Helms Alee, Akimbo, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Norska
(Neumos) See preview.
Group Doueh, Angelo Spencer et les Hauts Sommets, Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa
Bare Wires, Night Beats, the First Times, Paperhead
(Chop Suey) See preview.
Lucinda Williams, Jesse Sykes, Phil Wandscher
(Woodland Park Zoo) Lucinda Williams is a singing-songwriting American treasure, and her recorded output (including this year's Blessed) is consistently good. But nothing can touch her 1980s and '90s masterworks, and it is with great pleasure that I report that Williams's 2011 set list is generously stocked with classics, from Lucinda Williams's "I Just Wanted to See You So Bad" to Sweet Old World's "Pineola" to Car Wheels on a Gravel Road's "Metal Firecracker" and "Greenville," alongside highlights from her recent releases, all of 'em delivered with her typically awesome band. Opening the show: a special duo performance by Jesse Sykes and former Whiskeytown/current Sweet Hereafter guitarist Phil Wandscher. DAVID SCHMADER
Absolute Monarchs, Spaceneedles, Eyes & Teeth, DJ Curtis
(Re-bar) As you may or may not have heard by now, fiery post-punkers Absolute Monarchs are readying a new record to shove into your ear holes. Of the three new tracks I've heard from the band, I'm getting a bit of a Monorchid vibe, which is high praise. The record is slated for a 2012 release on Nik Christofferson's (aka Seattle Rock Guy) Good to Die startup label (which is also cutting a long-awaited Sandrider full-length). Spaceneedles are a new outfit including Thomas Wright (Grand Archives, Weirdlords, a million other bands), and Eyes & Teeth, with obviously THE BEST BAND NAME EVER, are another new outfit including Al Lendrick (Weirdlords) and Kelly Payne (See Me River, Weirdlords, a million other bands). In other words, get on this. GRANT BRISSEY
Shabazz Palaces, Merm and Mall, OC Notes
Gigs4Good for Arts Corps: Curtains for You, Kelli Schaefer
(Columbia City Theater) The making of music and art: It is a good and a nice thing, and we can all agree that kids should do it even if their families have no money. This is why Arts Corps is good. But there's also a reason why Arts Corps, the Seattle nonprofit that will benefit from this show, is great, and that reason is that its teachers are artists. The combination of kids who need to be writing hiphop songs and artists who know how to teach them created, this year alone, at least two astoundingly great hiphop songs. They were performed by a crew of little guys, black and white, immigrant and not, from Laura "Piece" Kelley's Arts Corps hiphop music class at South Park Community Center. These two songs, which I cannot get out of my head and do not want to, are called "Stumble" and "Game Time." Go to this show, give your money to Arts Corps, and then buttonhole someone from Arts Corps and tell them to hook you up with these songs. Find these songs any way you can. JEN GRAVES
Dinosaur Feathers, Posse, the Royal Bear
(Tractor) I know absolutely nothing about the fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire. But I do know that Dinosaur Feathers' new single, "Please, Please George," is a perfect synthesis of the strengths found in the group's previous releases. "George" runs the gamut of 1960s sunshine pop influences. From singer Greg Sullo's raspy McCartney yowl to the crescendoing vocal harmonies to the bouncy, hunky-dory rhythms—it's a great summer release that steers clear of Fantasy Memorial's heavy experimentation with contemporary psychedelia. For George R. R. Martin fans, it's also an anthemic plea for the upcoming A Dance with Dragons. I'm more curious to hear what Dinosaur Feathers have got in store for their next record. DAN OBERBRUNER
Shabazz Palaces, Metal Chocolates, OC Notes
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, irr. app. (ext.), the Rita, Griefer, Microscopic Suffering, Drowner
(Josephine) See Data Breaker.
Boom Blap!: Eprom, Jillian Ann, Kat1lyst, Dirty Byrdz, Sonny Chiba, Hz Donut, Headie
(Contour) See Data Breaker.
