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Friday, October 20, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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CLUB WATCH

Psychedelia rocks at Sit & Spin tomorrow

If you like short, punchy, to-the-point songs, avoid Sit & Spin on tomorrow night at all costs.

But if you're interested in three talented rock bands that like to let their songs wander off on long, guitar-driven, space/psychedelic tangents, by all means check into the Belltown laundry/club.

The headliner is Seattle's Voyager One, a young band that keeps getting better, emerging as one of the city's most inventive rock acts. Opening for V1 are two Portland psychedelic pop bands, one a veteran, the other a newcomer, both exceptional.

The veteran, Portland's King Black Acid, recently released its fourth album, "King Black Acid Loves a Long Song," an inspiring collection that Pink Floyd fans will appreciate. The title does not lie, as most of the songs on it stretch on for six, seven, eight minutes (clubgoers know that when they play live, 15-minute jams are the norm). The standout on this confident, layered album is "Into the Sun," a marvelous psychedelic epic that has singer Daniel Riddle wailing "I'm much too high to leave this couch."

"Loves a Long Song" is the first time KBA has written songs before going into the studio, and actually shows the band exercising restraint. One previous album, "Sunlit," lasts about an hour - and it's only three songs.

If King Black Acid is exploring the dark side of Portland, in Floydian terms, Helio Sequence is finding pockets of Liverpool in Beaverton.

Helio Sequence's Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel, two young men from a Portland suburb, just released a minor gem of a debut album called "Com Plex." The two recorded, mixed, engineered and produced the album earlier this year.

The line, "Lucy's lost diamonds are drizzling above" hints at a Beatles influence, which becomes increasingly apparent throughout the accomplished album; the duo also acknowledges a My Bloody Valentine influence, which shows in the musical layering.

But don't think Helio Sequence is a mere imitator - the Beaverton lads have some great ideas, so "Com Plex" simultaneously sounds familiar and new.

`Club EMP'

A new nightclub in Seattle Center got off to a nice start last weekend. "Club EMP" - also known as Sky Church - was filled with local music lovers on Friday night, a stark contrast to EMP's tourist-heavy days.

An EMP official said Sky Church "isn't trying to be a nightclub," but it sure sounded and looked like one on Friday night. The lights were quite dim and moody, particularly when compared to EMP's bright and happy daytime look.

It was a fine night of bummer-rock, with low-key, brooding, no-drums music. One guy who left early grumbled, "Now I know why everyone's on Prozac." Most others enjoyed the dark grooves of Mark Lanegan, the haunting singer who was backed by an acoustic band of Mike Johnson (who also performed solo), Ben Shepherd and Duff McKagan.

The Gentlemen, the opening act that featured McKagan and Dave Dederer (of the Presidents), was a pleasant surprise. You might not have guessed it, from the Presidents' straightforward, goofy pop songs, but Dederer is a talented, multifaceted guitar player.

ARO back?

Fire department officials gave ARO.space the green light to reopen last weekend. The Friday night of Latin music was extremely slow, but the crowd picked up for Sunday night's hip-hop dance.

Smash-mouth Graceland

Cypress Hill meets Korn in Southern California's pot-loving rap-rockers Kottonmouth Kings. On "High Society," the band's second album, marijuana consumption is described and encouraged on nearly every cut. The Kottonmouth Kings play an all-ages show Tuesday at Graceland (6 p.m., $14).

Dirty Three at Showbox

Australia's acclaimed jazz-rock band Dirty Three plays the Showbox tonight (9 p.m., $12 advance). The moody violin-guitar-drums trio just released its fifth album, "Whatever You Love, You Are."

Tom Scanlon can be reached at 206-464-3891 or tscanlon@seattletimes.com.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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