THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, RUSSIAN CIRCLES, PORTUGAL. THE MAN
(Neumo's) Russssssian Cirrrrrcles! Duuuude! I'm so fucking stoked for this show and not because I'm a stoner who gets totally blitzed and zones out during the band's dark, metal-tinged instrumentals. I'm 100 percent sober 100 percent of the time, and I still love their heavy sound. Their music is spooky, but not in a black-metal, skull-bearing way. It's more moody than that—it sounds sort of like you're being chased by a ghost. There are a lot of haunting guitar noises, really explosive drumming, and there are even some bright, almost pretty moments. And they're fantastic live, they're able to really take advantage of their strengths and even improv a little in a live setting. Worth mentioning, Russian Circles just got signed to local label Suicide Squeeze, which means they're going to put out a new record as early as next spring, which means they probably have some new material right now, which they'll hopefully play tonight because I've been listening to their latest full-length, Enter, for over a year now. It's good, but I need more. Also, Brian Cook (of Botch fame, duders) is going to be playing bass with the band. Killer. MEGAN SELING
CLUB POP!: GLASS CANDY, MIKE SIMONETTI, DEVON VARMEGA, COLBY B., GLITTERPANTS
(Chop Suey) Former glam garage punks and current Italo disco revivalists Glass Candy are the obvious draw tonight. Their new full-length, B/E/A/T/B/O/X, is the ultimate triumph of their last few years' mutation—a slick, shimmering album of cool, crystalline disco and retro-futurist soft-synth pop. Old single "Life After Sundown" benefits from improved production here, becoming the bouncing, echoing night anthem that its 12-inch version only roughly sketched. Other highlights include the narcotic clap-along fanfare of "Candy Castle," the vintage coke and mirrors of "Rolling Down the Hills," the phased arpeggios and Suspiria whispers of "Digital Versicolor," and the Kraftwerk cover "Computer Love." But while Glass Candy are the obvious lure tonight, Mike Simonetti's DJ set should be equally instructive for the dancing masses. The founder and owner of Troubleman Unlimited (and Italo offshoot Italians Do It Better) has been releasing records for nearly 15 years from bands ranging from Black Dice to Tussle to the Walkmen, so you know he's got an ace record collection to play out. ERIC GRANDY
(Comet) See Stranger Suggests, page 29.
LES SAVY FAV, THE DODOS
(Neumo's) See preview, page 48.
VERSE, SHOOK ONES, SINKING SHIPS, IN STRIDE, VANGUARD, ALLEGIANCE
(West Seattle American Legion Hall) See Underage, page 71.
(Funhouse) Pierced Arrows are the reincarnation of Dead Moon, and when Fred and Toody Cole put their DIY stanchion to rest and started a new project, the punk-loving masses were biting their fingernails. "Would it be as good?" they murmured. "Would they sell out?" "Would they do something weird, like get a cello?" The answers were yes, no, and no, and everyone rejoiced by getting smashed to high heaven and tossing themselves on top of each other at the Funhouse last time the Arrows came up. Even Eddie Vedder was there. This is sure to be a repeat of a good time. ARI SPOOL
THE THERMALS, ARTHUR & YU, COCONUT COOLOUTS
(Neumo's) See Stranger Suggests, page 29.
(Vera Project) For the last few weeks, Boat have been hosting their "Month of Covers" on their online journal—boat.ohnodisaster.com—and there are some gems to be found. Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes does a fantastic version of Boat's song "Clogged Castle," that turns the otherwise pop song into a soft, back-porchish folktale. Jay Cox from the Sea Navy brings a defeated tone to "Last Cans of Paint," while Creeping Weeds stay pretty true to "(I'm a) Donkey for Your Love," but they throw in some really glorious '60s harmonies to make it shine a little brighter and louder than the original lo-fi version. Tonight the band will be playing their own songs, I reckon, by themselves, though. And word on the street (i.e., their blog) is that they'll be showcasing some new material from their yet-to-be-recorded third LP. As for bands who've recently wrapped up the recording process, both Throw Me the Statue and the Cops have just released records. The Cops' full-length is called Free Electricity and TMTS are celebrating the release of a new EP. Meanwhile, their full-length, titled Moonbeams, was impressive enough to get the band signed to Secretly Canadian and the label plans on rereleasing the record early next year. MEGAN SELING
What do you do with an elephant with three balls?
