Tyler, the Creator
Young Artist Academy Winter Quarter Showcase: Sydney Ranee, Darrius Willrich
(Royal Room) Darrius Willrich is a local jazz pianist who was trained at Cornish, regularly plays at Vito's, experiments with neo–Stevie Wonder soul, and has a close relationship with the politically conscious quarters of the hiphop community. When it comes to jazz, Willrich always displays a deep grasp of the tradition. To my ears, his piano recalls at certain moments the elegance of Nat King Cole, but with the melodic modernism of Herbie Hancock. One of the reasons we live in cities is to have easy access to the music of jazz professionals like Willrich. CHARLES MUDEDE
The Quiet Ones, Marty Marquis, the Young Evils
(Barboza) Tonight is all about the Quiet Ones and their great new album, Molt in Moments. Joining the band in the celebration is Marty Marquis, the "redheaded Blitzen Trapper guy." If you have feelings for BT, Mr. Marquis will certainly appeal to you—his solo music is a sort-of-weird combination of vintage-tinged folk with occasional electronic flourishes that almost feel out of place. Songs like "She Came Down" seem like something you'd sing around a campfire while robotic bugs buzzed around your head, adding little Disney Electrical Parade sounds to the music. Weird! But maybe good? Verdict is still out. Regardless, you should arrive in time to see the Young Evils, because their power-pop gems are just the best. MEGAN SELING See also Stranger Suggests.
Kung Foo Grip, Fresh Espresso, Nissim, Stewart Villain, DJ Swervewon
(Crocodile) Fresh Espresso (P Smoov and Rik Rude) was one of the several hiphop acts that made the 206's 2009 so memorable, with the release of Glamour—Seattle's most successful and convincing appropriation of bling-hop. Last year, the duo released its second album, Bossalona, which was not bad, but which at the time I felt did not live up to the greatness of Glamour. Critics, however, change their minds. Bossalona cannot be compared to Glamour, because they are not designed with the same plan or built with the same materials. Glamour processed Jay-Z; Bossalona processed something that comes close to baroque bebop. Glamour is just pop; Bossalona is not. Glamour is catchy; Bossalona grows and grows on you. Indeed, I'm now of the mind that it just might actually be the better record, but for completely different reasons. On Glamour, Smoov and Rude showed they have the skill to sound like rappers and producers who just want to pay the bills. On Bossalona, they simply show they are two talented and most highly developed artists who have skills. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Neumos) Dennis Coles, or Ghostface Killah, is the third-best member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Or second. Or first, or fourth, depending on who you're asking (though he's definitely no lower than the fifth-best member). Ghostface is a smooth-flowing and vivid storyteller. On April 16, he'll be releasing a concept album called Twelve Reasons to Die—produced by Adrian Younge and executive produced by (who else?) the RZA—based on a comic book of the same name, told through the character Tony Stark (GFK's alter alter ego, a reference to Marvel's Iron Man comic-book character and also his first album, the third-best Wu-Tang solo album). EMILY NOKES See also My Philosophy.
The Music of Abba: Arrival
(Snoqualmie Casino) Meet Arrival. They hail from Sweden, just like ABBA, who are still Sweden's most popular band in the history of ALL TIME. Arrival have been ABBA's premiere tribute band since 1995, and they really look like '70s-era ABBA (it's rumored they perform in items from ABBA's actual wardrobe). Because ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus told British newspaper the Telegraph in 2008, "We will never appear onstage again," your chances of ever seeing the real ABBA perform are slim to fucking none. What you need to do is grab a little cash (for at least one spin on the "Fireball" slot machine) and head to Snoqualmie Casino, because "Dancing Queen" is gonna make everyone in that casino tear their clothes off. "Åh, ja!" KELLY O
'Mo-Wave: The Need, Ononos, Glitterbang, Addiquit, My Parade
(Chop Suey) See preview.
Art Vandelay, the MC Type, Griff J
(Neumos) See My Philosophy.
