March 26-April 1, 2003

Be Good Tanyas, Old Crow Medicine Show

Where: Various Venues

When: Fri 3/28, Sat 3/29

What: To hear the fuss some folks make just because the Dixie Chicks play their own instruments-and authentic ones, like banjo and mandolin, at that-you'd think they were geniuses on par with Stephen Hawking. Vancouver, BC trio the Be Good Tanyas are just as adept a string band, with equally assured vocal harmonies and fine harmonica playing, all rendered sans any high-gloss sheen. On their sophomore album Chinatown, these three women continue to perfect the quiet instrumental interplay, understated singing, and straightforward songwriting that distinguished their 2000 debut Blue Horse. And their taste in covers, which this time around includes Townes Van Zandt's "Waiting Around To Die" and a clutch of refurbished traditional folk and blues tunes, is a lot less obvious than rote renditions of Stevie Nicks chestnuts. Tractor Tavern (also free all-ages in-store at Ballard Sonic Boom 3/29, see Eight Nights). $10. 9 p.m. Fri. March 28. KURT B. REIGHLEY

Birddog, guests

Where: Rendezvous, 2320 Second, Seattle, 206

When: Sun 3/30

What: Birddog may hail from Lexington, Kentucky, but their deliriously down sound is pure cowboy lament, all rolling tumbleweeds, open skies and endless nights. Guitarist/pianist/vocalist Bill Santen can't be quite as lonesome as he sounds, either; fellow turn-that-frown-upside-down musicians Elliot Smith, Edith Frost, and Wilco's Glenn Kotche have all helped out on a number of the band's releases, and both Jason Lowenstein and the Palace Brothers' Paul Oldham contribute to their latest, Songs From Willipa Bay. Bay's slow, somnambulant melodies suit the intimate space of the Rendezvous, though they'd be even better around a slow-burning desert campfire. Rendezvous. Cover. 9 p.m. Sun. March 30. LEAH GREENBLATT

DJ Ra Soul, Jon Lemmon, Philip Eno

Where: Chop Suey

When: Sat 3/29

What: DJ Rasoul, a.k.a. Guy Nado, broke through the underground in the mid-'90s, but it wasn't until the end of the decade that the Bay Area resident's productions made him a staple of the deep house scene. Knee-bending basslines and warm chord arrangements confirmed his place in house-heads' hearts through the classic Soul Searching series, collaborations with Miguel Migs under "Night Source," and numerous releases on his own label, Soulfood, while his ability to turn it out on the decks piled up the frequent fliers with overseas bookings. His appearance tonight with Seattle's own Viva Records honcho Jon Lemmon provides yet another example of how Chop Suey has helped turn this town's hip-hop scene on its head. Chop Suey, for info. $10adv. 9 p.m. Sat. March 29. JUSTIN PAUL

Idlewild, French Kicks, Natural History

Where: Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle

When: Fri 3/28

What: To call the French Kicks a "pop-rock" band seems a misnomer. Their 2002 debut full-length One Time Bells is certainly catchy enough to warrant that tag and yet, not only do their best melodies ("1985," "Trying Whining") always seem to zig when they should zag, those songs are sequenced towards the end of the 39-minute disc, not up front. And instead of guitar or vocals, the focal point of the band's sound on key cuts like the jittery "When You Heard You," and the deliberately slow, tension-building title track, is the interplay between drummer Nick Stumpf (who doubles as lead singer) and keyboard player Josh Wise. Oh, who frigging cares what you call their music; they deserve kudos just for eschewing the kind of obvious musical choices that make many of their New York contemporaries, "pop-rock" or otherwise, increasingly easy to pigeonhole. ALSO, SEE CD REVIEWS. Graceland, for info. $10adv. 9 p.m. Fri. March 28. KURT B. REIGHLEY

Ladyfest with Halou, Black Angel

Where: Crocodile Cafe, 2200 2nd Ave, Seattle

When: Sat 3/29

What: That chilled, incisive female voice, so sexless it's sexy, floating over a groaning sea of artificial ambience. No distortion pedals, high-hats, or cowbells need apply; the name of the game is ethereal menace. Portishead cracked the code in the mid-'90s and have just as many "admirers" as, say, Radiohead or Pearl Jam, yet critics rarely muster the zeal to call out the trip-hop clones-if such languid compositions even qualify as trip-hop. As for Halou, their work is incredibly lovely, if familiar, and suits a need everyone should have for electronica that "sets the mood." Crocodile Cafe. 4 p.m. with Tagging Satellites, Spyglass, Carrie Clark ($10adv., all ages) and 9 p.m. ($12, 21+) Sat. March 29. ANDREW BONAZELLI

logging Molly, Supersuckers

Where: Showbox, 1426 1st Ave, Seattle

When: Sat 3/29

What: The last time I wrote about Flogging Molly, I kind of shat on their wino-rousing, St. Patty's Day shing-alongs. A few days later, I heard a radio interview with singer Dave King, who came off like the most sincere, gentle, un-Colin Farrell Irishman ever. I felt like a walking turd. I mean, their name is still wack and the mixer hit cut and paste with every tubthumping drum track, but Flogging Molly make pretty fun fist-pumping, clog-dancing anthems. To borrow one of the most important rock 'n' roll quotes ever uttered in my presence, they're not the enemy. Showbox, for info. $15adv. 6 p.m. Sat. March 29. All ages. ANDREW BONAZELLI

