Cornish College of the Arts at 8 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 12. $5-$20 (pay as you can); free for Cornish students.
First, a distorted guitar, lowing like a young bull moose at the onset of rutting season. Then a didgeridoo deepens the drone as rhythmic insectoid chitters propel it toward an otherworldly destination. The guitar veers skyward, a pulsating tonal nebula surrounding it, creating what seems like a living organism made of sound. Is it the soundtrack to a Mazatec peyote ritual? A secret invocation of H.P. Lovecraft's cephalopod deities in a dilapidated warehouse, walls aglow with phosphorescent green ichor? Or maybe some Argentine outsider music dudes performing live with a 70-something lady at a small cafe in upstate New York? Bingo! We've just heard "Cosmother Fell Asleep Inside a Galaxy Cake," from Pauline Oliveros & Reynols' The Minexcio Connection: Live! At the Rosedale Café (Roaratorio), released late last year. While Oliveros' ongoing collaboration with the recently disbanded legends has garnered much well-deserved attention over the past few years, it's merely another line item on a multidimensional, honors-studded résumé that stretches back 50 years to her days as a pioneering electronic composer and the first director of the lauded Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College. Oliveros would probably credit her attainments to what she calls "deep listening," a practice she defines as "listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing." But whatever the source of her magic, the composer and instrumentalist continues to create some of the most original, fascinating, and profound music of our era . . . with a fucking accordion! Timbaland should be so lucky. ROD SMITH
LINKIN PARK + P.O.D.
Tacoma Dome at 7 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 13. $34.50.
To the uncorrupted?er, untrained?ear, tonight's enormodome co-headliners probably come off like peas of the same (ahem) pod. Both Linkin Park and Payable on Death still proudly embrace the Adidas Angst Aesthetic that their darker, more vulgar mid-'90s progenitors employed to define this ignominious genre. Both spout "life-affirming" messianic treacle over Bic-flicking, connect-the-dots robo-anthems. The difference is that P.O.D. are merely four dorks in dreads who suck unremarkably, while Linkin Park are an all-stars of suck. Linkin's leader isn't the bespectacled, adorable, buzz-cut, wanna-be hard-core screamer Chester Bennington (freshly revised genre stereotype No. 1), nor the embarrassingly monotone Japanese-American MC Mike Shinoda (freshly revised genre stereotype No. 2), but pudgy DJ Joe Hahn, who masterminds the Surrealism for Dummies videos and actually smashes his turntables after sets (freshly revised genre stereotype No. 3). Shinoda and Bennington lay off the swears as a challenge to express themselves more "creatively," which usually results in fetal position emo-speak like, "I will never know myself until I do this on my own," or, "It's easier to run, replacing this pain with something numb." It skyrockets past kitsch, past irony, past Bon Jovi into a new realm of self-replicating, self-help silliness that someday very well could?just like Bill and Ted's Wyld Stallyns?give the world the peace and harmony it so desperately craves. ANDREW BONAZELLI
OPHELIA AND THE GREAT IDEA
Graceland at 9 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 16. $5.
This local jazz-punk trio's self-released, self-titled first EP?sold at shows and available for download on their Web site, www.opheliaandthegreatidea.com ?is packaged in a brown paper lunch bag with an artfully silk-screened image of scribble. It's not unlike what the music delivers: spazzy riffs, out-jazzy jams, with a dollop of Latin percussion. If the music sounds offhand, though, it's not: The four songs on the EP took the band nearly two years to write. Every song is painstakingly discussed, dissected, and reconfigured before it's introduced to the public. Each song's structure is punk grounded, but pursued like a free-jazz blowing session. On "You Can Expect Us to Sing," the music mirrors every lyrical syllable, with quick transitions between guitarist Adam Parks' and bassist Brent Antal's Guy Picciotto-esque yelps, drummer Nick Tamburro's buttery beatnik drum taps, even Stomp-like solos in which clanging pots and pans take center stage. "A Pony for Your Thoughts" incorporates aggressive three-part melody, à la Fugazi, but keeps things interesting with abrupt, minimalist song breaks. "Drum Solo" showcases the band's attunement with one another as well as obvious moments of personal inspiration. None of the songs has a chorus, but the intricacy and thought put into every composition makes this nibble of music a delectable meal. JANNA CHAN