The Short List: This Week’s Recommended Shows

Telepathe ~ Wednesday, June 10

BFFs Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais, aka Telepathe, slip heavy narcotics into their electro-pop concoctions, but take care to sip slowly so that they don't, say, spill the ambience all over the guitars. Their stuff goes down smooth but leaves you woozy. The Brooklyn duo's video for "So Fine," off their full-length Dance Mother, features the girls bobbing along amid a subdued sea of dancers, the perfect visual complement to a track lifted by the siren's-call vocals but grounded by machine-beat timekeeping. (Bonus: There's a Diplo remix.) There's a darkness to their buoyancy that has faint echoes of the Knife's medieval brooding. But Telepathe is definitely having a lot more fun, even if they don't show off. "Lights Go Down" has an improvisational quality, with marching drums doing battle with swirling voices and sound effects, as if Gangnes and Livaudais couldn't determine which would dominate. Not that they needed to: That's what their narcotic reverie is all about. With Nite Jewel, Joey Casio. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 8 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. KEVIN CAPP

Kate Voegele ~ Thursday, June 11

At the tender age of 18, Kate Voegele was performing alongside rock icons like Neil Young and John Mellencamp. And the Cleveland-bred talent collected several awards for her songwriting skills, including first place at the prestigious New York Songwriters Circle back in 2006, before signing with MySpace Records. Since then, Voegele's continued to do what she's best at: making catchy guitar-driven pop songs. On her recently released sophomore album, A Fine Mess, she swings back and forth, singing about both the joys and grievances love brings. Admittedly, the cute-brunette-with-a-guitar shtick is getting a little tired. And Voegele's girly vocals and eager strumming are easy to confuse with those of has-beens like Lisa Loeb and Michelle Branch—remember them? The odds are against her, but here's hoping Voegele sticks around a little longer. With Angel Taylor, Amy Kuney. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 7 p.m. $15 adv. All ages. ERIKA HOBART

Portland Cello Project ~ Thursday, June 11

For the Portland Cello Project, collaboration is the name of the game. Over the past few years, the traveling troupe of Portland cellists have created backing tracks for the Builders and the Butchers, Laura Gibson, Loch Lomond, and pretty much every other buzzed-about band in the Rose City. The PCP writes few completely original tracks; instead, the 10-cello orchestra accompanies other musicians live or on record, sometimes rearranging songs in the process. Lately the ensemble has managed to expand its reach well beyond its eponymous hometown: The PCP signed to Kill Rock Stars last year, and is pairing with Thao with the Get Down Stay Down (and a few other bands) on a new record. The combination has created a totally different sound for lead singer Thao Nguyen: A song like "Tallymarks" is slowed to an almost lilting pace, with Nguyen's sultry vocals checked by the cello's sonic earful. It's proof that 11 heads can be better than one. Triple Door Mainstage, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7:30 p.m. $15 adv./$17 DOS. All ages. PAIGE RICHMOND

Shellac ~ Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12

Fair or not, most everybody who critiques music in any kind of public forum is eventually met with retorts along the lines of "You're probably just bitter because you're a failed songwriter" or "You're not a musician—what qualifies you to talk about music?" Engineer/producer extraordinaire Steve Albini has skewered plenty of deserving bands over the years—both in pieces written for various magazines and in interviews—but he's made himself immune to the aforementioned attacks because of the completely fucking awesome music he's delivered to the world over two-plus decades via his bands Big Black, Rapeman, and, since 1992, Shellac. A dynamic and forceful trio featuring Albini (guitar/vox), fellow recording engineer Bob Weston (bass/vox), and drummer Todd Trainer, Shellac makes a minimalist but exceptionally potent post-hardcore racket with loud, slicing guitars and a gut-punching rhythm section. Clearly, Albini knows what sounds good. No, you don't have to be a kick-ass musician—or a musician at all—to offer your opinion, good or bad, about music. But it helps. With Arcwelder.Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 374-8372. 7:30 p.m. $13. All ages. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Camp Lo ~ Friday, June 12

