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Music Critics' Picks: Elizabeth Hummel, Midday Veil, Less Than Jake

Oct. 4-8: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Less Than Jake

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House concerts - those intimate shows where people open their homes to musicians, friends and strangers for an intimate show like no other - are a regular occurrence these days. The trend got its start in 1997, when singer-songwriters Elizabeth Hummeland Cindy Lee Berryhill embarked on the Living Room Tour. (Rolling Stone magazine even interviewed Berryhill about the groundbreaking tour.) "We would stay with people most of the time," Hummel says. "They treated us like queens. We'd walk into these living rooms, and we'd feel like rock stars because people were so enthusiastic and supportive. The tour sparked a trend, but Hummel - who released her latest album, It's About Time, in July - didn't continue to tour living rooms. The tour beginning Saturday at the home of a neighbor is her first living-room tour since 1997. "This is the first house-concert tour that I've done since that first one," Hummel said. "I like doing them, but it only works if the hosts are people who almost have a sacred calling to use their space in a way that fosters community and brings music to people." {MOLLY GILMORE}

Ed. note: Read Molly Gilmore's full feature on Elizabeth Hummel in the Music & Culture section.

ELIZABETH HUMMEL, 8 p.m. Carlyon Beach, Olympia, $10-$20 donation suggested, or


Krautrock is a genre defined by both rigid control and psychedelic improvisation, as is to be expected by a German subgenre developed in the '70s. Can, famously, would jam for a long time before paring down the track to a slim eight-to-10 minutes, or so. Other bands cherished mechanical instrumentation, which would explore the deep reaches of the psyche in less of a flower power way and more of an Orwellian drilling into your tender brain matter and down the ridges of your spine. Midday Veil takes cues from krautrock without explicitly copying it. There's experimental improvisation and rigid beats, but the '70s were a long time ago. What remains with Midday Veil is an exploratory way of approaching an inscrutable subgenre dipping into different cultural influences to provide a mélange of textures and atmosphere. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

MIDDAY VEIL, w/ Swahili, Total Life, Lost Integrity, 8 p.m., Northern, 414 ½ E. Fourth St., Olympia, $5


It's been a couple decades, but third wave ska revival giants Less Than Jake have remarkably stuck around with essentially the same line-up. Even though they've kept up with releasing album after album, things haven't fundamentally changed about the band; the order of the day remains the sort of bright, upbeat ska-infused pop-punk that you most likely came to know as a teenage dirtbag. Personally, I can't quite imagine experiencing Less Than Jake in any other environment than a live venue. This is party music, meant to be danced along with in that sweaty area pressed up against the stage. Even if nostalgia is the only thing that brings you to the show - not that I doubt that you've been keeping strict tabs on Less Than Jake - you probably shouldn't pass on the rare opportunity to skank with impunity. {REV. AM}

LESS THAN JAKE, w/Big D and the Kids Table, The Interrupters, 8 p.m., Jazzbones, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, $19.99, 253.396.9169

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