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Lose your piles of synth every night this week!
Untold, Cody Morrison, Carlos Ruiz, Sounds in Silence
(Q) See Data Breaker.
Postmadonna, Chastity Belt, Dear Mister Manager
(Chop Suey) Chastity Belt are great. I must tell you this right off the bat, in case you have a lot to do and just need to know if you should go to this show. You should, and we both know you need to dance that dead turkey off. ANYWAY, after their recent relocation to Seattle from Walla Walla, the ladies of Chastity Belt have been rapidly improving on their already sweet/funny/raw sound—clean and bright guitar jangles peep through a heavier rhythm section (thanks in part to the dudes of Dude York, who pitched in on their latest batch of recordings, aptly named Dude). Their song "Ponytail" has been a favorite of mine for a couple of weeks now. "Cut it off/Cut it off!" EMILY NOKES
Wintersong: Ivan & Alyosha, Shelby Earl, Tea Cozies, Tom Eddy, Kevin Long, Ben Fisher, Naomi Wachira, Tony Kevin Jr
(Crocodile) Tonight, this showcase of local artists—ranging from Shelby Earl's romantically sad alt-country croon to the Tea Cozies' mod-loving, post-rock dance party—will play their favorite winter-themed songs while also benefiting Team Up for Nonprofits, a three-year-old Seattle organization that helps "generate vital funds" for other nonprofit organizations. All you have to do in order to do something nice is show up, pay your $15 cover, and stand there and enjoy the show. And you've helped people! If you want to do more, though (it's the season of giving, after all) you can donate and find out more about Team Up for Nonprofits at teamupfornonprofits.org. Someone better cover "Snowblind." MEGAN SELING
Piano Starts Here: The Music of Bill Evans
(Royal Room) As I have said many times before and will say many times in the future, one of the most talented pianists in jazz history is Bill Evans. His importance and impact is profound. Not only did he bring the beauty and sensitivity of French impressionism to modern jazz, he did this without losing, compromising, or sacrificing the original soul of jazz. Meaning, Evans employed the technical devices of classical music without being what the writer and composer Gunther Schuller called Third Stream. Evans kept the roots of his piano all blues. For tonight's Piano Starts Here, a series curated by Wayne Horvitz and Tim Kennedy, four local pianists—Dave Peck, Randy Halberstadt, Nelda Swiggett and Joe Doria—will, through solo performances, interpret the gentle genius of the great Bill Evans. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Seattle Art Museum) This week, new Seattle Symphony music director Ludovic Morlot will lead his first Mahler symphony here, the Fourth (Nov 29 and Dec 1, with the Berg Violin Concerto). What we recommend even more is a free solo recital a few days prior at Seattle Art Museum by Donatienne Michel-Dansac, the soprano who'll be featured with the symphony later in the week. The program highlights Greek composer Georges Aperghis. His work is thrilling and strange—he studied on and off with Xenakis but was largely self-taught—but rarely heard in the United States. This is a concert for anyone wondering what the human voice can do that you don't know about yet. JEN GRAVES
Death Grips, Cities Aviv
White Lung, Turbo Fruits, Dreamsalon
(Chop Suey) Rock 'n' roll with a twang, Nashville's Turbo Fruits will envelop you in a smoky cloud of swerving solos and riffs that would not, could not pass a Breathalyzer even if the cop was Jack Daniel himself. The vocals remind me of some kind of deep-fried Marc Bolan/Jello Biafra hybrid. White Lung are visiting us from Vancouver, melting faces with absolutely seeeeething punk music that pops; abrasive hits follow a toe-tapping pattern of catchy/angry/still catchy. They're like the coolest, toughest girl at school, who'll give you a fat lip but let you use her lipstick to cover it up. Seattle's own Dreamsalon are also playing—disjointed, pleasing reverberation, oh my. EMILY NOKES
Switch, Sean Majors, Josh Quest, Jame$ervin, 8btCrsh
(See Sound Lounge) See Data Breaker.
