Earshot: Vijay Iyer Trio, Cuong Vu's Triggerfish
(Benaroya Hall) See Stranger Suggests.
City Arts Fest: Brother Ali, Blank Tape Beloved, Homeboy Sandman, Grynch, DJ Sosa, the Reminders
(Neumos) See My Philosophy.
David Byrne & St. Vincent
(5th Avenue Theater) David Byrne is the pop-music genius who made his name with Talking Heads, a band that combined conceptual innovation with gorgeous musicality so perfectly that humanity is required to respect everything Byrne does for the rest of his life. Lucky for us, he makes this easy, through such weird and inspired projects as Love This Giant, Byrne's 2012 collaboration with St. Vincent, the art-pop savant behind such beloved 21st-century artifacts as 2009's Actor and 2011's Strange Mercy. Tonight Byrne and Vincent bring their Giant to life onstage, together. DAVID SCHMADER
Robbie Fulks with Robbie Gjersoe
(Royal Room) If Robbie Fulks were the prime ambassador of country music, we'd all be country-music fans. Exhibit A: For his Seattle date, he's coming to play the Royal Room, which is partly the brainchild of the bold and revered composer, pianist, and producer Wayne Horvitz. Fulks should fit right in—his songwriting and guitar picking have their roots in country but stretch their curlicue branches toward bluegrass, rock 'n' roll, jazz, experimental, and more. (And his wit, both in lyrics and stage banter, is unmatched by almost any live musician working today.) Let's hope he brings his playful, country-inflected cover of Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't" with multi-instrumentalist Robbie Gjersoe (who will join him for this gig) out to play. BRENDAN KILEY
City Arts Fest: SSION, House of Ladosha, Glitterbang, Nark
(Rendezvous) See preview.
Yasiin Bey, the Physics, Larry Hawkins, Thaddeus David, DJ Swervewon
(Showbox Sodo) See My Philosophy.
City Arts Fest: Lemolo
(Triple Door) Lemolo write-up ingredients: "dream-pop duo," "kayak instructors," "harmonies," then some adjectives like "hazy," "pretty," "ethereal." Done! But the more important thing for you to know (and this is also repeatedly reported) is that something happens to the audience at Lemolo shows—something uncanny, something goose-bumpy, something delicious. People sway, they embrace, they make out. Important things are whispered into ears. Eye contact is made, the intense kind that you can feel. Go, and bring the right person (or people). ANNA MINARD
Eddie Fowlkes, Ctrl_Alt_Dlt, Murdoc, Sounds in Silence, Rhines, Audrey Horne, Manos
(Lo-Fi Performance Gallery) See Data Breaker.
City Arts Fest: Truckasauras, OC Notes, Vox Mod, Introcut
(Fred Wildlife Refuge) See Data Breaker.
Circuit Vine, In the Pouch, Julio X
(Old Fire House) See Underage.
City Arts Fest: Howlin Rain, Fox and the Law, Prism Tats
(Barboza) Before Rick Rubin manhandled Howlin Rain into a slightly brawnier Black Crowes (so unnecessary!) on 2012's The Russian Wilds, the San Francisco quintet harnessed an oft-feral breed of acid-y country rock that blew back your hair and pinned back your ears with Hollywoodish drama. Howlin Rain still make big, sprawling rock, only now they're trying to squash their natural tendency to fly into the sun with freaky abandon into songs with accessible choruses and "pretty" vocals. Nevertheless, those tunes from the self-titled album and Magnificent Fiend should still sound storming. DAVE SEGAL
City Arts Fest: Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Crypts
(Triple Door) Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is the glasses-wearing, big-curly-hair-having guitarist from the Mars Volta and At the Drive-In. He's also a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and solo career–haver. At 37 years old, and over the period of 16 years, he's been a part of more than 40 albums. He's collaborated John Frusciante, Erykah Badu, Hans Zimmer, El-P, Lydia Lunch, and Wu-Tang Clan's RZA. Oh, and in 2009, he won a Grammy. And he's in production directing his third feature-length film. Though he's not a household name yet, one day, you'll look up the dictionary definition of "prolific," and instead of telling you anything about "abundant and large quantities of productivity," you'll just see a picture of his face. KELLY O
Dreamsalon, Pony Time, Universe People
