The Short List: The Week’s Recommended Shows

Portugal. The Man

Wednesday, July 17

The big news with Portland’s Portugal the Man (I’m willfully refusing that punctuation) is its collaboration with producer Danger Mouse (known to the IRS as Brian Burton) for its eighth full-length release, Evil Friends. This was a marketing coup, automatically elevating the quirky, slightly psychedelic indie-rock band into the national mainstream spotlight. But Danger Mouse is more than a ploy; he is a transformative figure. His approach to production incorporates his collaborators’ talents seamlessly into his own punched-up, rhythm-driven, radio-ready world and lifts them artistically as well. On Evil Friends, he brings the band’s sometimes-sprawling sound into focus while somehow not hampering the songwriting of leader John Gourley, notable on standouts like “Plastic Soldiers” and first single “Purple Yellow Red and Blue.” Of course, Portugal the Man stands alone on tour as Danger Mouse moves on to his next project. But the band has rarely disappointed in a live setting; it’s difficult to imagine them doing so with this material. With Avi Buffalo. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, showboxonline.com. 8 p.m. $25.

Feral Children

Thursday, July 18

Three years ago, Feral Children was Seattle’s percussive heirs apparent to Modest Mouse. Featuring shouty, strangled vocals and songs that sounded like they had been channeled from the spirit of the woods, the group owned the Northwestern-dark-wilderness vibe better than anyone in town. Flash-forward to the present, and Feral Children seem to have spent a lot of time hiking brighter shores. The new single, “Rewind the Rerun” from the band’s surprise upcoming third full-length, Too Much, Too Late, is much more California than Washington. Better for beating around the boardwalk than the bush, the song is a sunbathing, skate-punk jam. This album-release show will be an interesting indicator of where Feral Children is going next. Will it continue to serve as the soundtrack to Dale Cooper’s supernatural investigations? Or will the new album singularly inspire Tony Hawk to drop into the half pipe once more and top his historic 900? With the Purrs, Wayfinders. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 21 and over. 8 p.m. $8.

Midday Veil

Thursday, July 18

When Midday Veil plays, it’s more ritual than mere musical performance. “My body becomes an instrument,” lead singer Emily Pothast recently told Seattle Weekly. “When it all comes together, there’s this unfolding of eternity that can happen sometimes.” She’s not lying—when it finds its center, Midday Veil is a transportive band. Pothast and co. all appear to lock into a genuine trance, conjuring hypnotic, witchy grooves from somewhere beyond the here-and-now. The release show for the band’s new album, The Current, looks to be the séance of the year. Joining the clandestine ceremony are Master Musicians of Bukkake, Seattle’s premier mystic consuls. With Panabrite, DJ Explorateur. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 21 and over. 8 p.m. $7 adv./$10 DOS.

The Postal Service

Thursday, July 18

When The Postal Service released their first and only album, Give Up, 10 years ago, lonely kids with broken hearts lost their shit. It was a revelation, this eclectic mix of electro-fuzz and sensitive indie rock that so easily fit every uncomfortable and angsty feeling. They understood us, soundtracked our adolescence, then promised to never make another album. Ouch. So when the act, comprising among others Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard and DNTEL’s Jimmy Tamborello, decided to regroup this year, those kids—still lonely, lost, and broken—lost their shit again. If you were at Sasquatch, you’ll understand; if you weren’t, you can get a sense at this show. Because seeing Gibbard whip out dorky white-boy dance moves while singing “Such Great Heights”? That’s priceless. Key Arena, Seattle Center, 684-7200. $60. Time TK.

Trash Talk + Nacho Picasso

Thursday, July 18

In addition to making for a delightful ear-fuck of a show, the Trash Talk/Nacho Picasso pairing is one of the most logical sales pitches Nacho has been fortunate enough to enjoy. With record labels stupidly snoozing on Picasso—the potential gold tooth on the current nihilist-rap movement—the equal booking here with Trash Talk shows he’s clearly capable of filling the shoes of an act like Odd Future duo MellowHype, who shared the Chop Suey stage (and tour bus) with Trash Talk last time they came through town. All I’m saying is Seattle’s favorite bad guy would look just fine on the OF roster. About Trash Talk, though: The relentless pummeling issued by the tough-as-(skate)-trucks California punk should leave the audience smiling and sore. The band sounds like a tidal wave wearing brass knuckles riding a half pipe if I ever heard one, which should hit Nacho’s fan base just fine. With Key Nyata, Keyboard Kid. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $12 adv. All ages.

Jolie Holland and Mark Olson

Monday, July 22

Jolie Holland first made a name for herself as part of the Vancouver folk trio the Be Good Tanyas, but parted ways with the group before it cut its first record. Mark Olson stayed with the Minneapolis-based Jayhawks for about 10 years before he split, forging the band’s budding alt-country sound in a world that had yet to welcome acts like Uncle Tupelo and Whiskeytown. The Jayhawks transitioned into Americana pop once Olson departed; and it’s arguable that the Tanyas have never recovered the depth and warmth that Holland’s harmony brought (for proof, listen to “The Littlest Bird,” the tune she co-authored and lent her vocals to on the band’s debut Blue Horse). Since leaving their nascent ensembles, both artists have established very fine solo careers, Olson self-releasing music in tandem with his songwriter wife, Victoria Williams (they’re now divorced), and Holland steadily producing a string of well-received albums, most recently the gently contemplative Pint of Blood. A quick look at their histories shows that Holland’s bluesy warble and Olson’s clean, straightfoward vocals are unconstrained instruments, each requiring its own place to roam free. The two will play different sets tonight, but there’s always the chance, says a source, that “they’ll play a song or two together.” Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009. 8 p.m. $20.

 
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