Music Awards Showcase Preview

LAST SUPPER CLUB

124 S. Washington St., 206-748-9975

RANDY JONES

Quiet as it's kept, Seattle is churning out great dance records, and many of them are released on the Orac label. Randy Jones—DJ, producer, small-business owner—runs Orac, one of the most acclaimed dance labels in the country, which has gotten major recognition in Europe: Jones has performed at Berlin's Technicolor performance series, as well as Havana's Festival de Música Electroacústica and Chicago's Transmission Festival. He's also created video pieces for 2001's Sonar Festival in Barcelona—the premier electronic-dance festival in the world—as well as created tracks under the name Caro. Electronica. 6 p.m.

LUSINE

Jeff McIlwain was born and raised in Texas and spent time in Los Angeles, but as a Seattle resident he's joined the city's recent crop of bustling—and highly acclaimed—dance producers. Last year, as Lusine, McIlwain issued a quietly brilliant four-cut 12-inch EP on Detroit's hip Ghostly International label; he's also put tracks out on Carpark, Tigerbeat6, Shitkatapult, Schematic, and Studio !K7—stellar labels all. And there's more on the way: McIlwain reports that there will be a full-length LP/CD coming out this year. Electronica. 7 p.m.

TRICK DECK

Trick Deck shuffle instruments, electronics, computers, and voices and deal out wild dance music. Consisting of Mark Wand (programmer/instrumentalist) and Nichole Halleen (vocals), the group mixes electronica with hip-hop with a whimsical, unique style. Live, Wand and Halleen are frequently joined by drummer Kevin Sawka and bassist Jeremy Lightfoot, both of Siamese. Electronica. 8 p.m.

BRUNO PRANSATO (AKA BOBBY KARATE)

Weird sounds with quirky rhythms seem to be the forte of Bruno Pransato, aka Bobby Karate. Before he was Bruno or Bobby, Steven Ford, a man of many talents, was involved in speed-metal and punk music. After a break from the music scene for a few years, he began producing electronic, laptop-generated tech-house that's as intricate as it is aggressive, and that continues to captivate Seattle audiences. Electronica. 9 p.m.

Codebase

CODEBASE

It's no accident that local electro- techno producer Tom Butcher titled the album he issued last year on Germany's Force Inc. label Style Encoding. As Codebase, Butcher's meld of Detroit-techno soul and early '80s electro bleeps and bloops moves from the contemplative to the party hearty with intelligence and ease, and recent outings have shown that he can throw down a pretty mean live PA as well. Electronica. 10 p.m.

SIAMESE

Jazz greats Wayne Horvitz, Bill Frisell, and Graham Haynes are all fans of the live drum-and-bass outfit Siamese, but so are plenty of electronica club freaks. Siamese manage the crossover partly because their keyboards/bass/percussion setup also incorporates a frenzied blend of samples and looped effects. Drummer Kevin Sawka, who started Siamese in the mid-'90s, plays a complicated custom kit that includes both electric and acoustic pieces, and he does so with such skill that he's able to pull off dance jams and slow grooves with equal flair. Jam/Groove. 11 p.m.

J&M CAFE

201 First Ave. S., 206-292-0663

DAREK MAZZONE

A veteran of radio and clubland both local and national, Darek Mazzone began his career in 1987 at WFMO, the free-form station in Boston. Locally, he's fondly remembered for his residency at Electrolush. With a current global-music residency at the new Mirabeau Room (which he'd previously held at ToST) and the Zig Zag Cafe's Tuesday Night downtempo night, Mazzone is as apt to play alongside live instrumentalists (James Whetzel, Tom Armstrong, and Amy Denio are three) as he is to play alone. He's also a fixture on KEXP, hosting Wo-Pop from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, as well as holding down KUOW's Planet Beat from 9 to 10 p.m. on Sundays. DJ/Turntablist. 7 p.m.

