Club Pop: Panther, Copy, DJs Colby & Glitterpants
(Chop Suey) For a long time, it was tempting to dismiss Panther as a joke band. Charlie Salas-Humara was flexing his serious musical muscles with keyboard-driven prog-punk band The Planet The, and Panther was his outlet for oblique falsetto squealing, preprogrammed electro funk, and ridiculous dance moves. Then, The Planet The quietly folded, and Panther, over the years, has grown into a duo, adding live drumming and some serious echo-chamber delay to Salas-Humara's vocals. The effect is less beatbox funk and more tribal psych jam, but with the same badass dance moves. Fellow Portlander Copy constructs nostalgic electronic instrumentals using vintage samples and one expertly wielded keytar. His most recent album, Hair Guitar, is a surprisingly rich record, full of deeply resonant melodies and club-ready rhythms. ERIC GRANDY
(Nectar) Readers of The Stranger will no doubt be familiar with tonight's second opening act, Gabriel Teodros. Teodros's debut full-length, Lovework, which Charles Mudede hailed as "aggressively feminist" and "a gorgeous work of hiphop," was a landmark record in a year of big 206 hiphop releases. Perhaps less familiar are headliners Waves of the Mind, a trio of MCs—Inkubiz, Mic Flont, and Khanfidenz—and producer Phreewil, representing local crew the Mind Movers. Their production brims with dark soul samples, and their delivery varies MC to MC, from lazy rasp to agile double-time to jumbled, slightly off-beat multisyllabics. Of the four tracks posted on their website, "Future Generation," with its electronic buzz and anthemic chorus, is the clear standout. Teodros also appears with Abyssinian Creole, where his casual, conscious flow is offset by Khingz's smart, breathless swagger. ERIC GRANDY
(Sunset) See Stranger Suggests, page 31.
U.S.E, Truckasauras, Strength
(Vera Project) See Stranger Suggests, page 31.
Daguerrotypes, Strong Killings
(Rendezvous) Strong Killings sound like McClusky, and there's no getting around it. But since that band is dead, we might as well rejoice in their approximation. Frontman Nate Mooter is a Renaissance musician—you may remember him from such other bands as the Lashes, Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground, or independently as Accordion Boy. Here, his guttural snarl lends intensity to a group that barely needs it because they are playing so loud, fast, and hard. So who cares if they sound like McClusky? Right now is a perfect time to dance really hard and get busy, and any band that gives you those opportunities is a perfect band. ARI SPOOL
Lund Bros, Guards of Metropolis, the Small Change
(Skylark) Guards of Metropolis might be the Northwest's best-kept secret—a crack quartet of two strong Norwegian gals and two California rock guys who use Oregon as a base for creating catchy pop-rock with balls and fangs. Singer Kristin Blix is the kind of girl you don't want to cross: She could break you in half with her bare hands, cut you to the quick with her razor-sharp mind, or force you into submission with the slightest purr or snarl, all while tossing off tunes that have garnered comparisons to Garbage and the Pretenders. While drummer Jason Carter and guitarist Charles Normal can frequently be found backing Frank Black, this is the combo you should catch. BARBARA MITCHELL
David Bazan, J. Tillman, Robin Pecknold
(Crocodile) Tonight's theme: handsome men with stunning voices singing acoustic songs that will make the little hairs on your neck stand up. David Bazan is famous for being the singer/founder of Pedro the Lion. His songs can be optimistic and bright and they can be absolutely heart wrenching, remaining beautiful all the while. Robin Pecknold is another frontman flying solo—you'll generally find him and his beard fronting Fleet Foxes, Seattle's current folk-rock darlings. His solo stuff (as you'd imagine) exists without the same playful choruses that have made Fleet Foxes so beloved, but it still boasts a warm, back-porch feel thanks to that buttery voice and backwoods jangle. Like a mug of hot chocolate in the middle of winter, everything you hear tonight will be comforting, warm, and cozy, even if it does gently tug on the heartstrings. MEGAN SELING
Tumbledown, Ghosts & Liars, Cavalier, Oh Voices, Tex
(Viaduct Venue) Oh Voices' gentle lullabies revel in subjects that might initially deter the jaded listener: blue skies, waking up, delightful thoughts of springtime, love. Their serene, meandering piano and warm, lilting vocals are devoid of pretension, celebrating instead those sources of happiness with a raw sincerity. The three-piece have the folk-pop ingenuity of the likes of Fruit Bats while channeling the breezy, simple melodies employed by Chad and Jeremy. Sometimes the word "tender" has a connotation of being overly precious, but just like good steamed vegetables, Oh Voices are soft and can still hold it together. Maybe vulnerability, as out of place as it seems in a city known for its serial killers and mall shooting (and yeah, the smell), is something that Tacoma's doing right. MOLLY HAMILTON
School of Rock West Coast All Stars, the Lonely H
(Chop Suey, early) See Underage, page 70.
