Cult of Youth, King Dude, Perpetual Ritual
(Barboza) For his second album under the name Cult of Youth, ringleader Sean Ragon (ex–Love as Laughter) built a recording studio in the back of his Brooklyn record store and holed up in there for as long as he wanted to get the thing done. CoY trade in a drone-y, glum folk. It's plodding and sinister stuff, and it comes off something like a steamrolled version of the Pogues, minus frontman debauchery and histrionics. I don't remember being entirely thrilled with CoY's live show last year when they opened for Iceage, but then again I wasn't very impressed with Iceage, and everyone told me I was nuts for it. What do I know? Either way, get there early for King Dude and Perpetual Ritual, and may the darkness have mercy on your soul. GRANT BRISSEY See also Stranger Suggests.
Converge, Torche, Kvelertak, Nails, Heiress
(El Corazón) Before drowning in Converge's serious-as-fuck hardcore, it'll be nice to lighten the vibe with Torche's triumphant blast of buoyant rock. Their latest album, Harmonicraft, is one of the best of the year (with pretty great cover art, to boot). It sounds fresh and bright while still being intensely heavy. It's a sonic sun lamp. The soaring guitar riffs and throbbing drums will permeate your brain and make your endorphins rush through your system, lifting your mood 10 times above what any antidepressant/Vitamin D/herbal-tea cocktail could ever do. This will be the record that helps you survive the winter. Get a head start on feeling good tonight—their songs are even more gloriously forceful live. MEGAN SELING
Night Beats, Audacity, Big Eyes
(Comet) Big Eyes are a three-piece rock 'n' roll unit led by master shredder Kate Eldridge. Eldridge is a solid hit-making machine, cranking out big, poppy, guitar-driven '70s riffs for days—with an attitude like Paul Westerberg and Joan Jett are her parents, but they grounded her, so she's sneaking out (duh) and leaving a "don't tell me what to do, jerks" note on her Ramones-themed bedspread. Big Eyes moved to Seattle from the East Coast last year, but they're serious road dogs, so you must catch them while you can—especially if you've ever been worried that "the scene" might be dissolving into an indie dust bunny. With Night Beats (fuzzed-out psych) and Audacity (Fullerton, California, power pop). EMILY NOKES
Judgement Day, Gladiators Eat Fire, They Rise, We Die, Into the Storm, Anticulture
(2 Bit Saloon) When you first hear the term "string metal," what comes to mind? Is it that clunky S&M album Metallica recorded with the San Francisco Symphony? Or maybe it's one of those "string quartet tributes to Tool." Throw all preconceived notions out the window, because California's Judgement Day redefine everything you thought you knew about metal. For a genre based around the almighty riff, it's odd enough for a band without even one guitarist to exist and even more so to be "riffing" on cellos and violins. Sounds weird? Well, Judgement Day make it work, as they've been perfecting the formula by playing underground Bay Area shows for the past 10 years. This is something to be seen. KEVIN DIERS
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Millionyoung, Gold Wolf Galaxy
(Neumos) If you want to sate your ambitious-Danish-pop jones, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour have you covered (in kaleidoscopic glitter). Over the albums Fruit and Out of Frequency, the band—led by vocalist Mette Lindberg and multi-instrumentalist Lars Iversen—has crafted sweetly melodic, rhythmically punchy songs that brashly claw their way into your consciousness. They have that Scandinavian glossiness that somehow seems less obnoxious than their US/UK counterparts'. If "Heart Attack"—the ridiculously catchy, carefree standout from Out of Frequency—isn't a worldwide hit by the time you read this, I'll slowly shake my head in disbelief. DAVE SEGAL
Wynne Greenwood (live video recording)
(Frye Art Museum) See Stranger Suggests.
Other Lives, Indians
(Neptune) See Sound Check.
Crystal Castles, HEALTH, Kontravoid
(Showbox Sodo) See Data Breaker.
Manifold Motion, Crown Hill Repeater, Joris Kamma, aut0audi0, Struggle, D'jeronimo
(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.
