Seattle-forged surf-rockers La Luz are back in town for two shows (and twice the shred) this week. Vikesh Kapoor
This week, our music critics have picked everything from a prolific vocal pop composer and songwriter from an intimidatingly talented family (Rufus Wainwright), to a multi-venue showcase of jazz talents from near and far (Ballard Jazz Festival 2018), to a lyrical legend and, as Angela Garbes has it, "slightly sentimental old man" (Paul Simon). Follow the links below for ticket links and music clips for all of their picks, and find even more shows on our complete music calendar.

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Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

MONDAY

ROCK/POP

Washed Out, Yoshi Flower
If I can’t make it to the show, make sure to thank Washed Out (aka Ernest Greene) for all the reliable soundtracks to my everyday existential crises for me. If his recent Adult Swim Single “Face Up” doesn’t wow you, the rest of the show will topple you right back into your ambiguous, bedroom-haze daydream about asking out your cute neighbor to smoke a joint, go to the beach, or do something equally ephemeral and wistfully romantic before waking up and realizing that you’ve been dreaming all along, in public, at the show. SOPHIA STEPHENS

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY

JAZZ

Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers
What a fine endeavor it is to honor soul singer supreme Bill Withers, so hats off to José James. If your head has been near a radio or television over the last 45 years or so, you’ve probably heard Withers’s voice of brimming mahogany benevolence. James approximates Withers’s warm, consoling timbre, and his backing band extrapolates the grooves and teases out the melodic nuances of Withers’s original hits and deep cuts with jazzmen’s cunning and flair. It’ll be a lovely night (or three), particularly if James and company do “Lovely Day.” DAVE SEGAL

TUESDAY

CLASSICAL/OPERA

Portland Cello Project
Since the dawn of time, there has been a high demand for classical instruments playing contemporary pop songs. Portland Cello Project delivers, demonstrating both the complexity of the instrument (of which there are typically four to six on stage) and the under-appreciated musicality of certain Top40 jams.

ROCK/POP

X___X, Tissue, DYED
True heads have long worshipped Cleveland hell-raisers Electric Eels, who burned briefly and brightly around the time Pere Ubu were starting to kick up atomic-bomb dust nearby. If you wanted to mainline the purest nihilism being channeled during those years leading up to Punk™'s official coming-out party, you needed to wreck your ears to Eels songs like “Agitated” and “Cyclotron.” That group's guitarist/vocalist John Morton went on to form X___X, who dropped two explosive singles during post-punk's heyday before flickering out after a six-month run in 1979. Buoyed by renewed interest in the group from labels like Smog Veil and Soul Jazz, though, Morton and Andrew Klimek recently re-formed X___X with Rocket from the Tombs bassist Craig Bell and drummer Matthew Harris. Odds are, they will be as caustic and exhilarating as ever, and don't be surprised if they cover Albert Ayler's “Ghosts.” DAVE SEGAL

TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY

ROCK/POP

The Afghan Whigs, Built to Spill, Ed Harcourt
I haven’t kept up with the Afghan Whigs, but I’ll note in passing how everybody was talking about them at one point (this paper included), so they must be doing something right. And their new album seems accomplished at mating soul music with Mellotron. Built to Spill, on the other hand, have always been a psychedelic band without the paisleys or the light show. Psychedelic music is supposed to mate the mind with the universe and show how nature and divine design (or something) made both the same. Bull's-eye. ANDREW HAMLIN

WEDNESDAY

DJ

8th Annual Linda's Tavern Prom
For the eighth year in a row, the ever-popular Capitol Hill watering hole will transform into the dimly lit gymnasium of your dreams, fit to house all the Axe Body Spray, cheap booze, and revelatory dancing of your youth. Per the rules of proms everywhere, a king and queen will be crowned at midnight, and DJ Curtis will surely provide a generous dose of throwbacks. And, on your way out, you can grab a handful of Linda's Tavern Prom 2018 condoms.

