This Week's Recommended Shows

From Robert Plant to Rod Stewart.

Nate Dogg Tribute/Wednesday, April 20

When Nathaniel "Nate Dogg" Hale passed last month, hip-hop lost one of its most distinctive voices—one that West Coast rap and the hook as we know it today both owe a massive debt of gratitude. He was a fixture, credited on more than 40 charting singles stretching back to 1992, including certified jams like Warren G's "Regulate," Dr. Dre's "Xxplosive" and "The Next Episode," Ludacris' "Area Codes," and 50 Cent's "21 Questions"—and odds are none of these would have been the hits they were without his signature croon. In tribute, a posse of Seattle hip-hop artists (their names officially unannounced at press time) is assembling for a noteworthy cover show that'll send half its profits to the official memorial trust. And as a singer with the uncanny ability to make G-Funk's graphically violent and sexualized lyrics beautiful, you know Nate Dogg would want nothing more than for everyone to mount up in his honor. With DJ Swervewon, hosted by Spaceman and Neema. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 10 p.m. $5. NICK FELDMAN

Robert Plant and The Band of Joy/Wednesday, April 20

For all the '70s ballyhoo over Jimmy Page's alleged dealings with the devil, it's Robert Plant who still seems to shine like the "golden god" he declared himself more than 30 years ago. With his solid post- Zeppelin career, from the doo-wopping Honeydrippers in the '80s to his acclaimed Raising Sand with Alison Krauss to his latest project, the reuniting of Band of Joy (who perform their own Grammy- nominated Americana as well as stripped-down, countrified versions of Zep hits), Plant continues to keep it unpredictably interesting. And his mesmerizing voice has aged as well as his physical self. Man, I'd hate to think that means poor ol' Jimmy drank all that goat urine for nothing. With the North Mississippi Allstars. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 467-5510. 8 p.m. $55–$85. All ages. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

Donald Glover/Thursday, April 21

Donald Glover is pretty easily recognizable thanks to his role as Troy Barnes on NBC's Community, but that's not all—he raps and makes beats under the moniker Childish Gambino, and does both well. His TV-to-music transition makes for easy comparisons to Aubrey "Drake" Graham, best known as Degrassi: The Next Generation's Jimmy before selling a few million records and becoming one of the hottest pop-rap acts of 2010. It's even easier to make the connection when you catch on to Glover's occasional half-sung deliveries, deliberate punch lines (thanks to a creative-writing education at NYU), and Lil Wayne–influenced growls. But instead of using his background as a simple steppingstone, his unique skill set also makes for a captivating concert/comedy hybrid show—and in both arenas, it's undeniable that Glover, er, Gambino, is a talented dude. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. Sold out. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

Twin Shadow/Friday, April 22

Tourmates Twin Shadow and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart both look to the 1980s for sonic inspiration, but while Pains made its name mining the twee pop sounds of the C86 underground, Twin Shadow (aka George Lewis Jr.) incorporates a broader, more aboveground sound, refracting echoes of lite FM into his own winning brand of woozy, dreamy soft rock. Twin Shadow's excellent debut, Forget, speaks for itself, but the Dominican-born, Florida-raised, and now Brooklyn-based musician has also been the beneficiary of an outstanding music-video campaign—first with the Calvin Klein, wood-paneled-basement, soft-core-porn-spoofing "Slow," and more recently with the hilarious "official commentary" version of "At My Heels," in which two directors pontificate on the deep symbolism of their no-budget video. Both should be watched immediately if you haven't already seen them. Goofs aside, expect tonight's show to be a bill of eminently swoon-worthy indie pop. With Seapony. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $13. Also at Easy Street Records, 20 Mercer St., 691-3279. 6 p.m. Free. All ages. ERIC GRANDY

Yuck/Friday, April 22

Yuck is a multinational band—its four young members hail from London, Japan, and New Jersey—but for all their disparity, they seem to have agreed on one prevalent sound and style—indie rock circa 1992 (ironically, around the time they were all born). Yuck's self-titled debut is chock-full of reverbing guitars, fuzzed-out vocals, and lackadaisical melodies. The comparisons are inevitable—the band's crunchier songs are very Pavement, the mellower songs very Sparklehorse. But it would be unfair to tag Yuck as derivative copycats. The members inject their own youthful vibrancy into infectious janglers like "Georgia" and a compelling amount of heart and sympathy into slower songs like "Suicide Policeman"; it's both original and believable. Yuck isn't mimicking the '90s sound, but translating it for the next generation. With Tame Impala. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Pickwick/Saturday, April 23

A year ago, Seattle's Pickwick wasn't a terrible band by any means, but they were still trying to find their voice and getting lost among the shuffle of a city with a surplus of guys with guitars and something to say. Somewhere along the way, lightning was bottled, a lasso was thrown around the wind, and the band liquidated everything but their name. Turning the distortion down and the reverb up, Pickwick has left small-pond indie-rock behind, and has obviously spent some time cramming with the Stax and Motown playbooks. Thanks in no small part to singer Galen Disston's captivating, throaty growl and a newly discovered desire to create perfect music for rug-cutting/baby-making, Pickwick's soulful new voice is a refreshing and unique addition to the noise of Seattle. With Kelli Schaefer, Legendary Oaks. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 9:30 p.m. $10. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Eddie Spaghetti/Saturday, April 23

