Say Hi, Siberian, Battle Hymns

(Chop Suey) Say Hi are a different band than they were in 2006, when I was introduced to them via Impeccable Blahs. Back then, Say Hi were called Say Hi to Your Mom, and they were based in Brooklyn, where founding (and sometimes only) member Eric Elbogen crafted sweet-natured, sleepy-eyed, instantly charming pop in his basement. Icing on the cake was the record's cute all-vampires-all-the-time theme. Say Hi's new album, The Wishes and the Glitch, finds the band relocated to Seattle, ditching the vampires, and successfully experimenting with a more aggressive sound. Clearly, something here sits right with Elbogen; the strongest track is an ode to his new home called "Northwestern Girls," a cresting, emotional electro-pop number that ends with Elbogen unstably chanting, "It must be in the air here...." MEGAN SELING

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker is Back Onstage at McCaw Hall! Tickets start at $27.
Join PNB for a timeless tale of holiday adventure performed by PNB’s amazing dancers and orchestra.

The Abodox, Times of Desperation, Sean, Hemingway

(Comet) Now-defunct Seattle noisecore outfit Playing Enemy seemed on a mission to create the most unapproachable and dissonant music possible. With the departure of drummer Andrew Gormley, remaining members Demian Johnston and Shane Mehling continued to walk the path of discord with the simultaneously more abrasive and more melodic project known as Hemingway. Balancing extremes ranging from Merzbow-esque white noise to folk compositions layered with loops and effects, Hemingway are certainly one of the more adventurous bands to bare the "experimental" tag. Further demonstrating their sonic range, upcoming releases for the duo include a split with Triumph of Lethargy and a collaboration with Japanese cyberpunk poet Kenji Siratori. Show up and find out what kind of weirdness Hemingway are currently leveling against their audience. BRIAN COOK

Imaad Wasif, Bill Horist, Cat Among Pigeons

(Sunset) One must approach the solo record of the session guitarist and live sideman with a certain degree of skepticism. Will there be wanky guitar solos? Second-string songwriting? Dilettante genre dabbling? These are serious pitfalls. Thankfully, Imaad Wasif (most recently found gunslinging for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) handily avoids all of these on his latest release, Strange Hexes, recorded with backing band Two Part Beast. Yes, there are roiling, occasionally overflowing guitars, but they're tightly contained, carefully deployed, and the songwriting—droning and spare slowcore, then raucous and raw rock, driven throughout by inviting, soft-spoken vocals—is perfectly satisfying. None of which should surprise those who better remember Wasif as one half of the manic-depressive Lowercase. ERIC GRANDY


Bun B, Framework, D.Black Mr. Supreme

(Neumo's) See preview, page 37, and My Philosophy, page 43.

Ghostland Observatory

(Showbox at the Market) See Album Reviews, page 39.

Das Llamas, Black Whale, Counselor

(Jules Maes) I'm definitely curious to check in on Das Llamas in a live setting. They just wrapped up recording a new slew of songs for an unspecified future release and apparently the new material is pretty sharp. Word on the street states that the eight new songs continue the angular and agitated spirit of their previous recordings, pairing four-on-the-floor drumbeats and jarring guitar hooks that bring to mind bands like Brainiac or Monorchid. Opening the show is the suitably matched postpunk/goth racket of Bellingham's Counselor. This band combination would lead to an evening of Factory Records–inspired skronk and moan if not for the addition of shimmering pop melodies provided by Black Whale. BRIAN COOK

Orgone, Funkscribe's Family Affair, DJ Colin

(Nectar) Orgone's 2007 debut, The Killion Floor, is yet another superfluous chapter in the deep-funk revival. Comprising ace session players from Los Angeles, Orgone know how to crank out excellent tones and grooves full of crunchy guitar licks and snappy drum patterns. But for all of their improvisational strengths, the band can't seem to focus on writing a memorable song, instrumental or otherwise. (An exception is Noelle Scaggs's disco-funk delight "Dialed Up.") And you can tell what's missing from these wonkish jam sessions when they cover a truly great funk track, like KC and the Sunshine Band's "I Get Lifted." Give Orgone credit, though: Their concerts make for great dance parties. With the audience pushing them on, the band stack up one tight groove after another, producing hot sparks that are more impressive than their recorded material. MOSI REEVES

Switch, Fourcolorzack, Pretty Titty

(War Room) The only path to redemption for a producer like Switch, whose technical DJ skills don't quite match up to his studio acumen, is to overshadow his shortcomings behind the decks with great track selection. Luckily, the UK producer's catalog is deep enough that he can play a set almost exclusively of his own material and still deliver handily in that regard, his tracks willing even the haughtiest critics to dance over the rough spots in the mix. He was last here in 2007 for Decibel Festival's crazed opening-night party, and tonight Sing Sing's beer-swilling, stage-swarming audience should bring out the best in Switch's abilities. DONTE PARKS


Ghostland Observatory

(Showbox at the Market) See Album Reviews, page 39.

