The Short List: This Week's Recommended Shows

From GOAT to Acid Mothers Temple.

Gold Panda/Wednesday, March 23

Gold Panda is the alias of Essex, UK, musician and producer Derwin Panda (seriously, his actual last name is Panda?), who records for esteemed Ann Arbor, Mich.–based electronic label Ghostly International and got an early, hype-solidifying shout-out from blog-famous rapper Curren$y. The Panda's productions are kind of effervescent, almost hip-hop instrumentals in which tinkling acoustic melodies and smeared vocal samples seem to melt up off the beats—imagine an icicle melting upside down, droplets of water floating into the air. At other times, like on "Quitters Raga," he slices snatches of Eastern-flavored strings over heavier lugging rhythms. Gold Panda's set opening for Pantha du Prince at Neumos during last year's Decibel Festival was an unexpected highlight—a little choppy maybe, but full of sweet, immersive sounds and head-nodding beats that ably moved the crowd. With Dam Mantle, IG88. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 8 p.m. $8. ERIC GRANDY

Julianna Barwick/Friday, March 25

When Julianna Barwick sings, you can't really understand what she's saying. But—as with Sigur Rós—the lyrics don't really matter; Barwick's able to convey all the heart and emotion in the world through her angelic voice, relying on her exquisite vocal tones to connect with her listeners. On her newest album, The Magic Place, the Brooklyn-based singer layers and loops sky-high chorales of bright vocals alongside barely-there piano, synth, and guitar, creating cosmic, stirring melodies. It's a little impossible to listen to the album without thinking of ancient cathedrals and glowing lights—songs such as "Envelop" and "White Flag" are like mystical, modern-day Gregorian chants. The album title proves to be scarily true—getting lost in this music transports you to some magical place all in your head. With Esben and the Witch. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $10. ERIN K. THOMPSON

BOAT/Friday, March 25

Seattle's BOAT has always purveyed the kind of fuzzed-out, sing-along indie pop that hearkens back to the days of wearing out VHS dubs of last Sunday's 120 Minutes and poring over dog-eared copies of Magnet/Raygun/Spin/local zine in your parents' basement. BOAT's new record, Dress Like Your Idols, finds the band members wearing their influences on their sleeves; the cover features the band sloppily repainting their name onto their favorite album covers. While BOAT has always had a knack for writing lab-tested, scientifically perfect three-minute pop songs, Idols shows the band experimenting more with the recording studio (finding itself in that cherished warm and fuzzy mid-fi territory) and mastering the sort of vitriolic, goosebump-inducing anthems (seriously, "Forever in Armitron" is a glowing, Seattle-centric "Harnessed in Slums") that make you want to fire that old fanzine back up again. With Pickwick, Concours d'Elegance. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9:30 p.m. $8. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Foot Village/Friday, March 25

It's hard to imagine how Foot Village is even going to fit into Cairo Gallery's tiny back room, let alone leave room for an actual audience. The L.A.-based, Smell-affiliated band is an all-drums-and-vocals quartet, with each member manning a full-sized drum kit and singing. Live, they set up facing each other in a diamond formation, with one giant jumble of drums in the middle. The drumming is part martial, part tribal, roiling and rolling with punk-rock intensity; it's a drum circle you could slam-dance around, given enough room. The singing, though, tends to be of the warbling, shrieking, and primal-screaming variety, and, depending on your appetite for that stuff, might seriously undercut your ability to enjoy all of Foot Village's aggro rhythmic fun. Opening are Seattle ambient-wavers U.S.F., who recently released the Jonathan Lethem–inspired (really) EP The Spray. With Footwork. Cairo Gallery, 507 E. Mercer St., 453-4077. 8 p.m. $5. All ages. ERIC GRANDY

James Coates and the Lost Souls/Saturday, March 26

With his bushy red hair and beard, local boy James Coates is exactly like American Idol front-runner Casey Abrams, only much heavier, much humbler, and much more talented. Vocally, Coates sounds like Bob Dylan would if Dylan could actually sing, while lyrically he veers closer to Springsteen territory. Coates' backing band, the Lost Souls, is evocative of Whiskeytown. Here you have the name-dropped-to-death CliffsNotes for those completely unfamiliar with Coates, currently peddling a haunting, five-song solo debut. If it all looks intriguing on paper (and it should), rest assured it only gets better in the flesh. With Clumsy Lovers. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9:30 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. MIKE SEELY

