The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

Dwele / Wednesday, July 7Many musicians claim their art is an emotional release, but very few admit that witnessing the fatal shooting of their father is the cause. Dwele does, and while he may be best known for his guest appearances—especially with Chicago MCs Kanye West and Common, most recently on the former's single "Power"—the Detroit nu-soul vocalist has released four studio albums of his own. Featuring the likes of Slum Village, June release W.ants W.orld W.omen is at times gritty and sensual, confident and insecure, and always powerful. Drawing on influences from Stevie Wonder to A Tribe Called Quest, Dwele's music reflects the essences of soul tradition updated to sport a sharp hip-hop edge. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7 p.m. all ages, 9:30 p.m. 21+. $25 adv./$30 DOS. NICK FELDMANMini Mansions / Wednesday, July 7Mini Mansions is the side project of Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman, and as offshoots go, it ranks up there with Jack White's The Dead Weather. It's a three-piece in which Shuman handles the drums, guitar, and vocals; the result sounds something like if Elliott Smith had fronted a psychedelic pop band—kind of gothy, but also smoothly melodic. Mini Mansions just released a 7" single called "Monk," an absolutely irresistible song with a dark, bluesy melody and sleek, finessed vocals carried along by a bouncing bass line. The single also contains a re-envisioning of Blondie's "Heart of Glass"; the original's jittery, high-strung elements are replaced by a slowed-down tempo and a steady kick drum that transform it into a surprisingly emotive and soulful track. With Ships, Paris Spleen, Mars Accelerator. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 8 p.m. $7. ERIN K. THOMPSONPortland Cello Project / Wednesday, July 7Of all the musicians the Portland Cello Project has collaborated with—Horse Feathers, Thao With the Get Down Stay Down, the Dandy Warhols—there's no smarter choice than Shenandoah Davis. Davis is a classically trained opera singer and pianist; the Cello Project is a collective of ultra-skilled cellists who perform everything from Bach to Britney Spears. Davis' ragtime-influenced songs and warbling voice are carefully arranged and near-perfectly layered. A dozen cellists backing her up with their charming arrangements couldn't be a better complement. The cellos and musicians will seamlessly blend into one musical unit—the kind of show the Cello Project was designed to play. With Mighty Tiger. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $8. PAIGE RICHMONDJohn Roderick / Thursday, July 8Usually when a musician announces he'll be talking a lot during a show, it's a dreadful omen—like when Kenny Rogers visited the Puyallup Fair a few years ago. Sure, he played "The Gambler" and all the hits. But the beplasticized Rogers fancied himself a one-man Blue Collar Comedy Tour, spending most of his time cracking awful hick jokes. But when John Roderick promises to engage in a ton of between-song banter, "master-class style," at his Triple Door show (the first of three in a quasi-residency, with subsequent gigs Aug. 14 and Sept. 30), that's something to look forward to. The Long Winters frontman, whose wittiest tweets were recently assembled in a small book, Electric Aphorisms, is preternaturally clever—you don't want him to shut up. He'll do plenty of singing too, resuscitating some of the Long Winters' lesser-played tracks and explaining their origins. Maybe one day he'll stop talking long enough to finish the band's long-awaited LP. With Jason Dodson. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 8 p.m. $20. All ages. MIKE SEELYCarissa's Wierd / Friday, July 9  See preview.Hobosexual / Friday, July 9Two-man Hobosexual sounds like a hybrid of '80s hair metal, dirty blues, and Southern rock—John Lee Hooker crossed with Warrant's "Cherry Pie" crossed with "Gimme Three Steps." The gritty, lo-fi guitar + drums formula invites serious early Black Keys comparisons, but Hobosexual gets a little more metal than that. Guitarist Ben Harwood and drummer Jeff Silva have one album out, rife with gross references to pedophiles giving away candy in vans, living in dumpsters, and other themes of impoverished transience. The band's ridiculous handle, which toes the line between gleefully irreverent and offensive, makes it clear that the duo takes nothing about themselves very seriously except for the music itself. With What What Now, Greenriver Thrillers. Blue Moon Tavern, 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116. 10 p.m. $5. SARA BRICKNERToo Beautiful to Live / Friday, July 9 & Saturday, July 10Too Beautiful to Live, a podcast that smirkingly boasts having "tens of listeners," takes over the 350-seat Columbia City Theater this weekend. Once a KIRO evening talk show, the three personalities on TBTL don't really talk news, sports, or music. They spend their hour musing on things like Amanda Bynes' Twitter habits, an awkward HR diversity workshop, and whether human poop or dog poop is grosser. No surprise that at least one of those gags has also appeared on The Office. TBTL is like a sitcom with the laugh track turned off. For two Summer Slam live tapings, the Long Winters (on Friday, already sold out) and Blue Scholars (Saturday) will play, followed by a karaoke after-party. Columbia City Theater, 4918 Rainier Ave. S. 9 p.m. $35. MARY PAULINE DIAZWest Seattle Summer Fest / Friday, July 9–Sunday, July 11  See Rocket Queen.The Coup / Saturday, July 10There's definitely no shortage of politicized hip-hop in Seattle; in fact, our city is a downright respectable producer and consumer in that aspect. But Oakland-based duo Raymond "Boots" Riley and DJ Pam the Funkstress, who've had songs featured in movies (Superbad) and video games (NBA Live, Skate), bring a uniquely funk-laced brand of Marxism to the table—one that's brought them close to the similarly radical Dead Prez and top-notch MCs like Black Thought and Talib Kweli. Witty remarks mesh with evident passion, emphasizing the impressive balance struck between humor and a controlled anger capable of energizing speaker systems and activists alike. With SOL, Canary Sing. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $13. NICK FELDMANMonotonix / Saturday, July 10Seeing Monotonix perform their garage-rock anthems is, in the plainest terms, a fucking experience. The band rarely ever plays on an actual stage, instead setting up in the middle of a room and letting the crowd riot around them. They are ear-splittingly loud and unabashedly shirtless. They throw things: instruments, clothing, drinks. Sometimes there is fire; often there is bleeding. They've been summarily banned from pretty much every venue in their hometown of Tel Aviv. None of this says anything about the band's music: Monotonix's guitar-heavy songs are rhythm-driven but not supersonic. They don't carry one-tenth the energy on record that they do live, so you don't need to the own the album. Just buy a fucking ticket. With Pierced Arrows, What What Now. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 9:30 p.m. $12. PAIGE RICHMONDThe Temptations & the Four Tops / Sunday, July 11Eddie Kendricks: dead. Melvin Franklin: dead. Paul Williams: dead. David Ruffin: dead. Al Bryant: dead. Otis Williams: Hey, he's still alive! So, as an original member of Motown soul legends the Temptations, Williams gets to keep using the name while touring the globe with four other dudes you've probably never heard of, performing all those old classics you know and love. Is it a sham, as if Marky Ramone drafted three pals with leather jackets and toured as the Ramones? Maybe. But if you can accept that it's basically just glorified karaoke, you'll probably have a decent enough time singing along and watching the synchronized dance moves. Same goes for fellow Motown icons the Four Tops, which also includes only one surviving original member. Tulalip Casino, 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip, 360-651-1111. 7 p.m. $45. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERGHypernova / Sunday, July 11Hypernova could have been arrested for playing their music. In their home country, Iran, Western music is banned from the radio on moral grounds, and to imitate it is another crime entirely. They couldn't practice where they'd be heard, and every show held in secret was played at a risk of getting locked up or publicly flogged (seriously). But play they did, and if that's not rock and roll, then I don't know what is. Now based in NYC, the foursome released Through the Chaos in April, full of dark, angular dance rock worth every night of sticking it to the man. With Abandon Kansas, We Hate the Desert, Blame It on the Girl, The Monostereo. Studio Seven, 110 S. Horton St., 286-1312. 7:30 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. All ages. MARY PAULINE DIAZThe Unthanks / Monday, July 12Here in the States we're used to the term "folk" meaning stripped-down, low-voiced, and massive-bearded But across the pond with The Unthanks, it means playing songs called "Because He Was a Bonny Lad," "Lucky Gilchrist," and "The Testimony of Patience Kershaw" and calling a violin a fiddle. What started as a pair of sisters from the least-populated county in England crosses the Atlantic as a 10-piece flood of graceful, enchanting balladry. Some tracks draw comparisons to Sufjan Stevens and Bonnie Prince Billy, but The Unthanks' renditions of traditional tunes mostly sound like a wind blowing from another time, and without ever relinquishing those proud countryside accents. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7:30 p.m. $15. All ages. MARY PAULINE DIAZAriel Pink / Tuesday, July 13L.A.'s Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, more commonly known as Ariel Pink, first unleashed his eccentric personality on the world around 2003, when he slipped a demo to Animal Collective, who then began releasing Pink's mumbly psych-pop on their own label. Pink's music was highly DIY—he notoriously created percussion beats using his armpits—and his early performances were said to be uncomfortably awkward, both for him and his audiences. These days, though, he's got a backing band, Haunted Graffiti, and his newest record, this year's Before Today, has a fuller, much more accessible pop sound. Songs like "Round and Round," with its murmuring vocals, sunny chorus, and looping structure, are mesmerizing and perfect for the stage. With Puro Instinct, Magic Kids. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $13. ERIN K. THOMPSONJustin Bieber / Tuesday, July 13  See preview.Dio Tribute / Tuesday, July 13To the unschooled, it would be easy to write off the work of the late Ronnie James Dio as a cliché of the most common traits that make nonbelievers mock metal. The last solo stage show he brought to the Showbox involved a gigantic onstage dragon, pagan-esque pageantry, and no shortage of melodramatic material involving heaven and hell. And of course, there's the iconic "devil horn" gesture he's frequently credited with popularizing. But not only are those generalizations shortsighted (his elastic, operatic wail was one of the most influential in the genre), they also speak to what made Dio great. He embraced metal in all its medieval glory, without apology and without falling victim to the more harmful clichés of groupie-shagging, vice-riddled nonsense. He did, however, lose his valiant battle with stomach cancer this past May, and tonight members of local bands Blood Cells, Emeralds, and Sunday Night Blackout will pay tribute to his legacy. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 8 p.m. $6. HANNAH LEVINWakey!Wakey! / Tuesday, July 13Wakey!Wakey! frontman Mike Grubbs is one of those Brooklynites whose thin, pale frame suggests he exists on a steady diet of coffee, cigarettes, and heartache. His music does little to disprove the theory. The W!² catalog is a collection of twinkly indie gems about the procession of women who have walked all over his strung-out heart. Turns out in Grubbs' case it's better to have loved and lost, as that is not without artist payoff, cultivating songs that mix sweet and sad like cotton-candy-flavored tears. Here's hoping he never finds a decent girlfriend. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 8 p.m. $10. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

 
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