Notable Shows

Thursday, October 19

Andrea Maxand + the Graze + David Bavas

+ Wesafari + Levi Fuller

Singer-songwriter Andrea Maxand is one of our city's most unique and powerful voices, and she showcases it in public far too seldom. Her last effort, the 2004 full-length Where the Words Go, borrowed Death Cab's rhythm section (drummer Jason McGerr and bassist Nick Harmer) for a wonderfully full sound; performing solo on her own, it's just as sweet. Maxand is mixing her fourth album this month, and it should be out next year if all goes well. Support her new direction tonight with a bevy of local bands and songwriters who are equally worth your time. RACHEL SHIMP Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $5

Ghosts I've Met

Ghosts I've Met play an Americana meant for dry deserts and wide open highways. Like Whiskeytown's more somber moments and Gram Parson's most dire, these locals build their songs out of sparse acoustic strums, banjer pluckings, and weeping pedal steel. Frontman Sam Watts has a breathy voice not unlike that of a sincere Ryan Adams (think "Inn Town" and "My Sweet Carolina"), and the band behind him heads down some of that same desolate territory as that of their fellow Seattleites Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, albeit a little lighter on the minor key. While they fill their songs with lyrics such as "A hotel ain't no place to cry" ("Six String Hotel"), the loneliness in their music feels like less of a curse and more like it did in '70s country music, when isolation was a welcome but no less painful blessing. BRIAN J. BARR Cafe Venus / Mars Bar, 9 p.m. $8

SAM Benefit: Choklate + Awesome + Sun Tzu Sound

Her voice oozes slow like honey, but it can bend and snap like a piece of elastic when the song calls for it. Much like Mary J. Blige, Choklate has a jazzlike maturity and assuredness, with musical roots in both hip-hop and R&B. Overseen by Vitamin D, her self-titled debut features contributions by Bean One, Amos Miller, Jay Townshend, Kuddie Mak, and Jake One, and is one of the most consistent and promising albums made by a local artist in recent years. While the production qualities are seriously shit-hot and smooth, Choklate's vocals and songwriting are the crown jewel. The only problem with a talent as top-shelf as Choklate is that Seattle might not appreciate what a talent we have here. I can already imagine us laying claim to her after she hits the big time in some other city. We seem to be good at that. BRIAN J. BARR Showbox, 8 p.m. $25

Friday, October 20

Cursive + The Thermals + Chin Up Chin Up

Hitting the road for their first tour in nearly two years (in support of Happy Hollow on Saddle Creek Records), Omaha indie-rock band (does that town turn out any other kind?) Cursive supplement their Seattle date with two sweet outfits, also with recent releases: Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster, post-pop punk rockers the Thermals, maintain their infectious, raucous energy while getting political on The Body, the Blood, the Machine (Sub Pop); Chin Up Chin Up channel Wolf Parade on This Harness Can't Ride Anything, which dropped Oct. 10 on our very own Suicide Squeeze. AJA PECKNOLD Neumo's, 8 p.m. $13.50 adv./$15 All ages

Rodrigo y Gabriela

The classical-guitar duo played Dimitriou's Jazz Alley this August, and their return to rock club Chop Suey is testament to their versatility as musicians, as well as the diverse audience their interpretations and originals have garnered. Rodrigo and Gabriela met in the Mexican thrash metal band Terra Acida, and have since been around the world on their own terms as acoustic performers. But their rendition of "Stairway to Heaven," while not plugged in, is surprisingly scorching. It's featured on their just-released U.S. debut, along with the highly percussive "Tamacun" and "Diablo Rojo," where the interplay of rhythm and lead guitars shows the pair to be true masters of their craft. RACHEL SHIMP Chop Suey, 6:30 p.m. $20

Saturday, October 21

The Hold Steady + Sean Na Na + Neutral Boy

In a live video of the Hold Steady performing the first track of their new album (and Vagrant debut), Boys and Girls in America, fans have their devil horns up before vocalist/guitarist Craig Finn says a word. And then when he does, as in the songs themselves, they're several: "This song—it's about art, it's about love, it's about depression, it's about alcohol, it's about faith, and it's about everything else that's important to me and this band." The song, "Stuck Between Stations," is propelled by a keyboard melody, duct-taped guitars chugging power-pop, and Finn's trademark storytelling lyrical delivery. That last detail famously polarizes fans, but it's agreed upon by many that the Hold Steady in action—where Finn can gesticulate freely—get you involved in the conversation more than listening to his Springsteen-esque tales on plastic. The Hold Steady are high on life. If you love rock and roll, be here tonight. RACHEL SHIMP Crocodile Cafe, 8 p.m. $12 adv./$14

Neil Hamburger + Pleaseasaur + Velella Velella

NH: "Why won't Courtney Love be having any crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrranberry sauce with her Christmas dinner this year?" (dramatic pause)NH: "Why won't Courtney Love be having any crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrranberry sauce with her Christmas dinner this year?" (extended dramatic pause) NH: "Why won't Courtney Love be having any crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrranberry sauce . . . with her Christmas dinner this year?" Audience, with mounting frustration: "Why?!!" NH: "I said, WHY won't Courtney Love be having any crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrranberry sauce with her Christmas dinner . . . THIS YEAR??" Audience: "Why??!!"NH: "Ahem . . . I SAID! Why won't Courtney Love be having any crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrranberry sauce with her Christmas dinner this year??"Laughing yet? While taking in Neil Hamburger, the world's "worst" stand-up comedian, it's almost impossible not to as he fumbles through his routine with his extraordinary comb-over, frumpy getup, and compulsive throat-clearing. Having toured with indie-rock bands such as Pinback, Hamburger takes his show on the road again—this time to promote his recent Drag City release, The World's Funnyman. Curious about Courtney Love and cranberrrrrrry sauce? Let Hamburger enlighten. With Pleaseasaur and Velella Velella. AJA PECKNOLD Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $10 adv.

Sunday, October 22


Back in Kent, Ohio, I used to drink heavily with a guy named Steve Five (not his real name). He was a big fan of Richard Hell, Television, all that gritty N.Y.C. shit from the late '70s. When there'd be huge parties at someone's house, Steve and I, and a select few others, would duck into a room with a turntable and spin classic punk rock, or new 7-inches from local bands like Party of Helicopters or Radar Secret Service. I would always try to get Steve to regard Hank Williams as a punk, and point to similarities between Uncle Tupelo and the Minutemen. He'd listen, but it never really sank in. Then, one night, he told me that if I was into "alternative country" I should give Gomez a spin. I took his advice; anybody who listened to Television should have good taste, right? Next day, I unwrapped the cellophane from my newly purchased Gomez record, slid 'er into the CD player, and after the first two songs of diluted indie pop, decided I'd never take Steve's advice again. BRIAN J. BARR Moore Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Madlib + Peanut Butter Wolf

Neumo's, 8 p.m. $16 All ages

Monday, October 23

Witchcraft + Danava + Mos Generator

Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $10

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