Mark Selinger

Thursday 8/12

Chromeo, Holy Ghost!, Telephoned

(Showbox at the Market) See Stranger Suggests, preview, and Sound Check.

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B-52s, Blondie

(Chateau Ste. Michelle) Blessed with endless reserves of wit, style, and joy, the best records of Blondie and the B-52s will have a place in my life until it's over. Latest Blondie on perma-repeat: the greatest hits of the first two records, including Blondie's "X Offender" and "Rip Her to Shreds," and Plastic Letters' "Fan Mail," all of which make the most of the band's great cheap hooks and Debbie Harry's never-duplicated superstar cool. Latest B-52s obsession: the produced-by-David-Byrne-and-maligned-at-the- time Mesopotamia, which made an iffy follow-up to Wild Planet in 1982 but makes perfect sense in 2010. ("There's a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia" sounds like something she who might be our first female president might say.) Tonight, Blondie and the B-52s thrill the shit out of a lucky crowd at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery. DAVID SCHMADER

Corrosion of Conformity, Goatsnake, Black Breath, Eagle Twin, Righteous Fool

(Neumos) First things first: This is Corrosion without the Pepper. While the longtime Corrosion of Conformity guitarist/vocalist is busy writing burly Southern riffs with metal supergroup Down, COC's three lesser-known (but equally OG!) members, Woody, Reed, and Dean, are hitting the road to play all the thrashy hardcore jams they wrote before Pepper's groovy riffs skyrocketed the band to '90s crossover success. Confusing? Maybe. Awesome? Completely. Sure, 1985's Animosity might not be the band's defining album, but it's still a rager, especially if you're a fan of their more stripped-down hardcore sound. Recently reunited L.A. doom gods Goatsnake are joining in on all the ear-damaging fun, bringing riffs so heavy you're likely to catch a contact high. KEVIN DIERS

Friday 8/13

Fat Worm of Error, Malaikat Dan Singa, Wet Paint DMM, Forrest Friends

(Black Lodge) Massachusetts's Fat Worm of Error belong to that subset of noise artists who seemingly hold nothing sacred—except the urge to give you aural hot feet while simultaneously yanking the rug out from under your blazing tootsies. Their sound is an overflowing tub of errant absurdity: scattershot flurries of drumbeats, dudes caterwauling in forked tongues, faux-abattoir ambience, and retarded Beefheartisms. It's all fun and games for about 30 minutes, until somebody loses his sanity. Arrington de Dionyso (who leads Malaikat Dan Singa) is a bona fide artiste whose every pretentious and primitive impulse—Indonesian post-punk, free-jazz sax blat, Tuvan-style throat singing, "trans-utopian world music"—deserves attention and respect. Forrest Friends are working with Are you a cat?'s Jason Smothers and appear to be on the verge of great, head-wrecking things. Wet Paint DMM's arty, angular no-wave resuscitations have me convinced that they're one of Seattle's most fascinating live experiences. They pack a surplus of exhilarating surprises into every minute they're onstage. DAVE SEGAL See also preview.

Flexions, Yellow Fever, Dunes, Stephanie

(Cairo) Hot off a phenomenal Block Party performance, Seattle's Flexions seem poised to improve by serious leaps with the addition of Truckasauras/Foscil drummer Tyler Swan. Swan adds inventive rhythmic thrust to Flexions' trenchantly melodic dub/post-punk/surf-noir stylings. Said it before, will say it again: Flexions have a killer soundtrack in 'em. Let's hope a savvy filmmaker recognizes this. Austin, Texas's Yellow Fever (Jennifer Moore and Adam Jones) traffic in miniaturist bedroom pop that will make 99 percent of Rough Trade Records aficionados shout "Young Marble Giants!" within two seconds of hearing them. But considering how few bands truly excel at YMG worship, Yellow Fever get a pass. They're exceedingly charming and adept tunesmiths within this narrow but satisfying niche, and they boast one of my favorite lines ever: "Why won't you recognize how psychedelic I am and love me?" DAVE SEGAL

Joan Armatrading

(Moore) Tracy Chapman's big arrival, which happened in the late '80s, might have easily surprised American audiences, but not so much the British audiences, who by that time were very familiar with the music and appearance of Joan Armatrading, who became famous in that part of the world in the late '70s. Armatrading and Chapman are not identical—the former has more rock in her tunes than the latter—but it is impossible not to place them in the same category: black women who are kind of plain-looking, play acoustic guitar, and sing folksy, sensitive pop rather than catchy and flashy R&B or soul. Chapman, however, captured the whole world; Armatrading only captured the British Commonwealth. The strange thing is, I cannot say which one is the better musician. Both seem to have exactly the same amount of talent as songwriters and singers. CHARLES MUDEDE