Eddie Spaghetti, of Supersuckers (semi-)fame, has never been known for making the most melodic music. You wouldn't want him to, anyway, and his solo debut, Sundowner, only goes there for a cover of Willie Nelson's "Always on My Mind." What you want out of Spaghetti is what, locally, just he and Brent Amaker reliably deliver: uproarious punk-country that comes to life live, doesn't take itself too seriously, and makes you want to get drunk and screw. If Robert Earl Keen had grown up in Seattle, he'd sound like Spaghetti, for whom the road goes on forever and the party never ends. You're invited. With the Shivering Denizens, Guns of Nevada, Sledgeback. Studio Seven, 110 S. Horton St., 286-1312. 7 p.m. $10 adv./ $12 DOS. All ages. MIKE SEELY

Rod Stewart/Saturday, April 23

Rod Stewart is what Mick Jagger would have become had he not had Keith Richards to call bullshit on him. One of the world's greatest interpretive singers, Stewart let a once-respectable career erode in favor of financial success and a swollen head. Where his early albums were gritty, rootsy rockers (Every Picture Tells a Story, Gasoline Alley), everything from 1975 on inched closer to adult-contemporary territory. Yet his ear for a good song has never dulled—in addition to countless superb soul covers, Stewart has taken on lesser-known numbers by Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and Tom Petty, and even transformed an obscure, weary ballad by deceased Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten ("I Don't Want to Talk About It") into a powerful anthem. Sure, Rod's a tool and his records mostly suck, but I bet the playlist on his iPod rules! With Stevie Nicks. KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 628-0888. 7:30 p.m. $49.50–$149.50. All ages. BRIAN J. BARR

Kurt Vile and the Violators/Sunday, April 24

Kurt Vile's latest album, last month's Smoke Ring for My Halo, is his most subdued record to date; it's also his best. Much of the lo-fi scuzz that characterized Vile's previous three releases has been cleaned up and cleared away, leaving the focus on his nimble, exquisite finger-picking and his accompanying dark and deadpan vocal ramblings. Vile used those tools to create a warm, immersive record without losing his amiable stoner vibe or his insouciant sneer. "If it ain't workin'," he sings on "Runners Up," "take a whiz on the world." He's got "the next Lou Reed" written all over him. With EMA. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9:30 p.m. $12. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Wax/Monday, April 25

After a cursory web search, you might conclude that Maryland-born, SoCal-residing rapper Wax can freestyle, but that that's about the extent of his arsenal. But from the sea of YouTube videos that launched his career, a record deal with Def Jam emerged last month to release the pop-flavored, DJ Skee–hosted mixtape that serves as his debut. Its title, Scrublife, sheds much light on the aesthetic the MC chases; a former rocker who ended up in San Diego after his band (and love life) fell apart, he reps the opposite of excess, in contrast to the jewel-encrusted rappers he grew up watching on MTV. From DUI odes to love songs to the girl at your marijuana dispensary, it's lifestyle music for an apartment littered with beer bottles. With SuperFire, City Hall. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $12. NICK FELDMAN

Starfucker/Tuesday, April 26

At first glance, Portland synth-poppers Starfucker and Seattle rap crew Champagne Champagne might seem like unlikely allies for a West Coast tour, but in fact the two bands are like long-lost soul brothers. Electronic rock act Starfucker takes much inspiration from hip-hop (see the modestly swagged-out video for "Medicine" or their many interview mentions of Gucci Mane); hip-hoppers Champagne Champagne have one foot firmly rooted in the electronic-rock world (thanks to the live playing and productions of ex-Blood Brother Mark Gajadhar). And both bands bring a playful "Fuck shit up" attitude to their live sets (Starfucker missed a couple of shows at SXSW last month because one of their members was in jail, which might be taking Gucci fandom a little too far). If you're looking for a reckless dance party, these are your boys. With Land of Pines. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $13. Also at the Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 956-8372. $14. All ages. 7:30 p.m. Sat., April 23. ERIC GRANDY

Steve Ignorant/Tuesday, April 26

It's a practical problem any band faces upon breaking up: Who, if anyone, will retain the rights to use the band's name and perform its songs? But when your band is also an amorphous anarchist collective, it becomes an even more fraught philosophical issue. Can any autonomous individual lay claim to the Crass brand? Do you have to call a house meeting and decide by consensus? And for Bakunin's sake, WHO WILL TAKE OUT THE TRASH?! For whatever it's worth, Steve Ignorant's recent performances of Crass songs have the grudging approval of co-founder Penny Rimbaud ("I acknowledge Steve's right to do this," Rimbaud told The Guardian in 2007, "but I do consider it a betrayal of the Crass ethos"). What's undeniable is that Crass' original 1977–84 run of music, art, and activism made them indelible anarcho-punk icons—and whether you let nostalgia get the better of high, crusty ideals is your problem. From 6–7:30 p.m., local writer Chris Estey will conduct an interview with Ignorant at the Comet Tavern. With Goldblade, The Estranged. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 7 p.m. $21. All ages. ERIC GRANDY

 
comments powered by Disqus