ELECTRONIC

Mount Kimbie, Smerz
For many producers, there’s a gap between making a track and playing it live. How does one translate the hours spent toiling in front of a computer to something that makes sense onstage? To wit: London electronic duo Mount Kimbie have transitioned over the past decade from a minimalist post-dubstep studio act to a full band, replete with live drums and a Guitar Center’s worth of synths and hardware. Something’s lost, to be sure—the amorphous indietronica of the group’s recent work doesn’t reach the same heights as their early EPs. But change is good, and so is not having to worry about spending $20 to watch dudes stare at their laptop screens. ANDREW GOSPE

METAL/PUNK

Satyricon, Goatwhore, Inquinok, VoidThrone
Nowhere as controversial as Mayhem or Burzum, and lacking the name recognition of Darkthrone, Satyricon nevertheless have created a discography that probably has aged the best out of the early-1990s Norwegian black-metal underground. The band’s first three albums are considered masterpieces of the genre—and more recently, Satyricon have evolved from the traditional blasting black metal to a more dynamic blackened rock ’n’ roll style. Their tourmates Goatwhore play pure devil-worshipping death metal, with song titles like “Perversions of the Ancient Goat” and “Fucked by Satan.” KEVIN DIERS

ROCK/POP

Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright—the belting vocal pop composer and songwriter with baroque and operatic persuasions and finely honed piano chops—has a résumé that includes nine Shakespeare sonnets set to music, originally inspired by a theater piece he scored for Robert Wilson. That release, 2016’s Take All My Loves, has cameos by Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher, William Shatner, and Florence Welch. Wainwright lands in Seattle on his All These Poses 20th Anniversary Tour, which celebrates his 2001 breakout LP, Poses, featuring his beloved quasi-hit “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” and a cover of Loudon Wainwright III’s “One Man Guy,” with his dad actually sitting in. LEILANI POLK

SOUL/R&B

Piano Starts Here: The Music of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, D’Angelo
Piano Starts Here as a series showcases the work of musical icons who contributed to the knowledge and appreciation of the instrument. This iteration celebrates Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and D’Angelo, all vast contributors to the American canon of modern piano and keyboard composition and performance and leaders of the soul and R&B industries.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Who Let Who Let the Dogs Out Out
In a unique multimedia talk engaging over 250 pieces of memorabilia and artifacts, artist Ben Sisto will explore a mystery of great millennial importance: who exactly let Baha Men hit "Who Let The Dogs Out" out into our world?

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY

JAZZ

Jazz Innovations
Led by a mentoring faculty team of professional musicians, UW student jazz ensembles will pay homage to the many varied icons of jazz and tackle new and progressive orchestral jazz compositions.

WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY

CLASSICAL/OPERA

Aida
Seattle Opera's production of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida is going to be massive. We're talking more than 150 performers, 200 costumes, innovative sets from graffiti artist RETNA (Marquis Duriel Lewis), complex choreography, and a wild story about an enslaved Ethiopian princess who falls in love with her Egyptian captor, who is himself betrothed to the pharaoh's daughter. This one is shaping up to be the production of the year from Seattle's largest opera house, and it's not to be missed. RICH SMITH
No performance on Thursday

JAZZ

Ballard Jazz Festival 2018
The 16th Annual Ballard Jazz Festival, which highlights both the historic neighborhood and Seattle's vibrant jazz scene, is happening this year at locations including the Conor Byrne Pub and the newly relocated Nordic Museum. Enjoy three days of live sets from local and national acts, a jazz walk down Ballard Avenue, and more. A few notables on this year's talented lineup include Detroit-based jazz drummer and composer Clarence Penn and Swedish flugelhorn and trumpet player Oskar Stenmark, as well as locals like Cornish College of the Arts jazz voice professor Johnaye Kendrick, percussionist Tarik Abouzied, and vibraphonist Susan Pascal.

THURSDAY

ELECTRONIC

Depth: Answer Code Request
Patrick Gräser, aka Answer Code Request, is a longtime fixture in Berlin’s electronic-music scene. He’s a resident DJ at Berghain, and he releases music on Ostgut Ton, the legendary club’s in-house label. With credentials like those, it’s hardly surprising that Gräser makes sophisticated, hi-fi techno. The tracks on February’s Gens evolve gradually, dealing in subtle textural changes rather than monumental shifts in energy or mood. Also notable is Gräser’s omnivorous streak—his work incorporates elements of electro, ambient, breakbeat, and bass music—a welcome feature that’s sure to stand out in this set. ANDREW GOSPE

