The Short List: This Week's Recommended Shows

Krishna Das / Wednesday, March 24

Even though Krishna Das is actually a Jewish man from Long Island named Jeff, it must be pointed out that he's done more for Indian music in America than anyone since Ravi Shankar and A.R. Rahman. By merging the richly expressive devotional style of Hindu kirtan chant-singing with easily accessible Western melodic structures, Krishna Das makes the intensity of this spiritual music much more palatable to U.S. audiences. Miraculously, though, his performances and albums manage to skirt the muck of New Age solipsism, instead aiming for something both transcendent and modern. It's far from being strictly authentic, but again: Jewish dude from Long Island. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 682-1414. 7:30 p.m. $33. JASON FERGUSON

The Sweet Dominiques / Wednesday, March 24

The Sweet Dominiques have operated under a number of guises, from a duo to a seven-piece collective of sorts, with surf rock, hushed indie-folk, and jam-band instrumental workouts providing the raw materials. These days, a trimmed-down Dominiques, comprising founding member Joe Sneva in front and Tony Gonzales behind the kit, practice a simpler aesthetic. This streamlined version still carries many of the hallmarks that have defined the band throughout its evolution, but with a directness made possible by such sparse and subdued instrumentation. The elemental nature of its parts seems to have a magnifying effect on the solidity and charm of the music as a whole, creating something that is more than it appears to be. With Exohxo, Kristi Nelson. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $6. NICHOLAS HALL

Jason Collett / Thursday, March 25

Toronto vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jason Collett is a member of Broken Social Scene, but that's not really so special—I'm pretty sure at least half of Canada's population has rotated in and out of that band over the years. What is significant is Collett's solo output since 2001: five albums, including his new Rat a Tat Tat, of savory roots rock, indie folk, and '70s Laurel Canyon singer/songwriter fare that fans of early Josh Rouse, Freedy Johnston, and the Jayhawks can happily latch onto. Collett was a woodworker before his music career took off, and in many ways Rat a Tat Tat reflects that—lovingly constructed with edges sanded smooth, yet still rustic and built to last. With Zeus, Bahamas. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $10. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

The Corner / Friday, March 26 See B-Sides.

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band / Friday, March 26

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band frontman Benjamin Verdoes says that while the band receives frequent offers to perform at fund-raisers, they're particularly excited to play in support of 826 Seattle, the local chapter of the nonprofit youth literacy program founded by Dave Eggers in San Francisco. Verdoes says his 15-year-old brother (and MSHVB's drummer) Marshall has taken classes there in the past; more generally, he says the band will play songs for their upcoming album that's "more geared towards writing and narrative," making the show almost like a writing workshop where new work is debuted for the first time. For a band who seems uninterested in feeding any hype despite considerable buzz last year, their process—and the promise of an elegant result—is quite literary. All proceeds from the concert will go to 826 Seattle. With Apt Eradication, Like Wax Statues. Vera Project, Warren Ave. N. & Republican St., 956-8372. 7:30 p.m. $9. HOLLIS WONG-WEAR

Seattle Rock Orchestra / Friday, March 26 See Rocket Queen.

The Slackers / Friday, March 26

Remember when ska was crazy popular, oh, about 12 years ago? The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were telling people all about the impressions they got, Reel Big Fish was selling out, and Gwen Stefani was still just a girl. That was the third wave of ska, and longtime ska fans—the ones who loved the Wailers and the Skatalites in the '60s—knew that someday this fad, just as 2 Tone did in the late '70s, would pass. They were right; it's been a long time since a ska-punk record sold millions of copies, but reggae- and jazz-influenced contemporaries, like New York's the Slackers, are still around. Since forming in 1991, the Slackers have released 12 albums, toured prolifically, and signed to Hellcat Records. Maybe that's because it takes effort to dislike the Slackers' super-laid-back, rocksteady sound, best showcased on 1997's Redlight. Like a well-tuned classic car, it'll always be in style. With Get Down Moses, Harmonic Superkill, the Whorewoods. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 8 p.m. $15 adv./$17 DOS. All ages. PAIGE RICHMOND

