The Short List: The Week’s Recommended Shows

Anamanaguchi ~ Thursday, September 3 and Sunday, September 6With their hacked Nintendo Entertainment System consoles and Game Boys belching out squelchy, speedy soundwaves, New York City quartet Anamanaguchi is on the front lines of the 8-bit/chiptune musical movement. But they separate themselves from the pack by incorporating traditional rock instruments as well, creating hyperkinetic art-punk from the collision of guitars and programmed sequences. Think Weezer crossed with the Legend of Zelda soundtrack gone haywire, all accompanied by crazy projected visuals. Using unstable vintage gear live onstage could make the whole thing melt down, but as Anamanaguchi founder Peter Berkman recently told me, "I used to be into punk music, and the whole 'leaving it up to the wind' or whatever—I'm way down with that. If it fucks up, then who cares, we'll play the next song, and if it all fucks up, we'll figure something out." With the Keeper, Leeni, and Mobile Slaughter Unit. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 322-9272. $6. 9 p.m. Thursday. With Freezepop, Ambulance for Angeles, Blunderbear, and Ocean of Algebra. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. $12 adv./$14 DOS. All ages. 8 p.m. Sunday. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERGRyan Bingham and the Dead Horses ~ Thursday, September 3Seattle's folk revival has sparked heated ballyhoo about what exactly makes you country enough to play country music. For some, it seems, if you weren't conceived by George Jones and born on the banks of the Mississippi, you should just stick to rock 'n' roll. Which is kinda laughable, considering that the folks who started this grand debate are Prius-drivin', latte-sippin' Seattleites, and the granddad of this thing we call alt-country, Gram Parsons, was a Floridian orange-juice heir. But there's no shame in craving a little authenticity in your honky-tonk heroes. Growing up the poor and pissed-off son of migrating Southwestern cattle ranchers, Ryan Bingham parlayed his youthful aggressions into bull-riding (which claimed his natural teeth), then music. In person, Bingham is a Converse-wearin' cowboy, a charismatic, gravelly-voiced frontman who exudes potent throw-your-panties-at-the-stage sexiness. He's the same in one-on-one interactions; it'll likely be the only time being called "Ma'am" will ever turn you on. With Jonny Burke. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8:30 p.m. $10 adv.,/$12 DOS. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSARWoods ~ Thursday, September 3Woods makes music that's a little rough around the edges. Some would call it "lo-fi," but that sounds silly, since no one ever called Neil Young lo-fi. Like that scruffy rock legend, the four guys in Woods like it raw. As a result, their music feels intimate and inviting—some would say "human." Built on a wobbly foundation of clattering drums, the songs sound as though they could come crashing down at any moment. Vocalist Jeremy Earl sings in an off-kilter whinny that resembles the creaking of a rusty door hinge, while the guitar work sounds like a cassette recording of Steve Malkmus and J. Mascis jamming to Ragged Glory. With Dungen, Brawley Banks. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $12 adv. BRIAN J. BARRDaniel Johnston ~ Friday, September 4"Fake Records" is an early indication that the forthcoming Is and Always Was is not the usual Daniel Johnston. It could be a great song, offering up a perfect set-piece for music obsessive Johnston, but feels slightly artificial, veering heavily into straightforward, glossily produced rock-record territory, like its own caricature. It's either a very awkward try at a not-at-all awkward song, or a brilliant ploy, poking fun at his subject through the very method of the joke's delivery. Eschewing his usual lo-fi take on fractured pop, Johnston emerges with a fully realized studio album. It takes a bit of getting used to at first, almost like watching your favorite movie in color for the first time. The best moments are revelatory, like the loose, low, buzzing guitar that opens "Mind Movies," which provides the perfect backdrop for Johnston's plain, slightly awkward, lisping delivery. The title track offers spacey strumming as Johnston reels through cosmically charged mutterings, creating a perfect psych-pop piece that follows into "Lost in My Infinite Memory." "Without You" comes across as an homage to '70s pop-rock acts, with riffing piano and intermingling synths. This isn't so much a departure for Johnston as a reimagining, or perhaps a fuller realization of the ideas that were with him all along. As the man himself puts it, "Everyone needs to take their demos and go back to the studio." With the Dead Science. