The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

Pony Time/Wednesday, January 5

This year-old Seattle duo makes the kind of garage-inflected, early-'60s pop, delivered by contemporary punks, that's been picking up steam over the past year, and has been heard primarily via cassette around town. Pony Time throws the genre a curve as a boy/girl duo (nothing shocking about that) driven not by a six-string guitar but by a four-string bass, played by vocalist Luke Beetham. Delivered from the low register, the deeply fuzzy tones serve as sheets of drone in support of his high-pitched, B-52s-inspired vocals. Drummer Stacy Peck, formerly of Telepathic Liberation Army, hits the drums in a tasteful, testosterone-free style of playing that comes from the heart—not note-perfect but ideally suited for the music. Onstage they're deliberately rough and off the cuff. Come curious, leave with a tape. With the Babies, Butts, Detective Agency. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $5. CHRIS KORNELIS

Teengirl Fantasy/Thursday, January 6

Is there something in the water in the dorms of Oberlin College? The Ohio institution has educated a notable number of eclectic musicians, including Liz Phair, Karen O, Alex Scally of Beach House, and most recently turntablists Nick Weiss and Logan Takashi of the synth-dream duo Teengirl Fantasy. The twosome makes music that incongruously combines sharp, futuristic electronica with washes of retro soul and R&B samples. It's odd and fluttery, but also incredibly hypnotic and relaxing. Teengirl Fantasy's debut full-length, the delicate 7AM, contains a reimagining of Rose Royce's '70s soul classic "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (also covered by Madonna in 1984) that oozes with a cool, slow-motion sensuality. With Pictureplane, U.S.F. Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 956-8372. 7:30 p.m. $9. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Damien Jurado/Friday, January 7

Without question, 2010 was the year that local singer/songwriter Damien Jurado hit his stride, articulating his literal and figurative voice on St. Bartlett with a concise elegance and vulnerability that eclipsed even his strongest previous efforts. Jurado's live shows are always hushed, reverent affairs well worth the focused attention they command. However, the presence of Widower on this bill is equal cause for celebration. Frontman Kevin Large (backed primarily by members of the Moondoggies) is one of the city's most unheralded talents, possessing a voice that evokes Ryan Adams' more melancholic moments and the easy, unaffected delivery of an artist born for the stage. With Tony Kevin Jr. Columbia City Theater, 4918 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009. 9 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. HANNAH LEVIN

Angelo Spencer et les Hauts Sommets/Friday, January 7

If you haven't heard of French-born Olympia resident Angelo Spencer, you've surely heard of his wife, wacky songstress Kimya Dawson. The couple shares a record label, K, and a 4-year-old daughter named Panda, but Spencer does his own thing too. In early 2010, K released his Karl Blau–engineered Angelo Spencer et les Hauts Sommets, a crackling, rollicking instrumental LP spotlighting Spencer's deft, lively guitar licks—the man is clearly a master of the instrument. That album was quickly followed by a Calvin Johnson–produced collaboration with French gypsy folk outfit L'Orchidee d'Hawai, a quirky, easygoing 7" single called "L'Argent" that proves Spencer can sing as well as play guitar, write endearing music, be a father and husband, and seemingly do it all. With Lonesome Shack, Kinski, Sugar Sugar Sugar. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 9 p.m. $7. ERIN K. THOMPSON

The Tighten Up/Friday, January 7

Formerly the Saturday-night dance party at Belltown's Juju lounge, Tighten Up has migrated up the hill to Moe Bar as a first-Friday affair—and is undoubtedly prepared to bring along its classic hip-hop, boogie funk, and soulful dance tunes. Each of the prolific local DJs responsible for holding down the wheels of steel—FourColorZack, Neight1000, and Sean Cee—have appeared at some of Seattle's best dance parties, including Capitol Club's Jet Set, Nasty's at Havana, and HG Lodge's Almost Famous. And if their track record isn't enough to snag your attention, their selections, ranging from Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" to Chic's infectious "Good Times," will get you on your feet. Moe Bar, 1425 10th Ave., 709-9951. 10 p.m. Free. NICK FELDMAN

