Visqueen Flotard resize.jpg
Rachel Flotard is one of many artists performing Texan songs at the Tractor tonight.
Messin' With Texas: Seattle Bands Sing Songs of the Lone Star

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Tonight: Messin' With Texas at the Tractor, Ghosts I've Met, Cady Wire

Visqueen Flotard resize.jpg
Rachel Flotard is one of many artists performing Texan songs at the Tractor tonight.
Messin' With Texas: Seattle Bands Sing Songs of the Lone Star State, with members of Visqueen, Shim, Widower, Pablo Trucker, The Long Winters, The Maldives, The Head & The Heart, Thee Sgt Major III, Hannalee, James Apollo, Mostly Dimes, Dark Plum, Shelby Earl, Bryn Lumsden, Barton Carroll, Ben London, Martin Feveyear. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $8. It may seem strange that a dozen Seattle bands are willing to proclaim their love for Texas, but it makes sense once you realize how many classic tunes were born from Lone Star State love. Kris Kristofferson, born in Brownsville, Tex., wrote "Me and Bobby McGee," a torch song that Visqueen's Rachel Flotard could try on for size. There's "That'll Be the Day," by Lubbock-born Buddy Holly, a soulful, pop-tinged number. The Long Winters could pull that off, while Barton Carroll could test out "Brownsville Girl" by Bob Dylan. There's an embarrassment of riches in Lone Star songs: let's not forget Willie Nelson, who not only wrote about Texas but created songs that felt like the restless Wild West. Maybe the Maldives could pull something from Old Willie's songbook? The possibilities are endless. PAIGE RICHMOND

Ghosts I've Met. Tether Gallery, 323 Occidental Ave. S., 518-6300. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. Just as Sparklehorse was the late Mark Linkous and a rotating cast of players, Ghosts I've Met is Sam Watts and whoever's in his orbit at the time. (Formerly in Ghosts I've Met's orbit were my brother Joe and his significant other, Margaret White, who also toured with Sparklehorse.) Watts' new album, From a Spark, sounds a lot like his previous recordings: mellow, twangy, and haunting. Lyrically, however, Spark finds Watts straying from his favorite subjects: drinking whiskey, hitting the road after a night spent drinking whiskey, and screwing up relationships by drinking too much whiskey. Watts recently got sober and penned a record dealing with "weightier issues" which was recorded in a motel room in Lind, a diminutive Eastern Washington town located roughly between nowhere and nowhere that's best known for a demolition derby involving combines instead of cars. Ghosts I've Met's songs match these stark landscapes. Don't expect to smile a lot. MIKE SEELY

Cady Wire, with Ryan Purcell, The River Empires, Jones Family Fortune. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 9 p.m. Transplanted New York band Cady Wire has found a home for itself amongst Ballard's country-loving, cowboy-boot wearing populace. Frontman Sam Riley possesses a soulful singing voice that lends itself well to the mournful melodies he favors. Lyrically, Riley tends toward vivid imagery that's so effective, it's downright unsettling. One memorable lyric references a woman sucking the blood out of his stones and spitting it into the shitter. Disgusting, yes, but it does garner a visceral response. Another song, "Tumbleweeds" juxtaposes raw, wistful lyrics with a cheerful tune, a more affecting combination than the tear-soaked numbers that dominate Cady Wire's repertoire. If the band can duplicate the success of "Tumbleweeds" on future releases, they might just have a future as Son Volt's freaky younger sibling. SARA BRICKNER

 
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