Back in 2004, Jake One and Vitamin D locally produced the Gift of Gab's first and by far best solo album, 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up. In 2009, Vitamin D produced Abstract Rude's Rejuvenation, and in 2010, Jake One produced Freeway's Stimulus Package. These two later albums were released by one of the last nationally significant underground labels, Minneapolis's Rhymesayers; both albums deserve more praise, and both are about bringing life back to the decaying body of hiphop. With Freeway, the effort has a mainstream approach: the Hip Hop Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With Abstract Rude, a veteran of L.A.'s underground, the focus is on the spiritual, the mental, the body, and the state of family relationships. These honest and very adult concerns are reflected in the funky earthiness of the beats provided by our man in Seattle, Vitamin D. CHARLES MUDEDE
This Blinding Light, Füxa, Jabon
(Josephine) See Thursday.
The Bran Flakes, the Evolution Control Committee, Erik Blood
Harlem, Hunx and His Punx, Spurm
(Sunset) What do Hannah Montana, Black Flag, SSION, the Shangri-Las, and the Playgirl Channel all have in common? They're all things you might find rolling around with each other in the big gay brain of Seth Bogart, aka Hunx, of Hunx and His Punx. Bogart and his ever-changing crew of bandmates—His Punx and the Punkettes—make songs that are equal parts bubblegum pop and snotty punk rock. His debut, Gay Singles on Matador Records, finally collects five of his super-hard-to-find-'cause-they-were-always-out-of-print singles plus seven more songs about love, heartbreak, and turning straight boys gay onto one LP. Hunx's hairy, sweaty crotch, wrapped in a zebra-print Speedo and nothing else, graces the cover. Tonight, Hunx's hairy, sweaty crotch, wrapped in who knows what, will be gracing the Sunset Tavern. If you don't like your rock 'n' roll covered in hairy, sweaty crotch, do NOT go to this show. Between Hunx and openers Spurm, things are bound to get nasty. KELLY O
Neumos Beach Party 2010: Fresh Espresso, Fourcolorzack, DJ Sean Cee
(Neumos) P Smoov and Rik Rude's "The Lazerbeams" was recently transformed into a lusty, robotic opera by Viper Creek Club, a local electropop duo whose debut album, Letters, is due out August 3. The original "The Lazerbeams" is already packed with robot energy; the Viper Creek Club remix reduces the remaining human energy to a bare minimum, and what you feel in the mechanical thrust of the beat and the electric surges of the synths is a music for a world that has little to no room left for anything organic. One hopes that Viper Creek Club do more work with the hiphop crews that are unified by the Go! Machine program. CHARLES MUDEDE
Thee Emergency, NighTrain, Secret Shoppers, Sugar Water Purple
(Funhouse) NighTrain may have spun off from fictive origins (the members first played together in a band invented for, and central to, Dirty Girl Productions' Hot Grits musical), but nowadays the local foursome keep things real as fuck. Trading in swaggering, soulful, punk-inflected rock, NighTrain have been unapologetically (if somewhat discreetly) wowing crowds since 2008. Part of their appeal undeniably derives from the band's aural homages to their PNW riot grrrl forebears, but thankfully, they own their sound completely, incorporating traces of wide-ranging influences, from synthy post-punk to lo-fi pop, into one charming package. They'll fit nicely alongside this bill's other estimable performers, but the night—their CD release celebration—should belong to them. Secret Shoppers and Sugar Water Purple will bring the beats, NighTrain and Thee Emergency will bring the heat. JASON BAXTER
Lilith Fair: Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Sugarland, Erykah Badu, others
(Gorge Amphitheatre) See preview.
James Holden, DJ Eva, Adlib vs. Levi Clark
(Neumos) See Data Breaker.
Helladope, State of the Artist, Dark Time Sunshine, Katie Kate, DJ Radjaw
(Crocodile) Fresh off playing the Soundset Festival in Minneapolis, one of the biggest hiphop festivals in the country, Dark Time Sunshine are beginning to bless the country nationwide. MC Cape Cowen (Onry Ozzborn) and Chicago-based vinyl archeologist/beatmaker Zavala have constructed a soothsaid, halogen addition to the Seattle hiphop canon. Cowen's couplets rhythmically adhere, but then he doubles back, pauses, squares the verse up, and rolls the word onto the block of the beat—almost even off. In these moments of hesitation, Cape Cowen is at his soothiest—not rapping, but orating. Unwrapping. Stunting time, timing stunts, and hanging the chassis of the verse and the scenes of a city on a hook. With Helladope, SOTA, Katie Kate, and DJ Radjaw, this is a night that will set you off—firecracking firecrackers, all of them. TRENT MOORMAN
The Whore Moans, Lesbian, Chinese
(Columbia City Theater) Look, Shakespeare was just wrong with all that "a rose by any other name" nonsense. Roses have a really fucking strong brand identity—any PR firm could have told him that if there'd been PR firms in Elizabethan England—nobody even really cares how they smell. (In fact, roses kind of don't smell that much at all; if you're looking for fragrance, you want to go for, like, a lily or something.) All of which is to say, it's a shame that the Whore Moans are changing their well-established name to Hounds of the Wild Hunt. The former name was a fine, prurient little Nirvana/Sonic Youth reference; the latter kind of makes you think of Kate Bush. It'll be interesting to see if the switch signals a change in the band's full-throated garage-rock sound. ERIC GRANDY
Liberación Fest MMX: the November Group, the Helm, All Teeth, Grindline the Band, My Life in Black and White, Android Hero, Get Dead, Neon Nights, Prima Donna, Koozbane, Know Your Saints, Crutches
