The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

The Icarus Kid / Wednesday, July 14

Often it's no fun to watch someone else play Nintendo for hours—like that time your kid sister stole your NES from your room and broke your Contra cartridge and you had to blow on it, like, 50 times...But tonight is not like that night. Tonight, the Comet brings in four local chiptune DJs who use NES and Game Boy sound chips to create quirky, awkwardly sweaty dance music, from the aggressive, hyper break beats of Fighter X to leeni's twisting 8-bit melodies and dreamy vocals. Headliner The Icarus Kid remixes throwback NES soundtracks and adds his own new beats with an intense LED light show. And who says nerds don't know how to dance? With Sean Bad. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 8 p.m. $6. MARY PAULINE DIAZ

Snoop Dogg / Wednesday, July 14  See preview.

Steve Miller Band / Wednesday, July 14

Disown him all you want, but if you're between 35 and 50, Steve Miller was your high-school soundtrack. Roll up the windows if "Rockin' Me Baby" comes on as you traverse the city's snottier enclaves, because you know you're fuckin' singin' along—there's just no fighting it. Miller won't have that problem at Chateau Ste. Michelle. There, there will be no ironic worship, just hero worship and picnic baskets. But if Miller pulls the sort of stunt he did at Bumbershoot 2006, by all means walk out. That stunt: Playing half-a-dozen totally self-indulgent blues tracks before launching into "Fly Like an Eagle." And then he had his band's only black member rap a verse, as though his predominantly white fan base had just discovered rap and this lone brother was some sort of talking museum exhibit. It was one of the most cringeworthy moments ever in Memorial Stadium; let's hope history doesn't repeat itself in Woodinville. Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, 425-415-3300. $49–$89. All ages. MIKE SEELY

Blue Giant / Thursday, July 15

When Conor Oberst went from angsty indie to twangy country, he sounded a little ridiculous, lost in foreign territory. But when Kevin and Anita Robinson of the fuzzy, psychedelic Portland rock duo Viva Voce work as the rootsy country quintet Blue Giant, the transition is much smoother. The Robinsons have roots in their blood, coming to the Northwest from Nashville by way of Alabama. Since forming in 2008, Blue Giant's spent much of their career playing shows in their hometown with friends like Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney, M. Ward, and the Portland Cello Project. But now they're touring in support of their new self-titled full-length, a collection of full and folksy songs deeply steeped in the blues. Sonic Boom Records, 1525 Melrose Ave., 568-BOOM. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. ERIN K.THOMPSON

Cataldo / Thursday, July 15

There's nothing too new about Cataldo, Eric Anderson's mostly-but-not-always-solo project. He's a guy who writes head-bobby pop songs with simple chords on acoustic guitar, banjo, or piano, most of them about the most universal pop theme of all time: love. But there's a reason this stuff works—with lyrics so carefully conversational, Cataldo's music is helplessly infectious. Anderson recently toured with Laura Veirs, and usually plays his shows with a rotating cast of familiar local musicians. It's really just a bunch of friends having fun onstage—the perfect sunny sound for summer. With Loch Lomond, Kyle Bradford. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 448-2114. 8 p.m. $8. MARY PAULINE DIAZ

Maps & Atlases / Thursday, July 15  See music lead.

Yes / Thursday, July 15

It's safe to say that Yes bears more than their fair share of blame for the current bloated onslaught of jam bands. However, drop a needle on a vinyl copy of Fragile or Close to the Edge while losing yourself in Roger Dean's moonscapes and all is forgiven. Yes somehow combines Simon and Garfunkel's harmonic love, the early Grateful Dead's jam-session vibe, Pink Floyd's darker, more atmospheric explorations, and classical music's uplifting beauty into a challenging (but incredibly palatable) presentation. While Yes has had the lineup changes and periods of less-than-stellar work that typically come with a 40-year career, it continues to show that progressive pop doesn't have to be dumbed down to make an impact. With Peter Frampton. Snoqualmie Casino, 37500 S.E. North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, 425-888-1234. 6 p.m. $40–$95. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Friday Mile / Friday, July 16

