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Carpenter Brut, Jean Jean
Carpenter Brut are French, but Carpenter Brut otherwise want no one to know anything about Carpenter Brut. Maybe Carpenter Brut are afraid of being exposed as the Residents, or Bobbie Gentry, or even Jimmy Hoffa. (If they were French!) Anyway, Carpenter Brut’s new album, Leather Teeth, has all the pounding, oscillating, sequencer-ing, and icy orchestral stabs to make for a decent cardio workout or a decent night out. Brilliant? I’m waiting for a few more full-lengths to be certain. ANDREW HAMLIN
Coast Modern, Guests
Luke Atlas met Coleman Trapp a few days after the former made the move from Seattle to Los Angeles in 2014. Working together on educational rap songs for NASA during the day, the two eventually decided to make non-astronomical-related music together on the side. Coast Modern’s debut single, “Hollow Life,” made its way onto the radio almost as soon as it was released on SoundCloud in 2015, as Trapp’s voice makes nearly every line anthemic enough to be stuck in your head for days. Last year brought their debut self-titled album, which mixes breezy electro-pop with inklings of hiphop, indie pop, and psych rock, resulting in 18 beach-infused and summer-approved tracks. ANNA KAPLAN
Frankie Cosmos, Ian Sweet, SOAR, Deckard's Troll Parade
Frankie Cosmos (Sub Pop) and Ian Sweet (Hardly Art) go together like two New York dreams come true. They’re two bedroom-rock peas in a pod, but the sad-song sluggers deliver more than an existential shrug emoji. They pack many punches full of raw power-chord pop and many sacks full of sagacious sap. Joined by San Francisco’s SOAR and hometown Deckard’s Troll Parade, this is definitely a bill of shaky-but-stable-voice soundtracks for sussing out one’s pathos. Oh, and Deckard’s Troll Parade is 17 years old and opening for Frankie Cosmos, one of his top inspirations, so that’s pretty damn cool. ZACH FRIMMEL
A global leader in electronic-music extravaganzas as well as a multi-platinum-selling recording artist, Jean-Michel Jarre is finally making his Seattle debut at age 69. There's no American equivalent to Jarre: a serious composer and performer whose output ranges from early experimental and whimsical soundtracks of Les Granges Brulée and The Deserted Palace to the mid-1970s cosmique-synth opuses Oxygène and Equinoxe to grandiose, big-budget Hollywood soundtrack-ish fare of Magnetic Fields and Chronology/Chronologie to the recent Electronica releases featuring a puzzling mishmash of collabs (Fuck Buttons, Pet Shop Boys, Air, etc.) that struggle to elude the album title's generic nature. Giorgio Moroder might be the closest comparison. Whatever the case, Jarre's appearance is a must for people into lavish audiovisual displays. (View his 1986 Houston concert for NASA's 25th anniversary on YouTube for proof.) DAVE SEGAL
Rare Air: Félicia Atkinson, Dravier, Prius, Explorateur
At first blush, French avant-garde artist Félicia Atkinson’s barely-there compositions might seem stuffy or academic: Her speaking voice scarcely breaks a whisper as she recites what sounds like unsettling bilingual poetry but is often cribbed from literature or instruction manuals. Instead, Atkinson’s approach turns out to be strikingly intimate, and when combined with her affinity for tactile sound (diffuse field recordings, skittering electronics, sub-bass rumble), it results in music that can be felt as much as heard. This show marks the welcome return of ambient night Rare Air, though it’s unfortunate to be deprived the cognitive dissonance of seeing such ASMR-inducing strangeness at usual venue of choice Q Nightclub. ANDREW GOSPE
Earth, Tiny Vipers
Tiny Vipers' transition from forlorn folk spectralist to electronic musician has been surprising yet smooth and rewarding. On last year's Laughing, Tiny Vipers (aka Jesy Fortino) retains her desolate minimalism and flair for bleakly beautiful melodies that feel more at home in low-lit bedrooms than in bright coffeehouses. Her metamorphosis has translated well to the live arena, too. Tiny Vipers should provide a copacetic lead in for Earth, the slowly evolving Seattle group that pioneered ambient metal, then rocked like beflanneled Hendrix acolytes before shifting into spare, desert-roasted rock that radiates an aerated, majestic doom. Also, Earth leader Dylan Carlson has had his own electronic-music side hustle with smart, UK bass-music brute the Bug, which you should investigate, too. DAVE SEGAL
Y La Bamba, KERA, Guests
Playful yet enigmatically complex Portland act Y La Bamba make their way through rock, pop, folk, and world music in English and Spanish. They'll be joined by KERA and additional guests.
