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Perfection realized

Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, Guests
Crystal Ballroom
Jan. 31, Feb. 1
9 p.m.
$10, all ages

Okay, now is not the time for bragging. We all know you’ve seen both Sleater-Kinney and Quasi a thousand times each. We know you’ve been down since back in the day, you’ve seen them at houses and roller-skating rinks. That’s cool. You’re cool. All right, but that’s no excuse to not go see them next weekend at the Crystal Ballroom.

These two bands are among the greatest examples of consistency the Northwest, or anywhere else, has ever seen, and they deserve your applause. Unlike some of their peers, say Modest Mouse or Built to Spill, it is never a gamble to see either of these bands live.

That isn’t to suggest their live shows are boring, it’s just that they never make you want to punch the performer in the mouth (Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse) or go home and watch TV (Built to Spill).

Additionally, both bands have put out more than a handful of records and every last one of them has been good. Who else could make such a claim? It is my belief that nearly every band achieves perfection once, the lucky ones even manage to get it on tape, but there are too few groups who manage to put out one worthwhile record after another. This can only be done by evolving musically while staying true an individual style and, the most difficult part, writing consistently good songs. When a group is able to maintain such a balance, their new albums won’t make their previous efforts obsolete, nor will their newer work pale in comparison to what came before, but each album will stand strong on its own.

With each new album, including Sleater-Kinney’s latest, One Beat and Quasi’s Sword of the Gods, the bands have maintained their signature styles while introducing new approaches and means of arriving at that end that is, definitively, a Sleater-Kinney or a Quasi song.

Even when they are playing familiar songs, the ones you have heard countless times, the bands will always sound good, there is just no way around it. When you hear them, you will feel good; happy that you came to see them play again, and happy that there are such groups in the world. Sleater-Kinney and Quasi will always be dependable as long as they are together. Neither band will ever slop out a bad album or play a drunken 12-minute set. Honestly, that is really a great thing to be able to say in this mad, mad world.

Opening the show, on Friday and Saturday, respectively, will be Thanksgiving and the Black Keys. Thanksgiving plays K-records-style low-fi campfire music, complete with near-yodeling vocals and lazy rhythms. On Saturday, The Black Keys, unfortunately known as “that other blues-influenced garage duo from the Midwest,” will be playing its hyped-up, hyper-primitive rock.