Portland surf punks Guantanamo Baywatch stand out among the billing for this weekend's Freakout Festival.
Despite the unfathomable darkness that is a Pacific Northwest winter, there exists a flickering light illuminating a pathway through to the end: the fluorescence of a poorly lit green room at each of the local venues hosting these excellent live music shows this week. We've got a wide variety of acts to help you shake off the early winter blues, from a probable ghost and definite talent (Susanne Sundfør), to the progeny of an icon making good (Dhani Harrison), to double digits of local notables fleshing out your weekend plans (Freakout Festival). Follow the links below for ticket links and music clips, and find even more on our music calendar.

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Joe Waine, Cave Clove, Sundae Crush
Tender experimental ambient art-pop weirdo Joe Waine will play some tracks off of his summer release Pantomime, with local support from Cave Clove and Sundae Crush.

Larry June with Guests
Thraxxhouse-affiliated rapper and Bay Area maverick Larry June has appeared on notable Mackned releases and a seven-part mixtape series of his own, and excels in locating a bombastic Atlanta-hewn sound that promotes individuality above all else.

Shout Out Louds, Surf Rock Is Dead
Swedish noise popsters Shout Out Louds, known for their ability to explode like a piñata through any dance party speaker set-up, have returned stateside for a night out with Surf Rock Is Dead.

Susanne Sundfør, Shey Baba
I’m 94 percent sure Susanne Sundfør is a ghost. Outside of her Scandinavian snowdrift skin and lilting nature, her work is disembodied magic of the everyday variety—dust motes in the sunshine, laundry fluttering on the breeze, tiny gestures of a shadow world that make you think twice on who or what surrounds you, the power that the unknown holds, and what will happen when you name it. Her latest album, Music for People in Trouble, incorporates horror-movie synth effects, skittering across funerary string arrangements and punctuating moments of emotional duress after she falls silent. Around each dark corner of song’s end, her strong, clear voice acts as a revenant, returning to implore you again to ruminate on the tragedies of love and of self. As Sundfør trills on “Undercover,” “Don’t love the ones who trust you / It’s just not in your heart / You’re a teasing little twister / And they’re dancers in the dark.” KIM SELLING


Ibeyi, theMIND
If you haven’t already joined Beyoncé and the bedazzled bandwagon in crushing hard on the French-Cuban, Lemonade-featured chanteuses of Ibeyi (“twins” in their Yoruba mother tongue), then there’s your music hack for the day. Early in their 20s, Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz have just released their sophomore full-length, Ash, which exclaims their deathlessness and explains why their electro-pop syncopations are able to move mountains. Their timbre-forward layers of tension and harmony, giant-stomping beat drops, and parables of pathos are all immersive qualities that will drown worries that you’ve carried for years and baptize your soul in the river called transcendence. ZACH FRIMMEL

Industrial Revelation with Marina Albero, Happy Orchestra, Urban Ghost
The group has four members—D'Vonne Lewis (drums), Evan Flory-Barnes (bass), Josh Rawlings (keyboards), and Ahamefule J. Oluo (trumpet). All are trained primarily as jazz musicians and play in a number of jazz bands and venues around town. However, IR's 2013 album Oak Head makes it clear that when these four men make music together, they cannot be classified as a jazz band. IR have a sound that is not determined by one genre, but instead is overdetermined by multiple genres—hiphop, indie rock, punk, soul, and so on. But here is what makes IR truly unique and worthy of the status of Genius: Their mission as musicians is not to save jazz or to be relevant to younger audiences. Absent from their live shows and two albums is exactly that kind of desperation and scheming. What we hear instead are tunes composed and performed by four very talented musicians who are naturally, effortlessly, constantly inventive. CHARLES MUDEDE


Denver-based indie rock quartet DeVotchKa will bulk up their intimate melodies by joining forces with the Seattle Orchestra.

Gwar, Ghoul, He Is Legend, U.S. Bastards
Damn it, I love GWAR! I mean, they lose their frontman and original founding member, Dave Brockie, aka “Oderus Urungus” (he died in 2015 of a heroin overdose), and what do they do after 13 albums and 30-some years as a band? They fucking carry on! They go on tour in honor of their fallen comrade! Brockie would undoubtedly be proud that his blood-and-guts-spewing thrash metal freak show from Richmond, Virginia, refused to lie down and die with Oderus. Instead, they replaced their irreplaceable leader from “Planet Scumdogs” with a singer/bassist dude named “Berserker Blóthar” and lead singer lady named “Vulvatron.” The latter is an inspiration—more warrior than princess. She’ll probably become the number-one motivator for young girls who dream of starting heavy-metal bands. Oh, yeah, and her gigantic boobs spray blood—totally and perfectly GWAR. KELLY O