The Hands, Coconut Coolouts, Mistress and the Misters

(Funhouse) Because of their name, and the fact that a banana (okay, a guy in a banana suit, but still) plays guitar in their band, Coconut Coolouts remind me of relaxing island life. Songs like "TFL" embrace this tropical theme, with delicate hand drums and pretty keyboards, and they may give you the wrong first impression. In reality, Coconut Coolouts aren't about lounging around and drinking fancy umbrella drinks; they're about raucous pizza-influenced party jams. So if you're planning on showing up to the Funhouse on Saturday wearing a Hawaiian shirt and ready to kick back, think again—the Coolouts are going to make you want to break out your surfboard and punch a cop. CASEY CATHERWOOD

Mono in VCF, Cancer Rising, A Gun That Shoots Knives

(High Dive) A Gun That Shoots Knives understand the power of transformation. They want to take the audience to another place. Such as the uterus. For a previous show, they dressed up the stage like a giant uterus. There was a cervix as well. Bassist Jimmy LaRue said, "No vaginas though, just the inside scoop as it were, the womb." Videos of childbirth were shown. Hell frikking yeah. Word is for this High Dive show, there could be another giant uterus. Cancer Rising have no problem with that. Gatsby and Judas do, after all, get womblike with their umbilical game-rap flow. DJ TilesOne will suspend you in a liquid flotation of protected and protein-filled cuts. Birth will be Mono in VCF. A naturally psychedelic and orchestrated delivery, wrapped in the prettiness of Kim Miller's voice. You'll be born, new to the world, at the High Dive. Then you'll have a PBR. TRENT MOORMAN

The Black Keys, Jay Reatard

(Showbox Sodo) It's pronounced "ree-a-tard," okay? And that little Memphis fucker has been making music for so long, you'd think that he was like 35 (aka OLD), but he's really only 24 or something. If you count 7-inches (but not comps), he's been on 49 flippin' records! Holy shit! Remember the Lost Sounds? That was him. He's everywhere. His solo record Blood Visions, on In the Red, is like if Redd Kross vomited all over the Libertines and then Reatard mopped it up and made it faster. I guess if you bought tickets for the Black Keys ($$$$!) you'd want to stay and see them get their hard rock on, but it's kind of pointless when they brought the better man along and they're letting him play first. ARI SPOOL

Acid Mothers Temple, Danava

(Sunset) Portland rock coven Danava make music that could be construed as in line with the recent wave of omni-rock-revivalist bands that collate everything from 1969 to 1979 (read: Earl Greyhound, the Darkness, etc.), but that would do them something of a disservice. Though they possess both Ozzy-esque vocals (and lyrics), and plenty of T.Rex chomping on their windshield, they infuse their oft-epic, roaming songs with enough "out" strains of modern rock to keep things reasonably undusty. They elevate themselves from the Wolfmother-pack via sheer inventiveness and gonzo inspiration; it's hard not to be charmed by the video for "Where Beauty & Terror Dance," with its ambiguously Darth Maul–resembling antagonist. Overall, they present a solid regiment of songs that would have sounded awesome anchoring any of the mid-era A Nightmare on Elm Street films. SAM MICKENS

American Music Club, Tom Brosseau

Support The Stranger

(Triple Door) Bands that have been around for 20-plus years aren't supposed to make records as good as American Music Club's new one, The Golden Age (Merge). On the other hand, it's only their second album this decade, and the drummer and bassist are both new to the band here. But whatever—AMC have always revolved around frontman Mark Eitzel's vocals and songwriting, and his talents haven't dimmed over the years. His storytelling lyrics lead the listener through regretful tales of ex-lovers, drunks, and other losers of various stripes. The band's arrangements are subtle—a little pedal steel here, some electric piano there—but always sympathetic. Their return is a refreshing reminder that substance can still triumph over style and flash. WILLIAM YORK

Evangelista, the Dead Science, Bill Horist

(Healthy Times Fun Club) Carla Bozulich's musical career has taken her from confrontational industrial burlesque (Ethyl Meatplow) to Nels Cline– assisted alt country and rock (the Geraldine Fibbers) to collaborations with Mike Watt and Lydia Lunch to remaking Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger to her current incarnation, Evangelista. The recent release Hello, Voyager finds Bozulich alternately delivering broken-beat rambles over postindustrial squeal and whine, moaning over dank subterranean drones, ranting over quick blasts of punk, and singing sad, smoky, and sultry over stark string and guitar arrangements just barely touched by desert twang. It's a diverse, frequently difficult album, full of a kind of dark, heavy-handed drama that would seem pretentious if Bozulich didn't have the real-life bruises to back it up. ERIC GRANDY




Autechre, Massonix, Rob Hall

(Neumo's) See Stranger Suggests, page 19, Bug in the Bassbin, page 45, and Album Reviews, page 39.


