This week, our arts critics have recommended the best events in every genre—from the third annual Big BLDG Bash to a Corinne Bailey Rae concert to Bad Jokes, a comedy show with a Filipino menu from Geo Quibuyen. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

Want this in your inbox? Sign up for the Stranger Things To Do newsletter.

Seattle International Film Festival
During the second full week of the 42nd annual Seattle International Film Festival, there are 33 films that are recommended by Stranger critics. See them all here, and make sure not to miss Home Care, Uncle Howard, Sonita, The Girl Who Saved My Life, and Checks and Balances.

The Obsessed
Silver-haired man-mountain Scott “Wino” Weinrich strikes a thoughtful tone when asked why he’s reconvened stoner-rock forebears the Obsessed for their first tour this century. “The reality was, it just took the right people,” Weinrich says of the trio’s new lineup, which features bassist Dave Sherman and drummer Brian Costantino. “Now, I’m totally into it, playing the old songs.” Thing is, they don’t sound old: Powered by Weinrich’s stirring, heart-on-sleeve-even-though-he-doesn’t-wear-sleeves vocals and inimitable riffing, there’s a timeless quality to the Obsessed catalog, even if they haven’t released a new record since 1994’s The Church Within. Mass is back in session. JASON BRACELIN

Comedy Nest Open Mic
he rules of this pro-lady stand-up night are refreshing in their simplicity: no misogyny, racism, homophobia, hatred, or heckling. Tonight's show features Arielle Norman, who "talks a lot about vaginas, lesbian stuff, racial tension, God, poop, and other awkward sex things, but in clever and deceptively subversive ways."

Patte Loper: Seeking Higher Ground
In one of the final installations ever to materialize at Suyama Space, which closes at the end of this year, Patte Loper offers two sides of a historical mess, the one we call Seattle. Referencing the early-20th-century adventure of the slicing off of downtown's hills and the contemporary absurdity of blowing a tunnel the size of the sky out from underneath that same downtown, Loper uses construction materials, video, paint, and sculpture to evoke models of things that can never be built and yet won't disappear. We are always Seeking Higher Ground. It is in the past, as in the holdout hills of homeowners, or it is in the future, as in the places we'll run to when warm oceans swallow coastal lands. We are never now; we are always modeling. Here are the skeletons we pretend are living things. JEN GRAVES (Through Friday)

Women on the Brink
Filmmaker Tracy Rector organized this group show of installation, film, photography, music, and writing by women artists—often artists who have been making work in private for a long time and needed somebody to tell them how good it was. You will see drums hand-stretched and masterfully painted by Margie Morris (Tlingit), Melissa Ponder's iconic photographic portraits, Eliaichi Kimaro's encaustic paintings breathing with life, plus wall paintings, films, and Rector's own contribution, red butterflies she's stenciling across Capitol Hill. Wherever one appears, that's a place where a woman was raped or murdered. Across this show, Rector makes visible what's already there, sometimes painfully, sometimes triumphantly. JEN GRAVES (Closes Saturday)

Lamb of God
Heavy metal has grown increasingly hermetic, largely preaching its black gospel to the already converted. This explains why the genre has birthed so few arena acts over the past decade, and why metal-centric summer outings like Ozzfest and Mayhem Fest have fallen by the wayside like the billions of empty beer cups left in their wake. But third-wave thrashers Lamb of God are a leading light in these dark times, regularly notching albums in the top 10 of the Billboard album chart, quite the feat for a bunch of math-metal aficionados once named Burn the Priest. On Lamb of God’s current tour, they’re bringing along fellow gateway acts Clutch, whose bluesy bombast is as wild and woolly as frontman Neil Fallon’s lumberjack beard, and Corrosion of Conformity, who’ve reunited with singer/guitarist Pepper Keenan to shake the dirt from their Southern-rock roots. JASON BRACELIN

Trashcan Sinatras
So roughly one-third of the songs on the Trashcan Sinatras’ new set, Wild Pendulum, sound like the apocalypse is upon us. One-third sound like the apocalypse is past, no time to run and hide, you either got lucky or got dead. And one-third sound like it’s rushing toward us, but you still have time to not only run and hide but squeeze in a little passion, a little intrigue, by golly. But the songs are not in the “right” order. So you figure out for yourself what they meant by scattering their puzzle pieces. They can still shout and pound and crack wise, though. Listen carefully, and they just might have a line to match their early benchmark: “I love your poetry/But I hate your poems!” ANDREW HAMLIN

PubSci: The Neuroscience of Sex and Gender
Drink beer and learn about the neuroscience of sex and gender with Dr. Atom Lesiak. There will also be trivia, starting at 6 pm, and $1 from every beer purchased will be donated to the Pacific Science Center.