Mamma's Post-Birthday Party & Freedom Bash: Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme, the Curious Mystery, Diminished Men, Geist and the Sacred Ensemble
(Comet) HAPPY MF BIRTHDAY, MAMMA CASSEROLE. Here we have a celebration for the birthday of our city's wisest booker of quality up-and-coming metal, punk, and rock. Entertaining tonight are Seattle hyperfunk honkies Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme, versatile folk (and rock) meanderers the Curious Mystery, Diminished Men's eerie genre transcendence, and the harried-trance progressions of Geist and the Sacred Ensemble. Get on down there and pay yer respects. GRANT BRISSEY
The Fleshtones, the Screaming Starts, Twink the Wonder Kid, the Fabulous Hammers
(El Corazón) It's no wonder Fleshtones singer Peter Zaremba became a freelance travel scribe late in life: Since 1976, his band has logged innumerable miles peddling their soul-injected "super rock" around the globe. What they haven't accrued is the commercial success they're due: "American Beat" (which anticipated John Mellencamp's "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." by several years) should be a sporting-event staple, but no dice. Hell, even '80s-nostalgia geeks typically overlook these guys, who were re-imagining rock's golden age while all the Reagan-era cool kids were musing about our grim future and dinging on cheap synths. Sounding energetic as ever on the recent Brooklyn Sound Solution, they forge on undeterred. Not for nothing was a 2009 Fleshtones documentary entitled Pardon Us for Living but the Graveyard Is Full. See them now before you're too old to dance. KURT B. REIGHLEY
Perpetual Ritual, Wyld Wyzrds, gkfoes vjgoaf
(Cairo) First, props to gkfoes vjgoaf (aka Melbourne, Australia–based Sean) for that name. Second, kudos for his music, which flows in a blissful stream-of-cosmic folkadelia (the track title "Invitation to Wonder" could be his mission statement). The sensitive, transcendent sounds of Windy & Carl, MV & EE, and Dolphins into the Future filter into gkfoes vjgoaf's sound, which is seemingly created in an enchanted dream haze. "I try to promote a space (physical and spiritual) of peace and openness," Sean says on his website. He succeeds. It's a natural pleasure, anywhere, anytime. Perpetual Ritual could be Kurt Vile, with his bummered, reverbed songs that possess considerable consoling powers. The one song by Portland's Wyld Wyzrds that I've heard ("Antelope") is a beautiful, softly glistening slice of psych pop. DAVE SEGAL
Just Like Vinyl, the Missionary Position, Blackout Media
(Sunset) About a year ago, after the wiry, post-hardcore band Fall of Troy broke up, guitarist/singer Thomas Erak teamed up with a new group of gentlemen (including Jay Beaman, who drummed for Schoolyard Heroes near the end of their career) and began a new project called Just Like Vinyl. They're like a more approachable Fall of Troy—less experimental shredding and screaming, and more heavy riffage, metal guitar solos, and understandable lyrics. The one constant: Just Like Vinyl are every bit as pissed off as Fall of Troy ever were. Perhaps even more so. Nearly every song is about how horrible someone is, with biting lines like "It's such a fucking shame to see you/Embarrass all your friends and family/So open up your legs and do what you do the best/You use it or you lose it." Ouch. MEGAN SELING
(Spin Cycle, 5:30 pm) This is, I want to say, my third Up & Coming plug for retro-pop trio Orca Team, and with that in mind, I'll stick to the most pertinent new developments in the beguiling band's world: They've found a new drummer in a dude named Dwayne, they've got an impressive bunch of releases—including two for Seattle-based DIY labels—due this summer, they're about to mount a nationwide tour ("Whoa!" quoth Keanu), and they may or may not make the jump from being a Portland band to being a Seattle band. Their charming sock-hop-ready rave-ups would provide a welcome change of pace for our summer-starved metropolis, and we could always use more nimble, dexterous bass lines, rippling 'verbed-out guitar chords, and bob-along percussion in our lives. I say bring 'em on. JASON BAXTER
OC Notes, Al Nightlong
