The Short List: The Week’s Recommended Shows

Grand Hallway ~ Thursday, September 17Grand Hallway frontman Tomo Nakayama's warm, whimsical ditties about honeybees ("Blessed Be, Honeybee"), walking in the rain ("Raindrops [Matsuri]"), and girls with golden hair ("Elinor With the Golden Hair [Tsukimi]") would be lovely even if he performed them all on his own, but it's the symphonic accompaniments that keep his light, airy songs from hitching a ride on his feathery voice and floating away altogether. Shenandoah Davis' bright, operatic warble is a perfect complement to Nakayama's reedy, tremulous tenor, but it's the instrumentals—provided by Davis, Nakayama, and six other well-seasoned musicians who employ (at different intervals) two violins, accordion, pedal steel, multiple guitars, keyboard, bass, and percussion—that lend the songs on Promenade, the band's second full-length, much of their dramatic weight. Best of all, Seattle Rock Orchestra will accompany the band at this show, which is sure to amplify Grand Hallway's sonic impact a hundredfold. With the Maldives. Great Hall at Fremont Abbey Arts Center, 4272 Fremont Ave. N. 8 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. All ages. SARA BRICKNERPacific Pride ~ Thursday, September 17Denver indie combo Pacific Pride have a deep and wide river of influences that's fed by everyone from Pavement to Pollard... OK, maybe that river's not all that deep after all. Nonetheless, the vocals of Paul Garcia do a lot to separate the band's sound from that of other noise-pop outfits; his lolling, dry singing style is half disinterested observer, half emotional wreck. Combined with the band's tendency to write songs that refract its more obvious American tastes through a prism of odd-pop icons like the Kinks and the Clean, the result is a sound that channels the clattering, energetic velocity of classic indie rock with a touch of cerebral catchiness that warrants more than a second glance. With Broken Chairs, Jaguar Paw, Hair Vest. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $5. JASON FERGUSONJohn Vanderslice ~ Thursday, September 17Among that certain cadre of orchestral-pop troubadours—Leonard Cohen descendants like Rufus Wainwright, Tom Waits, DeVotchKa's Nick Urata, sometimes Billy Bragg—John Vanderslice stands out by sounding the most like all the others combined. In these Depression 2.0 times, that may seem like a bargain—like hearing a half-dozen singer-songwriters for the price of one!—but let's not be quite so cynical. Vanderslice isn't a pop composite as much as a musical Zelig, having rubbed shoulders in recording studios and onstage with the likes of Death Cab, Spoon, Okkervil River, the Mountain Goats, and Sufjan Stevens. That he remains relatively under the radar means that the lush arrangements and striking lyrics on his latest album, Romanian Names, can be enjoyed in a more intimate setting alongside fans who, like you, are in it for the music. With Pink Mountaintops and Mimicking Birds. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-5611. 8 p.m. $14 adv. ROSE MARTELLIMcCoy Tyner ~ Thursday, September 17 through Sunday, September 20When that heavy left hand hits the piano, you know it's the sound of McCoy Tyner (or at least someone ripping him off). His signature dramatic low-end thwacks and thuds combined with his disjointed right-hand technique made him a perfect foil for the great John Coltrane, and thus an inspiration to basically every jazz pianist who's ever lived and ever will. But his post-Trane career has been just as exciting, if not more so—at four decades and counting, Tyner is a towering example of how innovative one can be within their own style. His recent Guitars was a collaborative effort with jazz six-stringers such as Bill Frisell and Marc Ribot. Never mind that it was a spotty collection—it was simply notable as being yet another offering from a (now-) 70-year-old legend who refuses to let his music go stale. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 p.m. Thurs. & Sun., 8 & 10 p.m. Fri.–Sat. $28.50. All ages. BRIAN J. BARRBlack Whales (CD release) ~ Friday, September 18Black Whales' upcoming EP, Origins, is a hybrid of two musical styles that have been dominating Seattle's music scene lately: folk and straight-ahead pop. The best demonstration of this is the song "Young Blood," a peppy little number that's not only the EP's best track, but a hint as to where the band's sound might be headed, as it's the only song on the EP to feature the newest Black Whale, organist Mike Bayer. The band hasn't even been together two years yet, but it's already played every Seattle music festival of note—Bumbershoot, Georgetown, REVERB, the Capitol Hill Block Party—and if its debut full-length improves upon the promise of Origins, Black Whales is well poised to become Mt. Fuji Records' biggest band. With Bobby Bare., Jr., All Smiles. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave N.W. 789-3599. 9 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. SARA BRICKNERDirty Three ~ Friday, September 18This instrumental trio—guitarist Mick Turner, violinist Warren Ellis, and drummer Jim White—makes a distinctive racket that merges ancient folk melodies and textures with moody noir-rock, free jazz, and noise, although sometimes they allow their tunes to breathe quietly and gently, too. Its Australian-born members are plenty notable for other pursuits: Ellis has played with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for well over a decade (and in Cave's spinoff band, Grinderman); Turner and White have been in numerous Aussie punk bands and have recorded and toured with the likes of PJ Harvey, Cat Power, Will Oldham, and Smog. Occasionally in Dirty Three's compositions you'll hear bits reminiscent of those artists, which only serves to illustrate the crucial role the three play in the architecture of that other music. And when the trio comes together, the result is somehow greater than the sum of its already impressive parts. With Chris Brokaw. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-5611. 8 p.m. $15 adv. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERGThe Love Language ~ Friday, September 18By playing one-man band on the Love Language's self-titled debut, Stuart McLamb proves his multitasking prowess. The seven-piece ensemble he's assembled for touring, meanwhile, conveys the album's bold breadth. Each of the album's nine songs is ultra-catchy, and a bit like the Arcade Fire taking flight with a wounded wing: shambling and erratic, yet swooping ever skyward. McLamb floods everything with reverb and has fun with lyrics, addressing female characters by name early on, then singing with equally frazzled feeling about the Chesapeake Bay and Providence. There's a seedy coolness to the funk guitar of "Sparxxx" that carries over into "Night Dogs," which cites "wine flights and cheap champagne" with relish. While it's miraculous what the Chapel Hill, N.C.–based McLamb can do on his own, the touring edition of the Love Language should be even more stunning. Just one question: Exactly why aren't they signed to Merge? With Slow Skate, the Moore Brothers, Moneybrother. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $8. DOUG WALLENPretty & Nice ~ Friday, September 18Although bestknown for artists like the Moondoggies and the Dutchess and the Duke, which have garnered national attention for moody folk-rock, Seattle label Hardly Art (see article, page 65) has a brighter, poppier side too. The Sub Pop stepchild's date to the new-wave, pop-punk prom is Boston's Pretty & Nice: core duo Jeremy Mendicino and Holden Lewis plus a rotating cast of colorful sidemen plucked from the Beantown indie scene. The band's sound is tight, crisp, and laden with British influences; its latest effort, Get Young, is a sonic street fight between the La's, the Jam, and a pre-13 Blur that will have fans of roughed-up, perky melodies jonesin' for more. With the Get Up Kids, Youth Group. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 7 p.m. $21 adv. All ages. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSARTitus Andronicus ~ Friday, September 18Titus Andronicus is the title of one of Shakespeare's most gratuitously gruesome works, based almost entirely around a bloody cycle of revenge that begets more revenge. It's also the name of a dramatic, hedonistic punk band from New Jersey that has flown under Seattle's radar for far too long. Its most recent show at the Funhouse was sparsely attended, but those who caught it were rewarded with a rowdy, rousing performance that sounded and felt like a rumble between the Pogues and Arcade Fire. The Airing of Grievances is a messy, impassioned sprawl of tragic comedy distilled into ferociously catchy songs that sink their hooks into your heart. There's no more perfect show this week to get you warmed up for Monotonix on Saturday. With the So So Glows, Flexions. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m., $7. HANNAH LEVINBeach House ~ Sunday, September 20The sound of Beach House is the sound of someone else's memories—like a waking dream in which you find yourself moving through empty rooms, with a phonograph humming somberly and the ghosts of half-forgotten histories, always just behind the next door, serenading you.Much of that is owed to Victoria Legrand's gauzy vocals: hushed whispers layered, a striking effect at once full and powerful and wholly insubstantial, like a statue made of tissue paper. Echoes are poured on liberally; everything she sings sounds as if it's coming from the far end of a curving tunnel, with Legrand herself always just out of sight, but always beckoning you to follow. Alex Scally wraps everything in a woozy swirl of organs, guitars, and tape loops. Though the eddies and swells tug at the edges and occasionally wash over the vocals, they never threaten to submerge Legrand, instead working to usher her voice gently to shore, to wash up like so much driftwood on the dunes of a seaside retreat that hasn't been occupied in years, yet which still bears the ineradicable mark of lives and loves that yearn for a voice. Beach House gives them that. With Avi Buffalo. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $12 adv. NICHOLAS HALLTeam Dresch ~ Sunday, September 20There are certain records one can throw on for virgin listeners and know with unequivocal certainty that the music is going to change their lives for the better. Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea comes to mind, as does Led Zeppelin II and Fugazi's Red Medicine. The 1994 debut by Portland-based band Team Dresch belongs in the same category. Personal Best clocked in at a mere 24 minutes, but it single-handedly raised the bar sky-high not only for the then-burgeoning riot grrl and queercore movements, but for punk rock in general. As incisively melodic and wise as they are blisteringly heavy and innovative, those 10 songs remain as powerful as ever; that Donna Dresch, Kaia Wilson, Jody Bleyle, and Melissa York still periodically show up on Northwest stages is a rare and precious gift. Go to this show with someone who loves the Clash and PJ Harvey as much as you do, and you're guaranteed a magical evening. With Erase Errata, Telepathic Liberation Army, DJ Dewey Decimal. Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 374-8372. 7:30 p.m. $12. All ages. HANNAH LEVINManic Street Preachers ~ Monday, September 21In early 1995, a few months after his Welsh band released its third and (up to then) best album The Holy Bible, Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards disappeared; his car was found abandoned near a bridge notorious as a suicide spot. The Manics continued as a trio with singer-guitarist James Dean Bradfield and bassist Nicky Wire at the helm, and steadily moved away from the searing glam rock and post-punk that had characterized its earliest recordings, falling in with the Oasis-led Britpop scene as its music went from acerbic to anthemic. Last year, Edwards was officially declared dead, and the trio finally felt OK about using a batch of lyrics their vanished mate had left behind on their new album Journal for Plague Lovers. Fittingly, the music they wrapped around his words sounds as urgent, raw, and emotionally roiling as Richey-era Manics. For the band, the experience may have provided some closure; for fans, it opens an exhilarating new chapter in the band's sonic history. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m., $19 adv. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

 
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