Talkdemonic, the Animals at Night, Diego's Umbrella
(High Dive) Portland duo Talkdemonic make riveting instrumental electro-acoustica via laptop, viola, and live drums. Their songs tend toward melancholy downtempo full of weeping strings, glacially moving textural samples, and looping melodies. But some songs, like "Final Russian," are marked by crescendos and propulsive, digitally delayed drum fills. The Animals at Night is the ambient electronic project of Seattle musician Graig Markel, aided by friends like Modest Mouse's Jeremiah Green, Daniel G. Harmann, members of the Long Winters, and Head Like a Kite drummer (and Stranger contributor) Trent Moorman. Markel and company mine similar chill-out tent territory without ever lapsing into somnolence. San Francisco's Diego's Umbrella are, generously speaking, a mismatched opening act, with their self-described "Mexi-Cali Gypsy pirate polka." ERIC GRANDY
(Comet) See Stranger Suggests, page 25.
Broken Disco 11: Abe Duque, Bryan Zentz, Kris Moon, DJ Eddie, Sean Majors, Jen Woolfe, Broken Disconauts
(Chop Suey) The importance of the Roland TB-303 can't really be overstated when it comes to foundational techno. The machine, a little gray box, attempted—and failed gloriously—to emulate the sound of a bass guitar. Instead, it became the sound of acid house, and its high-pitched resonant squelches and deep bass burps are all over the best of Abe Duque's prolific productions (he also wanders into less acidic electronic territory both on his own and with his Rancho Relaxo Allstars). The Ecuador-born, NYC-raised artist bought his first synthesizer in '83 and cut his teeth playing in church with his father, a musician and evangelical minister. His live sets avoid the techno-as-mass overkill of, say, Justice in favor of subtler, more sustained electro-spiritual conversion, but still, if you worship speaker-thumping bass, Abe Duque will deliver you. ERIC GRANDY
(Nectar) The Coup make great music. That's a fact, Jack! And Boots, the rapper of the duo, is one of the most intelligent heads in the game. That's another fact, Jack! It's also a fact that the first cover of the Coup's fourth CD, Party Music (it's of Boots and DJ Pam blowing up the World Trade Center months before it was hit by terrorists on September 11, 2001), gave the duo the kind of press and fame they were not looking for. What the two wanted the world to recognize was their social activism, their dedication to Marxist theory of wealth and income distribution, their burning hostility toward corporate America, and their constant call for prison and legal reform in the U.S. of KKK. When will the press forget that one stupid cover? It was just a pure coincidence. That's all! Now listen to their message. They've got something important to say. CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy, page 57.
The Delusions, Sleep Capsule, Valis, Bricklane
(Funhouse) The Delusions first caught my attention with 1998's I Hope It Dies on a Sunny Day, a thoroughly charming record that posited the Seattle indie-rock quintet as the bastard spawn of Built to Spill and Imperial Teen—the Delusions weren't above a shoe-gazey guitar wank, but it was always countered with a pop punch. For many more, however, the Delusions first registered as "that kick-ass band that opened for Built to Spill," with whom the Delusions have enjoyed a symbiotic chemistry for years. (Guitarist Jim Roth consummated the relationship in 2003, when, in addition to being a Delusion, he became an official member of BtS.) Tonight, the Delusions celebrate the release of a new EP, Torn. DAVID SCHMADER
"Get about as oiled as a diesel train/Gonna set this dance alight/'Cause Saturday night's the night I like/Saturday night's all right, all right, all right."
Wizdom, Tulsi, Can-U, Life Cycle, Night Crawlers
(Chop Suey) See My Philosophy, page 57.
DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Kid Koala
(Showbox at the Market) See Stranger Suggests, page 25, and My Philosophy, page 57.
Narwhal vs. Narwhal, the Transport Assembly, Vanishing Kids, the Royal Bear
(Comet) Best band name of the week, hands down. Maybe even the year. Narwhal vs. Narwhal evokes visions of an epic battle at sea—underwater unicorns duking it out, thrashing each other, fighting for the respect of all the other sea creatures. Starfish, seahorses, and those little crabs that walk along the bottom of the ocean with spirally shell houses look on. The band's sound is less volatile. Start with really early Modest Mouse—the kind of Modest Mouse that sounds defeated, like they weren't sure if they'd ever make it out of Issaquah. Now hype up that sound with a little basement-dance-party vibe—it feels better, more confident, the keyboards fill out the garage-band sound. And now, to make sure that they're true originals, N vs. N... wait for it... have horns. Yeah, horns. Trumpets, in fact. And I think a saxophone—sometimes it's aggressive like Plastic Mastery's screamo moments, other times you wanna clap your hands in the air and shake your ass. If these kids got on a bill with Coconut Coolouts the world would explode. Narwhal vs. Banana Man. Now that'd be funny. MEGAN SELING
Baby Dee, David Karsten Daniels
(Triple Door) See preview, page 51.
(Tractor) I'd like to say that the Tallboys are Seattle's premier old-time band, but to be honest, I've never actually heard any other Seattle old-time bands. So let's just say that the four-piece string band are absolutely fantastic, expertly playing fun, danceable tunes, with guitar, fiddle, banjo, and stand-up bass. (As a bonus, the guitarist often clog dances while simultaneously playing the guitar, and she always has on a cute, vintage dress.) Tonight's show is extra-special because the Tallboys are the live accompaniment to the Tractor's monthly square dance, and that is always a damn good time. KIM HAYDEN
Super Furry Animals, Holy Fuck
(Neumo's) See Stranger Suggests, page 25.
(Showbox at the Market) Why is Wyclef such a big disappointment? He seems smart enough. He seems open to new ideas and experimentation. He seems to have a global perspective rather than one restricted to the streets, the hood, the life of a gangsta. He is a man of the world, but somehow this worldliness has not translated into new or good music. Why? Here is my theory: I think the global program that has defined Wyclef's solo career, which he began after unofficially parting with the Fugees back in the late '90s, arrived too late on the scene. His eclectic work would have been more interesting if it were released around the time Sting dropped The Dream of the Blue Turtles, a time when eclecticism was new and strange, when Paul Simon, Malcolm McLaren, and Peter Gabriel were at the cutting edge. But by the end of the '90s, and during this decade, the approach was as cold as a corpse. Wyclef arrived at the end of a very long and loud party. CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy, page 57.
"But you won't give a damn by Wednesday Week/You start acting like a zombie/Someone wants your piece of cake/You think you want to jump up on me/But you won't give a damn by Wednesday Week."