Tomten/Thursday, June 14
Over a year after becoming the dark-horse, wild-card winner of 2011's Sound Off! competition, Tomten is releasing its first full-length album, Wednesday's Children: 12 breezy pop-rock tunes recorded in analog in just five days. Tomten's music combines a vintage sound and sophistication with an underlying sense of youth and playfulness; one song, "Ta Ta Dana," is named after frontman Brian Noyeswatkins' crush on The X-Files' Dana Scully. "I think it's rare that people listen to records start-to-finish nowadays," Noyeswatkins told me in a recent e-mail. "So if this record incites one to sit down with a glass of Laphroaig and dream their life away, I'll be quite tickled." After tonight's show, Noyeswatkins says, the band will be taking a break to "toy around with our sound and work on new material for the next record," so catch their current incarnation while you still can. With The Curious Mystery, Posse. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009. 8 p.m. $8. ERIN K. THOMPSON
Tedeschi Trucks Band/Friday, June 15
After one Grammy for him and a handful of nods for her, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi were finally able to cut through the red tape between their respective record labels and make a proper album together. Last year's Revelator promptly took home the statue for Best Blues Album, giving the husband-and-wife leaders of the 11-piece Tedeschi Trucks band "I told you so" rights.
"I've always found that, especially in the music business, you just have to be incredibly stubborn about what you believe in," Trucks told me recently during a call from his home in Florida. "You decide what kind of band you're going to be. You decide what kind of record you're going to make."
Now that they've broken the seal, there's no turning back. The band just released a live record, Everybody's Talkin', and Trucks says the couple has no plans to keep their solo endeavors in the wings as safety nets. "I think to make great music, there's got to be that threat all times," Trucks says. "It's so easy to get complacent and just phone it in with anything you do. With music . . . either it's urgent . . . or kind of worthless. It's gotta be forward-momentum the whole time. Otherwise, do something else."
To Trucks fans, Everybody's Talkin' provides a reason to be OK with life without the Derek Trucks Band. Revelator veered a little too close to the adult-fabricated, "next Bonnie Raitt" territory Tedeschi always seemed to be reluctantly nudged toward, and didn't give Trucks the space to run up the board as he could on his own records. But Everybody's Talkin' is closer to the best-case scenario that the potential in their musical marriage promised, with Tedeschi's growling vocals and melodic sensibility providing the ideal framework for Trucks to sing through the guitar like no other player working today.
Through Trucks will admit that finding room to stretch in an 11-piece band is a challenge. As is not being competitive with the woman—and guitarist—he shares a bed with. "There's certain times [that] there are things she does that I'm not even gonna attempt to do," he says. "If it's in your wheelhouse, that's your spot, and you do it. That's what's great about this band: Everybody's finding their spot." The Paramount, 911 Pike St., 877-784-4849. 7:30 p.m. $25–$64.25. All ages. CHRIS KORNELIS
Secret Colors/Friday, June 15
Matt Lawson is the imposing 6-foot-7 guitarist/keyboardist of local swirl-rock outfit Stephanie; off band duty, he moonlights as the ambient instrumental artist Secret Colors, composing expansive songs from synthesizers, electric guitar, and found sound samples. Lawson's released a scad of recordings as Secret Colors, most notably last year's serendipitous Water Mirror LP; tonight will serve as the release show for his newest effort, Higher Views, a cassette tape out on California indie label Bridgetown Records featuring five looping, free-form sound pastiches (the stately title track is a standout). With Zephyrs, Legato Bebop, Uda Ox. Cairo, 507 E. Mercer St. 8 p.m. $5. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON
Vockah Redu/Friday, June 15
That Vockah Redu hasn't produced a single noteworthy song—quick, name one!—is pretty much irrelevant to his appeal: not only because his brand of New Orleans sissy bounce music is meant for immediate and ephemeral physical enjoyment—dancing, booty-clapping, and so forth—but because he and his Cru's live show is about more than translating recorded music to the stage. His live shows are elaborately costumed (and then stripped-down) dance contests, and on previous rolls through Seattle he's paired them with daytime bouncercise dance workshops. It's an impressive package, and if it doesn't leave you with anything in the way of home listening, it'll at least give your ass a workout. With Witch Disco, Hoot N Howl. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 9 p.m. $8. ERIC GRANDY
John Fogerty/Saturday, June 16
In a week fraught with tribute acts, none is more authentic than John Fogerty paying tribute to himself. Fogerty's upcoming album, Wrote a Song for Everyone, features the likes of Foo Fighters, Bob Seger (fuck yeah!), Brad Paisley, and Miranda Lambert collaborating with him on versions of CCR songs as well as a handful of his solo "hits." If it worked for Lionel Richie, who's to say it can't work for Ol' Fogie? Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, 425-415-3300. 7 p.m. $45–$69.50. MIKE SEELY
L.A. Guns/Saturday, June 16
L.A. Guns came crawling up from the gutters of the Sunset Strip in the mid-'80s to become the Hollywood glam-metal gods with the best hair, the best leather pants, and the best cowboy boots in town. Now they're back—well, "they" meaning vocalist Phil Lewis, who appears to have successfully fought off Tracii Guns for the right to use the name, at least for now—and as dirty as ever. The band's new album, Hollywood Forever, is just as sleazy and sexy as 1988's self-titled debut and 1989's Cocked & Loaded. Studio Seven surely will be filled with the big hair and short skirts you'd have found in '89—but maybe also a few more muffin tops. With Liberty Lush, Palooka, Bloodshot Barrels. Studio Seven, 110 S. Horton St., 286-1312. 8 p.m. $15 adv./$17 DOS. LAURA SWARTZ
Sol/Saturday, June 16
With a knack for writing easily relatable, vaguely empowering songs and an unfailing ear for crowd-pleasing pop production, Seattle MC Sol has been able to cultivate a sizable following on the local college scene and beyond. He's an artist with many of the right tools, and what shortcomings he has might very well be worked out with time and life experience. As a result of his exemplary academic performance at the UW, the young lyricist has accepted the Bonderman Travel Fellowship, which will send him around the world for the nine months following this show—an opportunity that could very well mark the transformation of an artist. With XV, the Physics. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $15 adv./$18 DOS. All ages. TODD HAMM