There are still tickets available for Pulitzer-winning Kendrick Lamar's show this weekend. Acclaimed singer SZA, who is also on the newly announced Bumbershoot lineup, will open. Christian San Jose for Top Dawg Entertainment
This week, our music critics have picked everything from pop country's own riot grrrl (Shania Twain), to an industrial music festival (Mechanismus), to an unsung turntablism hero (Kid Koala’s Vinyl Vaudeville Show). Follow the links below for ticket links and music clips, and find even more on our music calendar.

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MONDAY

METAL/PUNK

Gigan, Sunless
I’ve been writing about hard electric guitar music for almost a decade, and I still don’t have the vocabulary to properly describe Gigan. Grab a thesaurus, you might say. Sure, I could do that, but why stick to by-the-books behavior when describing a band that clearly does not. Psychedelic, tonally adventurous, and possessing all the chops of a pristine jazz-fusion outfit, Gigan do their damnedest to focus on the pieces of death-metal history that have no grounding in hard rock or punk. What they’re aiming for is cosmic—non-Euclidean, even. Their music is the sound of a universe where quantum physics and particle physics will never make the beast with two backs. Chaos is all, destruction is random, the rules are made up, and the points don’t matter. JOSEPH SCHAFER

Sponsored
Just announced! Jon Bellion at WaMu Theater on 7/16/19. Tix on sale this Friday!
SOUL/R&B

Meshell Ndegeocello
Meshell Ndegeocello’s adventurous and all-consuming career has taken her all over the musical ecosystem, from her torch-song duties on Basement Jaxx’s immortal “Feels Like Home” to achieving the seemingly impossible, doing Nina Simone justice on her covers album Pour une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone. Not for nothing: Ndegeocello’s voice possesses that Simone-like quality of perfect androgynous symmetry, an unearthly tenor that’s difficult to describe but impossible to forget once you’ve heard it. Her album, Comet, Come to Me, is a lyrically haunted yet lushly produced set of alienated art pop for adults. It’s heartening to know Ndegeocello’s still got the fire in her belly. KYLE FLECK

TUESDAY

JAZZ

Music of Today: DXARTS
The University of Washington School of Music and DXARTS—Center for Digital Art and Experimental Media have partnered once again to co-sponsor Music of Today, a series that showcases the innovative new works and contemporary classics composed and initiated by faculty members and guest composers.

ROCK/POP

Alice Glass, Pictureplane
Alice Glass’s first solo single, “Without Love” (after several years with Crystal Castles), pings all the right stuff for a post-goth, neo-chill, horror-movie soundtrack: bouncy bass (though it doesn’t bounce quite enough for funk), spiky, chilly synth lines, and the singer sounding like she’s an Auto-Tuned Little Red Riding Hood lost in an artisanal forest full of free-range spruces. Me, if I want misery, all I have to do is stare out the window at the rain and then double-down staring at the dude out there who’s in ecstasy scratching his balls. But if it’s your taste, taste. ANDREW HAMLIN

Of Montreal, Locate S + 1
Of Montreal have been out-“of Montreal”ing all of you quirky jerks for years, so listen up. With a catalog that stretches back almost 20 years, and spawned from the sweet, chiming bosom of the Elephant 6 collective, of Montreal, anchored by songwriter and mystical thesaurus Kevin Barnes, has been shape-shifting for years without missing a beat. He’s cited influences like Sylvia Plath and the psychedelic movement of the ’60s for past records, and the 2015 studio release Aureate Gloom draws directly from the CBGB heyday, with Patti Smith and Television at the helm. Live shows with Barnes dolled up like David Bowie, and bacchanalian onstage dance shows promise to leave you wondering where the hell you are and why the hell you would ever want to leave. KATHLEEN TARRANT

WEDNESDAY

BLUES/COUNTRY/FOLK

Erika Wennerstrom, Josh T Pearson
I like Erika Wennerstrom because she sounds like everything’s falling apart. Very, very slowly, but still falling apart. Which, of course, it is. She’s from an outfit called Heartless Bastards, and her solo album, Sweet Unknown, dropped last month. Remember to breathe, she advises on “Extraordinary Love,” and she gets an ache in her voice until she hits the oooohhhs at the end, and the drummer, already playing behind the beat, seems to struggle more and more, and the guitar part is all about granulations. It’s a very poetic, and granular, way to remind us of mortality. ANDREW HAMLIN

ELECTRONIC

starRo
Like many Japanese electronic musicians, starRo (aka LA producer Shinya Mizoguchi) creates tracks that seem to be bathed in a halogen glow, tracks that emit an ultra-vivid sheen that slyly keep you enthralled from the get-go. In starRo’s case, he’s working in the crowded field where neo-R&B sentimentality intersects with Brainfeeder/Alpha Pup–style rhythmic trickery. It’s accessible music geared for seduction, but it exists on a higher plane of quality than much of its chart-dwelling sonic kin. If you enjoy feeling like you’re living in a sparkly, futuristic edifice in which everyone’s drinking turquoise cocktails, starRo may be your jam. DAVE SEGAL