METAL/PUNK

Cough, Grime, Serial Hawk, Isenordal
There hasn’t been as big of a motivation for reefed heshers to get off the couch in recent years as the Sleep album that dropped on 4/20, but anyone pining in the interim between Dopesmoker and The Sciences for pyroclastic flows of sludgy guitars pouring out of PA-punishing amps should have been spending some quality time with Richmond’s Cough. Their most recent album, 2016’s Still They Pray, vacillates between troglodyte low-end hammering and third-eye cosmic voyages with the portal-opening power of all the stoner-doom greats. With a half-decade gap between their last two albums, Cough don’t buck any notions of pothead industriousness, so don’t dose yourself into decommission tonight. BRIAN COOK

ROCK/POP

Dark Moon Lilith: A Tribute To Lilith Fair
In honor of the famed, now-inclusive womxn's music festival Lilith Fair, local drag favorites Americano, Amoania, Arson Nicki, Britt Brutality, Castor Pollux, Jordan O’Jordan, Harlotte O'Scara, and others will perform covers of some notable acts from the festival's history.

KEXP Presents: Mi Casa Es Tu Casa — A Homeless Coalition Benefit
Join KEXP in supporting the homeless services provided by Coalition on Homelessness by dancing to luscious tunes from local singer-songwriters Sera Cahoone and Robin Holcomb, chamber pop artist Tomo Nakayama, keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, folk artist JR Rhodes, and several others.

JAZZ

Susan Pascal Quintet Featuring Pete Christlieb: Remembering Stan Getz
Here is a confession I must make: I'm not big into jazz guitar. Indeed, I have never bought a record by a band led by a jazz guitarist, even by one of the big names in jazz history, like Charlie Christian or Django Reinhardt. Why? Because I can't help feeling that the real home for this instrument is the blues. But what breaks this dumb feeling in me every time is when a jazz guitarist performs with a jazz vibraphonist. Those wondrous, vaporous, Venusian sounds of the vibraphone seem to magically transform the licks and picks of the guitar into something that's utterly necessary and meaningful to the jazz home. For example, when Susan Pascal, Seattle's great vibraphonist, plays with Milo Petersen, a local jazz guitarist and educator, I honestly fall in love with an instrument that does almost nothing for me on all other occasions. Pascal, an artist who really knows her instrument and handles her sticks in the way that all masterful vibraphonists do (like wands casting warm spells), also frequently performs with Bill Anschell, an established and very productive pianist. CHARLES MUDEDE

THURSDAY-FRIDAY

La Luz, Savila, Ancient Forest
Now reveling in Los Angeles, Seattle-forged surf-rockers La Luz are back in town. They will have just dropped their new third studio album, Floating Features, so they’ll definitely have some fresh-squeezed treats up their sleeve. It can be a bummer when your favorite acts reach a level when they usually play 1,200+ capacity venues, but it’s our lucky break because La Luz are rockin’ two smaller stages instead of playing one spiffy stage, which means twice the shred and (let’s hope) twice the dosage of their signature surf-riff rendition of the Soul Train line dance. ZACH FRIMMEL

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

JAZZ

Madeleine Peyroux
Peyroux, an American-born jazz singer/songwriter and guitarist who's been compared to Billie Holiday and was discovered busking on the streets of Paris, is touring in support of her newest album, Anthem.

FRIDAY

BLUES/COUNTRY/FOLK

Laura Veirs, The Hackles
Indie-folk music has housed its fair share of acoustic guitars accompanied by easy, breathy voices, but Portland-based singer-songwriter Laura Veirs makes these two components as endearing as ever. Catch her tunes after a guest set from Astoria duo the Hackles.

HIPHOP/RAP

Bun B, Dyme Def, Huey P, New Track City, DJ Indica Jones
Many know Bun B as one half of legendary hiphop duo UGK, but the Texas-based rapper has carried on with a solo career ever since the death of the duo's other half, Pimp C. Tonight, he'll perform with support from Dyme Def, Huey P, New Track City, and DJ Indica Jones.

