Pop Music Favorites and Calendar

Decibel Festival

The second annual go-round of this locally oriented electronic dance music blowout has a scrumptious menu: Seattle stars Caro, Bruno Pronsato, Jeff Samuel, Mercir, and Lusine; national and international wonders like Akufen, Fennesz, Her Space Holiday, Isolée, Tim Hecker, Thomas Fehlmann, and Deadbeat. Really, the only way it could be cooler is if they’d booked Crazy Frog. Maybe next year. Thurs., Sept. 22–Sun., Sept. 25. Various locations, 206-325-6500, www.dbfestival.com.

Queens of the Stone Age

Few arena-sized rock bands are worth the extra space their sound requires, but Josh Homme’s revolving collective—now on its fourth consecutive terrific album, Lullabies to Paralyze (Interscope)—deserve to play the largest venues they can get into. Too bad they have to open for Nine Inch Nails to do it, but they’ll get there. Autolux opens. Fri., Sept. 23. KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 206-628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com.

Franz Ferdinand

Sometimes folks who wear white belts and look over your shoulder at parties for someone more important to hobnob with actually have a point. Example: Franz Ferdinand, a group several members of the above stereotype were calling the best new band in the world last year. Even if FF weren’t quite that good, their self-titled debut and its singles (the indestructible “Take Me Out” and the forthrightly homoerotic “Michael”) made quite a case, and so did their fiercely energetic live show. The boring TV on the Radio and the fun Cut Copy open. Sat., Oct. 1–Sun., Oct. 2. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-292-2787, www.ticketmaster.com.

Brooks & Dunn

The leading country duo’s new Hillbilly Deluxe (Arista) doesn’t compare with their oft-brilliant 2003 album, Red Dirt Road, but it’s a fine listen nevertheless, and their R&B leanings (the old-fashioned, pre-disco kind) are as much in evidence as ever—a good thing. And they live to work a crowd. Sat., Oct. 15. White River Amphitheatre, 40601 Auburn Enumclaw Rd., Auburn, 206-628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com.

Gwen Stefani + M.I.A.

Half a decade ago, No Doubt did that most amazing of things: They stopped sucking. Rock Steady was one of the smartest mainstream pop albums in ages, and it never stops giving. Frontwoman Gwen Stefani’s solo bow, Love Music Angel Baby (Interscope), isn’t as consistent, but “Hollaback Girl” might be her most resonant moment yet—it’s certainly been the most difficult to get away from. If nothing else, Stefani deserves credit for picking her opening act, the Sri Lanka–born Londoner M.I.A., whose Arular (XL) is a summary of beat-driven global pop styles and one of the three or four best albums of the year so far, even if she’s allegedly terrible live. Mon., Nov. 21. KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 206-628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com.

Pop Calendar

Dates are subject to change. Call ahead to confirm.


16 RÖYKSOPP + ANNIE The Norwegian duo’s new The Understanding (Astralwerks) isn’t up to their 2001 debut, Melody A.M., but their remarkable live show should make up for it. Annie’s Anniemal (Vice), meanwhile, is the best froth-pop album since Kylie Minogue’s Fever, and the single “Heartbeat” the best of the past couple years. Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 206-628-3151, www.showboxonline.com.

17 ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS + COCOROSIE Love it or hate it, Antony’s strangled, breathy falsetto is one of a kind, and on I Am a Bird Now (Secretly Canadian), he puts it to good use. Sister duo CocoRosie are just as divisive. Some critics are calling their new Noah’s Ark (Touch and Go) one of the year’s best, while Spin gave the disc an F rating. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 206-838-4333, www.thetripledoor.net.

19 LYRICS BORN Bay Area rapper Lyrics Born visits Seattle so often he might as well get an apartment, but his trips up are always worth your time. He tours (again) in support of his smart new remix disc, Same !@#$, Different Day (Quannum). Neumo’s, 925 E. Pike St., 206-633-6253, www.neumos.com.

20 NOUVELLE VAGUE So you like new wave revivalism? How about in the guise of bubbly French bossa nova? That’s what Nouvelle Vague (V2) delivers, with versions of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” PiL’s “This Is Not a Love Song,” the Clash’s “Guns of Brixton,” and XTC’s “Making Plans for Nigel” suitable for pouring a tasteful Chablis to. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 206-324-8000, www.chopsuey.com.

