Wednesday, Nov. 10
Black Eyes and Neckties
The outfits alone make this band worth seeing. Crass is their biggest influence. Enough said. Graceland, 7 p.m. $8
Death From Above 1979
Not to be confused with New York dance-music masters the DFA (thus the newly appended "1979" to their name), this is a bass-and-drums duo who yell a lot. Panthers headline; Vietnam and DJs Paco, Monsieur, and Kendra open. Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $8 adv.
John Pizzarelli Bossa Nova Show
The popular jazz guitarist brings his clean style to a music that, traditionally, is just as unspotty. If you like the old Brazil and the newish American jazz, this should work for you. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 7:30 p.m. $20.50–$24.50. Also Thurs., Nov. 11–Sun., Nov. 14.
We haven't seen dance-punk this flamboyant—and inconsistent—since Girls Against Boys. There's a lead balloon in-joke for every chaotic freakout burst on The Difference Between You and Me Is That I'm Not on Fire (Beggars Too Pure). Can't imagine them not being wildly entertaining live, though. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $10 adv.
Even fans of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot have to concede that the new A Ghost Is Born (Nonesuch) is pretty damn boring—at the very least, it is so on purpose (hello, nine-minute drones). There are some great moments here, but the petulance at the center of the enterprise unfortunately creeps over everything. Paramount Theatre, 8 p.m. $25–$30
Thursday, Nov. 11
SEE PREVIEW, P. 60. Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $8 adv.
Listening to "Endless Shovel," off Rogue Wave's 2004 Sub Pop debut, is like taking a toboggan ride on a clear, sunny winter day. The song bounds along like a Shins tune with less brains and more jangle—and before you know it, you're at the end and pressing "Repeat" on your Discman. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $8
Social Distortion + Tiger Army
There's something kind of soothing about rockabilly punk vets who never really deviate from the original game plan, visually or compositionally. Of course, there's something a little too soothing about, say, Brian Setzer, so it helps to have fangs. Premier, 8 p.m. $25 adv. Also Fri., Nov. 12.
SEE PREVIEW, P. 60. Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $7
Friday, Nov. 12
She followed up the folksy, jazzy Distillation with the poppier Grand, sharply produced by ex-Nields guitarist Dave Chalfant. Some may find newer tracks like "Born to Hum" a bit precious, but McKeown kicks chick-rock ass on the bounding "Cinematic," while "James!"—in which she sagely advises a gay friend not to go after a straight boy—is her smartest song to date. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $20 adv./$23
The Helio Sequence + IQU
ALSO SEE SMALLMOUTH, P. 56. Does it make us apostates to say that the Helio Sequence's Love and Distance is the best Modest Mouse album of the year, even if we do like Good News? Fine, we're apostates then. Showbox, 8 p.m. $15 adv. IQU also play Sat., Nov. 13 at Paradox Theatre, 1401 N.W. Leary Way, 8 p.m.
The Magnetic Fields
SEE SW THIS WEEK, P. 51. Moore Theatre, 8 p.m. $24 adv./$26
Saturday, Nov. 13
The well-regarded singer/songwriter returns with a new album, Dents and Shells. Tractor Tavern, 9:30 p.m. $10 adv./$12
No, we didn't vote for Bush, and no, we're not about to change our minds. But whatever Toby Keith's red-state appeal, he's a commanding singer and songwriter and his records are insidiously well made. In pop music, that counts for plenty. Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, 253-272-3663, 7:30 p.m. $44.75–$59.75
Ministry + My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult
The two massively influential industrial juggernauts are back to graciously placate those who were shut out of last month's exclusive club date with two encores. Hella pricey, but isn't all of the best late '80s vintage? Fenix Underground, 8 p.m. $32.50 adv./$35. Also Sun., Nov. 14.
Project W + KnotPineBox + Plastiq Phantom
Joining Project W (who celebrate the release of another excellent experimental improv album) are Karen Hancock, aka KnotPineBox, whose improvisations are created via guitar, effects, and toys, and Plastiq Phantom, well known for blending ultra modern washes of texture with hip-hop beats and conceptual noise. Lo-Fi Performance Gallery, 429b Eastlake Ave., 206-254-2824, 9 p.m. $6
Sunday, Nov. 14
Devendra Banhart + Scout Niblett
The prototypical parallels for this show: Devendra Banhart = modern Syd Barrett, and Scout Niblett = British Cat Power. Banhart is a finger-picking, fictionalizing prophet prone to randomness and beauty; Niblett is a Zeppelin-influenced folk-rock mockingbird. Neumo's, 8 p.m. $12 adv.
He hasn't released a solo album since 2001's Sweeney's Dream, but the former fiddler for the Bothy Band (aka the most entertaining Celtic roots ensemble of the '70s) is a true virtuoso and always spellbinding to watch. Tractor Tavern, 8 p.m. $18
They tried to bite the corporate, monopolistic hands that feed them by releasing bar-none one of the worst protest songs ever, "Y'all Want a Single." What better follow-up than turning Cameo's "Word Up" into a wet fart, "courtesy" of the recently released Greatest Hits? Tacoma Dome, 7 p.m. $28.50–$35
Although he quite readily clutches Conor Oberst's coattails, Joe Knapp, the singer-songwriter behind this Omaha band, is finally making a name for himself. And after Oberst's disappointing performance at the Moore last month, who knows? Maybe the coattail tables will turn. Graceland, 6 p.m. $8 adv.
Monday, Nov. 15
Just when you think militant Doberman straight-edge has gone out of style, um, your suspicions are confirmed. For what it's worth, Cast Aside expunge those meaty (no pun intended), moshy staple riffs like the fate of the world depends on it. Can't fault 'em if theirs does. Studio Seven, 7:30 p.m. $10
De La Soul
The Grind Date (Sanctuary) isn't just the latest of De La Soul's unbroken streak of excellent albums because Seattle's Jake One produced one of its best cuts, the MF Doom guest spot "Rock Co.Kane Flow" (SEE FEATURE, P. TK). It's because at 12 lean, smart songs, it's the most focused thing they've made since 1996's Stakes Is High, and because Posdnuos and Dave's rhymes haven't lost a damn thing. Blue Scholars open. Showbox, 8 p.m. $18 adv./$20
SEE FEATURE, P. 55. Chop Suey, 8 p.m. $10 adv.
Tuesday, Nov. 16
Singer-songwriters are popping up all over the place, and most of them suck. This guy, however, is promising. His newly released EP, Boxes, fuses clever lyrics and jagged string arrangements, that, if anything, are outside the box. Graceland, 6 p.m. $8
SEE PREVIEW, P. 60. Crocodile Cafe, 8:30 p.m. $10