The Short List

Highlights-and lowlights-from this week's music calendar.

Wednesday, January 10

The Senate Arcade + X-Ray Press + Phobophobe

Though comparisons could be drawn between the vocals of Senate Arcade wailer Todd Schlosser and bare-chested pretty boy Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd, the latter would likely get schooled in a back-alley brawl between their bands. Backed by ripping guitarist Matt Terich and water-tight skins pounder Austin Hugill, the trio make sweeping, visceral, mathy rock with indie leanings—and even though there's only three, their sound is so big, they'd likely send Boyd and Co. sniffling back to snuggle with their ab rollers. These all-go, balls-out dudes aren't afraid to cross the fine line into the danger zone: Hugill's recent motorcycle accident forced the group to take a six- month hiatus. Thankfully, a full recovery has them all back onstage tonight, ready to take names with All the Weeks and Highways, the long-awaited full-length follow-up to their debut EP. AJA PECKNOLD High Dive, 9 p.m. $5

Velvet Underground Cover Night

Seattleites love to pay tribute to their favorite artists, whether in karaoke form or evenings dedicated to Disney songs, hair metal, glam, the Beatles, you name it. Tonight's sing-in, which is also a benefit for brain cancer patient Sophie Darr, centers around that most seminal of "seminal" '60s bands, who've undoubtedly influenced modern-day indie rock (and not just a few rockers' style aesthetic) to a degree beyond what any of them might've expected. Members of Shake Some Action, Monostereo, Ragazza, Argo, Ghost Stories, C'est La Mort, and Pleasurecraft will give it their all, though whether they'll cover VU & Nico ground, White Light/White Heat, or tenderly twisted love songs like "Candy Says" and "Pale Blue Eyes", remains to be seen. "Something to think about is the fact that most Velvets songs are so simple, it would be more of a challenge to fuck them up than to make them awesome," says Crocodile booker Eli Anderson. "[That's] the true magic of the VU." RACHEL SHIMP Crocodile Cafe, 8 p.m. $7

Thursday, January 11

Talkdemonic + Birdshow of North America + Bronze Fawn

SEE FEATURE (Talkdemonic) P. 43. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $8

Friday, January 12

Hell's Belles + Thee Emergency + the Heavy Hearts

How strong is your feminist/PC radar? Some people—women, especially—grow up loving, then resenting, then hesitantly embracing the Rolling Stones for songs like "Under My Thumb"; likewise the entire genre of rap and perhaps the entire catalog (Bon Scott and Brian Johnson eras) of AC/DC. But whether it's in a strip bar or a karaoke cube that you finally feel the cathartic power of "You Shook Me All Night Long," it's healthy to fess up that you felt it. The women of Hell's Belles go further by embracing, then emulating their favorite band in a raucous display of musical interpretation and lyrical liberation. Having dealt with lineup changes, like their namesake, since 2000, the group is now solid with superfox vocalist Jamie Nova and bassist Mandy Reed (AKA Cliff Williams), along with Adrian Connor (Angus Young), Melodie Zapata (drummer Phil Rudd), and Lisa B (guitarist Malcolm Young). Together, they give new meaning to the words "She's Got Balls." With the soul-stirring garage freakouts of Thee Emergency, and the Heavy Hearts. RACHEL SHIMP Neumo's, 8 p.m. $10

Herman Jolly of Sunset Valley + Brent Amaker and the Rodeo + Dirty Birds

For whatever reason, some albums end up defining certain periods of your life. For me, Herman Jolly's 1999 album Mad Cowboy Disease defined my junior year of college. I had just met a girl and I was living in a house with a bunch of dudes who stayed up until 6 a.m. snorting toot off our coffee table. My bedroom was right off the living room, so if I wanted to get any sleep while they ran their mouths and ground their teeth, this girl and I would have to put on music to fall asleep. Jolly's cracked, sparse folk numbers hissed out of those speakers, drowning out the cokehead roommates better than any other record I owned. The way he sang and played made it seem like he was holed up on a dark Saturday morning in Portland, with the rain streaking his bedroom windows and his cats crying for food, exactly the distraction we needed from the endless sniffling of the roommates. BRIAN J. BARR Jules Maes, 9 p.m.

Saturday January 13

The Cops + the Old Haunts + the Hands

SEE FEATURE (the Hands) P. 41. Tractor Tavern, 9:30 p.m. $7

Welcome + the Can't See + Sick Bees

Diving deep into the uncharted territory of your mind can be a terrifying thing. Just ask Syd Barrett. The psychedelic music he made post-Floyd, as catchy as it may be, also possesses a pretty creepy vibe. Local band Welcome explore similar psychedelic pop terrain, putting them in the same party boat as the Italian duo Jennifer Gentle. The music is simultaneously dreamy, wonky, and melodic. Their debut, Sirs, was released on Fat Cat overseas, but with any luck we'll see a stateside release soon. Elements of other '60s U.K. music abound, including Creation, and, as their press materials accurately suggest, the Beatles. My hopes are high that the band will continue to explore such psychedelic mind-fuckery. Much like Jennifer Gentle, if they already sound this tripped out, who knows where it will go from here. BRIAN J. BARR Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $6

Halou + Mexican Institute of Sound + Zoe Keating

Yeah, yeah, I know—trip-hop's dated, played out . . . a quaint relic of the booming '90s, when those blunted beats, gauzy atmospherics, and cooing female vocals were piped into dimly lighted velvet lounges to soundtrack conversations about lucrative stock options and Kate Spade bags. While the genre's certainly seen better, more innovative days, plenty of people, myself included, still get off on the trip-hop vibe, and that crowd will find it easy to be dazzled by such modern-day practitioners as Halou. The San Francisco trio—evocative singer Rebecca Coseboom, her multi-instrumentalist hubby Ryan, and drummer-producer Count—don a moody, heavily textured cloak similar to Portishead, Moloko, and Hooverphonic, et al., and adds a few twists and turns; murky grooves and Coseboom's breathy, come-hither voice frequently meet sheets of delayed guitars and gorgeous electronic noise to mesmerizing effect. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG El Corazon, 9 p.m. $10 adv./$12

Sunday, January 14

Barrington Levy

SEE WIRE P. 26 Neumo's, 8 p.m. $20.

Rob Dickinson + Paul Hiraga

Vocal drama certainly runs deep in the Dickinson clan. There's Bruce Dickinson, whose inimitable, operatic wail transformed Iron Maiden from an above-average hard-rock band to a mythical metal beast. And then there's his younger cousin, Rob Dickinson, onetime frontman of hardy British shoegazers the Catherine Wheel (which went on "indefinite hiatus" in 2000), whose resonant, smoldering croon brought soul, presence, and sensuality to a genre notorious for putting whoosh ahead of personality. Once the Wheel stopped spinning, Dickinson laid low for several years, spending much of his time designing cars and motorcycles, but the 41-year-old singer re-emerged in late 2005 with Fresh Wine for the Horses, on which he—unlike many other old 'gazers—resisted swapping all of his pedals for an acoustic guitar and an obsession with Gram Parsons–style country-rock. Granted, Dickinson's current West Coast jaunt is basically a solo acoustic affair, but all the drama and grandeur of his solo material—as well as the handful of Catherine Wheel nuggets he's sure to throw into the set—should still burst from the stage. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG Tractor Tavern, 8 p.m. $10 adv./$12

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