Chop Suey’s Dragon Lounge is being taken over by a bunch of local greats for a new theme night called #1 Badasses, starring So Pitted, Dogjaw, and Party Girls. So Pitted’s sludgy storm of swirling feedback will take you back to Seattle circa 1987, when grunge was big but still too weird to be marketable in the pages of Seventeen magazine. Tonight will also feature the first performance from Party Girls. The band features members of Pony Time and Lisa Prank, so they’ll probably be fun and dancea... more » $5.
After producing some of the more adventurous, forward-thinking pop of the ’90s, Beck appears content to go gently into that adult-contempo night, releasing records for the last decade that sound like the literal shadows of previous hits and the occasional odd vanity project (Song Reader, anyone?). His latest, Morning Phase, is a return of sorts to the heavily orchestrated and pristinely produced mope-rock of 2002’s Sea Change, though it trades that album’s alluring hangdog desperation in favor... more »
Garage-rock bands may be a dime a dozen these days, but what about an Italian garage-rock band? Sultan Bathery have brought their adept, mercurial garage-psych all the way from that land of teetering economy to lay it down right here at our own Therapy on Capitol Hill. What the hell is a Sultan Bathery, you might ask? According to the internet, Sultan Bathery, previously known as Sultan's Battery, is a town in the Wayanad district of Kerala, India. What does that have to do with psychedelic gar... more »
Dexterously verbose, Afrocentric boom-bap heads coming up in the ridiculously fertile LA rap scene of the mid-’90s, Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel have made some of the most fully realized records ever to emerge from the post-backpacker underground. Though they’ve released a scant three albums as Blackalicious since their official recorded debut 21 years ago, each one has maintained their rep as hiphop purists, prizing technical virtuosity and craftsmanship above scene-hopping and trendsetting. The... more » $18.
New York transplant Jaymz Nylon is one of the city’s most prominent house-music lifers. He’s been feeding the Seattle and internet faithful highly nutritious mixes via his Adult Selections series (up to 78 at press time) and lately he’s been bringing his passion for deep, soulful house into the club realm with the Passage night at Kremwerk. If you’re into house’s myriad subsets and offshoots, Nylon is one of the most knowledgeable DJs to guide you through its groove-heavy, buttery labyrinths. B... more »
Local experimental label Cabin Games takes over the City Hall lawn this Thursday for its part of the city-sanctioned "Out to Lunch" series, so brave the downtown button-down flurry just this once. Outer-space-based Cabin Games signees Hightek Lowlives will be unleashing interstellar grooves on downtown's staunchly stale core with their choice blend of sci-fi-infused, wonky blips and feel-good R&B/triphop soul. There will be even more trippy beats from Richie Dagger's Crime, but be sure to stick... more » free.
The marvelous, multitalented Beth Fleenor—vocalist, clarinetist, creator of happenings—has blindfolded musicians before, just for fun, and can do jazz, rock, classical, contemporary chamber, Slavic and American folk, metal, musique concrete, ambient, noise, and pop. She's performed at maximum-security prisons. She believes that you don't have to super-control it, people just naturally make awesome, and she is living proof. JEN GRAVES
If you bought Dropdead’s latest full-length the year it came out, you probably picked it out of a milk-crate distro stocked with various Slap-a-Ham and Profane Existence records at some not-entirely-legal all-ages show. Or maybe you ordered it via snail-mail from an ad in HeartattaCk or Punk Planet. Or maybe you picked it up at their most recent Seattle gig at the Velvet Elvis. Either way, it was 16 years ago, and in that time you’ve had to get your fix of new Dropdead material through their sp... more » $14.
Nacho Picasso is one of the top rappers in the 206. He has released a stream of excellent albums, the most recent of which, High & Mighty, contains the deepest and darkest groove of 2013: "Crime Waves." Lyrically, Picasso has the remarkable ability to be surreal without being arty or enigmatic. There is a good bit of Mau (the rapper for the forgotten or virtually unknown Bristol group Earthling) in this style, which is vivid and intoxicating but with none of the verbal gymnastics and linguisti... more » $12.
