The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

Footlaos Benefit / Wednesday, December 1

Footloose was a movie about a powerful, profound cause—the freedom to dance. But dancing is kind of hard to do without a floor. When Rachel Flotard of Visqueen joined a friend on a trip to Laos in 2008, bringing medical supplies and visiting village schools, Ban Na Mouang Elementary School wasn't asking for a prom. They were asking for a floor (that, and a soccer ball). Last year, a night of music funded a cement floor for the school. This year the kids want walls, and tonight's two-venue event can help fund them. The cover gets you in to see DJs at Sole Repair and local rockers covering '80s tunes at the Comet. With Robert Roth of Truly, Rachel Flotard, Brian Naubert of Ruston Mire, Airport, Kimo Muraki, Lesli Wood of the Redwood Plan, Michael Lee of Mal De Mer, Matty & Mikey of Curtains for You, Mike Squires of Duff McKagan's Loaded. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike S., 323-9853. 8 p.m. $10. MARY PAULINE DIAZ

Curren$y / Thursday, December 2

After watching him drop two mixtapes, two independent records, and two proper studio albums since only last year, it's easy to respect Curren$y's work ethic. But the grind would be nothing without his effortlessly nimble verses and airy, instrument-rich beats—two things the New Orleans MC has in spades. Last year's Pilot Talk II was almost exclusively produced by Ski Beatz, and stands mostly chorus-less with an increased focus on the melody and verse. Following a path similar to that of friend and frequent collaborator Wiz Khalifa—heavy on the three W's (wealth, weed, and women)—Curren$y is an equally talented if less radio-friendly proponent of unassuming, everyday-dude stoner rap. With Nipsey Hussle, Dom Kennedy, Smoke DZA. Neumos. 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $25 adv./$28 DOS. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

Dyno Jamz / Thursday, December 2

The EMP Sound Off! Competition has been responsible for adding fuel to the fire of some great winning acts, and failing to do so for others (yeah, I've never heard of the Gruff Mummies either). But while one of the competition's recent low-profile victors, Dyno Jamz, hasn't been in your face with new music, that's about to change with the outfit's eponymous debut record. In the vein of Digable Planets, the seven-piece band, filled with brass and fronted by MC Turtle Toes, seeks the commonality of jazz and hip-hop. Combined with an infectious stage energy, the instrumental layering sets the stage for an entirely different level of rocking the mic. With Theoretics, Flying Sneakers Crew. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $8. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

Lemolo / Thursday, December 2

Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox's breathy, downtempo folk project Lemolo is pretty and sleek—sort of the way a nice silk dress feels between your fingertips. Though Lemolo is a young band with one single ("Whale Song"/"Open Air") and a few kinks to work out, snags are barely noticeable when you look at the whole picture. Piano, percussion, and guitar serve as a mere backdrop to Grandall's moody, sumptuous lead vocals. For the most part, this is quiet-time music, but when Grandall surprises you and belts it out, the ambient, Beach House sound gives way to a titillating pop sensibility that's hardly fit for naptime. With Drew Victor, Jacob Fossum. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave., 784-4880. 9:30 p.m. $6. SARA BRICKNER

The Dandy Warhols / Friday, December 3

Surprise to those who knew them in the '90s: The Dandy Warhols are all grown up. Courtney Taylor's ego is as firmly in check as Zia McCabe's boobies are under wraps, and they seem to have matured into the semi-elder statesmen of Portland's scene. Whereas other notables of that era sustain public consciousness by remastering and endlessly re-releasing whatever record put them on the map, The Dandy Warhols: The Capitol Years celebrates the back catalog of a band who successfully parlayed themselves on to a major with addictive pop hooks and a love of all things edgy, freaky, and glamorous, and who stayed there for a respectable decade-plus run. With Blue Giant. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $20 adv./$22 DOS. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

The Ironclads / Friday, December 3

Because one of the Ironclads' frontmen, Jamie Cotton, is currently living in a different state, Ironclads shows are a somewhat rare occurrence these days. At least the band didn't break up entirely, which is what it looked like when they played their "final show" and Cotton left for graduate school in Colorado. Obviously, the melodious post-punk magic that happens when the Ironclads get together is powerful enough to transcend distance and a time zone or two. The band traffics in emotive rock with hard, discordant edges similar to so many of Saddle Creek's turn-of-the-century offerings: If you're new to the band, this can be heard most clearly in one of their standbys, "Cape Canaveral," which is available as a stream on the band's MySpace page. With M. Bison, Joseph Giant. Columbia City Theater, 4918 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009. 9 p.m. $8. SARA BRICKNER

Kylesa / Friday, December 3

If you take your sludge metal laced with a dash of psych rock, Kylesa could very well propel you to a state of nirvana within two mildly math-y measures (an impressive feat for a band that takes its name from a Buddhist term for a delusory mental state). Spiral Shadow, the Savannah, Ga.–based band's most recent release, is a slightly more polished affair on the surface than earlier ones, but no less blistering underneath that serene sheen, with dueling drums and a triumvirate of vocalists alternating leadership roles that lead down paths both doom-laden and celestial-minded. With Lesbian, Book of Black Earth. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $12. HANNAH LEVIN

Midday Veil / Friday, December 3

Midday Veil may chuckle at Greg Anderson's overused "It's the journey, not the destination" quote, but that's the heart of one of Seattle's finest psych-pop purveyors. The band knows exactly what stratospheric heights they want to take their songs to, but aren't about to take any shortcuts to get there. Drawing from the milky, lysergic-drenched side of shoegaze and the resin-coated, fuzzed-up freakouts of harder-edged psychedelia, Midday Veil builds layer upon soggy layer to create aural landscapes that are meant to be studied and explored by foot rather than by a snapshot from a passing car. Add tons of colorful, tracer-enhancing projections, as they do in their live show, and Midday Veil is capable of producing some beautiful hallucinations for even the stone-soberest listener. With Barbara Manning, Can You Imagine. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $8. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Bob Mould / Friday, December 3