HIPHOP/RAP

Injury Reserve, JPEGMAFIA
Injury Reserve are a hiphop trio from Arizona, one of the most brutal and self-contradictory states in the union. Unsurprisingly, they’re a little insane. They’re really, really into going to the dentist and obsessing on going to the dentist. They have a song called “Oh Shit!!!” and it talks a lot about Snapchat and not graduating from school and just generally having a lot of fun not doing anything your parents tell you to do. They point out that Jesus Christ had dreads. If they had no other selling point, they’d have that. ANDREW HAMLIN

JAZZ

Angélique Kidjo's Remain In Light
The Talking Heads' seminal Remain in Light album was heavily influenced by Fela Kuti and West African Afrobeat as refracted through the post-punk stylings of art-school kids in Providence, Rhode Island. Nearly four decades later, Africa's biggest diva, the Grammy-winning Beninese singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo, is turning the tables on David Byrne's Western gaze by performing Remain in Light with the horn section from contemporary Afrobeat masters Antibalas and a Senegalese drum quartet, Generation Percu. Not that the intention is to spite the original—Byrne joined Kidjo on stage for a "Once in a Lifetime" duet at the show's Carnegie Hall premiere. GREG SCRUGGS

ROCK/POP

Briana Marela, Lucy and Lucille, JMoneyFur, slowfoam
Take a dollop of Panda Bear’s bleached-out hymns circa Person Pitch, add a dash of Beach House’s radiant synth ballads and a pinch of Julianna Barwick’s amniotic harmonizing and you’ve got a recipe for something close to what Briana Marela’s up to. The local ambient-pop auteur released her album on Jagjaguwar, All Around Us, which was recorded in Iceland with the requisite production assists from Sigur Rós affiliates. (You’re legally obligated to work with Sigur Rós’ people if you’re making an album in Iceland.) This album is measures more extroverted and ambitious than Marela’s earlier work, with glitchy, microscopic drum patterns and those flurried strings bringing to mind another famous Icelander’s finest hour: Björk’s Homogenic. Enough with the comparisons, though; All Around Us deserves to be heard on its own terms, so catch this gig and see one of Seattle’s most promising musicians in the flesh. KYLE FLECK

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

ELECTRONIC

Mechanismus Festival
Did you know Seattle hosts a vibrant industrial-music scene? If not, don’t blame yourself. Bands like Mixed Messages and Webdriver Torso remain mostly under the radar, as this genre is wont to do. Both acts are, however, playing the four-day Mechanismus Festival. Put on by the city’s preeminent industrial concert promotion organ, it is the first festival of its type in the city, set to occupy the Highline, where Mechanismus produces most of its gloomy synthesizer-and-laptop onslaughts. While the genre hasn’t had a commercial peak in some time, or had the kind of indie-publication-sanctioned revival that many of its adjacent genres have, industrial is thriving thanks to the proliferation of production software and the general drop in equipment costs, meaning the city’s digital musical resistance has more surprises in store than the Metropolis Records sampler you got in Hot Topic a decade ago. JOSEPH SCHAFER

THURSDAY

ELECTRONIC

Kid Koala’s Vinyl Vaudeville Floor Kids Edition with Adira Amram & the Experience and DJ Jester
An unsung turntablism hero and UK label Ninja Tune’s first North American signee, this Vancouver-born scratch master pulls the same sample-heavy tricks that made the likes of DJ Shadow famous, but stitches them into more introspective, even ambient numbers. Perhaps Kid Koala’s music is driven by his penchant for drawing: He sketched two graphic novels, Nufonia Must Fall (2003) and Space Cadet (2011), and in 2009 pioneered “Music to Draw To,” live events where he would play music while the audience was encouraged to sit down and draw rather than get up and dance. In January, Toronto imprint Arts & Crafts formalized that sound with Music to Draw To: Satellite, a dreamy album and the Kid’s first in five years. GREG SCRUGGS

Research: Moritz Von Oswald, Strategy, Raica, Kid Hops
Germany’s Moritz Von Oswald is one of the master architects of dub techno, an ever-nourishing mutation of the genre’s 4/4 propulsion schematics. With his Basic Channel/Chain Reaction partner Mark Ernestus, MVO helped assimilate dub’s hallucinogenic use of space and Teutonic industrial music’s penchant for odd, metallic timbres into minimal techno’s 4/4 grid. In the process, he seeded the field for hundreds of producers to expand techno’s parameters in transportive ways. His work with Moritz Von Oswald Trio, Detroit icons such as Juan Atkins and Carl Craig, and Norwegian jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer further extrapolates the man’s rhythmic inventiveness in more organic formats. If you want to see how an avant-garde legend has adapted to 21st-century club environments, hit Kremwerk tonight—and get there early for the outstanding supporting acts. DAVE SEGAL