The Babies, Stickers, Detective Agency
(Barboza) Recording for the very good Woodsist label, Brooklyn quartet the Babies play spindly lo-fi rock with melodies that nudge you in your tender, vulnerable bits. Singers Cassie Ramone (Vivian girls) and Kevin Morby (Woods) possess thin yet moving voices that complement their fragilely pretty tunes. The pleasures from recordings like Cry Along with the Babies and Our House on the Hill are low-key, but it's really hard to make this type of deliberately threadbare thing sound interesting or enjoyable in 2012, and the Babies surpass most in the field at it. DAVE SEGAL
King Dude, Cinnamon Girl, Partman Parthorse, DAN'Z ID
(Comet) DAN'Z ID is a one-man band created by artist, musician, and former Stranger employee Dan Paulus, who plays Misfits songs on a piano. (CLASSY!) Cinnamon Girl is a new cover band, a six-piece, fronted by a lovely lady named Traci Eggleston, that plays Neil Young cover songs—including, naturally, Young's 1969 hit "Cinnamon Girl." (CLASSIC!) Partman Parthorse is a rowdy post-punk band fronted by an often bikini-clad yoga instructor named Gary Smith, who just had a baby with his drums-playing wife, and they named the wee one "Perseus." (CLASSICAL GREEK! It means "DESTROYER!") King Dude, a super-savvy dude named TJ Cowgill, has spearheaded a new dark arts movement in Seattle both with his pitch-black, neo-folk music (see his excellent new album Burning Daylight) and his clothing label Actual Pain (NEOCLASSICISM!) KELLY O
Legato Bebop, Nightmare Fortress, Baby Guns, Kelli Frances Corrado
(Hollow Earth Radio) Issaquah musician Legato Bebop (Patrick John White) constructs hypnotic, subtly brooding rock that takes Wire's deeply strange classic 154 album as a jumping-off point; jumping-off points rarely come more springy than 154, so acute attention must be paid to Legato Bebop. Seattle foursome Nightmare Fortress are an aptly named force of synthetic nature. Alicia Amiri's Siouxsie Sioux–esque vocals valiantly ride the band's grave-rave train into a nocturnal, dreams-gone-awry state of exquisite fear. Lord have (Sisters of) Mercy, this is damned dramatic rock noir. DAVE SEGAL
Blue Scholars, Brothers from Another, Don't Talk to the Cops!
(Showbox at the Market) While it's been more than a year since Blue Scholars' last full-length, Cinemetropolis, it's been almost 10 since their "wave"-making self-titled debut. And while their sound has evolved with the times, Prometheus Brown and Sabzi still balance relevant messages (see the extremely real "May Day" op-ed-column-made-single) with celebrations of "Town" culture and history (see "Slick Watts" and its corresponding video) to make some of the best hiphop in Seattle. Since Cinemetropolis, the Scholars have been expanding with individual contributions and side projects, from Sabzi's Townfolk instrumental series and work with Made in Heights to Pro Brown's Brownouts one-offs/B-sides comp and the Bar collab with Bambu, but their live shows are all about their expansive catalog of local classics. Young Seattle's premier locally sourced posi-hop duo Brothers from Another and punk-rap rabble-rousers Don't Talk to the Cops! open. MIKE RAMOS
Daydream Vacation, Pony Time
(Vera) I chose to write this blurb for two reasons: Pony Time are awesome (duh), and though I had never heard Daydream Vacation, the name sounded really nice while the stupid rain was pounding on the stupid roof so hard I could barely stupid type anything. I found Daydream Vacation (a duo made up of Asya Saavedra from Smoosh and Dave Einmo from Head Like a Kite) and pressed play while doing a million other things (MySpace). Three songs in, I realized I had been listening but not listening—and WHAT? What the funky, electronic-y, Ace of Base–y escalator music do we have here? This is some seriously produced computer pop with piles of synth and sparkling runway vocals. Looks like fans of lo-fi garage and hi-fi electronica alike will have something to dance about. EMILY NOKES
(Moore) See preview.
Motor IV: TJ Max, Goodwin, Patternmaster, Panabrite, DJ Slow, Dr. Troy
(Lo-Fi) See Data Breaker.
(Crocodile) See Sound Check.
