Prep your bod for the onslaught of Capitol Hill Block Party next week by hopping around town to a couple of the best concerts chosen by our music critics. We've got everything from the closest you can get to real magic (Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone in Concert with the Seattle Symphony), to punk legends who still know how to shred (Blondie & Garbage with John Doe & Exene Cervenka), to rewinding the clock of local music a few years in a lush woodland setting (Timber! Outdoor Music Festival). Click through the links below for complete details, and find even more shows on our complete music calendar.
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Froth with Moaning
Los Angeles quartet Froth have spent the last four years making textbook shoegaze rock that skews toward the mellow adrenaline rush of Ride and the Boo Radleys, with occasional forays into the motorik glories of krautrock. Froth’s songs adhere to tried-and-true methods of dazed-boy vocals, liberally FX’d, radiant guitar spangles, and soaring melodies. While one may wish for the group to freak the fuck out a bit more, their music’s basic thrust is oh-so-satisfying if you’re into the ’gaze and krautrock revivals. DAVE SEGAL
Amos Lee Live in Concert with the Seattle Symphony
Perennial Starbucks-soundtracker Amos Lee will take his night of soulful singer-songwriter vibes to the next level by having the entire Seattle Symphony present as his backing band.
Beach Fossils, She-Devils, AbleBody
I didn’t really pay much attention to Brooklyn’s shoe-gazey, pop-dreamy, low-key psychedelic trio Beach Fossils until I saw them on VICE News one night about three weeks ago. They explained how they put together the lazy rambling “Saint Ivy,” a track off 2017 LP Somersault inspired by frontman Dustin Payseur’s deep disappointment in the results of the 2016 election (sample lyric: “Wanna believe in America, but it’s somewhere I can’t find”). The ire is backed by mellow bouncing bass lines, sweetly sparkling guitar riffs, rhythms inspired in part by the beats off Wu-Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M.,” a chamber trio adding bright sweeps of strings… There’s even some flute; a musician came into the studio and soloed for an hour, and they chopped it up into samples that come fluttering in during the latter half of the song. VICE’s under-three-minute “Beat Break” is what ultimately spurred me to look up the album, and I’m sure glad I did, ’cause it’s pretty groovy. LEILANI POLK
Frequently lauded as "the voice of Venezuela," Betsayda Machado is the queen of South American folk music, instilling power, gravitas, and compassion into the Venezuelan Afro-soul genre, "tambor," along with spirit-shaking percussion and dancing.
G-Dragon is considered the leader and producer of South Korea's most popular artist group, BIGBANG, along with creating and sustaining his own esteemed solo career, racking up over a billion views on YouTube on his produced hits.
Palm, So Pitted, Palberta
The unorthodox pattern work New York band Palm use to construct their songs could aptly be described as mathy. Their sound is defined by a jangly unpredictability on the level of a heavier band like Tera Melos, which is tied together by very agreeable—even pretty—vocals. Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt’s guitars jut out of each song like legs from a pile of lawn chairs, and the bass and drums of Gerasimos Livitsanos and Hugo Stanley maintain a low altitude to smooth out the bumps. Palm definitely challenge their listeners, but the reward is always there; the dissonant repetition to begin songs always builds to a logical, though often surprising, payoff. TODD HAMM
Near the end of the 1990s, when Mystik Journeymen and the Grouch (Oaklanders all) linked up with LA’s 3 Melancholy Gypsys, they formed one of California’s most prolific indie-hop pantheons, Living Legends. I got hip via the Industry Records comp Beats & Lyrics, and the Legends’ “Nowyouno” was my runaway repeat rewind. In 1997, hearing that and the Journeymen’s “Black Sands” (as well as Company Flow’s Funcrusher Plus, DJ Premier’s New York Reality Check 101, and Rawkus’s Soundbombing comp) cemented the wall between the “mainstream” and the “underground” for a generation of heads. (Even then, I still managed to love the Bad Boy era—can’t we all just get along?) LARRY MIZELL JR.
