Notable Shows

Highlights-and otherwise-from this week's music calendar.

Wednesday, November 8

120 Days + New Grey Area + Joy Wants Eternity

SEE FEATURE [120 Days] p. 43. Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $8

Howlin Rain + A Gun That Shoots Knives

The cover of the latest Arthur magazine says everything about the real Ethan Miller. With his arm slung out the window of a van and his unshaven face spread wide into a smile, Miller lets his laid-back, Humboldt County roots show. While he's earned a reputation for wolfmanlike stage presence with his band Comets on Fire, Miller's easygoing side is on display with his solo project Howlin' Rain (arguably one of the year's finer debuts). He brought his freedom rock through town last May, and it was indeed a gloriously ragged affair of blues-rock groovers and open-air jammers. Listen to enough of it and you might be inclined to walk barefoot through a field, or splash naked in a creek somewhere. BRIAN J. BARR Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $7

Thursday, November 9

Dr. Octagon aka Kool Keith + Macklemore + John Tsunam + DJ SwervOne

There's controversy aplenty surrounding The Return of Dr. Octagon – this year's follow-up to the creepy 1996 underground hip-hop classic Dr. Octagonecologyst, which sprung from the twisted minds of Kool Keith and Dan "the Automator" Nakamura. Supposedly the middling new disc is a sham, as Keith alleges some years-old rhymes were essentially swiped and mishandled by a shady record label and European production team. But could even that be a ruse, a publicity stunt from undoubtedly the most bizarro rapper ever? After all, he is touring under the Dr. Octagon moniker. The beauty (to some, the frustration) of Kool Keith is you just never know what you're gonna get from him, especially at a live show. He could dish out a relatively standard performance that draws from his myriad projects and personas (Ultramagnetic MCs, Cenobites, "Black Elvis," etc.), or he could come out dressed as Mrs. Roper and spit speedy freestyle couplets about breakfast cereals, Saved by the Bell, and Cleveland Steamers all night. I'm hoping for the latter, but guessing it'll be somewhere in between. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG Chop Suey, 8 p.m. $12 All ages

Wolf Eyes + Raven Strain + Sick Llama

Crocodile Cafe, 8 p.m. $10

Friday, November 10

Common Market + D. Black + Abyssinian Creole + Silent Lambs Project + Vitamin D

Chop Suey, 8 p.m. $8 All ages

Paul Stanley (KISS) + Slunt

SEE FEATURE [Paul Stanley] p. 63. Showbox, 8 p.m. $30

Transmissionary Six + Sera Cahoone

SEE HEAR THIS [Transmissionary Six] p.65. Sunset Tavern, 10 p.m. $5

Saturday, November 11

MusicTech Summit

I'm a Luddite, and will make no apologies. I feel I would accomplish a hell of a lot more if I shoved the computer out the fucking window and threw my cell phone into oncoming traffic. I'm being extreme here, obviously, but I am always the first to object to any technological advancement, especially when it intersects with music. However, the future is upon us and I have to accept it, especially since I've chosen to live in Nerdsville (aka Seattle). Therefore, I'm going to suck it up and attend the first MusicTech Summit. The focus will be how artists can adapt to the ever-evolving technological landscape, with guest speakers J. Allard (Microsoft corporate VP of much-anticipated Zune) and Thomas Dolby (writer of "She Blinded Me With Science" and founder of Beatnik Inc., which created polyphonic ringtone software). Who knows, maybe these cats will change a primitive mind. BRIAN J. BARR EMP's JBL Theater, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. $40 general public, $35 for EMP members, $25 for students.

