Nas, D. Black, Grynch, DJ Nphared
Showbox SODO, $40, 8:30 p.m.
How will Nas top his declaration that a nuclear winter had smothered hip-hop in a patina of blinged-out bone dust and ashen rhyme structures? That it had lost its way traveling through the back alleys of imagined ghettos slimed with sonic sameness and lameness? That it was—yup—dead? By dropping the n-word, of course. Apparently that's the title of his upcoming album, and that's the only way he could've generated the kind of public squabbling and squawking his last release, Hip Hop Is Dead, did. (One wonders how many white liberal music scribblers—like me—will cringe at having to write, let alone say, the new title. Thanks a bunch, dude.) And yet there it is—the ghost of America's slave-trading past, rattling its chains in the digitized flows of one of the game's greatest. But then again, what did we expect from the "Last Real Nigga Alive"?
-- KEVIN CAPPClinic, Shearwater
Neumo's, $13, 8 p.m.
Clinic bears an unfortunate, much-mentioned resemblance to the Beatles—they're a four-piece band from Liverpool—but the similarities end there. Where the Beatles specialized in litanies of pop ditties that metamorphosed into universally-loved opuses, Clinic plays with proportions to see how many different song recipes you can concoct with the same basic set of ingredients: distorted surf guitar and an appreciation for churchy organ and muted metal power riffs, to name a few biggies. Known for wearing surgical scrubs and masks during performances (it's a long-standing tradition), the costumes function almost as disguises for the foursome, who want to offset the public's tendency to worship the singer and ignore the rest of the band. Clinicians Ade Blackburn, Brian Campbell, Hartley, and Carl Turney take the democratic approach, constantly swapping instruments and sharing songwriting duties. And even though the oft-bizarre chord amalgamations hardly resemble each other, even though the contents of Do It!, the band's fifth full-length record, shows the progress the band's made in their 11-year evolution, Clinic retains their unique sound.
-- SARA BRICKNER
Roy Loney, the Tripwires, the Fucking Eagles
Sunset Tavern, $8. Fri., May 16, 10:00pm
Does anybody really know why Roy Loney didn't make a ton of killer albums after leaving the Flamin' Groovies in '71? Probably not. But the talent has been there in spades ever since. The guy is like Dwight Twilley, had that skinny little twerp toked mad reefer and filled his soul full of Captain Beefheart in his teens. Translation: Loney tears it up classic rock 'n' roll style with the perfect mix of pop hooks, greaser aggression, and punk weirdness. Over the last several years Loney has been jamming with the Longshots, which, as most Seattle denizens should know, contains several dudes from the Young Fresh Fellows. They rock, too. So yeah, get ready for a party. And ladies, wear poodle skirts covered in chocolate stains. That drives Loney wild.
-- JUSTIN F. FARRAR