Brite Futures, Noddy, State of the Artist

(Mural Amphitheatre, Seattle Center) Natalie Portman's Shaved Head recently went through a mini-makeover and decided to change their name to Brite Futures, partly because they felt they had outgrown the goofy moniker (they chose the name on a whim, while still in high school) and partly to avoid possible future lawsuits (turns out Miss Portman wasn't all that flattered by their tribute—go figure). Not much has changed in the way of the band's music, though. They recently released a new track called "Dog Eared Summer," which is every bit as cheery and chock full of neon-colored vibes as any of their older material. In this case, the band by any other name does sound just as sweet. MEGAN SELING

Pulse Emitter, Stella Haze, Spare Death Icon

(Chapel Performance Space) Seattle's Gift Tapes label debuted to startlingly little fanfare last year, but it's been responsible for a slew of incredibly solid releases since then. Some of Gift Tapes' earliest releases came from the three gifted analog synth experts and ambient visionaries performing tonight. Stella Haze's songs waver between glacially oscillating tonescapes and doomy, quasi-industrial din, with occasional splatters of gloppy, glocklike patterns and dreary piano. It's music for transience and "in-between" states, unsure if it wants to recall vistas or wastelands. The drones of Pulse Emitter (aka Portlander Daryl Groetsch) are less ambiguous. Working in long-form compositions, particularly for his "Meditate Music" series, Groetsch delivers subtly shifting ballets of frequency and tone, evoking a visit to the most serene and stress-free airport tarmac ever. Spare Death Icon is one of the projects of label founder Jason E. Anderson, and it bears his trademark experimentalism, juxtaposing sick John Carpenter arpeggios and occasional 4/4 thumps with viscous, swirling samples and warped synth scribbling. JASON BAXTER

Saturday 8/14

Woven Bones, Idle Times

(Wildrose) See Stranger Suggests.

Silent Servant, Greg Skidmore, Spirals

(Sole Repair) See Data Breaker.

KEXP BBQ: Quasi, Suckers, the Lonely Forest, the Joy Formidable, Dinosaur Feathers, Victor Shade

(Mural Amphitheatre, Seattle Center) As I write this in early August, it's overcast and under 60 degrees outside, but the 10-day forecast promises unobstructed sunshine and 80-degree highs for the annual KEXP BBQ at the Mural Amphitheatre in Seattle Center. I'll believe it when I see it. Regardless, this afternoon's lineup (the barbecue runs 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) is sure to brighten the day for a variety of music fans. Portland veterans Quasi serve up bluesy, blown-out garage rock spiked with deep-fried psychedelia. Victor Shade (aka mild-mannered rapper RA Scion and producer MTK) deliver comic-book-heroic hiphop with plenty of angry, authoritative POW! BANG! BAMF! In between are bombastically emotive Anacortes band the Lonely Forest, sharp and sweet UK trio the Joy Formidable, and Brooklyn bands Suckers and Dinosaur Feathers, both of whom bring unique brands of busily adept and omnivorous instrumentation and off-kilter harmonizing. Food and drink will be plentiful. ERIC GRANDY See also Underage, page 57.

Autolux, This Will Destroy You

(Neumos) Autolux do a damn fine job of carrying the shoegaze torch into the new millennium. Their effect-pedal-generated walls of sound should adequately satiate those folks anxiously awaiting Kevin Shields's next move. But tape-echo aficionados are also advised to show up in time for This Will Destroy You. The Texas quartet is part of a certain Lone Star State lineage, drawing from the closing-credits guitar cadence of Midland's Explosions in the Sky and the soothing ethereal swells of Austin's Stars of the Lid. Typically starting with a simple guitar passage as a foundation, the band gradually expounds upon a handful of notes until they've rendered the most gut-wrenchingly somber melodies out of a few spare elements. It won't destroy you, but it will certainly move you. BRIAN COOK

State of the Artist, Hi-Life Sound System, the Good Sin

(Columbia City Theater) State of the Artist are made up of three rappers who come from "the West, North, and South ends of the city." The trio's debut is SeattleCaliFragilisticExtraHellaDopeness, a record that's really about the state of Seattle's hiphop in this moment in time. Indeed, it's easier or more meaningful to see it as a community effort rather than as the product of one crew, as so much of it builds on and adds to the themes, aesthetics, and production strategies that first flourished in 2009 and now occupy the center stage of the scene. This album, which was released in spring, and deserves more attention, is very satisfying. There isn't one flat track on SeattleCaliFragilisticExtraHellaDopeness. CHARLES MUDEDE

GOD, My Goodness, Salmon Thrasher, Birds of Paradise, DJ Hannah Levin

(Chop Suey) You might not think that esteemed Neumos soundman Evan Lesure would participate in a band that plays as fast and loose with its sonics as does Salmon Thrasher. Not that anything sounds bad on What Gives, their self-released debut (which is available for a free on their Bandcamp page), but its aesthetic is more Pavement/Blood on the Wall/punk-rock lo-fi than one might expect from a discerning man of audio dynamics—and that's definitely meant as a compliment. Live, the trio facilitate good times, with their unfussy guitar work providing plentiful hooks and frontman Justin Ripley's pleasantly imperfect, sometimes off-key yowl lending everything an appropriate abandon. GRANT BRISSEY

