Firstly, Tiny Vipers' CD release happens at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center tonight. Then, there's all this:

tUnE-YaRdS, Alaskas, Dash at the Vera Project, 7:30


Weekend Live Music Roundup: Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19

Firstly, Tiny Vipers' CD release happens at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center tonight. Then, there's all this:

tUnE-YaRdS, Alaskas, Dash at the Vera Project, 7:30 p.m., $8, all ages

When Merrill Garbus -- the whole of one-woman, DIY art-folk-pop outfit tUnE-YaRdS -- takes to a stage, what transpires isn't so much a performance that emanates outward as an invitation to come on in. Lo-fi intimacy without the usual whispered poutiness is Garbus' stock and trade, as proven by both her live shows (she slayed them at the Breeders-curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival in England this past May) and her debut album, BiRdBrAiNs, self-produced with the mere help of a Sony digital voice recorder and the Audacity editing application. Before a crowd, she's typically armed with little more than her ukulele at her chest, signature slash of red facepaint across one cheek and a set of pipes that are mellow in tone but jagged-edged with wisdom; get a load of the way she sneak-attacks show-no-mercy lyrics like "I got news for you, baby; I don't need no booze to get it up in the morning" from the otherwise jangly-sounding ditty "News." In a setting as close-quartered as the Vera Project, there's nowhere to duck from such stinging sentiment -- but as Garbus delivers them, you'll want to absorb them head-on. ROSE MARTELLI

Laura Veirs, the Old Believers, Cataldo at the Crocodile, 8 p.m. $15

I first happened upon the phenomenal Portland-via-Seattle-via-Colorado songwriter Laura Veirs maybe four years ago, after she'd already released a couple of albums. But 2005's dreamy, quirky, occasionally orchestral-poppy, sometimes biting Year of Meteors grabbed me and didn't let go of my ears (or my CD player) for ages. Her voice struck me: Neither breathy sweet and sensual, nor cracked and desperate, hers is a dry, husky delivery, one that at first encounter seemed a bit glacial. Yet as the album progressed, a gamut of feelings punctured that curtain of detachment. And her lyrics, often referencing the natural world, were remarkable: All vivid imagery and the music of language tumbling together in stunning bits of poetry. Veirs' 2007 follow-up, Saltbreakers, was equally alluring, bringing her even more national acclaim, and this impressive recent track record makes me especially excited to hear her forthcoming seventh full-length, July Flame. Veirs hasn't announced a release date yet, but for this show she's assembled an all-new quintet (who'll be bringing strings, balalaika, and exotic percussion to augment the usual guitar-centric set-up), and she's promising lots of brand-new material to go along with the old tunes that remain as arresting as the first time they burrowed into my head. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

A-Trak, Rye Rye, Treasure Fingers, the Dowlz & OK Dave at Chop Suey, 8 p.m., $13 adv.

"When I was 13, I took my bar mitzvah money and bought myself some turntables and a mixer. I practiced for about 18 hours a day. Then I came out of my basement, packed my lunch and won a bunch of world championships. Joy!" writes Montreal jock A-Trak on his MySpace bio. We'll forgive dude his "my first Fisher Price DJ set" origins, which is as boringly similar to all others, because his music is effin bangin'. No laptop jock he, the turntablist can crate-dig and spin with the best of 'em, and his hip-hop flavored electronic music (usually with rap vocals laid over techno beats) have won him such famous fans as Kanye West (whom A-Trak toured with) to club junkie DJ AM. Despite that Seattle doesn't have a proper, true-blue club for dude to rock, he's coming anyway as part of his "10,000 LB Hamburger" tour. KEVIN CAPP

The Weakerthans, Jason Collett at Neumos, 8 p.m., $15 adv, all ages

The Weakerthans have a legacy of shock and surprise. It all started with Propagandhi, John Samson's original musical vehicle. That band's take on political punk was a slap in the face, choosing blunt force, both lyrically and musically, as their primary means of communication. When Samson split from the band, eventually forming the Weakerthans, it was just as shocking for its relative lack of gruffness. The Weakerthans still have a bit of punk edge, but round it out with a focus on melody and subtlety, neither of which ever featured heavily in the Propagandhi fakebook. Combining hooky indie pop with a penchant for socially minded folk, the Weakerthans look more toward the personal than the political, using songcraft as a means for exploring the human condition on a microcosmic scale. People, rather than policies, are the focus here, and the music mirrors that more sentimental notion, finding itself as much in silence as in sound. NICHOLAS HALL


Sims, Cecil Otter, Dessa, Mic Mictlan, Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak, all of Twin Cities hip hop collective Doomtree, will be at the Nectar on Sunday night with Onry Ozzborn & the Gigantics and Abadawn. That costs $8 and starts at 8 p.m.

And I guess if you reeeeeeaaaally want to put up with the clusterfuck that is the White River Amphitheatre, No Doubt plays there with (gag) Paramore at 7:30 p.m. for anywhere between $10 and $80. The way to get around the godawful traffic and ensure you don't miss anything (...that is, if the opening band is actually good, which is not the case this time) is to show up early and have yourself a little a tailgate party. Just save yourself a few for the hour or two it'll take you to leave the venue afterward (and a ginger ale for your DD).

With the first plaintive verses of 1995's "Just a Girl," Gwen Stefani and No Doubt ushered in a new era of enticingly flagrant girl power. So sorry, Katy Perry and Lady GaGa - those in-your-face poses? The boudoir-meets-couture outfits? It's all been done before, and better, by Stefani, the only woman who could make bindis, blue hair and braces trendy. It's been five years since No Doubt played together - a hiatus in which Stefani produced two solo albums and two babies - but now Gwen and the boys are back on the road. The tour precedes a new album that will be released in 2010 and has the band dressed in all white, a là A Clockwork Orange, playing fan favorites from the reggae and dance pop of their later albums and quite a bit from the ska-reviving Tragic Kingdom, including the iconic "Don't Speak." These are good people, too - much of the proceeds from the tour will go to charity. ERIN THOMPSON

comments powered by Disqus