The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

Buzzcocks / Wednesday, June 2

33 (and a third) years after their debut EP Spiral Scratch, the UK's first self-released punk record, Manchester's Buzzcocks remain influential and even relevant as the writing/vocals/guitars core of Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle push into their mid-50s. Tonight, rewind to 1978 for their first two albums, Another Music in a Different Kitchen and Love Bites, in their entirety. The relative innocence of their hooky, hurtling (half of the two discs' 22 tracks clock in under three minutes) pop-punk is a refreshing counterpoint to the nihilism of their inspiration, the Sex Pistols, and Shelley's fey bisexuality lends the lyrics a dimension beyond the usual boy-meets- (and loses) girl. With the Dollyrots, Images. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 7 p.m. $18.50 adv./$20 DOS. All ages. MICHAEL MAHONEY

Maxwell & Jill Scott / Wednesday, June 2

Drawing on his most recent chart-topping release BLACKsummers'night as well as 1996's multi-platinum Urban Hang Suite, the Brooklyn-born Maxwell's silky vocal stylings ponder love and emotional connection in a boldly deep and complex way. His co-headliner, Jill Scott, is more than capable of drawing her own crowd; known for a wise and honest perspective, not to mention vividly descriptive flourishes, her fourth release The Light of the Sun (due out later this year) promises to be a further cementing of Scott's role as neo-soul queen. Between the two Grammy-winning pioneers and their balance of baby-making grooves and intellectual poetics, it's an R&B lover's dream. With Guy Torry. KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 684-7200. 7 p.m. $39.50–$150. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

Bane / Thursday, June 3

To still be a hardcore punk musician these days takes dedication. It's been close to a decade since bands like AFI or H20 were signing major-label deals or getting mainstream attention. But none of this seems to matter to Massachusetts-based Bane, making fist-pumping, hard-driving punk since 1995 and showing no signs of slowing. Aaron Dalbec and company tour this summer to celebrate their latest EP. And unlike Rise Against's music, Bane's still sounds pretty much like it did 15 years ago: breakdowns, heavy guitars, and shouted lyrics about living straight-edge. Bane may be grown up, but they're still teenagers at heart. With Strike Anywhere, Touche Amore, Lowtalker. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 7 p.m. $13. All ages. PAIGE RICHMOND

Deadstring Brothers / Thursday, June 3

The Deadstring Brothers are commonly tagged as alt-country and/or Americana. This makes not a lick of sense. I'm spinning the Bros' new album Sao Paulo right this second; what I'm hearing is a band well-versed in denim-clad classic rock. We're talking vintage boogie laced with piano, organ, and slide guitar; with touches of pedal steel and heartfelt choruses steeped in gospel, blues, and whiskey. These last two elements do lend the music a countryish flavor. But it's not as if rock-and-roll tradition has no claim on them. If Sao Paulo really is alt-country, then so are Exile on Main St., the Black Crowes, a lot of Aerosmith's early jams, and hell, even Cinderella's Heartbreak Station. With Betsy Olson, Lizzie Huffman & Her Brother Band. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $8. JUSTIN F. FARRAR

Good Old War / Friday, June 4  See preview.

Mother and Father / Friday, June 4

The Australian trio Mother and Father makes no secret of its Nirvana worship. It's embedded in the DNA of every song on the band's brashly tuneful debut Nothin'. There's a bit more punk to their curt anthems, and frontman Greg Kerslake's ragged vocals recall the Replacements. Mother and Father succeed by keeping things simple—introducing an immediate hook, smothering it in fuzzy volume, and wailing away at it for just a few minutes at a time. The band's debut U.S. tour will provide a chance to play Nirvana's hometown as well as record a second album and 7-inch with Nirvana engineer Jack Endino himself. With Sleep Capsule, Mopper. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $6. DOUG WALLEN

Zepparella / Friday, June 4

There are approximately 2,749 Led Zeppelin tribute bands plying their trade in small clubs around the globe. One notable subset is the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band. The East Coast has Lez Zeppelin, and the West has Zepparella, a foxy and ferocious foursome from San Francisco. Ol' Robert Plant can't hit too many of his notes anymore, but Zepparella's powerhouse frontwoman Anna Kristina certainly can, and the rest of the band brings skill and smarts to all those famous riffs and rhythms. Granted, Seattle ultimately prefers to hear Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson throw down on some classic Zeppelin tunes, but Zepparella is the next best thing. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 7 & 11 p.m. $12 adv./$15 DOS/$20 both shows. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Crash Test Dummies / Saturday, June 5

What's the difference between Crash Test Dummies and The National? Let's start with the obvious: Crash Test Dummies measure albums sold in the mid-millions. The National have yet to go gold (500,000 units) with any of their records. The National are the cool kids from Brooklyn, deep-throated by critics and embraced by the indie ghetto. Crash Test Dummies are a one-hit-wonder punchline who just released Oooh La La!, their first album in six years. But go back and take a listen to the Dummies' once-ubiquitous "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" or its predecessor, "Superman's Song"; then listen to The National's "Racing Like a Pro" and try to convince yourself you're not listening to an aural doppelgänger. There is indeed something comforting about a well-placed baritone. So let me tell you a story: "Once there was this boy who..." Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 8 p.m. $25. All ages. CHRIS KORNELIS

Glitch Mob / Saturday, June 5  See preview.