White Mystery, Warm Soda, Tacocat, Bad Motivators
(Comet) Did you know that red hair, the rarest hair color in humans, only occurs naturally on 1–2 percent of the world's population? I grew up in a household of redheads, always cursing my blond hair, and wishing that one day I'd wake up with the fiery copper color of my family. The recessive gene that ignites this magical color is no mystery to Chicago brother-sister garage rock band White Mystery; they have red hair to spare—piles of curls that mimic a red-hot campfire. Alex White, the sister, sings and shreds (she was recently named one of the "Top 10 Female Guitarists" by Guitar World magazine), and her brother, Francis Scott Key White, also sings and bangs the drums. They've just been booked to play Jack White's Third Man record label party at Coachella later this month, alongside Eagles of Death Metal and Redd Kross. All these Whites—they all right! KELLY O
Corey Brewer, Transparent Aluminum, Part Wolf
(Heartland) Tonight's lineup of side projects at Heartland—the newish space north of the shipping channel, run by the unstoppable DIY force (and former Stranger intern!) known on the internet as "Kenn Job"—will be an interesting look inside the lesser-known efforts of a few familiar names. Corey Brewer of Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death and Cold Lake also records under his own name—he describes his latest, The Destroyer Has a Master Plan, as "Serge Gainsbourg covering Björk (poorly)." Bill Badgly, front man for Federation X, and Jason Sands (Reeks and the Wrecks) make up Part Wolf, whose song on the internet rings out like load of horror through delayed percussion, guitar, and vocals. Transparent Aluminum is the light-headed electronic endeavor of Portlander Kelly Ockinga, most recently of garage rockers the Pathogens. Go there to get weird; stay around later to hear Mr. Job say interesting stuff. GRANT BRISSEY
Alcest, Addaura, Alda, Chasma
(Highline) Black metal must be bleak. Black metal must be raw. Black metal must be evil. Black metal must be harsh, unwavering antimusic. Enter Neige, the French mastermind behind Alcest, a band that's as My Bloody Valentine as it is Immortal. Sure, his brand of "shoegazing black metal" might not be for everyone—it certainly isn't "grim" or "kvlt," by any means—but what it is, is a breath of fresh air. With such beautiful buildups, the bursts of blasting drums and ear-piercing shrieks stand out, giving the listener a break from the typical monotony of the average black metal record. KEVIN DIERS
Jaymay, Kye Alfred Hillig, Kayoko
(Vera Project) This is likely to be a show full of tenderness and strumming, where you stand close to the stage and maybe lean a little, back and forth. New York singer-songwriter Jaymay has shown up on lots of soundtracks and on TV, but her melancholy, poppy folk is best for quiet walks, methodical housecleaning, or beading projects. Tokyo-based Kayoko sings and strums similarly straightforward songs in Japanese and English; she and Jaymay released a split album and toured Japan together years ago. Kye Alfred Hillig is a Tacoman (a person from Tacoma, not a man who likes tacos) and songster (male version of songstress!) who's been making heartfelt folk-rock in the PNW for years. If you have zero patience for twee, you'll want to shout "PUT A BIRD ON IT" and run away, but this lineup is just right for the quiet, leaning people at whom it is aimed. ANNA MINARD
Massive Monkees Day 2013
(Showbox at the Market) See My Philosophy.
OCnotes, Pollens, Amos Miller
(Columbia City Theater) See preview.
Sam Lachow, Raz Simone, Gift Uh Gab, Dave B
(Vera Project) See preview.
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, Blsphm, Thunder Grey Pilgrim, SUTEKH HEXEN
(Black Lodge) Casual aural masochists beware! San Francisco noise ensemble SUTEKH HEXEN's pagan graveyard offering is on tour with local cloaked harsh noiser Blsphm, aka Demian Johnston, whose disemboweling power-drone conjures images of sliced jugulars and pure hate-magic. On his most recent release, Barter the Lashed, Blsphm's murderous storm leaves nerves drawn and quartered. And while it may be the least antagonizing set of the night, Thunder Grey Pilgrim's (Mitchell Bell) ambient black metal is only slightly tethered. During his set at Debacle Fest last year, an unidentified animal's horn full of "blood" was passed around while my head was submerged in a cloud of frankincense and hauntological noisemares. Seattle freak-fest standbys Blue Sabbath Black Cheer offer more violent lamentations, the deceptive calm before the strike of a guillotine. BRITTNIE FULLER
John Cage's Indeterminacy and Empty Words
(Chapel Performance Space) A great night of Cage. Neal Kosaly-Meyer (voice) and Roger Nelson (piano) perform from Indeterminacy, a piano piece accompanied by the readings of stories selected in random order (involving such subjects as Cage's love of mushrooms), and Empty Words, based on throwings of the I Ching. JEN GRAVES
'Mo-Wave: Team Dresch, Gaytheist, Erik Blood, Wishbeard, Big Dipper, more
(Chop Suey) The first-ever 'Mo-Wave fest—celebrating 21st-century queer art—kicks into high gear with a humongo-showcase of music. Topping the bill: the legendary Team Dresch, whose 1995 record Personal Best remains an American punk-rock classic and whose 2012 show at Chop Suey in support of Referendum 74 proved the band could still blow shit up (while staying hilariously off-the-cuff). Tonight, Team Dresch join forces with a dream team of queer music makers, including Gaytheist, Erik Blood, and Eighteen Individual Eyes. DAVID SCHMADER See also preview.
