Tonight: Phosphorescent, Silversun Pickups, Sleepy Eyes of Death

Martha Jewelle
Phosphorescent, with J. Tillman, Grouplove. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $12. If Matthew Houck didn't stumble out of the top-floor bedroom of a Texas saloon, slide down the banister, tucking in his buttoned-down white shirt en route to the bar's upright piano to record the dusty, jubilant "It's Hard to Be Humble (When You're From Alabama)", the first track off Phosphorescent's May release, Here's To Taking It Easy, he did a good job faking it. "Humble," like the rest of the album--with its easy pedal steel, clinking piano chords, and drawled howls--is marked by its effortlessness, grin, and authenticity, not to a specific genre, but to the musicmaker himself. There's no indication that Houck is attempting to do anything here other than what comes natural to him when he rolls out of bed in the morning, or at least his hour between sleep and breakfast. CHRIS KORNELIS

Click to download "Mermaid Parade" from Here's To Taking It Easy

Silversun Pickups, with Against Me!, The Henry Clay People. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-STG-4TIX. 8 p.m. $28. All ages. Last time the Los Angeles-based space-rock quartet Silversun Pickups was in Seattle, frontman Brian Aubert was cracking self-disparaging jokes--apparently recycled ones at that--about how their presence at WaMu Theater could only be explained by the fact that they were opening for someone bigger and better. But that's not exactly true. Material from their sophomore effort Swoon alternates between delicately dark and just plain loud, hitting crescendos and ebbs without losing any of the entrancingly distorted melody. Silversun Pickups match up with the Smashing Pumpkins in a significant way, but lean energy and speed set them apart. NICK FELDMAN

Sleepy Eyes of Death, with The Delta Mirror, Haunted Horses, Big Spider's Back. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 9 p.m. $7. Those who find shoegaze to be a total snoozer should check out Sleepy Eyes of Death, whose expansive set-up sends a gigantic, psychedelic wall of sound forth into the atmosphere. Sometimes, though, the band is a bit of a tease: when the music leaves shoegaze territory and wanders off on these downtempo, ambient tangents, it can undermine the big, booming climaxes that make the band sound so dynamic live. Fortunately, the cumulative effect is so trippy that even these brief departures are a small price to pay for the robotic, pulsing psychedelic madness that makes up the majority of SEOD's catalog. The fog machines don't hurt, either. SARA BRICKNER

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