MIKE DOUGHTY: THE QUESTION JAR SHOW
(Triple Door) Between his strong back catalog of nonsensical, non sequitur lyrics, and his storied struggle with vices—the drinking and the drugs—it's a safe bet that fans might have a question or two for Mike Doughty. Recognizing this, the alt-rock songwriter is approaching his current tour not just as a mere dry run of material from the forthcoming Golden Delicious (due on ATO Records in January) but more so as the in-concert equivalent of DVD commentary. Pre-set, the audience can submit questions scrawled on slips of paper into an onstage jar; Doughty answers them one by one during the show. Stops in other cities have had the man discussing sexual positions, discontinued songs, drug-inspired lyrics, and robots. Let's see if the Triple Door crowd can up the ante a bit. JOHN VETTESE
TEGAN AND SARA, NORTHERN STATE
(Showbox at the Market) While Tegan and Sara's vocal harmonies play well live, sounding sweeter and less chipmunklike than they do on the duo's recent release, The Con, their between-song storytelling and theatrics steal the show. At a recent Kansas gig, Sara (the chattier of the Quin twins) told a bizarre tale about a burly woman punching her at a Lez Zeppelin concert. The hostile stranger, she rambled, tried to forcibly unfasten her shirt—when she pantomimed this act, the smitten, largely female crowd whooped. Nonplussed, Sara scolded the audience. Later, when her riled-up fans failed to fall completely silent for her acoustic encore, she threw a tantrum, canceled her solo number and summoned back the band. Sara still qualifies as the softy sister, judging by Tegan's cold ("I'm a bitch") account of how she becomes emotionally distant with her partners before touring. Come for the folksy indie pop, stay for the unsettlingly honest banter! ANDREW MILLER
VOXTROT, TULLYCRAFT, MATH AND PHYSICS CLUB
(Neumo's) At 2004's South by Southwest Festival, Austin's Voxtrot stood out by fudging their application. Rather than get buried in the fest schedule as hometowners, they were listed as a Scottish band, thanks to lead singer Ramesh Srivastava's overseas college address. I can only assume he mailed the application with a foreign postmark. The band's UK connection goes further than a temporary university stay, certainly, as Voxtrot's catchy, bittersweet twee can't tour anywhere without a Smiths comparison, though admittedly, that's better than the "overhyped" label that came from their too-quick rise on MP3 blogs. I'm not going to pretend that their debut full-length from earlier in the year reinvented the Blur & Sebastian wheel, but who cares about falling short of internet hype? Three years ago, they were a promising bunch of skinny (Scottish?) dudes in tight sweaters who danced around to their sad songs like Linus in a Peanuts holiday special. The latest record sounds like they still have that down pat. SAM MACHKOVECH
FLOGGING MOLLY, MURDER BY DEATH
(Showbox Sodo) When you grow up in Boston, all the lamest kids in your high school are into Flogging Molly. These are the ones who are also into shooting birds with BB guns, shaving their heads, quietly stewing with hatred in the back of class, and beating people up in circle pits (no friendly moshing here). So it's weird that Flogging Molly would bring Murder by Death on tour. Murder by Death may be morbid, but it's in a soulful way, with their songs sounding more like pirate dirges about Midwestern heroes than angry punk angst. Oh well, maybe the cretins will hear something they like. ARI SPOOL
AS BLOOD RUNS BLACK, WALLS OF JERICHO, THE WARRIORS, BORN OF OSIRIS, BELAY MY LAST, I DECLARE WAR
(Studio Seven) As Blood Runs Black summarize their sound in the parenthetical portion of the song title "Strife (Chug Chug)." Several tracks on the Los Angeles–based band's 2006 album, Allegiance, contain back-to-back breakdowns, with chunky, stuttered riffs yielding to plodding half-speed crawls. Fans love to floor punch and shadow kick during such segments, and singer Chris Blair actively incites them. When he invokes Wu-Tang Clan's rallying cry "Bring tha Ruckus" during an especially colossal breakdown, the rallying cry's lyrical incompatibility with the surrounding song ("In Dying Days") suggests it's a direct address to the audience. In another nod to crowd-friendly hardcore conventions, the group lead shout-alongs about themes such as "hope for tomorrow." For the most part, though, As Blood Runs Black play melodic death metal, with blast beats, scratchy/guttural vocals, and guitar harmonies that swirl like whirlpools. ANDREW MILLER
Walk him and pitch to the rhino.