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Highway hypnosis

K Records' show might make you forget about sunburns

Birdstriking will perform in their manic noise-rock style, June 30 at K Records. Photo courtesy of Recky

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As I sit here, in the cozy darkness of a bar, and write about another band, I reflect on the possibility that my journeys through Tacoma today may have resulted in my first sunburn of this new summer. That yellow psychopath we call the sun got me. I've written many times before about how good it feels to escape the burdensome sunshine to cloister away in the dim atmosphere of a local watering hole. But, should you be unlucky enough to find yourself traveling in the unbridled sunlight - or lucky enough, I guess, you weirdos - music is another fine additive to raise your spirits and let you confront the weather with begrudging aplomb.

Time shuffles on, and the music that's best suited to soundtrack summer does change, although the backbone of this music remains the same: everything that curmudgeons hate about summer? Own them. If you're worried about looking like a sweaty slob, guess what? So does everyone else. So you may as well be sweatiest reveler in a sea of blindsided Washingtonians. Getting a little drunker during the long days? Well, so is everyone else. So you'd be wise to up your game. If you find yourself driving around in your car with a bunch of people who have a likeminded love/hate relationship with summer, pop radio is not always what you need. What you need are guitars that can come along and compress your spines while driving serotonin directly into your brain.

Tuesday's show at K Records is a good hazing session to get you prepared for the next three months of living 30 feet from a fiery star. The pop weirdness of local favorites Skrill Meadow and Skull and the Dullards will be joined by touring noise-rockers Birdstriking. Hailing from China, Birdstriking combine spacey psychedelia with manic noise-rock, creating a combination combustible enough to spark up a match head. When they're not creating squalls of glorious noise, they make songs that are ideal for whiling away the miles of road spent with friends escaping the elements on long trips. This is music liable to induce highway hypnosis.

Meanwhile, Olympia's own Skull and the Dullards approach their garage rock with a goofy energy that even stretches out to their album title (MORE WIIINE??, which I choose to interpret as a very subtle reference to the funniest moment in A Clockwork Orange). Skull and the Dullards, similar to Birdstriking, don't spend all their time in hyperdrive, sometimes deciding to hang back with a stoned smile on their faces, as on the blissed-out "Sub-Dude." Other times, as on "Trouble," their garage rock has transported them back to the era of the haunted psych-rock songs of the ‘60s.

Skrill Meadow, as I've written about before, is an unpredictable slice of alt-rock experimentalism. The one-man band (Mark Morrison) has moved from jangly bedroom recordings to lo-fi club bangers, from country ballads to ‘80s New Romanticism. All of these summer-appropriate acts will be joined with a set by DJ Loud Panda, which is the stage name of Ricky Maymi from the iconic psych-rockers the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

This show is one of activation - getting your brain all butterflied and ready for the subsequent months of Vitamin D being injected directly into your neural cortex. Is that how brains work? Ask your doctor, but please don't mention me by name. He and I aren't on speaking terms. Regardless, if you find yourself feeling the need to escape the shade of your local tavern and get some summer juice pumping, this is the kind of show that will almost make you forget how sh#$%& a sunburn is.

BIRDSTRIKING, SKULL AND THE DULLARDS, SKRILL MEADOW, DJ LOUD PANDA, Tues, June 30, 7 p.m., All Ages, No cover, K Records, 802 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia

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