This Week's Recommended Shows

From Brite Futures to Islands.

SXSW Send-Off/Thursday, March 8

When one thinks of Seattle stereotypes, cheery, up-tempo electropop generally isn't the first thing to come to mind. So what better bands to represent our fair city at this year's SXSW and rattle those old notions than those pop-culture cliché-crushers with an ear for a hook, Brite Futures, and that expert in catchy/cool songs, Eric Elbogen of Say Hi? The Weekly couldn't be more thrilled to support these bands with a preshow happy hour (5–8 p.m.) showcasing the badass DJ skills of our own Erin K. Thompson and Brite Futures frontman Luke Smith. All the proceeds of tonight's show will go toward sending these unexpected acts southward. With Elk and Boar. The Crocodile back bar, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618. $10. 8 p.m. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

***EDITOR'S PICK

Blake Shelton & Dia Frampton/Friday, March 9

Blake Shelton is one of the biggest names in mainstream country right now, but I know little about his music career other than that he has an awesome video called "Hillbilly Bone" in which he rabble-rouses and gets trashed in a fancy restaurant with Trace Adkins. Like many other TV-loving Americans, I instead know Shelton as the nicest coach on NBC's The Voice. In last year's season, the show's first, he culled from the talent lineup 24-year-old Dia Frampton, who awed audiences with her stunningly poignant piano version of Kanye West's "Heartless." Frampton finished as runner-up but still landed a deal with Universal, who released her LP Red in December, a record that includes big-name collaborations with Foster the People and Kid Cudi. Frampton's now opening her former coach's arena tour; coincidentally, her Voice defeater Javier Colon is also in town this week, playing Neumos to about 16,000 fewer people than Frampton will. With Justin Moore. KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 684-7200. 7:30 p.m. $25–$49.75. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Fresh Espresso/Friday, March 9

Back in December, local laser-eyed hip-hop crew Fresh Espresso was set to ring in the new year at Chop Suey, headlining an ace bill of local talent. And then the party-starters quietly backed out of the biggest party night of the year. Rumors abounded, but all that was known was that the group's prodigious producer/rapper P Smoov had suddenly decamped to Michigan for an extended holiday with his family, and possibly to clear his head out. P Smoov and Fresh Espresso (rounded out by MC Rik Rude and DJ Terry Radjaw) are back—for now—and back on a bill with excitable punk-rap hellions Don't Talk to the Cops! Sometimes with great power comes great volatility, or as a wise man once said: "Back up, because the laser beams is so hot." With White China Gold, DJ 100Proof. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9647. 8 p.m. $10. ERIC GRANDY

Trus'Me/Friday, March 9

Now on its third month, Decibel Festival's monthly night at Re-bar still has no name other than the unofficial placeholder "Decibel Festival Monthly." Frankly, a night that brings such top-grade electronic talent as Max Cooper, Omar-S, and now UK nu-disco dude Trus'Me deserves better, no? Or maybe they should just get that ungainly "Festival" out of the middle there? In any case, tonight's installment promises to be as quality a dance night as ever, with Trus'Me's subtly grooving re-edits and originals rubbing up against a sure-to-be-enlivening 4x4 set from local DJs Pezzner & Hanssen (of Jacob London) and Justice + Treasure (formerly of SunTzu Sound), whose collective tastes range from oddball house to futurist funk and beyond. Expect a festive night out, by any name. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., 233-9873. 10 p.m. $13 adv./$15 DOS. ERIC GRANDY

Islands/Saturday, March 10

After spending most of last year playing with the stomping, "doom-wop," Sub Pop–signed indie supergroup Mister Heavenly, the chameleonic Nick Thorburn quieted things down with a new Islands record, the first since 2009's much-raved-about Vapours. Thorburn has described A Sleep & A Forgetting, released last month, as a white Canadian man's version of soul music; the record chronicles a devastating Valentine's Day split with a longtime lover last year. The result is the most touching and starkly emotional collection of songs Thorburn's yet written. It's impossible not to feel his pain on standouts like the stripped-down "This Is Not a Song" and "Can't Feel My Face," which deceptively plays as an upbeat pop number but mourns "I miss my wife/I miss my best friend/Every night." With Idiot Glee. Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 956-8372. 7:30 p.m. $11. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Judas Queen/Saturday, March 10

Freddie Mercury and Rob Halford totally fucking rock. They also are (were, in Mercury's case) totally fucking gay. In fact, no two motherfuckers have done fucking more to tear a fucking hole in the stereotype that all gay musicians sound like George Fucking Michael or a Glee cast album. Tonight, several musicians will play the music of Queen and Judas Priest—the bands Mercury and Halford front(ed), respectively—at a benefit for 826 Seattle. It's all part of the annual Attack of the March Babies showcase, but this year is special, because it's organizer Sean Bates' 40th birthday. Fuckin' ring it in with him. Fuck yeah. Featuring HalloQueen, Kurt Bloch, the Chasers, Ton 80. Sunset Tavern, 5443 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $7. MIKE SEELY

Woody Guthrie Project/Saturday, March 10

The unfinished lyrical canon of American folk singer Woody Guthrie is so vast (more than 3,000 handwritten lyrics) and universally revered that it seems as if every few years or so someone comes along to interpret it through music of their own. Upon the invitation of Guthrie's daughter Nora, Billy Bragg and Jeff Tweedy produced Mermaid Avenue in 1998 and a follow-up in 2000; a similar recent invitation to Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo), Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), and Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) has brought about New Multitudes, an album commemorating what would have been Guthrie's 100th birthday. Focusing on his early songwriting years in California, the group breathes new life into Guthrie's words through a stylistic rendering more faithful to Guthrie's own than other tributes have been. For enthusiasts of the folksinging bard and his legacy, this is another captivating installment. With Sarah Jaffe. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $25. All ages. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT

Release the Sunbird/Tuesday, March 13

Do the same thing long enough, no matter how good you are at it or how rewarding it may be, and there's a decent chance you'll need to step away from it for the sake of keeping a fresh perspective. As the frontman of Oakland's Rogue Wave, Zach Rogue spent most of the past decade steadily churning out expansive, eclectic, classically tinged indie pop. With his new project, Release the Sunbird, Rogue's vision is more streamlined, focusing less on chewing scenery with layers of sound and more on simple arrangements that work to make every note count. This direct approach makes the sunshine of Rogue and bandmate Caitlin Gutenberger's vivid harmonies pop that much more, while letting the gravity of his lyrics keep the songs firmly anchored to the ground. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $12. GREGORY FRANKLIN

 
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