The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

The Appleseed Cast/Wednesday, March 10

In 2001, the Kansas quartet The Appleseed Cast made a seminal departure from their hard-driving, heavily distorted sound by releasing an LP in two volumes called Low Level Owl. The albums received unanimously high accolades for their stirring and accessible melodies, tumbling, murmuring vocals, brilliantly on-point drums, and ambient keyboard breaks—all of which, woven together, created a cohesive, hypnotizing, emotionally loaded tapestry of sound. They effectively transformed The Appleseed Cast from another late-'90s post-rock outfit to an instantly likable, even groundbreaking band. Since then, they've undergone some changes in their lineup and released a few solid full-lengths, but none have yet lived up to the prestige of Low Level Owl. Perhaps that's why tonight they'll be revisiting the album, performing both LPs back to back. It's sure to be, in a word, epic. With Dreamend. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Amy Blaschke/Wednesday, March 10

A fixture in the Seattle music scene for ages—via her solo career, her stint in Whalebones, and her moody Night Canopy, a collaboration with former Pretty Girls Make Graves drummer Nick Dewitt—ethereal folk songbird Amy Blaschke packed her bags and left for Los Angeles a couple of years ago. Fortunately, she continues to make music in various guises and configurations, every now and then making it back up to these parts for a gig. We're the better for it, because Blaschke's voice—honeyed and soulful, sometimes commanding and other times translucent—is easy to miss hearing regularly, especially when draped over some rudimentary acoustic guitar or a simple piano melody. With Robin Miller, Wayfinders. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $8. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Kaylee Cole/Wednesday, March 10

Though she's barely three years into her career, Kaylee Cole is poised to become one of the next breakout singer/songwriters from the Northwest. With a phrasing and tone reminiscent of dour chanteuse Chan Marshall, but with an appealing, self-deprecating sense of humor figuring prominently in both her material and stage banter, Cole is currently working on her sophomore release with TV on the Radio's David Sitek. It's a prestigious union that certainly has the potential to put her on the national radar, but ultimately her own compelling, confessional voice is her greatest strength. With Drew Victor, Passenger and Pilot. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $7. HANNAH LEVIN

Sportn' Life Night/Wednesday, March 10

Though the powerfully uplifting Ali'Yah was supposedly D. Black's last record before he devoted himself full-time to spiritual pursuits, it was hands down one of 2009's most significant local releases. And fortunately for fans, the passionate MC and his nimble lyricism are sticking around hip-hop long enough to headline a basement party filled with his Sportn' Life labelmates. Battle-forged rapper Fatal Lucciauno, a fiery MC with commanding stage presence and untouchable swagger, will be on hand. With Spaceman, SK, and Marissa. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 322-9272. 8 p.m. $5. NICK FELDMAN

Efterklang/Thursday, March 11

In keeping with the symphonic-pop trend that's been sweeping indie music for the past half-decade, Danish outfit Efterklang's 2007 release, Parades, is (as its name suggests) a bright, brassy, cheerful treat of a record. Now Efterklang appears to be going for a slightly more ethereal, minimalist sound on new release Magic Chairs. On Parades, the band employed a whopping 10 members to create a sound to rival that of a symphony orchestra (and yes, I mean the original record, not the live recording of the band performing Parades with the Danish Symphony Orchestra), but Magic Chairs sounds as if it could have been made by a different band, so sparse is it by comparison. Live, Efterklang delivers powerful, all-consuming sets that demand your undivided attention; and if you're being noisy, don't be surprised if one of Efterklang's rabid fans—if not a member of the band itself—unceremoniously tells you to shut the fuck up. With Pan Pan. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7:30 p.m. $15 adv./$18 DOS. All ages. SARA BRICKNER

New Found Glory/Thursday, March 11

When Nothing Gold Can Stay was released in 1999, New Found Glory epitomized the pop-punk revolution. With nasally, post-adolescent vocals and a mosh-able beat, songs like "Hit or Miss" became anthems for Hot Topic–goers. Eleven years later, New Found Glory is still recording the same music. 2009's Not Without a Fight has a few more harmonies and some slower tempos than Nothing Gold, but the album is pop-punk to the core. That's where New Found Glory stands apart from the Get Up Kids, a similar-sounding band that captured the hearts and stereos of Generation Y. While the Get Up Kids are now reuniting, playing songs from their 1997 and 1999 albums, New Found Glory is currently on an anniversary tour, playing new songs that just sound like they were written in the '90s. With Saves the Day, Hellogoodbye, Fireworks. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $19.99 adv./$23 DOS. All ages. PAIGE RICHMOND

The Big Pink/Friday, March 12

London electro-rock duo The Big Pink is nothing if not grandiose. Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell made an audaciously comprehensive claim by titling their debut album A Brief History of Love. But unlike many of their predecessors, The Big Pink comes through. Somewhere in the simulated cavern of sound, the record manages to observe the full spectrum of love while avoiding complacency or vain sentimentality. Despite the occasional noise-rock approach, melodies take on engaging nuances that match the enormity of sound. And when they break into the looping, aural synth grooves and driving percussion of lead single "Dominos," just try to convince yourself it didn't belong on your 2009 best-of list. With A Place to Bury Strangers. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $15. NICK FELDMAN

Helladope/Friday, March 12 See B-Sides.