DJ SCENE

The national spotlight is on hip-hop mixtapes, and one of Seattle's own is responsible for one of the most acclaimed. The third volume of DJ Scene's F*ck the Frail Sh*t, like the first two, gives equal shine to national acts (including a couple of G Unit cuts that preceded the appearance of that group's hit Beg for Mercy) and local artists (Byrdie's Fan Favorite, Boom Bap Project, and several cuts produced by local cat Jake One, as well as Scene's own remix of Ras Kass and Skillz). And he's just as stellar on the decks live. DJ/Turntablist. 8 p.m.

Miss Kick

"There's nothing this woman can't spin," claimed SisterSF.com a couple years ago of Seattle's Miss Kick, and they weren't kidding. Flitting between down-tempo, funky breaks, deep house, electro, techno, and drum-and-bass with enviable ease, Miss Kick plays venues as diverse as her record crates, while maintaining a devoted fan base helped along by her personable e-mail gig updates. DJ/Turntablist. 9 p.m.

DJ B-MELLO

B-Mello's adventures in the all-ages dance scene have taken him from Studio 420 to the Seattle Art Museum, to name just two of the venues he's recently played. Spinning is only part of what he contributes; one of the most outspoken DJs in town, Mello demonstrates great respect for the underage crowd. He's suggested in interviews that all-ages audiences make a truer fan base than 21-plus crowds (since they turn out for the tunes, not the booze), and his playful style—even in battles with other DJs— brings everyone into the game. DJ/Turntablist. 10 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS

114 First Ave. S., 206-622-2563

PAUL RUCKER

Though the bassist arrived here from South Carolina six years ago, Paul Rucker didn't really make his profound presence felt until releasing his self-produced History of an Apology CD last year to considerable acclaim. The disc is heavy with layered grooves, guitar lines, and horn shouts, but Rucker has also been known to fraternize with the improv string quartet Thingsome Q. What will he be up to tonight? There's only one way to find out. Jazz/Avant-Garde. 6 p.m.

CLIMAX GOLDEN TWINS

"78 RPM records, computers, folk and blues, field and ambient recordings, soundscapes, dream music, found sounds, electronics, punk-rock wipeouts—we tackle them all," state the Climax Golden Twins. "Poorly." Don't be too sure. As a small but fervent coterie of fans will attest, the Twins, who formed in 1993, utilize noise and drones to often mesmerizing effect. Most recently they've issued Lovely on Anomalous and the soundtrack to the movie Session Nine on Milan, and will be putting out a new disc, Highly Bred and Sweetly Tempered, before the year is out. Jazz/Avant-Garde. 7 p.m.

PROJECT W

If you're in the mood for some finger poppin' voodoo-daddy jazz, look elsewhere. Saxophonist Wally Shoup, one of the deans of creative music in Seattle, prefers a more fractured, rough-hewn sound; it's free jazz that isn't afraid of strong emotion. Shoup's trio includes cellist Brent Arnold (whose song band the Spheres has been touring with Modest Mouse) and first-call drummer Greg Campbell. Jazz/Avant-Garde. 8 p.m.

Frieze of Life

FRIEZE OF LIFE

Winner of Earshot's 2004 award for Outside Jazz Group of the year, Greg Sinibaldi's sextet (four horns, bass, and drums) plays part-composed/part-improvised music that is smart, well sculpted, and affecting. Saxophonist Sinibaldi has a degree from the New England Conservatory and brings some strong classical elements into the sound, while fellow saxophonist Mark Taylor adds more of a jazz bite. Jazz/Avant-Garde. 9 p.m.

Highrize

HIGHRIZE

This quintet traverses the worlds of bop, funk, and skronk with skyscraping vision and balance. Full-bore improv and unabashed ballads are in the mix, as is some jamming that's anything but softheaded. Driven by the strong electric bass of Ryan Berg, they turn up at the Rainbow and other venues, but not often. Jam/Groove. 10 p.m.

