The Short List: This Week's Recommended Shows

From Lykke Li to Partman Parthorse.

Roman Holiday/Wednesday, May 25

Taking a more family-friendly approach, Seattle's own Roman Holiday trades the "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll" stereotype for guilt-free leather jackets and punchy, radio-ready pop-rock. Comprising guitarist and lead vocalist Shane Lance, drummer Emerson Shotwell, lead guitarist Daniel Collins, and bassist Nick Howard, the quartet boasts an impressive togetherness that builds on soft, pounding crescendos and soaring vocals akin to those of Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill, had he been raised in the Northwest. Formed in September 2008, Roman Holiday's streamlined, MTV-ready sound and persona is complemented by the fact that it's still indie—something that will allow the band to grow and flourish until music executives nationwide catch a whiff and jump to sign them. The days of Roman Holiday's playing local clubs might be limited. With Subways on the Sun, Munro. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 8 p.m. $6. JOE WILLIAMS

Lykke Li/Thursday, May 26

Lykke Li is kind of the Angelina Jolie of Swedish pop stars—dark, moody, sexy in a dangerously, devilishly badass way. (Reference Li's recent "Sadness Is a Blessing" music video, in which she pounds shots and drunkenly prances around a restaurant full of uncomfortable diners, or the most infamous line of her sophomore album, Wounded Rhymes—"I'm your prostitute/You gon' get some.") And, like Jolie, she's universally popular (fans include Kanye West, Kings of Leon, the Glee camp, and a good chunk of Seattle—tonight's show is already sold out), and intrinsically talented in the art of high drama. On Wounded Rhymes, set against a backdrop of shadowy, musky synths and reverb, Li's vocal delivery smolders; each song is run through with a charged electric wire of heat and sensuality. She's a vamping diva, making music that even the gloomiest people can dance to. With Grimes. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. Sold out. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Anomie Belle/Thursday, May 26

Piecing her name together from words meaning social unrest and a beautiful and charming woman, Seattle trip-hopper Anomie Belle has lofty aims that echo her view of music as a more powerful vehicle for education and enlightenment than classroom teachings. She's not one to sit still either; after beginning her musical training as a violinist in Portland, the woman born Toby Campbell traveled throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America before returning to the Pacific Northwest to focus on her down-tempo persona. Meshing sultry vocals and moody instrumental programming, with a healthy amount of layering added to both, Anomie Belle tackles spectacle and alienation both lyrically and sonically. Following the selection of her song "How Can I Be Sure" for the Xbox video game Alan Wake and the HBO dramedy United States of Tara, Belle is celebrating the release of an EP of the same name—set to be quickly followed by her sophomore full-length The Crush this summer. With Cars and Trains, Hi-Life Soundsystem. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 8 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. NICK FELDMAN

Tedeschi Trucks Band/Thursday, May 26

They've toured together, appeared on each other's albums, and made babies together for a decade, but June 7's Revelator will mark the first time Grammy-winning slide guitarist Derek Trucks and his Grammy-nominated, blues-singing wife, Susan Tedeschi, could get their label/lawyer situation worked out to make a proper record together. Sadly, rather than bring Tedeschi's voice to the experimental, jam-oriented jazz/rock that Trucks is a master of, Revelator sways far into the adult-friendly territory Tedeschi is known to work in. The album's full of the kind of timid blues tempered with safe funk that's standard-issue at municipal summer barbecues. It feels calculated and self-aware, and sounds almost unrecognizable alongside memories of the days when the pair would turn a small-market bar and a Curtis Mayfield cover into a tent revival. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 467-5510. 7:30 p.m. $29–$58. All ages. CHRIS KORNELIS

4 Generations of Miles/Thursday, May 26–Sunday, May 29

It's a great idea, a musical freak show, or both: a band composed of members from four wildly different eras of Miles Davis' career. There's Jimmy Cobb, the drummer from the legendary 1959 Kind of Blue lineup; bassist Buster Williams, who played with Miles in the mid-'60s; Sonny Fortune, a saxophonist on several 1970s fusion sessions; and Mike Stern, a guitarist from Miles' final period, his Jheri-curled, Cyndi Lauper– covering 1980s. Money may be a motivation here—anything with Miles' name on it guarantees attention—but there's no dishonor in that. Musicians have to get paid like everyone else. And with the restless spirit of their leader scowling over them, these old hands will hopefully offer something surprising and beautiful rather than nostalgic and tasteful. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 p.m. Thurs. & Sun., 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat. DAVID STOESZ