Go see Gremlins at the Sunset.
Blue Scholars, Swollen Members, Unexpected Arrival, Siren's Echo, DJ DV ONE
(Neumo's) See preview, page 47.
Queens of the Stone Age, Jaguar Love
(Paramount) Q: How does a Seattle band who've yet to play a local show or release an album get the highly coveted spot of opening for Queens of the Stone Age at the Paramount? A: By comprising members of defunct favorites the Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves. Duh. The new trio feature the BB's Johnny Whitney and Cody Votolato and PGMG's J. Clark—no small potatoes. The band have some melodic rock moments like Pretty Girls, and Whitney's voice brings the same bite he showcased in the Blood Brothers. But they're not as snotty and urgent as Whitney and Votolato's previous project, and it's not as Braid wannabe as PGMG. The song "Highways of Gold" is a catchy and accessible rock song that Queen fans will probably piss their pants over. And "Georgia Take Me to the Sea" puts an innovative flair on '70s classic/prog sound. Is it too early to claim I like Jaguar Love's strong construction more than the Blood Brothers' later stuff that just sounded too messy? Because I think I do. Their live show will make or break my decision. MEGAN SELING
(Neumo's) See preview, page 47.
Culling the Weak, Left Alive, Cheyenne, Gift of Prophecy, Fear the Day
(Studio Seven) An old-school-indebted, black-shirt-wearing hard-rock outfit that poses for unsmiling photos in graveyards and boasts a frontman named "Raven," Seattle's Culling the Weak combine technical metalcore with flashy '80s-style solos, providing an appealing alternative to the similarly styled (but infinitely sleazier) Avenged Sevenfold. Raven ranges from throatily enunciated barks to scratchy shrieks, sometimes during the same sentence. The band chug during their hardcore chants (usually some variation on the "rise up" exhortation) and shred through their instrumental showcases, with thrash-speed drum rolls and densely coiled guitar harmonies. Culling the Weak recently started recording their debut full-length, slated for a spring 2008 release. Until then, the group's frenetic headbang-intensive live shows will be the only way to experience their impressively heavy, fast-evolving sonic assault. ANDREW MILLER
(Triple Door Musicquarium) As a new transplant to Seattle, I was stunned to find out that Baby Gramps actually lives around here. Baby Gramps! The grandpa-bluesman from last year's Rogue's Gallery album full of "sea chanteys" probably lives a short drive away from my apartment. I can imagine how he bides his time just down the way—hanging out in a forest log cabin, practicing his brand of throat singing all day, hiding nuts and seeds in his long, bushy beard to attract an audience of forest critters. But even though he sings like Popeye, Gramps isn't just some rustic eccentric. His freewheeling, often improvised steel-guitar play is a wizened foil to his lighthearted material; expect plenty of children's songs and odd vocal sound effects from a man too steeped in the blues to be a downer. SAM MACHKOVECH