Sunday, November 12

Refugee All Stars + Atlantic Melody

"Livin' like a refugee, is not easy . . . " sing this group of musicians, hailing from West Africa's Sierra Leone. It's a life they unfortunately know well, for it was a refugee camp in their civil-war-torn country that initially brought the band together. Turning to music as an outlet for seemingly insurmountable pain and suffering, the group toured the camps, bringing joy to desperate circumstances with their simple, yet powerful songs. Though their story is beautifully captured in the recently released documentary, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, this is a unique opportunity to witness the inspiring ensemble in person. AJA PECKNOLD Showbox, 7 p.m. $22.50 adv./$25

Tahiti 80 + Brookville

Is it really better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all? More specifically, is it better to be a working band, known for one amazing song than to be office workers, or graphic designers, or whatever the men of French pop group Tahiti 80 would be doing if not making spotty albums? In their case, I think the answer is oui. Their one brilliant song is a perfect pop confection, and transplanted Seattleites from cities where there were regular indie dance parties in the early '00s (mine had a light-up dancefloor just like Saturday Night Fever) can attest to the infectious thump of "Heartbeat." Unlike the sometimes random cobbling-together of Britpop influences on their albums, the track is sincerely joyful. It reminds me of a time before coke-and-electro took over the party, when cotton candy coquettishness could as easily instigate a drunken smooch in a mirrored bathroom. The band's fourth album, Fosbury, will be out in the U.S. later this month, and it's said to be a mix of Britpop and hip-hop, another potential trainwreck. But its first single has already been remixed by German It boys Booka Shade—who keep it light-heartedly real in their techno realm—so I'm not giving up hope for a good dance party just yet. RACHEL SHIMP Crocodile Cafe, 8 p.m. $12 Also at Sonic Boom Records in Ballard, 2209 Market St., 6 p.m. NC

Monday, November 13

Airport Cathedral + Coho + the Dark Romantics

Seattle post-rock/art-rock trio Midnight Triton was just starting to do some damage on the local music scene when last November they suffered the death of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Todd Kennemer. Singer-guitarist Jeremy McDermott and drummer Mike Lane eventually regrouped under the name Coho, fleshed the new unit out to a quartet, and over the past year have grown into a tight and compelling band, evidenced by both a terrific set at the Crocodile a couple of weeks ago and their fine Lujo Records debut, Things Change. In fiercer moments, Coho's twin-guitar attack is reminiscent of Swervedriver's garage/shoegazer aesthetic, while more elegant turns (and McDermott's soaring pipes) resemble Bends-era Radiohead—anthemic, grand, and, if all the stars align, transcendent. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG High Dive, 9 p.m. $6

Lee "Scratch" Perry + Dub is a Weapon

70-year-old Perry, aka the Upsetter, is literally the last man standing who represents the birth of reggae (which he kick-started by introducing the languorous "roots"-style riddims) and dub (following King Tubby's lead in '70s experimentation). He began producing at Jamaica's Studio One in the '60s, and though his own Black Ark studio is famously in ruins, it was the birthplace of many an iconic track, including many of Bob Marley's. He also famously collaborated with the Clash, which makes his collabs with TV on the Radio and DJ Spooky—on this fall's U.S. release of Panic in Babylon—not surprising. Aside from being one of the biggest musical icons imaginable, Perry's an eccentric, who views music-making as a spiritual endeavor. "Curse the war makers!" he told an Australian paper on his last tour through that country in 2005. "I am here to deliver peace dub, love dub, dub to make you love one another! This is the only way to save ourselves!" Jah willing. RACHEL SHIMP Neumo's, 8 p.m. $20

The Rapture + the Presets

SEE FEATURE [The Rapture] www.seattleweekly.com/music. El Corazon, 7 p.m. $18 adv./$20 All ages

Tuesday, November 14

Hot Chip + Born Ruffians + Shy Child + DJ Colin

How can anyone not love Hot Chip? On their debut album, Coming on Strong, there's an abundance of sequencers, Casios, and synths and some sleepy, soulful British white dudes making a feeble attempt at sounding hard (singing about Escalades, pumpin' Yo La Tengo on their system, and going to beach parties with their boos, natch.) Coming on Strong was a mellow electronic soul fusion of Prince (circa 1978) and Dean Ween throwing down some licks over primordial analog drum machine beats that could've been on Shuggie Otis' Inspiration Information. On the group's latest, The Warning, the foppish quintet have relaxed a bit on the mellow and approached more glimmering analog techno flourishes and neon glow. It still has some melancholic tendencies, not to mention their ever-present obsession with Prince, but it's playful, sincere, and pleasant, even when they're threatening to break our legs on the title track. Oh, guys! You're harmless, you know that! But we still love you. TRAVIS RITTER Neumo's, 8 p.m. $12

 
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