The story of Friday Mile isn't unique. The pop-rock band played around Tacoma and Seattle for five years, touring when they could and self-releasing an album, Good Luck Studio, last year. Fans were loyal, but Friday Mile never broke into the Seattle mainstream. Last week, the band announced they were taking an "indefinite hiatus," but with all the members embarking on different musical projects, it sounds like a clean split. The bright side to the breakup is that vocalist and keyboardist Hannah Williams will continue to make music through her side project, Youth Rescue Mission. Her voice, crystal-clear and always on key, was always the star of Friday Mile. With Two Sheds, M. Bison. Columbia City Theater, 4918 Rainier Ave. S. 9 p.m. $12. PAIGE RICHMOND

The Heels / Friday, July 16

The Heels' high-energy punk sounds exactly like what you'd expect to hear from a quartet of fishnet- and leopard print–wearing rocker chicks (and one man) who call their audience members "sluts" and sing songs about having flash floods in their pants. Loud, fast, bouncy, and sexually explicit, these women put on a messy rock show that translates best in gritty dives—though the Heels have landed some cush gigs, like a stint opening for X at the Showbox last year. And yet, while the Heels' quick-draw drums and simply phrased lyrics scream punk, the euphemisms and a pop sensibility keep things lighthearted and more approachable than some of the band's fem-punk predecessors. With Autolite Strike, the Laundronauts. Blue Moon Tavern, 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116. 10 p.m. $5. SARA BRICKNER

Yelawolf / Friday, July 16

There's a good chance you're scared of Yelawolf. And if your introduction to him was his violent, gritty video for "Pop the Trunk," I don't blame you. The tattooed ex-skateboarder from Gadsden, Ala., picked up his first big guest spots last year on Slim Thug's "I Run" and Juelz Santana's "Mixin' Up the Medicine," and was recently heard on Big Boi's debut album via "You Ain't No DJ." But he doesn't need them to prove his worth in the Southern rap canon; his rapid-fire flow can alternate between raunchy sex tunes (disguised as car metaphors) and "diamond nuts" swagger without skipping a beat. Yelawolf's show might get a little rowdy, but he'll put vivid images in your mind—and on your face. With Project Lionheart, Cloud Nice, DJ Nphared. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 9 p.m. $9. NICK FELDMAN

Brite Futures / Saturday, July 17

Some names need to change. Starfucker tried to become Pyramiddd. And now, due to a less-than-sympathetic muse, the band formerly known as Natalie Portman's Shaved Head has gone through a process they called "bittersweet" but "necessary" to become Brite Futures. But don't worry: The handclaps, the goofy lyrics, the get-down vibe, the too-catchy melodies—they haven't gone anywhere. Headlining the Vera Project's eighth annual "A Drink for the Kids" benefit, the electropop five-piece still makes the lovable party music they did before the switch. And judging by their first single under the new moniker, a spectacular sunshine anthem aptly titled "Dog Eared Summer," the future for this gang is bright indeed. With Motopony. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $14. NICK FELDMAN

Minus the Bear / Saturday, July 17  With Everest, Mini Mansions. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $18.50 adv./$20 DOS. All ages.  See music lead.

Sounds Outside / Saturday, July 17

The success of this free concert series—now in its fifth year—proves that adventurous improvising can provide a sunny afternoon's soundtrack just as well as the usual Northwest festival fare. Members of the Monktail collective have put together another slate of Seattle's best creative players, including the Jazz Composers Ensemble and the Zubatto Syndicate, two sprawling and multilayered bands. Wayne Horvitz's Sonny Clark tribute band is on tap too, along with some guests from New York called Father Figures. Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave., 1 p.m. Free. All ages. MARK D. FEFER