ROCK/POP

Great Falls, Burmese, Solo Organ, Nervous Corps
Formed 20 years ago in Iowa City, Burmese have had a revolving-door lineup, which has included at various points in time the Oh Sees' John Dwyer and Flying Luttenbachers' Weasel Walter behind the drum kit. Now operating out of Oakland, Burmese use the tools of rock to generate noise pieces that spasm with unruly power. The best noise musicians know when to relent and when to put listeners on blast—like Wolf Eyes and Pharmakon, to name but two. Burmese are masters of creating tension through intelligent dynamics. Their 2004 album on Load Records, Men, might be the best introduction to Burmese's controlled sonic catastrophes. DAVE SEGAL

Paul Simon
If there were an award given for the Most Paul Simon–like lyrics to ever Paul Simon, Paul Simon would surely win. “Sonny wanders beyond his interior walls, runs his hands through his thinning brown hair,” he sings in “The Obvious Child” from 1990’s The Rhythm of the Saints. Simon, miraculously, has been giving us the most poignant lyrics—and some of the most rhythmically eclectic music—for more than five decades. He has always been a slightly sentimental old man, even when he was young. He is the ultimate cool dad—as wise and thoughtful as he is darkly humorous and caustic. Though Simon began as an acoustic folk musician, since 1972 his solo albums, including this year’s Stranger to Stranger, draw inspiration from music as far-flung as Brazil and South Africa. His career disproves his own lyric “How it’s strange that some roots are like cages.” ANGELA GARBES

Poptone
Yet another Bauhaus offshoot project, Poptone features guitarist Daniel Ash and drummer Kevin Haskins playing material by Love & Rockets, Tones on Tail, and yes, Bauhaus... and other stuff, too. Recycling is good for the environment, yeah? A fresh take on nostalgia is good for the soul, yeah? You can't go wrong with any of those groups, really, and we 21st-century post-goths who also like psychedelia and strange Motown covers (they ratchet up the tension supersonically on “Ball of Confusion”) are primed for a substantial nostalgia wallow in Love & Rockets and Tones on Tail. The latter's version of “Go!” really knocks, with the bass-heavy swagger of dudes half their age. Tonight you'll probably hear L&R's “Mirror People,” Bauhaus's “Slice of Life, Tones on Tail's “Christian Says,” and more. Peter Murphy could not be reached for comment. DAVE SEGAL

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

ELECTRONIC

The Glitch Mob, Elohim, Anomalie
One of Los Angeles’ biggest electronic groups, the Glitch Mob leverage blockbuster beats and outrageously distorted synth bass riffs to create Burner-friendly jams. They were previously on tour supporting their album, Love Death Immortality, their first since 2010’s Drink the Sea. LDI sounds very expensive and ready to grace Hollywood thriller movie soundtracks. The Glitch Mob are very good at what they do, generating bold, un-nuanced moods with dramatic dropouts and build-ups. But an inescapable sense of hollow bombast pervades the album. Maybe that’s why their shows sell out? DAVE SEGAL

SATURDAY

BLUES/COUNTRY/FOLK

Chris Young, Kane Brown, Morgan Evans
Swiftly rising country star Chris Young, recently inducted as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry, will provide an evening of new Americana hits with support from Kane Brown and Morgan Evans.

DJ

C89.5 & KW Present: Josh Wink
Talk about longevity… Josh Wink has got it. The Philadelphia DJ/producer flirted with pop stardom in the mid 1990s, taking acid house to the charts in Europe with “Higher State of Consciousness,” “Don’t Laugh,” and “I’m Ready.” He couldn’t maintain that level of popularity, but Wink has carved out a nice niche on the semi-underground circuit with his brainy minimal techno that still grooves like a mofo. Yes, you need all three of Wink’s Profound Sounds mixes. As a bonus, he has extensive knowledge of acid house and techno, as his 2007 mix Josh Wink’s Acid Classics proves (two of its tracks, A Guy Called Gerald’s “Voodoo Ray” and Hardfloor’s “Acperience 1,” changed my life, and maybe yours, too). Wink seems like one of those DJs who’ll never lose his ear for underground-club greatness; his track record makes this show a safe bet for heady thrills. DAVE SEGAL

FUNK/RAGGAE

Kool & The Gang
There's no doubting the large funk/soul ensemble's technical proficiency, but clips of recent live performances show a troubling tendency for cheesy crowd interaction and emphasis on their frothier material (who doesn't grimace after hearing "Celebration" for the millionth time?). But in their 1970s prime, Kool and the Gang cut some of the filthiest and sweetest funk to ever maximize a gluteus. If they fill at least half their set with burners like "Jungle Jazz," "Hollywood Swinging," "Funky Stuff," and "Love the Life You Live," this will be worth the trip to the EQC. DAVE SEGAL