JUAN O'RILEY'S

309 First Ave. S., 206-622-5826

FELICIA LOUD AND THE SOUL

Felicia Loud had the balls to tackle the role of Billie Holliday in a recent production of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. After guesting on two Source of Labor albums, Loud has recorded Here, the first full-length with her four-piece band, the Soul. Due to elements of hip-hop, reggae, and funk in her music, critics have compared her to Erykah Badu, but no parallel can lessen the uniqueness of Loud's live act. R&B/Soul. 6 p.m.

Darrius

DARRIUS

Darrius Willrich is Seattle R&B's jack of all trades, playing with Jumbalaya, Freeschool, and Source of Labor, as well as performing by himself (see 2003's Love Will Visit, his most recent solo disc). He's also collaborated with Euro-Japanese electronica artist Chukimai and house-music producer Brent Laurence. On his own, though, he favors smooth funk grooves and an equally mellifluous vocal style. R&B/Soul. 7 p.m.

The Fading Collection

THE FADING COLLECTION

Trip-hop may be dead (or rebranded as an adjunct to electroclash), but don't tell that to the Fading Collective, who still fly the banner proudly. Sure, "trip-hop" was always kind of corny as punning genre names go, and the artists tagged with it seemed to loathe it more than any other. But it was perfectly serviceable for what it described: the place where stoned torch singing met the logic of the hip-hop cutup. Like early Goldfrapp, the Fading Collection hinge their sound on Sarah McCullough's velveteen voice. The rest you know: dark soundscapes heavy on atmosphere and texture over electronic beats. As long as there's going to be dope and computers, someone will have to do the mixing. Electronica. 8 p.m.

THE SPEEDLES

Sure you love old-fashioned, 1977-style punk rock. And of course the Beatles were some of the greatest songwriters ever. But you didn't know how much you loved both, put together, until you encountered the Speedles. Originally from Blackpool, England, the Speedles put on one of the most fun live shows you can catch locally, putting classic Beatles tunes through the Clash-Pistols-Buzzcocks wringer, until everything old sounds new again. Cover/Tribute. 9 p.m.

ELECTRIC BLANKET

Sounding something like the long lost lo-fi bootlegs from some strange Pavement/Fall collaboration, Electric Blanket's homemade, dubbed demo cassette brought many a tape player out of the attic this past year. With their snotty kid-brother lyrics and late-'70s British bite, the garage-influenced trio makes maddeningly (in a good way) catchy and intriguing pop songs. "If you call that dancing/Then I've got something to show you," go the words to one song while the side-winding guitar and bass propel the steady beat. Best New Artist. 10 p.m.

LARRY'S

209 First Ave. S., 206-624-7665

PHAT SIDY SMOKEHOUSE

With the "Smokehouse" in the name and the fact that some members moonlight in the Ribshack Orchestra, it wouldn't take Kreskin to figure Phat Sidy aims for the funky. With two full-lengths and an EP under their belt (and a double album on the way), the six-piece band always remembers that to go down easy, it's gotta be greasy. Plus there's some Stax grit, as well as dub reggae and jazz flavors for the more high-toned among you. Mostly, though, it's high-energy funk-rock. And, if you're so inclined, their song "Make It Legal" was noted among High Times magazine's "Pot Top 10"—surely the highest praise for that sort of thing. Jam/Groove. 6 p.m.

CLINTON FEARON & the Boogie Brown Band

America is currently in thrall to everything dancehall, but without old-school roots reggae (long since deemed the province of stinky hippies and college students with questionable Bob Marley fixations), there'd be no hipper-than-hip Sean Paul or Elephant Man. And Clinton Fearon isn't just some carpetbagging college-circuit wanna-be, either. He's played in the house bands for both Studio One and Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark studio, recording bass lines for artists like Yabby You, Max Romeo (ask Kanye West who he is), and Junior Byles. You don't get much more authentic than that. His Boogie Brown Band mashes up hard-driving roots rhythms with gospel flavors and Brown's deep, dubby bass lines. World/Reggae. 7 p.m.