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $18 adv. NICHOLAS HALLWoven Hand ~ Friday, September 4One of the coolest things about Scott Walker is that the dude has actually gotten weirder with age. Most artists, as you surely know, do the exact opposite: As more and more gray sprouts from their scalps, they retreat to the familiar, safe, and comfortable. Another musician who has beaten the odds is David Eugene Edwards. Compare just about any release from his band 16 Horsepower to his more recent work under the moniker Woven Hand. The differences are astounding. The former group more or less specialized in '90s-flavored alt-rock steeped in twang. Woven Hand, meanwhile, is all about Edwards filtering Americana through creepy goth, industrial, art song, Brit folk, ambient weirdness, and even touches of Native American music. So yeah, do not miss this show. Edwards is a true visionary. With the Pill Thief, the Bad Things. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 9 p.m. $12. JUSTIN F. FARRARDavila 666 ~ Saturday, September 5Puerto Rican garage-rock combo Davila 666 plays a fierce...whoa, wait a minute. Garage rock from Puerto Rico? Does that even exist? Indeed it does, and although Davila 666 may be lonely (if not alone) in their stylistic endeavors, the group brings an unbridled ferocity to their recordings—and, more notably, to their explosive live shows, which have quickly developed something of a mythic reputation. With strong melodies and a sense of pop classicism providing a counterweight to their noisy and energetic performances, Davila 666 has been tearing across the U.S. on their current tour, turning curious onlookers into evangelical true believers; their two (yes, two!) Seattle shows this week are more than likely to be barnburners. Not only is the band in the spiritual home of U.S. garage rock, but they're also as far away from their island home as they've been all tour, which means they're gonna be a little tweaked and a little dirty, which are pretty much the fundamental elements of a bruising garage-rock show. With Mannequin Men, Idle Times, the Backward Masks. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $8. JASON FERGUSONBonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal ~ Sunday, September 6Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt has been palling around with Harlem-bred bluesman Taj Mahal since the '60s, their bond solidified by a mutual love of roots music. But this is the pair's first tour together; they'll be co-headlining under the name BonTaj Roulet and will donate a portion of the proceeds to a variety of charitable organizations. Mahal's tunes, which fold African and Latin influences into the blues, should be a lively counterpart to Raitt's sensual melodies and expressive slide guitar; both will play individual sets and then come together for a buoyant finale. At 59, Raitt can still belt out her sentimental ballads ("I Can't Make You Love Me") and upbeat sing-alongs ("Something to Talk About") as beautifully as she has for 40 years. As she's often told her audiences, the blues never go out of style. Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, 425-415-3300. 7 p.m. $49.75–$79.75. E. THOMPSONTelegraph Canyon ~ Tuesday, September 8If Arcade Fire were a little more country and a little less Quebecois, it'd sound like fellow apocalyptic ensemble Telegraph Canyon. These Fort Worth, Texas, natives' banjo- and pedal steel–laced compositions are velvety versions of Americana, laced together by Chris Johnson's strained voice. On "Reels and Wires," from their debut album The Tide and the Current, long stretches of plucked banjo notes are broken by gentle guitar and piano chords. There's a sense of solitude in these songs—a feat for a band that boasts seven members. Telegraph Canyon eschews foot-stomping and rabble-rousing for symphonic, dark melodies—the kind of music that envelops you in sound and keeps you safe and away from the sadness that's all too close for comfort. With Friday Mile, Drew Grow & the Pastors' Wives. Jewelbox, 2322 Second Ave., 441-5823. 7 p.m. PAIGE RICHMONDDr. Lonnie Smith ~ Tuesday, September 8 and Wednesday, September 9A key figure in the rise of the organ in jazz, as well as one of the architects of the soul-jazz sound, "Dr." Lonnie Smith (aka the Turbanator) is something of a jazz anomaly with his staunchly self-taught approach. Smith doesn't read music, so his playing tends to come from a highly individual headspace where personal expression and gut-level energy are favored over rote formula. These days, thanks to younger groups that have latched onto the organ, the style that Smith helped pioneer has become familiar. But Smith remains a voice to be reckoned with. He is known for his assertive approach and colorful personality (the googly eyes, facial expressions, and turban certainly don't hurt), but he also stresses the need to hold back where appropriate. It's not for nothing that Smith refers to the Hammond B-3 as "the monster," and his lyricism and dynamic control demonstrate why, decades after playing with the likes of George Benson, Jack McDuff, David "Fathead" Newman, and Lou Donaldson, he's still considered one of the prime ministers of his instrument. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 p.m. $22.50. All ages. SABY REYES-KULKARNI

 
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