ROCK/POP

Nuggets Night Traveling Road Show: The Pynnacles, the Reverberations, Knights of Trash, the Shriekers, the Hauer Things, the Mean Reds, Dr. Quinn and the Medicine Woman
Tonight’s show is part of an ongoing Portland-music-related nonprofit benefit event, “Nuggets Night,” and is landing in Seattle as "Nuggets Night Traveling Road Show" and acting as a primer for their big weekender in June. So the bill is loaded with PDX bands: fuzz ’n’ jangle from the Pynnacles, dreamy and driving paisley sounds from the Reverberations, shredding covers from the Shriekers, raw and catchy garage-rock from the Mean Reds, and even MORE killer garage-rock from the Hauer Things. Not to be outdone, Seattle steps up with Dr. Quinn and the Medicine Woman and the Knights of Trash. MIKE NIPPER

Rogue Wave, Dear Boy
To mark the 10th anniversary re-issue of their seminal third album, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, Oakland-based indie rock five-piece Rogue Wave will no doubt elicit sighs of nostalgia with a performance of their hit song "Eyes." They'll be joined by LA alt rockers Dear Boy.

Shitty Person, Dirt Face, HYWAYS, DJ Mamma Casserole
Drummer/guitarist/vocalist Benjamin Thomas-Kennedy's newish project, Shitty Person, finds him exploring a more intimate, morose style of rock than his work with Fungal Abyss and Lesbian would lead you to expect. Abetted by members and ex-members of Rose Windows, Lesbian, and Master Musicians of Bukkake, Shitty Person evoke the bleak, methodical song stylings of post-’80s Swans and Neurosis. This show is the release party for Shitty Person's debut LP, Judgement, which Thomas-Kennedy says was inspired by “the desperation and self-hatred” he heard in Spacemen 3 and Monster Magnet records. Dirt Face feature several members of Master Musicians of Bukkake working in a more traditional rock format. The 10 minutes of their set that I caught at a recent house show revealed a keen knack for the spectral dirge, exemplified by their wondrous cover of Skip Spence's “Diana.” DAVE SEGAL

SUNDAY

CLASSICAL/OPERA

Music of Remembrance: Gaman
"Never forget" was the refrain the world adopted in response to the horrors of the Holocaust. Music of Remembrance takes that charge seriously, using symphonic music's ability to transcend time and create emotional connections between an audience and those touched by the Shoah and other tragedies. This spring, they mark their 20th season with "Gaman," a piece by Seattle-based composer Christophe Chagnard about the Japanese interment camps. To tell the story, Chagnard uses Japanese and Western instruments, as well as testimony and visual art from poets and artists who were imprisoned in the camps. RICH SMITH

ELECTRONIC

Customs x TR Present: Lone
The halcyon days of 1990s rave culture are a bottomless fount of inspiration for producers from the UK, regardless of whether they actually lived through them. Matt Cutler did, and his work as Lone bears it out: ecstatic samples, squelchy acid synths, and breaks galore. This isn’t pastiche, though. Cutler has developed a personal sonic vocabulary where garage and hardcore mingle with boom-bap hiphop and new age. Lately, with his Ambivert Tools series, Lone has been churning out unabashed dance-floor bangers—the drums less manic, the grooves tighter, the melodies stronger, but the nostalgia still palpable. ANDREW GOSPE

ROCK/POP

Sofi Tukker, Kah-Lo, LP Giobbi
Sofi Tukker, the New York–based duo best known for their track “Best Friend” in Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone X, are ready to give you something else to remember them by. Hot off the April release of their debut album, Tree House, Sofi Tukker will soon begin their worldwide tour with stops in Madrid, Berlin, Paris, and, of course, Seattle. The driving beats and richly contrasting musical textures on songs like “Baby I’m a Queen” and “Fuck They” are here to show their stuff, whether you’re there or not to see it. SOPHIA STEPHENS

Yonatan Gat, Darto, Bad Luck, Geist & the Sacred Ensemble
Mad props to some folks who managed—without hate speech, without directed violence—to get banned from most of the venues in their home country. No, not the Sex Pistols in the UK—Yonatan Gat’s old ensemble Monotonix in Israel. Under his own name, Gat hasn’t given up trying to turn every show into a party just up to the line of a riot, so attend at your own risk. But he’s wild and passionate, replete with funny noises, stuttering samples, and ferocious garage/surf guitar. He’s trying to remind us that being alive, in the best sense of the term, is a little dangerous. ANDREW HAMLIN

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