The Short List: This Week’s Recommended Shows

Greg Ashley ~ Wednesday, November 25As album titles go, Greg Ashley's Medicine Fuck Dream (2003) is about as symbiotic with the music as it gets. His other albums include 2007's Painted Garden, but Medicine Fuck Dream truly sums up his musical aesthetic. Heavy on swirling, languorous atmospherics, Ashley's songs are warm, fuzzy, fucked-up psych with a pop mentality. His vocals are like John Lennon soaked in NyQuil and his arrangements are loose and meandering. Listening to his albums, one imagines him wandering about his analog studio in Oakland, all disheveled and drugged-up like Skip Spence. Only Ashley is much more responsible and sane in real life. He actually rents out that studio and produces records there. Matter of fact, he did just that for tonight's headliner The Dutchess & the Duke and their latest, Sunset/Sunrise. With Michael Vermillion. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9:30 p.m. $12. BRIAN J. BARRJaguar Love ~ Wednesday, November 25Wrought from the ashes of the Blood Brothers by Cody Votolato and Johnny Whitney, Jaguar Love first employed ex-Pretty Girls Make Graves guitarist Jay Clark as well. The Portland outfit has since scaled back to a two-man core, and in the wake of last year's self-titled EP and album Take Me to the Sea on Matador, signed to Fat Possum. In advance of next year's John Goodmanson–helmed second album—titled Hologram Jams, according to Goodmanson's site—the band is giving away the track "Up All Night" at takebacktheradworld.com. It's a real corker, all throbbing dance beat, flitting synths, and bratty refrain. It's also a sort of throwback to the Faint's glory days, breaking down New Wave and rebuilding it with left-field aplomb. Make no mistake: Whitney's gender-bending, high-wire vocals will make many listeners bristle, but Jaguar Love knows how to have fun without dumbing things down. Sole Repair, 1001 E. Pike St., 979-7467. 8 p.m. DOUG WALLENVince Mira ~ Wednesday, November 25By the time teen twanger Vince Mira is of legal voting age, he will have recorded with the son of a country legend, collaborated with a member of Pearl Jam, toured the country's major festival circuit, and headlined at venues most artists hope to play after spending years building up their careers. With a face as young as his voice's soul is old, Vince Mira's genuine nature and mature stage presence aid in walking the precarious tightrope that is his own novelty. And though his music may be retro, Mira seems to be thinking of the future and his later career when he is no longer the "kid who sounds like Johnny Cash." Smart moves, like his collaboration with Stone Gossard on a Hank Williams tribute and his continued study of musical history (which has led to his current obsession with the catalog of Bob Dylan), suggest that as one's musical process should be at 17, his is still undergoinginteresting evolution. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7 (all ages) & 10 p.m. $30 adv./$32 DOS. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSARD.R.I. ~ Friday, November 27Sure, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles haven't played in five years and haven't put out a proper studio album in nearly 15, but the legendary thrashcore outfit had been able to maintain its explosive vigor well into the new millennium until cancer temporarily sidelined guitarist Spike Cassidy. Widely recognized as one of the first bands to bridge the gap between hardcore and thrash (an artistic decision that in the '80s often came at considerable risk to life and limb), D.R.I. was certainly one of the most proficient, not to mention clever, at forging a cohesive fusion. If mixing punk and metal seems as natural now as dipping chocolate in peanut butter, it's because of trailblazers like D.R.I. Ironically enough, the Houston–via–San Francisco band's 1989 classic, Thrash Zone, still stands as one of the all-time definitive thrash statements. Much like the Ramones before it, D.R.I. was able to deliver catchy hooks at unprecedented speeds, and few (if any) can touch the band's ability to wring song after song from essentially one basic formula. Other like-minded bands quickly exhausted their creative potential; D.R.I.'s still sounds strangely limitless. With Black Breath, Countdown to Armageddon, Deathraid, Odd Rule. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 8 p.m. $15. SABY REYES-KULKARNIWanda Jackson ~ Friday, November 27The recent news that country/rockabilly icon Wanda Jackson was going to be working with Jack White on her next album brought a quick "Woo-hoo!"(quickly followed by a more Wanda-appropriate "Hot dog!") from many quarters. The album White made with country icon Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose, was excellent, mainly because of Lynn's still-formidable songwriting skills and the fact that she needed few if any reminders of how awesome she was and is. Jackson is, unbelievably, an even more confident performer than the coal miner's daughter, having grown from "just a country singer" whom Elvis Presley happened to go gaga for into a "Fujiyama Mama"–belting powerhouse in the blink of a mid-'50s eye. That swagger has carried the singer through the past few decades, and even though the First Lady of Rockabilly is old enough to be your grandma, odds are your grandma doesn't put on concerts half as invigorating and life-affirming as this 72-year-old does. With Marshall Scott Warner, Petunia & the Vipers. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $18. JASON FERGUSONJesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter ~ Saturday, November 28Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter are wisely restrained when it comes to booking local shows. With only a handful of opportunities to catch them conjuring their magic each year, tonight's performance is truly an event. For their last show of the decade, they'll be unveiling several new songs from the stunning new album they've been writing and recording this summer and fall. Working with darkly atmospheric producer Mell Dettmer (Sunn O))), Boris) was a brilliant plan; the rough mixes I've heard sound like the best work they've done since their 2002 debut, Reckless Burning. Sykes' voice sounds naturally warm and guitarist Phil Wandscher is clearly operating at the top of his game. Throw the mournful—occasionally epic—rollicking of the Moondoggies into the mix, and you have an ideal double bill. With Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $14. All ages. HANNAH LEVINMorrissey ~ Sunday, November 29LONDON — After a series of mishaps at recent concerts in the United Kingdom (including an onstage collapse and subsequent hospitalization in Swindon due to respiratory problems, and the abrupt cancellation of a Liverpool performance after he was hit in the head by a beverage thrown from the audience), singer Morrissey says his outlook on life has changed. "I used to be so cheerful, so happy-go-lucky, a firm believer in the power of love and the goodness and decency of my fellow man," says the ex-Smiths frontman, currently touring behind a new B-sides compilation, Swords. "But now I'm just so dour and cynical and wry and morose and, quite frankly, difficult to be around. I've become more guarded, more private. I've even stopped eating meat. Before all this happened, I would sing 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' just for laughs, but gosh, now I really feel that way." Morrissey adds that he fears a backlash from his fan base. "Before you know it, they'll be rushing onstage to tackle me, or tearing my shirts to bits if I throw them out into the crowd." Paramount Theatre, 911 E. Pine St., 683-1414. 7:30 p.m. $52–$72. All ages. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERGCold Cave ~ Monday, November 30Philadelphia singer and musician (and poet and owner of the independent publishing company Heartworm Press) Wes Eisold used to be quite the punk rocker, playing in numerous notable hardcore and noise bands including Give Up the Ghost, American Nightmare, and Some Girls. A couple of years ago, however, he left all that behind, started experimenting with synthesizers and drum machines, and eventually founded Cold Cave, which merges New Order–style synth-pop with a moody, icy post-punk aesthetic for a sound that's both dark and danceable. Recently, Eisold's one-man operation swelled to a quartet with the addition of Caralee McElroy (ex–Xiu Xiu), Dominick Fernow, and Sarah Lipstate. Cold Cave was also signed by Matador Records, which just re-issued the group's LP Love Comes Close, an album that's generated some rather hardcore—and well-deserved—buzz. With Former Ghosts. Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 956-8372. 7:30 p.m. $9. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERGSimian Mobile Disco ~ Monday, November 30James Ford and Jas Shaw of Simian Mobile Disco, the most vaunted British DJ team extraordinaire this side of the Chemical Brothers, made it their mission to bring house music to the masses, beyond the constrained rave scene and European discothèques. SMD's sophomore album, Temporary Pleasure, is all about the hooks—inescapable melodies we can all get down to. Tracks like "Synthesise," with its hollow vocals, skittering synth, and thump-thump-thump basslines, still epitomize house, but Pleasure's broader appeal lies in its impressive array of guest stars. The current single, "Audacity of Huge," is a fierce, pop-culture-loving, name-dropping smash, featuring sharp vocals from Brooklyn's Chris Keating ("I got that Bob Fosse/I got that Joey Ramone/A bag of Bill Murray/Damien Hirst telephone.") But the album's biggest success has to be the disco-driven "Cruel Intentions"—it's polished, it's foxy, and it makes guest vocalist Beth Ditto sound sexier than usual. With JDH, dave p, and colby b. Neumos, 925 Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $18.50 adv. E. THOMPSONJapandroids ~ Tuesday, December 1If playing drunken house shows were a lucrative enterprise, Vancouver duo Japandroids would quickly corner the market. Unfortunately, fun as it is to play in crowded, sweaty party houses, it can't sustain a career. But Brian King and David Prowse of Japandroids succeed in bringing the feel of a house show to your local venue. Their shows are all about the energy level—shouts, grunts, and other moments of ecstasy match their surging, tumultuous music. The songs from this year's Post-Nothing contain catchy guitar riffs and the occasional deft verse; it's nothing that will blow your mind on the basis of sheer musicianship or lyrical prowess, but in true punk spirit, it's more about the cacophony of it all. King's onstage theatrics can border on absurdity (he's been known to set a fan in front of his mike stand that blows his hair back throughout the show), but once the house is packed and the noise starts, you'll be ready to drink away any apprehensions you have about sloppy punk rock. With Surfer Blood. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. All ages. E. THOMPSON

 
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