21 THE ARCADE FIRE The most overhyped rock band in ages wear uncomfortable looking suits while pouring out their hearts about death and stuff. We’ll take Crazy Frog, thanks. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com.

22 DECIBEL FESTIVAL See Fall Favorites.

23 QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE See Fall Favorites.

24 THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS + DESTROYER The reasoning behind this team-up isn’t difficult to discern. The New Pornographers—who recently issued Twin Cinema (Matador), their third and by far least-impressive album—have as one of their singer- songwriters Dan Bejar, who’s Destroyer’s majordomo. Since Bejar never tours with the NPs, maybe he’ll come out and sing one or two of the songs he’s written for them as well. Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 206-628-3151, www.showboxonline.com.

29 FOUR TET + JAMIE LIDELL Kieran Hebden’s modestly gorgeous new Everything Ecstatic (Domino) fuels this trip through town, with laptopping R&B-style vocalist Lidell (of Super_Collider renown) in tow. Neumo’s, 925 E. Pike St., 206-633-6253, www.neumos.com.


1 FRANZ FERDINAND See Fall Favorites.

3 THE FIERY FURNACES The Brooklyn brother-sister duo aren’t getting any less weird, if the forthcoming (and quite good) Rehearsing My Choir (Rough Trade) is any indication. It co-stars their grandmother, who will probably not be with them on the tour. Neumo’s, 925 E. Pike St., 206-633-6253, www.neumos.com.

11 BOB MOULD The former Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman has issued his boldest solo album yet, Body of Song (Yep Roc), which mixes his time-tested guitar-driven songwriting with the dance music he’s been DJ’ing in D.C. for the past few years. Neumo’s, 925 E. Pike St., 206-633-6253, www.neumos.com.

15 BROOKS & DUNN See Fall Favorites.

17 SUPERPITCHER After a toe dip into potential stardom (which, for a German minimal-techno producer and DJ would be something indeed), Superpitcher leaves behind Here Comes Love, his overcooked debut, for the terrific mix CD Today (Kompakt). Hopefully, he’ll play some of the same tracks that are on the latter. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 206-324-8000, www.chopsuey.com.

22 IRON AND WINE + CALEXICO The well-loved, extra-quiet music of Sam Beam (who is Iron and Wine, though perhaps not so emphatically) gets a nudge tonight with backing from the opening band, who also play on the forthcoming I&W album. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 206-628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com.

25 THE DECEMBERISTS The most unusual breakout stars in ages or another notch in The OC-soundtrack-style indie’s mainstream-semi-conquering belt? Either way, Colin Meloy’s wordy songs and his band’s multifaceted arrangements ought to be something to behold. Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 206-628-3151, www.showboxonline.com.

30 BROADCAST At first, they just seemed like Stereolab copyists who paid more attention than usual to the way their hi-hats were recorded, but after a few years, Broadcast are revealed as one of the smartest groove bands in rock. They’ll be flogging their newest album, Tender Buttons (Warp). Neumo’s, 925 E. Pike St., 206-633-6253, www.neumos.com.

30 THE ROLLING STONES Speaking of flogging, the Stones are claiming their new album, A Bigger Bang (groan!), is their best since whenever the last good Stones album was (i.e., since before most of us were born). And maybe it is—but something tells us it still won’t be as good as Crazy Frog. KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 206-628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com.


3 PAUL MCCARTNEY It might be unfair to be skeptical of Sir Paul’s newest, Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard, forthcoming on Capitol, given that both 1999’s Run Devil Run and 2001’s Driving Rain were actually pretty good. Still, dude’s output has been scattershot for so long, it’s impossible not to wonder—or to be a little afraid of his grinning-going-on-gurning stage show. KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 206-628-0500, www.ticketmaster.com.

12 JOSS STONE British soul phenoms are to be viewed with suspicion at all times. Nevertheless, the teenaged Stone has chops and cred, judging by the reviews of her latest, Mind Body Soul (S-Curve). Still, when it comes to U.K. imports, these days we’ll take Crazy Frog. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com.

21 GWEN STEFANI + M.I.A. See Fall Favorites.