The Short List: This Week’s Recommended Shows

Ryan Purcell and The Last Round/Friday, May 25

Ryan Purcell writes songs evocative of the places Jason Aldean sings about in his self-explanatory Middle American anthem "Fly Over States." Yet Purcell is an artist based in very non-flyover Seattle whose tunes make you want to guzzle Oly and refurbish an abandoned Nalley Valley smelter for residential purposes. He glides effortlessly between slow-burning ballads and honky-tonk; bourbon sales should soar. With Jackrabbit, the Tripwires. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009. 9 p.m. $8 adv./ $10 DOS. MIKE SEELY

Black Bananas/Saturday, May 26

In the cult of Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll, I think Royal Trux/RTX/Black Bananas frontwoman Jennifer Herrema is supposed to represent some sort of goddess ideal: the Dionysian wastrel, the magic junkie, the chick with a guitar-dick bigger than any dude's. I don't really know, though, because for all Black Bananas' emphasis on heavy fucking riffs and volume and badass attitude, the cult I'm blatantly straw-manning here doesn't seem to care too much about, you know, tunes, songs, catchy bits—that sort of thing. To me it's one dumb chugging guitar wank after another, and I couldn't give a shit about who's on heroin or who's not. Crypts are pretty cool live, though. With Turbo Fruits, Broken Nobles, Crypts. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 322-9272. 9 p.m. $10. ERIC GRANDY

***EDITOR'S PICK

The Pharmacy/Saturday, May 26

Vashon Island's hottest rock band has already had a busy 2012, releasing the raucous Dig Your Grave EP in February, filming two music videos, touring the country, and having their groupie-loving, hard-partying ways touted by The New Yorker. And they're just getting started: In July, Austrian label Seayou Records will release a Pharmacy full-length titled Stoned & Alone; as a precursor to that, the melodic four-song EP Josephine—Dig Your Grave's much calmer sibling—came out earlier this month. New music means new tour—The Pharmacy will spend June opening a West Coast tour for Japanther and will be back in Seattle to play Bumbershoot. With Hussy, the Night Beats. JewelBox/Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave., 441-5823. 10 p.m. $7. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Xiu Xiu/Sunday, May 27

Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart sings in a never-quite-breaking tremble—the sort of delivery that, say, early Bright Eyes used to telegraph emotional distress. But Stewart takes things to even more gut-wracking and theatrically messy extremes, plumbing depths of self-loathing oversharing that would make any emo cherub blush, or possibly vomit. The group's latest album Always is more of the same, but also its most sharply focused and weirdly poppy album in years, trading its often noisy and avant-garde stylings for relatively straightforward electro-pop backings. It's this animating tension, between the accessible and the unnerving, that marks the best of Xiu Xiu's work. Don't be surprised if they favor the latter live, though. With Yamantaka, Father Murphy. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $10. ERIC GRANDY

Yo, Son! 10th Anniversary/Sunday, May 27

Mixed-format DJ nights are a pillar of most any healthy hip-hop scene. The usually artist-rich crowds create an environment that's a haven not only for dancing but for networking, collaborating, and educating. Locally, current in-crowd hangouts like the Capitol Club's Jet Set have followed in the footsteps of the highly successful Yo, Son! DJ night, dreamt up in 2002 by scene visionaries like Stuck Under the Needle's Marcus Lalario, DV-One, and DJ Scene. This Sunday, Yo, Son! is back with DJs DV-One and Fourcolorzack and host Nightclubber Lang (of Boom Bap Project) to vamp up the Hill for a night. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 9 p.m. $10/$5 before 11 p.m. TODD HAMM

Leighton Meester and Check in the Dark/Tuesday, May 29

Blair Waldorf's wild adventures in romance in season 5 of Gossip Girl have finally wound down, but that doesn't mean star Leighton Meester is taking any breaks. She's dabbled in music for years, making pop songs a thousand times better than The Roommate but still not sufficiently noteworthy to win her enough attention as the Upper East Side's Queen B. Meester does have a legitimately great voice, though, and she's giving the music thing another try—this time not as a pop tart. For about a year now, she's been collaborating with L.A. Americana band Check in the Dark, singing and playing guitar. She had some practice going country thanks to her role in 2010's Country Strong, so here's hoping it's a smart switch. XOXO. With Dana Williams. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 7 p.m. $18 adv./$20 DOS. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

 
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