This Week's Recommended Shows

From Against Me! to Blackstreet.

Against Me!/Thursday, September 6

When the news broke earlier this year that Against Me! singer Tom Gabel was undergoing gender-reassignment therapy to live as a woman and taking the name Laura Jane Grace, it came as a surprise (lyrics of "The Ocean" notwithstanding)—but not exactly as a shock. That's because Against Me!'s punk-rock songs—whether hoarse screaming over scrappy acoustic guitar and bucket drums or backed by a slick, full pop-punk band—have always come from an anarcho-punk perspective that inseparably ties personal liberation and self-discovery to larger political aims and concerns; within the often macho world of punk rock, Gabel/Grace stood out as a thoughtful, self-critical seeker. It's going to be thrilling to see where the band goes next. With Andrew Jackson Jihad, Joyce Manor. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 262-0482. 8 p.m. $15 adv./$18 DOS. All ages. ERIC GRANDY

Blondie & Devo/Friday, September 7

While they've never been amorously linked, it's romantic to think of Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh and Blondie's Deborah Harry as the first couple of American New Wave: he the Midwestern dork who made extraterrestrial compu-geekiness cool; she the ultra-chic jaw-dropper who defied her shut-up-and-just-look-hot looks by exhibiting phenomenal performing talent. That first couple is now 62 and 67 respectively, old enough to collect their AARP cards, buy a fifth wheel, and tour the country. They're doing that, with a catch: Wherever they stop, they play a rock show before thousands of adoring fans. Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, 425-415-3300. 7 p.m. $49.50–$95. MIKE SEELY

Blackstreet/Saturday, September 8

Though this isn't technically billed as a middle-school dance, you will probably find—or be one of the—many 20- or 30-somethings at Kent's ShoWare Center bumping and grinding as though they'd never left junior high. Headliner Blackstreet was one of the most prominent mid/late-era "new jack swing" vocal groups (a hip-hop-tinged R&B style characterized by extremely popping hi-hats, the occasional horn, and dancing—always dancing) who followed the genre through its crossover heyday with guest verses from Dr. Dre ("No Diggity"), Ja Rule, Eve, etc., to become a force on the contemporary R&B scene. Top to bottom, this lineup is packed with blockbuster '90s hit-makers (112: HOLY SHIT! Color Me Badd: GTFOH! Next: WHAAAAT?!?!) that all have one thing in common: They almost literally make love to the masses through their speakers. Get sexy. With After 7, Rocky Sandoval, Po Boxx. ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Kent, 253-856-6999. 7:30 p.m. $32–$99. All ages. TODD HAMM

Fucked Up & Lightning Bolt/Saturday, September 8

Fucked Up and Lightning Bolt are two amazing bands—especially live—who stretch the possibilities of punk and hardcore to opposite ends. Providence, R.I./Fort Thunder–based noise duo Lightning Bolt strips away everything except Brian Gibson's massive bass riffs, amplified through his impressive effects chain and amp rig, and Brian Chippendale's impossibly hard and frenetic drumming (as well as some unintelligible vocals gargled through a toy mike hidden in his patchwork stuffed-animal monster masks). In contrast, Canadian hardcore crew Fucked Up piles things on: three guitars (multitracked to sound like 100), vocal harmonies underpinning Damian Abraham's guttural screaming, and epic punk-rock-opera lyrics meant for close reading. Some key things unite the two groups, though: hugeness of sound, seek-and-destroy riffs, and not-to-be-missed live shows. Plus, it's only a punk-rock $10. With Ceremony. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 6 p.m. $10. All ages. ERIC GRANDY

Nite Jewel/Sunday, September 9

Los Angeles electro-pop artist Ramona Gonzalez released Good Evening, her well-received debut as Nite Jewel, in 2009 and followed it with a series of attention-grabbing moves: contributing to the James Murphy–curated Greenberg soundtrack; creating a sleek remix of Caribou's "Odessa"; touring with James Blake; performing a concert of Kraftwerk's entire Computer World album. Label Secretly Canadian promptly snapped her up and earlier this year released her second LP, One Second of Love. It's a more sensual affair than her debut; Gonzalez has long professed to be an "R&B junkie," and the influence of her favorite artists of the genre (Aaliyah, TLC) is apparent, from the cool balladry of "In the Dark" to the slinky dance beat of the title track. Speaking of R&B, Gonzalez's cover of Frank Ocean's "Thinking About You" with her bandmate Nicholas Krgovich is also worth a listen. With Golden Gardens, Terabyte and the Battery Eaters. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618. 8 p.m. $10. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

***EDITOR'S PICK

Wild Nothing/Sunday, September 9

It's a heartening thing when a band you like releases a second album that's as good—or even better—than the debut that made you fall in love with them. Wild Nothing, the dream-pop project of young Southern native Jack Tatum, has done just that. Nocturne, the follow-up to his beautifully shimmering 2010 debut Gemini, is a deeper, more expansive effort, filled with silky-soft textures, tranquil, polished melodies, and gently driving drumbeats. Tatum's vocals are so slight and graceful that they almost sound girlish, and the lovesick lyrics ("Dancer in the night/Playing with my eyes/Velvet tongue so sweet/Say anything you like") make the music's haze more romantic than melancholy. In a touring match made in heaven, Wild Nothing's Captured Tracks labelmates, the gauzy, Nirvana-loving Brooklyn four-piece DIIV, will open the show. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

 
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