CD Reviews

The Animals at NightRain Falls on Asphalt(In Spades)Better suited for relaxing with a martini than marinating in your own sweat on the dance floor, the Animals at Night specialize in languid, jazzy electrogrooves that meander rather than pulse. But if you didn't pick up the band's first hand-stamped recording a while back, you couldn't bring the Animals into your home...until now. Their CD release party is upon us, and it will be sweet. You may know that Seattle fixture Graig Markel (of New Sweet Breath and Tagging Satellites) founded the Animals at Night with Jeffrey McCallum. But since McCallum lives in Hawaii, Markel brought in Joe Patterson to replace McCallum, who continues to collaborate with the Animals. McCallum will be in Seattle for the release party, however. And with the album's host of prominent guest artists—Jeremiah Green of Modest Mouse, Nabil Ayers and Eric Corson of the Long Winters, and Zera Marvel (also Markel's wife), to name a few, you shouldn't miss this opportunity to get nocturnal. SARA BRICKNERWith Gel-Sol, Obelus, and Head Like a Kite. Nectar Lounge, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 8 p.m. $7. Wed., April 16.WHY?Alopecia(Anticon)On WHY?'s third and latest release, Alopecia, WHY? mitigates the discordant craziness of previous records with cleaner, tighter musical arrangements, proving once and for all that it is possible to make angsty, experimental hip-hop that's also melodic and pretty. This newfound cohesion marks a serious shift in their hip-hop/indie-pop ratio; though indie rapper Yoni Wolf made good music alone, he made the right decision when he invited Josiah Wolf and Doug McDiarmid (not to neglect Alopecia contributors Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson) to sign on. Alopecia's instrumentals complement Yoni Wolf's tongue-twisters without overpowering or obscuring them, making the record WHY?'s most polished, accessible work to date. Even if a few haters decry Yoni Wolf's more polished, melodious approach to his indie/hop experimentation, the vast majority should appreciate the record for the creative breakthrough it represents. SARA BRICKNERWith Mount Eerie, Julie Doiron, and Generifus. The Vera Project, Seattle Center, Warren Avenue North and Republican Street. 7:30 p.m. $9/$8 with club card. All ages. Thurs., April 17.

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