The Short List: This Week's Recommended Shows

Les Claypool's Oddity Faire ~ Wednesday, March 11Even though putting Saul Williams and Les Claypool on the same bill is a little bizarre, naming a Les Claypool–headlined tour the "Oddity Faire" is still redundant. By now you should probably expect that the erstwhile Primus singer-bassist and master/practitioner of almost every style of music imaginable (and member of about 37 other bizarro music projects, including Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade and Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains) will come out on a flaming unicycle wearing a tuxedo and a giant platypus head and play Frank Zappa's Uncle Meat in its entirety with his mutating band of crazies, while fixing sandwiches onstage for the audience during some of the lengthy instrumental bits. But maybe he'll just surprise us and play songs from his new album, Of Fungi and Foe, which evolved out of the music he was commissioned to write for the Wii game Mushroom Men. Which reminds me of a joke: A mushroom walks into a bar, and the bartender says, "I'm sorry, I can't serve you." And the mushroom replies, "Why not, I'm a fungi!" With Yard Dogs Road Show. Showbox SODO, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 7 p.m. $32 adv./$35 DOS. All ages. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERGDisney Cover Night ~ Wednesday, March 11Kane Hodder lead singer Andrew Moore has been known to end a show with minor injuries. And really, what else would you expect from a hardcore group given to shrieking lyrics like "I hate the taste of your blood, black as pitch/But I'd hate it even more to see my skull mounted next to some pompous grin." Aww. Needless to say, the band named for the man behind Freddy Krueger's vile mask isn't what first comes to mind when watching a cartoon Merlin pack up his things while singing "higitus figitus zumbabazing!" in the Disney classic The Sword in the Stone. But tonight, play it they will. It's all part of Disney Cover Night, a somewhat annual tradition in which local indie-punk-pop stars like Aqueduct, The Catch, and People Eating People return to childhood, rocking out to tunes from Dumbo to The Little Mermaid. This is, however, a 21-and-over show, so no kids are allowed in Chop Suey tonight—just the young at heart. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison, 324-8005. 8 p.m. $7. LAURA ONSTOT. . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead ~ Thursday, March 12Based on the last two albums from ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead—which were packed full of bloated, unsatisfying, more-or-less boring prog-rock epics—it seemed like the Austin, Texas band had reached the point of diminishing returns, light-years away from their dynamic 1998 self-titled debut and even from 2002's career high point, Source Codes & Tags. That's what makes their new disc The Century of Self that much more gratifying—it's the sound of Trail of Dead back from the dead. Not that they've completely abandoned their designs on ambitious structures and soundscapes, but here those tendencies are tempered by the in-your-face fire, energy, and chaos of old. Ultimately, they've made their guitar-fueled bombast and feverish vocals a lot easier to get inside, and live, that approach should have no trouble bringing back the fans who may have strayed. With Funeral Party, Midnight Masses. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $12. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERGKurt Vile ~ Thursday, March 12It's damn near difficult not to froth at the mouth when discussing Philly's Kurt Vile. Along with Ariel Pink and Kevin Debroux (aka Pink Reason), he's the best of indie rock's recent lo-fi/bedroom recordings revival. There's good reason for this: Beneath all the arty shenanigans (four-track crud, vintage drum machines, synthed-out shoegaze dreaminess) lurks a classic pop-rock songwriter and lyricist. Track down a copy of his album Constant Hitmaker, and I guarantee you won't make it past the opening anthem, "Freeway," for, like, the first two weeks. It's perfect the way "Tractor Rape Chain," "Jessie's Girl," and "Hey Tonight" are all perfect. Of course, comparing Vile to Pollard and Fogerty (but not to Springfield) is some kind of artist's kiss of death. But fuck it. The dude just might be that good. Sonic Boom Records, 514 15th Ave. E., 568-2666. 