! = recommended
* = all-ages
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Seattle's own pixie-dreamy The Stares will be playing Chop Suey at the end of the month, 9/29/05, with J. Tillman, Parks and Recreation, and Racetrack. I would recommend going, and ingesting something very senses-friendly before catching their set.
I haven't seen them live and don't know how it works for them — on record, vocalists and songwriters Angie Benintendi and Drew Whitmore use their voices superbly to tell their strange little stories about the weather and travel with a finely injected narcotic skill ("A new year has arrived — underground .. Don't swallow the dust"), no doubt cut perfectly on Spine to Sea by woodwinds and strings expert Eyvind Kang (Blonde Redhead's last one) and then administered by sound-alchemist Randall Dunn, whose work with Earth and Kinski and Secret Chiefs 3 has supplied much stone-soundtracks. You barely hear bassist and drummer Don McGreevy and Jason Merculief, but you feel something anchor all of this pastoral-praise music breezing past you somehow, so they must be doing their respective jobs.
If you found Eisely a little too aggressive in the hooks department, but still love that holy, druggy mood, Spine to Sea is an anima-animus version of it, giving the same kind of tingles, but better, because they're slower, so they last longer.