For those of a certain age (old enough to despise Reagan, too young to remember JFK), Bob Mould is an icon. The six-string heart of Hüsker Dü—which raged and thrashed under SST's punk-rock banner, keeping the alternative flame burning in the '80s—Mould has had a successful, if not always consistent, solo career, and fronted Sugar's powerful pop in the early '90s. This is the penultimate show in a six-week tour that began in October, three days after his 50th birthday and a year after his ninth solo release, Life and Times. Mould has become a high-profile gay activist since coming out 16 years ago, unleashing a new lyrical perspective that has informed his recent work. With Telekinesis. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 8 p.m. $25. All ages. MICHAEL MAHONEY

Red Heart Alarm / Friday, December 3

Shoreline is a wonderful place to raise children. It has a nationally renowned school district and tree-lined streets dotted by cozy homes filled with upper-middle-class families. But where to go at night? That's a question Shoreline's long struggled to answer beyond "card rooms" or "nondescript restaurant lounges." Darrell's Tavern, however, has stepped into this void since Dan Dyckman took over the Aurora dive (slogan: "Where your dad used to drink!") more than a year ago. Dyckman's programmed a smorgasbord of live entertainment, from stand-up comedy to live jazz to a quarterly "rock & roll circus," featuring a slew of grunge-era gods in various formations. Tonight, Red Heart Alarm brings its rock-solid country-rock catalogue to Darrell's stage, near which a vintage Country Club Malt Liquor plaque hangs on the wall. With Julia Massey, Jesus Rehab. Darrell's Tavern, 18041 Aurora Ave N., 542-6688. 9:30 p.m. $5. MIKE SEELY

The Andy Kotowicz Family Foundation Benefit / Saturday, December 4

The sudden death of Sub Pop executive Andy Kotowicz in October shattered hearts and spirits not just at the label's headquarters, but throughout the national independent-music community that he touched through his work in marketing and A&R. Consequently, the outpouring of support for his wife Jocelyn and young daughter Anna has been extraordinary, and tonight's benefit show is an all-star lineup that reflects that degree of mournful affection. In addition to appearances by legendary label mainstays Mudhoney and recent signees Shabazz Palaces, many acts which Kotowicz was instrumental in signing are stepping up, including petulant Pennsylvanian punks Pissed Jeans, brain-bending noise architects Wolf Eyes, and folky raconteur Michael Yonkers. With A-Frames/AFCGT, Fruit Bats, Vetiver. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 7 p.m. $20. All ages. HANNAH LEVIN

The Books / Saturday, December 4

Though this year's The Way Out is the Books' fourth studio album, it's still easy to feel bewildered by the music that New York City guitarist/vocalist Nick Zammuto and cellist Paul de Jong create. Their experimental sound revolves around speech and sound samples that, astonishingly, you'd be hard-pressed not to enjoy. Take their latest work as evidence—The Way Out features self-help passages ("Group Autogenics"), some kid brutally threatening another ("A Cold Freezin' Night") and a folk song that was created thanks to free online language translators ("Free Translator"). With The Black Heart Procession. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $22. All ages. BRYDEN MCGRATH

Les Savy Fav / Sunday, December 5

Longtime fans of Brooklyn's Les Savy Fav have been making a fuss about the quintet's latest LP, Root for Ruin, released in September. The riffy and harmonious record lacks the rough abrasiveness and uncontrollable antics of Les Savy Fav's earlier work, seemingly swimming in the same circles in the pop pool instead of diving to any new, unexplored depths. Still, songs like "Sleepless in Silverlake" and the lead single "Let's Get Out of Here" are undeniably catchy and high-energy, and Tim Harrington is still the same big wild beast of a man who may, at any point in the show, take off his clothes, kiss you, or pants you. With Steel Tigers of Death, Absolute Monarchs. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $20. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds / Monday, December 6

Once each year for the past two decades, brah-rock institution Dave Matthews has ditched his backing band for a couple weeks in favor of getting his acoustic thing on with Tim Reynolds, the fellow guitarist who convinced him to start his first band. This year is no different. What is different about Matthews and Reynolds' two-night billy-flippin' stint at McCaw Hall is where the money ends up: anywhere you want. In a unique partnership with charity clearinghouse JustGive.org, the duo are rewarding ticket purchasers with $150 to shower on the do-gooders of their choosing. After the last chord is plucked and the final marching ant noted, JustGive expects to clear a cool million. Which should give you the requisite cover—"Hey, it's for charity"—in case you feel guilty about dropping three figures on a guy who named his most recent album Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., 684-7200. 7:30 p.m. $148.50. All ages. CALEB HANNAN

Peter Hook / Tuesday, December 7

Performing Joy Division's seminal debut album, 1979's Unknown Pleasures, without Ian Curtis seems a bit like reshooting Rebel Without a Cause minus James Dean—Curtis' possessed stage presence and booming baritone are just about inimitable, let alone replaceable. But if someone's got to do it, it might as well be Joy Division's founding bassist Peter Hook. Along with his band The Light, Hooky's performing the album across the country to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Curtis' suicide. It's as good a chance as any to hear "She's Lost Control" and "Disorder" live, 'cause Curtis sure ain't coming back anytime soon to do it. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $25 adv./$30 DOS. ERIN K. THOMPSON

 
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