Tonight in Seattle: Shellac, The Damned, Spank Rock, Rubblebucket, The Gourds, and more!Posted by Chris Green
Even if you don’t have tickets to the sold-out Shellac show, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some live entertainment that suits you on this exceptional Thursday night in Seattle.
Preview by Gabriel Arguelles
Shellac are so good it hurts. The angry, sardonic, absolutely hilarious Chicago math-rock band will be in town this Thursday, and anyone who has ever witnessed a Shellac show knows that they’re an unstoppable live band. Steve Albini and company joke often joke with the audience and will sometimes ask “does anybody have any questions?” between songs. It’s indie rock crowd work at its very finest.
Shellac, one of the punkest bands working today, don’t do much to promote themselves. They arrive, they make the audience laugh, they destroy, and they leave. Word of mouth has spread and every music fan knows it. Shellac shows are always a gloriously witty indie rock bludgeoning. Steve Albini screams his head off, and while the band roars through song after song, they manage to work in comedic synchronized bits. It’s hard to imagine a band at has a better time onstage– the three members have day jobs and as a band, they don’t need to please anyone.
Albini probably never pictured his audiences wholeheartedly singing along to the cynical, destructive “Prayer to God,” but it happens at every single show. “Kill’em, f_ckin’ kill’em. Kill’em just f_ckin’ kill’em. Amen.”
Preview by Chris Green
The Damned were one of the earliest and most-underrated UK punk bands, releasing their first single, the classic ”New Rose”, in 1976. From the start they were iconoclastic, moving away from the simple shouting + guitar sound of early punk to incorporate keyboards, crooned vocals, psychedelic and gothic themes. While they’ve undergone many lineup changes over the years (Lemmy was even an early member), the current lineup includes both original guitarist Captain Sensible and singer Dave Vanian (known for performing in black suit + horror makeup).
They’re currently celebrating their 35th anniversary as a band with a handful of US tour dates at which they are playing their classic albums Damned, Damned, Damned and The Black Album (released in 1980 so eat your heart out, Jay-Z!) in their entirety, plus some other favorites as encores.
The west coast leg of this tour also features the pop-punk of Seattle’s own The Cute Lepers, so be sure to show up early for this fun show.
Preview by Kat Taylor
Electro/alternative hip-hop aficionado Spank Rock headlines a fun evening of diverse acts comprising the Check Yo Ponytail tour. Spank Rock combines a body-moving selection of tracks ranging from rock ‘n roll favorites, 80s new wave, contemporary R&B, and electronic hits that resemble a more polished, less ADD-addled Girl Talk.
Having toured with innovative, genre-bending names like Beck and M.I.A., Spank Rock is now grabbing some of the limelight for his own unique modern-age take on the musical landscape. Spank Rock brings vibrant energy to the scene that few artists are able to match, and you can hear it for yourself in the recent electrifying album, Everything Is Boring And Everyone Is A Fucking Liar on Rolling Stone.
The Death Set formed in Australia, but quickly made its way to Brooklyn where its experimental art punk style was appreciated. The band uses traditional punk riffs that deliver the speed and urgency of electronic music. Crisp samples and humming melodies carry equal weight with electric guitars, keeping some of the edge without too much noise.
Break-out hip-hopper Big Freedia is bringing some New Orleans bounce to the stage with fast-paced hip-hop beats and hypersexual overtones. The booty-shaking vibe mixed with diva vocal samples will have the crowd stomping for more.
Inventor of the Check Yo Ponytail Tuesday night party in Los Angeles, Franki Chan is a true Renaissance man of modern media. In 2003, he created IHEARTCOMIX, an outlet for throwing parties and releasing comic books that later became a record label featuring pop punk, electronic and dance music.
Pictureplane stirs up a synth-heavy set of deep, dance-worthy grooves. He manages to sound dark without getting moody, using soft lyrics that maintain a strong presence. The Denver-based DJ adds yet another spin on electro/dance music that will make this line-up one to remember.
Preview by Nick Hilden
Brooklyn-based Rubblebucket are coming to the Crocodile Café on Thursday the 27th. Rubblebucket plays an upbeat, danceable indie blend that has a toe-tapping, smile-inducing sound. They’re currently touring to promote the release of their sophomore album, Omega La La. The press has been giving the band high marks, claiming their performance is a “must see,” so if you’re looking for something to lighten the increasingly cloudy days, this could be it.
Preview by Chris Green
The Gourds music is one part rock, one part alt-country, with a touch of bluegrass and zydeco. But, whatever aspects are dominating a given song, it is always 100% Texas. Known as one of the hardest working bands around, they’ve been maintaining a breakneck touring schedule for going on 15 years, while still managing to produce a stream of albums. Thursday night’s show is the Seattle stop of their tour promoting their most recent release, Old Mad Joy, recorded at Levon Helm‘s studio in Woodstock, NY.
While their albums have been well-received, this is a band which is meant to be experienced live. Even with the demands of incessant touring, they always manage to look like they are having a blast on stage, and the feeling is infectious. Their large catalog of releases and their penchant for surprising cover songs (including their most famous song : the rarely-played extended mandolin cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin And Juice”) makes for a lot of sonic variety and makes their setlist unpredictable from show to show. Since all of the members are multi-instrumentalists and because they switch between acoustic and electric arrangements so often, a Gourds show features more instrument changes than a Lady Gaga show has wardrobe changes, especially from Max Johnson (ex-Uncle Tupelo and Wilco).
If you’re looking for a foot-stomping good time with a rowdy audience of other happy people, this show is a good bet. And if you squint your eyes a little, you might be able to imagine that instead of downtown Ballard, you’ve walked into a Texas roadhouse that has the best bar band around (but sadly, no BBQ).