(Josephine) I love a polite note! And receiving correspondence from the Corespondents is a real delight (mostly because they sent over a handwritten note from an actual member of the band, and not a PR chain-letter using the words "touch" or "base"). Regarding this show—which celebrates the Corespondents' album release for Land of the Low People—the note says: "The show will be a dance party with Prawnyxx and will probably be the most incredible Balkan-ish electro freak-out you've ever seen." The Corespondents play instrumental music reminiscent of taking an exhausted accidental "is it noon or midnight?" nap and dreaming a fancy circus-elephant ride through a spaghetti western that takes place in the 1950s version of Southeast Asia (exotic! Magical!). EMILY NOKES
'Mo-Wave: Blackie, Double Duchess, Dynasty Handbag, Dick Binge, S, more
(Chop Suey) See preview.
Problem & Iamsu!, Jarv Dee, J.Sirus, Jay Morrison, more
(Neumos) Bay Area (Richmond, specifically) and Compton rappers Iamsu! and Problem have both been grinding on the independent/blog-rap circuit for a couple years, but they received career jump-starts by straight gassin' on their guest appearances on Vallejo OG (and one of the most creative, original rappers to ever live) E-40's 2012 club hit "Function." After several collaborative tracks on their individual efforts, the young Californians linked up for joint mixtape Million Dollar Afro, released online last month. Blending elements of their respective regional sounds—sparse yet flossy post-hyphy/post-based Bay rap (Iamsu!), and glossy, synthed-up "Mollywood" LA stuff (Problem)—and adding current flavors of the month, like club-friendly AutoTuned hooks and 808 thump/hi-hat roll trap production, it has all the ingredients to turn them into household names this year. MIKE RAMOS See also My Philosophy.
MTNS, Punishment, Thunder Grey Pilgrim, Brain Fruit
(Vermillion) The first time I listened to the latest MTNS release, All Songs Are Spells, I wanted to run around in circles while simultaneously punching the air and vomiting. The local duo's instrumental blasts are so chaotic and disjointed that my body just doesn't know how to interpret it—do I dance? Do I shake? Do I electrocute myself and hope my convulsions are on beat? All Songs Are Spells might sound like a wonderful mess on the surface, but if you pay attention and allow yourself to become familiar with the noise, you'll find that there are melodies in there, too, and even the most nonsensical moments start to make sense. Of course, that could just mean you're going crazy, but crazy sounds so good. MEGAN SELING
The Telescopes, LSD and the Search for God, Flavor Crystals, Black Nite Crash, DJ Mamma Casserole, DJ Explorateur
(Comet) In the late '80s and early '90s, the Telescopes challenged Spacemen 3 and Loop for UK space-rock supremacy. Stephen Lawrie and company veered more toward Loop's Stooges-esque savagery than S3's more devotional, stellar hymns: Their early songs seesawed between psychotic psych-rock turmoil and dreamy yet unnerving bliss-outs. When the 'Scopes signed to Creation Records, they embraced '60s California psychedelia and even executed an ebullient cover of Charles Manson's (via the Beach Boys) "Never Learn Not to Love." Recent recordings prove that the Telescopes haven't softened in their advanced age, with gritty forays into abstract noise and hypnotic, enigmatic rock composition. LSD and the Search for God's name sets you up for unrealistic expectations. The San Francisco band don't live up to their handle, but their self-titled 2007 EP on Randall Nieman's Mind Expansion label radiates understated beauty. Its five songs conjure a swirling magenta blur of rock somewhere between Souvlaki-era Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine circa Loveless. The hooks and taffeta male/female vocals are submerged in FX'd drones, coaxing that familiar aura of mystery that shoegaze fans lurve. DAVE SEGAL
Johnny Marr, Alamar
(Neumos) See preview.
Bad Religion, Polar Bear Club, the Bronx
(Showbox Sodo) I was real bummed when Against Me! announced that they had to drop off this tour due to a lack of a full-time drummer. I was so looking forward to seeing Laura Jane Grace and Co. take the stage again, since their show at El Corazón last year was the best show I saw in 2012. Alas, while AM! sort out their drummer drama, at least we still get to see Bad Religion, who released their SIXTEENTH album, True North, in January. And if you, like me, have held on to your Bad Religion love based solely on their older material, give True North a listen—the band is as pissed and passionate as ever, delivering their messages with quick blasts of punk rock that barely hit the three-minute mark. MEGAN SELING
Happy Birthday, Claude, with Craig Sheppard
(Meany Hall) Love the French impressionist Claude Debussy? Then come and celebrate his 150th birthday. Local piano luminary Craig Sheppard performs his 12 Etudes and selected shorter works. JEN GRAVES