The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

DJ Marky / Wednesday, June 23

The last time I saw Marky, at the (now-defunct) War Room, the place was packed with beautiful bodies sweating it out to the Brazilian DJ's edgily up-tempo style of drum 'n' bass. The sense of communal joy was so high that a stranger kissed me on the dance floor—now that's a party. Discovered by V Recordings' Bryan Gee back in '98, Marco Antonio Silva has been known for his energetic scratching and his smiling face ever since. His recent The Kings of Drum + Bass, compiled and mixed with the legendary 4Hero, is a lesson in everything you never knew the genre had: particularly, sunshine and soul. With Kid Hops, SunTzu Sound. Neumo's, 1122 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. RACHEL SHIMP

A Place to Bury Strangers / Wednesday, June 23

A Place to Bury Strangers promises total sonic annihilation and doesn't mess around about following through. Touring on their sophomore effort Exploding Head, the Brooklyn trio, led by effects-pedal wizard Oliver Ackermann, rides a fierce wave of distorted guitar insanity. But that's not to say songwriting is cut out as compensation; some songs approach a Cure-like level of shadowy pop. A national headlining tour is a big step for a band that signed their first contract on a napkin with a label called Killer Pimp Records. They may not be the first to draw on the '80s and '90s noise scene, but you don't become known as "The Loudest Band in New York" for nothing. With Light Pollution, Grave Babies, the Globes. Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 956-8372. 7:30 p.m. $11. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

The Purrs / Thursday, June 24

The Purrs' latest effort, Tearing Down Paisley Garden, is a fantastic piece of mellow rock and roll, replete with disaffected cynicism and judiciously distorted guitar solos in which each note melts into the next. The dejected lyrics flirt with hopelessness, but the album is buoyed by pop hooks and self-aware sparks of deliberately hyperbolic humor that culminates with album closer "Always Something in My Way": "Please send all my mail to outer space/That's my new place...Everything I loved turned to dust." It's the kind of album that will speak most keenly to people experiencing existential crises, emotional fallout, or loss of ambition. With Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Battle Hymns. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $8. SARA BRICKNER

The Cops / Friday, June 25

Drew Church, beloved bassist of the beloved, long-absent, thrashing, Clash-loving Cops, tells me that after a year and a half off, the band has resolved their artistic differences. And they still hang out all the time anyway. So they're back to celebrate the Sunset's 10th anniversary with their first show since calling it quits, not counting some Christmas show they played (or something...Church can't remember the details). He promises that besides playing some old standards, the Cops will also be debuting a few songs. And Drew Church wouldn't lie to me. Oh yeah, the Catheters are back together too. With the Catheters, the Tripwires, the Basements, DJ Danger Nun. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $12/$10 with food donation. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Giant Squid / Friday, June 25

Tonight's quadruple bill at the Comet is probably one of the year's most thoughtfully stacked lineups. Helms Alee continue to win new fans at every turn with their Pixies-meets-Melvins assault, while Lozen (fronted by Helms Alee drummer Hojozi Matheson-Margullis) is an increasingly electrifying drum and guitar duo made of equal parts crystalline shrieks and thunder-footed rumble. Dog Shredder snaps necks and induces smiles with agile, aggressive math-metal, and Giant Squid were kind enough to swim up from the Bay Area for the occasion, bringing an artful heaviness that gains ethereal levity thanks to the alluring presence of knockout cellist Jackie Perez Gratz. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 9 p.m. $8. HANNAH LEVIN

Portugal. The Man / Friday, June 25

It's high time that poor Wasilla, Alaska—hometown of the trashiest family in American politics—got some non-Palin-related spotlight. The experimental quartet Portugal. The Man hails from there (though they're now based in Portland), and just released their major-label (Atlantic) debut, American Ghetto. The songs are fresh, intricate, and radio-friendly all at once, with booming electronic beats and jazzy electric-guitar riffs. The record's receiving unequivocal praise across the blogosphere for its sharp, catchy sound, and the band's spent this year on a high-profile tour, including stops at Coachella and Bonnaroo. So fuck you, Levi Johnston! With The Builders and the Butchers, Morning Teleportation. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Dum Dum Girls / Saturday, June 26

If the Ronettes or the Shangri-Las had picked up some guitars and written their own songs back in the '60s, they might have had as much badass personality as the Dum Dum Girls. This scuzzy garage-pop quartet—Dee Dee, Jules, Bambi, and Sandy Vu—released their debut record, I Will Be, this year, and it's a knockout. Though Dee Dee's got a strikingly dusky voice, and though the record's first two singles, "Jail La La" and "Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout," are about prison and drugs, respectively, the songs' fuzzy guitar textures, tuneful harmonies, and rapid pace boost them to a jubilant level—the music fairly bursts with authority and light. With Crocodiles, DJ Mario Orduno. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 9 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Georgetown Music Festival / Saturday, June 26—Sunday, June 27  See Rocket Queen.

