The Sunset 10 Year Anniversary Blowout, with The Cops, The Catheters, The Tripwires, The Basements, DJ Danger Nun. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $12/$10 with a non-perishable food donation for the Ballard Food Bank. Drew Church, beloved bassist of the beloved and long-absent, thrashing, Clash-loving The Cops, tells me that after a year and a half off, the band has resolved their artistic differences. And they still hang out all the time anyway. So now they're back to celebrate the Sunset's 10-year anniversary with their first show since calling it quits, besides some Christmas show they played (or something...Drew can't remember the details). Drew Church promises that besides playing some old standards, the Cops will also be debuting a few brand new songs. And Drew Church wouldn't lie to me. ERIN K. THOMPSON
Click to download "It's Epidemic" from The Cops' last release, Free Electricity.
Portugal. The Man, with The Builders and The Butchers, Morning Teleportation. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. It's high time that poor Wasilla, Alaska - hometown of the trashiest family in American politics - got some non-Palin-related spotlight. The experimental quartet Portugal. The Man also hails from Wasilla (although they're now based in Portland) and just released their major label (Atlantic) debut, American Ghetto. The songs on Ghetto are fresh, intricate, and radio-friendly all at once, with booming electronic beats and jazzy electric guitar riffs. The record's receiving unequivocal praise across the blogosphere for its sharp, catchy sound, and the band's spent this year on a high-profile tour circuit, including stops at Coachella and Bonnaroo. So fuck you, Levi Johnston! ERIN K. THOMPSON
Download "The Dead Dog" from Portugal. The Man's American Ghetto:
Giant Squid, with Helms Alee, Lozen, Dog Shredder. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 323-9853. 9 p.m. $8. Tonight's quadruple bill at the Comet is probably one of the most thoughtfully stacked line-ups of the year. Helms Alee continue to win new fans at every turn with their Pixies-meets-Melvins assault, while Lozen (which is fronted by Helms Alee drummer Hozi Matheson-Margullis) is an increasingly electrifying drum and guitar duo made of equal parts crystalline shrieks and thunder-footed rumble. Dog Shredder snap necks and induce smiles with their agile, aggressive math-metal, and Giant Squid were kind enough to swim up from the Bay Area for the occasion, bringing with them an artful heaviness that gains ethereal levity thanks to the alluring presence of knockout cellist Jackie Perez Gratz. HANNAH LEVIN