The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

The Get Up Kids/Wednesday, February 2

If you thought you'd outgrown heart-on-your-sleeve, power-chord-laden emo, you probably broke up with the Get Up Kids at least six years ago, right around the time they said they broke up. But one reunion tour, an EP, and a full-length later, the '90s emo heroes are back—now playing with synth and drum machines and grown up far past "Campfire Kansas," "I'll Catch You," and that impossibly chipper cover of The Cure's "Close to Me." Instead, they come back with scuzzy guitar riffs, garage wails, and odd '80s new-wave beats—even if it's not Something to Write Home About, it's a good night to rewind for everyone. With Steel Train, River City Extension. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 7 p.m. $21. All ages. MARY PAULINE DIAZ

Bettye LaVette/Thursday, February 3–Sunday, February 6

"I was singing R&B back in '62, before you were born, and your mama too," Bettye LaVette wailed on 2007's Scene of the Crime. LaVette's four-decade career serves as a master class on pain, perseverance, and refusing to be pigeonholed. Her voice is a precision scalpel that slashes, guts, and reinvents, effortlessly going from spine-tingling to heartbreaking in just a few bars. On her genius 2010 release Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, she makes Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy" deep, the Moody Blues' "Knights in White Satin" soulful, and ignites the Who's "Love, Reign O'er Me," Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" to a level almost too beautifully painful to take in. With Jon Cleary. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 p.m. $26.50. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

The Blow/Friday, February 4

The Blow hasn't released an album of new music since 2006's whimsical and charming Paper Television, so Khaela Maricich isn't on the road to pitch a new record, but "Because the fans demand it!", according to her publicist. The Blow's previous releases—most of them on K Records—are collections of whimsical, charming pop songs. Now they're moving on. "We have cooked the material since the last time we were out," Maricich wrote on her website. "We added a chapter and gave one of the characters a sex change. We are building something here, and anyone who wants to can watch as it grows." One of the added chapters is her collaboration with her girlfriend, installation artist Melissa Dyne. She creates dynamic onstage visuals by swirling together light, sound, and video elements while Maricich, backed by percussion and samples, delivers a few haphazard monologues and sings some old songs and some new—enough to please her current fans and intrigue some new ones. With Sonny Smith. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $13. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Sarah McLachlan & Friends/Friday, February 4

Predictability isn't always a bad thing. It's why restaurants have regulars, everyone loves Night Court, and your dad drank Oly stubbies. Sarah McLachlan might be the most predictable recording artist on the planet. Her ballads—they're almost always ballads, barely approaching mid-tempo at their most rambunctious—are emotional, introspective, and ethereal. She's sort of a hyper-ethical eco-mother, the type of individual who could easily be lampooned on Portlandia, even though she calls Vancouver, B.C., home. She's gorgeous, and so is her voice. In fact, she's among the most gifted vocalists in pop history. She'll never be taken for edgy, but is there another person on the planet whom you'd rather have sing you into a virtual rose-petaled bath? (Listen to "I Will Remember You," and the answer won't be no.) She's got her formula, she sticks to it, and the result is a sold-out Paramount. With Butterfly Boucher, Melissa McClelland. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 682-1414. 8 p.m. Sold out. MIKE SEELY

Scribes/Friday, February 4

When the studio Scribes was recording at was broken into and robbed, everything was stolen—including the master versions of the tracks he'd already laid down. Which is why the young Seattle rapper's second full-length record is fittingly titled What Was Lost. And if the first leak—a monster of a track called "Monster"—is any indication, the record will be worth the extra effort. Scribes is doing it big for his release party with two Grynch-hosted shows—an early, all-ages version featuring support from KnowMads and Kung Foo Grip and a late edition with Super Fire, JFK, and Hush'd Puppies. He says he's never felt so close to death, but with great sacrifice comes great reward. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 5 p.m. All ages. 10 p.m. 21 and over. $6. NICK FELDMAN

