Tonight: Clem Snide @ the Tractor, ((lowHUMS)) @ the Comet, Soulive @ Neumos

Clem Snide, with The Heligoats, Cady Wire. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9 p.m. $12. Judging by Clem Snide's newest record, The Meat of Life, it'd be pretty safe to say singer Eef Barzelay is barely hanging from a thread these days. Seemingly every song involves some hapless, lovelorn, terminally cursed characters who have to take long, hard looks at themselves and their relationships with each other, making for an awkward tangled-up tango of mistakes, missteps, and missed expectations. Lyrically, Barzelay is a master of taking brutally honest observations of typical mundane, mid-life American domestica (I'd put money on at least one song being about a blowup in Ikea), ultimately transforming these snapshots of others' lives into sweeping, gorgeous anthems that transform neurotic character traits into beautiful poetry. GREGORY FRANKLIN

((lowHUMS)), with Whalebones, Hard Drugs. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 8 p.m. $7. Even if Seattle minimalist psych-rock act the ((lowHUMS))' distorted, eerie songs didn't have titles like "Peyote Gunfight" or "Lost on the Trail," the music would evoke stark desert landscapes, gunslinging cowpokes and violent scenes straight out of Deadwood. The throaty vocals, ominous cello and shrieking distortion make for a tense listening experience, but the psychedelic riffs balance out the creepy factor. It's the sort of atmospheric music ideal for telling harrowing ghost stories around the embers of a campfire, and the dynamics of the music read like just such a story: there's as much weight in the absences and little atmospheric accents (whistling, the wind blowing) as there is in the heavy guitars. SARA BRICKNER

Soulive, with Staxx Brothers. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. Depending on how loudly you play it, Soulive's organ-fueled jazz-funk can serve either as party-ready rave-up or chill lounge backdrop. Over the decade of its existence, the trio has fiddled a lot with format. Singers have come and gone, and everything from dub-step to atmospheric post-rock noodling has popped up on stage and on record. Through it all, Soulive's raison d'ĂȘtre has remained the same - to move people, both literally and figuratively. The Hammond swells, the guitar cuts like a hot knife through funk-butter, and the beat makes your body move in five directions at once. NICHOLAS HALL

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