Justice, the Go, and the Local Label Ready to Take on Journey

New day rising.

As reports of Daft Punk's feverishly anticipated show last Sunday continue to take on mythic proportions—our own Michael Alan Goldberg was reduced to writing "HOLY FUUUUUUUCK!" in his show review on Reverb—electronica aficionados will want to block out the evening of Oct. 12 on their calendars, because that's when French duo Justice will hit the stage at Neumo's, presumably with towering, illuminated crosses in tow. Whether their neo-Christian vibe creeps you out or not, it's impossible to watch the YouTube footage of them igniting the crowds at Coachella earlier this year without getting excited about the prospect of seeing them live.

There are all sorts of killer shows popping up on fall club calendars now, and I'm particularly impressed with what the Sunset and the Comet have locked down. Booking agent Mike Jaworski has a handful of can't-miss shows coming up at the Sunset, including a bill with Minneapolis punk duo Birthday Suits, an utterly explosive live band who are perfectly capable of restoring one's faith in rock 'n' roll with their sweaty, fiercely committed performances. The Ballard club also just confirmed dates with Parts & Labor and Fugazi bassist Joe Lally. What's more, the Sunset is taking steps to expand its viewpoint beyond rock, punk, and alt-country to include progressive electronica and hip-hop. Last Sunday marked the launch of Trashy Trash with Dan Ames (aka DJ Same DNA). The monthly dance-party series will take place on the last Sunday of every month and will feature local DJs spinning and live sets from cutting-edge favorites like Truckasaurus. A recently forged collaboration with Seattle MC/promoter Locke also means plans for more hip-hop nights are in the works.

Michelle "Mamma Casserole" Smith is beside herself with joy for bringing Detroit garage-pop savants the Go back to Seattle on Aug. 15 at the Comet. Dirtbombs drummer Ben Blackwell just released their long-overdue new record, Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride, on his Cass Records label, and fans of the Nuggets-inspired act will definitely not be disappointed.

When Smith isn't busy filling out the Comet's calendar, she manages a few local bands, including the Pleasureboaters, a powerful trio I've been trumpeting for months and one that I continue to be more impressed by as their career progresses. Listening to the advance copy of their forthcoming debut, Gross, I have no doubt it will end up being one of my favorite local records released this year. From the moment they barrel out of the gate with "State of the Union" to the final crash of "Alt. Tuning," Ricky Claudon, Tim Cady, and Eric Baldwin have composed the best sort of punk-rock manifesto: razor-sharp playing that's somehow blissfully chaotic and structurally sound, plenty of dry wit, raw-throated howling, and just a hint of lascivious abandon. The record will be released in late September by local label Don't Stop Believin' Records, the brainchild of Megan Birdsall, a passionate music fan who began releasing her friends' records two and a half years ago, when she put out the Pharmacy's first full-length release. In addition to the well-received debut from local lesbionic dance divas Team Gina and the impending Pleasureboaters release, Birdsall has plans for 7-inches by Casy and Brian and Yes Oh Yes, as well as a limited-edition CD by the Terrordactyls. Unsurprisingly, this is a pure labor of love, so she pays the bills by doing what she calls "freelance technical theater work," most recently rebuilding the stage at On the Boards and helping out with productions by local modern-dance choreographer Pat Graney. This is not to say she doesn't have big dreams for the label's growth. "My goal is to do well enough that I get a cease-and-desist letter from Journey," she laughs, referring to the label's clever moniker. "That's when I'll know I've succeeded."


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