Bassnectar/Saturday, February 5

Bassnectar, the nom de plume of San Francisco DJ and producer Lorin Ashton, is a mysterious creature. In press photos, you'll rarely see his face, as it's usually covered by his massive mane of scraggly hair, which makes him look like a '60s hippie peacenik. He actually tweets things like "dreams are so amazing . . . I love experiencing an alternative reality." But there's nothing really placid or harmonious about his music: Ashton concocts dubstep beats with sudden, jerking time-signature switches and layers upon layers of rapping and singing samples. His latest release, last year's Wildstyle EP, has a head-banger of a title track—"Wildstyle Method" sounds like a jumbo jet with a cabinful of rowdy, bass-loving DJs taking off from a runway while a little kid chants "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo." Yeah, it's weird, but it's also completely hypnotizing. With Filastine, Superdre. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 682-1414. 8 p.m. $25 adv./$27 DOS. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Campfire OK/Saturday, February 5

Local collective Campfire OK is one of those beautiful, restless entities that don't stay in one place for too long but still manage to write concise, focused songs. Strongly rooted in the raw acoustic sounds of the Smithsonian Folkways Anthology series, they push the boundaries of the revival-band stigma, effortlessly incorporating subtle modern elements (synth swells and delay pedals) atop their songs' weathered antique frames. While the energy of their live show shifts with their ever-changing roster, their debut LP, Strange Like We Are, is stocked full of pristine, elegant dirges that start simply and end up evolving into overwhelming walls of sound, capable of taking over even the most jaded and suspicious listeners. With Koko & the Sweetmeats, Bryan John Appleby. Columbia City Theater, 4918 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009. 9 p.m. $10. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Kool Keith/Saturday, February 5

Since surfacing in 1984, Kool Keith has been one to push boundaries. And after retiring his alter ego Dr. Octagon, the prolific rapper, self-proclaimed inventor of "horrorcore" and "pornocore," and founding member of the Ultramagnetic MCs re-emerged as an intergalactic entertainer on his 1999 record Black Elvis/Lost in Space. The album is split between the musings of an artist and a traveler, as its title suggests, but uniformly supported by a signature flow and backed with sparse, ominous beats—and tonight, Kool Keith will perform the record in its entirety. It's not a feat undertaken for lack of material, considering he's laid down his complex and admittedly strange stream-of-consciousness rhymes on more than a dozen releases since. But amid hip-hop's fascination with space, Black Elvis stands as a monument. With Rushden & Diamonds, RA Scion, Mr. Hill. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $13. NICK FELDMAN

Ozzy Osbourne/Saturday, February 5

In a recent interview, Ozzy stated that he and the other members of Black Sabbath, including guitarist Tony Iommi, are "in the talking process" about a reunion that would include a new album—which would be the band's first with Ozzy since 1978's Never Say Die! But it's implausible that anything would happen until after Ozzy's solo world tour, in which his bumbling Hollywood character takes some time off to remind the world he's a) somehow still alive, and a) still the Prince of Darkness—indeed, he sounds reinvigorated by a new guitarist, Gus G., on last year's quality Scream. With Slash. Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, 253-272-3663. 7:30 p.m. $29.50–$79.50. All ages. BRYDEN MCGRATH

The Tony Williams Tribute Band/Monday, February 7–Tuesday, February 8

Two of the first CDs I ever owned were given to me by my dad when I was a teenager: John Coltrane's Crescent and The Collection by The Tony Williams Lifetime. I devoured the records as only a curious kid with just a handful of CDs on his shelf can. When I saw that the Tony Williams Tribute Band (led by Cream's Jack Bruce) is coming to Jazz Alley, I reacquainted myself with Williams (1945–97), a pioneering fusion bandleader and drummer. He still inspires. Before forming Lifetime, Williams made his mark at 17, when he was recruited to play with Miles Davis. He also played drums for John Lydon's post–Sex Pistols band Public Image Limited. Yeah, he could swing with Miles Davis and hang with the Sex Pistols. No wonder there's a tribute band. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. $35. CHRIS KORNELIS

 
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