Tractor Tavern: Boss Martians, Girl Trouble, PartMan PartHorse ...

Girl Trouble

12 a.m.

Committed punk activists with a big streak of Tacoma pride, Girl Trouble have been fighting the good fight for damn near 25 years, with nary a lineup change. Outspoken drummer Bon Von Wheelie has recently been working to raise awareness about the nefarious actions of local pay-to-play promoters, educating young bands on how to take ww charge of their careers and keep the DIY torch burning. Lest you think all that passionate activism means humorless hardcore, be advised that Girl Trouble shows are a legendary joy for one simple reason: They play straightforward, entirely jubilant, classic rock 'n' roll with no frills and plenty of good humor. HANNAH LEVIN

Boss Martians

11 p.m.

How many of you can claim to have played a show with Iggy & the Stooges? If you're not a member of Mudhoney, the chances are unlikely. Now, how many of you can claim to have written a song with Iggy? That's one the Boss Martians probably have on everyone in Seattle. These Tacoma boys are a straight-up garage band who have certainly taken lessons from the poppier side of Seattle's rock history (i.e., the Fastbacks), because they know how to match buzz-saw-like guitars with fast, catchy hooks. Their new album, Pressure in the S.O.D.O., will be released in Europe at the end of this month. BRIAN J. BARR

Pleasureboaters

10 p.m.

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PartMan PartHorse

8 p.m.

With most of their songs falling under two minutes, PartMan PartHorse obviously like to keep things short, but not short enough to relinquish their sexually charged appetite. This show is sure to have you sweating by the end. Their post-punk-new-wave brand of fun reminds me of Add N to X without the heavy emphasis on vocoders and robot love—just guitars, bass, drums, and a dash of the Moog. And rather than employing lyrical electronic euphemisms, frontman Gary Smith, whose falsetto and rabid shrieks echo those of Ian Svenious, sings more about having a good time and doing rad-tastic things (sex, high-fives, going to the mall, smoking pot). PartMan PartHorse are 100 percent awesome. TRAVIS RITTER

Ms. Led

7 p.m.

Thanks to the lasting influence of groundbreaking Northwest bands like Sleater-Kinney and Team Dresch, Seattle continues to produce sharply articulate, feminist rock acts that put as much energy into their musicianship as they do into their left-leaning politics. Ms. Led leader Lesli Wood is emblematic of such values, and is also quite possibly the hardest-working woman in Seattle music. Between running her own record label and attending law school, she finds time to throw frequent fund-raisers and tour all the way from San Francisco to Stockholm, all despite a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis a few years ago. That bottomless energy and ambition show up all over Ms. Led's passionate pop-punk, a bright cocktail of girl-group tones and hard-rocking rants, served straight up and in your face. HANNAH LEVIN

The Animals at Night

6 p.m.

Think of this as a series of waves with beats programmed over top. The Animals at Night, the project of Graig Markel and Jeffrey McCallum, create down-tempo electronica that cascades and shimmers as much as it pulsates and throbs. Wavering synth and organ provide the foundations for their songs, which they layer with beats that sometimes bump ("Sundowner") and sometimes jab ("Crystal Collidascope"). As the songs move along at the pace of a cool breeze, Markel and McCallum pepper them with samples of R&B, soul, funk, and '80s synth pop, the kind of stuff that sounds great whether you're at the clubs, in a yoga studio, or at home by yourself tripping on acid. Come to think of it, doing yoga on acid would be insane. BRIAN J. BARR

Madraso

9 p.m.

I once described Madraso as "rumbling, discordant rock that [sounds] like the racket of a hyperintellectual teenager living in a foster home under the watchful eyes of Dale Crover and Ian MacKaye." I stand by that assertion, and by my belief that all quality hard rock is best served by taking lessons from one of the following: (1) the Melvins, (2) Fugazi, or (3) Drive Like Jehu. Bassist Doug Owen seems to take a few cues from Shellac's Bob Weston and No Means No's Rob Wright as well, which only fortifies the relentless, sludgy brutality of drummer Chris Jager. However, Madraso are no punk-rock elitists; their love of classic heavy metal shines past their more angular moments, dropping in judiciously throughout last year's self-released debut, The Theme of Consequence. Though they often end up on Northwest bills with like-minded peers Akimbo or Portland's Black Elk, scheduling these noisy kids in between the discordant and keyboard-abusing assault of PartMan PartHorse and the chaotic squall of the Pleasureboaters is smart programming. It also makes the Tractor the best place to be if you like punk in your vitamins. HANNAH LEVIN

 
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