Blondie & Garbage with John Doe & Exene Cervenka
Seeing your creative heroes outside of their prime phase will never measure up to the electrified fantasy in your mind. Once you accept that standard truth, you can continue enjoying Blondie, Garbage, and X’s Exene Cervenka and John Doe as icons in their own right, regardless of when you get to witness their talent. Shirley Manson’s excellent mall-goth vibe is forever burned into my teenage brain, but I’m most excited to witness Blondie’s Debbie Harry invigorate some of her old lines—no one can hit the angular high notes on “Heart of Glass” like she can. The last time they were in town for their 40th anniversary tour, Exene and John executed a steadily powered live set full of classics and deep cuts like the punk vets they are. As long as Exene doesn’t start making statements about government conspiracies and mass-shooting hoaxes, this should prove to be a great night. KIM SELLING
Eagles of Death Metal, Melvins, Spotlights
No, Eagles of Death Metal do not actually play death metal, although Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme—both members of Queens of the Stone Age—have a definitive crunchy hard-rock and (old-school) heavy-metal sound that’s dosed with blues, garage, stoner, and psychedelic desert rock. Homme doesn’t actually perform with EODM in a live setting, but he’s involved in the band’s songwriting and album production, and all four of the Eagles of Death Metal LPs deserve your attention; the last, 2015’s dusty and catchy Zipper Down, includes a lightly grinding, guitar-fuzzed cover of Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer.” Also noteworthy on the bill: doom-punk-sludge experimenters Melvins, active since 1983 and ring-led by wild-haired frontman Buzz Osborne, whose 25 albums include just-released double LP A Walk with Love & Death. LEILANI POLK
Shabazz Palaces In-Store Record Release
Hometown heroes Shabazz Palaces are gearing up to release two new albums through Sub Pop, Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star and Quazarz Vs. The Jealous Machines, so they'll be throwing down all in one go at this free listening party and release show at Easy Street.
Silence In The Snow, Newaxeyes, Dust Mice
Despite all that dadblasted sunshine, California improbably has become a major incubator of goth-influenced rock and electronic music. The music made by Oakland’s Silence in the Snow sounds like it was made in a meat locker the size of a hockey arena, with vocalist/guitarist Cyn M channeling Siouxsie Sioux, perhaps the most influential female singer of the last decade. (Not complaining.) Silence in the Snow’s dramatic songs achieve an icy pensiveness and haunting melancholy common to modern goth rock. Seattle’s Newaxeyes have an album titled Black Fax due out this year—fingers crossed—on a label that’s issued fantastic records by legendary minimalist composers and adventurous underground rockers alike. Produced by Randall Dunn, Black Fax reasserts Newaxeyes’ mastery of tranquil and tormented modes. Everybody and their eccentric uncle are blurring distinctions between rock and electronic music nowadays, but Newaxeyes’ fusions contain more inventive ruptures than most—and their live shows always transport you to a better, stranger place. DAVE SEGAL
UB40, Matisyahu, Raging Fyah
England’s UB40 became a viable franchise by redoing reggae songs, and sometimes non-reggae songs, into catchy, synth-pushed sing-along-easy stuff labeled Labour of Love, volumes 1–4. This is actually very catchy stuff and, yes, moms like it—my mom, anyway. It’s hard to remember that UB40 named themselves after a piece of paperwork to join the dole, or that original singer Ali Campbell bought gear for his mates from a payout he got after being brutally beaten. Following a bitter financial conflict in 2008 that resulted in two competing factions using the name, original member Ali Campbell wants you to know that only this UB40—with fellow OG players Astro and Mickey Virtue—can give you the genuine, feel-good UB40 live experience. I won’t harsh on them. Mom and I still love listening to them in the car. ANDREW HAMLIN
Timber! Outdoor Music Festival
Seattle music has changed for the better in the past half decade, becoming more diverse both stylistically and in terms of the voices that get championed. But the lineup at Timber!, now in its fifth year, scans as a throwback to five or six years ago, when Ballard Avenue was a destination for folk music and you could read about the dude from the Head and the Heart assaulting a sound guy on one of several regularly updated local music blogs. Veteran singer-songwriters (Sera Cahoone, Shelby Earl, Cataldo) predominate; Southern folk duo Shovels & Rope, fresh off opening for the Avett Brothers, headline; and the first night ends with a campfire sing-along of Violent Femmes songs led by KEXP DJ Troy Nelson. ANDREW GOSPE
Legendary composer, performer, and godfather of pop Burt Bacharach will share his decades of chart-topping experience with a four-day residency of jazz and classic chamber pop.
Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone in Concert with the Seattle Symphony
The Seattle Symphony will take on the cultural phenomenon that is Harry Potter with a performance of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in a chance for the audience to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen amid John Williams’ unforgettable score.
The Avalanches with Double Sunrise Club
Fans of sampledelia and turntablism have a difficult decision to make tonight, as two of the genre’s most influential practitioners roll into town (DJ Shadow at the Neptune is the other). In 2000, the Avalanches shook the popular-music world with their debut album, Since I Left You, a genre-shattering tapestry of beats and wide-ranging samples. But a 16-year silence ensued, until their glorious follow-up, Wildflower, dropped last year. While the Avalanches may have tested the patience of their fans with that hiatus, their live shows have always been legendary, as the collective of DJs re-create and remix their dense, psychedelic compositions. So if you’re a fan of beats that are fun and compositions that are densely layered, treat yourself to this rare appearance by a singular group. NICK ZURKO
You should never count out DJ Shadow. While the masses are rightfully celebrating the anniversary of his milestone sampledelic-hiphop debut album, Endtroducing, he’s done plenty of good work since then, as both producer and DJ (his mixes are always essential). Last year’s The Mountain Will Fall is a late-career reminder that Shadow thrives as a stylistic magpie, a musician constitutionally unable to settle into one groove over a whole record. Whether it’s the title track’s Boards of Canada pastiche, the bizarre trap excursion “Three Ralphs,” the blues-guitar-augmented, Run the Jewels–powered hiphop anthem of “Nobody Speak,” or the crushingly funky and wonky “Bergschrund,” with masterly German keyboardist Nils Frahm adding the oddest synth timbres to appear on a Shadow release in years, Mountain exudes vitality. Dude’s also the rare studio wizard who can bring it live, multimedia-style. DAVE SEGAL
Rapidly rising through the ranks, Khalid and his debut album, American Teen, have received critical acclaim across the board, with raves for his new school take on R&B, soul, and pop.
Kool and The Gang
There's no doubting the large funk/soul ensemble's technical proficiency, but clips of recent live performances show a troubling tendency for cheesy crowd interaction and emphasis on their frothier material (who doesn't grimace after hearing "Celebration" for the millionth time?). But in their 1970s prime, Kool and the Gang cut some of the filthiest and sweetest funk to ever maximize a gluteus. If they fill at least half their set with burners like "Jungle Jazz," "Hollywood Swinging," "Funky Stuff," and "Love the Life You Live," this will be worth the trip to Snoqualmie. DAVE SEGAL
Throwback Sizzling Jam 2017
Relive your adolescence with the "Throwback" Sizzling Jam, a stacked summer fest line-up of '90s classics, including Tony! Toni! Toné!, Dru Hill, Silk, Total, H-Town, The Alumni, and many more.
Tomten, Chris Cheveyo, Moon Palace
Chris Cheveyo and his psychedelic-folk band Rose Windows released two great albums via Sub Pop, but split abruptly before the second one came out in 2015. Many fans and critics thought they were poised for stardom, but for whatever reason, Rose Windows couldn’t sustain. Thankfully, guitarist/vocalist Cheveyo has rebounded with another band—formerly called dræmhouse, now eponymous and featuring keyboardist Lauren Rodriguez, bassist Ray McCoy, and ex–Midday Veil drummer Garrett Moore—that realizes his nuanced, hook-intensive rock with an amiable, hazy proficiency. Shedding Rose Windows’ bombast and turmoil for an easygoing sweetness that hints at George Harrison’s solo output and Marc Bolan’s dreamier songs, Cheveyo blooms auspiciously in a whole new way on his debut album, dreamhouse. DAVE SEGAL
West Seattle Summer Fest
Some of Seattle's favorite bands will head out to the West Seattle Junction for this summer's festival: Thunderpussy, SassyBlack, Wiscon, Porter Ray, CHARMS, Lisa Prank, and many more. If you know any of these names, you can tell it's a lineup of pop, soul, rock, hiphop, and punk talent. There will also be a market: If previous years are anything to go by, one can eat tasty fried food, watch clowns be unintentionally creepy, learn about sustainability, and play giant Jenga.