Slow Skate/Friday, May 27

Add Seattle band Slow Skate to the lineage of hazy, glacially moving, female-led bands that includes Mazzy Star, Cowboy Junkies, and, more recently, the Sub Pop–signed duo Beach House. That last band especially comes to mind listening to Slow Skate's latest Soundcloud offerings, "Silver Screen" and "When Sugar Was King." Singer Caitlin Sherman has a clean, Valium-calm voice that unfolds with surprising range and emotion—warm and heavy one moment, ghostly light the next. The band's songs are appropriately unhurried, reverb-treated, and vintage-sounding, all grainy, time-keeping drums, wavering and twangy guitars, and piano or harpsichord accents. This is stretch-out-and-wait sort of stuff, not for the ADD-inclined, but it doesn't plod so much as make a virtue of slowness, with Sherman's lingering syllables perfectly enacting the aching and longing hinted at in her lyrics. With Alameda, The Northern Key. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $8. ERIC GRANDY

Partman Parthorse/Saturday, May 28

Spitting distance (possibly literally) from the annual free-for-all folk/world/filthy-hippie festival that is Folklife—"gunfire-free since 2009!"—venerable Seattle punk dive the Funhouse offers some welcome counter-programming this weekend in the form of its "Punk Life Festival." Headlining tonight's show are Partman Parthorse, a local four-piece whose grinding punk grooves and sneering vocals, delivered by clothing-averse, confrontation-friendly frontman Gary Smith, are ruder than opening fire on a drum circle—and even more fun. Plus, the Funhouse is 21+, so there'll be no face-painted brats underfoot fucking up the circle pit. With The House That Ian Dugas Built, Monogamy Party, Poop Attack, Mother's Anger. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 8 p.m. $7. ERIC GRANDY

Biffy Clyro/Sunday, May 29

Imagine Mumford & Sons and Metallica had a baby who grew up in America listening to Weezer: That only begins to describe the grungy, pop-punk-infused, alternative/hard-rock hybrid that is the Scottish trio Biffy Clyro (guitarist and lead vocalist Simon Neil and twin brothers James and Ben Johnston on bass and drums, respectively). Each track across the threesome's five studio albums—most recently 2009's platinum-selling Only Revolutions—meshes like hot and cold, switching between soft, open guitar strums and raspy bottom-of-the-belly yelling as Neil and company continue to build on the success of their eclectic roots. With 21 singles and numerous hits atop the UK's music charts (including "Mountains" and "That Golden Rule"), Biffy Clyro's synchronized, heavily emotional and powerful performance is sure to make it a UK staple in the States. With Hobosexual, Hounds of the Wild Hunt. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. JOE WILLIAMS

Barcelona/Monday, May 30

When Barcelona enjoyed a fair amount of success between 2007 and 2009, they were dismissed by the Capitol Hill press corps for being Coldplay knockoffs notable only for their "formidable mediocrity." How ironic that the folks who were then so quick to crap on Chris Bristol, Brian Fennell, and Rhett Stonelake are now riding high on the clean, melodic wave that's cleansed Seattle of its grunge. Granted, Barcelona is a completely different animal than groups like The Head & the Heart—lush maximalism versus sincere minimalism, in a nutshell—but they all sound really pretty. It's just that when Barcelona peaked, Seattle was more attracted to pale, skinny dudes who wore Mischa Barton's hand-me-down jeans and Unabomber beards. In light of this changed landscape, maybe Barcelona will find its hometown more receptive to the slew of new tracks it's road-testing in anticipation of a sophomore album, and maybe the otherwise gifted Fennell has stopped aping Chris Martin's insanely grating hunchback-over-keyboard shtick live. One can only hope. With Holcombe Waller, Jenny O. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 6:30 p.m. $15 adv./$18 DOS. All ages. MIKE SEELY

Damon and Naomi/Tuesday, May 31

Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang have been making music together as Damon and Naomi since 1991, but the duo is best known as two-thirds of dream-pop forefathers Galaxie 500—Damon on drums and Naomi on bass, along with guitarist/singer Dean Wareham. And although none of Damon and Naomi's recent records approach the near-perfection of On Fire, that isn't necessarily a bad thing: In their nearly 20 years of existence, the duo have molded their sound into a dynamic hybrid of folk and fragile, experimental pop, a gradual digression from their past. In contrast to their Galaxie 500 days, both Krukowski and Yang contribute vocals on False Beats and True Hearts, their seventh studio album, recalling a familiar adage: two is company, and can also make for compelling pop music. With Amor de Dias, Trespassers William. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. ANDREW GOSPE

The Doldrums/Tuesday, May 31

If 21-year-old UW student Tom Eddy has a claim to fame yet, it's that he's the perfectly pitched vocalist heard on the Beat Connection tracks "In the Water" and "Silver Screen." Eddy, however, is not a member of Beat Connection, and doesn't even particularly like electronic music. Instead he puts his lovely voice to work via his solo work (he recently released an EP called The Art of Escaping) and his soulful folk band, the Doldrums, who'll also release an EP sometime this summer. Their tunes are lax, easygoing affairs that sound remarkably natural and composed. Eddy is a preternaturally talented songwriter with a sublime voice that conjures images of Jeff Buckley singing with a choir of heavenly angels. With Yoya, Stereo Sons, Greenhorse. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 9 p.m. $6. ERIN K. THOMPSON

 
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