The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

Chiddy Bang / Wednesday, June 9

Philly-based Chiddy Bang will be the first to tell you that blog buzz can be the boost that puts a group over the top. The duo of MC Chiddy and DJ/producer Xaphoon Jones used the Internet popularity of their mixtape The Swelly Express and its MGMT-inspired single "Opposite of Adults" to wrangle a deal with EMI. Xaphoon's unique sampling choices, from Radiohead to Passion Pit, often take a turn toward the electronic and syncopated, and the colorful melodies mesh with swagger-rich rhymes for some perfect party jams. With a yet-untitled debut full-length slotted for release in August, you can bet on hearing more new material at their notoriously spontaneous shows. With The Pack, 2AM Club, XV. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $10. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

Eilen Jewell / Wednesday, June 9

Though Eilen Jewell got her start as a purveyor of straightforward Americana, her mournful third album, Sea of Tears, marks a shift in her sound. Sultry, jazzy vocals that invoke the spirit of Ella Fitzgerald, surf-meets–spaghetti Western guitar, and doleful lyrics about cocaine and poverty make for a more nuanced, modern sound than do the throwback roots of 2005's Boundary Country and 2007's Letters From Sinners and Strangers. The songs on Sea of Tears smack of tempestuous love affairs and dark times, but even when Jewell's voice drips with anguish, a slow-burning passion simmers beneath the surface. With Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $12 adv./$15 DOS. SARA BRICKNER

Noise for the Needy / Wednesday, June 9  See preview.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony / Thursday, June 10

Tell me what you gonna do, when there ain't nowhere to hide from a reunited Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Kinetically paced and Middle America–based, the Cleveland-born Thugs have been chasing their own tails for 15 years, harmonizing on bloated double albums while trying and failing to duplicate the massive success they had with their first cut. E. 1999 Eternal produced two sing-along jams, "1st of Tha Month" and "Tha Crossroads"; the latter helped Krayzie, Wish, Flesh-N, Layzie, and Bizzy earn that kiss-of-death award for hip-hoppers, a Grammy. Prodigal-son Bizzy is back after finding God, and the Harmonious ones are touring in support of Uni-5: The World's Enemy. In conclusion: bone-bone-bone-bone, bone-bone, bone. With Luck-One. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 7 p.m. $30 adv./$35 DOS. All ages. CALEB HANNAN

Black Whales / Friday, June 11

Despite the ominous name, Black Whales make sweet-sounding music. "Young Blood," one of seven tracks on 2009's Origins EP, combines sprawling folk with '60s-style pop. (At times, Black Whales sounds like an electrified, sped-up version of the Cave Singers.) The result is a song with foot-tapping rhythms and head-nodding lyrics about wanting a different, more charmed life: "Last night I remembered how/We used to talk about/Getting out of here," sings vocalist Alex Robert. There's a sadness and darkness between the handclaps and swirling guitars, revealed in longing lyrics and Robert's occasionally wailing voice. These songs float and bounce; they're easy to get lost in. With Slender Means, Derby. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 9 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. PAIGE RICHMOND

Delta Spirit / Friday, June 11

No one combines vintage soul and Americana with the fiery heart of punk rock better than Delta Spirit. Singer Matt Vasquez writes songs from the perspective of an observant traveler who's seen his share of back-alley drama, sketchy characters, and fellow road-worn travelers. Delta Spirit's working-class soul won't ever make them hit-parade material, but that's just part of the band's humble charm. Musically, they swing and sway through warm folk and reverb-tinged rave-ups, but Vasquez's buttery voice is the stuff that goosebumps are made of; when he leans back and lets out a ragged howl, it's painfully raw and yet beautiful enough to make the world stop moving for just a split second. With Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, The Romany Rye. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $12. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers / Friday, June 11 & Saturday, June 12

A few things are certain about Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' weekend residency at the Gorge: They will play "American Girl," they will play "Free Fallin'," and they will play just about every other Tom Petty hit you love and several others you forgot existed. If you're lucky, you'll hear some other gems—"Wildflowers," perhaps?—and you're sure to hear at least one track from their June 15 release, Mojo. But the lion's share of what you'll hear will be the hits. 'Cause Mr. Petty is nothing if not indulgent of his audience, and "Mary Jane's Last Dance" ain't comin' 'til the old man drops. With Joe Cocker. The Gorge, 754 Silica Rd. N.W., 628-0888. 7:30 p.m. $49 GA/$131 reserved. All ages. CHRIS KORNELIS

Health / Saturday, June 12

Jake Duzsik of the L.A. noise quartet Health recently described their music as "the soundtrack to some rusted fucked-up near-future catastrophe." Thus the band's newest single, "We Are Water," off their sophomore disc, Get Color, is violent and frantic (and accompanied by a horrifically bloody video directed by Eric Wareheim). On "Die Slow," another of Color's unsettling moments, a palpable, movable rhythm cuts through all the volume and racket in Health's music, equipped with a surprising dose of emotion. With Indian Jewelry, Panda Gold. Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 956-8372. 7:30 p.m. $11. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Math and Physics Club / Saturday, June 12

Seattleites are lucky that the unabashedly pleasant trio of Charles Bert (vocals), James Werle (guitar), and Ethan Jones (bass and keys) made it out of Werle's basement. Drawing more than a handful of comparisons to Belle & Sebastian, the band's melodic acoustic guitar and tender vocals piece together airy and twee tales of troubled relationships and heartbreak. Pure, tender-hearted emotion meshes with introspective ballads and bouncy pop tunes that appeal to even the slightly bookish among us. MAPC are celebrating the release of their sophomore full-length I Shouldn't Look as Good as I Do, warming up the crowd for local favorite Aqueduct's piano-laden indie-pop hooks. With Skeletons With Flesh on Them. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $10. NICK FELDMAN