JAZZ

Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant
The man who almost singlehandedly reinvigorated the musical Cabaret with his extroverted take on the role of the emcee in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival in the 1990s, Alan Cumming went on to host the Tony Awards, design a perfume, make films with Stanley Kubrick, appear in a Jay-Z video, voice a Smurf, and more. He also has his own variety show, which he’s bringing to Seattle for one night only. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

ROCK/POP

Kate Bush Dance Party with Baby Bushka
The odds of Kate Bush touring the US—or anywhere—are vanishingly small, so Americans need to think creatively to get their fix of the English singer-songwriter-producer's sublime, baroque pop, literary lyrics, and dramatic choreography. The clips I've seen of Baby Bushka prove that these women have what it takes to replicate Bush's distinctive mannerisms, elaborate dance moves, and complexly alluring songcraft. Let’s hope that they scale “Wuthering Heights” tonight. DAVE SEGAL

Mark Lanegan, Mark Pickerel
Even without taking into account Mark Lanegan’s legendary voice, it shouldn’t be a stretch to call him one of the foremost poets of our time. He’s certainly prolific, having partnered in his post–Screaming Trees career with such disparate acts as Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian) and Queens of the Stone Age. Yet whether he finds himself in a soft Americana setting or heavy stoner metal, his gravelly, beautiful-like-an-oil-slick voice is one that can take the air out of any room. His latest album, Gargoyle, consists of more of the tortured highway blues he seems to favor and abounds with sickeningly beautiful lines like “Wild thing, see the monkey in the jungle swing, canary in the cavern sing, that the devil lives in anything.” TODD HAMM

Rainbow Kitten Surprise, CAAMP
Chart-topping North Carolina group Rainbow Kitten Surprise employ a Southern folk inflection in their indie alternative rock more subtle than their name, with neat harmonies and expansive instrumentation standing out as key methods. They'll be joined by CAAMP.

Shania Twain
When I was a kid making up choreographed dances to "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" I didn't quite grasp what a feminist masterpiece Shania Twain's 1997 album Come On Over really was. Re-listening as an adult to what was one of the first CDs I owned (and the bestselling country album of all fucking time), I was shocked and delighted by the Canadian country singer's sexual politics, especially compared to the "get-in-the-truck, babe" themes that pervade pop-country radio. Twain is full of lady-power anthems, from calling out overgrown dudebro egos in the delightfully bratty "That Don't Impress Me Much" to subverting gender roles in "Honey, I'm Home" to even explaining consent in "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" Part of her farewell tour, this show is one of the last chances to see pop country's own riot grrrl and queen of the world play the hits. She's still the one. ROBIN EDWARDS

SOUL/R&B

Khalid
Rapidly rising through the ranks, Khalid and his debut album, American Teen, have received critical acclaim across the board, with raves for his new school take on R&B, soul, and pop.

FRIDAY

BLUES/COUNTRY/FOLK

Stephen Stills and Judy Collins
Judy Collins is a goddess whose singin’, piano-plunkin', and guitar-pickin' career stretches back to the time when folkies like her went pop. Her singer-songwriter pal Steven Stills is an ex-member of Buffalo Springfield, Manassas, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. They finally got together last year and recorded an album of beautiful contemporary takes on period tracks, some of theirs and some written by others, called Stills & Collins. Tonight’s set will likely be full of both artists' loved classics and songs from their new album. And, if you’re so inclined, there is a pre-show meet and greet. MIKE NIPPER

METAL/PUNK

Morbid Angel, Origin, Dreaming Dead, Hate Storm Annihilation
This time last year, America’s original death metal juggernauts Morbid Angel looked to be in dire straits: Following an embarrassing dance-music-inspired record, the band's lead songwriter and guitarist Trey Azagthoth fired every other member of the group, including original bassist and guitarist David Vincent. Azagthoth slowly reconstructed the quartet with Steve Tucker, who replaced Vincent in the 1990s, and two young guns. The band then announced they would not perform any material from their beloved first four albums—no songs on which Tucker did not originally sing. From the outside, this made Morbid Angel look like a band flailing for its life. Not so. Last autumn, the band released a new album, Kingdoms Disdained, and it’s a revelatory juggernaut of chugging, grinding insanity—the best thing Morbid Angel have released in 20 years, and the opportunity to hear it live ought not to be missed. Come early to see Dreaming Dead, a quartet of young women who shred with much of the intensity that made Morbid Angel such a revelation in 1991. JOSEPH SCHAFER

