Tonight and Tomorrow's Show Suggestions

LA Guns

Aside from the Oldominion shows at Vera Project (4 p.m.) and Neumos (8 p.m.), which you can read about here, there's all this:

LA Guns, A Lesson In Chaos, Universal Measure, Subjekt2Change at Studio Seven, 8 p.m., $17

If you're a law student interested in the entertainment biz, I have an awesome case study for you: How is it that two bands with completely different members can call themselves L.A. Guns and tour and record simultaneously? I have no fucking clue and, sadly, the lineup changes that caused this are too convoluted to cram into this blurb. But that's what lawyers are good for--making sense of nonsense. However, you L.A. Guns fans out there have a decision to make: Do you spend money tonight to see original singer Phil Lewis' version of the band as he celebrates 20 years of kick-ass cock & roll? Or take a chance that founder and iconic guitarist Tracii Guns' version might blow through town on an entirely different 20th anniversary tour later this year? I'm not steeped enough in L.A. Guns politics to know if fans chose sides, or if they are just happy to have double the Guns. Lewis, however, has expressed that his version of the band--which features longtime drummer Steve Riley--is superior to Tracii's (which, according to Lewis, is made up of "leeches" that are just using Tracii). But...the band is Tracii Guns' namesake and he is, inarguably, one of the most talented guitarists of his kind. Sigh. Then again, Cocked & Loaded is one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time and this particular show promises Lewis will be "singing all the hits." But honestly, dudes, having two different versions of the same band can't be good for either Lewis or Guns...or the fans!. So, I say one of you (I don't care which) cut the shit and sort this out the American way: Sue each other! BRIAN BARR

The Pica Beats, X-Ray Press, Sleepy Sun at Sunset Tavern, 10 p.m., $7

How the Pica Beats call Seattle home is a mystery: This music is just

too damn upbeat to be borne of cloud cover and rainy days. It's

certifiable indie pop; there's no grunge or angst on 2008's aptly named

Beating Back the Claws of the Cold. Instead, vocalists R. Barrett and

Alice Sandahl actually sound happy to be making music, even when their

lyrics -- "I am the tension/ You are the tightrope" -- are emotionally

cryptic. And that's probably the best thing about the Pica Beats: No

matter how feet-tapping or hip-shaking the music might be, there is a

depth behind the songs' lyrics. "Bound By Law" warns that love is

dangerous, opening with the words "While I'm bound to love you/I'm not

bound to stay." It's like the band members are sending some sort of

subliminal message: "Keep dancing to our music, even if you're dancing

in the rain." PAIGE RICHMOND

The Zmiros Project at Town Hall, 7:20 p.m., $19-$25

In the popular mind (including the mind of many Jews), Judaism is all

about rules, deprivation, and maybe a general moroseness. Not true! OK,

maybe on Yom Kippur (atonement, fasting, etc.). And at Holocaust

museums. But Jewish religious tradition has plenty of room for joy, and

some of the best of times can be had in the tradition of singing zemirot,

ecstatic and bittersweet songs pounded out on Friday nights and

Saturday afternoons around the Sabbath table. Trumpeter Frank London

and vocalist Lorin Sklamberg, who helped lead the huge rebirth of

Jewish music among progressive New York jazz players 20 years ago (and

still going strong), have more recently put together a project focused

on these poetic melodies. Their 2002 CD (just called The Zmiros Project),

with multi-instrumentalist Rob Schwimmer, is a gorgeous and

sophisticated revival of lesser-known tunes and arrangements for some

of the more popular zemirot, which evolved over generations, in

countries all over Europe, in a mix of official liturgy and folk art.

They'll appear in Seattle for the first time tonight as part of Town

Hall's "Jewish in America" weekend (which includes family shows on

Sunday), and it's absolutely essential for anyone drawn to spiritual

music. Also performing is the Jewish gospel singer Joshua Nelson (who

has collaborated with London and Sklamberg in their well-known band The

Klezmatics), plus a local trio specializing in the music of Sephardic

Jewry. (Pre-concert talk at 7:20 p.m.) MARK D. FEFER

And now for Sunday:

The Album Leaf, Black Mamba, Anomie Belle at Neumos, 8 p.m., $12

Fresh off his U.S. tour as part of Magnetic Morning - the indie-rock

supergroup that also includes Swervedriver's Adam Franklin and

Interpol's Sam Fogarino - San Diego singer and multi-instrumentalist

Jimmy Lavalle is back to the project for which he's known best: the

Album Leaf. Since the late '90s, TAL has proffered ethereal,

atmospheric, and gauzy compositions strongly (and famously) influenced

by Lavalle's close friendship with Icelandic art-rockers Sigur Rós.

Until now, he's crafted Album Leaf music by himself, usually in his

bedroom, with an array of instruments and electronic gear, though live

Lavelle has fleshed out his creations with a live band. For the next

album, though - which he'll begin recording next month - Lavalle's

bringing the full six-piece group into the studio. To warm up for those

sessions, TAL has embarked on a brief West Coast tour, so tonight

you're sure to hear plenty of new songs destined for the new disc,

slated to come out on Sub Pop this fall. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

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