Tim Fite, Scout Niblett

(Chop Suey) Scout Niblett's MySpace page describes her sound as "trance/trance/lyrical," which seems like gross modesty—or maybe she's just trying to accentuate the positive. Her songs can be spacey, and she likes pretty harmonies, but nasty, frightening creatures stir in the roots of her music. Scout Niblett doesn't sound much like Big Black, but her raw, keening laments scratch at the same dark places of the soul. She is Big Black's moony little sister—quieter, but just as horrified by the world, and just as willing to funnel her horror into songs that make your skin crawl. (Steve Albini, of Big Black, also saw the kinship—Niblett recorded two albums with him, including her breakout Kidnapped by Neptune.) "Are you still a chauffeur driving your body around?" she sings to herself in the morbid "Lullaby for Scout in Ten Years." Enter the fuzzy, Bleach-esque guitar (which she plays) and the snare-and-cymbal drums (ditto) and her growling wail: "If you're still around!" It's simple and harrowing—bedroom metal for the despairing. BRENDAN KILEY

Bachelorette, Ladies of the Night, Counselor

(High Dive) It would be silly to name your band after a well-loved Björk song (as opposed to the other kind, I guess) and then sound like a less primal, more linear version of Björk, right? I mean, why would you do that? You wouldn't. You'd do something clever and name yourself after a book or some old TV show or just look around your office and decide to call yourself Lamp. Well, despite New Zealand's Bachelorette not being quite as resourceful as you are in the nomenclature department, it's not entirely a wash. Indebted though sole band member Annabel Alpers's sound may be on Isolation Loops (it also borrows noticeably from Blonde Redhead and a whole history of wispy twee), it's also perfectly pleasant and, at times, remarkably catchy—more than enough to forgive one little nominal misstep. ERIC GRANDY


Gabriel Mintz, the Autumn Film, Velvet Drive, Venus Verse

(Comet) Singer songwriter Gabriel Mintz has one of the finest voices in Seattle. He gets so excited and jittery sometimes, he can hardly speak. Then he sings, and a voice you had no idea he contained surrounds you. His higher register is gravelly and worn. Closer to the mic, his lower register becomes unashamed of its beauty. Playing the guitar sedates Mintz. Lyrics are about his previous New York drug days and Greyhound bus individuations. Mintz drifted. He climbed a support cable up the Brooklyn Bridge to steal a flag. He had a schizoid roommate in a psych ward who was afraid of an octopus under his bed. Mintz scrounged for hits, food, and West Village shelter. From these experiences, he pulls the darker parts of his sound. TRENT MOORMAN

Mad Rad, Team Gina, DJ Gameboy

(Chop Suey) Team Gina seem like something you've seen before. Lesbians, rapping over electro beats, wearing cute clothes, and synchronizing their dance moves? It's familiar, but the Ginas go above and beyond—the rhymes, delivered with an overdose of sass, are actually funny! For example, from "Deez (Kids Are) Nuts": "Misogyny is cool/especially in Catholic school/the principal will always look the other way/because my mom is the head of the PTA." Hopefully they'll play their new track, "Products of the '80s." It had 'em rolling in the aisles at Leslie & the LYs a few weeks back because it's what the Ginas do best—take something you think you've heard enough of and make it sound new, fresh, and hi-larious. ARI SPOOL

Meat Beat Manifesto, Raz Mesinai

(Neumo's) Meat Beat Manifesto, a UK crew led by Jack Dangers, have done it all. Hiphop, triphop, rap, disco, funk, hard techno, minimal techno, lyrical techno, dub, industrial—you name it, they've played it. MBM's last release, an EP called Guns N Lovers, turned to dubstep and produced four perfectly dark, terrifically deep, and sweetly sad cuts. Despite MBM's long life (around since 1987) and diversity, their music never sounds exhausted or diluted. Listen to the smooth RUOK? (2002) or the jazzy Off-Centre EP (2005)—each track is fresh, wide awake, and searching for the perfect beat. MBM are also known for producing incredibly involved live shows: visuals, costumes, dancers, the whole works. CHARLES MUDEDE