(Funhouse) Not to be confused with the bourgeois Belltown salon, Dreamsalon is the new project of Matthew Ford, Min Yee, and Craig Chambers, Seattle art-punk veterans who have expatriated from acts like the A Frames, the Intelligence, and the Lights. All members also get weird in Evening Meetings with ex–A Framer Erin Sullivan, and as Dreamsalon have been playing some material live from their new debut LP on Sweet Rot Records. Dreamsalon put the lo-fi frosting on the post-punk death cake, with pop melodies and ramshackle finesse à la Flying Nun Records types like the Clean. This cake is one of the artiest, noisiest, and punkiest baked goods around, and must have been baked in the Dead Moon's graveyard with a big slab of garagey pop. Tonight marks the return home for the band from their first West Coast tour. BRITTNIE FULLER
Rye Wolves, Golgothan Sunrise, Wounded Giant, Eye of Nix, Shadows
(Highline) Whether you call it "plodding doom spiced with beautiful avant-garde trippiness" or just "heavy shit mixed with some not so heavy shit," you get the idea. Eugene-based three-piece Rye Wolves are an incredibly dynamic band, creating a mosaic of murky stoner metal, post rock and even occasionally black metal. Adding to the downright heaviness of the evening, local power trio Golgothan Sunrise bring a unique brand of instrumental rock that's both progressive and oppressive; it's creative and interesting enough to make you think, but powerful enough to make you bow on one knee and thank the doom gods. KEVIN DIERS
City Arts Fest: Fresh Espresso, Kingdom Crumbs, Key Nyata, the Good Sin
(Neumos) Fresh Espresso made me do rap hands! As someone who doesn't go to a lot of shows, I find the ways of the crowds very entertaining. Like how come people just blaze up in the middle of a club? What?! And how cute is that entwined-couple-stance? And how come people do that one-hand-in-the-air, wave-it-up-and-down move at hiphop shows? I DON'T KNOW! But Fresh Espresso made me do it at Block Party, crushed in with a mass of people who were smiling and shouting, who were amped as fuck, who forgot where they were and just let loose with the hand motions and screaming and love. And wham! Rap hands just happened! It was excellent. ANNA MINARD See also My Philosophy.
City Arts Fest: Ghostland Observatory, Keyboard Kid feat. Darwin, Gold Fields, SPORTS
(Showbox Sodo) First of all, today is my birthday. Not today as in the day I am writing this, but today as in the day this show is happening. Libras are quite vain about their birthdays, so I am taking up half of this blurb with that information. I will accept gifts of guinea pig costumes and sparkly socks. So who likes synth? Because this is going to be the City Arts Fest DAY OF THE DANCE! So much dancey, poppy, synthetic, beat-heavy music, you had better take a B12 if you know what I mean! Ghostland Observatory (and everyone on this bill, in their own special way) make catchy party junk music you'll feel slightly guilty about in an "I just ate an entire box of fruit snacks" way—recommended for teens and adults alike who just want to get wild. EMILY NOKES
City Arts Fest: Neil Halstead, Tiny Vipers, Case Studies, Kevin Long
(Rendezvous) In the early '90s, Neil Halstead guided Slowdive to the upper echelon of shoegaze-rock, snuggled up next to My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Lush. The gauzy, beautifully blissful vibes Slowdive generated for Creation Records back then continue to wow sensitive types worldwide. But Halstead eventually descended from the clouds and got more earthy with Mojave 3 and under his own name. Post-Slowdive, he's strummed out a stark, grave strain of folk rock that nods to immortals like Nick Drake, Lee Hazlewood, and Bert Jansch. It's solid come-down music, but a long way from the giddy heights of his Slowdive daze. DAVE SEGAL
[Untitled] Series: 1962
(Benaroya Hall): Are you one of those people who have criticized the Seattle Symphony for being staid and set in its ways and old-fashioned? (If you are not, what is the matter with you?) Get this: In conjunction with the closing of the Next Fifty celebration of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, the Symphony introduces an entirely new series called [Untitled]—late-night chamber performances of contemporary music in Benaroya's lobby. This first night, the International Contemporary Ensemble and Symphony musicians will perform music by John Cage, Morton Feldman (For Franz Kline), and Iannis Xenakis, and finally, Ludovic Morlot will work with the audience in a performance of György Ligeti's symphonic poem for 100 metronomes, meaning there will be 100 old-fashioned mechanical metronomes on hand. Things start at 9 pm with a performance of Gabriel Prokofiev's Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra (Gabriel is the grandson of Sergei, and he may make an appearance). YES. JEN GRAVES
Hipster Death Fest: Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, Microscopic Suffering, Mongrel Gods, Carrion Cathartid
(Josephine) See Underage.
