The Short List: This Week’s Recommended Shows

EDITOR'S PICK

Poliça

Friday, August 17

This Minneapolis electronic R&B quintet, barely a year old, is riding a big wave of buzz, but with all buzz follows backlash, and there are already complaints about the decidedly unorganic sound of their debut album Give You the Ghost—Channy Casselle's vocals are Auto-Tuned on every single song. But in a recent interview with Vogue, Casselle explained that turning on the Auto-Tune was her way of completely switching gears after years of playing in the bluegrass band Roma di Luna with her ex-husband, stating, "It was a good way for me to forget all the habits I had acquired . . . I have this array of emotions now that I wouldn't have normally and can sound scary and threatening in ways I wasn't able to before." The way that Casselle's vocals slither over the band's shadowy and muted rhythms only adds to the music's creeping effect of conjuring up ghosts of past lives and ruined loves. With Supreme Cuts. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $15. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Norah Jones

Saturday, August 18

It would have been easy for Norah Jones to settle into a comfortable career of easy adult contemporary after the monster success of her jazzy debut album, 2002's Come Away with Me, and for a few years she did, releasing three more critically acclaimed, soft-spoken records. But Jones has shown herself to have an adventurous spirit, collaborating over the years with OutKast and The Lonely Island, and after guesting on Danger Mouse's 2011 spaghetti western album Rome, she decided to have him produce a record for her. The result is Little Broken Hearts, a collection of biting songs that Jones wrote about an acerbic breakup and that Danger Mouse turned into sharp and polished pop tracks. Jones' dusky voice sounds the same, but she's throwing daggers like "With you gone, I'm alive/Makes me feel like I took happy pills" and "Miriam/You know you done me wrong/I'm gonna smile when I take your life." Smooth jazz this is not. Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond, 205-3661. 7 p.m. $44-$64. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

KISS

Saturday, August 18

It's fitting that KISS is touring with Mötley Crüe, because KISS is basically to thank/hate for making the careers of the Mötley Crües of the world viable. With their goofy stage makeup, troglodyte lyrics and rollicking guitars, KISS were total pussies compared to less gimmicky hard-rock acts, paving the way for guyliner hair metal acts to come along and make Gene Simmons & Co. look substantial by comparison. If a woman's studies major wanted to capture misogyny in a bottle, this twin bill's green room would be the place to do it. With Mötley Crüe. White River Amphitheatre, 40601 Auburn-Enumclaw Rd., Auburn, 360-825-6200. 7 p.m. $30-$180. All ages. MIKE SEELY

Linda's Fest

Saturday, August 18

Linda's Fest is a free evening concert in the parking lot behind Capitol Hill mainstay Linda's Tavern. Now in its third year, this summer's lineup is headlined by Reignwolf, the one-man band who's lately been taking Seattle's rock establishment by storm. It's not hard to see why: Reignwolf's Jordan Cook shreds guitar, howls, and keeps time stomping a kick drum at his feet (or sometimes sitting behind a full kit). It's a hell of a show, but it's easy to feel like there's not much substance beyond the grunge-tinged, blues-based riffing. That's because Reignwolf's jams dispense almost entirely with pop song structure—verses, choruses, middle eights—to instead hone in on mantra-like repetitions and wild-flaring solos to nowhere. For technical skill and showmanship, you can't beat it; for songs, you'd do well to look elsewhere. With Nightmare Fortress, Walking Papers, Grave Babies, Trash Fire. Linda's Tavern, 707 E. Pine St., 325-1220. 6 p.m. Free. ERIC GRANDY

Three Mile Pilot

Monday, August 20

Before there was Pinback and the Black Heart Procession, there was Three Mile Pilot. Comprising Pinback singer/bassist Armistead Burwell Smith IV and drummer Thomas Zinser as well as Black Heart Procession singer/guitarist Pall Jenkins, Three Mile Pilot are the ground zero for those bands' brands of sleepwalking, soft-spoken, and heart-tugging San Diego indie rock. Three Mile Pilot may be less broadly successful than those bands—especially Pinback, with their insistently catchy and circular hooks—but they rightly have their own quietly ardent fans, and not just for having come first. Revived after a long hibernation with 2010's The Inevitable Past is the Future Forgotten (and this year's slightly lagging Maps EP), the band's dour and driving sob rock proves as timely as ever. With Dramady. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $15. ERIC GRANDY

The Cult

Tuesday, August 21

With the onslaught of seminal releases from 1987 being celebrated this year, we shouldn't overlook the 25th anniversary of the Cult's Electric. Detractors tend to lump them in with glitzy '80s hair bands, but the Cult has always had a style all their own, and they've never really gotten the props they deserve. And while Billy Duffy is guilty of "borrowing" a few riffs from Angus Young on Electric, the band's early work ("She Sells Sanctuary," anyone?) and the follow up to Electric, the more commercially successful Sonic Temple, managed to bridge the gap between hard rock and psychedelia with a sexy ease and an influence you can hear today in bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Black Angels. With Murder of Crows. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 877-784-4849. 8 p.m. $38.50. All ages. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

 
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