Dutch native Jaap Blonk does whatever the hell he wants, which for Jaap Blonk usually involves a microphone, plenty of effects run through said microphone, and Blonk himself blurting, burping, blorking, hissing, burbling, caterwauling, ranting, and exhorting through said microphone and effects. Sometimes he uses an electronic keyboard. Sometimes intelligible words emerge, but don’t count on it. People who want music to sound like music usually sounds probably won’t get it (years ago, Blonk got booed off the stage, if not worse, opening for the Stranglers), but I encourage people to stretch their horizons and honor a fellow who’s spent his life chiseling out his own niche. ANDREW HAMLIN
Windhand, Ruby the Hatchet, Un
Richmond, Virginia, has a rich history of nurturing quality heavy metal. Most notably, GWAR, Lamb of God, and Municipal Waste have risen from the musty basement shows of RVA to find worldwide success. Following in the big three’s footsteps is a much more subdued yet equally heavy band called Windhand. Their music is equal parts menacing and beautiful, as vocalist Dorthia Cottrell’s powerful voice soars over the thick, slow, sludgy riffs of guitarists Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris. Their 2015 release, Grief’s Infernal Flower, is top-shelf, high-potency, melodic doom metal that’s surprisingly catchy for such a crushing album. KEVIN DIERS
These days, we don’t get the pop star we want, we get the pop star we deserve. Mainstream pop music is currently past its peak of genre fusion, rapidly becoming just a milquetoast shelf from which EDM shillers can sell festival tickets. Because of this, social issues in pop music, possibly better tackled by other genres, take form as trending lyric topics. Hayley Kiyoko, a young singer riding just that trend, has reached her current popularity thanks to her hit “Girls Like Girls,” an effigy to burn of summertime boyfriends that simmers with the (obvious, yet still handy in example) declaration that that boyfriend wasn’t necessary in the first place. Because girls will always like girls, and it turns out we always have. From a Disney Channel seedling, it’s a positive start. If anything, Kiyoko puts a simple face—monosyllabic terms against a warm suburban backdrop—to a complex name: dissecting and declaring one’s sexual identity, which is sometimes all pop music is capable of. KIM SELLING
Mad Clown & San E, Hostboi, Yung Futon
Expanding past South Korea, Mad Clown and San E, two of K-Pop's biggest stars, will show off their bombastic styles on their We Want You Tour of 2018, with additional guests Hostboi and Yung Futon.
Kiran Ahluwalia and Souad Massi
Kiran Ahluwalia fuses strains of African desert blues with sounds of her native India. She'll be joined by Algerian folk-pop star Souad Massi for an evening of genre-blending and bending.
Debussy's La Mer
Hearing Claude Debussy's "La Mer (The Sea)" in concert is like watching the original Star Wars trilogy at Cinerama with a giant tub of popcorn: It's a thrilling experience you need to have in order to feel the full force of the art. The piece is massive and fantastic in the Tolkienian sense of the word: It sounds like you're on a galleon sailing into the mountains to face the One Demon for control over your own mind. Russian phenom Daniil Trifonov will guide you through this intense dreamscape on the piano. Though he's young (24!), you'll be in good hands. RICH SMITH
No performance on Friday
Enjoy the endless current of melody that is the full spectrum of Debussy's aquatic explorations during a special edition of "Untuxed," a low-key, no-intermission way to enjoy the Seattle Symphony without worrying about what the bourgeoisie will think of your hat and tails.
Sessions: Andrew Joslyn & the Passenger String Quartet
Local multi-hyphenate Andrew Joslyn works as a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, songwriter, and Macklemore's orchestra leader, as well as the band leader for the Passenger Ensemble, a string quartet that thrives in experimental, neo-classical zones.
Bloom Offering, Purity of Essence, Caustic Touch, Ox Hunger
Bloom Offering (Seattle's Nicole Carr) has been honing her artfully nihilistic, dance-in-the ruins music and seething vocal condemnations to a stiletto point over the last few years. Expect big things from her in 2018. DAVE SEGAL
Since breaking through nationally in 2010 with the number-one hit “Black and Yellow,” which helped to propel his now-iconic Rolling Papers album to the top of the charts, Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa has been steadily rising as one of rap’s most notorious stoners. He even has his herbal regime fully sponsored by cannabis business the Cookie Company. Having scored smash hits in the past few years with “We Dem Boyz” and “See You Again,” Wiz will give the crowd plenty to rap along to, as well as the possibility of hearing new material off his long-delayed Rolling Papers 2 album. That this show falls on that holiest of stoner holidays means that attendees will be in for a very special 4/20. NICK ZURKO
Puget Soundtrack: Afrocop Presents 'A Scanner Darkly'
It’s always a good idea to buy your tickets early to Puget Soundtrack, which matches a cult film with musicians about town to tease out new sensations and emotions from movies you thought you knew. Afrocop—a funk/fusion jazz trio with a penchant for abstract keyboard explorations and banging backbeats—seems like an inspired choice. About the film, the 2006 animated sci-fi thriller that’s based on a Philip K. Dick novel, Marc Savlov at the Austin Chronicle once wrote that it “seems almost tailor-made for the midnight movie/stoner audience, and I mean that in a good way”—so it should be the perfect fit for 4/20, even if our Charles Mudede did once pooh-pooh it for its “weak” substance.