Hamilton Leithauser, Courtney Marie Andrews
It’s cliché to attribute a singer’s rough voice to hard living—booze, cigarettes, drugs, or all three. For Hamilton Leithauser, the act of singing itself sounds like enough to do permanent damage. He less sings melodies than attacks them with a throat-shredding, vein-bulging intensity more typical of rock music where the audience wears all black. The Walkmen would have been just another forgettable 2000s indie-rock band without him. As a solo artist, Leithauser could still use a lozenge, but pleasantly retro-pop production from former Vampire Weekend multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij puts that voice in a welcome new context. ANDREW GOSPE

Kishi Bashi, Tall Tall Trees
Not unlike the experience of going crazy on the froyo condiments bar, where you may start to worry that you've exceeded beyond the far corners of what will taste good together, Kishi Bashi—pseudonym for violinist K. Ishibashi (formerly of influential pop outfit Of Montreal)—combines dabbles of Eastern-influenced, avant-noise pop, '70s prog ballads, and experimental improv. It's a feat, but sometimes that sprinkle/mochi/chocolate-chip/coconut-pearl concoction can be a mysteriously perfect slam dunk of melting, unexpected flavors. BREE MCKENNA


Jazz Innovations, Parts I & II
Led by a mentoring faculty team of professional musicians, UW student jazz ensembles will pay homage to the many varied icons of jazz and tackle new and progressive orchestral jazz compositions.


Dead Boys, Dreadful Children, Wiscon, the Drowns
Holy SHIT! One of Cleveland’s greatest exports and THE standard for the rawest punk, the Dead Boys are playing Seattle! They’ve had a few reunions since splitting in 1979, but this tour celebrates the 40th anniversary of their debut LP, Young Loud and Snotty, and to promote the rerecording of it. The lineup consists of original members Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz, along with friends Jason Kottwitz, Ricky Rat (ex-Trash Brats), with Jake Hout singing. Hout is from a zombie-themed Dead Boys tribute group the Undead Boys. Y’all, I’ve seen some live clips, and these guys kill it DEAD! MIKE NIPPER

Giraffage, Sweater Beats, WINGTIP
The Bay Area artist born Charlie Yin rose to some fame with remixes of R. Kelly, Janet Jackson, and Tinashe. He’s even behind a 2015 earworm that ended up in an Apple commercial. His easygoing sound teeters between soulful electronica and earnest pop on his third solo LP, Too Real. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yin readily admits he defied cultural expectations to pursue a career in music. With a headlining tour to his name, Giraffage likely has made mom and dad proud. GREG SCRUGGS

Jenn Champion, Childbirth, Mirrorgloss, Val Nirgo
Having tried on the noms de guerre Jenn Ghetto (as a member of the late, lamented Carissa's Wierd) and S, this Northwest veteran now comes to us with an appellation as triumphant as her 2014 album, Cool Choices. Not to suggest her songs have abandoned the melancholy nature that made her work so indelible over the years. It's just that now they feel like she's writing about the feelings, mastering them instead of whispering them from the bottom of the well. Her prowess as a writer, player, and singer have become formidable, too. A rose by any other name would rock as hard. SEAN NELSON

Our Lady Peace
Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace will go on tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their album Clumsy, joined by SMSHING HRTS.

Shook Twins, Chris Staples
You can be tricked into thinking that just because you favor a particular cup of tea as a rule, no other teacups will contain liquid that pleases you. Which is to say: I, too, had my doubts about Portland’s Shook Twins, a dusky, country-folk-flavored acoustic group that makes prominent use of a mandolin and—whether this is true or not I have no idea—have a vaguely Christian music, Nickel Creek, hats and suspenders vibe. This is, I realize, a cup of tea adored by many, just not me. But I am a sucker for the super strong, super close vocal harmonies that power every number, sung by the identical-twin bandleaders that give the band its name. And when I chanced to hear the lines “If I only had a window to the ’60s / All the people we’d meet / All the acid we’d eat,” I remembered that under the right circumstances, there are good surprises to be found in unlikely mugs. If you’re on board with the Shook Twins, though, or for that matter if you’re in the Shook Twins, let me please urge you to show up early enough to catch Chris Staples, one of Seattle’s most precious musical resources and one of the most quietly ingenious pop songwriters currently drawing breath. SEAN NELSON


Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets in Concert with the Seattle Symphony
The Seattle Symphony will take on the cultural phenomenon with a performance of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, providing the audience with a chance to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen amid John Williams’ unforgettable score.


