On the comedown from Capitol Hill Block Party, but still want some live music in your life? Leave your apartment, walk outside, get on the light rail, and head over to one of these 30 shows our music critics recommend for the last week of July, ranging from dawn patrol hold-outs to culturally appropriative metalheads to a whole day of soul and blues legends amidst beautiful wine country. Want even more options? Check out our complete music calendar.
Adele Atkins is not a person. Well, she’s a human being, but what I mean is that she’s more than a person: She’s the answer to a question that all record execs in the world are either asking themselves or ought to be. That question is: “How do I sell physical copies of music when the internet has killed our business?” The answer, apparently, is a really elegiac revival of the Motown sound, and a whole lotta breakup songs. Adele is critic-proof. She’s got a voice like molasses, and her tunes are as lovable as they are mopey, kinda like Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” without all the Sturm und Drang. At this point, you know if you’re going or not. The question is, do you tell your friends? JOSEPH SCHAFER (Through Tuesday)
OTEP, Doll Skin, Fire From the Gods, Kill Closet, Salem Knights
If words can double as weapons, as OTEP frontwoman/human blowtorch Otep Shamaya contends on her band’s latest record, Generation Doom, Shamaya favors the kind mushroom-cloud-laying verbal warfare that might inspire the digging of bomb shelters. One of the few openly lesbian artists in heavy metal, Shamaya confronts gender and identity politics directly and furiously, with a tongue as blue as the corpse of subtlety. Comparing herself to a cross between Mark Twain and Jesse James, Shamaya growls, pants, shrieks and sing-raps over a nü-metal backdrop. Considering how plainly, eagerly sexist much of that subgenre was in its late-’90s heyday, it’s fitting that a feminist flamethrower like Shamaya continues to mine those sounds, turning nü metal on its thick-skulled head all these years later. JASON BRACELIN
2016 Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival
On Monday of this week, enjoy selections from classical composers Edvard Grieg, Sergei Prokofiev, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven, performed by the Seattle Chamber Music Society. On Friday, they will take on selections from classical composers Richard Strauss, Benjamin Britten, Feliz Mendelssohn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Shawn Mendes with James TW
New babyfaced pop sensation on the scene Shawn Mendes brings his Youtube crooning to the WaMu Theater with James TW.
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Since the day I first heard “Another One Rides the Bus,” I have had a deep love and respect for “Weird Al” Yankovic. And as time and pop music moves, um, forward, his parodies and the aural puns-ishment he produces have become a nice throwback to when AM radio and Top 40 charts welcomed novelty songs. I’d guess even into the 1980s, novelty, parody, and answer songs were still radio-friendly genres, but that was wiped away in the ’90s by contemporary pop radio’s homogenization and evident need to be taken seriously. Except maybe for Tenacious D, “Weird Al” is the last, and only, parody/novelty performer allowed on the radio. Anyway, I bet Al’s blistering accordion solos tonight will be most choice and the gargled solo in “Smells Like Nirvana” will be divine. MIKE NIPPER (Through Wednesday)
Yoni & Geti (Why? and Serengeti) with Special Explosion
Apex purveyors of mid-late '00s indie experimentation, Yoni Wolf and David Cohn provide their combined project talents of Why? and Serengeti for a true marriage of dangled lyricism over contemplative plinking, with weird-out visuals to boot. Prepare for a reinvention.
The Psychedelic Furs and The Church
“Heartbreak Beat” is the Psychedelic Furs’ greatest song. From the opening eerie whine to the down-the-block horns to the martial snare to the declaration that “feels like love” is “all that we need,” even as Richard Butler, through his abraded throat, knows he’s settling for what he can settle for. But that’s all he can get “down on my street.” I still don’t think the Furs made a great album [Actually, the first two qualify. —Dave Segal], although as late as 2014, I rode around on Metro with an old-style Walkman trying to parse Mirror Moves. They’re a great singles band, though, and they can put those singles together to make a great show. That’s what matters. Rough beauty. Sadness. ANDREW HAMLIN
Rob Zombie and Korn
Feel fresh terror with the onslaught of heavy metal stalwarts Rob Zombie and Korn as they take on the White River Amphitheater with their terribly-named Return of the Dreads tour.