The Avett Brothers / Sunday, July 18

Though they've been making records since '01, North Carolina's Avett Brothers added some serious beard power to their sublime major-label debut, last year's I and Love and You. Maybe when you start and working with luminary producer and legendary fuzz-face Rick Rubin, you get furry via proxy. Or maybe it's because the youngest Avett is knock, knock, knockin' on 30's door and masking the fact he's as baby-faced as ever. Reason aside, the beards are fitting, as this is definitely the boys' most mature record to date. It's near-perfect, with a contemporary take on bluegrass tradition and rich with fraternal harmonies and grown-up themes. With Thao With the Get Down Stay Down. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-STG-4TIX. 8 p.m. $28–$38 adv./$33–$43 DOS. All ages. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

The Round 62 w/Star Anna / Sunday, July 18

Listen up, Seattle! It's time to bear witness to some serious artistic greatness right here in our town (OK, in Ellensburg, but close!). Star Anna is the real deal, and if you haven't yet seen her or her amazing band, now's the time. I don't often throw out this kind of jargon, either spoken or written. But this woman has more originality and soul in her left pinky—especially live...I just can't help but be in awe. It's a musical inspiration, a mix of Merle Haggard, Mark Lanegan, and Patsy Cline. Do yourselves a favor and catch her before it's just too damn late. The Only Thing That Matters is real fucking good. Godspeed, Star Anna. With Damien Jurado, Mark Pickerel, Gabe Archer of The Pale Pacific. Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th St., 684-4800. 6 p.m. $18. All ages. DUFF MCKAGAN

Consignment / Monday, July 19

Seattle's Consignment kicks crusty jams and records them on cassette. Though the sound is about as lo as lo-fi can get before descending into indecipherability, the music underneath all that hissing and popping actually benefits from the fuzz factor—think Velvet Underground's "Run Run Run." Carlos Lopez, a member of similar local outfit Scraps, directed the video for one of the band's newer tracks, "Always Tired." The video, like the song, is about a guy suffering from perpetual exhaustion who keeps nodding off standing upright—a relatable state of being for anyone who's ever endured a Seattle winter. Even if you're not on board with the whole tape re-renaissance, it's worth breaking out the old boom box to listen to these guys. With Pretty Birds That Kill, Mark Sparkles. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 8 p.m. $14. SARA BRICKNER

Adam Lambert / Tuesday, July 20

Maybe the rest of the world is right. Maybe Americans are too complacent to take to the streets and riot about things like cuts in unemployment benefits or oil spills. Or really important things, like the travesty that was Kris Allen besting Adam Lambert on American Idol last year. Everyone knows "Glambert" is the best performer Idol has ever coughed up. Maybe that's not saying much. Perhaps in a sea of shit, the contestant who merely smells like a mildewed towel is king. But Lambert is much more than a mildewed towel—his debut LP, For Your Entertainment, is a solid and frequently engaging slab of well-crafted mainstream pop with a few hard-rock flourishes and some nods to the dance floor, too. And his show is said to be an over-the-top spectacle. We think it'll be a riot. With Allison Iraheta. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 628-3151. 8:30 p.m. Sold out. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Neil Young / Tuesday, July 20

On the opening night of his solo tour last May, Neil Young quipped: "It's the same song over and over again." Young is currently road-testing a batch of new material, all of it bearing his trademark elements—acoustic isolation, crunching chords, and swirling angst. The songs also wrangle with vintage Young themes: "Peaceful Valley" is another look at Mother Nature on the run; "You Never Call" is about the loss of a dear friend; "Walk With Me" is about strength of faith. So what's changed? Young himself. At 64, he's staring his later years in the face with the same burning defiance that informs all his best work—at first blush, these songs split the difference between the middle-aged nostalgia of Silver & Gold and the brooding darkness of Sleeps With Angels. Die-hard fans take note: Rumor has it the BP oil spill inspired Young to dust off "Vampire Blues" for this leg of the tour. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 877-784-4849. 8 p.m. $75–$150. All ages. BRIAN J. BARR

Benefit for Team Natalie / Wednesday, July 21  See Rocket Queen.

 
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