(Rat & Raven) See Sound Check.
Lynne Arriale Trio
(Jazz Alley) In an interview, Lynne Arriale said, "My music comes from a calm place." This is exactly how her music sounds—strangely and effortlessly tranquil. Arriale, who is currently a professor of jazz piano at the University of North Florida, is said to have been drawn into jazz by the work of Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett. What these two masters have in common, and what is extended by Arriale's body of work, is a weakness for beauty. Arriale has also made a huge artistic investment in the format that best captures and expresses the jazz piano: the trio. CHARLES MUDEDE
Posse, Dude York, Neighbors, Blooper
(Funny Button) See Underage.
JJ's 40th Birthday: Hobosexual, the Stumblebums, Springboards
(Blue Moon) Much has been made of the recent venue additions to the University District. Last year the Neptune Theatre and more recently the Rat & Raven emerged, starting both all-ages and 21-plus shows, but Blue Moon honcho Jason Josephes has been holding it down in the hood for years. Tonight is the dude's 40th birthday, and he's got the lineup to prove it—bong-water riffers Hobosexual and New York City punk/trumpet/miasma antagonists the Stumblebums, who are en route to their third (!) Alaskan tour. GRANT BRISSEY See also preview.
The Raincoats, Grass Widow, M. Women
Lucky 2012: Calvin Harris, Goldie, Ed Rush & Optical, ATB, Flux Pavilion, Porter Robinson, Hardwell, more
(WaMu Theater) See Data Breaker.
Magma Fest: Leslie Dalaba, Angelina Baldoz, Paul Rucker, Tari Nelson-Zagar, Paul Hoskin, Beth Fleenor, Stuart Dempster, more
(Chapel Performance Space) Tonight's Magma Fest lineup includes some of the Northwest's most rigorous experimental-music explorers. Perhaps best known of the lot is Stuart Dempster, trombonist for the Deep Listening Band, which features the great minimalist composer/accordionist Pauline Oliveros. Often recording in a massive Port Townsend cistern, Dempster is mainly interested in stately, ethereal drones that morph infinitesimally, suggesting a soundtrack for a utopian eternity of calm and peace. Cellist/bassist Paul Rucker's improvisations and compositions typically are augmented by, in his words, "infrared beams, lasers, touch pads... video, photography, animation, and large-format printing." Sounds and images pun with and complement one another with a cleverly playful intellectual heft. DAVE SEGAL
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Afromassive, DJ DMZ
(Neumos) Seun Kuti is the youngest son of the legendary Afropop king Fela Kuti. He has been making music since he was a boy. Music is the only life he knows. Seun currently leads Egypt 80, a band his father founded in 1979. I have listened to Seun's new album, From Africa with Fury: Rise (coproduced by Brian Eno), a couple of times and reached the conclusion that he is more talented than his brother, Femi Kuti. Seun has a much tighter grip on the densely polyrhythmic sound his father developed. The main difference between Seun and Fela is the latter is much more generous than the former. Seun, like Femi, is a better musician than his father, but his music sounds as if it were made by a tight band, whereas his father's music sounds as if it were made by a loose society. CHARLES MUDEDE
Hoot Hoots, Hollywood Tans
(Rat & Raven) I'm doing everything within my power to hurry along the sunshine and warmer weather. I'm drinking a lot of iced tea, refusing to wear heavy coats, leaving the windows open at night even if the temperatures are still dropping below 40 degrees. I'm sending the message to Mother Nature that I WANT WINTER GONE. I'm also listening to the Hoot Hoots' latest album, Appetite for Distraction, which is the sonic equivalent to a sunny T-shirt-weather day. If you crank songs like "No More Sad Songs" (it has a ukulele!), "Scully" (it's about The X-Files... kinda!), and "Worlds" (a must if you're a fan of the Rentals!), you might be able to trick your brain into thinking it's at least late May, if not early June. The Hoot Hoots' pop songs are that infectiously bright and warm. But it wouldn't hurt to keep popping those vitamin D supplements for a while longer. MEGAN SELING
Seattle Symphony: Renée Fleming
(Benaroya Hall) Renée Fleming, possibly the most famous female opera singer alive, has not been to Seattle since she released her crossover album Dark Hope in 2010—"dark" being as much a description of the songs (covers by artists from Leonard Cohen to Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire) as the fascinating new color of her voice when she's not in that upper register. Tonight, you'll hear her dark and her light. She's doing Ravel and Gounod as well as Ben Gibbard with Seattle Symphony, led by Ludovic Morlot. JEN GRAVES
Stew & the Negro Problem
(Neptune) See Stranger Suggests.
Mark Farina, Pezzner, Michael Manahan, Ramiro, Deep Vibez, Jeromy Nail
(Neumos) See Data Breaker.