MC Hammer / Saturday, June 26

MJ had the glove. Madonna had the bra. MC Hammer had those pants. Giant, glittering, flowing like a garbage bag full of liquid gold around MC Hammer's feverish dance moves, those pants are as early-'90s iconic as they get, and one of Stanley Kirk Burrell's everlasting contributions to the world. By emphasizing his whirling-dervish dance style as much as his lyrical prowess, MC Hammer became a hip-hop pioneer, morphing it into a DayGlo circus tent full of lasers, explosions, and sequined dance troupes. While Hammer's career (and finances) have ebbed and flowed like the soft, supple fabric of those holiest of pants, "Here Comes the Hammer" is still universally synonymous with getting an untouchably awesome party started. Emerald Queen Casino, 2024 E. 29th St., Tacoma, 253-594-7777. 8:30 p.m. $30–$60. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Red Fang / Saturday, June 26

Red Fang has played most of the key midsized venues around Seattle in the past year—from the Funhouse to Chop Suey—but they never seem more at home than at the Sunset, so it's fitting they headline the Ballard club's 10th-anniversary show tonight. "There's a different vibe up in Ballard; a vibe we can relate to," says drummer John Sherman. "It's changed a lot over the past 10 years, but you can still get a cheap drink with some salty dogs right next door," he expounds with affection, referring to the beloved, neighboring Smoke Shop. Portland's purveyors of elephantine-heavy, punk-infused awesomeness recently finished mixing their next record, which includes anthemic set-list staple "Malverde." Tonight's bill also features the DJ presence of vinyl archivist and former Fallout Records owner Tim Hayes. With Kinski, Virgin Islands, Eugene Wendell and The Demon Rind. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $12/$10 with food donation. HANNAH LEVIN

Jewel / Sunday, June 27

"Mamma, when I grow up I want to learn to yodel, and I want to live in a van by the beach and play songs in coffee shops. And then I want to get discovered and become a big star with all my songs on the radio! And then I want to write a book of half-baked poetry and make a crummy dance-pop album. And then when my career fizzles, I want to marry a famous rodeo cowboy and live on a bazillion-acre ranch, and I want to be a guest judge on American Idol and Iron Chef America, and I want to get on every reality show I can. But then I want to be a country singer, because that's where the real money is!" With Radney Foster. Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th St., 684-4800. 5 p.m. $31. All ages. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Mimicking Birds / Sunday, June 27

Mimicking Birds' self-titled debut strikes a balance between dynamic, sprightly melodies and hushed, languid folk lullabies. Though their album was recorded in fellow Portlander and Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock's home studio and released by his record label Glacial Pace in March, the Portland trio's penchant for plucked strings and ethereal, breathy harmonies have more in common with Ugly Casanova and Northwest folk bands like Horse Feathers and Fleet Foxes. Mimicking Birds has also been inexplicably compared to Bright Eyes, but frontman Nate Lacy's vocals are far more approachable than Conor Oberst's pathos-saturated utterances. With Lemolo, Wayfinders. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $8. SARA BRICKNER

Josh Ritter / Sunday, June 27  See preview.

Dante's Monday-Night Karaoke / Monday, June 28

It's a shame Dante's in the U District only offers karaoke on Monday nights, because they have the best stage for crooners in town. Two levels open up to the bottom floor where the mike is set up; singing your favorite tune on a packed night with people on all sides looking down and cheering you on will make you feel like a star. The show is hosted by KJ Josh with Absolute Karaoke, who has the biggest song selection around. Get there when it starts, and you'll have a great shot at singing at least three times that first hour. The bar offers $2 wells, $3 Jell-O syringe shots, $5 touchdowns, and Wash Apples. 5300 Roosevelt Way N.E., 98105, 525-1300. 9 p.m. Free. JEFF ROMAN

I See Hawks in L.A. / Tuesday, June 29

While Buck Owens has given the Golden State a modicum of country cred, being a twang outfit in Los Angeles has got to be a bit like being an arborist in the desert—you can be damn good at what you do, yet it'll likely go largely unnoticed. I See Hawks in L.A. have been playing rock-solid country music for more than a decade. They've toured steadily around Southern California, and have opened for Chris Hillman and transplanted Angeleno Lucinda Williams. They just put out a greatest-hits album, Shoulda Been Gold, with a significant hitch: It's utterly devoid of hits, because the band hasn't had a proper hit. So they're calling it a "greatest non-hits collection." At least the "great" part's accurate; Rob Waller's lead vocals recall a younger, peppier Gordon Lightfoot. With Michael O'Neill, Mars Arizona. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $8. MIKE SEELY

Femi Kuti / Tuesday, June 29

The tale of Afrobeat is usually centered on Fela Kuti's musical-cum-political protests, emerging in 1970s Nigeria and combining a funk-driven brass section and the rich drumming tradition of Yoruba music. Following Fela's death in 1997, his son Femi became one of the few capable of carrying the torch. Femi is touring on his latest release, 2008's Day by Day, and more than two decades of experience and refinement have proved that the son's music is no enshrinement of the father's. The heir to Afrobeat incorporates new touches of neo-jazz and dub reggae that makes captivating music—sonically and lyrically addressing the paradox of modern Africa. With The Positive Force. Showbox SoDo, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8:30 p.m. $28 adv./$31 DOS. NICK FELDMAN

 
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