An Evening with Philip Glass and Foday Musa Suso
(Kirkland Performance Center) Glass, the living composer who has inspired artists in so many disciplines, makes a rare Puget Sound appearance with the African kora virtuoso with whom he collaborated on the score to the film Powaqqatsi, as well as percussionist Adam Rudolph. Special VIP tickets get you piano-side seating and a meet-and-greet with Glass. JEN GRAVES
(Triple Door) El Vez is a self-proclaimed "Mexican Elvis." A triple threat (he dances! He sings! He impersonates!) and all-around hilarious performer, he covers the King (plus other musicians like David Bowie and T. Rex)—satirically spinning lyrics in order to address political and social issues. His version of "Suspicious Minds" is called "Immigration Times" and it goes like this: "I'm caught in a trap, I can't walk out, because my foot's caught in this border fence. Why can't you see, Statue of Liberty? I am your homeless, tired and weary." He is also running for president since the world is ending this year anyway. "Vote El Vez—what do you got to lose?" EMILY NOKES
Bitches Crystal, Spacebag, Jungfrau
(Chop Suey) Did you know there's a rock and gem show at the Puyallup Fair & Events Center on November 9? It's true! It's called the South Sound Gem, Opal, and Mineral Show. You can find all sorts of exotic mineral specimens, including opals, crystals, and other rare gems! IT'S GONNA ROCK! You know what else rocks? Seattle three-piece instrumental metal band Bitches Crystal. They're riff-tastic rockers who should really consider playing in the Puyallup Fair parking lot during the gem show. Lots of hot, necklace-making, hippie bitches would be all over these dudes, if they only knew! KELLY O
Blue Sky Black Death, Nacho Picasso, Key Nyata, Skull & Bones, TigerBeat
(Chop Suey) See My Philosophy.
MTNS, No Babies, White Coward, Casy & Brian
(Black Lodge) See Underage.
(Emerald Queen Casino) Loretta Lynn is a badass. She is old-school. She got married as a teenager, was a mother of four within a few years, started performing music in her 20s, and look! She's still performing now, as she flirts with her 80s. She wrote a passel of killer songs: "Fist City," "Rated X," "You Ain't Woman Enough (to Take My Man)." And the songs she didn't write but popularized were just as epic: "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly," "The Pill." In 2004 she released an album with Jack White to near-universal acclaim. She is a national treasure, and I'd vote in a heartbeat to have her face replace Washington's on the dollar bill. (Side note: This fall, I milked a goat named Loretta Lynn. YES.) ANNA MINARD
(Benaroya Hall) Sonic Evolution is not just contemporary and cross-genre music, it's also local. Last year, it linked artists including Quincy Jones, Hey Marseilles, Cuong Vu, Nirvana, and Jimi Hendrix; this year, music director Morlot has commissioned three composers (Arlene Sierra, Kenneth Hesketh, and Alexandra Gardner) to write new orchestral pieces inspired by Alice in Chains, Blue Scholars, and Yes—and Seattle-based Yes drummer Alan White will perform on the piece inspired by Yes. The second half of the program is alt-country band Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs performing with the orchestra. JEN GRAVES
Blue Sky Black Death, Nacho Picasso, Key Nyata, Skull & Bones, DJ Tigerbeat
(Chop Suey) It's been just over a year since the release of Nacho Picasso and Blue Sky Black Death's first collaborative album, For the Glory. It's a one-two knockout punch of the rapper's punch-line-packed, word-drunk flow and the production duo's expansive, menacing electronic beats that seemed light years away from Seattle's usual sample-driven, boom-bap "message"-rap, party cuts, or "Town" lovefests. Two more quality albums later, and they're perhaps the biggest names in the city's underground and leaders of a darker new wave of local rap seen and heard in Key Nyata's galactic Raider phonk and Skull & Bones' hostile "gothic thuggery"™, who round out an ideal bill for this all-ages Halloween show. BSBD will perform a short set of their FakeFour/Mush/Babygrande instrumental material before headliner Nacho joins them for the main event. MIKE RAMOS See also My Philosophy.