The Blood Brothers! You remember them! Five Seattle dudes—bassist Morgan Henderson, guitarist Cody Votolato, drummer Mark Gajadhar, the two screeching standing singers Johnny Whitney and Jordan Blilie—and a wardrobe full of striped shirts and those belts with holes in them! If you don’t remember, the Blood Bros made creatively abrasive music from 1997 to 2007 that made some people really upset (gentle indie folk who hated striped shirts), but made other people really happy (blast-beat appreciat... more » $20/$22.
Punk’s not dead! Well, at least Seattle punk isn’t—mainly thanks to the valiant efforts of Brian Foss, booker and KEXP DJ (Sonic Reducer, every stinkin’ Saturday from 9 p.m. to midnight!). Local bad boys Zeke have been playing their speedy, Motörhead-esque brand of “chain-saw punk” since 1993. The LA Weekly once said they “sound[ed] like the Dwarves, if they snorted a tub of meth every day.” Zeke also once recorded a cover of GG Allin’s “Die When You Die.” Now the Derelicts, also local and hai... more » $12/$15.
Okay, this is big. DJ/producer Daniel Avery—a resident at London’s famed Fabric club—is making his Seattle debut tonight, first playing Re-bar and then hitting up a Capitol Hill afterhours loft party put on by the High & Tight collective (the last ever at this great space; email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on the latter, the sooner the better). Avery’s 2014 Drone Logic album on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound label is supremely psychedelic listen, a subtle acid-techno classic with roots in... more »
Earth, Wind & Fire were among the most zodiacal and flamboyantly garbed figures in the R&B scene throughout the ’70s. But before they donned the glittery bellbottomed jumpsuits, they cut five deep funk records—including the scorching soundtrack to Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song—that boasted unstoppable grooves, much kalimba, and intricate, bold dynamics (see “Power” and “Bad Tune” for proof). They inflated those traits into shinier, more accessible forms in the mid ’70s, dominating radio and... more »
The eponymous cornerstone of Linda Derschang's nightlife empire hosts its fifth annual free music festival, and this year's lineup is dynamite. On the roster: the mystical tree-punks Kithkin (who describe themselves as a "Cascadian youth tribe out to spread the hidden knowledge of the forests"), the raucous old-school rock ’n’ roll of Thunderpussy (who describe themselves as "a diamond in the muff"), the melodic racket of the Young Evils (a studio two-piece turned five-member live band), the al... more » free.
Terry Malts are three dudes on guitar, drums, and bass, super basic Ramones-y chord progressions, and disaffected Ian Curtis–vibes vocals. This could describe so many all-boy three-pieces. But there's more to Terry Malts than that, and it's mostly that they do the totally-fucking-catchy poppy-punk-band thing so perfectly. They're as antiauthority as they are anti-frills. "Nauseous" is a killer earworm, finding vocalist Phil Benson singing a brilliantly simple chorus that constantly gets s... more » $10.
What is dead may never die. So it goes with Northwest indie mainstays the Posies, who, despite supposedly calling it quits about 15 years ago, have since released a “best of” compilation, a collector’s edition box set, multiple live records, and, believe it or not, two relatively middling albums of new material. Luckily, their live shows tend to rely on their unerringly solid back catalog of proletarian, occasionally transcendent alt-rock. If you can forgive the seeming cash-cow nature of the P... more » $20/$25.
