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Hipsters Be Warned! Seattle's Coming to SXSW

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Click the photo for an audio slideshow of Lesbian, representing Seattle's hard rock scene at SXSW.

Here's a look at a few of the band's Seattle's bringing to town next week. From the hip-hop beats of The Saturday Knights to experimental folk of Tiny Vipers, these bands encapsulate the city's eclectic scene.

The Saturday Knights

What can be written about Seattle’s new heavyweights of hip-hop, the Saturday Knights, that the Weekly hasn’t said before? After three weeks of successive coverage, we already know they recently signed to local Light in the Attic records, just released their debut EP, Motorin, spit rhymes like venom, are the purveyors of just about all that is right about modern hip-hop, and, from the last issue, that they each enjoy, and emulate, their own type of potato chips.

The party-friendly and generally all-around-awesome Knights tend to transcend the hip-hop genre, in favor of blues, funk, soul, rock, and old-school jams meant to rock the party. The dapper dudes from Tacoma have little left to prove in the finite realm of Seattle rhymes, and South by Southwest is possibly the break the three MCs Tilson, Barfly, and B-Web and DJ Suspense need to showcase their national-ready sound. Latitude 30, 512 San Jacinto St. 11 p.m. Fri., March 16.

Tiny Vipers

Burrito slinger by day at Capitol Hill’s Bimbo’s Bitchin’ Burrito Kitchen, and experimental goth-folk singer by night, Jesy Fortino, aka Tiny Vipers, is Seattle’s contribution to the increasingly popular experimental folk scene and the most recent addition to the Sub Pop stable. With lyrics like “I’m dying/I grow smaller each and every day, weaker still/At least I’m trying,” backed by single-string, occasionally rhythmically strummed single-note, guitar melodies, Fortino and her self-released single “Shipwreck” (the LP currently in the works will be released on Sub Pop) has become a darling of über-hipsters Pitchfork, who compared her work to Joanna Newsom’s and Nico’s.

While the term inaccessible might be applicable to the few songs Fortino currently has available, her work compares favorably to the more gloomy-voiced Maria Taylor and other avant-garde female singer-songwriters. Emo’s, 601 Red River St. 9:30 p.m. Wed., March 14.

The Trucks

Not to be confused with Rolling Stone’s recently crowned guitar god Derek Trucks or Norway’s Trucks of “It’s Just Porn, Mum,” fame, the Trucks are Seattle’s answer to girl power. Channeling Peaches and Le Tigre with lyrics like “How come you think we can fuck just because you put your tongue in my mouth and you twisted my titties, baby,” the Trucks have become a favorite of Three Imaginary Girls, the online indie trendsetters who were the first to hop on the Death Cab for Cutie bandwagon before the boys from Bellingham were touring arenas on Atlantic’s dollar.

With their debut self-titled album making that site’s top 10 albums of 2006 list, the Trucks, who also happen to be natives of Bellingham, back their female-empowerment songs—about, among other things, bicycles, afros, and sex—with Casio-keyboard-inspired dance beats. The all-girl quartet has also built a reputation for frantic live shows powered by their would-be Karen O lead singer, Kristen Allen-Zito. The Tap Room, 117 W. Fourth St. 11 p.m. Thurs., March 15.

Lesbian

Lesbian smoke a lot of weed. The fearsome foursome once told the Weekly’s Travis Ritter of their songwriting process: “There’s a lot of marijuana involved. It’s enhancement—for writing and playing. We can go a long way, tripping nicely and creating journeys for ourselves.” Occasionally those journeys, in the case of “Loadbath,” turn out to be 25-minute head-banging labyrinths filled with the indecipherable growling voice of bassist Dorando Hodous, catastrophic time-changing guitar, and impossibly loud drums.

The modern incantation of old-school Seattle stoner legends like the Melvins and Tad, Lesbian fuse the classic grind of metal godfathers like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath with a psychedelic twist—think Pink Floyd with drop D, a double bass, and a lot of speed to go with the pot smoke. The festival serves as a bit of a tour kick-off event for the band, which comes full circle with a hometown finale at the Comet Tavern on none other than 4/20. Spiro’s, 615 Red River St. 11 p.m. Fri., March 16.

— Capsules by Seattle Weekly Staff

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