MOTOR: White Visitation, Bloom Offering, Decoy, T. Wan
Axiom: A MOTOR event is essential to anyone interested in electronic music’s vanguard of DJs and hardware-oriented producers. As his Boiler Room DJ set from last year proves, Mexico’s White Visitation (aka Nicolas Guerrero) possesses a keen ear for techno’s more menacing and abrasive tendencies, all the while maintaining dance-floor momentum. As a producer, White Visitation has released malevolent, convulsively rhythmic techno tracks for excellent labels like L.I.E.S., Blank Slate, and Styles Upon Styles. His claustrophobic slow burner “Delete Forever” is especially memorable. In addition to her great performance at Debacle Fest this year, Seattle producer Bloom Offering (aka Nicole Carr) has been advancing her music in recent months with bracingly nihilistic industrial-techno output, augmented by her take-no-shit vocals. DAVE SEGAL
Puget Soundtrack: Fungal Abyss Present The Devils
Ken Russell’s notorious adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun features the most accurate tagline of all time: “The Devils is not a film for everyone.” That was especially true for the Catholic Church, which took offense at Russell’s depiction of a 17th-century priest with a healthy sexual appetite (Oliver Reed in his most robust performance) and the sadistic, emotionally stunted nun (a shriveled Vanessa Redgrave) determined to destroy him. As if that isn’t incentive enough to see this orgiastic cri de coeur against crown-sponsored religious hypocrisy, Caravaggio director Derek Jarman designed the sets and Seattle’s Fungal Abyss (the psilocybin-powered alter ego of doom-metal band Lesbian) will be providing the live score for this incendiary installment of the Northwest Film Forum’s Puget Soundtrack. KATHY FENNESSY
Seattle’s held several psych-rock-oriented festivals in the last few years, but Seagaze offers a slight twist. Organized by Blackpool Astronomy guitarist Jeff McCollough, Seagaze is an ambitious four-night spread that focuses on the intersection of psychedelia, shoegaze, and post-punk. Among the many highlights: dream-pop sorcerer Erik Blood; brawny Chicago brain-melters Plastic Crimewave Syndicate; beatific inner-space rockers Ecstatic Cosmic Union, who are perfectly named; Loop-like trance rockers This Blinding Light; black-hearted Portland goth-rockers Shadowhouse; and San Francisco shoegaze reanimators LSD and the Search for God. Every night of Seagaze offers ample opportunities to dilate your ears and expand your mind. DAVE SEGAL (Through Sunday)
Seattle Latin, Brazilian, and Caribbean Festival
Enjoy the many varied genres under the Latin and South American music umbrella with artists from many backgrounds taking over the Royal Room for a whole weekend, for the first annual Seattle Latin, Brazilian, and Caribbean Festival. Featured artists include the Obe Quarless Band, Tumbao, Bahia-In-Motion, and many more. (Through Saturday)
BJ the Chicago Kid, Elhae, Jairemie Alexander
Like many singers of a certain ilk, BJ the Chicago Kid moved to Los Angeles as a young man and put in songwriting and studio work as a background vocalist until it was time to shine on his own. His gospel upbringing and early career in the service of soul legends like Stevie Wonder and Musiq Soulchild continues to inform his work, even as it moves in the direction of rap and R&B. Forever toiling with the influence of human vices against his faith, BJ has made this struggle a game to laugh, sing, and swear about, rather than a cold path toward self-doubt or self-hatred. His relatable battles, told in his sure voice over increasingly slick production, should continue to result in crossover success, so this could be a rare chance to catch him in a venue this size. TODD HAMM
Inquisition, UADA, Antitheus, Necrosomnium, Sacrament Ov Impurity
Even though they’re a local band, Inquisition don’t play Seattle often. Well, local-ish; the band formed while singer/guitarist Dagon lived in Colombia, but the subsequent international move hasn’t done much to change the band’s take on black metal. While the genre has a reputation for amateur musicianship, Dagon brings an intense level of guitar technicality to his music. Layering pedal tone chugs on low strings with filigree shreds on the upper strings, Dagon filling out his dynamic range without a second guitar or bassist. Coupled with a croaking vocal delivery and lyrical fixation on astronomy, Inquisition have carved out a unique niche for themselves in a field of sound-alikes. JOSEPH SCHAFER