Sunday 8/15

Black Science; SinDios; Hidden Number; the Deadless; They Rise, We Die; the Quit

(Rendezvous) Seattle-based Black Science encase and uncoil heavy, driving lines of psychedelic rock. Their song "Consensus of Rapids" puts your ear-brain in a steel hull. The foursome of John G., A.D., Reverend Ryk, and nimble sledge-drummer G pull you through torrents to a distortion crescendo of white-water noise. Sonically dark and weighty, Black Science swell with meters and phaser-effected guitars similar to those of the band Trans Am. SinDios may be the best metal band in Seattle. They're fast, pitch black, pinpoint-precise death metal with vocals for El Diablo y tu muerto. Here, your ear-brain scurries to comprehend the speed, accuracy, and volume at which it will die. Deliver yourself to the Rendezvous for this show. Loud and heavy sounds on a Sunday are good for the soul. TRENT MOORMAN

Monday 8/16

Watch It Sparkle, Bare Wires, Indian Wars

(Comet) Seattle's Watch It Sparkle have been snagging some primo opening slots lately (Ty Segall, T-Model Ford), and justly so. They're not doing anything fancy, but they're doing it well: garage rock that stabs you with as much conviction and fun vibes as does Thee Oh Sees' version of this venerable genre. It's burgers-and-fries stuff, but prepared with a gourmet's attention to detail. Vancouver's Indian Wars are a slightly slicker proposition. They peddle instantly sing-along-able, reverb-heavy garage rock that could segue well into songs by the Intelligence, Wavves, Blank Dogs, and the aforementioned Oh Sees and Segall. Note: Indian Wars' "If You Want Me" is a potential hit single. Oakland's Bare Wires also do the scathing-yet-tuneful leather-and-denim rock thing with panache. Sometimes all you really want is the wheel reinvented in a manner to which you're very well accustomed. These three bands are supremely enjoyable wheel-reinventers. DAVE SEGAL

Tuesday 8/17

Lenny White

(Jazz Alley) Lenny White has drummed on jazz-fusion classics such as Miles Davis's Bitches Brew, Return to Forever's Romantic Warrior, and Freddie Hubbard's Red Clay. Legend! Listen to those records and revel at White's phenomenal understanding of dynamics, his mercurial reflexes, and his tricky funkiness. He's also played with Jaco, Gato, Getz, and many other badasses. But what has Len done for us lately? Well, he returned to Return to Forever for that group's well-received 2008/09 reunion tour, and he's dropped a new album as a leader, Anomaly. While no Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, it's a better-than-expected jazz-rock opus with funky flourishes, vividly and slickly produced, as records by aging fusion legends tend to be. It shows that White is akin to the sixtysomething basketball player who can still dunk on occasion. Respect. DAVE SEGAL

Wednesday 8/18

The Hold Steady, Jaill

(Showbox at the Market) Pretty sure you've heard this one before? Five albums into their career, it's clear that the Hold Steady aren't about to break from their well-worked formula: Craig Finn's sharp, self-referential short-story lyricism set to classic-rock riffage with reverent E-Street flair. The band's approach ain't broke, but this year's Heaven Is Whenever is unfortunately their weakest album to date, the latest in the gradual but steady decline since their outstanding 2005 opus Separation Sunday. Still, the Hold Steady's weakest is at least reliable raconteur 'n' roll, and Heaven is not without its shining moments (the lessons-in-love-learned chorus of "Soft in the Center," the rollicking, sketchy character sketch of "Hurricane J"). And the Hold Steady's wildly enthusiastic live show never fails to renew your faith in the whole enterprise. Show up in time to catch Milwaukee band Jaill's wire-taut, Midwestern rock. ERIC GRANDY

Exodus, Malevolent Creation, Holy Grail, Bonded by Blood

(Studio Seven) On a recent trip to the mighty Pacific with the intention of doing nothing but lighting a big-ass bonfire and then lighting off as many Fourth of July fireworks as our group could collectively afford, someone popped a cassette tape of Exodus's 1985 trash-metal opus Bonded by Blood into our crappy little boom box. Holy shitbombs. Everybody, and I mean everybody (20-year-olds included), started headbanging. Soon, some random roving beachgoers joined us. A grizzled fortysomething remarked, "Your fireworks are okay, but this music is killer. I fucking LOVE this album!" Bonded by Blood IS killer. Who knows if eight albums and 25 years later it sounds as crazy magical live as it did on that beach, but I'll be going to this show to find out. KELLY O

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