Algiers with Newaxeyes
It’s tough to quantify just how original and vital Algiers are in the current pop-music zeitgeist. One could think of the band as a kind of firmware update bringing soul music into the internet age, but that would be overly simplistic. On their self-titled debut, the band mixed the Stax Records vocal style with a sound palette owing to Los Angeles punk and the Chicago industrial tradition. On their new follow-up, The Underside of Power, the band sounds energized. Their choruses beg for relistening, and the lyrics in songs like “Cleveland” are remarkably poignant. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Debacle x AP Present: Pharmakon, Cruel Diagonals, Blessed Blood
The artwork for Contact, noise artist Margaret Chardiet’s latest as Pharmakon, is striking—a close-up of Chardiet’s face being overwhelmed by a mass of greasy hands. Like Pharmakon’s music, the image’s effect is visceral and immediate. Contact takes its inspiration in part from trance states, but it’s nothing like the common perception of meditative music: curdled squalls of noise, lugubrious metallic drones, and Chardiet’s partially sung, mostly screamed vocals abound. (The first line of the artist statement—“Man is a rabid dog, straining at its leash of mortality with bared teeth”—gives a good sense of the prevailing mood.) Pharmakon’s live performances, which are known for breaking down the space between performer and audience, are all confrontation and physicality. ANDREW GOSPE
An Evening with Cowboy Junkies
Cowboy Junkies are about 30 years into their career and, even though they’re playing sizable halls like the Neptune, they still don’t get the respect they deserve. Ryan Adams and his ilk became the face of folk’s second coming, but this Toronto quartet arguably kicked off the genre’s resurgence with their landmark 1988 LP, The Trinity Session. Submitted as evidence: a whole lot of recent folk and country poets, including Adams, guested on the 2007 re-recording of that album. Singer Margo Timmins still sounds like she’s vocalizing from some parallel reality separated from ours by a muslin-thick membrane on the group’s most recent album, 2012’s The Wilderness. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Grace Love, Zealyn, Amandala
Not to over-editorialize, but Grace Love is a thoroughly invigorating vocal powerhouse and a Seattle treasure, and she deserves all of our money. KIM SELLING
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Remember when Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett were married? That was weird. Anyway, here's prolific country crooner Lyle and his massive band. They'll be playing a full set as a part of Chateau Ste. Michelle's summer concert series, with charm enough that's sure to please even the most cynical of old school country music enthusiasts.
More than a year after his too-early exit from this mortal coil, Prince continues to be mourned by millions of fans. Partially salving those wounds are the Revolution, the funk/rock/soul legend’s backing band during his peak era: the late 1970s to the mid ’80s. They helped to manifest the towers of song that constitute 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, and Parade. Now magnanimously reunited, the Revolution consist of Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Dr. Fink, Brown Mark, and Bobby Z. You can be sure they’ll proficiently run through an arsenal of deathless hits and deep cuts that will thrill grieving Prince loyalists, all of whom are bound to get delirious. DAVE SEGAL
Vera's Super Sweet 16
All-ages music and art venue Vera Project is poised to celebrate their 16th year with a wild party full of local musical talent, including live performances from Bobby's Oar, Casual Hex, Emma Lee Toyoda, Ghoulaveli, Girl Teeth, Hoop, Lilac, Michete, Scarves, Shane Diamanti, Sundae Crush, Taylar Elizza Beth, Versing, Whitney Ballen, YURT, and ZELLi. There will also be food trucks, cupcakes, a raffle, and beer for the over-21 crowd.
Unsane, Fashion Week, Glose, Cages
From their beginnings about 30 years ago, Unsane challenged the boundaries of what was expected of the then contemporary underground; they were louder and WAY looser than everyone else. Their first drummer, the late Charlie Ondras, kept a teetering and swaying rhythm, yet somehow always stayed on time under the band’s heaving, nonstop dirges. And with that as their template, Unsane have continued ever since. I’ve seen ’em a few times, but was really lucky to have seen ’em twice in two night in the early 1990s. Anyway, also up tonight will be early-’90s-sounding progressive heaviness from opening groups Fashion Week, Glose, and Cages. Sheesh, I kinda feel bad for all y’all who’ll be tryna get to work Monday morning after this crushfest! MIKE NIPPER