Vetiver, Gold Leaves, Cumulus
(Columbia City Theater) Gold Leaves makes more of that mellow, golden-glowed folk rock that pervades Seattle like Starbux franchises. One can grow blasé about this sound (I sure have), but this Gold Leaves fella, Grant Olsen (ex–Arthur & Yu), writes songs in this mode with slightly more craftiness and subtlety than most in the crowded field; "Endless Dope" is especially lovely. The Ornament, his 2011 full-length on Hardly Art, strikes a resonant chord of nonchalant downheartedness à la the immortal Lee Hazlewood. In a similar vein, San Francisco Sub Pop fixtures Vetiver amble and drawl like they have more time to do exactly what they want than you do. Andy Cabic and his crew really know folk-rock history, and they emulate the music's greats with exquisite aptitude and care. DAVE SEGAL
George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic
(Showbox at the Market) George Clinton's perpetual fun(k) machine rolls on, even as the 70-year-old maestro battles legal and (alleged) drug problems. As one of the world's most important conceptualists of funk music, Clinton should be resting comfortably in a palatial beachfront mansion. Instead, he's slogging all around the world with his troupe of diehard funkateers and grinding out the crowd-pleasers and butt-squeezers whose ludicrously lubricious properties can't be denied, even in 2012. The 2010 death of guitarist Garry Shider rocked the mothership, but it's likely the bounty of Clintonian groove bombs shall go off with sloppy panache, regardless. DAVE SEGAL
Vendetta Red, Viper Creek Club, Silicon Girls, Encourager
(Crocodile) Seattle screamers Vendetta Red are confirming their reemergence by releasing new material for the first time in more than six years. Members of the band's last known formation—Zach Davidson, Burke Thomas, and Leif Anderson—reunited in 2010 and brought on bassist Jonah Bergman (of Schoolyard Heroes) for what was supposed to be a one-off reunion show. They must've missed the rock. The band started writing new material, and tonight we finally get to hear it, as they celebrate the release of their new 7-inch. The three-song record features "Blank Screens, etc.," which sounds like what happens when Queen fans listen to a lot of Misfits. MEGAN SELING
Needtobreathe, Ben Rector
(Moore) I only pitched this preview to Dave because I thought, based on the name Needtobreathe, that this would be a fun band to mock. Any band with a name that fucking stupid must be, right? Wrong. I made it halfway through the first video I found on YouTube ("Something Beautiful") and the guy sang these words: "I just want something beautiful to touch me." FUCK YOU, GUY. GRANT BRISSEY
MTNs, Footwork + JMBVM, White Coward, Malaikat dan Singa
(Crocodile) According to the sparse live footage of White Coward—composed of Troy Ayala (Stickers), Anthony Hornyak, and Michael Modene—the trio lash out spastic but calculated drum patterns and distorted guitar and bass slashing. Footwork, who are working with singer Jamey Marie Braden Von Mooter (hence the + JMBVM) for "the duration of 2012," feature plenty of gloriously disjointed and excellently awkward post-punk constructions. Both bands recall something like different versions of a more chaotic and searing Arab on Radar, which I mean as high praise. GRANT BRISSEY
Deicide, Jungle Rot, Abigail Williams, Lecherous Nocturne, Super Happy Story Time Land
(El Corazón) Deicide are playing Seattle on Sunday (WAIT, THAT'S THE LORD'S DAY!) as part of their "March of Death" tour, in support of their 2011 album To Hell with God. The death-metal veterans from the beach-heavy, orange-producing sunny state of Florida continue to make fun of religion at His and His son's expense (THAT WOULD BE GOD AND HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, JESUS) with new songs like "Empowered by Blasphemy" and "Hang in Agony Until You're Dead" and old chestnuts like "Behead the Prophet" and "Kill the Christian." (KILL THE WHAT? YOU CAN'T SAY THAT!) KELLY O
Ying Yang Twins, Vennum the Star, Shorte
(Nectar) Atlanta's Ying Yang Twins saw huge commercial success in the early '00s with a few club smashes and collabs with crunk king Lil Jon that were about one thing: asses getting shook. This Nectar Lounge "Black & White Party" they are hosting and performing at will likely have an equally high level of "bootybootybootybooty rockin' everywhere." People will "Get Low," they will "Shake It Like a Salt Shaker" and "Say I Yi Yi," someday fans may even "Whistle While [They] Twurk." I have no idea what it means that this will all be happening in Fremont on a Sunday, however. MIKE RAMOS
(Benaroya Hall) All new music performed by an orchestra, each piece a story, seven composers—all of whom work in film and/or video games. These artists work for themselves, they work for independent film directors, they work for Hasbro and Nickelodeon, Dreamworks and Electronic Arts. The organizers are Glenna Burmer, composer, author, and MD/PhD (!), and Tim Huling, founder of Seattle's Composition Lab and creator of a recently premiered tone poem based on Moby-Dick, as well as theatrical trailer music for The Passion of the Christ (!!). JEN GRAVES
Robert Schwartzman, the Relationship, Bellamaine
(Vera) See Underage.
The Magnetic Fields, Holcombe Waller
(Neptune) See preview.
The Magnetic Fields, Bachelorette
Dyme Def, the Th3rdz, Peta Tosh
(White Rabbit) Fremont's White Rabbit only recently started booking hiphop shows at its small-but-comfortable venue, but it seems like the place might pop off for this show by Dyme Def, the local rap trio "known to Rocca House Party at the drop of a hat." Their excellent return-to-form Yuk the World album is still available for streaming on SoundCloud, so familiarize yourself if you're still sleeping on it for some reason. Opening are Candidt, JFK, and Xperience's joint project Th3rdz, who have steadily been rocking crowds around town with their seasoned-vet rhyme styles. MIKE RAMOS
Drive-By Truckers, Robert Ellis
(Showbox at the Market) The Drive-By Truckers are pretty much exactly what their name sounds like. They're from Athens, Georgia, their fans call them "the Truckers," and they're signed to Dave Matthews's label. They play pretty damn straightforward country/Southern rock. Pictures of them make me want to send them bottles of shampoo. But if you want an excuse to wear your jean jacket with a flag on the back, come on down. Apparently, their lyrics are super-meaningful to lots of people. I just couldn't catch them through the twang. Opener Robert Ellis sounds simple and sweet—just another one of those boys with guitars. ANNA MINARD