Gatsbys American Dream/Saturday, March 26

Plenty of people, probably, would thank Seattle indie-punk outfit Gatsbys American Dream for splitting up back in 2006. That break led to the formation of beloved local acts Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground and Wild Orchid Children—though that's far from a complete list, and the unofficial side-project count floats at around a dozen. But GAD's legions of die-hard fans couldn't be happier that the hiatus only lasted a few years, especially considering that their recently released "Modern Man" indicates the new music will be just as melodic, danceable, and complex as it was at the band's peak. Also on the bill is West Sound punk-rawk trio MxPx, who'll be joined by original drummer Yuri Ruley to play 1996 album Life in General in its entirety—the record of both "Chick Magnet" fame and hometown PSA "Move to Bremerton." With Man Without Wax. El Corazón, 101 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 8:30 p.m. $16. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

The Golden Blondes/Saturday, March 26

The first two tracks on the Golden Blondes' four-song self-titled EP, the release of which we celebrate tonight, are a little misleading. They trick you into believing the band is only a slick garage-rocking trio that's not afraid to roll the bass to the front of the mix. Then the last two songs take a surprising turn—"Discount Prices" comes off as an Old 97's song on some bizarro plane where Jello Biafra has eaten Rhett Miller, and "Wasted" is a tuned-down, almost shoegazing weeper. As impressive as it is that the Golden Blondes can pull off all these sounds, it's even more so that they already know the secret to keeping fans interested: curiosity about what you'll do next. With Hounds of the Wild Hunt, Pipsisewah. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $8. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

Cloud Nothings/Sunday, March 27

Cleveland's Cloud Nothings is the solo project of one Dylan Baldi, who is 19 and dropped out of college to focus on writing scrambling, buzzing, lo-fi pop-punk tunes, many of which were composed and recorded in his parents' basement. Baldi's full-length debut hyperactively clashes sugary melodies with blasting, spazzing guitars and vocals—kind of like a less-bratty Nathan Williams. His music is adolescent in a lovable, we've-all-been-there kind of way: On one song he petulantly repeats "I don't understand at all"; on another, caught in the gleeful grip of first love, he sings "We never go to bed/We just stay up and talk instead." With tunes this promising, who needs textbooks and dorm rooms? With Toro Y Moi, Braids. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $10. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Acid Mothers Temple/Monday, March 28

Normally, a blurb like this would liken the music of Acid Mothers Temple to large natural eruptions, i.e., "earthquakes of noise" or "tsunamis of sound." But since AMT's homeland is Japan, we'll let those metaphors rest for now. Just know that this sprawling collective of Japanese freaks is responsible for a discography that's near-impossible to wrap your head around. Not only is AMT's output relentless, its jams seek to expand and distort your mental consciousness. Hypnotic repetition will drone on before building into acid-bath bluesyness, ultimately imploding as a total psych meltdown. Given the devastation in its native country, I can only imagine AMT will relish the opportunity to turn up the amplifiers and rock the quake out of its collective mind. With The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 8 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. BRIAN J. BARR

The Ready Set/Tuesday, March 29

The Ready Set is just Jordan Witzigreuter, a scrawny, shaggy 21-year-old who, after several years of recording music in his parents' basement and loading it on MySpace, caught the attention of Ashlee Simpson's ex—er, Fall Out Boy bassist—Pete Wentz. With Wentz's help, The Ready Set released his first studio album, I'm Alive, I'm Dreaming, and got a small taste of mainstream success last year with his infectious single "Love Like Whoa." The rest of his songs are just as likable: unapologetically pure pop crammed with saccharine-sweet lyrics. Admittedly, it's too early in the game to tell whether The Ready Set is riding a lucky break or has a career as a respectable artist ahead of him, but he deserves some credit—the guy has a hell of a knack for making music you just can't help but hum along with. With Allstar Weekend, The Downtown Fiction, We Are the In Crowd, You, Me, and Everyone We Know, Plug In Stereo. El Corazón, 101 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 6:30 p.m. $13. All ages. ERIKA HOBART

 
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