Silent Reading Party
Invented by our own Christopher Frizzelle, the reading party is every first Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. That's when the Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel goes quiet and fills with people with books tucked under their arms. (And, occasionally, a Kindle or two.) By 7 p.m., you often can't get a seat. And there's always free music from 6 to 8 pm. Lately the resident musician is pianist Paul Matthew Moore. He's amazing.

Bellevue Jazz and Blues Festival
The Bellevue Jazz and Blues Festival celebrates creation and their community alike, with free and ticketed events for all ages and tastes. Festival events take place throughout Bellevue, and feature such talents as Shemekia Copeland, Lee Oskar, and Etienne Charles. (Through Sunday)

The Gay Uncle Time
It's an avuncular variety show starring Santa-esque comedian Jeffrey Robert and a rotating cavalcade of local stars, drag queens, storytellers, and weirdos. Get a healthy dose of history, comedy, and song from the gay uncle you always wished you had and his friends you always suspected were up to no good. Get there early if you want a seat—their shows are often filled to capacity, with latecomers turned away. Hey, a room can fit only so many nieces and nephews. Copresented by the Comedy Nest. MATT BAUME

Stick Fly
Intiman Theatre Festival is kicking off its 2016 season, which will focus on U.S. plays written by black women, with Lydia R. Diamond's Stick Fly, a dramedy about an affluent black family living on Martha's Vineyard. Family ties begin to loosen when the sons bring their partners home to meet the fam. The two women—one a white Peace Corps volunteer who taught underprivileged children in the city; the other a black woman who grew up in a wealthy home—argue about the complexities of class, race, and unearned advantages. Over the course of all the butting-of-heads, promises are broken, confessions are made, and family secrets air out. Veteran Shakespearean actor G. Valmont Thomas plays the dad in this, and he's all the reason I need to see this. RS (Through Sun)

Anti-Nowhere League
“We Are THE LEAGUE!!! The ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE!!! DON’T FUCK WITH THE LEAGUE!!!” That’s from the first song on the first Anti-Nowhere League album, released in 1982, and that’s what you need to know. Oh, except that the singer sounds like he started life as an alligator, and they all sound like they should be sweaty in naught but leather jockstraps and executioner’s hoods. (Imagine my shock at the cover’s government-issue oiks.) Wikipedia dubs them “hardcore,” which must horrify the militant Anglophile who turned me on to that first album. “Hardcore” to him stank of unwashed SoCal Levi’s sweat and cheap beer. No, the League were bloody well English, hence his stamp of approval. Well, he’s in Portland, with his wife—my ex. The League? You never can replay your first shit, but they keep grinning. ANDREW HAMLIN

I'd count Christopher Chen's Caught as one of the four smartest / powerfulest / provocativest straight plays I've seen in this town since I took on the job of theater critic back in November. The play is meta-theatrical, but in a meaningful way—less of a self-flagellating/self-congratulatory annoying ouroboros kind of thing and more of a flower blooming out of another flower kind of thing. It's about Western responses to Chinese dissident art. Sort of. It's also about relative pain. It's also about how the truth is a collaborative fiction, and about how nobody can really know anyone else. Importantly, it's about an hour and a half long, tops. Go see it. RICH SMITH (Through Sunday)

9 Circles
Strawberry Theatre Workshop presents 9 Circles, a play by Bill Cain that likens the civilian trial of Steven Dale Green to the descent through Dante's nine circles of hell, directed by Greg Carter. (Through Saturday)

Made in Seattle: Cherdonna Shinatra
The inexplicable, fascinating, "female impersonator impersonator" Cherdonna Shinatra (Jody Kuehner) performs an homage to feminist performance artists including Anna Halprin and Janine Antoni. (Through Sunday)

Paint Your Wagon
Lerner and Loewe's Paint Your Wagon is musical about a bunch of lovelorn, lonely, and gold-lusting '49ers getting into scrapes on their way out West. There's a lot of grab-your-hoe-and-off-we-go sing-a-longs, which are enlivening, but I have a soft spot for "I Was Born Under a Wand'ring Star," which kind of sounds like the Oompa Loompa theme but written and sung by Leonard Cohen. For the show, the 5th Ave. Theatre commissioned Jon Marans to freshen up the book, which should speed up the story. RICH SMITH (Opens Today)