(El Corazón) If you were a politically minded punk kid in Seattle around the turn of the millennium, in the heady days of the WTO protests and "Eugene anarchists" and CrimethInc. and all that good stuff, you probably have a soft spot for anarcho-hardcore act the November Group (and their old base of operations, the Punkin House). You might recall the band setting the popular chant "Whose streets? Our streets!" over a scream-along breakdown surrounded by strident dueling guitars and roiling bass and drum tumult. This summer, circumstances have aligned for the Group to reunite for a handful of local shows, this being the first among them. Despite the exotic spelling and revolutionary bent of the name Liberación Fest, tonight's show isn't benefiting, say, the Zapatistas, but rather the only slightly less radical Marginal Way Skatepark. ERIC GRANDY
(Vera) Since 1994, Greg Saunier and various cohorts have been delivering unwieldy pop deconstructions under the name Deerhoof. The band has a penchant for melding what would seem to be disparate aesthetics, butting thunderous squalls of din right up against placid, hyperglycemic passages and setting longtime singer Satomi Matsuzaki's cartoony coo against what is often a downright brash racket. Recent albums The Runners Four, Friend Opportunity, and Offend Maggie, however, have found the band focusing on the more easily digestible, less angular and tense aspects of their arsenal. The band has recently been in the studio working on a new record. GRANT BRISSEY
Pinback Presents the Rob and Zach Show, Little White Teeth
(Neumos) In a way, you don't really expect the stripped-down "Pinback Presents the Rob and Zach show," in which that group's two principal players perform sans backing band, to sound all that radically different from their albums. Sure, there are drums and bass and layers of production on their records, but the core of their sound has always been the tightly interlocking guitar melodies and overlapping vocal harmonies of Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV (aka Zach), always presented with a sonic clarity and technical precision that somehow doesn't stifle their melancholy moods but amplifies them. Maybe some small details will get lost in translation, but you get the impression that this veteran pair could probably reproduce their recordings in their sleep, band or no band. ERIC GRANDY
Chain & the Gang, Golden Triangle, Turbo Fruits
(Crocodile) Ian Svenonius—former frontman for Nation of Ulysses, the Make-Up, Scene Creamers, and Weird War, and current author, online talk-show host, and mouthpiece for Chain & the Gang—wants you to believe that liberty is bad. "Everywhere liberty goes, it leaves a path of destruction. Fast food, bad architecture, militarism, rampant greed, environmental destruction, imperial conquest, class struggle; these phenomena, when combined, seem to be synonymous with 'liberty.'" The sharp-dressed and sharper-spoken Svenonius wants you to join him and chant, "Down with liberty... Up with chains! Put those handcuffs on my hands!" But WILL you join him? On this new anti-authoritarian, anti-American, freedom-hating quest for the truth? After seeing him flail around like a televangelist preacher on trucker speed at one of his live shows, you just might! KELLY O See also Stranger Suggests, and preview.
(Showbox at the Market) It's been over 20 years since Melvins called Washington State home, yet Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover will always be local legends—and with good reason. Though the reverberations made by these two unorthodox, Montesano-bred musicians are felt across the globe, nowhere is their influence more clearly visible than here in the Northwest. Melvins' mark goes beyond the much-hyped grunge connection, metastasizing in every amp-worshiping act that bucks both metal's faux-seriousness and punk's proselytizing. It lived in Karp's blown-out anthems and thrives in Big Business's bellowing bass assault. Melvins' recent co-opting of the Big Biz rhythm section brings things full circle and gives us Washingtonians yet another reason to be proud. Should they cover Karp's "Bacon Industry" tonight, as they have throughout this latest tour, the crowd is really gonna lose its shit. BRIAN COOK
Skeletonwitch, Skelator, Sol Negro, Elks Blood
(Funhouse) Skeletonwitch are among that rarest breed of metal bands—the kind that actually know how to laugh at themselves. Not that they need to. The Ohio quintet charges the beer-fueled speed attack of '80s thrash with a touch of church-burning black-metal vengeance, creating a nostalgic sound that still pushes the boundaries of the current "thrash revival." Vocalist Chance Garnette knows how to inject some classic hesher humor into the band's live shows, addressing the crowd with shit like "Hello, Seattle! We're all here tonight to drink beer and smoke weed!" Juvenile? Sure. The band knows its audience. KEVIN DIERS
(Triple Door) Ever since his 2002 star turn in Slum Village's "Tainted," Detroit neo-soul man Dwele has been one of the first-call vocalists rappers tap when they need buttery hooks to be sung in their joints. He's gone on to cut five albums of suave, love-intensive tunes that Hathaway of sounding Wonder-full. A gifted producer as well as a silky-smoov singer, Dwele brings considerable funkiness to his boudoir-bound R&B. The multitalented Motor City hiphop artist is supporting his brand-spanking-new W.W.W. (W.ants. W.orld. W.omen), which further hones his impeccable craft, combining some of the best traits of Marvin Gaye (masculine vulnerability) and J Dilla (sensual rhythmic crispness). DAVE SEGAL
Signals, Stephanie, Eel Eater, Solar Master
(Cairo) L.A. trio Signals play a peppy sort of tropical indie rock that makes you feel, if not on top of the world, then pretty near its summit. They are full to bursting with ebullience, which ordinarily is an annoying quality in bands, but Signals somehow elude that pitfall with infectious hooks and oodles of positive energy (check their cover of Sparks' "Angst in My Pants," if you doubt). Seattle threesome Eel Eater rock in a lower fidelity than do Signals, but their energy's just as rambunctious. All of Eel Eater's instruments sound as if they're encrusted with dust bunnies as the band churns out a splenetic, riot-grrrl-ish rock that goes off on enough weird tangents to avoid predictability. Their songs may not kill rock stars, but they could certainly send them to the ER. DAVE SEGAL