The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

Decibel Festival / Wednesday, September 22–Sunday, September 26  See the music lead.

Perfume Genius / Wednesday, September 22

Mike Hadreas' sad-bastard solo project, Perfume Genius, is adored by pretty much everyone who hears it. Pitchfork gave Learning—Hadreas' debut album, heavy on piano and tragedy—a whopping 8.2 out of 10. Success has come quickly for the Seattle resident: Now 26, he started writing music just two years ago and is already signed to Matador Records. All Hadreas needs next is for the masses of disillusioned, heartbroken 20-somethings to hear songs like "Mr. Peterson," which balances bouncing piano with Hadreas' whisper-soft vocals: "He made me a tape of Joy Division/He told me there was part of him missing." Amid this success, though, it seems as if Hadreas could fall apart at any moment. On a personal level, he's been to rehab and plays few live shows. Combine that with his fragile-as-a-baby-bird music, and Perfume Genius seems just as likely to implode as to blow up. With Diamond Rings, Shenandoah Davis. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $10. PAIGE RICHMOND

Vampire Weekend / Wednesday, September 22–Thursday, September 23

Well, well, well. Look who's come crawling back. After last month's Marymoor Park debacle, in which frontman Ezra Koenig allegedly lost his voice "moments" before the show and then canceled after leaving fans waiting outside for 90 minutes, Vampire Weekend is back in town for damage control with a pair of make-up dates. Props to Seattle Theatre Group for the speedy rescheduling; and Ezra, suck on some throat lozenges—a twice-jilted tween can make a frightening foe. With The Head and the Heart. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-STG-4TIX. 7:30 p.m. $36.50. All tickets for the Marymoor Park show can be exchanged at no cost. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Deakin / Thursday, September 23

In December 2009, Deakin (born Josh Dibb) raised nearly $26,000 from fans to travel to Mali and perform at the world-music blowout Festival au Désert—a forward-thinking move that matches his avant-garde musical approach. Best known as one quarter of psych-pop outfit Animal Collective, his traditionally spacey contributions have contrasted with the more electronic material they've released in recent years. On his own, his music becomes even more ambient, both chaotic and droning, stormy and sad. The high-minded experimentalism may be more an individual's artistic journey than easily accessible to lay listeners, but Animal Collective diehards will continue to see his creations as genius. With Prince Rama. Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 956-8372. 7:30 p.m. $11. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

Fences / Thursday, September 23  See B-Sides.

KEXP's Shake the Shack Rockabilly Ball / Thursday, September 23–Friday, September 25

Though it's billed as a rockabilly festival, Shake the Shack doesn't take the term too seriously. It hasn't strayed quite as far as Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, which Gogol Bordello is booked to play this year, but there's still plenty of wiggle room—the festival's kicking things off with an evening of surf rock (The Mercury Four, King of Hawaii), then Friday night's show features Johnny Cash sound-alike Vince Mira with the Roy Kay Trio; but if you can only attend one of the three nights, Saturday is where it's at. Former Seattle band Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers have been teamed with the Donettes; both bands are fronted by women with powerfully, pleasurably twangy voices, and both specialize in kick-up-your-heels honky-tonk music. With Frankie & the Pool Boys, Slacktone, Possum Hollow Boys, the Lucky Stars, Little Rachel, Jerry King & the Rivertown Ramblers, Nick Curran. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $18 adv./$20 DOS/$30 three-day pass. SARA BRICKNER

Melissa Auf der Maur / Friday, September 24

I don't know for sure if Melissa Auf der Maur was ever approached to be in the current incarnation of either Hole or the Smashing Pumpkins—the two iconic '90s alt-rock outfits for which she once played bass—but if so, the flame-haired Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist was exceptionally wise to stay away. Not that Auf der Maur is averse to looking to the past; after all, her recently issued second solo LP, Out of Our Minds, is essentially a concept album about Vikings. Proving you can fashion an album around Norse history and mythology without resorting to death metal, Minds is primarily proggy, gothy rock with dreamy vocals set atop, making for a fairly entrancing listen. With The Hounds Below. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 8 p.m. $8. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