Smoosh / Saturday, June 12

Smoosh, the indie-pop sister act formed a decade (!) ago by preteen singer/keyboardist Asy and singer/drummer Chloe, moved from Seattle curiosity to Seattle mainstay due to their infectious songs and stellar live prowess. And then they moved...to Stockholm. Not long after the release of their previous album, 2006's Free to Stay, Smoosh opened their ranks to their younger bass-playing sister Maia; in Sweden, the trio concocted their forthcoming opus The World's Not Bad. We've heard one track so far, "We Are Our Own Lies," and it's sophisticated, moody, and sweeping, like they've given their bouncy piano pop the Sigur Rós treatment. With Matt Pond PA, Wintersleep. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 9 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Garfield High School Jazz Bands I, II, III / Sunday, June 13

Make all the band-camp and Glee cracks you like—the Seattle area is home to some of the finest high-school jazz-band programs in the country. Mountlake Terrace, Roosevelt, and many others regularly produce crackerjack bands, and Garfield High is about to get themselves banned from competition if they don't stop with the punishing performances. This year the Clarence Acox–directed band took first place in New York's prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition for a record fourth time in a decade. They don't rebuild, folks, they just reload. Tonight, all three of Garfield's bands perform in a farewell-to-the-seniors concert. Don't worry, they'll be right back here next year. Garfield High School's Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center, 400 23rd Ave., 252-2270. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. CHRIS KORNELIS

Marcy Playground / Sunday, June 13

Before Marcy Playground released "Sex and Candy" in 1997, I didn't know you could say "sex" on the radio, let alone smell it or compare it to candy. The lethargic rhythm and the puzzlingly naughty lyrics about devious stares and disco lemonade were all so deliciously forbidden to me, the 12-year-old product of a conservative Christian household. Thirteen years later, Marcy Playground's recent efforts (a full-length last year, a rarities disc to come later this year) will never match their '90s success, but that sedated song has stood the test of time. Anyone over 20 can imitate frontman (and Evergreen State College alum) John Wozniak's sleepy purr: "I smell sex and cannn-dy, yeah." And it's probably still the laziest song ever to hit the Top 40. With Theory of Flight, Van Eps, Amsterdam, the Taphandles. Studio Seven, 110 S. Horton St., 286-1312. 7 p.m. $11 adv./$14 DOS. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

John Vanderslice & Karl Blau / Sunday, June 13

At first blush, seeing John Vanderslice and Karl Blau on the same bill feels strange. Vanderslice writes lovely, palatable songs. With simple touches of analog recording, 2007's Emerald City and 2009's Romanian Names feature synth melodies and charming vocals. Blau, on the other hand, doesn't really fall into any genre; instead he combines a lot of them—drone, pop, blues, world—into unexpected arrangements. Last time he played Seattle, he brought his own voice-distorting microphone to convey the weirdness of his songs. What Blau and Vanderslice share, however, is the ability to endlessly entertain: both are captivating to watch as they recreate their complex songs live. In that way, they're brothers in musical arms. With Love Sick. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $15. PAIGE RICHMOND

Imogen Heap / Monday, June 14

In a world full of bands genetically engineered in laboratories for maximum ring-tone downloads and YouTube views, it's truly refreshing to see someone as talented as Imogen Heap catch their sliver of the pop spotlight. While she blipped onto many people's radars in the U.S. as half of Frou Frou (their song "Let Go" was inescapable after appearing on the Garden State soundtrack), Heap has been writing and producing her own heavily layered, immaculately crafted blend of electronic pop since the mid-'90s. Her breathy voice and airtight, almost robotically perfect songs don't need film or TV visuals behind them to burst from the speakers with a joyful Technicolor shine on their own. With Geese. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-STG-4TIX. 7:30 p.m. $26.50. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Stars / Tuesday, June 15

While it might be a tad blasphemous to proffer that an offshoot of Canadian musical collective Broken Social Scene contains any one voice that should be heard more frequently than the others (an inherently capitalist suggestion), plenty of Stars fans (me among them) feel that Torquil Campbell should play Oates to Amy Millan's Hall, rather than Simon to her Garfunkel. The Five Ghosts is a compromise of sorts, with Campbell, as composer and background vocalist, yielding to Millan's breathy lead and finally answering the question of what an Amy Millan solo album would sound like if Stars were her backing band. For their two-night Triple Door run, Stars will play the new Ghosts in its entirety during the first set, as well as whatever songs visitors to their website, youarestars.com, vote for most. Pairing self-indulgence with a give-'em-what-they-want ethos: Another happy medium. With Dead Child Star. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 8 p.m. $25. All ages. MIKE SEELY

Quadron / Tuesday, June 15

If you like Little Dragon, you'll love Quadron, a Danish duo whose Plug Research debut dropped in March. Vocalist Coco can sound every ounce the slowdance-floor diva, as on the saxophone-smooth "Simili Life," or she can channel Diana Ross while bandmate Robin turns old-school fingersnaps into echoed punctuations. Theirs is a smorgasbord of new treats made with throwback ingredients, updated technology, and lots of obvious love. They'll play live on KEXP today at noon; stream their set and get ready to go. With SunTzu Sound. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 8 p.m. $8. RACHEL SHIMP

 
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