Notable Shows

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

Wednesday, November 22

Sean Lennon

Imagine there's no loyalty. It's easy if you try, especially if you're Sean Lennon, who didn't have to imagine his one-time girlfriend, model-cum-actress (and fellow rock royalty) Bijou Phillips and best friend Max Leroy gettin' busy behind his unsuspecting back, because it actually happened. The painful, backstabbing betrayal helped spawn material for the singer-songwriter's sophomore release Friendly Fire—his first in eight years after Into the Sun (1998). Venomous lyrics like, "Dead meat/Don't you know you're dead meat/ You just messed with the wrong team/Better not try and fall asleep now," on the record's initial track contrast with their hushed execution, sung softly over the rhythmic strumming of an acoustic guitar interspersed with swelling strings and the piano's melodic tinkle. Its chorus of "You're gonna get what you deserve/ In the end, you're gonna learn/Oh, you'll get what you deserve" takes on new meaning after the revelation that Leroy died in a motorcycle accident before he and Lennon were able to reconcile. The heartbreaking works are brought to the screen with an accompanying DVD of corresponding short films. Seize the chance to see them brought to life—you never know, it may be 2014 before you'll have another chance. AJA PECKNOLD Neumo's, 6 p.m. $17 All ages

The Slits + Dmonstrations + Tall Birds + Heavy Hearts

SEE FEATURE [The Slits] P. 67. El Corazon, 8 p.m. $12

Friday, November 24

The Pharmacy + Wet Confetti + TV Coahran + Pleasureboaters

Portland arty post-punkers Wet Confetti make music that's sort of akin to a brainy, synth-soaked version of Blonde Redhead. Like their compatriots the Thermals, there is something bookish about them, but often their songs grow more and more urgent and paranoid, resulting in explosive ecstatic climaxes. Singer Alberta Poon has the ability to split her vocals between delicate and gasping. It often sounds as if the emotion behind the words is so heavy it forces them out of her mouth faster than she can sing them. But the real treat here is guitarist Daniel Grazzini's keytar, which makes surprise synthy appearances here and there. Like Gang of Four before them, they are jerky-yet-danceable punk rock, which makes it all the more intriguing that their new disc, Laughing, Gasping, is being released by none other than fellow Oregonian Dave Allen (GoF's bassist) and his label Pamplemoose. Cheers to Allen for pimping the Portland weirdos. BRIAN J. BARR Comet Tavern, 9 p.m.

Saturday, November 25

The Coup + Mr. Lif

Def Jux darling Mr. Lif's lyrical genius, political leanings, and compelling live show put him smack at the forefront of underground hip-hop innovators. A Chop Suey appearance a while back was interspersed with hilarious theatrics—Lif's tour manager, Scooter, played the part of an overbearing boss he dreams of taking out on "Live From the Plantation," a track from I Phantom (2002) that explores the conflict of being overqualified for mundane minimum-wage jobs, yet forced to work them in order to make rent: "I'm doing this remedial work for second-graders/I'm an educator with megaflavor, so/Maybe I should just jump up and get ill/Maybe I should let these people know they're being killed/Maybe I should try my very best to chill, and get paid/Cuz I gotta pay bills, raa!" Lucky for us, Lif's talent—most recently displayed on sophomore full-length Mo' Mega (2006)—should keep him spreading his message to the masses and far from the clutches of the 9-to-5 grind. AJA PECKNOLD Neumo's, 8 p.m. $15 All ages

Neurosis + Grails + Grey Daturas

Bleak, gray, oppressive . . . sure, that's Steve Pool's weather outlook this week (and every week until May, probably), but it's also the forecast for the inside of El Corazon tonight, when Bay Area sextet Neurosis takes the stage. Yet, just as some people find a sort of loveliness, even a strange sense of comfort, in our somber skies, there's those (like myself) who spy a great deal of beauty in the band's heavy, doomy, epic art-metal, which they've been steadily honing for 21 years. At times, Neurosis can crush your will to live—and your eardrums—with hulking, forbidding riffs and Steve Von Till's baneful baritone; in other spots, they'll pull back into a comparably muted, spectral, experimental space that's still brimming with tension—like the excruciatingly slow and terrifying walk down the dark corridor in some horror movie, you know what's coming eventually. Neurosis should provide thrills aplenty, and maybe they'll even preview new tracks from the follow-up to 2004's The Eye of Every Storm, which they're about to start recording with longtime engineer Steve Albini. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG El Corazon, 8 p.m. $15 adv./$18