First Thursday Art Walk
Once a month, Seattleites flock to the streets in Pioneer Square for a chance to stroll, sip on booze, and attend as many art openings as possible at First Thursday. It's the city's central and oldest art walk, and takes place in a historic neighborhood known for its abundance of galleries. Wine and hobnobbing will steal the scene for some, but at its core, it's an impressive communal unveiling of new artwork. This month, don't miss the opening receptions for Pat De Caro's Foreign Shores exhibit at Gallery4Culture, Sherry Markovitz's Time to Take a Walk exhibit at Greg Kucera Gallery, and the Simple Means exhibit at SOIL.

Internet Meditations: Nat Evans
This edition of Internet Meditations, a workshop-style art experience embracing/commenting on technology, is called On Stick Gong. They say: "On Stick Gong is a internet-based guided meditation by Seattle sound artist and composer Nat Evans. Through a series of text and sonic directives, participants will explore the outer reaches of online sharing, the barnacles of sentimentality, screens as the new fires to tell stories around, and digital cartography. Music, sound, and a series of scents will drift through to tie the experience together."

Deli Man with Goldbergs’ Deli
You can't watch a movie about Jewish deli food without some nosh, so Stroum already invited Seattle's Goldbergs' Deli to cater this screening of the 2014 documentary Deli Man, about the history of American delicatessens.

Seattle StorySLAM
A live amateur storytelling competition in which audience members who put their names in a hat are randomly chosen to tell stories on a theme (this week, it's "grudge"). Local comedians tend to show up, but lots of nonperformers get in on the action as well.

The Central Comedy Show
It's a monthly stand-up showcase at Gallery 1412, featuring talent from across the Pacific Northwest. This month features former Seattleite and current LA-based comedian Andy Haynes, who has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and his own Comedy Central Half Hour, with support from comedians including Wilfred Padua.

Corinne Bailey Rae
You could be forgiven if, upon first listening to early Corinne Bailey Rae songs like “Like a Star” and “Put Your Records On” (her biggest hit), you were lulled into a peaceful, almost bored state by her gossamer voice and soft jazz stylings. But listen more closely, and you’ll find a voice that’s soulful and richly textured, as well as music and emotions that grow more complex with time. Rae’s last album, The Sea, was haunted by the accidental death of her young husband and went to darker places, but it was still a commercial success. Her latest, The Heart Speaks in Whispers, featuring collaborations with KING and Esperanza Spalding, reaches in new directions, creating a lush R&B-tinted landscape. “Tell me you’re on fire,” she sings on “Tell Me,” a standout track. “Tell me that you’re right where you belong.” ANGELA GARBES

Atmospheric noise-rock band Darto have been making #dark ripples through the local weird-music scene the past couple of years. Transitioning from full-on Slint worship—with a noisy guitar-driven sound marked by spooky spoken-word vocals—to something altogether moodier and more sinister over time, Darto recently had a lineup change, including the addition of an omnichord.... A slew of promising experimental/punk local acts round out the bill, so come early and stay weird. BRITTNIE FULLER

Back in their early-’80s heyday, Discharge’s atonal jams registered like a series of screaming air-raid sirens: shrill, panic-inducing, a dire warning of imminent danger. Thirty-plus years later, these crusty British hardcore pioneers are still prophesizing nuclear annihilation and “Looking at Pictures of Genocide” on new record End of Days, their first in eight years. One of the most influential bands of their ilk (Metallica covered ’em even!), Discharge are joined on their current tour by a pair of bastard offspring: Louisiana feedback fetishists Eyehategod and local badasses Toxic Holocaust. Duck and cover. JASON BRACELIN

Moon Darling
Moon Darling’s Dreams EP is the debut release on new Seattle label Freak Out. (Freak Out is also releasing a cassette version of Newaxeyes’ original score to Alien from Northwest Film Forum’s Puget Soundtrack series this summer.) Anyway, Dreams finds this local quartet dealing in wide-eyed, melodic psychedelia that tweaks your nostalgia ganglia for Stone Roses’ more subdued moments and those early My Morning Jacket joints. Moon Darling’s is a fluid, controlled strain of psych rock that encourages you to mellow the fuck out and hum a pretty tune while you’re horizontal on a grassy knoll at night. DAVE SEGAL