Overton Berry Trio, Louis Richmond, Kate Wirth
(Egan's Ballard Jam House) In the '60s and early '70s, it seemed as if the music industry had mandated that every artist had to cover at least one Beatles song per album. Seattle's Overton Berry Trio performed their share of 'em, but they outdid themselves—and damn near everyone else who attempted a Fab Four tune—with "Hey Jude." OBT's instrumental version adds lovely, spiritual piano filigree courtesy of Mr. Berry, and the whole thing ascends to a "hallelujah!"-inducing level of sublimity. Of course, Overton Berry Trio is about more than just dazzling Beatles interpretations. They're also a supremely elegant soul-jazz combo that can extemporize on several musical tropes, making fluff like "Aquarius" and cuts from Jesus Christ Superstar sound substantial. Check out Light in the Attic's excellent reissue of T.O.B.E./At Seattle's Doubletree Inn for proof. DAVE SEGAL
SHiPS, Kithkin, Ravenna Woods
(Sunset) Unless you want to catch a cold or pay a bunch of money for a gym membership, it's nearly impossible to get any kind of meaningful physical activity in this terrible, terrible weather. Which is why you must see Kithkin tonight! Their shows are percussion-driven dance parties where audience participation is a must. Grab a shaker! Get onstage and bang a tambourine! Just flail your arms and help them hoot and holler through exuberant songs like "Ampersand," which sounds like a tribal dance party in the middle of the woods on a tiny island in the middle of the sea. You'll leave feeling more happily exhausted than a hot yoga instructor. (And while you're stuck inside, be sure to check out their fantastic website, kithkinband.com. Cute forest creatures abound!) MEGAN SELING
Evan Flory-Barnes Group
(Mona's Bistro & Lounge) On Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's breakout hit album, The Heist, the lyrics urge listeners to accept people, to reject materialism, to dance. I totally agree with all the sentiments, but for the most part, the music doesn't move me much on a gut level (I don't think it's made for me). Much like with another very-hyped album—Tyler, the Creator's Goblin—my favorite moment is probably the sole instrumental track. "BomBom" features local ensemble the Teaching, which is anchored by upright bassist and composer Evan Flory-Barnes, a celebrated Seattle musician who plays and collaborates in a plethora of projects including this, his own Group. "My interest is in... the well-being, of myself and others," Flory-Barnes says. "I think that's one of the draws to performing and creating work and spending time with people, finding out what's real in people. My personal relationships with people, and how I surrender to music, is ultimately one." LARRY MIZELL JR.
Saint Motel, Slow Bird, Piano Piano
(Barboza) VibraGun guitarist Joel Bergstrom recently recommended that I check out Piano Piano, but I was reluctant due to my strong antipathy toward band names that repeat words: Only Liquid Liquid and Talk Talk get a pass on this matter. Nevertheless, upon inspection, Piano Piano's music has merit, if the three songs on their ReverbNation page are representative. Consisting of four musicians who converged in Seattle from distant states across America, Piano Piano play meticulously detailed, beautifully wrought instrumental rock that can shift from plangency to tumult in the flick of a wrist. There's a cerebral, introspective aura about this music that also paradoxically feels expansive. Now about that name... DAVE SEGAL
Simian Mobile Disco, JDH, Dave P
(Neumos) British duo Simian Mobile Disco are both great, adventurous DJs willing to drop cuts by Moondog, Conrad Schnitzler, SND, Raymond Scott, and the Walker Brothers into their mixes and fascinating producers who thrive in a live setting, using mostly analog gear. This is uncommon. SMD's latest release, the EP A Form of Change, shuffles and pulsates on an understated techno tip and proves that they have maintained their special talent for making dance music that's unconventional and unconventional music that's danceable. DAVE SEGAL
Sweet Honey in the Rock
(Triple Door) Did you grow up with hippie parents? Did they have Sweet Honey in the Rock albums? Maybe this is not universal. But I remember poring over the album cover for Good News—which was designed to look like the front page of a newspaper—as a kid, and I remember sitting next to our big old record-player cabinet listening to their crazy-good harmonies. And yeah, maybe it's kinda cheesy, but hey: If you can think of something cooler to do with your Tuesday night than go see a 30-year-old all-female all-black a cappella group started by civil-rights activist/scholar/musician Bernice Johnson Reagon, I guess you're just too cool for me. C'mon—take your mom on a mom date! ANNA MINARD
The End's Deck the Hall Ball 2012: The Killers, M83, Metric, Awolnation, Passion Pit, the Lumineers, more
(KeyArena) During the heyday as kingpins of the Seattle alt-rock scene in the early-to-late '90s, local heavyweight commercial radio station 107.7 The End seemed to center its entire year around a huge all-out, daylong summer festival called Endfest, with everyone from Papa Roach to Murder City Devils sharing the stage. With dozens upon dozens of summer festivals stealing The End's sunshine, the station has shifted its attentions to a more focused wintertime shindig, Deck the Hall Ball. The Killers, Passion Pit, M83 and Metric are headlining, so just know if you're a fan of indie-pop-leaning modern rock in the slightest (or you're a college freshman), this lineup reads like a wet dream. KEVIN DIERS