IRON AND WINE, THE HEAD AND THE HEART
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Sam Beam may have (slightly) trimmed his illustrious beard, but he hasn't trimmed back any of the rich musical potion he concocts with Iron and Wine, which has evolved from a whispery acoustic act to globe-spanning folk fusion. New record Kiss Each Other Clean has Iron and Wine revisiting the '70s soft rock of Beam's childhood. NED LANNAMANN
MAD RAD, WEINLAND, AND AND AND, THE GLOBES
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Dying to know what bands are going to steal you away in September during the 11th year of MusicfestNW? Then come on down to the freshly remodeled Star Theater—no longer just a hobo graveyard—for the free MusicfestNW lineup announcement party. In between sets from a diverse lineup of talent—the transition between the whiskey-drowning sorrows of Weinland to the in-your-grill electro party rap of Mad Rad might make your head explode—the 2011 festival lineup will be unveiled. Spoiler alert: We have it on good authority that this year's lineup will feature a collaboration between Merzbow and Cody Simpson. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
14 ICED BEARS, ORCA TEAM, GHOST ANIMAL
(East End, 203 SE Grand) 14 Iced Bears barely received the recognition for spawning the jangly, jaunty C86 sound that contemporary bands like Vivian Girls, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Comet Gain have warmly embraced. It's a shame because the band, formed in London just over 25 years ago, makes some of the most ebullient indie pop you've probably never heard. Combining frantic Feelies-esque rhythms, delicately distorted guitar chops, and soft-spoken, whimsical vocals about falling in love and running away, 14 Iced Bears should be a household name to current Slumberland Records fans (Slumberland even released In the Beginning, a 14 Iced Bears compilation of singles and Peel Sessions back in 2001). But because they seldom play live and haven't released a full-length of new material in more than a decade, that might explain why they're not playing to the same sizable crowds as their predecessors. No worries, they'll still be my little secret that I always put on mixtapes. TRAVIS RITTER
!!!, BREAKFAST MOUNTAIN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Truth be told, we've been a little harsh on !!! (pronounced "chk chk chk"—why do we still need to explain this?) over the years. Following their exhilarating debut, the funk-heavy Brooklyn-via-Sacramento ensemble stalled out, leaving us to pen less-than-flattering pieces on the band (one such headline was "Schtick! Schtick! Schtick!"—god, we're such dicks, dicks, dicks). But with the release of Strange Weather, Isn't It?, their 2010 Warp Records debut, it's clear that !!! should be commended for their Andrew WK-esque commitment to keeping the party going strong, and the band's sheer longevity, easily outlasting the early aughts' short-lived dance-punk explosion. Considering that LCD Soundsystem has shuffled off this mortal coil, we all just need to dance and not overthink things for once. EAC
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