Ozomatli + One Be Lo + Kid Hops

Think about South Florida's intimate relationship with Cuba and the Caribbean, and the influence it's had on that region's music scene. That same sort of cross-cultural, stylistic leg-humping goes on in Southern California across the Mexican-American border, and there's no better example than L.A.'s Ozomatli. The bilingual, genre-smashing, Latin-funk-rock-rap outfit came together more than a decade ago as the original L.A. party band, but it wasn't until its defining role as agent provocateur at the 2000 Democratic National Convention that Ozomatli found a theme for its party. The group has withstood a rotating lineup of drummers, horn men, DJs, and MCs, yet has stayed consistently anchored by bassist Wil-Dog Abers' upbeat, politically charged songwriting. With a live show that's as full-blown ecstatic as any you've ever seen (that's a guarantee), Ozo is a no-world-border phenomenon that will reaffirm your belief in the power of music. JONATHAN ZWICKEL Showbox, 7 p.m. $18 adv./$20 All ages

Rotten Apples + 64 Spiders + New Luck Toy

This past summer, Seattle Metropolitan profiled Dejha Colantuono as one of our town's hottest singles, and anyone who's heard or seen her band the Rotten Apples can figure out why. It's high time to catch up with the group in its new—and best—incarnation since 2002, when Colantuono was living in L.A. and commuting to work on the music and perform. Back in Seattle, the singer/musician with the sultriest punk style this side of Joan Jett is now teamed with all-star players including Bambi Nutt (the Razorbabes), Laura Derig (formerly of the AC/DC tribute group Hell's Belles), and guitarist Kimberly Morrison, who works double-time in the equally energetic New Fangs. The Apples have just come home after a stint in Europe, where they toured for the first time and worked on their second full-length, Give You Mean. It should be out this month, so ask these badass babes for more than an autograph after they tear the place up. RACHEL SHIMP Funhouse, 9:30 p.m. $6

Tuesday, November 28

The Dears + Young Galaxy

By now, everyone has heard that Morrissey turned down $5 million to reunite the Smiths, leaving many hopeful fans aghast. Thankfully, the Montreal sextet the Dears have been filling that void over the last decade with their orchestrated pop bliss and melancholia. On the band's latest, Gang of Losers, lead singer Murray Lightburn continues to dwell on his out-of-place self, but sounds happier, and the band has stripped down its once grandiose and lush sound, keeping every song under the five-minute mark. Sure, Gang of Losers is a departure from the Dears' past albums, but it is the Dears, no less. Since the band is one for elaborate pop music theatrics, it's almost certain that the thick arrangements and lush instrumentation will make a triumphant return in the live setting. Murray 1, Morrissey 0. TRAVIS RITTER Neumo's, 8 p.m. $12

The Lemonheads + VietNam + Hymns

SEE FEATURE [VietNam] P. 68. Crocodile Cafe, 8 p.m. $18 adv./$20

Pearls and Brass + Whalebones + Johnny & the Moon

There is a naturally spooky aura surrounding the din of the bluesy come-hither guitar solos, drudging bass lines, and intricate Ginger Baker–worthy drum fills on The Indian Tower, the second full-length from Philly-based stoner-blues trio Pearls and Brass. Of course, part of the spookiness derives from the landscape (forests and Native American burial grounds) and history surrounding Nazareth, the trio's former small-town stomping grounds near the Jersey state line. After being immersed in the punk-rock scene and playing together since their early teens, vocalist and guitarist Randy Huth, drummer Josh Martin, and bassist Joel Winter settled down with a more classic heavy-rock/blues sound that they have today, all because of one night five years ago when they were driving in the woods. Says Martin, "We threw Robert Johnson on, and we got totally terrified, for no reason whatsoever. We were so scared we couldn't get out of the car. From that point forward, we were listening to that every single day." Pearls and Brass is kind of like that. Listen to them on a dark night and you'll be listening forever. TRAVIS RITTER Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $7 ALSO SEE FEATURE [Whalebones] P. 72.

 
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