Live Music Roundup: Thursday, June 18

Martin Bisi
First of all, Mix Master Mike-- you know, of the motherfucking Beastie Boys-- is spinning at Trinity Nightclub tonight with Noisemaker, Flave, and some of Trinity's regulars...for free. Yes, free. That starts at 9 p.m. There's also this free show:

Helio Sequence, Grand Hallway, Palmer Electric Co. at Neumos, 8 p.m., FREE

When you come from the East Coast--an overpopulated clusterfuck--the Pacific Northwest can feel expansive and liberating (y'know, skies, mountains, ocean, etc.) Since moving here seven years ago I've found myself drawn to the bands whose music embodies that wide openness. To my surprise, though, there are very few out there aiming for that feeling. With 2008's Keep Your Eyes Ahead, however, Portland's Helio Sequence thought big and produced a broad and shimmering Pacific Northwest album. Songs like "Can't Say No" and "The Captive Mind" are driven by skyrocketing synths and rhythms that swell and crash like muscular waves. Drummer Benjamin Weikel pushes the songs not just forward, but outward, while vocalist Brandon Summers sweeps the lyrics up off the ground like a strong coastal wind. Sure, Helio Sequence is an indie pop band that evokes the Stone Roses and early U2, but they are hardly Anglophilic pansies. You'll know this when you see them live, because they are really fucking loud. BRIAN J. BARR

Martin Bisi, the Family Curse, the Purrs, Bill Horist at the Funhouse, 9:30 p.m., $5

Known for his work as producer/engineer on a staggering list of landmark recordings (Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, John Zorn, Kramer, Alice Donut, Material, Helmet, Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, the Dresden Dolls, Herbie Hancock's "Rockit," etc, etc.), Martin Bisi has only recently begun to concentrate on his own material. For this rare live appearance, Bisi (pronounced "BC") works off his 2008 album, Sirens of the Apocalypse.

A playful sendup of female stereotypes, Sirens sees Bisi addressing his own romantic woes and a wider range of social issues simultaneously. He even takes some lighthearted jabs at some of the musical movements he helped midwife in the studio. Over an illustrious 27-year recording career, Bisi earned his reputation on a willingness to take chances, but moved away from experimentation in his own music towards a more straightforward rock sound. Thankfully, his definition of "straight" still falls pretty far left of center. SABY REYES-KULKARNI

The Quiet Ones, Kinski, Marty Marquis of Blitzen Trapper at the Crocodile, 8 p.m., $8 adv

YouTubing the Quiet Ones will bring you to several videos of the Totten brothers - John, David and Chris - and drummer Baine Craft doing some funky dancing in their kitchen, jamming on keyboards, and blithely performing a New Pornographers cover. The videos are buoyant, charming and sure to make you feel like life is all right - just like their music. A cross-country collective, the Quiet Ones' current lineup now includes the Tottens, Craft, and producer Mason Neely, who resides in Boston and sent and received tracks by mail during the recording of the band's superior 2006 EP, Nite You Surprised Me, and their latest album, Better Walk than Ride Like That. The record continues in the Quiet Ones' vein of delightfully sunny indie pop, layering rattling percussion, swelling background harmonies, lively guitar lines and puckish lyrics - all harkening back to the early 90s lo-fi sound of Pavement and Guided By Voices. ERIN THOMPSON

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