Alice Stuart

ALICE STUART

There weren't many precedents for Alice Stuart when she began performing in 1961. Not only a singer and songwriter, Stuart was—is—also an ace guitarist, a fact recognized by artists like Joan Baez, Albert King, John Prine, Van Morrison, and Jerry Garcia, all of whom she's shared the stage with. Mixing blues, folk, rock, and country, Stuart's a teacher and writer as well as a performer, and at age 60 she's going as strong as ever. Blues. 8 p.m.

BEECRAFT

With no fewer than two music teachers in their ranks, its not surprising BeeCraft are renowned for their musicianship. But don't let less than fond memories of seventh-grade music class fool you, because BeeCraft's jazz-rock amalgam is far more feet than head. BeeCraft members have shared the stage with jazz luminaries like Cornell instructor Julian Priester (one of the original artists to fuse jazz with rock in the early '70s in bands like Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi), and their own sound is equally indebted to the new wave of modern fusioneers like Medeski Martin and Wood. Jam/Groove. 9 p.m.

DAS RUT

"Improv" might conjure images of bearded musos applying oblique strategies to damp leaves and amplified chewing gum. But, if there's one thing the explosion of jam bands has taught us, it's that improvisation (of a sort) is highly popular with a huge swath of young people at any given time. Most jam bands follow the lazy line plotted by the Dead, fleshed out by Phish, and made platinum by Dave Matthews. Das Rut are a bit of a different proposition. Think "jam dance" and you're halfway there. Live house music, funk, and hip-hop are chopped up and sequenced on the fly. While still focusing on the live musicianship angle that makes or breaks a jam band (bass, keyboards, drums, guitar, trumpet), they augment their lineup with two DJs, blurring the line even further between club and gig. Jam/Groove. 10 p.m.

NUSOLTRIBE

Politically and community-minded, NuSolTribe combine funk, soul, and rock into a neo-hippie experience. Core members Chad Redlight, Buddhaful Mike, and Kimo formed NuSolTribe about two years ago at a jam session, and over time the group has evolved into a seven-member collective. Live, the band uses fire, dancers, multimedia presentations, and their own brand of harmony to attempt to initiate their audience into their spiritual family. R&B/Soul. 11 p.m.

THE CENTRAL

207 First Ave. S., 206-622-0209

ROBB BENSON

Being prolific is easy. Maintaining consistency and quality is another animal altogether . . . for a lot of musicians not named Robb Benson. A veteran of Seattle's diverse singer-songwriter community, the Mount Vernon native has morphed admirably over the last decade from leader of Nevada Bachelors and Dear John Letters (which he's still in) into a witty, endearing, one-man lo-fi anthem factory. His vocal repertoire conjures equal parts Michael Stipe, Ben Gibbard, and Rocky Votolato, a perfect match for his introspective lyricism and penchant for sweeping '70s hooks. Benson delivers the instantly agreeable, inoffensively quirky pop that Pinback formerly cornered the market on. Singer/Songwriter. 6 p.m.

Memphis Radio Kings

MEMPHIS RADIO KINGS

Think of the Replacements' Hootenanny when you think of Memphis Radio Kings. While Charlie Beck, Tim Jones, and Tony Leamer are deeply rooted in country twang, it's clear they're also quite influenced by the college-rock sound of the early '80s. Having secured the title of Best Roots/Americana band at last year's Seattle Weekly Music Awards, the Kings are back this year to defend their crown with their heartbroken, hard-hitting riffs. Americana/Roots/Country. 7 p.m.

LEFT HAND SMOKE

As one of the most "hardworking" bands in Seattle, Left Hand Smoke have an impressive résumé. With successful albums, radio play, and sold-out shows, their funk, blues, and rock- influenced beats thrive amidst the Northwest audience. They're often called charismatic onstage, with jazzy guitar and a combination of contemporary and classic sounds. Rolling Stones comparisons are prevalent, but LHS create their own path with high-energy rock and roll and interesting lyrics to back it up. Americana/Roots/Country. 8 p.m.

