Beth Ditto is barely able to speak. "My voice is really shot," says the lead singer of the Pacific Northwest rock band the Gossip, with a strained rasp. "The third week of tour is definitely the harshest." The Gossip is traversing the country promoting its upcoming full-length album, Standing in the Way of Control, and a Le Tigre-remixed title track single. The new material might surprise fans familiar with the raw bluesy-garage sound the band has been known for since it formed five years ago. "People tried to categorize us into this stripped-down garage rock, like the Black Keys and shit that we didn't even like or listen to," says guitarist Brace Paine. "Having a new drummer, we were able to branch out and do what we've always wanted to do."
Coupled with Ditto's visceral vocals and Paine's jangling guitar work, the single-monikered new drummer, Hannah, has helped the band create tunes that are more upbeat and catchier. For the most part, fans dig it. "There's the occasional boring old guy that's like, 'I'm mad you're playing dance music,'" says Paine. "But it's more fun to play and perform."
So what's the gossip on the Gossip? "People like to talk, especially in Olympia, because there's nothing to do there besides talk shit," says Paine, who started the Gossip in Washington's capital city. "Someone was talking on some message board about how when the Gossip go on tour, we all have sex together, like a wild orgy-fest. It's quite the opposite." Darn. 9 p.m. Friday, October 7. Club Eve, 2205 Richmond. For tickets, call 713-523-3837 or visit www.superunison.com. $9. -- Travis Ritter
The Bambu Lounge's Monkey Business
My drinking partner and I cozy up to the bar at the Bambu Lounge at Rickshaw(2810 Westheimer, 713-942-7272), thinking we might stir up a little trouble. A tall supermodel type introduces herself in a British accent and asks if we'd like some cocktails. I order a martini called Monkey Business, and tell her I heard a rumor that the Japanese use real monkey urine in this drink. Without even a smirk, she says, "They don't, that's a lie." No monkey business here, pure professionalism. Our server seems to have had her sense of humor removed pre-shift, and she's not thrilled when I order the rest of our drinks in a shitty James Bond accent. At one point, I wave my empty martini glass in the air, suggesting another. She cuts me off. I wish there were a rickshaw out front to take me home. Instead, I settle for a ride from my drinking partner, who's less drunk than I am.
2 ounces Malibu rum
2 ounces crème de banana
2 ounces Midori liqueur
Splash pineapple juice
Shake everything but the fruit juice in a shaker and strain into a martini glass. Hit it with the pineapple juice at the end and garnish with a cherry. This cocktail will get you there. -- Jason Kerr
Tit for Tet
The sounds produced by Four Tet are hard to pinpoint, and that's exactly how the UK-based electronica artist likes it. His recent release, Everything Ecstatic, received rave reviews from music critics around the globe. The album's drum-heavy beats could be compared to Can and Caribou, while the diverse sampling of various synths and sounds in the production is more in the vein of a Madlib or the Notwist joint. Locals Go Spread Your Wings and '60s-psych-tinged DJ Koushik open. 8 p.m. Sunday, October 9. The Proletariat, 903 Richmond. For tickets, call 713-523-1199 or visit www.superunison.com. $10 to $12. -- Travis Ritter
Every Sunday the fabulously hungover stagger into Berryhill on Montrose for brunch and margaritas and spinning by DJs Surain and Little Martin, who're such mainstays that you could set your watch by them. Now Surain is punching another notch in his belt with the Loft Project, which has him moonlighting at the newest mod hotspot, Next. Matthew Nelson of Next hopes the Loft Project will be as successful as Rent, Martin's monthly party at the Meridian. "We dig house music," he says, "so that's what it'll be." Nelson promises a hip, chic "40 percent gay" crowd. Hang with them at 9 p.m. Saturday, October 8. 2020 McKinney. For information, call 713-221-8833 or visit www.whatsnexthouston.com. $10. -- Steven Devadanam