Weird Room’s First Anniversary
Seattle’s most claustrophobic techno night celebrates its first anniversary with a stacked lineup of residents and guest DJs who’ve made Weird Room the intense blast it’s become. Held in the absurdly tiny room at the back of Capitol Hill bar Nacho Borracho, Weird Room draws avid heads who are into late-night/wee-morning minimal/experimental vibes. All the DJs on this bill have enough killer cuts on their hard drives and record bags to make you forget we’re in the most nerve-racking shitshow of an election year since the advent of television. Bring on the disorientation, selectors! DAVE SEGAL

Adam Haslett in Conversation with Christopher Frizzelle
A publicist for Imagine Me Gone recently described it as "the best novel I've ever worked on." Then I read it, and I couldn't believe how good it was. Full disclosure: I've known Adam Haslett personally for a decade—and he has contributed several pieces to The Stranger over the years. But Imagine Me Gone is extraordinary, even more gripping and devastating than his novel Union Atlantic and his debut collection of short stories, You Are Not a Stranger Here, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Imagine Me Gone centers on a white male character so racked with guilt and sadness about the horrors of white supremacy that he can hardly function. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

We Are All Here: Poetry Reading
A poetry reading inspired by/connected to the Path with Art exhibit We Are All Here, a group show of collages, self-portraits, and photography by student artists.

PNB: American Stories
PNB presents a trio of bouncy fun numbers from three massively influential choreographers: Fancy Free by Jerome Robbins, Square Dance by George Balanchine, and Waiting at the Station by Twyla Tharp. Combining classic movement with elements of swing, square, and tap dancing brings a distinctly American air to what's too often perceived as a stuffy genre. And if you get tipsy enough before the show, I'm willing to bet you might feel loose enough to engage in a little primo chair dancing—one of America's other great contributions to the world of dance. Also, Noelani Pantastico will be struttin' in all three pieces, and she's the fucking best. RS (Through June 12)

Spin the Bottle
This is Seattle's longest-running cabaret and has seen just about everything—dance, theater, comedy, paper airplanes, tears, stunts, music, romance—from just about everyone.

OUT-SPOKEN is Whim W'Him Contemporary Dance's third program of the season, featuring choreography by James Gregg, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Olivier Wevers. The performances will be set to new, original music created specifically for each piece. (Through Sat)

2016 Ned Behnke Annual Lecture with Artist Jefferson Pinder
An annual celebration/talk in honor of Ned Behnke, featuring Chicago-based artist Jefferson Pinder, who explores African-American experiences and struggles through theatrical installations, video, and choreography.

Arbor Labor Union
Initially and superficially, new Sub Pop band Arbor Labor Union hit you like a denimy blue-collar rock machine with slightly agitated white-guy vocals à la Protomartyr, Tyvek, and their ilk. But repeated listens to Arbor Labor Union’s bracing debut album, I Hear You, reveal a group that slyly slots into the headier mantra-rock canon wherein sinewy riffs repeat intensely until a kind of satori occurs—think Neu!’s “Lilac Engel,” Endless Boogie, and certain Monster Magnet and Volcano Suns songs. Sure, I received the memo that we’re supposed to be utterly over four white guys rocking out in 2016, but Arbor Labor Union redeem the template for just a little while longer. They may be in the gutter culturally and sonically, but there’s a bedraggled strain of transcendence lurking in ALU’s musical DNA. Don’t give up on them before you’ve even heard ’em. DAVE SEGAL

DUG: Rare Funk Dance Party
With its funk, hiphop, uh… kids’ records, and boogie, DUG is one of my fave DJ nights in town and an all-around kickass night of dancing. MIKE NIPPER

Fauna Shade
Everett, a town that I completely forget about when I’m not mistaking it for Edmonds, has been moving on up over the last five years with the Everett Music Initiative, which aims to foster and support the music community within city limits without having to rely on larger cities for cultural outsourcing. One of the jewels in the EMI crown of up-and-coming Everett bands is Fauna Shade, a snarling, tonally dualistic mass of heavily reverbed scratch-crooning, easily at home in a dank (from both weed and weather) basement, as in a sun-dappled sylvan grove. It’s the sonic equivalent of getting hammered alone outside while you wander around reflecting on your summer bummers. KIM SELLING

