The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

Brad / Wednesday, June 16

Seattle's Brad first gained some spotlight in the early '90s, due to guitarist Stone Gossard's other band (a little well-kept secret called Pearl Jam). But Brad was light-years away from the angsty grunge of the day, relying more on mellow '70s-esque pop and soul. Brad's songs have a loose, organic feel, with Shawn Smith's buttery voice gliding over somber and upbeat melodies alike. Even the band's most rocking numbers have a controlled chaos to them, playing in the pocket rather than beating a listener over the head with screaming riffage. Brad only comes out of hibernation every few years, but with the impending release of their fourth album (Best Friends?), this likely won't be the last we hear of them for a while. With Stuck on a Bus. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 9 p.m. $12. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Dog Shredder / Wednesday, June 16  See Rocket Queen.

Bob Log III / Wednesday, June 16

When it comes to motorcycle-helmet- and spandex-suit-wearing one-man bands, Bob Log III is America's best. Making a name for himself in the mid-'90s playing with lo-fi blues duo Doo Rag, Log continued to play his skewed, crispy-fried version of the blues on his own. Log's blown-out vocals and filthy slide-guitar playing scream "juke joint you might get stabbed in," while his goofy personality suggests "Hey, this show might sound better from the Chuck E. Cheese ball pit." And his enthusiasm, showmanship, and just plain out-of-control presence make for a joyful (if slightly twisted), down-home experience. With Little Cuts, Dirty Bird Cabaret. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $13 adv./$15 DOS. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Ball of Wax Five-Year Anniversary / Thursday, June 17

This month marks the 20th edition of Levi Fuller's quarterly audio compilation Ball of Wax. To celebrate, some of the artists who have been around since the very first year of BoW will perform. Per usual, much of the compilation consists of obscure local songwriters (Brad Dunn, A.W. Feldt), indie pop (Slow Skate, Wesafari), and lo-fi folk acts (The Graze), except that Fuller's expert ear has filtered out the noise to find the gems in the coal. As always, a copy of the compilation is included in the show's cover charge. If you're not yet acquainted with this local institution, here's the perfect opportunity. With Wesafari, Slow Skate, Kelli's Starlight Wishes, Levi Fuller, Virgin of the Birds, Brad Dunn, A.W. Feldt, Colin J. Nelson, The Graze. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 8 p.m. $7. SARA BRICKNER

Matmos / Thursday, June 17

In the past, electronic music duo Matmos' glitchy, synthesized mashups have consisted of everything from the amplified neural activity of crayfish to the rattling of rat-cage bars to semen. But on 2008's Supreme Balloon, M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel decided to abandon the bizarro sampling in favor of a new challenge: creating an album that consists of synthesizers and synthesizers alone. The result is an oddly compelling amalgam of sunny, pixilated songs that come off like the soundtrack to an obscure '80s video game. Listen to it on your headphones while you're trying to cross a busy downtown street. It's the closest you'll ever come to a real-life game of Frogger. With So Percussion. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 8 p.m. $20. All ages. SARA BRICKNER

KUBE 93 Summer Jam / Friday, June 18

Summer Jam is the antithesis of the Capitol Hill Block Party—a concert filled with overplayed radio anthems, overpriced alcohol, and inebriated college kids. In other words, it's a hell of a party, one at which you can down tequila and shout things like "I'm sick of blowjobs, bitch, leave me alone!" (You can thank this year's headliner Game for that.) Some may argue that the lineup, which also features Drake, Trey Songz, Fabolous, Rick Ross, and Jason Derulo, offers more hype than actual talent. But the Summer Jam experience sure beats the alternative: standing alongside sneering, Pabst-swilling hipsters and nodding along to MGMT's new shiteous album. White River Amphitheatre, 40601 Auburn-Enumclaw Rd., Auburn, 360-802-1469. 6 p.m. $32.50-$86. All ages. ERIKA HOBART

Lindsay Fuller / Saturday, June 19

Throughout the nine tracks that make up Lindsay Fuller's new album, The Last Light I See, the Alabama-born, Seattle-based artist ruminates on dying in bed of mysterious causes, channels Hester Prynne, and generally looks unflinchingly into the abyss. To say the woman is dark is an understatement, but to imply she's only capable of hitting somber notes is inaccurate. A tender strength and delicate sparkle are at play behind Fuller's Lucinda Williams–meets–Nick Cave funeral dirges. However, tonight she flies solo without her backing band (which usually includes Jeff Fielder and Mark Pickerel), so expect the minimalist, mournful vibe to be on undiluted display. With the Starlings, the Holyfields. Conor Byrne, 5140 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-3640. $7. 9 p.m. HANNAH LEVIN

Metal Summer Slam! / Saturday, June 19  See Rocket Queen.

