EAR CANDY: WL, SOFT SHADOWS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Every month, the Mercury teams with Mississippi Studios to bring you the finest, freshest, and free-est in local music. This month's Ear Candy includes the shape-shifting weather-pattern avant-rock of WL, plus Soft Shadows' dreamy new-gaze—all for zero dinero. NED LANNAMANN


WOODEN SHJIPS, PLANKTON WAT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Wooden Shjips.


CHAIN AND THE GANG, THE SHIVAS, THE HIVE DWELLERS
(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) Ah, Ian Svenonius... former "Sassiest Boy in America," current music theorist (check out his philosophical quasi-self-help book Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock 'n' Roll Group), and one of the all-time greatest frontmen in the underground punk scene. His singular path has taken him through the worlds of agitprop punk (Nation of Ulysses), gospel-inspired soul (the Make-Up), free-range psychedelia (David Candy), and funked-up pop (Weird War). Svenonius' current musical project, Chain and the Gang, manages to find the thread that connects all of the above styles. It's a weird, woolly sound that relies on minimalist grooves and proselytizing lyrics that deconstruct power, wealth, youth culture, and the current state of pop music. If that all sounds too heady for you, don't fret—just bring your dancing shoes and get lost in the beat. ROBERT HAM