Menovcik and Kramer, Bill Horist, Saeta

Where: Chop Suey

When: Wed 4/2

What: Saeta's Matt Menovcik and Bongwater's Kramer have been in cahoots for awhile now; Kramer stumbled across Menovcik's sad chamber pop on some web site and contacted him with offers of knob-tweaking and the like (imagine that phone call: "No really, I swear, it's Kramer."), but tonight will be the first time the two will actually take the stage together and play some music. It's almost criminal that this show will likely come and go as quietly as Saeta's dark, dream-laced wanderings, but don't let the lack of hipster hype fool you. It's difficult to say for sure what the duo will do to-and with-each other's songs but I'd bet that fans of Galaxie 500, Low, and Brian Eno won't spend too much time wishing they were elsewhere. Chop Suey. $7. 9 p.m. Wed. April 2. LAURA CASSIDY

Neko Case, Kelly Hogan, Carolyn Mark with Jon Rauhouse

Where: Experience Music Project, Seattle Center, Seattle Center

When: Sat 3/29, Sun 3/30

What: SEE PREVIEW. Live Oral History Interview. EMP, JBL Theatre 7 p.m. NC, ticket required. Interview is followed by perfrormance. Sky Church 9 p.m. Sat. March 29 ($16/$14 members). Also, 4 p.m. Sun. March 30 ($7/$5 members). All ages.

Peanut Butter Wolf, Sharpshooters, Cherrywine

Where: Chop Suey

When: Fri 3/28

What: SEE TWO EARS. Chop Suey, for info. $10adv. 9 p.m. Fri. March 28.

Scott Amendola Band

Where: Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle

When: Mon 3/31

What: Though any tour dubbed a "Cry for Peace" promises a few nods to Greenwich Village-bred sing-alongs, percussion monster Scott Amendola spares the usual backward-looking bullshit and moves straight into blood-on-the-walls howls of outrage cut with meditative searches for beauty. His band's latest, Cry, is a volatile mix of jazz, funk, and folk that pulls much of its exotic power from the mourning violin of Jenny Scheinman, but the secret weapon is avant-guitar lunatic Nels Cline. Courtesy of an almost symbiotic relationship with his bandleader, Cline propels Amendola's endless bag of tricks through storms of effects-frosted free-jazz and fret-burning bebop, sometimes all within the same song. Unfortunately, without former Geraldine Fibber Carla Bozulich on hand tonight, it's unlikely the band's menacing cover of Dylan's "Masters of War" will be performed, but the sheer intensity of this evening is bound to leave revolution in the air regardless. Tractor Tavern. Cover. 9 p.m. Mon. March 31. CHRIS BARTON


Where: Central Saloon, 207 First S, Seattle

When: Sun 3/30

What: As recalled by the Kinks (circa Preservation Act) a spiv was a bit of a dandy and a hustler and a jack-of-all-trades, not quite a thug but not on the up-and-up, either. Chris Barber's Spiv (which features Posies Ken Stringfellow producing and pitching in) similarly aims to charm and win your heart even as your wallet is being lifted-at least as evidenced on the brand-new Don'tcha Know? (Pop Sweatshop). From raucous, Kinks-ized glam-garage anthems like "Everybody's a Rock Star Tonight" and "Goddess Surprise" to unabashed Beatlesque worship like the psychedelic ballad "Because I'm In Love" and the powerpoppy, ahem, "Beatley," Spiv's charm lies in its sneaky subversiveness. Live, the band can be a total rawk beast, but watch out for some surprises. Central Saloon. $5. 9 p.m. Sun. March 30. FRED MILLS

The Movielife, Vendetta Red, One Line Drawing

Where: Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle

When: Tue 4/1

What: My playlist at age 13 in midwestern suburbia: The Escape Club, Color Me Badd, Gerardo, and Prince's Batman soundtrack. As sad as that lineup was, you can't tell me junior high kids are better off today with three million stem-cell emo bands, an alarming number of which are beginning to incorporate strings. Movielife have evolved from Bad Religion knockoff to Thursday knockoff, successfully aping both poles of the eight-year-old Warped Tour. Onelinedrawing's Jonah Matranga is too bright and accomplished for this shit, but is still raking in dead Presidents playing for kids half his age. Graceland, for info. $10adv. 6 p.m. Tue. April 1. All ages/bar with ID. ANDREW BONAZELLI


Where: Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle

When: Thu 3/27

What: It's a long way from Oaxaca, Mexico to the gritty streets of Ballard. Give him two hours and two dozen songs, though, and Tim Easton-who wrote much of his latest record during a stay in that Mexican state-will undoubtedly bring it all back home. Ohio native Easton has effectively estranged himself from the next-Dylan/new-alt-country-singer-songwriter throng with Break Your Mother's Heart, a charming assortment of folk, rock, and country-soul seasoned with an early '70s resonance. Recorded mostly live in studio, the record reportedly translates well to the stage. And when Easton sings, "You don't have to break your mama's heart to change the world," you can ponder events overseas and be damned glad you're right here at home. 9 p.m. Thurs. March 27 (on a bill with Happy Chichester and Michael Hill). $8. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 206-789-3599. SCOTT HOLTER

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