Psychedelic Furs / Saturday, June 19

Led by British singer/songwriter Richard Butler and his bassist brother Tim, the Psychedelic Furs became icons during the punk-forged new wave movement of the '80s. But beyond that legacy, the rockers are seen by many as the bridge between early punk and the alt-rock and grunge that rose not long after the Furs' time in the spotlight. While they may never have translated their popularity into a chart-topping commercial bonanza, the haunting chorus of "Pretty in Pink" and the utterly danceable "Heartbreak Beat" will always have a place in the musical canon—even though the Molly Ringwald era is long gone. With She Wants Revenge. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 8:30 p.m. $25 adv./$30 DOS. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

Slightly Stoopid / Saturday, June 19

Slightly Stoopid is a summertime staple—the San Diego six-piece has been at the forefront of the ganja-fueled fusion of reggae, punk, and hip-hop since the mid-'90s. Though they haven't officially released new material in a few years, they've maintained a constant touring schedule that's appealed to fans from G. Love to UB40 to Bad Religion. And Stoopid Records labelmates the Expendables are joining them with material from their May release Prove It—a significant step up in complexity and polish for the Santa Cruz reggae quartet. Drop that California reggae-rock vibe into Marymoor Park, and you've got the perfect way to really get in the mood for summer. With Steel Pulse. Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy N.E., Redmond, 205-3661. 6 p.m. $36. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

The Beach Boys / Sunday, June 20

Twenty-two years after the Beach Boys' previous #1 hit, "Good Vibrations," in 1966, they shot right back on top with "Kokomo," their contribution to the Cocktail soundtrack, in 1988. It was the longest stretch between chart-topping hits for any artist. No, the song was nothing like the über-hip, critically lauded, Brian Wilson–backed music the band churned out in the '60s. It was a grocery-store jingle inspired more by Tom Cruise than Pet Sounds, and was helmed by Mike Love, not Wilson. 22 years later, Love and the Beach Boys are still on the road, still without Brian Wilson, and Tom Cruise isn't exactly on top of the world these days. Time for Cocktail II and another trip to Kokomo? I think so. Snoqualmie Casino, 37500 S.E. North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, 425-888-1234. 6 p.m. $40–$75. CHRIS KORNELIS

Live Animals / Sunday, June 20

Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer once stated "Lack of charisma can be fatal." If that's at all true, Seattle's Live Animals will be mixing it up in neon-splattered geriatric diapers, as they have buttloads. This adorably dirty dynamic laptop/DJ duo possesses inspired chutzpah and ears for what instinctually shakes the booties of the chemically impaired. Their music, while fun, suffers a few growing pains. It's somewhat beholden to their elders (let's just say Daft Punk is definitely playing at their house, their house), and occasionally flirts with crowd pandering (their "Billie Jean" cowbell remix is brilliant for two minutes, then promptly poops out). Regardless, these boys will only get better with age. With Spamtron, Leon Nite & DJ Fuke. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 8:30 p.m. $7 adv./$10 DOS. All ages. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

Lou Barlow / Monday, June 21

Often, artifacts from your past—old love letters, clothes you wore, etc.—can make you shudder. Imagine what it's like having much of your history available on record, as Lou Barlow does. For the past few years, Barlow has been re-examining his public history, from re-forming Dinosaur Jr. to overseeing reissues of Sebadoh's back catalog. The process must have been inspirational, because the songs on his most recent solo release, Goodnight Unknown, shuffle like early Sebadoh, crunch like Dinosaur, jitter like Folk Implosion, and nestle gently in the hollow belly of acoustic sounds a la Emoh. Like everything Barlow creates half-alone, it's warm, melodic, and lyrically introspective. With Sarah Jaffe. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. BRIAN BARR

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings / Monday, June 21  See preview.

Wang Chung / Monday, June 21

The other day I watched To Live and Die in L.A., the 1985 thriller starring William Petersen as a Secret Service agent and Willem Dafoe as the creepy counterfeiter he's trying to take down. It was totally garish and dated, but also entertaining in that retro-nostalgic kind of way. The same goes for Wang Chung, the British New Wave/pop band that provided the theme song to the movie and had a few other notable hits in the '80s. Like many groups from that era, Wang Chung has broken up and reunited a few times and even crafted some new songs, though everyone really only wants to hear "Everybody Have Fun Tonight." With Love Vigilantes. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 8 p.m. $20 adv./$25 DOS. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Iron Maiden / Tuesday, June 22

Iron Maiden have been a band for 35 years and have played more than 2,000 concerts, including dates in Venezuela and Columbia where attendees were so desperate to see the band that they abandoned their jobs and homes to camp out near the outdoor venue for weeks ahead of time. They remain the rulers of the now-not-so-New Wave of British heavy metal, and therefore have more than earned the right to run their kingdom as they see fit. However, be warned that this tour's set list is loaded heavily with post-Powerslave material, and old-school fans will be waiting a good hour before hearing anything they recognize. If you've never seen Iron Maiden, by all means go—just know what era you're in for. White River Amphitheatre, 40601 Auburn-Enumclaw Rd., Auburn, 360-802-1469. 7:30 p.m. $31–$81. All ages. HANNAH LEVIN

Radar Brothers / Tuesday, June 22

In 2008, Jim Putnam, songwriter and frontman for L.A.'s Radar Brothers, was dumped by all his bandmates. Nonplussed, Putnam recruited a new rhythm section—bassist Be Hussey and drummer Stevie Treichel—and is back on the road (the band will spend much of July opening for Modest Mouse) in support of the Brothers' newest record, The Illustrated Garden. All the tunes on Garden hum with brightness, placing them squarely between rootsy Americana and low-fi indie pop; the stately, piano-driven "Dear Headlights" is a standout. The music has a warm, idyllic sound; it's probably Putnam's gentlest record yet. Good to see he's not bitter. With Secret Highways. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $8. ERIN K. THOMPSON

 
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