Tullycraft, Jon Rauhouse and Rachel Flotard (w/Bill Herzog, Mark Pickerel, and Paul Rigby), Your Favorite Book
(El Corazón) See Stranger Suggests, page 29.
(Cafe Venus) They've been described as "Chinatown dance rock," but the Slants are far from a novelty act. As evidenced by their name, this Portland six-piece wear their Asian heritage proudly on their collective sleeve—along with their New Ordery influences and a burning desire to "keep on melting people's faces with rock 'n' roll." You can pick up a copy of their fine debut album, Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts, at tonight's show. The band's infectious, urgent electro-pop has won fans of all stripes and colors, from anime aficionados to comic collectors to musos and beyond, and their rollicking live show is not to be missed. BARBARA MITCHELL
(High Dive) Well, Merry fuckin' Christmas, kiddies! Before the holidays grace us with a few silent nights, local ear-damagers Pleasureboaters will gift you with one more spastic, sweaty night to work your yeah-yeahs out. And their new album, ¡Gross!, is the perfect stocking stuffer for all the hard-to-shop-for people on your list. Opening for the 'boaters is PWRFL Power, the singer/songwriter project of Kaz Nomura. Kaz has had a pretty great year to look back on—he won this year's Block Star contest and got to open the mainstage during the Capitol Hill Block Party; he was made into a cartoon for an upcoming Esurance commercial; he toured his homeland Japan a couple times; and he wooed much of the city with his acoustic songs about teaching cute girls to use chopsticks or throwing tomatoes at dumb girls not smart enough to love him back. So 2007 was great, but with plans for a debut album and two national tours already planned in the New Year, 2008 will be even better. MEGAN SELING
Blue Scholars, Dyme Def, J.Pinder, GMK, DJ Jake One
(Neumo's) See Stranger Suggests, page 29.
(Comet) You can't make pretty pop music all the time. Wild Orchid Children's principal players are perhaps better known right now as the main dandies behind sprawling, symphonic pop collective Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, but they're not all flowers and love songs and Sgt. Pepper. As Wild Orchid Children, Kirk Huffman, Kyle O'Quin, and company dig into fried classic-rock guitars, haunted organs, white-belted wailing, and suddenly swerving rhythms—a far cry from the Underground's delicate arrangements. With Strong Killings, Nate Mooter and Mike Loggins of syrupy-sweet power popsters the Lashes make a basement-shaking punk racket full of unintelligible, mic-swallowing screams and barely-duct-taped-together guitar thrash. Whiskey Tango, on the other hand, have no softer side—beyond the acoustic toss-off "Condoms and Cigarettes"—only drunk, double-time, SoCal-style punk. ERIC GRANDY
Second Annual Home for the Horrordays: Schoolyard Heroes, the Fall of Troy, Akimbo, Iron Lung
(El Corazón) Once a year, Akimbo frontman/bassist Jon Weisnewski's tattoo makes sense—written proudly on his forearm for the world to see is the word "Eggnog." Seriously. But there's nothing smooth about Akimbo's eardrum-violating wall of noise—the trio make the same amount of noise as a hurricane caught in a tornado during a volcanic explosion. Or something. It's chaos with precision, it's heavy and brutal, and it'll blow your mind. On the other spectrum of heavy is the Fall of Troy, another trio that sound louder than they look (especially since their combined weight probably doesn't even get over 300 pounds). But the storm of noise they make is more calculated. It's not sludgy; it's jarring. It's staccato and tight, a flurry of unsettling riffs. And Schoolyard Heroes, well, they're the local band that recently had a petition circulating against them—the creators were hoping to get them to stop playing music. Not because they're bad, but because parents were scared of them. They're not scary—their horror-movie imagery and dark, metal-tinged rock with shattering operatic vocals really is all in good fun—like a haunted winter formal. What better way to celebrate the time of love, sharing, and peace than with the loudest fucking show you could possibly put upon your poor eardrums. MEGAN SELING
The Chop Suey Annual Holiday Party: Aqueduct, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests, page 29.