SICK BEES

When Built to Spill's Doug Martsch began wearing a Sick Bees T-shirt in the late '90s, fans took note. Although the female duo is far more prone to noise and experimentation, Martsch's endorsement turned all kinds of indie rockers on to their Up Records release, 2000's My Pleasure. Originally from the South, Julio and Starla are sometimes compared to Le Tigre, but whereas Kathleen Hanna's band uses spastic robo-electronics, the Sick Bees will have you dancing to the clang of garbage can lids. Indie Rock/Garage. 9 p.m.

Kuma

KUMA

The lead singer and mesmerizing aspect of the Seattle band Kuma, Bre Loughlin dazzles audiences with her eclectic voice that ranges from high-pitched and girly to husky and mature. Her shows are akin to theatrical performances, complete with costumes and props. With a slightly Gothic twist, Kuma tell stories about passion, rage, and love. The live guitars and rhythmic drum machine in the background add to the full sensory experience created with this dynamic music. Best New Artist. 10 p.m.

COBRA HIGH

"Prog-rock" used to be a bad term. But Cobra High, a quartet originally from Portland that relocated to Seattle in 2002, are reclaiming the term—or, at the very least, making it into something worth hearing. Over Marty Lund's feverishly powerful drumming, Cobra High play complex yet totally accessible songs, often with several keyboards as well as guitars, and 2003's Sunset in the Eye of the Hurricane was released to feverish acclaim. Indie Rock/ Garage. 11 p.m.

THE FENIX

109 S. Washington St., 206-405-4313

SMOOSH

Two Hermione-aged sisters performing hyperactive piano pop with a dollop of hip-hop 'tude? Qué adorable? Not even, friends—Smoosh are way legit. Keyboardist/vocalist Asy, 11, and drummer Chloe, 9, don't uncork Ringling Brothers signature changes like the similarly aligned Mates of State, and they don't need to. These young ladies play with dexterity, passion, and a pure pop sensibility that puts indie "rockers" thrice their age to shame. They've already opened for Death Cab for Cutie and Nada Surf at the Showbox, for God's sake. Crank the Speak-n-Slay up to 11. Anyone who says "Hanson," "Lindsay Lohan," or "novelty" gets smooshed. Best New Artist. 6 p.m.

AMY BLASCHKE

When she opens for other singer-songwriters (her recent gig preceding Heather Duby at Neumo's, for example), Amy Blaschke makes the music that follows her seem slightly overwrought. Minus the Bear drummer Erin Tate builds a quiet snare-and-cymbal foundation for Blaschke's tart vocals, with former 764-HERO bassist James Bertram adding depth; combined, they reduce melancholy balladry to its basics. Whereas Rosie Thomas saturates the room with childhood sweetness, Blaschke creates a wistful, threadbare sound, turning cavernous clubs into eerie, unsettling spaces. Singer/Songwriter. 7 p.m.

THE LASHES

The Lashes are one of the most sardonic, swaggering bands in town—and that's before they even get onstage. And once they're on there, they bring the goods: hard pop-rock nuggets filled with caramel-and-nougat hooks and a devil-may-care sense of humor. Frontman Ben Clark is one of the city's most engaging performers, as good with a one-liner as a lyric, and equally comfortable delivering both. Pop/Rock. 8 p.m.

VELLS

At the Showbox a couple months back, the Vells opened for the Shins, Seattle's other favorite purveyors of smart, dreamy pop. Vells frontman Tristan McKay Marcum put on boxing gloves and started doing pushups onstage, and for a minute he seemed like a young, strangely steroidal David Byrne. "Light on the Right" is the highlight of the band's self-titled debut EP, but don't stop listening there, because this scrappy bunch shares the Shins' talent for steering way clear of creative ruts. And if you ever need a sparring partner, you know where to go. Best New Artist + Pop/Rock. 9 p.m.