Arctic Light II: Northern Exposure
Heavily lauded Finnish choral director Timo Nuoranne will direct a program of sacred Nordic works from the Euro-Arctic countries of Finland, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Bushwick Book Club: Lindy West's Shrill
Local artists and musicians will perform original music inspired by and based on local hero and ex-Stranger staffer Lindy West’s critically acclaimed memoir Shrill.

Cannibal Corpse, Power Trip, Gatecreeper
For nearly 30 years, Cannibal Corpse have thrived on the dichotomy of knuckle-dragging metal and depraved imagery delivered in a very disciplined, proficient, and melodically sophisticated manner. Controversial album art and gruesome lyrics might provide the initial lure, but the band flourished throughout the peaks and valleys of death metal’s popularity on the strength of their intricate instrumentation and inhuman stamina. Gatecreeper take a streamlined approach to death metal, eschewing its more disorienting and complex attributes in favor of sheer blunt force. And the unhinged live show of crossover thrash kings Power Trip is not to be missed. BRIAN COOK

Karl Blau Album Release and In-Store Performance
Anacortes singer-songwriter, major Northwest music scene fixture, and K Records stalwart Karl Blau will release his new album, Out Her Space, on Bella Union Records this November, and will celebrate with a live, free, and all-ages in-store performance.

The Peacers, Flat Worms, Feed, Tissue
Yet another of Drag City's casually brilliant rock groups, Peacers achieve a slack cool in their gently distorted nuggets. Their two albums aren't mind-blowing, but if you fancy Pavement, Guided by Voices, and Ty Segall in reflective mode (he's an ex-Peacer, btw), then Peacers will put a modest spring in your step. Get to Lo-Fi early for Feed and Tissue, two of Seattle's more interesting rock bands. The former—featuring ex members of Rose Windows and Ubu Roi—forge powerful, distorted tunes that sometimes sound like Monster Magnet going motorik. The latter—starring ex-Stickers saxophonist/vocalist Gabi Page-Fort and Unnatural Helpers' drummer Dean Whitmore—write songs that swerve with artful abandon and burn oddly alluring melodic shapes into your brain. DAVE SEGAL

SF9 are one of the vastly popular boy groups in South Korea right now. What sets them apart is that they were formed by FNC Entertainment as the company's first dance-centric boy group. They debuted on October 5, 2016 with the release of their first album Feeling Sensation, and are now touring the U.S. to promote their latest single, "O Sole Mio."

Shigeto, Ela Minus, FKL
Across seven years of releases on Ghostly International, Zachary “Shigeto” Saginaw has settled into a comfortable niche. His tracks combine elements that typify Ghostly’s roster (organic IDM textures, gently thumping down-tempo beats, lustrous production), but with enough odd touches to feel wholly personal. Latest record The New Monday is Shigeto’s most scattered, with Saginaw’s sonic palette exploding in new directions—rappers appear on some tracks, jazz saxophonists on others, and still others are forays into shivery techno. His engaging drum-kit-and-electronics live show, however, continues to stand out from left-field electronica’s hordes of complacent button-mashers. ANDREW GOSPE

Taj Mahal Quartet
So. The Apocalypse. I didn’t get much sleep, either. The Walking Dead’s squish crunch munch still stung mean if no longer fun, but didn’t quite finger the zeitgeist. The Leftovers hit harder with nothing to grab onto—everything looks the same, including the cops, but nobody knows exactly what the rules, or if the rules, might be. So anyone anytime can throw a punch. Anyone might fall bloodied. Listen to Taj Mahal sing “Celebrated Walkin’ Blues,” which he lifted from Robert Johnson. He starts out with nothing but shoes and proceeds to survey the landscape in those lyrics and a great deal about the universe with that mandolin. Macrocosm in microcosm. Joy from deep in a rut. We’ll need those. ANDREW HAMLIN (Through Nov 26)


Freakout Festival 2017
What’s better than the Mothers of Invention’s debut album Freak Out!? A 34-band, Ballard takeover where you can infinitely freak out under the influences of Porter Ray’s flow-and-beatsmith hiphop, plus enjoy Smokey Brights’ synthy riff rock. Where Charms’ shoegaze-y thrash-rock will charm your pants off. Where Cumulus’ sad-song jams will pinch you on cloud nine. Where Taylar Elizza Beth’s seamlessly fitting, legato-lipped rap will impress even a tailor. And where Acid Tongue’s fuzzy licks and quips will take you on a trip. If that’s not convincing enough then My Goodness (also playing), I don’t know what is. ZACH FRIMMEL

Noah Gundersen
Hometown boy gone good Noah Gundersen will bring his bittersweet folk to the Neptune for two nights in celebration of his latest studio LP, White Noise. Support will come from Phoebe Bridgers on Friday and the Hollers on Saturday.


