Live Tonight: Mary Gauthier, Devo, King Khan and the Shrines, Ash Borer

As far as West Coast black metal goes, Arcata, Calif.’s Ash Borer is right there at the cream of the crust-covered crop. Ever since its early demos in 2009 and its now-legendary self-titled split LP with fellow metal band Fell Voices, Ash Borer has relentlessly pummeled listeners with a uniquely raw take on the genre that instills a more visceral, scrappy feel than many of its counterparts—largely due to the lo-fi tape recording quality and the decision to eschew extensive post-production, which have become trademarks of the group’s sound. Relentless cymbals wash with warm tape hiss atop soaring, windswept melodies that summon images of cloaked heroes charging up mountains before plunging into the utter darkness of the caverns below. The band’s first proper album, Ash Borer, is a modern classic of the form, alternately atmospheric and brutally kinetic with riffs that stick in your head through all the grit and terror layered atop it—a feat the group pulled off with a slightly icier feel than in its latest, Bloodlands. As for terror, nobody invokes a sense of impending doom better than the show’s main support, Hell, whose sludgy, eardrum-bursting funeral music will make you want to crawl into your grave to hide from the encroaching demons. With Bell Witch. Highline, 210 Broadway, 328-7837, 9 p.m. $10. 21 and up. KELTON SEARS

Don’t expect to “whip it good” at this Devo show. Instead, be prepared to hear a collection of the New Wave legends’ earliest tracks: basement demos circa 1974–77 that were released on 1990’s Hardcore Devo: Volume One. In memory of former guitarist Bob Casale, who died suddenly in February, a portion of all tour proceeds will go to his family. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 682-1414, 8 p.m. SOLD OUT. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

King Khan & The Shrines is all about the experience. Sure, the music is lively and ornate, but it’s only a device that fuels the band for its manic and spastic performances. Frontman Arish “King” Khan himself embodies the bold persona of a soul singer, and his shimmering outfits and bellowing voice give him command over a crowd, which he is known to jump into headlong. Listening to the band’s records home alone—like the recent digital reissue of What Is? and the latest, Idle No More—can be fun enough, but dancing with sweaty strangers while marveling at the soul-titan that is Khan is the best way to understand what the band’s all about. With Red Mass, Night Beats. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467, 8 p.m. $15 adv. 21 and over. DUSTY HENRY

There are only eight songs on Mary Gauthier’s latest, Trouble & Love, but the 52-year-old songwriter packs in enough emotion to fill a double LP. No Depression called it “the breakup album to end all breakup albums” and it finds Gauthier trying to make sense of the wreckage of a tumultuous relationship. Though the songs are intensely personal, they were a collaborative effort, with Gauthier inviting a handful of her Nashville songwriting friends to help her grieve by listening to her story and then trying to capture it musically. If all this sounds a bit unorthodox, well, that’s the norm for Gauthier, who didn’t write her first song until age 35 after quitting a successful career as a chef and restaurateur. She works outside the Nashville mainstream, but also manages to infiltrate it on her own terms; she releases her own albums, but has had her songs recorded by Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw and featured on ABC’s country-music drama Nashville. She also teaches three-day songwriting workshops for almost $1,000 a pop, but for a lot less you can get a lesson of sorts at one of her two Seattle-area shows—just make sure you bring a hankie for the songs from the new record. (She’s also appearing at the Treehouse Café on Bainbridge Island tomorrow.) With Lynn Miles, Eliza Gilkyson. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, 7:30 p.m. $22 adv./$25 DOS. DAVE LAKE

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