6 p.m. NC. All ages. JUSTIN F. FARRARBetty Ford Falcons ~ Friday, March 13A couple of winters ago I found myself, for lack of anything better to do, in the Central with two ex-friends. The band playing that night was local quartet Betty Ford Falcons, who with their double-guitar attack, towering Marshall stacks, and half-punk/half-metal attack reminded me of a cross between Mommy's Little Monster–era Social Distortion and Motörhead (of any era, really). The shit was punchy, spiky, full of snarling attitude, and loud. Really loud, as any good rock-'n'-roll show in a small, divey joint should be. After barely three songs, my two companions literally ran out of the Central, whining about the volume and how their heads hurt. Pussies! I stayed, and was rewarded by a rippin' set by one of the better straight-up rock bands in town. I was deaf for most of the following day, but so what? Real rock 'n' roll isn't for the meek. With Load Levelers, Shivering Denizens. Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack and Watering Hole, 5606 First Ave. S., 762-7900. 9 p.m. NC. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERGJessica Lurie  ~ Friday, March 13On her MySpace page, Seattle-born Jessica Lurie has chosen to classify her music as experimental folk jazz. Listen to her self-released album, Shop of Wild Dreams, and you'll find the combination of descriptors to be correct. Her music ranges from straightforward, melodic tunes like "Number Six" to more experimental stuff—an example of this is "The Usual Things," in which odd guitar sounds provide a backdrop to Lurie'sfree improvisations, which proceed unexpectedly into more approachable pop territory as the song progresses. Sometimes, though, the experimentation goes a little overboard. For instance, on tunes like "Pinjur" and "Circus Rain," the instruments seem to be all over the place, which makes for a confusing listening experience. But it's not all experimental weirdness—"Flying Man," for example, showcases the great chemistry among Lurie, pianist Erik Deutsch, and banjoist Brandon Seabrook. At this homecoming gig, Lurie and drummer Greg Campbell will perform together as multimedia artist Danijel Zezelj creates a painting on the spot—the kind of creative partnership you don't see every day. Gallery 1412, 18th Ave. E., 324-0671. 8 p.m. $5–$15 suggested donation. All ages. ERNEST BARTELDESBOAT, Peter Parker ~ Friday, March 13Hometown heroes BOAT are finally coming into their own after years of steady touring and supporting other regional darlings like Menomena and Blitzen Trapper. There's an endless barrage of clever descriptions you could use to pontificate upon BOAT's sound—the Shins meet The Special Goodness meet Beck, "slop-pop," hand-clapping Wurlitzer-mania—but really, all you need to know is that they're one of the best things happening in Seattle's music scene at the moment. Joining them will be the wondrous little tour de force known as Peter Parker, whose driving, layered vocals set atop roller-coaster basslines will inevitably get pulses racing. Newcomers Connecticut Four find themselves on a very fortunate bill with the aforementioned bands, but their explosive guitar riffs and lead singer Cristina Bautista's Benatar-esque vocals are up for the challenge. Blue Moon Tavern, 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116. 10 p.m. $5. RAECHEL SIMSSimian Mobile Disco ~ Friday, March 13Simian Mobile Disco smacked dance music with a big ol' pop wallop with its debut disc, 2007's Attack Decay Sustain Release. Unapologetically accessible, the British duo tore the rusty roof off the avant-noise that too often dominates electronica, opting instead to take the form back to its warehouse roots—with a little twist. Averaging about three or four minutes apiece, each track on Attack is a compressed time capsule releasing chunks of New Wave, classic hip-hop, and of course layered, well-aimed synths. "I Got This Down" is an Afrika Bambaataa–like boom-box jam sliced up with orchestral ambience—you know, in case you get bored—while "It's the Beat" squeaks and taps with synths slathered over hard, dissonant textures. Head over to YouTube for a taste of SMD's live shows and tracks from the band's upcoming album. With Nordic Soul, Colby B. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. KEVIN CAPPPuerto Plata with Edilio Paredes ~ Saturday, March 14One of the best things about the whole Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon is that it has provided a template for world-music impresarios to pluck masterful, aging players out of regional obscurity and bring them successfully to a huge and affluent audience—without watering their sound down to Westernized, electronicized pap. Indeed, the "authenticity" of these players—their retro aesthetic, their decades of insulation from the corrupting influence of the more-developed world—is a big part of the way they're marketed. Sometimes I get a little cynical about the formula. But not when it helps promote brilliant players like José Manuel Cobles (stage name, Puerto Plata) and Edilio Paredes, two giants of Dominican guitar. Cobles also sings, beautifully. Their sextet, with electric bass and three percussionists, captures a hundred different Latin influences, with music that's danceable, wistful, lascivious, and virtuosic at once. They've been getting new exposure through the efforts of Benjamin de Menil, a Putumayo veteran with a Harvard MBA. His new label, iASO Records, is testimony to the fact that even in the sub-prime economy, keen business skills can be put to positive use. Meany Hall, UW campus, 543-4880. 8 p.m. $33. All ages. MARK D. FEFERHoquiam ~ Saturday, March 14Before heading out on his lengthy spring tour, Damien Jurado is sneaking in one last hometown show with his side-project-of-brotherly-love Hoquiam. With his lanky younger brother Drake, Jurado uses Hoquiam to create songs inspired by their coastal Washington upbringing. Like Mark Lanegan, Jurado has a voice reflective of our vast, gloomy Northwest corner—his natural vocals sound like they're being echoed back from the hollow body of an acoustic guitar.This haunting tone is fitting for his Hoquiam numbers, which tend to be darker and more impressionistic, thanks in no small part to Drake's gray, minimal washes of keyboard (not to mention the fact that he spends his time on stage unsmiling and hiding creepily behind sunglasses). Having recently signed to Secretly Canadian, this intimate all-ages show will make for a nice see-them-before-everyone-else-does experience. And speaking of best-kept secrets, this show also will be a perfect opportunity to show your support for the up-and-coming community of White Center, where cool shit (like a punk-rock ice cream and beer parlor hosting shows such as this one) is becoming more common. Sure, "gritty" is still the adjective locals use to describe it. But remember, they said the same thing about Ballard, so hurry down before all the assholes catch on. Full Tilt Ice Cream, 929 16th Ave. S.W., 767-4811. 8 p.m. NC. All ages. BRIAN J. BARRBrett Dennen ~ Saturday, March 14"This guy is a camp counselor with a guitar" could be criticism of any flash-in-the-pan acoustic axeman to make a splash on adult-contemporary radio. But unlike the long- and short-hairs who ape James Taylor to death, Brett Dennen has an ace in the hole: He really is a camp counselor with a guitar, via the Mosaic Project, a nonprofit targeting kids in California. And he's seemingly content to make a living merely by extending his campfire. There's no hint of delusion that he's penning the next Mud Slide Slim or Tea for the Tillerman. He's just a sandy-haired kid who pens songs kids like to roast s'mores to. With Angus & Julia Stone. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $22.50 adv./$25 DOS. All ages. CHRIS KORNELISVon Iva ~ Monday, March 16Electro-punk trio Von Iva first gained notoriety in the Bay Area for their Suicide Girl pinup-model looks and explosive live performances. They pour whiskey on their fans, gyrate atop speakers, and strut in stilettos, all while playing kick-ass dance music influenced by disco, electronica, and punk. The band's 2008 EP Girls on Film sounds like something the Donnas would record, except rawer and sexier. Von Iva frontwoman Jillian Iva trumps her competition when she throatily sings lyrics like "Reveal your back seat dreams to me/Put your tight skirt on and bend for me." Admittedly, it's hard to distinguish whether Von Iva is a musical or an exhibitionist act. Maybe it's a little of both. With Semi Precious Weapons, the Greatest Hits, The Knast, Creem City, and Sister Hyde. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave., 381-3094. 7 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. All ages. ERIKA HOBART

 
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