SUSHIROBO

Now that the Dismemberment Plan have gone the way of their fractured moniker, who's going to satisfy our national jones for trippy, warmly inclusive astro-pop? The unsung Einsteins of Sushirobo are fine candidates, applying delightfully haphazard, funky shocks and struts to their infectious, indie-geek concoctions. Frontman/guitarist Arthur Roberts sounds devoutly Devo blurting "She went flush with the rush" on the standout "Last Call"; his band's A.I. unpredictability and sunburst strums would do both the Plan and Enon proud. Latest release The Light-Fingered Feeling of Sushirobo (Pattern 25) is an optimistic futurist's dream, inundated with interstellar innovation. Pop/Rock. 10 p.m.

Heather Duby

HEATHER DUBY

Last year's masterful Come Across the River was a comeback of sorts for Heather Duby, since she took a four-year hiatus after releasing her electro-pop debut, Post to Wire, in 1999. Why she disappeared doesn't matter—her old fans, plus a growing army of new ones, are just glad to have her back. River is the work of a versatile songwriter: The album ranges from quiet nocturnes to sweeping, quasi-orchestral ruminations on disappointment, betrayal, and the search for safety. Duby's evocative piano, Bo Gilliland's booming bass, and Steve Fisk's vibrant production electrify a solid collection of songs that sound even better live. Singer/Songwriter. 11 p.m.

DOC MAYNARD'S

610 First Ave., 206-682-3705

SNITCHES GET STITCHES

Loud is the word used most often to describe Snitches Get Stitches, and with the aggressive way this trio assaults their instruments, this description is painfully accurate. The wacky name is not the only reason this band should turn your head. The dynamic energy they show while delivering their forceful, punky lyrics is endlessly impressive, as is their ability to launch into pop-influenced songs at a moment's notice. But most fans prefer the harder stuff. Best New Artist. 6 p.m.

THE ABODOX

Six searing minutes of the leadoff track on the AbodoX's self-titled 2000 debut says—and does—absolutely everything. The sustained, distorted single bass notes at the onset in no way prepare you for the emphysema-wrought, full-throttle metal onslaught at the end, or the abrupt, bucking-horse alterations that precede it. The AbodoX destroyed the Fenix Underground during last year's Music Awards with a uniquely primal setup—guitarist Nathan Smurthwaite and bassist Dorando Hodous roared at one another, not the crowd, while Benjamin Kennedy obliterated his four-piece kit behind them; Doc's is only the most recent stop in their Sherman-esque hell-raising run through Seattle. Metal/Hard Rock. 7 p.m.

The NEW MEXICANS

This city has a way of witheringly quarantining bands with perceived hipsteria. The New Mexicans haven't even released debut Chicken Head Talking Diamonds yet, but they're generating Defcon 4–level hype. Here's why they get to play all their "get out of jail free" cards at once: Rob Hampton and Joe Crawford's guitars stab at and lunge into one another like the handcuffed street scum in the "Beat It" video, just saying no to power-chord bombast in favor of seedy licks befitting bassist Jeff Montano's pitch-black undercurrents. So fresh, not so clean, so goddamn vicious. Best New Artist. 8 p.m.

PLAYING ENEMY

Upon seeing the plain hair, dress, and open smiles of Playing Enemy, it becomes difficult to associate them with the shrieking vocals and onstage ambience of their "rocker" selves. Bassist Shane Mehling is particularly known for mesmerizing the audience with his erratic onstage antics, bass and limbs flailing about. Though the lyrics can be somewhat unintelligible, they sing about fear, relationships, and anger with razor-sharp humor and enthusiasm. Visual artists, performers, and musicians—this prolific group does it all. Metal/Hard Rock. 9 p.m.