The Keeper / Friday, September 24

The Comet often hosts kick-ass metal shows, but this one is special for two reasons, one happy, one sad. First, the good news: KEXP DJ and our own Rocket Queen Hannah Levin celebrates another year of playing/writing/speaking about music (her actual birthday's Sept. 21, so wish her a happy one if you see her). The bad news is that The Keeper, the most menstrual metal band in Seattle, who also happened to write some heavy yet nerdtastic songs about evil wizards, is breaking up. The band's putting out a bunch of demos, including some from the band's time as a two-piece called We Had a Wonderful Time. Hopefully we'll be seeing charismatic frontman Andrew Chapman participating in plenty of other musical endeavors. With Madraso, Vultures 2012, Grenades. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 9 p.m. $6. SARA BRICKNER

Caleb Klauder Country Band / Friday, September 24

Orcas Island native Caleb Klauder's eponymous outfit of finger-pickin' traditionalists puts the O in Olde and the T in Tyme. Like the Decemberists' Jenny Conlee, Klauder cut his teeth in the '90s jam band Calobo, and now lives in Portland, where he works as a carpenter and also plays with the Foghorn Stringband. It's hard to imagine a more perfectly paired artist and venue than Klauder and Conor Byrne—an underrated factor in the live-music experience that will no doubt prove its worth tonight. Klauder's vocals have a nasally, shopworn quality reminiscent of Levon Helm, but his arrangements hark back to the likes of Hank Sr. With that, be sure to wear boots to Ballard Avenue, and promise not to shine them. With Joel Savoy, Jesse Lege. Conor Byrne, 5140 Ballard Ave. 21 and over. 9 p.m. $10. MIKE SEELY

Eighteen Individual Eyes / Saturday, September 25  See Through @ 2.

Heart / Saturday, September 25

While the Northwest has produced its share of musical gems, few shine as brightly and clearly as Ann Wilson's voice. She's just as comfortable gliding along like a gentle breeze or opening into a powerful, full-throttle howl. She and her guitar-slinging sister Nancy have managed to ride out the storms of four very different musical decades. Heart not only helped define the Northwest's reliance on chugging, stadium-ready riffage (and on more introspective, folkier leanings), but also served as a swift kick in the ass to the novelty of a female-fronted rock band. While the '80s weren't the kindest in terms of timeless creative output (were they for anyone?), the S.S. Dreamboat Annie sailed on; earlier this month, Heart released the '70s-tinged Red Velvet Car, which debuted at #10 in the Billboard 200 charts. Puyallup Fair & Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. S.W., Puyallup, 253-841-5045. 7:30 p.m. $25–$60. All ages. GREGORY FRANKLIN

The xx / Saturday, September 25

Seriously. This band has been through Seattle so many times in the past year, they may as well be frickin' family members. If you missed them at Neumos, Showbox SoDo, Sonic Boom, or Sasquatch!, catch the synth-loving British wunderkinds in their most glamorous local set to date. With Warpaint, Zola Jesus. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-STG-4TIX. 8 p.m. $26.50. All ages. CHRIS KORNELIS

Black Breath, Christian Mistress, Devotion / Sunday, September 26  See Rocket Queen.

Kenny Loggins / Sunday, September 26

Daryl Hall and Kenny Loggins are veteran pop crooners who've enjoyed extraordinarily long careers. Both are prone to fits of smooth-jazz falsetto, and each have had considerable (and regrettable) reconstructive work done on their faces. While Hall has been embraced by modern-day hipsters, Loggins is best remembered as the guy who provided theme music for '80s blockbusters like Top Gun, Footloose, and Caddyshack, laying Lindsey Buckingham to waste. Yet in terms of whose live performance most resembles himself in his prime, Loggins, judging by a recent performance in San Antonio, is more than all right, while Hall's rusty pipes are deep into the danger zone. Should it be Loggins and Oates instead, leaving Hall to Messina? Only if the public demands it. Emerald Queen Casino, 2024 E. 29th St., Tacoma. 7 p.m. $30–$65. MIKE SEELY

