First up, on Friday, March 4, Anti Records artist Jolie Holland plays the Triple Door, in support of her home-recorded 2003 debut, Catalpa, and last year's follow-up, Escondida, a collection of dusty, disquieting musical vignettes that won her critical acclaim aplenty. (An artist has to be doing something distinctive to make cantankerous ol' Tom Waits take notice.) If you've already memorized every note of those two stellar CDs, swing by the merch table, say hi to Jolie's mom, and pick up her limited-edition live disc, encased in a cardboard sleeve featuring art made on her antique lithograph.
Saturday, March 5, you're hitting Ballard Avenue. Local boys the Radio Nationals are serving up two sets at the Tractor Tavern. After laying down some of their own material, the guys will also play as backing band for their new super-best-friend Johnny Hickman (i.e., the other guy who founded Cracker), who is releasing a solo CD, Palmhenge, on April 19. Make sure to show up early: Evangeline opens the bill.
Speaking of the Tractor: If you're a diehard fan of bluegrass, the venue has a new, bluegrass-only mailing list. Shoot a note with your e-mail addy to firstname.lastname@example.org and they'll keep you posted on all the upcoming bluegrass and like-minded old-timey fare making its way to their establishment.
Sunday afternoon, after you've fortified yourself with some biscuits and gravy and a bloody mary, get your lowbrow ass some culture at the Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Avenue, between Pike and Pine). As part of Sacred Cinema, a five-week retrospective of the work of Japanese cinema icon Yasujiro Ozu, the NWFF has invited some notable music types to supply live soundtracks to accompany the silent selections. Today you can savor whatever Dan Tyack and Christine Gunn from Asleep at the Wheel conjure up to complement I Flunked Out… an hour-long flick from 1930 about a student who blows his final exams when the shirt with all his crib notes gets laundered.
Monday, of course, means Octane, Seattle's only weekly rockabilly rave-up, at the Mirabeau Room in lower Queen Anne. Nothing new about that, right? Think again. Effective immediately, the effervescent Jenny Bendel has taken over booking and promotions for Octane. Fear not, faithful ones: DJ Hubba Hubba, tattoo whiz and closet Republican, is still your host for the evening… but if you think you've got a band or other act--be it psychobilly, honky-tonk, surf rock, jump blues, whatever--that suits the pulp-films-and-pomade vibe of Octane, get in touch with Ms. Bendel via email@example.com.
Whew. Lastly, looking toward the future, you might want to set aside some beer and gas money for Sasquatch 2005, Saturday, May 28, at the Gorge. The current lineup includes plenty of acts with Border Radio-reader appeal: Wilco, the Frames, Bobby Bare Jr. , Be Good Tanyas, Ray LaMontagne, and Joanna Newsome.