AKIMBO

"Elephantine" means massive, straight up. Akimbo applied the term to their latest Dopamine album, and justifiably. It could refer to that gi-normous adrenaline rush one experiences when confronted with their bastard marriage of avant-hardcore and lumbering stoner rock. It certainly does not refer to the size of one's unspeakables when Nat Damm's Tasmanian devil drum assault and Jon Weisnewski's slaughterhouse bass wielding threaten to tornado right off the stage into your precious Heineken. (Hint: Guitarists Burke Eglington and Dustin Brown may not intentionally hurt you.) Do not make like Poison, but do heed one of their titles: Open up and say ahh! Metal/Hard Rock. 10 p.m.

SWARMING HORDES

Instru-metal? Instru-mental? In-storm-mental? We could spend all day inventing lame names for whatever subgenre Swarming Hordes shred in, or we could celebrate a pretty damn exciting reality: The Hordes are an exemplary addition to 2004's class of Cookie Monster–free gold metalists, including Pelican, Dysrhythmia, and Loincloth. Although they half-goofily claim to be "battle-scarred shells of men, outcasts who can communicate their rage and fury only through the viciously intricate tantrums and rampant, pointedly spastic athleticism of their compositions," the Hordes' gauntlets are refreshingly irony-free and impressively pugnacious. Make up your own screamo lyrics if you must. Better yet, please don't. Best New Artist. 11 p.m.

OLD TIMERS CAFE

620 First Ave., 206-623-9800

Correo Aereo

CORREO AEREO

First formed in Santa Fe, this Latin folk duo spent the '90s winning raves in Austin before coming north a few years ago, where they've been holding down a regular gig at Agua Verde, as well as performing at farmers markets and political gatherings. No surprise they've made it onto one of those Putamayo world music compilations—their blend of sounds from Venezuela, Peru, and other South American countries is joyous and irresistible. World/Reggae. 6 p.m.

Supersones

SUPERSONES

This upbeat sextet plays authentic acoustic son, with Cuban tres guitar, multipart vocals, and plenty of percussion. At ToST and other venues, they serve up the classic tunes of Compay Segundo and other island legends, adding in their own improv and arrangements. It's lilting dance music from another time and place, which, given everything happening today, might not be a bad thing. World/Reggae. 7 p.m.

PK & WHAT ARMY?

Bassist Paul Kemmish is a regular at the Scarlet Tree and LO_FI, where he takes the acid-groove thing to new levels, but his What Army? unit may be his most innovative. With the odd and inimitable Amy Denio on accordion, clarinet, and vocals, this quartet explores a range of strange song forms and solos. Jazz/Avant-Garde. 8 p.m.

ERIC "TWO SCOOPS" MOORE

Nearly eight years in and Eric "Two Scoops" Moore and his Two Scoops Combo are still rolling along. Having survived just about everything—the bar-band circuit, rap music, flesh-eating bacteria (yeah, you heard us)—they swing a confident, brawny mix of boogie-woogie piano, blues stompers, and good old-fashioned rock and roll. Moore's work with some of Chicago's legendary bluesmen gives them their heft, and his swirling New Orleans piano style gives them their stride, with a little Memphis rocking for good measure. Not that drummer Cutts Peasley, bassist Guy Quintino, and tenor sax player Jim King are slouches, mind you. Blues. 9 p.m.

RAI

Rai (pronounced "rye") are a Seattle four piece who've been jamming since the year 2000, improvising their way through local clubs and festivals and one self-titled album. They claim the Allman Brothers and the Meters as two key influences, which should give you a bit of insight into their sound: tight, taut drumming overlaid with fluid, jazzy twin guitar. The former influence should also clue you in that they're all about the long, free-flowing jams, throwing out plenty of melodic and textural information, while occasionally biting into a hard blues riff when it suits them. Jam/Groove. 10 p.m.

BEBOP AND DESTRUCTION

Though they're some of the city's most accomplished players, these Tuesday night regulars at the Owl & Thistle don't let great chops get in the way of a good time. It's hard-swinging Cannonball jazz that goes down well with a loud crowd, a beer, and a burger, though it holds up to careful listening as well. After a decade or so, this foursome is a city institution. Jazz/Avant-Garde. 11 p.m.

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