purecountrygold03.jpg
Pure Country Gold, courtesy of Matto

There's an indie pop triple-treat happening at Neumos tonight: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Say Hi and Visqueen play

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Tonight's Show Suggestions

purecountrygold03.jpg
Pure Country Gold, courtesy of Matto

There's an indie pop triple-treat happening at Neumos tonight: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Say Hi and Visqueen play for only $12 (doors at 8 p.m.). And it's all ages. Yes!

Pure Country Gold, Aurora Roarers, the Pack A.D., F-Holes at the Funhouse, 9:30 p.m., $7

According to the band's history, Portland's Pure Country Gold was conceived as a much bigger band. When Jake Welliver and Patrick Foss -- the band's only members -- first starting writing their super-fast, blues-influenced punk songs, they envisioned a multi-member revue performing the music. Foss was even attempting to write for a horn section. But that larger backing band never really materialized, and the duo developed the sound Pure Country Gold is now known for: Scratchy guitars high on reverb, dangerously loud drums and throaty vocals. (The closest thing to a horn is the occasional harmonica.)

The result is a sound so intense, so without constraint, that it's hard to believe only two men are responsible for it. Songs like "Setting Sun" off the band's self-titled EP is deafeningly energetic. You can imagine two friends on stage, one beating the shit out a drum kit, and the other attempting a frantic pogo while playing the guitar -- and all the while, the audience is dancing and shaking to Pure Country Gold's songs. PAIGE RICHMOND

SXSW send-off with Hey Marseilles, Champagne Champagne, New Faces, Battle Hymns at Tractor Tavern, 9 p.m., $8

South by Southwest's ability to make or break the fledgling artists who descend upon Austin in hopes of hooking up a piece of that fame pie rivals no other music festival in the country. It stands alone as a testing ground for the entire music industry, the place where popular hometown bands take their first significant stab at going national, pulling out all the stops in hopes of making the right impression on the multitudes of music critics and A&R reps in the audience. Unfortunately, because it's geared toward industry folks, SXSW is just as well-known for its steep entry cost; for a lot of us, that golden ticket costs as much as a month's rent. So if SXSW isn't in the cards for you this year, the Seattle SXSW send-off show is kinda like an abridged version of the South by Seattle day party. You may not get to stumble around Austin, drunk on free beer for five solid days, but at least you can get drunk at the Tractor and show some love for some of the Seattle music scene's Most Likely To Succeed. Though all the bands on this bill happen to be excellent, I'd bet money that of the four--Hey Marseilles, Champagne Champagne, Battle Hymns and New Faces--New Faces' youthful, approachable pop will be the sound that charms the socks off of the music industry establishment. Hey, maybe I should start a betting pool--then at least the lucky winner can spend the cash on a ticket to SXSW next year. SB

 
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