RVIVR, Sashay, Line of Flight
Olympia pop-punk lifers RVIVR are finally back in town for their debut, with support sets by hometown heroes Sashay and Line of Flight.
Seattle Hashtag 420 Block Party with Lisa Prank
Celebrate Seattle's favorite holiday with a 4/20 block party sponsored by Fremont cannabis enclave Hashtag and live music by pop-punk princess Lisa Prank.
Sera Cahoone, Zoe Muth
Sera Cahoone’s innate language is that of heartbreak, of knowing what you have in this life is perfect, or as perfect as humans can access, and there’s no way it could ever last. No matter how many fairy circles you happen upon or gentle brooks lapping at your Chaco-nestled feet, this love will end, and in that finale lies your inevitable destruction. The soft, throaty Cahoone will bandage your wounds while examining her own fault lines, drawing attention to each facet of surface tension. We could all be better, we could all be more pure and good, and Cahoone’s willowy, honest attempt to understand human nature uncovers more than you thought of your own experiences at first blush. KIM SELLING
Taylor Mac: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged)
The thought of having to spend more than an hour and a half in a theater gives the average American restless leg syndrome (I think that's a fact). But if there's anyone who can make a person overcome theaterphobia, it's Taylor Mac. The playwright, performer, (MacArthur grant-winning) genius, and luminary of early-21st-century American theater brings a sliver (read: only a couple hours) of their TWENTY-FOUR HOUR "A 24-Decade History of Popular Music" to Seattle, with an evening that's focused on the years 1956 to 1986. You should go because there's nothing like it and opportunities to see pieces of this historic production are very rare. CHASE BURNS
Wimps, Woolen Men, Versing, Xurs
Before typing out this blurb, I wondered if I really needed to bump this show, ’cause like, I reckon all the hip kids are prolly already planning on spending this evening with America’s most favorite and fabulous SUPER-fun-pop-punk-sing-along-let’s-everybody-hug-we’re-so-happy band, Wimps. Right? Like, going to see Wimps live is a total no-brainer. MIKE NIPPER
Shelf Nunny, IG88, WMD, Lostodyssey
The music KEXP DJ Alex Ruder puts out on Hush Hush, his electronic label, tends to be inward-facing—the stuff of “headphone sessions, late-night travels, and intimate encounters,” as the label’s Bandcamp tidily puts it. This show offers the relatively rare chance to hear these Pacific Northwest bedroom beats live. Hush Hush artist Shelf Nunny and local producer IG88 specialize in lush slo-mo beat work, both instrumental and with vocalists. The other half of the bill, Bellingham’s WMD and Eugene’s Lostodyssey, are up-and-coming producers who dedicate themselves to similar vibes. Expect an evening of dreamy—and extremely chill—down-tempo electronica. ANDREW GOSPE
This!: Greco, Tony H, Peter Evans
Strictly Rhythm is normally the kind of label I look for in dollar bins, hoping to score a vintage early-1990s dance 12-inch like Louie Vega’s “Deep Inside” or Ultra Naté’s “Free” for a song. But even if the New York imprint is still reaping royalties for stadium renditions of Reel 2 Real’s “I Like to Move It,” it’s not resting entirely on its laurels with current signees like Greco. We’ll get a taste of that when the Big Apple–based jock comes through town to offer a smoothed-out update to the bombastic beats that defined house music in the Clinton era. GREG SCRUGGS
Drone Cinema Film Festival
Ambient music producer and past David Lynch collaborator Kim Cascone runs this festival combining experimental, non-narrative film, video, and animation with drone music. This year, it will be produced in the Netherlands and Seattle, with live music by Khem One. The theme is "LUNAR/SILVER," so expect some trippy moon-gazing.
Snoop Dogg, Migos, Wiz Khalifa
Billed as the country’s largest 4/20 cannabis celebration, the “Wellness Retreat Tour” was put together by the longtime smoke-hazed king of ganja love himself, Snoop Dogg, who made headlines last year (and an enemy of Prez Trump) with his parody video for hit single “Lavender.” The stealthy collab with Badbadnotgood comments on police brutality and features Snoop shooting a Trumped-up clown with a gag gun. He’s joined by other hiphop artists of the green-friendly persuasion, among them Georgia trio Migos and Wiz Khalifa. LEILANI POLK
Wyclef Jean, Culture Crew, Moira Mack, Hannah Eggen
Ex-Fugees member, ex-Lauryn Hill boyfriend, and ex-Haitian presidential hopeful Wyclef Jean will showcase his primary talent (creating excellent hiphop) with guests Culture Crew, Moira Mack, and Hannah Eggen.