5th Annual Watershed Festival
Watershed Country Music Festival returns to the Gorge for two weekends of twangin' goodness. Put on your "Shedder gear" (trucker hats?) and get ready for three whole days of down-home studs like Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Travis Tritt, and NBC's The Voice favorite Raelynn. (Through Sunday)
Weezer, Panic! at The Disco
Real talk: I haven’t enjoyed a Weezer song since last decade, but that doesn’t mean the shine is completely off the turd. Rivers Cuomo, though a generally unlikable human, is an undeniably great songwriter. Trouble is, he may have been missing the mark for, oh, maybe the last seven albums. Their latest, the White Album (natch), hits the same old sweet spots of West Coast sun-soaked angst, cleverly bottled in an East Coast forced anxiety push. Weezer rehash the good old days of the late 1990s and early ’00s with Panic! At the Disco, whom I truly hoped were dead, but are in fact back to rock us once more with that flat-ironed, velvet-blazered Johnny Bravo aesthetic and stadium emo pop even your grandparents can enjoy (mostly because it’s completely toothless). KIM SELLING
You’re going to see the Yardbirds in 2016 for those indelible songs, not for the performers, who are surely skillful, but the only original member left is drummer Jim McCarty. (Guitarist Chris Dreja left in 2013 due to medical issues.) Few British rock groups mastered and electrified the blues like the Yardbirds did some 50 years ago. Bolstered by a triumvirate of guitar heroes (you know who), the band gradually infused Gregorian chant into psych-rock song structures and introduced the amphetamined rave-up into rock’s vocabulary, as exemplified by the extended proto-punk coda in the cover of Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man.” The current lineup includes guitarist/vocalist John Idan, guitarist Johnny A (Bobby Whitlock, Peter Wolf), bassist Kenny Aaronson (Bob Dylan), and vocalist Myke Scavone (Ram Jam). Let’s hope they still do “Ever Since the World Began.” DAVE SEGAL
An Evening with the Piano Guys
Four dads armed with pianos and camera phones have brought their eight hands of talent to the Internet, and now to Marymoor Park, with an evening of melded classical and pop hits.
Grouper, Pink Void, Paul Clipson
Tons of musicians and bands inspire the descriptor “dreamy,” but few deserve that adjective more than Grouper (Portland guitarist/vocalist Liz Harris). Her songs are aural mirages of subliminal ectoplasmic chants and gently oscillating guitar washes or plangent acoustic strums that come across like hypnagogic hymns to pastoral beauty. This beatific folque music rewards close listening, preferably with eyes closed and while lying alone in the dark, the better for it to weave its tranquil spells. It’s the polar opposite of earthy blues or haranguing punk rock or any sort of music that’s geared to amp you up, and you need it in your life, at least occasionally. Grouper’s latest album, 2014’s Ruins, goes heavier on piano-led reveries, but maintains her pervasive mood of downcast wispiness and a profound quietude that resonate to the core. DAVE SEGAL
9th Annual Hoodstock
Hoodstock—founded by the late, great, all-black-female punk band NighTraiN—is simply the best small music festival/big ol’ house party around. Think of it as a family-reunion-style barbecue filled with grown folks, young folks, good vibes, diverse music, and cheap food and drinks. The whole thing will be, to borrow the name of one of Hoodstock’s producers, POC as Fuck. ANGELA GARBES
Kam Morrill: New Works
Influenced by hymnody, blues, jazz fusion, and the minimalist school, Curtis Institute composition scholar Kam Morrill brings his feeling for vocal and operatic structure to instrumental music in this recital, which features eight premieres of works written over the past 20 years.