(Vermillion) OC Notes—a local producer, rapper, and DJ—recently dropped his first masterpiece, Secret Society. OC Notes calls it a rock album, but it is in essence a work of hiphop—a hiphop that is very open to rock, future jazz, and house. But unlike OC Notes' previous albums, Dap Confuser and Medicine, Secret Society doesn't feel entirely groundless, a work of endless and directionless musical inspiration. True, it's open, but it's not all over the place. There's some gravity to this work—gravity and a sense of purpose. It has the feel of a genius finally taking control of his genius. Secret Society begins with Rich Jensen, the former general manager of Sub Pop, describing Hidmo's last night on earth. Hidmo was the epicenter of local hiphop, a restaurant that fed and entertained Sabzi, Gabriel Teodros, Amos Miller, and Silent Lambs Project. That place is now gone, but the music is here to stay. OC Notes has arrived. CHARLES MUDEDE
(WaMu Theater) The greatest rock group ever named after a dildo (sorry, Marshall Tucker Band!) kick off their 2011 tour at Seattle's WaMu Theater, before an audience of people willing to pay upwards of $100 to see a band named after a dildo. For what it's worth, Steely Dan always deliver, and if you love them (love = owning four or more of their records), the ticket price is totally worth it. For the Shuffle Diplomacy Twenty Eleven tour, Becker and Fagen and their band of jazzy fussbudgets promise shows filled with greatest hits, deep cuts, and "set lists determined by fan voting in certain cities as on the group's last big tour in 2009." DAVID SCHMADER
Android Hero, the Family Curse, Hex Machine, Grenades
(Funhouse) A writer at a popular metal blog recently grumbled about the term "thinking man's metal" and its implication that metal is a Neanderthal's exercise unless it throws in a few dissonant note combinations and clever time signatures. Fair enough, though there should be some sort of distinction between the meat-and-potatoes gallop-and-chug of unabashed heshers and, say, Grenades. Maybe the Seattle band isn't really metal at all, but their bellowed vocals and bashed-out instrumentation certainly owes something to the genre. Their penchant for Drive Like Jehu–inspired squall, post-punk tonal distinctions, and space-rock atmospherics suggests that Grenades are on a mission to explore broader horizons. Granted, that don't make 'em no Nobel laureates, but it makes 'em smarter than the dudes drooling over recycled mosh riffs. BRIAN COOK
You do you.
Metal Mondays: Thou Shall Kill, Pangea, the Purpose Being, Verata
(2 Bit Saloon) Mondays are a bummer. Back to school, back to work, back to the grind of weekday monotony. Luckily for Northwest metalheads, Ballard's 2 Bit Saloon recently started booking weekly shred-fests each Monday night, giving you musical inspiration to fuel your hangover-ridden body with even more liquid-inspired righteousness. But this isn't just any Monday. This Fourth of July, why not celebrate the independence of your fine nation by blowing up a large chunk of it (not actually encouraged), all the while throwing up the horns for local metal-core crew Pangea and brutal death/thrash metal up-and-comers Thou Shall Kill. Numb your mind and bang your head. Metal, beer, and fireworks—a truly patriotic combo. KEVIN DIERS
The Blind Shake, Police Teeth, Mutiny Mutiny
(Sunset) Sometime Line Out freelancer James Burns, who's seen Minneapolis's the Blind Shake a number of times, once described their sound as "a whole new scorched-earth Billy-Childish-meets-Hammerhead" and "the A Frames on PCP." Internet footage corroborates, and if those aren't convincing endorsements, you may want to consider staying in with a cup of chamomile tea tonight. Speaking of Burns *CONFLICT OF INTEREST*, tonight is the triumphant return of his band Police Teeth, who are back from a national tour in support of the excellently parched and brash punk of their latest release, Awesomer Than the Devil, out now on Latest Flame. GRANT BRISSEY
(Black Lodge) Recording for the prestigious Constellation Records, Montreal's Pat Jordache forgoes that label's predominant epic-post-rock approach for songs that strike with immediacy. His primary mode resembles that of a low-budget Of Montreal—danceable glam rock gussied up with nonchalant flamboyance. There's a winning, modest hamminess about Jordache's persona that's not too far from Edwyn Collins's, and he accentuates it with a sure handle on accessible yet uncloying tunesmithery. DAVE SEGAL