SATURDAY

BLUES/COUNTRY/FOLK

Nordic Museum Grand Opening Concert: Chelsea Wolfe, Mammút, Mikko Joensuu, Baby in Vain
The Nordic Heritage Museum is undergoing a massive renovation right now; it will soon be remade as simply the Nordic Museum. Kicking off its session of celebratory measures will be Nordic underworld queen Chelsea Wolfe. Nordic Europe can flip between stark, icy terrain and lush, forested paradise in a matter of miles, and Wolfe’s music mirrors that dichotomy with the soft, spectral quality of her voice, leading you like a beacon through a pulsating drudge into the hinterlands. An innate sense of controlled chaos and independence through isolation manifests heavily in her work, which utilizes classic wall-of-sound techniques to expand newer explorations of ambient, drone, and doom metal, all of which is sewn together by Norwegian folk music’s mysticism. Wolfe will be joined by other Arctic Circle notables Mammut, Mikko Joensuu, and Baby in Vain for this museum showcase. KIM SELLING

CLASSICAL/OPERA

Celtic Universe: Jordi Savall & Carlos Nunez
Gamba player Jordi Savall and Galician bagpiper Carlos Núñez will transport their audience to the Emerald Isle with a program rife with Celtic culture, lively jigs, and ancient music traditions represented with a modern twist. They'll be joined by the musicians of Hespèrion XXI.

Matt Shoemaker Memorial Concert
Seattle experimental-electronic musician Matt Shoemaker’s suicide last August caused much grief in the music and art undergrounds. More than eight months later, some of the visual artist and gamelan/improv practitioner's closest friends and most talented comrades are coming together to pay tribute to Shoemaker’s “virtuosic sound sculpt[ing],” as former Stranger freelancer Christopher DeLaurenti put it. Expect a poignant and adventurous trip through Matt's questing, profound music and art by many gifted colleagues and acolytes who knew and loved him best, including sonic bricolage tricksters Climax Golden Twins, playing their first live show in several years. DAVE SEGAL

HIPHOP/RAP

Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad, SiR, Ab-Soul
To Pimp a Butterfly was 2015’s best album, a breathtakingly ambitious funk/jazz concept epic finding Kendrick Lamar at the showy height of his considerable powers, conscripting a who’s-who cast of collaborators for its messy race opera. By contrast, 2017’s follow-up DAMN. was almost alarmingly spare, harrowing, and solitary-feeling, but sniped K. Dot’s usual demons and targets with an even finer motor control. When the very few guests showed up—modest talents Rihanna and U2—they merely served as well-utilized bit players in service to a deceptively linear internal monologue. Here’s a master of the form who’s racked up almost as many indispensable volumes as a Tribe Called Quest—and though he’s always hotly debated, his crown is indisputable. Thank you, Kendrick, for bringing it back West. LARRY MIZELL JR.

ROCK/POP

KEXP Presents: A SMASH Benefit Celebrating the Music of Mother Love Bone
The only time I ever saw Chris Cornell perform, he was singing some of Andy Wood’s songs, as well as some tributes to Wood. He talked between songs about how the two men used to share an apartment (for which Cornell paid) and a beat-up used car (for which Cornell paid). The car radio was stuck on a Christian station, which, mused Cornell, influenced both men’s songs. I never got to ask Cornell what he meant, but I think about how both musicians wrote about disgrace, absolution, redemption, and salvation. I’m glad people remember Andy Wood in an age where no one remembers anything. I’m glad his former bandmates and old friends can make money for a righteous cause. ANDREW HAMLIN

SUNDAY

HIPHOP/RAP

Eric B. & Rakim, YO-YO
My esteemed colleague Charles Mudede reminds me weekly that Eric B. & Rakim's “Follow the Leader” is the greatest hiphop track ever—and he may be right. Nothing in the genre more evocatively captures what it feels like to move through hiphop's birthplace at night with every synapse firing maximal awareness of your overstimulating surroundings. As millions of gray-haired rap fans will tell you, Rakim is the GOAT microphone fiend. His flow, vocab, rhyme schemes, imperial demeanor, and countless brilliant expressions of braggadocio make most other MCs sound like stammering weed carriers. With three classic albums upon which to draw for this surprising comeback tour, Eric B. & Rakim demand your attention, even in 2018. DAVE SEGAL

METAL/PUNK

The Dee Dees, The Paper Dolls
I bet this band would kick you right in the shins if you called them a "girl band." Sure, the four members of Seattle's Dee Dees have "female" checked on their respective driver's licenses, but simply "girl band" they are not. The Dee Dees are this city's premier Ramones tribute band, playing the punk classics from the '70s and beyond. KELLY O

ROCK/POP
X Ambassadors, SHAED
Considering their Top40 radio ubiquity, it's been basically impossible to not recognize the Jeep commercial-ready stadium party rock sound of X Ambassadors. They'll be joined by SHAED on their Joyful Tour.

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