Sandrider/Friday, March 12

For as popular as hardcore metal band Akimbo is, it's a bit strange they don't play out more often. Luckily, fans of the unearthly loud and brutal trio can get a partial fix tonight with Sandrider. Also a trio (Akimbo frontman Jon Weisnewski on guitar, Ruby Doe leader Jesse Roberts on bass, and Akimbo's Nat Damm on drums), Sandrider are opening for former Minuteman bassist and all-around punk-rock icon Mike Watt, currently touring with his latest project, the Missingmen. With Lite. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 9 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. HANNAH LEVIN

The Wooden Birds/Friday, March 12

The Wooden Birds, a quartet led by the long-lived and much-beloved American Analog Set's Andrew Kenny, are proving to be a reliable band. Last year's Magnolia, the band's Barsuk debut, garnered warm reviews and comparisons to Fleetwood Mac. Now a new EP is available free on the band's Web site: Montague Street, a collection of four songs written and recorded by Kenny in Brooklyn when he was just beginning to conceive the band that would become the Wooden Birds. Magnolia and Montague Street are both pleasant and delicate, driven by Kenny's fine, lulling vocals and steady, imperious drum rhythms. The music creates a heady, tranquilizing buzz—an effect that will make a lot of AmAnSet fans happy. With The Clientele, Surf City. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9:30 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Zeke/Friday, March 12

The mythos of all-encompassing evil that surrounds Seattle speed-punk freaks Zeke would lead you to believe they crawl into pentagram-lined coffins at the crack of dawn and quickly say their anti-prayers to Lemmy before the goodness of the sunlight burns them whole. Our boys in black have done little to dissuade this theory. From their legendarily crafted rider that promises an appetite for destruction of proportions so epic it makes Dethklok look like pussies (and releases the band from any and all liability) to their commitment to crafting the fastest, loudest, craziest music south of heaven, Zeke have taken a persona that could easily been perceived as shtick and owned the hell out of it for the last bazillion years. With Supersuckers, the Hollowpoints. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 8 p.m. $13 adv./$15 DOS. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

Martin Taylor/Saturday, March 13

Jazz has produced a long succession of killer guitarists: Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Grant Green, Charlie Byrd, Pat Metheny, and Joe Pass, to name just a few. Yet only a select number have become renowned as solo performers. Martin Taylor sits near the top of that list. Though he's played in too many ensembles to keep track of, including an early stint with Stéphane Grappelli, the British virtuoso is loved primarily for his solo output. Taylor's agile fingers are capable of picking a tune's melody, chord progression, and bass line all at the same time. This sounds awfully technical, but to watch it in person is mesmerizing. It produces a wonderfully rich and textured sound that also flows and breathes with organic warmth. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 p.m. $25.50. JUSTIN F. FARRAR

Laura Veirs/Saturday, March 13 See Q&A.

Rocky Votolato/Saturday, March 13 See feature.

Gomez/Saturday, March 13 & Sunday, March 14

Gomez has evolved over six studio releases, starting with 1998's rootsy, booze-and-blues-fueled debut Bring It On—which set the bar high, winning the Mercury Prize as the UK's best album—but this Southport quintet have always made their bones onstage. There's a natural rapport and easy versatility live, as guitarists Tom Gray, Ian Ball, and Ben Ottewell—notable for his Vedder-esque growl—switch off on lead vocals and share spot-on harmonies. John Lee Hooker was a fan and Al Kooper still is, but blues is a mere touchstone for an eclectic group unafraid to veer off in new directions—like last year's low-key, largely acoustic A New Tide. The band (or various permutations) has made more than a dozen local appearances over the past decade, but rarely at a venue this intimate. With Buddy (Sat., sold out), One EskimO (Sun.). Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $23. MICHAEL MAHONEY

Lisa Dank/Sunday, March 14

Seattle MC Lisa Dank's current popularity has more to do with showmanship than actual musical ability. Her vocal control is hit-or-miss, and some of her songs are ridiculous enough to make you cringe. But what Dank lacks in polish and songwriting chops, she makes up for tenfold in showmanship: outrageous feathered headdresses, Spandex-clad backup dancers, and more references to weed in 40 minutes than there are in the entirety of Half Baked. And moments of true pop musicianship do shine through the cracks in Dank's cabaret-tart veneer and smoke-scarred singing voice. With time, practice, and a much-needed vaporizer, Dank could transform herself into a female answer to Kid Cudi. Even if all that doesn't sound like your bag of sweet-potato chips, it's worth going to see Katie Kate, a young local MC whose flow and smooth delivery take a lesson from her DJ, P. Smoov. With No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Queerbait!. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 8 p.m. $6. SARA BRICKNER

Gabriel Teodros/Monday, March 15

Released last year, Gabriel Teodros' GT's Ethiopium: A Jitter Generation Mixtape is that rarest of albums in the annals of so-called "conscious rap": a sociopolitical treatise that doubles as intimate biography. The Seattle native (who now lives in Brooklyn) is equally comfortable with and adept at rhyming about his Ethiopian heritage or left-wing leanings. Miraculously, he maintains a critical eye on both. His songs never get soggy with misty recollections/explications, as so often happens when MCs have deep convictions but shallow politics. "Question what you believe/'Cause every religion comes with poisonous seeds," he raps on "Sheba," before firing off a cutting critique of his birth country: "I'm from the land where they normalize rape." Fair and balanced reporting never had it so good. With Jennifer Johns, Daisy Chain, DJWD4D. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. All ages. KEVIN CAPP

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba/Tuesday, March 16 See B-Sides.

 
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