The Bronx duo Camp Lo's hit single "Luchini," off their 1997 release Uptown Saturday Night, contains within its celebratory bounce and carefree rhymes a potent danceability—and a fucking great hook. "This is it, what?" If you don't remember that call to the clouds off the top, trust me—if they rock that cut tonight, you will. Thankfully, Camp Lo has other tunes to knock, including those from 2002's Let's Do It Again, 2007's Black Hollywood, and this year's Stone and Rob: Caught on Tape, which continues Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede's blaxploitation-style street swagger. There's something at once hard and jokey about Camp Lo, as if they're rapping about people they know and not themselves. In other words, they take their flows seriously, but not necessarily themselves. Just look at their names. With Fatal Lucciauno, Clockwork, Helladope, DJ Sosa, DJ Marc Sense, Vitamin D. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 9:30 p.m. $12 adv. KEVIN CAPP

Noah Gundersen ~ Friday, June 12

If David Bazan had a long-lost little brother—one who also played acoustic guitar and sometimes wondered about his relationship with God and the afterlife—that young man would probably sound something like Noah Gundersen. Hailing from Centralia, he echoes some of the elements that have made Bazan (of Pedro the Lion) one of Seattle's best songwriters: calm, lilting guitar with thought-provoking lyrics sung in a steady voice. On "Middle of June," Gundersen questions the nature of salvation, singing "Peace is a ladder up to the clouds/And I'm wishing I could climb but I don't know how." But Gundersen's a less pensive and solitary musician than Bazan: He tours with his sister, Abby, who plays violin, and other musicians. He's also a more direct songwriter, addressing a song to Jesus, for example, rather than penning a questioning poem about whether Jesus exists. Maybe it's a product of his youth, but Gundersen needs to master the art of nuance. But he's still ahead of the musical game, because his songs are already heartbreakingly beautiful. With Garage Voice, Karli Fairbanks, Tom Rorem. Q Café, 3223 15th Ave. W., 352-2525. 7:30 p.m. $8. All ages. PAIGE RICHMOND

The Hot Toddies ~ Friday, June 12

Oakland's Hot Toddies are so retro, smart, and sexy, you'd think they were Japanese. Where other all-girl rockers, like the Donnas, choose a tough-girl in-your-faceness, the Hot Toddies get under your skin by saying dirty, dirty things simply, with a cavity-inducing sweetness that makes them not only palatable but truly tasty. Take their song "Seattle": In cheeky, barely legal harmonies, and in under two minutes, these ladies manage to rhyme the name of our fair city with the words saddle, paddle, rattle, and straddle. Even though they sound matching-outfit, Doris Day, "Be My Baby" pure, these chickies are pushing a hard-line feminist agenda. Only instead of shoving it down your throat, they let it surprise you, like a half-chewed piece of bubble gum deposited via a long, wet kiss. It's what's in their songs, not their approach, that makes them so punk rock, and not out of place on a bill with Pistol purists like the Queers. With the Queers, the Mansfields, Atom Age. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 7 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. All ages. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

Art Brut ~ Saturday, June 13

Though still best known for the wiseacre 2004 anthem "Formed a Band," there are plenty more barbs and bile in Art Brut's arsenal of wiry English pop. Their recent third album, Art Brut vs. Satan, was produced by Frank Black with an ear toward the lean and throttling. Still, we don't tune in to Art Brut so much for the music as for singer Eddie Argos' loving, rascally tirades, which still worriedly dwell on dwindling youth ("Summer Job," "DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake"). Argos also pens odes to his equally serious drinking ("Mysterious Bruises," "Alcoholics Unanimous") and record collecting ("The Replacements," "Slap Dash for No Cash," "What a Rush"), spouting bumper-sticker revelations as grist for verse and chorus. Along with so many other young UK bands, Art Brut learned from Pulp how to turn seedy nightlife exploits and morning-after ennui into painfully funny, self-deprecating yarns that are also whip-smart and brutally catchy. With Miike Snow. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $13. All ages. DOUG WALLEN

Th' Legendary Shack Shakers ~ Saturday, June 13

Few bands have chosen a moniker more evocative than Th' Legendary Shack Shakers. While the adjective in their name may originally have been wishful thinking, the noun has helped turn that into a self-fulfilling prophecy. As you may have gathered, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers exude honky-tonk. Just being in the same room with the band is enough to transport you to a dive bar on the bad side of Nashville, whiskey in hand, ready for a brawl. For the past eight years, the band has been winning over live audiences while gigging alongside such like-minded acts as Hank Williams III and Southern Culture on the Skids. Their latest album, 2007's Swampblood, is a true-to-form blend of dirty country, renegade blues, murky swamp rock (think CCR gone a bit goth), and gritty, deep-fried punk. Just in case this bathtub-brewed libation is a bit strong for your liking, the Shack Shakers are also pretty competent with a nice Southern ballad, but expect those to serve mainly as counterpoint to their standard raucous, blood-and-booze-fueled sonic rampage. With Eugene Wendell, the Demon Rind. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $13 adv. NICHOLAS HALL