Pleasureboaters, Wimps, the Fucking Eagles
(Funhouse) And just like that, Pleasureboaters are having a reunion show! Back in the day (four years ago–ish), Pleasureboaters thrashed eager audiences with their jagged, noisy, dance-punk antics. They broke up, went separate ways, and the city hasn't been quite the same ever since (no one can pull off a deep backbend quite like lead 'boater Ricky). UNTIL NOW! Welcome back, Pleasureboaters. Also playing will be the delightfully catchy Wimps (one of my favorite new Seattle bands!) as well as the Fucking Eagles, who I have been wanting to see forever based solely on their fucking band name. EMILY NOKES
City Arts Fest: The Tempers, Eighteen Individual Eyes, Sam Miller, Two White Opals
(Rendezvous) The Tempers are a band of otherworldly siblings—two sisters and a brother—playing ghostly faerie (you know it's serious when you spell it like that!) electro rock, with plenty of glam theatrics. And plenty of hair! Eighteen Individual Eyes (who, Anna Minard pointed out, "have greatly exaggerated their eye count" since there are only four of them—she also noted "they are bracing and fun as shit") make heavy, psychedelic-tinged indie rock that is subtle yet driving. Sam Miller is a multi-instrumentalist who creates triumphant, melancholic rock—he is also a member of the band Two White Opals, who sound icy and atmospheric and are self-described as having "an acute fade away aesthetic." If you own a velvet cape, this is the show to wear it to. EMILY NOKES
Hipster Death Fest: Sentient Explosive, Pulling Out the Light, Quiet Things
(Josephine) See Underage.
Bitch Magnet, Survival Knife
(Neumos) Dunno about you, but Bitch Magnet were one of my favorite bands back in the not-so-halcyonic days of 1987–1990. There was nothing fancy about these North Carolina via Oberlin, Ohio, dudes' music, but their thickly muscled, densely fuzzed, aggressive rock spoke volumes to a Midwestern lone wolf like me. Over three strong releases, Sooyoung Park's poised, modulated snarl bobbed and thrust with consoling pathos over Jon Fine's gnarly post-Hüskers guitar hubbub. And when they lightened up and slowed down, as on the magnificently moving "Sea of Pearls," Bitch Magnet reinvented the power ballad. More than 20 years after their demise, Bitch Magnet's compact catalog—lovingly repackaged and reissued last year by Temporary Residence on triple CD and triple LP—still sounds exhilarating. Unlike most rock-band reunions, this one probably won't blow. DAVE SEGAL
A$AP Rocky, A$AP Mob, ScHoolboy Q, Danny Brown
(Showbox Sodo) Harlem's A$AP Rocky blew up in 2011, going from relative unknown to signing a $3 million deal with Sony/RCA on the strength of two viral videos ("Purple Swag" and "Pe$o") and the subsequent LiveLoveA$AP "mixtape." In 2012, he has released exactly one good song ("Goldie"), and his A$AP Mob entourage's recently released Lord$ Never Worry—surprisingly good for a posse album—featured Rocky getting thoroughly out-rapped by his cohorts. This doesn't matter, though, as the addition of LA's sharp-flowing ScHoolboy Q and Detroit bruiser/hybrid Danny Brown makes this bill one of the best in high-powered, big-name modern rap to come through town in a while. The thought of a live rendition of A$AP Rocky's "Brand New Guy" with Q actually there to deliver his legendary "what this popcorn about?" verse should be enough to get some away from Netflix on their couch. MIKE RAMOS See also My Philosophy.
Wolfgang Gartner, Pierce Fulton, Popeska
(Showbox Sodo) See Data Breaker.
Flying Lotus, Teebs, Jeremiah Jae
(Neptune) How many experimental beatmakers could enlist both Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu to sing on his/her album? Probably only Flying Lotus. The inventive producer's new Until the Quiet Comes features those esteemed guests, but the real star is FlyLo's production: glistening, expansive, embroidered with the most luxurious textures, and full of atypical funk and soul. This album is hiphop that caught religion at the church of astral jazz and whipped it into a mercurial sound that all denominations can worship. DAVE SEGAL
(Chapel Performance Space) Canadian composer/pianist Lubomyr Melnyk calls himself an innovator involved with the "protons and electrons of the mind." Seattle innovative music champion and veteran Steve Peters calls him "incredible"—twice in one e-mail. We recommend going to this. JEN GRAVES