Iska Dhaaf
With a band name that translates loosely to “let it go” (in Somali), Nathan Quiroga and Benjamin Verdoes weren’t destined to stay in one place forever. Physically (in Brooklyn) and creatively (in the expanses of indie pop), the former Seattle duo has materialized on new ground with brilliant new art to share. In the realm of The Wanting Creature, their sophomore album, dance and indie rock aren’t mutually exclusive. The seeds of those elements can be found on Dhaaf’s 2014 debut, Even the Sun Will Burn, and Verdoes’s slept-on 2015 solo effort, The One & the Other, though Creature’s burrowing synth bass and polished harmonies in particular threaten to expose them to new heights. Show up early to enjoy sets by fun-loving Portland band Wampire and an extra-rare set from hype-rap third-wavers Champagne Champagne. TODD HAMM

MOTOR: Silent Servant, Raica, IVVY, Archivist, Kirsten Dalen, Mood Organ, Cleanser, Dr. Troy
The MOTOR monthly celebrates four years of increasing the IQ of underworldly dance music fans with this exciting bill. Headliner Silent Servant (LA producer Juan Mendez) holds down the West Coast branch of the minimal-techno juggernaut Sandwell District, fostering a morbid canon of end-times techno, ideal for breaking out in a cold sweat. The titles of his stark, black-hearted 2012 debut album and his 2016 EP on L.I.E.S. sum up his aesthetic: Negative Fascination and Hypnosis in the Modern Age. IVVY (aka Seattle producer Madi Levine) recently dropped their Diamond Eye cassette for MOTOR, a five-track mini album that shatters all your misgivings about minimal techno. The elegant propulsion and intriguing atmospheres of IVVY’s music make you feel as if you’re in for the rocket ride of your life. The rest of the bill reaffirms the depth and strength of Seattle’s experimental-electronic and minimal-techno fields. We are truly living in a golden age. DAVE SEGAL

Bad Jokes
There’s a lot to like about this event, including jokes told by local comedians Elicia Sanchez and Wilfred Padua, and rap music played by indispensable Stranger columnist Larry Mizell Jr. and Andrew Matson, the DJs behind Speckled & Drake’s monthly BAD RAP night. (Full disclosure: I know and love both of those dudes.) But I’d come to this for the food alone, a menu of Filipino dishes made by Geo Quibuyen, one half of the team behind the great Filipino pop-up Food & Sh*t. (Full disclosure: I love Filipino food.) Quibuyen doesn’t shy away from using the more pungent and aggressive ingredients in Filipino cuisine—ingredients like the bitter melon called ampalaya, balut (a boiled egg that contains a mostly developed duck embryo), and the salted shrimp paste bagoong. In fact, he excels at finding new and creative ways to bring out their flavors. ANGELA GARBES

3rd Annual Big BLDG Bash
BLDG delivers for the third year running, with a billion local bands ready to knock your butts off, including Pillar Point, JusMoni, Invisible Hand, Great Spiders, and more.

ArtHaus 2.0 Finals with Max of RuPaul's Drag Race
ArtHaus 2.0 returns for their final competition, i.e. the official battle royale, i.e. the walk-off to end all walk-offs, between Halfway Haus, Bounce Haus, and an as-yet-undetermined third contestant. Max from RuPaul's Drag Race will preside over this inevitable slasher flick, wherein each competing haus will choose their own theme within which to perform. The winning house receives a performance slot in this year's Pride at Seattle Center, a trophy, cash prizes, and bragging rights over all you lesser hos.

Fetish Night
Take yourself out to the ball game at this month's Fetish Night. The theme is "Jocks & Jills," so expect to see some baseball caps and cleats mingling amidst the assless chaps. Anyone in fetish gear gets to skip the line at the door, but adherence to the sports theme is strictly optional. But what if you don't have any sports gear? No problem—just strip down to your undies and shake your rump like a cheerleader's pom-pom. The clothing check benefits the Fireballers softball team, so you can consider yourself slutty for a good cause. (Aside from the cause of getting laid, which is a good one too.) MATT BAUME