Crystal Antlers ~ Sunday, June 14

If you study the recent history of California underground rock, say the past 15 years, you'll spot these four trends: 1) arty-farty post-hardcore in all its many guises, from Gravity Records to Total Shutdown and the Locust; 2) the hard-psych renaissance spearheaded by Comets on Fire and including megaton jammers Mammatus and Residual Echoes; 3) Zach Hill's freak-rock cottage industry—'nuff said; and 4) vintage lo-fi madness a la No Age and Wavves. Fusing all this stuff into a pan-Californian aesthetic is why Crystal Antlers is wicked sweet. Plus, the Long Beach outfit writes some wonderfully thrashy pop. When you get the chance, sample the anthem "Dust," off Tentacles, the Antlers' debut full-length, released on Touch & Go. Another chestnut is "Andrew." It unloads some really sharp hooks. With I Was a King, Hey Marseilles, the Constantines. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $12 adv. JUSTIN F. FARRAR

Thee Oh Sees ~ Monday, June 15

As if there weren't enough of the Troggs' crushing riffs and junkyard stomp in Thee Oh Sees' new album Help, "Meat Step Lively" features a bout of wavering flute. Yes, just like in "Wild Thing." But that's not to say John Dwyer's ever-shifting San Francisco band—once known as OCS—doesn't put its own surreal stamp on battered garage and bristling psych. Much more loaded with pop melodies and boy-girl harmonies than last year's fierce The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In, Help (In the Red) could almost be cuddly enough to score a crossover hit with folks who don't know the Vivian Girls from the Black Lips. Touring with Jay Reatard won't hurt either. When Reatard's energized legions of fans show up to hear a preview of his upcoming platter Watch Me Fall—due out August 18 on Matador—they may instead get a mouthful of overripe, effects-streaked delirium that easily does its heady forebears proud. With Idle Times. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $12. DOUG WALLEN

PJ Harvey ~ Tuesday, June 16

Perhaps more than anyone in music's modern era, PJ Harvey has challenged not only our standards of beauty but our very definitions of sensuality and power. That she's done so both in musical and nonmusical terms, seemingly without any conscious effort, is a testament to her creative dynamism. By now, no one should be fooled by Harvey's diminutive stature and insistently gloomy expression, as she walks the razor's edge between raw expression and impeccable finesse. Few can pack a punch with as much beauty and sense of craft—and without going overboard. (Tori Amos and Björk, take note!) Almost two decades after "alternative" became a meaningless tag for corporate rock, Harvey continues to embody the term's original spirit, and she stands without peer for her distinct vision. For this stateside run, she appears with longtime collaborator John Parish; on their new duo album A Woman a Man Walked By, Parish provides all the music while Harvey sticks to singing and lyrics. The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 443-1744. 8 p.m. $36.50 adv./$39 DOS. All ages. SABY REYES-KULKARNI

Todd Rundgren ~ Tuesday, June 16

In a remarkable career that stretches back more than 40 years, Todd Rundgren has put his unique stamp on modern music as a singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, video pioneer, multimedia artist, and all-around visionary/innovator, with roots that run deep to the best of 1960s pop and the Philly soul of his hometown. Tonight's set will feature 2008's Arena, but with a back catalog of 30-plus studio albums, the Toddheads (there's no such thing as a casual Rundgren fan) in attendance could hear anything—from the fuzzed-out '60s psychedelia of the Nazz (named for a Yardbirds B-side) to Utopia's '70s prog-rock to an unparalleled solo output that spans four decades and defies categorization. His crack backup band includes jazz legend Charlie Haden's daughter Rachel on bass and two longtime sidemen: Kasim Sulton (guitar/keyboards) and ex-Tubes drummer Prairie Prince. Rundgren turns 61 in six days, but his energy and passion put frontmen one-third his age to shame. He's a familiar face—this is his third Triple Door show in the past 11 months. With Paul Freeman. Triple Door Mainstage, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 8 p.m. $45. MICHAEL MAHONEY

 
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