Blue Scholars / Friday & Saturday, March 26–27

Feeling like a scaled-down version of The Program, the five-night hip-hop showcase orchestrated by the Blue Scholars in 2007, the brilliant pair now brings us The Double Feature. Billed as "cinematic music spectacle," the two-night soirée features local talents like Common Market, Macklemore, the Physics, and DV One, as well as New York's Gordon Voidwell and L.A.'s Bambu. But the main attraction is still a rapper/producer duo who seamlessly blend party energy and political fierceness with poetic purpose. The Scholars are equally polished and focused, but it's their spirited honesty that's rightfully placed them at the forefront of Seattle's hip-hop scene and conscious movement. Last year's EP OOF! proved they hadn't lost their fire (or fun), and with a yet-unnamed full-length scheduled for 2010, Sabzi guarantees a new track or two will surface. [See Q&A.] With Common Market, Gordon Voidwell, Bambu, DJ Phatrick, DV One (Friday), Macklemore w/Ryan Lewis, Das Racist, the Physics, DV One (Saturday). Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $16. NICK FELDMAN

The Crocodile's One-Year Anniversary Party / Saturday, March 27

The first year of nearly any new endeavor tends to fly by. This is the case with the reincarnation of the Crocodile, which reopened to great expectations in March 2009 after new owners revived the fallen space. In the months since, there has been much predictable grumbling about the venue's slicker design and inexplicable dearth of punk and harder rock shows, but also some landmark moments that will go down as important pieces of Seattle music history. The spontaneous semi-reunion of "Tadgarden" made international headlines, and the resounding success of Go! Machine was an indisputable benchmark in the growth spurt of the local hip-hop community. Tonight the venue celebrates those accomplishments with Go! Machine mavericks Mad Rad and arty indie-pop darlings Throw Me the Statue and the Globes. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $15. HANNAH LEVIN

Clinton Fearon & The Boogie Brown Band / Saturday, March 27

Before relocating to Seattle in the late '80s, Jamaican-born reggae artist Clinton Fearon spent nearly two decades handling bass and vocals with legendary Kingston outfit the Gladiators and working as a house musician for Lee "Scratch" Perry. Upon arriving in the Northwest, "Basie" continued his dub tradition by forming the six-piece Boogie Brown Band, an experienced brigade of instrumentalists covering strings, brass, and percussion. The prolific Fearon is a reggae icon, and while he may be best known for his infectious bass riffs—hence the nickname—his work with the Boogie Brown Band is proof that his songwriting and vocal abilities are equally strong. With uplifting vibes and danceable melodies, Fearon exhibits the best of roots reggae. With Selecta Raiford. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 9 p.m. $10. NICK FELDMAN

Joan Jett / Saturday, March 27 See Rocket Queen.

Scout Niblett / Saturday, March 27

Judging by the simplest description, British-born Scout Niblett should be much more popular than she is. The stripped-down singer/songwriter lives in Portland and collaborates with producer Steve Albini, who's recorded Pixies, Joanna Newsom, and PJ Harvey. Her 2007 This Fool Can Die Now featured harmonized folk duets with Will Oldham, aka Bonnie Prince Billy. But those details just make Niblett sound like another Cat Power, and don't get to the heart of her music. She deals in alienation, both in her instrumentation (often only drums or a lone guitar) and her lyrics. She's intimate and uninhibited; even Cat Power fans might be uncomfortable hearing a woman banging a drum and singing in a raw, gravelly voice about alchemy and astrology, as Niblett does on January's The Calcination of Scout Niblett. With Holy Sons, Ghost to Falco. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9:30 p.m. $8. PAIGE RICHMOND