Appetite for Awesome!/Saturday, January 8

As long as there's a decent backline and some semblance of organization, cover nights can be much more enjoyably adventurous than they seem at first, particularly if there's a wild-card factor in the mix. In the case of tonight's "Appetite for Awesome!" show, there are plenty of tantalizing unknowns. A wide range of iconic, harder-edged artists (Gorilla Biscuits, Jawbreaker, Guns N' Roses, and Motörhead) are to be covered by a slew of this city's most commanding metal-minded performers, like Heiress. Best of all, it's free, though the proceeds from auction items (gift cards, free shows at El Corazon, a box of merch from React! Records) will go to Rosie McPherson, mother of 3 Inches of Blood bassist Brian Redman, who was killed in a scooter crash in 2009. With On, Poverty Bay Saints, Betrayed, Blood Elk, The Great White North, Gravemaker, Between the Buried and Me. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 10 p.m. Free. HANNAH LEVIN

Eprom/Saturday, January 8

"Psychedelic space machine murderation, polytemponic neurocrunk and heavy-handed pleasure": San Francisco electronic artist Sander Dennis, better known as Eprom, certainly isn't afraid to be hyperbolic in his self-description. With four releases in 2010 alone, the prolific Warp-signed producer is fresh off his Bay Area EP, a tribute to the trunk-rattling bass found in his hometown. Bay Area further proved Eprom's ability to incorporate elements of funk and hip-hop distorted to near-unrecognizable levels. With a penchant for addictive beats, wildly dirty synth loops, and near-8-bit sounds, Eprom focuses on creating a dance-floor experience unlike anything you've heard before. With Take, Splatinum, DJ WD4D, Introcut. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 9 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. NICK FELDMAN

Lozen/Saturday, January 8

Lozen, the namesake of the Tacoma power-sludge, guitar/drums duo of Hozoji Matheson-Margullis and Justine Valdez, was a 19th-century Apache leader and medicine woman who rode with Geronimo and was one of the most respected and feared warriors of the American West. If you found yourself on the wrong side of her on the battlefield, it was very likely your ass. Similarly, you should harbor no illusions about the two lovely ladies of Lozen the band: Their deliciously ugly, noisy, snarling assault—like the best of the early Olympia riot-grrrl years meets the best of the Amphetamine Reptile catalog—will tear a hole in the sky and rain the fire of a thousand suns upon your head. Hard to think of a better way to go. With My Goodness, High Class Wreckage, Brickbats. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 9 p.m. $6. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Michael Vermillion and Pablo Trucker/Saturday, January 8

The Dutchess and the Duke co-founder Kimberly Morrison initially brought the work of Michael Vermillion to my attention, for which I am eternally grateful. Vermillion has an instantly recognizable voice: part Van Morrison, part earth angel, with a light glazing of Mark Lanegan's ghostly growl. Pablo Trucker is all heart and country-fried soul, cranking out romantic barroom rock that would sound just fine as an opening act for those other long-haul drivers, the Drive-By Truckers. With Whisky Swillers, Joel Hagman and the Red Menace. Conor Byrne, 5140 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-3640. 9 p.m. $7. HANNAH LEVIN

Sweet Apple/Tuesday, January 11

Surely by now the notion of Dinosaur Jr. axeman J. Mascis (easily on my Top Five Guitarists of All Time list) expertly pounding away at the drums is no longer novel, after his stints over the years as the drummer in Witch, Deep Wound, and Upsidedown Cross. Mascis is hitting the skins for yet another band these days: Sweet Apple, fronted by singer John Petkovic and guitarist Tim Parnin (both of glammy Cleveland punk band Cobra Verde, as well as Robert Pollard co-conspirators), and also featuring Witch bassist Dave Sweetapple. The foursome tears through loud, grimy, muscular, '70s-style arena rock that all at once honors such forebears as Blue Öyster Cult, Deep Purple, the New York Dolls, and the Stooges. Though Mascis, the band's most recognizable member, takes a backseat creatively to Petkovic and Parnin, there's no doubt his monstrous rhythmic glue helps hold this indie supergroup together. With Dead Meadow, Blood Red Dancers. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $15. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

 
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