3 Inches of Blood, Toxic Holocaust, Hell Promise, Bison
(El Corazón) Last year, the Redondo-based label RocketStar released Hell Promise's Aim for Hell, the overlapping moniker and album title reinforcing the band's fire-and-brimstone focus. Now, Hell awaits its champion, as Hell Promise prepares for their final performance, after which they will presumably proceed directly to their touted afterlife destination. Former Himsa guitarist Brian Johnson heads this group of musician's musicians, which announces their members on their website not by instrument but by equipment (...and on Gibson Thunderbird, Nate Baker!). Johnson never croons during choruses, like some of his metalcore peers, or releases high-pitched squeals, like his AC/DC namesake. Instead, he maintains an aggressive, intimidating bark: When he bellows "swallow," everyone within earshot nervously gulps in unison. Long after Hell Promise's descent, Johnson's voice will live on in local metal fans' brass-knuckle nightmares. ANDREW MILLER
Lushy, Mercury Four & the Verb performing surf rock versions of Christmas classics, DJs Easy Action and 00Soul
(Nectar) If the weather has got you down, you need a hearty helping of Lushy—Seattle's best lounge-pop combo and a surefire cure for winter doldrums. While everyone else is singing about Santa and Rudolph, Annabella Kirby and company have concocted a fizzy, fun holiday album full of high jinks and highballs (not to mention cheese balls) guaranteed to get you back in the holiday spirit(s). In fact, "Snowflake Surprise" might be one of those rare seasonal albums that stands up to year-round spins. Effervescent and eclectic, Lushy are the perfect soundtrack for any time of the year, but the band's breezy, tiki-fueled cocktail music is a welcome ray of sunshine in the heart of winter. BARBARA MITCHELL
Seaweed, Roy, To the Waves, Kane Hodder
(Hell's Kitchen) Seaweed, an underrated but beloved punk rock/garage band from Tacoma, broke up in the late 1990s after a handful of releases and mild success. A few members quietly continued to make music while others maintained "normal" lives as lawyers, husbands, and fathers. Life went on. Seaweed reunited this past summer and played Bumbershoot to a room full of ecstatic fans at EMP Sky Church and they didn't miss a beat. The band hit the stage for the first time in over a decade with their robust, hard-rock sound—it hadn't aged a day. The crowd sang along, crowd surfed—it was 1994, it was 2007, it was perfect. They even showcased a few new tunes that made the best of the band's ability to be both a wall of noise and melodic and catchy at the same time (a release has been rumored to be coming out in the near future). The two shows at Hell's Kitchen are their first local appearances since Bumbershoot, so if you missed that show (or even if you were there and you want to relive it), you won't want to pass up your opportunity, it might be another six months (or six years!) before it comes around again. MEGAN SELING
Three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
And a partridge in a pear tree.
Teflon Don, Copy, eR DoN
(Rendezvous) Tonight's show is a release party for the latest Journal of Popular Noise, a semiannual, limited-run "audio magazine" published by Seattle ex-pat Byron Kalet, who, like Portland's Copy, is back in town for the holidays. Each edition of the Journal consists of three 7-inch records by three artists—Dutch Dub, Foscil, and Ones for the first installment; Teflon Don, Copy, and Pontius Pilots for the latest—in crafty, letterpress-printed sleeves. Teflon Don is multi-instrumentalist Devin Welch (of Chromatics/Shoplifting/Blood Brothers). Recently, Welch has been exploring lo-fi death-dub with his duo Flexions, and Teflon Don seems like an outlet for similar experiments, alternately droning, grooving, and stoned. Copy (aka Marius Libman) takes Tetris to the discotheque, stacking beats and rotating melodies to build complexly interlocking electro jams. eR DoN triggers head-nodding, chin-scratching, and the odd foot-shuffle with acoustic breaks and original samples deftly deployed from his trusty Akai MPC. ERIC GRANDY