Bear In Heaven / Sunday, March 28

We don't automatically associate the Deep South with spacey, synthy rock, but that's exactly what we get from Bear in Heaven, whose five members hail from either Georgia or Alabama. Last year's Beast Rest Forth Mouth is a paradoxical marriage of tension and meandering. Songs like "Wholehearted Mess" combine Jon Philpot's soft-spoken vocals and Joe Stickney's brisk and flashy drumming into a flighty, showy sound. The music is much too grandiose to be arbitrary, though, especially during moments like those on Beast's first single, "Lovesick Teenagers," when the synths are hammering and Philpot, with an undercurrent of urgency, sings, "Lovesick teenagers don't ever die/They will live forever." With High Places, Freelance Whales. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 7 p.m. $10. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Black Tusk / Monday, March 29

Rugged and shouty, the Savannah, Ga., trio Black Tusk is bent on playing metal that plows blindly ahead instead of plodding atmospherically along. Years of demos and other self-released material led the way to 2008's Passage Through Purgatory. A second album, Taste the Sin, due in May, was recorded in a South Carolina studio that's been home to kindred spirits Baroness and Kylesa. Black Tusk bills itself as swamp metal, but there's more an edge of bygone hardcore than anything else in its muscular, unyielding songs. Fresh off a slot at this year's Scion Rock Fest, the band is touring the country as part of a rough-riding bill packed with metal's various derivations. With Weedeater, The Gates of Slumber, Struck by Lightning. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $12. DOUG WALLEN

Think About Life / Monday, March 29

"Havin' My Baby," the best track on this Quebec four-piece's second full-length, Family, effervescently incorporates a sped-up, chipmunk-style clip of Wham!'s "Everything She Wants" over frenetic keyboards, while "Johanna" opens with a groovy flute-solo sample before breaking into big-band horns. It's a lot to take in. But Think About Life adroitly ties it all together with their own throbbing bass solos, descanting vocals, poetically spirited lyrics (on "Sweet Sixteen," they sing "Oh in the summer nights dancing in the gay clubs/All the magic was brewing, we slept late every day/You're the pearl in my heart, the golden seashell in my dreams"), and some fantastic four-on-the-floor beats. I doubt there'll be a better dance party at the Crocodile this year. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $12. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Black Breath / Tuesday, March 30

There aren't many Northwest metal bands poised quite so naturally for national success as the men of Black Breath, who first began making a dark racket out of Bellingham in 2005. Though still a relatively young band, diligent touring and a stunning EP (Razor to Oblivion, released on their own Hot Mass Records) that seamlessly fuses blistering hardcore to the curves of classic metal quickly earned them a fleet of underground fans and a sweetheart deal with one of the most prestigious labels in their genre. Southern Lord Records picked up distribution of the EP, and today releases the band's full-length, Heavy Breathing. The band embarks on an epic tour with Converge next month, so today's in-store at Easy Street is going to be one of your last chances to catch them in a smaller setting. Easy Street Records, 20 Mercer St., 691-3279. 6 p.m. Free. All ages. HANNAH LEVIN

Titus Andronicus / Tuesday, March 30 See B-Sides.

Tobacco / Tuesday, March 30

Sheathed in a crackling vocoder, Tobacco is the musical persona of Black Moth Super Rainbow leader Tom Fec. As if that electro-psych troupe wasn't trippy enough, Tobacco adds the snap of underground rap to his solo work. 2008's Fucked Up Friends featured Aesop Rock as a guest, while his second release, May's Maniac Meat, has Beck rapping on two tracks. Otherwise, Maniac Meat represents an evolution of the subtlest kind, with Tobacco's fondness for mossy synths, bleary effects, and evocative song titles very much intact. There's even a pop pulse to the opening "Constellation Dirtbike Head," despite its creepy refrain of "Don't eat the berries around you." The songs are weird and brief, like flickers of communication from another galaxy. With The Hood Internet, Dead Noise. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $10. DOUG WALLEN

 
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