Seattle foursome Ubu Roi cruise through riff-age and rock-age with a gritty force, making hot ’n’ bothered punk full of pizza-fueled, pro-party vibes. Elsewhere on this ultimate summer fun-time bill, Oakland natives Satan Wriders' hazy, weirdo garage rock sounds like something that would be supported by Brooklyn post-punk revivalist label Captured Tracks. Borrowing an unmistakably '80s, lo-fi jangle-punk sound and twice mutating it through a bedroom-dub lens, the Wriders create something seamle... more »
How often do Siltbreeze Records bands come through Seattle? Not very, so fans of that venerable Philadelphia indie label’s sporadic output should swarm to this show to witness Amanda X. Their new album, Amnesia, deals in the sort of congenial, burly melodic rock that groups like Scrawl, Helium, and Sleater-Kinney elevated to an art form. Amanda X’s tunes rumble and corkscrew in patterns just slanted enough to keep your jaded ears happy and surprised. Amnesia is actually pretty unforgettable. DA... more » $8.
When an unknown band or solo artist sends a CD-R with Sharpie’d names and titles on it, a critic immediately lowers expectations. Experience repeatedly prepares us to be underwhelmed by such artifacts. So when Seattle quartet Spontaneous Rex’s Come at the King CD-R arrived recently, I didn’t expect auspicious things. Thankfully, Spontaneous Rex sucker punched the skepticism right out of me. The four long, eventful songs here circulate in the higher realms of jazz fusion, prog rock, and electron... more » $6.
Madeleine Cocolas, an Australian-born and impressively versatile sound artist, has embarked upon an ambitious 52-week project to “writ[e] a piece of music for every week of the year.” Besides the audacity of the pursuit, what impresses most is the diversity of her productions: She seems equally at home crafting crystalline, bell-toned sound sculptures, gently skittering IDM, or minor-key, orchestrations resembling an outback Arvo Pärt. From the look of her blog, she’s nearing the end of her ody... more »
Chicago’s Radius Etc. returns to class up Seattle’s longest-running hiphop weekly, Stop Biting. Last year in this space, I described Radius’s music as “the golden mean between Boards of Canada and Flying Lotus.” No, it’s not hyperbole. Radius roots many of his productions in out-there, beatific jazz and heavy-lidded, THC-laced beats; it’s a beautifully blunted sound. But he’s also done a rad remix of Queen’s funk smash “Another One Bites the Dust,” so don’t get too complacent. Vancouver’s Chape... more » $5.
The one reason to attend the English Beat’s show tonight is to see David Wakeling, the lead vocalist and only remaining original member of the band, which formed back in the late 1970s. The English Beat were a part of the second and British wave of ska music—the first was Jamaican and happened in the ’60s (reggae replaced ska in the ’70s). For those who do not know what ska is, do not bother me or bother going to this show. The English Beat also gave the world one of the best pop tunes ever—“Mi... more » $32/$35.
To say that Lazaretto, Jack White's second solo album, is the best thing he's done since the White Stripes will sound like high praise to those charmed by the busman's holiday twofer of the Raconteurs and Dead Weather, but lyrics don't get much worse than "I've got a rabbit, it likes to hop/I've got a girl and she likes to shop" (the Raconteurs' "Intimate Secretary"). If anything, I lost interest in the Stripes circa Icky Thump, a sketch of a record. Near as I could tell, they had, too. If Whit... more » $70.
Like an Aaliyah-worshipping Ariel Pink, How to Dress Well (nee Tom Krell) traded in the four-track for a laptop with a shitty mic, creating an enigmatic strain of spectral lo-fi R&B in the process. Riddled with pops, fuzz, and feedback, the songs on records like Love Remains and Total Loss were like memories of middle-school mixtapes for a very particular generation, beats breaking at the seams, and Krell crooning like a bargain-basement Boyz II Men. It was a strategically nostalgic sound, gett... more » $15.
Now that Louisville shruggers Slint have been cinematically documented with the excellent Breadcrumb Trail and made a couple of comeback tours, they no longer have that coveted mystique. That’s okay, because Slint’s influential post rock still careens, crunches, and stirs feelings with startling potency—even though you now know they made a series of cassettes titled Anal Breath. Slint began auspiciously with their 1989 debut Tweez, which truculently combines punk and jazz with low-key smarts. I... more » $25.