Cataldo, iji, Ings, Emma Lee Toyoda
Cataldo have been lying low for the past few years, but they’re back now, first with a new video (“Photograph”), then a new album (Keepers). Their latest is a breath of fresh indie, pulling skeins of folksy Arthur Russell–adjacent influences together to braid a relaxing summer sound that’s only a little bit fussy. KIM SELLING

Chicano Batman, Khruangbin, the Shacks
Chicano Batman have that great organ sound that Question Mark and the Mysterians had when Question Mark and the Mysterians pretty much invented garage rock—but they throw in more modern touches, some of which work (skittery guitar) and some not so well (the vocals seem a little affected). I dig the organ, though, and the funky stuff, and their quiet stabs at dry humor (the new album is called Freedom Is Free). And they cover “This Land Is Your Land,” funked-up, synth-squiggled, and with Spanish lyrics. This land should be fun, after all. ANDREW HAMLIN

Cold Specks, La Timpa
It’s surprising that “doom soul” singer/songwriter/guitarist Cold Specks isn’t playing a bigger venue on this tour. Hearing her 2012 debut album, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion, I expected her to rocket to mid-level stardom; shouldn’t she be packing the Showbox by now? (She did play Joni Mitchell’s 70th birthday party last year—cred!) But three years later, this Canadian anti-diva is back at Barboza, supporting their Mute Records LP Neuroplasticity. The spare, melancholy yet redemptive folk-pop she explored on Expulsion has been replaced with a fuller, more bombastic approach on the new one. The gloom has partially lifted, but Cold Specks hasn’t gone all happy and shiny on Neuroplasticity—not with Swans’ Michael Gira guesting on “Exit Plan,” she hasn’t. The newer songs—co-arranged by Jim Anderson—bear a dignified orchestral-rock ebb and flow, with Cold Specks’ voice soaring to new heights of emotive resonance. Don’t be shocked if you see her opening for Nick Cave in the near future. DAVE SEGAL

Diminished Men, Ghidra, Hound Dog Taylor's Hand
For ten years now, Diminished Men have been one of Seattle’s best bands. I say this every time I write about the long-running trio, hoping that it will increase their fanbase. So far, my advocacy hasn’t nudged Diminished Men much higher in people’s consciousness, but I’m not going to stop now. The group’s problem might be their tendency to rarely employ vocals, but that’s a strength in my book. What Diminished Men—drummer Dave Abramson, guitarist/bassists Simon Henneman and Steve Schmitt—excel at is eerie, ominous jazz rock that evokes myriad noirish cinematic scenarios. Their music occupies that strange zone where electric-era Miles Davis, Ennio Morricone’s ’60s and ’70s soundtracks, surf rock, and Can at their Tago Mago-est intersect. It’s no surprise that Alan Bishop’s Abduction Records issues their records; Diminished Men reflect Bishop’s omnivorous impulse to hybridize various styles into distinctive compositions. There’s much mystery in Diminished Men’s sound—as well as in their relative lack of notoriety. DAVE SEGAL


Dhani Harrison, Summer Moon, Mereki
Imagine the pressure of being the son of the guy who wrote “Taxman,” “Within You Without You,” “Wah Wah,” the Wonderwall OST, and dozens of other deathless songs and albums. Daunting! But Dhani Harrison seems unfazed by it all. He’s carved out a busy career as a film composer and as frontman for dreamy alt-rockers thenewno2, while also contributing to The Beatles: Rock Band video game. Now at 39, he’s finally dropping his solo debut LP, IN///PARALLEL, whose subtly unsettling electronic soundscapes hew closer to Nine Inch Nails and Massive Attack than they do the Beatles or All Things Must Pass. IN///PARALLEL’s sound design is exquisite and its moods subliminally affecting. Tonight Harrison will play material from that, some of his soundtrack work, and thenewno2 songs. DAVE SEGAL

Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Concert: Zakir Hussain
Few things in life surpass the pleasure of witnessing an exalted tabla player, and tonight Seattle is blessed by world-class Indian musician Zakir Hussain. The son of tabla great Alla Rakha, Hussain has caressed the small Indian drums with Shakti, Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, and Diga Rhythm Band. His byzantine structures and chakra-aligning tonalities intertwine in cosmic synchronicity and proceed with quicksilver fluidity. Prepare to spend most of the night with your mouth agape as your mind reels to one of the most enchanting instruments humanity has ever conceived. DAVE SEGAL

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