I will always love Pink Martini for their exceptionally beautiful cover of the “Song of the Black Lizard,” the lead track for the campy late-1960s Japanese film Black Lizard. If you have not heard of the band, which was founded in Portland, Oregon, by the pianist Thomas Lauderdale in the mid-1990s, I recommend you enter its world by this door—this sensuous tune. Pink Martini’s world is trashy, elegant, erotic, and filled with those feelings that can be suggested only by things like the traces of lipstick on a wine glass, the final smoke rising from a extinguished cigarette, a rain-distorted face of someone in the back of a cab that’s passing by you at night. CHARLES MUDEDE
Record Store Day 2018
Excellently divisive music-nerd holiday Record Store Day acts as an annual reminder of how Seattle is still very much a music-obsessed town. For those of you who aren’t saving your pennies for Spectrum’s Highs, Lows, & Heavenly Blows, Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 as a day of celebration and discounts for vinyl enthusiasts. Depending on whom you ask, it’s either a booster shot to music retailers or a headache for smaller labels that have to compete with major labels to get their releases pressed on time. Many Seattle shops participate by offering special releases and sales, and some even have in-store performances. This year’s lineup will include Wyclef Jean at Silver Platters, Caitlin Sherman of Evening Bell at Light in the Attic, and HYWAYS at Easy Street.
The legendary performance artist and musician and all-purpose fascination and captivation generator Laurie Anderson has had a strong 2018. Following the release of Landfall, a collaborative album with Kronos Quartet, she also published the book that gave this live event its title. All the Things I Lost in the Flood is billed as “a reading and performance with music visuals and electronics.” Anderson elaborates: “This book is about language in live performances, the difference between spoken and written words; the influence of the audience; the use of first-, second-, and third person voices; metaphor; politics-as-stories; codes; the difference between language in stories, dreams and songs; misunderstandings and new meanings…” Sold! SEAN NELSON
Front 242, Dead When I Found Her, Mechanismus DJs
If you're fortunate enough to hold a golden ticket to this long-sold-out show, legendary Belgian act Front 242 are more than worth braving the crowds. Co-pioneering the EBM (electronic body music) subgenre in the early 1980s alongside bands like Absolute Body Control and DAF, Front 242 paired mechanical, repetitive precision, mock-evangelist and militarist samples, and grimy, pulsating synths. Their dance-floor-oriented mutant strain of industrial music reached cult underground popularity later that decade. Moving from a more abstract electronic sound with 1983 debut full-length Geography to a deeper dance chart-reaching sound that birthed master hits like "Headhunter" and “Tragedy for You,” Front 242's decadent, degenerate sound is enjoying a resurgence with today's rising interest in EBM and industrial-dance music. BRITTNIE FULLER
CupcakKe, Guayaba, Michete
It’s near-impossible to talk about CupcakKe without talking about sex. It pervades the young Chicago rapper’s music, from song titles like “Deepthroat” and “Vagina” to innumerable wry, explicit one-liners: “I love the D/That’s my favorite letter,” goes one tame example. Her brash personality and viral rise recall Azealia Banks, but rather than an inveterate Twitter beefer, CupcakKe is a paragon of positivity. (She’s also very good at rapping, a fact overlooked due to lyrical content and sexism.) More recently, CupcakKe has started to explore identity and LGBT issues in her music, working with a richer palette of beats and flows—she’s far more than a novelty act. ANDREW GOSPE
Earshot Jazz Presents: Jaimeo Brown Transcendence
What Jaimeo Brown Transcendence do could easily descend into pastiche. But instead, their music hits you hard with a newfangled vibrancy derived from the profoundly rooted emotional power of gospel, blues, prison work songs, and field recordings, which they thread into a jazz context. The residual resonance of music and chants born of extreme struggle adds layers of poignancy to JBT's exquisite compositions. They alchemize and restore these sepia-toned, historical elements into fresh jazz expressionism. It's not very different from Moby was doing on Play within an electronic-music context, but JBT come across as much more genuine and invested in the source material. DAVE SEGAL
Interesting fact: The tireless and justifiably beloved Canadian rock band Sloan has now been making records for more than 25 years. That is older than most of the power-pop music they’re best known for being influenced by was when they got their shit together. Their newest album, 12 (guess how many records they’ve made), came out April 6, and if you have always meant to see them play live but never quite pulled your finger out, please rest assured that they deliver a fantastic live experience—especially w/r/t the rich, complex vocal harmonies that ennoble their records—and a space like Columbia City Theater seems ideally suited for the band. SEAN NELSON