Bottlenose Koffins, the Knights of Trash, Porn Bloopers, LoudMotor
Dang, looks like it’s punk night down south, y’all! And the lineup is ALL locals: Bottlenose Koffins are a sing-along, slightly street, pop-punk band. Porn Bloopers play raw and loose rock and roll. LoudMotor play good mid-tempo late-’80s Droogs-style punk. And perhaps the most remarkable band of the bill, the Knights of Trash are a Thee Milkshakes tribute band. Thee Milkshakes were one of Billy Childish’s groups, an early-’80s garage-rock band from England that adhered to strict 1960s production techniques. I’m stoked as a Milkshakes fan knowing Zac from the Statics, maybe the biggest Childish fan I know, is involved, so the tribute will be dead-on! MIKE NIPPER

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop
Love Letter for Fire, the debut from Iron and Wine mastermind Sam Beam and Manchester-based singer, songwriter, and Shearwater associate Jesca Hoop, is pitched somewhere between Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris and Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley. Produced by Portland’s Tucker Martine, the warm, intimate affair features Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and Stranger Genius Award–winning violinist Eyvind Kang. At its worst, there’s an old-school formality to Beam and Hoop’s deliberate give-and-take, but that’s also its biggest strength (in publicity photos, Hoop sports ankle-grazing skirts and buttoned-up blouses). The duo isn’t out to score points with the cool kids, and they’d fail if they did. If anything, they could’ve released this record during the height of the country-rock era, and it would’ve fit right in. KATHY FENNESSY

Rotten Sound
Since its inception, grindcore has taxed nervous systems like a rock-and-roll amphetamine, juicing heavy metal’s pulse to aorta-exploding dimensions. But even under these extreme terms, Finnish battering ram Rotten Sound, perhaps the subgenre’s finest, fiercest act going, is more like a fistful of bathtub crank delivered as cruelly as a goose getting a foie gras feeding tube crammed down its throat. The band’s tellingly titled latest album, total party-ruiner Abuse to Suffer, thoroughly lives up to its title via 18 tracks of breakneck, death-metal-infused savagery. On it, these dudes ironically decry “Inhumane Treatment”—even though that’s precisely what they trade in. JASON BRACELIN

Ted Leo
In recent years, Ted Leo teamed up with the sloth-voiced singer-songwriter Aimee Mann to create cool harmonies, record an album, and tour as the group the Both. It made him sound middle-aged, which technically he is, but it’s difficult to think of him as anything other than the guy who, with albums like Chisel’s 8 a.m. All Day and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists’ Hearts of Oak, managed to turn his charmingly nasal screeching and frantic guitar playing into some of the prettiest, most forcefully rhythmic tunes of the 1990s and early 2000s. When performing live, Leo plugs in just like a guitar to an amp and lets it rip. I’m pretty sure he’s ageless. ANGELA GARBES

Backstreet Bazaar
On the first Sunday of every month, Hillman City Collaboratory throws a little street festival, featuring live music, food, and local artists. HCC is an energetic new place worth visiting.

Mimosas with Mama: Chicago
Mama Tits's show, "30 Minute-ish Chicago," features all your favorite songs from the Broadway show plus some elaborate quick-change drag-queen magic. But that's not all. The musical is just the culmination of the experience: The first half of the two-ish hour experience is a delightful drag cabaret/brunch buffet, with singing, dancing, comedy, and more naughty entendres than you can shake a stick at. And, by popular demand, they've extended it one extra week—so don't miss your chance to see this. MATT BAUME

Kaki King
A routine singer-songwriter Kaki King is not. Her toolbox of guitar techniques includes fanning, finger tapping, flamenco, and other uncommon methods. Put another way, she knows how to get more sounds out of a guitar than almost anyone, and it’s served her pretty well: King has contributed to the Into the Wild and August Rush soundtracks, as well as to albums by the Foo Fighters and Miley Cyrus, plus a collaborative EP with the Mountain Goats. Solo, King’s versatility makes predicting her sound kind of tricky. She’s as adept at pop songs as she is at experimental loops. Always, though, her playing is pyrotechnic. JOSEPH SCHAFER

The Sadies, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet
The Sadies get ornery, their old publicist told me. They come down south of the border (from Toronto, that is) and stomp and jump and sprain ankles and break an occasional tooth, she said—and they get really mad that they’re beyond their socialized health-care program. That was in the days of old. Of course, we now have something resembling what our neighbors to the north have, and we just might get to keep it if we can fend off Big Orange. The Sadies love American country almost as much as they love American punk, although their shows sometimes out-punk their records, and their guitars sometimes out-punk their voices. Co-Canadian conspirators Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet swear they’re not surf. They’re right! Who the hell surfs in Canada? ANDREW HAMLIN