(Barboza) Many critics loved erudite New York indie-rock band the Walkmen, but not this one. Sonically speaking, they struck me as one of the blandest acts of the ’00s. I saw them perform once in Orange County, and it felt like being politely force-fed mayonnaise on white Wonder® Bread sandwiches. Peter Matthew Bauer played bass for the Walkmen, so he shares some of the blame for their offenses. But his debut solo album, Liberation!, while not a bastion of innovation by any means, contains more flavor per song than his old unit’s albums ever did. Liberation! revolves around Bauer’s upbringing in a Hindu yoga cult and explores the nature of belief and its repercussions. Overall, it sounds like a hybrid of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s vaguely Eastern-leaning psychedelia and Tom Petty’s blue-collar rock—which is more interesting than the Walkmen. With Japanese Guy. DAVE SEGAL
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(California Stage) Because we live in the wet, green, darkness for so much of the year, Seattle goes a little crazy every summer. Our collective sun-worshipping and irrepressible impulse to spend every last possible second outdoors lead us to create as many street fairs, block parties, and outdoor festivals as we can. This newish street festival, held in the West Seattle junction, is like a wee baby Bumbershoot—a kinder, gentler Capitol Hill Block Party for people over 25. There’s live music, shopping, a kid’s play area, and of course, an adult’s play area, aka a beer garden. Full schedule of bands for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at wsjunction.org/summerfest. KELLY O
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MOTOR continues its epic chug with a few recurring Northwestern characters who are making some of the most interesting, unslick dance music coming out of this green region. Airport (Jayson Kochan) and Mood Organ (Timm Mason) play bass and guitar, respectively, for Seattle space rockers Midday Veil, but also keep busy with their dark-disco project TJ Max and solo endeavors. Generally speaking, Airport's ramrodding, interstellar disco is slightly more hedonistic and club-ready than Mood Organ's more abstract and angular approach to dance-floor subversion. But that could change at any time. Former Seattle/current Portland producer GOODWIN possesses an uncanny knack for creating house music that skews toward the highbrow texturally while still keeping your ass moving sexually. New to me are Magisterial (Portland synthesists Matt Henderson and Chris Spencer), whose few tracks I've heard portend exciting and loopy dislocations of Italo-disco and minimal-house conventions that may appeal to fans of early Kraftwerk and horror-film soundtrackers Goblin. With DJ Degenerate. Lo-Fi, 9 pm, $5, 21+. DAVE SEGAL
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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, and beyond!