Tower of Power / Sunday, September 26

After more than four decades of continuous funk-influenced soul, Tower of Power is still alive, well, and kicking. Having toured with the likes of Sly Stone and Creedence Clearwater Revival, the 10-piece continues its streak, driven by a legendary five-piece brass section, spiced by syncopated percussion, and completed by the vocal range mastered by Larry "LB" Braggs that's nothing shy of impressive. Though they're touring on 2009 release The Great American Soulbook—in which they reimagine favorites from legends like Aretha Franklin and James Brown—18 studio albums' worth of material mean you won't have the opportunity to get bored. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 & 10 p.m. $40. NICK FELDMAN

The Flaming Lips / Monday, September 27

If you haven't ever seen the Flaming Lips, you're missing out on the greatest rock-and-roll circus currently existing. Since 1983, the fearless freaks from Oklahoma City have been pushing visual and sonic boundaries, but only in the past decade have they transformed into a grandiose spectacle that still somehow holds fast to the band's do-it-yourself roots. Bordering on meltdown-inducing sensory overload, a "typical" Flaming Lips experience involves hallucinatory videos, exploding balloons, laser pointers, strobe lights, gong hits, thick clouds of smoke, aliens, and Santa costumes, all of which end up coated in a brightly colored film of confetti. Mind-bendingly psychedelic without being unapproachably abstract, the Lips manage to somehow eschew the ironic route, presenting their over-the-top spectacle as an impressively genuine and moving trip through the joyous (as well as inevitably painful) parts of life on Earth. With Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-STG-4TIX. All ages. 8 p.m. $40 adv./$43 DOS. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Neon Indian / Monday, September 27

A good way to avoid thinking about summer's sad end is to lay back and listen to lots of Neon Indian. The Brooklyn-by-way-of-Austin chillwave outfit's newest single, the Chris Taylor–produced "Sleep Paralysist," has a loose, shuffling beat and plays out in a sunny, druggy haze; their 2009 dream of a debut, Psychic Chasms, is the ideal lazy summer soundtrack, all lush soundscapes of Alan Palomo's murmuring vocals, rippling keyboards, playful video-game blips, and an honest, innocent kind of nostalgia—in one song, Palomo sings, "Should have taken acid with you/Take off our clothes in the swimming pool." Now that sounds like a summer to remember. With Prefuse 73, Miniature Tigers. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $18 adv./$20 DOS. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

School of Seven Bells / Monday, September 27

This atmospheric pop trio—identical twins Claudia and Alejandra Deheza plus guitarist Benjamin Curtis, formerly of the prog-rock outfit Secret Machines—released their debut, Alpinisms, in 2008. It was a ghostly wisp of music, and its follow-up, this year's Disconnect From Desire, is similarly hazy; with its eddies of vocal harmonies and highly poetic lyrics about windstorms, ocean waves, and raindrops (Alejandra says her inspiration comes from lucid dreams), the album does project a feeling of trance and disconnect, as its title suggests. But Disconnect has a much more solidified and substantive sound. The girls' silky vocals are stronger, and songs like "Heart Is Strange" and "Babelonia" are propelled by roiling bass and electronic beats. It's the kind of music you'd hear playing on some fantastic dance floor in the sky. With Active Child. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $13. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Dead Prez / Tuesday, September 28

While the snarling synth line of "Hip Hop" that provided a walk-on for Chappelle's Show might be Dead Prez's most well-known appearance in the mainstream, M-1 and stic.man's hip-hop is decidedly less comical. Drawing their anti-establishment antagonism from a history of ghetto life, scorn for police, black power, and revolution, DP is pissed off and ready to share with the class in a live show that's seen them ignite dollar bills. June's DJ Drama–hosted mixtape Turn Off the Radio Vol. 4 celebrates the 10th anniversary of debut record Let's Get Free and nods to their 2004 classic Revolutionary But Gangsta—all while topping radio tracks from Drake to Gucci Mane with a trademark fury. But before you head for the hills, remember that along with their anger, the duo promotes self-reliance and community empowerment. It might have an edge, but Dead Prez will definitely get you thinking. With Suntonio Bandanaz, Orbitron, Graves. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $15 adv./$20 DOS. NICK FELDMAN

Matt & Kim / Tuesday, September 28  See An Incomplete History.

 
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