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Though the Pacific Northwest is home to a large contingent of garage bands, few truly stand out in the pack like Seattle's Idle Times. On record, it's the raw solo workings of former Catheter/Tall Bird/Unnatural Helper guitarist Brian Standeford, a gifted musician who plays, records, and mixes all the parts (that bring out occasional collaborations from friends like Charles Leo Gebhardt IV and other members of Idle Times live rhythm section). Until late 2010, when Idle Times self-titled debut came out on HoZac, there were only one 7" single (one of the first records Woodsist Records put out) to tide fans outside of Seattle over.

In Seattle, Standeford, bassist Paul Waude, and drummer Dean Whitmore (whose main obligations in Unnatural Helpers opened the doors for new drummer Thomas), played often and everywhere: from the the corner of a tiny lesbian bar and DIY spaces, to the stages of Seattle's finest mid-size venues. But every show, regardless of location, seemed to outshine the one that came before. Like Kurt Cobain, Standeford is a pop songwriter with a punk soul, and isn't afraid to let some dark sweetness in on the snarly, gnarly-toothed, rock action. His solos are as slick as the hooks are clean, with hair almost as dirty as the distortion that flashes Sonic Youth on songs like "Hey Little Girl."

Tonight at East End, Idle Times perform with Cheap Time, Dead Meat, and Fergus and Geronimo, and I guarantee it's going to be the best rock show you'll see before heading off to SXSW (where all these bands are headed).