Lucky Liquor's One Year Anniversary Party
Lucky Liquor celebrates one year alive, and one year closer to death, with a night of boogie punks dripping south Seattle and Oakland sleaze, with Sup All Night, Communist Eyes, Bad Tats, Tough Times, Butanna, and Terman Shanks.
Modest Mouse, Brand New
This has got to be one of the strangest stadium tours in recent memory. Issaquah’s Modest Mouse have honestly always made plaintive garage rock, even if the gargantuan hooks of 2004 album Good News for People Who Love Bad News propelled them into the national spotlight and they briefly boasted Johnny Marr of the Smiths in their ranks. Likewise, New Jersey’s Brand New couch their emotive post-hardcore in personal strife and bedroom poetics—and noise rock guitar breaks. That these bands managed to perform at Madison Square Garden playing what amount to passion projects is a minor miracle. Good taste ain’t dead. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Rakta, Dreamdecay, Nudity, O.T.H.E.R.
Up-and-coming Brazilian post-punks Rakta have a sound reminiscent of 1980s post-punk mainstays Mercenárias playing more minimalist and quietly seething songs in the style of Berlin weirdos Malaria! Rakta’s latest record, the sprawling and fiercely musical III, was recently released on local punk label Iron Lung. Dreamdecay are another Iron Lung–affiliated Seattle band I’ve praised several times for their wildly inventive, intricately performed noise rock. Their shoegaze-infused heaviness consistently impresses with its unhinged yet calculated intensity. Nudity, an Olympia-based punk supergroup of sorts, including producer Dave Harvey (Sex/Vid, BTPNLSL) and Rachel Carns (Kicking Giant, the Need) are not an easy act to classify. Merging early heavy metal’s theatrical ferocity with manic Devo-esque quirkiness, Nudity create riffs that shred but contain an undeniable playfulness, and it all translates to a helluva live show. BRITTNIE FULLER
An Evening with Mal DeFleur and Princess Charming
The lovely and elusive Mal DeFleur graces Chop Suey's stage for one night with Princess Charming for a soulful cabaret performance.
Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown
For the last 50 years, founding guitarist Kim Simmons has kept the bluesy flame of Savoy Brown lit. The group originally formed in England in 1965 and were contemporaries of English bluesy groups like Free and the Groundhogs, but they didn’t gain much traction until the late 1960s after they’d released a clutch of progressive blues albums and relentlessly toured the American underground. Now whittled down to a three-piece, the band is still recording and constantly touring; their most recent album, The Devil to Pay, even made number four in the blues charts last year. I’m betting for tonight’s show we’ll be getting a mix of well-known classics like “I’m Tired” and “Hellbound Train,” plus a couple fresh Savoy jams. MIKE NIPPER
Wine Country Blues Festival: Mavis Staples, Shemekia Copeland, The Robert Cray Band, The James Hunter Six
I recall Mavis Staples’s live album from 2008, when it wasn’t clear if Obama would get in. I heard her in hope, and I heard her hope. I don’t share her Christianity and her faith-based hope, but I felt inspired that somebody, a person who’d knocked around and seen the best and worst of things—far beyond what I could ever experience—still had hope. Now she’s back with a new studio album, Livin’ on a High Note, and still full of hope, which we need, if not more than ever, at the very least, as much as we did before this decidedly blighted year commenced. Tacoma’s own Robert Cray, of course, fashions drama on a smaller, even more intense scale, examining high infidelity with the jocular cynicism of a cop, a private detective, or a pulp-novel maven. ANDREW HAMLIN
Zulu Park Jam
Bringing together DJing, breakdancing, emceeing, and graffiti art, the Park Jam serves as a hiphop community cornerstone. Enjoy live sets from Golden Alchemy, DoNormaal, DJs Seabefore and Riff-Raff, and live painting by Leo Shallot, JEAH, and They Drift.