The first few days of summer have brought weather both glorious and wet, a super-moon preening huge and orange above the hills, a slew of solstice celebrations and an ever-increasing roster of music shows for your consideration. It's a wonderful time to leave the house.
On Thursday night at Hum Brews, for example, a chance to immerse yourself in Shook Twins. Twin sisters Katelyn and Laurie Shook team up with bandmates Kyle Volkman and Niko Daoussis to make what is casually labeled "quirky folk," a summary that, while accurate, falls short of defining the near-transcendent experience they provide. The harmonizing hypnotizes. The looping machine mesmerizes. The golden egg gleams. Weird? Yes. Central elements of the Shook Twins sound include the aforementioned looping machine and golden egg (really), plus banjo, guitar, upright bass, mandolin, beatbox, glockenspiel, ukulele and djembe. In some hands, all this variety and oddness might be a gimmick, but in Shook Twins' talented embrace, the whole is far more than the sum of its parts. Music is often described in terms of "lifting," "rising" or "elevating," and Shook Twins' songs evoke that sensation absolutely. Strip away all the bells and whistles, the musicians' impressive skills, and you have those voices. Singing siblings have an advantage in harmonizing, and twins likely more so — Katelyn and Laurie's voices blend together, weaving sound until you can't tell whose is whose. All you know is that the world is awash in beauty and so are you. Near-transcendent? Full-blown rapture. Oh – and they're funny! Silly stories and goofy song topics account for the "quirky." But however anyone tries to define the band, Shook Twins will probably be a little bit more. They've shared various stages with Ryan Adams, Mason Jennings, Laura Veirs, Michelle Shocked, JJ Gray and MoFro, Crooked Still and The Head and The Heart, among others. Tickets are only $10, Cyber Camel opens, show starts at 9 p.m., 21-and-over. Listen ahead at http://www.shooktwins.com or via your Spotify account.
Saturday night, a few options. First, La Luz and the Monster Women are playing at the Works in Old Town. The four-piece La Luz is described as an "all-girl surf pop band from Seattle." Let's examine that a bit further. That the band consists of four women remains a fact worth noting because all-girl bands remain an exception. If you would like to be reminded that chicks can kick ass at guitar and drums, here's a fun opportunity. Surf pop! But this is not your average Link-Wray-meets-The-Ronettes nostalgia. That's only the launching pad for a reverb-filled musical stratosphere heavy with sunshine and hooks you can't resist. Whatever the literal weather is doing Saturday evening, summer will be in full bloom at The Works. La Luz already holds a firm grasp on being one of the Seattle scene's most favored darlings. Odds are the band will only get bigger. This is a chance to see it (and the always cool Monster Women) in a small venue for only $5. Go here http://laluz.bandcamp.com/ and give a listen. I particularly liked "Sure as Spring." The show starts at 9 p.m. and is for all ages — a fact I'm compelled to highlight. All ages. All ages! Tell your under-21 friends.
On the flip side, manly men Drifter Killer plays Eureka Inn's Palm Lounge, also Saturday Night. Opening the show is the debut of rowdy, outlaw country outfit Cliff Dallas and the Death Valley Troubadours, which also features Drifter Killer frontman Cliff Dallas – apparently the man can go all night! (Zing!) What makes these men so manly? Their willingness to sweat for you. The impression that any one of them could gallop in on a horse and right a town's wrongs. The foresight to include a high-res band photo with the show's press release! (Yeah, baby!) Think relentless basslines, driving guitars and '70s rocker lyrics: "My engine's purring like your kitty with fuel injection/ It's a 427, chrome steel erection/ The bars are all closed, now it's time to rally/ I'll meet you at the end of Camaro Alley." (Dig the whole track here: http://www.reverbnation.com/drifterkiller.) A recent photo shoot, according to word on the Old Town streets, ended in a debauched tizzy of whiskey and naked women. Pretty sure it started out that way, too. The band promises "a volatile mixture of high energy rock'n'roll injected with doses of psychedelic trips gone wrong, Death Valley at dawn, drag races at night and drug deals gone right." If you're looking for trouble, the door is wide, wide open. The free show starts at 9 p.m., and is 21-and-over. Parental discretion is advised.
New Liberty out of Ventura, a group dedicated to paying homage to "the bygone era of 1980s Sunset Strip rock in the vein of Guns N' Roses and Motley Crüe," is coming to Humboldt on Friday, July 26, on the way to the Burntwoodstock Festival in Oregon on Saturday, July 27, where the band will be headlining. The group is looking for local bands to rock with and maybe a gig. You can find more info on the band at www.newliberty.tv/epk and https://www.facebook.com/newlibertyrocks.Local bands and talent bookers, have at it!
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online. Happy summer! •