Balmorhea, Ghosts I've Met
(Columbia City Theater) As the world gravitates toward greater cultural homogeny, we see the role of geography play less of a role in shaping artists' work. Thankfully, Balmorhea retain a hint of their native landscape. Hailing from Austin, Texas, the group appropriately sound like they operate from that particular Southwest oasis. There's a foundation of Americana in their dusty instrumental pieces—banjos are plucked, acoustic guitars are strummed—but there's a strong current of Austin's artful weirdness at play, as well. The songs carry a pastoral timbre, suggesting the optimism of the open West in one song, storm clouds brewing over the horizon in the next. Yet Balmorhea's urban base provides a metropolitan filter of cinematic post rock, ambient minimalism, and heady neoclassical arrangements for their rustic sounds. BRIAN COOK
Dan Deacon, Height with Friends, Chester Endersby Gwazda, Alan Resnick
(Frye Art Museum) Performing as part of the Frye's Mw [Moment Magnitude] multi-multimedia exhibit, Perfume Genius (Seattleite Mike Hadreas) will be exhibiting two of his videos and performing in the gallery. There's something so raw about the songs that he makes, something so transparently painful that you almost want to turn away, but they're also mesmerizing and immensely rewarding, inducing rolling waves of angst and longing, grief and gratitude, suffering and relief. ANNA MINARD
Kithkin, Tea Cozies, Erik Blood, Charms
(Columbia City Theater) The best Halloween parties are those that have a bit of everything—weird, spooky, sexy, and sweet. And it just so happens that this bill of crazy-good local talent has all of that (and more!). Kithkin are the wonderfully weird, percussion-driven tribal-dance party that often inspires the audience to be a part of the performance as much as the band is; the Tea Cozies just released a seasonally appropriate new single, "Muchos Dracula," which sounds like the haunted dance track to a futuristic party in the '60s; Erik Blood's new album, Touch Screens, is all about sex and porn, and it is great; and Charms are sweet, jangly (their word) indie rock. Costumes encouraged! Get weird! MEGAN SELING
Bambu, Kixxie Siete, Rey Resurreccion, Nam Nice, Grynch
(Crocodile) See My Philosophy.
Husky, Hannah Georgas
(Tractor) Husky have absolutely nothing to do with purple and gold sports teams, and everything to do with four-piece fragile-folk from Melbourne, Australia. Husky get their name from lead singer Husky Gawenda (questions he must never get sick of: "Did you have hippie parents? Dog-enthusiast parents? Were you an overweight baby?"), and their music is like watercolor painting—very soft and layered, delicate and subtle. It's the kind of music you have to focus on and listen to intently because it's not going to jump out and bite your face. This Husky would never do that. EMILY NOKES
Laptop Battle: DJ Scene, Four Color Zack, Neight1000, more
(Neumos) See Data Breaker.
Gary War, Purple Pilgrims, Panabrite
(Comet) If you want to be reductionist (and I kind of have to, as I've blown my deadline), Gary War is Ariel Pink circa the Doldrums' evil twin bro. Like Pink's, War's voice seems to be distorting and evaporating as soon as his breath hits the mic. But whereas Ariel Pink's hypnagogic bubblegum pop carries a peculiar cheerfulness with only slight hints of glumness, Gary War's exudes a subterranean vibe that hints at subterfuge and malevolence. And like another Gary (Numan), War's songs suggest a near future gone interestingly wrong, like maybe the robots got all neurotic and agitated and then dismantled the infrastructure and the electrical grid. Track titles from his newest album, Jared's Lot, suggest as much: "Advancements in Disgust" and "Pleading for Annihilation." Good times. DAVE SEGAL
Robyn Hitchcock, Young Fresh Fellows, Peter Buck
(Triple Door) The combined history of the musicians on this marquee at Triple Door forms a substantial piece of underground and overground rock goodness (yes, R.E.M.'s '80s catalog is still important and vital). Back when he led the Soft Boys, Robyn Hitchcock used to be the most convincing Syd Barrett disciple in the world. He later channeled that lucid lunacy into several solo albums and full-lengths with the Egyptians that combine surreal verbal acrobatics with acidic/pastoral, tuneful rocking and rolling—my favorite being Black Snake Diamond Röle; seriously, check "Acid Bird." Hitch may have mellowed over the years, but his knack for beautiful melodies and poignant, skewed lyrics remains strong. DAVE SEGAL
Stop Biting: Slugabed, Introcut, WD4D, Sean Cee, absoluteMadman, Ohmega Watts
(Lo-Fi) See Data Breaker.