reatard3.jpg
Jay Reatard
Bat for Lashes, Other Lives at Neumos, 8 p.m., $14 adv.

I wonder if David Lynch knows he has an English-Pakistani doppelganger running

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Live Music Roundup: Wednesday, August 26

reatard3.jpg
Jay Reatard
Bat for Lashes, Other Lives at Neumos, 8 p.m., $14 adv.

I wonder if David Lynch knows he has an English-Pakistani doppelganger running around named Natasha Khan, a modern musical mystic who includes Lynch as one of her major influences, goes by the stage name of Bat For Lashes and counts Thom Yorke and Ringo Starr among her fans. I wonder if he's listened to her sing her ghostly songs about loneliness, fervent dreams and intense love or if he's seen her creepy, startling music videos featuring dark woods and men with giant bunny heads and realized they could be clips taken straight from Blue Velvet or Inland Empire. I wonder if he's seen her onstage in her costumes of fur and satin showing off her sparkling vocals and been reminded of the lounge singer from "Twin Peaks" (although no Lynch muse has ever been able to jam out on the harpsichord or the autoharp like Khan does). I wonder if he's heard her latest record, this year's Two Suns, a concept album about Khan's alter ego, a blonde femme fatale named Pearl, and decided this girl's just as alluring and mysterious as a certain Laura Palmer once was. With Other Lives. E.T.

Jay Reatard, Easy Street Queen Anne, 7 p.m., free, all ages

Overly serious artists do not employ the surname Reatard. That understanding should prepare you for Jay Reatard's sneering, infectiously uptempo poppy punk with a glorious dose of juvenile exuberance. His latest LP, Watch me Fall, sets the mood with the Buzzcocks-esque bravado of "Ain't Gonna Save Me," which plays downbeat lyrics against manically upbeat instrumentation, focusing on strummy guitars and breakneck drumming. "All is lost / There is no hope" asserts Reatard, but he somehow leaves you with a grin. It's like one big "fuck it" moment of emotional abandon. The album is studded with similarly bi-polar shards of candy-coated arsenic. Depressive song-writing is certainly nothing new for Reatard, but it takes on an added level of impact when he channels his ennui through the scat-chorus and kiwi-pop sensibilities of "Wounded", rather than through his usual screaming and feedback haze, almost charming you as he gleefully admonishes "we are standing still". The album is immediately arresting, imminently enjoyable, and surprisingly cathartic. It would be hard to find a more mood-affecting record capable of leaving you a manic-depressive bundle of nerves twitching for more. NH

The Cult, Living Things at the Moore, 7:30 p.m., $27.50-$37.50, all ages

Along with Jane's Addiction, the Cult was one of the first important gateway bands that inadvertently introduced the concept of so-called alternative music to mainstream rock fans. However, this particular influence didn't really begin to gain momentum until the release of 1987's Rick Rubin-produced Electric, an album that marked a deliberate turn away from their initially gothic and dreamy, post-punk flavors. All the New Romantic girls at my high school were actually quite despondent about this, having invested their black hearts so deeply in the bewitching sounds of their 1985 album, Love. I'm much more of an Electric kind of gal, but I certainly understand the urge to hear songs like "Rain", "Revolution" and "She Sells Sanctuary" in their fully realized context. Tonight is the opportunity to do just that--albeit a good twenty-four years after the fact--as the English band will be performing that album in its entirety. HL

 
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