Jack the Ripper / Saturday, June 5

While debut records were once upon a time meant to prove depth and expertise, a recent trend sees artists using them to showcase range across varying sounds. Jack the Ripper will admit he had that goal from the beginning for his debut LP Don't Look Back. While some might nitpick at the album's lack of consistency, its strength is its eclecticism and ability to bounce from braggadocio-laden synth hooks to rawer hip-hop. And with an array of the town's finest MCs, including Grynch, Sol, Khingz, and Spaceman, all of whom will be performing their contributions, Jack's release party promises a taste of the best Seattle hip-hop has to offer. With Grynch, Spaceman, Sol, Khingz, Rockwell Powers, Hill-B. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 9 p.m. $5. NICK FELDMAN

The Sadies / Saturday, June 5

It's a shame that Toronto's the Sadies are best known for their collaborations with other artists. Except for Country Club, a 2009 album the band recorded with former X frontman John Doe, and The Tigers Have Spoken, which they recorded with Neko Case in 2004, a Sadies record has never managed to make a single Billboard chart. But the Sadies have been releasing solid country-rock records for well over a decade. The latest in that catalog, Darker Circles, invokes the band's faint but unmistakable metal influences, as well as the bluegrass with which founding members Travis and Dallas Good grew up. With any luck, Darker Circles will be the album that finally shows the world that the Sadies don't need famous collaborators to make fantastic records. With Kurt Vile. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 9 p.m. $15. SARA BRICKNER

Delorean / Sunday, June 6

Looking for 2010's Merriweather Post Pavilion? The Barcelona synth-pop quartet Delorean produces the kind of modern, rapturous electronic music that's sure to merit a bit of "Spanish Animal Collective" chatter. The band's ravishing third record, Subiza, is a marvelously textured collection of the echoing, diced vocals, easy beats, and loping rhythms that define the Balearic Beat style of dance music. The record's gorgeous opening track, "Stay Close," with its soulful vocal samples and bright synths, especially evokes the summertime beach parties that fan Justin Timberlake calls "the musical equivalent of a wild euphoric night in Barcelona." And he would know. With Teengirl Fantasy, Big Spider's Back. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 8 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Sting / Sunday, June 6

For aging rock stars looking for approval from their also-aging fans, an orchestral gig is a great way to go. Of course, Sting's entire career has been on a trajectory toward shows just like this, full of pomp and circumstance, oozing seriousness. Through the years, Sting's work has shaded out a lot of what brought him fame with the Police, favoring mellower arrangements and a sort of sonic austerity. Still, that Sting has managed to balance his clear desire to be taken seriously with an equally clear talent for pop songcraft is likely the defining element of his career. This is a rare chance to see those forces balanced as perfectly as possible. Featuring the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. White River Amphitheater, 40601 Auburn Enumclaw Rd., Auburn, 360-825-6200. 8 p.m. $34.50–$157. All ages. NICHOLAS HALL

Rubik / Monday, June 7

While they claim to hail from Helsinki, my theory is that Rubik is actually from space. Hear me out: I believe aliens have spent years studying our "indie rock" and have finally come up with a scientifically perfect band. 2009's Dada Bandits plays like a mixtape of stadium-ready anthems, melancholy mope-fests, goosebump-inducing orchestral pop songs, and inescapably catchy hooks in the most unexpected places. Rubik attacks the dynamics of their songs to expand (pulling all the breath out of the room in the quietest moments) and contract (in explosive, uncontrolled layers of melody) in a stunning cacophony. If there's something Rubik doesn't do well, they haven't found it yet. See? Totally perfect. Thanks a jillion, aliens. With mewithoutyou. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 8 p.m. $14 adv./$16 DOS. All ages. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Woods / Monday, June 7

On their fifth release, At Echo Lake, Brooklyn psychedelic folksters Woods continue their joyous study of the art of stylistic juxtaposition. Not content to let their pretty tunes stand alone, frontman/founder Jeremy Earl and company always throw an unexpected curve ball listeners' way. A single electric guitar line suddenly wails over what was a clean, acoustic melody. Loops and samples infiltrate tracks of simplistic classic folk like an audio representation of the lives of its creators: kids making seemingly traditional American music while living in the heart of Bushwick. With the Art Museums, the Samples. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

Ken Stringfellow / Tuesday, June 8

Ken Stringfellow's surprisingly sweet and boyish tenor has landed him work with R.E.M., The Minus 5, the second incarnation of Big Star, and, of course, the Posies, of which he was a founding member. And Stringfellow's spent the past few months touring Europe with both the Posies and his newest project, Norwegian garage-rock quartet the Disciplines. But amid all his globetrotting, Stringfellow's making time to stop by little old Fremont to play an acoustic set at the 61st Round, where perhaps he'll take the opportunity to pull songs from his three solo albums—the most recent being 2004's Soft Commands. With Lincoln Barr. Fremont Abbey, 4272 Fremont Ave. N., 701-9270. 8 p.m. $9.99–$15. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Tortoise / Tuesday, June 8

Tortoise's do-no-wrong credibility looms monolithically in the indie-rock pantheon like a Giza pyramid. In the early '90s, the band began playing instrumental music that simultaneously established and shattered the paradigm we've come to recognize as "indie rock." With unorthodox, percussion-heavy instrumentation and modernist focus on production, Tortoise manages to convey a sense of intellectual grandiosity and distance without uttering a single word. And the lack of vocals doesn't mean their live shows aren't worth seeing. On the contrary, that Tortoise remains so heavily anchored in a particular aesthetic only adds to their strangely timeless appeal. With Das Boton. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. SABY REYES-KULKARNI

 
comments powered by Disqus