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Einar Selvik of Wardruna
Before joining his traditional Viking music project Wardruna later in the evening, Norwegian composer and musician Einar Selvik will perform an acoustic program in which simpler, but no less Nordic-sounding, instruments like the Kravik-lyre, the Tagelharpe, and the Bukkehorn prevail.
Contemporary Nordic music is cool, but so are the esoteric Norse stylings of Wardruna, a Norwegian group helmed by composer Einar Selvik that makes use of the oldest Nordic instruments and meters, often sung in proto-Norse tongue.
toe, Jack Grace
A lot of instrumental rock music is structured around build and release. Imagine the dramatic sonic vistas of Sigur Rós or Explosions in the Sky, which are practically a tacit admission: Hey, there are no words, so we need to get your attention somehow. Toe, on the other hand, keep an even keel. The long-running Tokyo band’s post-hardcore-indebted songs flow rather than crest; the tension stems from subtle variations to their limpid guitar lines and jazz-inflected drumming. The group’s more recent work is heavier on singing, but toe is still a band that doesn’t need words to say a whole lot. ANDREW GOSPE
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 last album, Anthem.
Christian McBride New Jawn Quartet
Lauded bassist Christian McBride, who's been a force in the jazz world for over 20 years and has played with musicians including Herbie Hancock and Sting, will perform with his New Jawn Quartet.
Deaf Wish, Steal Shit Do Drugs, the Rare Forms, Advertisement
You gotta love a band that makes a single release available only on VHS tape (I am not making this up), and just a few shades more normal, wraps its CD-Rs in barf bags. Is everybody like this down in Australia? Does the water, or lack of it, go to the brain? On Deaf Wish’s new Sub Pop album, Lithium Zion, they come off sly and insinuating over slowly mounting riffs. If the rat is back, then yes, lock yourself in with the cat. It rhymes, and it makes sense, sort of. Then again, there’s that VHS single… ANDREW HAMLIN
Australian singer-songwriter Harriette Pilbeam (aka Hatchie) makes sweet and lilting dream-pop so innocent and serene, you’d swear you heard it on the soundtrack to some prime-time teen television drama. Folks who like a good pop hook but are looking for a little more feral energy with their sugar and spice are strongly advised to investigate Baltimore-based openers Wildhoney, whose swirling banks of blown-out guitars and classic Manchester-scene production values provide a gritty and woozy counterpoint to the graceful melodies provided by frontwoman Lauren Shusterich. It’s like a flower blooming out of the rubble of Charm City’s crumbling infrastructure. BRIAN COOK
Liz Phair, Speedy Ortiz
The lyrical teachings of Liz Phair resonate now more than ever in this toxic sociopolitical climate and land on the 25th anniversary of her 1993 solo debut, Exile in Guyville. Matador Records is reissuing the essential record to mark the date. Ever since the early 1990s, Phair has been there like a big sister to warn us about fuckboys. She has taught us to stand tall when we feel small (particularly five-foot-two), and that she is extraordinary. The Sadie Dupuis–fronted Speedy Ortiz—who have made great strides in updating the textured grit of indie rock since their start in 2012—will open the night in support of their new record, Twerp Verse. ABBIE GOBELI
The Zombies, Liz Brasher
Fifty years ago, the Zombies released Odessey and Oracle, and although it wasn’t an instant smash, its timeless baroque-rock beauty gradually earned the respect and love of discerning people worldwide. Now it’s as canonical as The Velvet Underground & Nico, What's Going On, Forever Changes, There's a Riot Goin’ On, and Pet Sounds. Main members Rod Argent (keyboards, vocals) and Colin Blunstone (vocals) may be in their 70s, but they can still do justice to both hits such as “Time of the Season” and “She's Not There,” and deep cuts like “Brief Candles” and “Beachwood Park.” This could be your last chance to witness the sacred, ornate loveliness of the Zombies’ music live, so don’t blow it. DAVE SEGAL
Cuff Country Wednesdays with Line Dancing
Show off your fancy new boots at The Cuff every third Wednesday with The Rain Country Dance Association's regular country dancing night. Newcomers are welcome: instruction starts at 7:15ish with some "basic two-step," which I don't think is a euphemism for sex but given that it's The Cuff I wouldn't entirely rule it out. Even if you don't dance, it's still a sight to behold -- just give 'em your most enthusiastic cheers from the sidelines. And a real southern gentleman always remembers to tip the volunteers. MATT BAUME
Bay Area living legend E-40 just won’t quit. Then again, if you were still making relevant music after three decades in the ever-changing rap game, would you? An artist who regularly puts out at least a couple albums and mixtapes every year, E-40 has released a trilogy of studio albums already in 2018—The Gift of Gab, The Rule of Thumb, and Practice Makes Paper—plus a collaborative tape with B-Legit. With such an extensive catalog to pull from and his never-rest, never-stop work ethic, E-40 in concert is always exhilarating and inspiring. NICK ZURKO
Piano Starts Here: The Music of Kenny Kirkland & Mulgrew Miller
The Piano Starts Here series showcases the work of musical icons who contributed to the knowledge and appreciation of the instrument. This iteration celebrates the jazz legends who exhibited expansive originality, with the music of Kenny Kirkland and Mulgrew Miller. Musicians for the evening will be playing on a Steinway B grand piano. CHARLES MUDEDE
Dave Mason & Steve Cropper
Whoa. Tonight we’re getting treated to a double dose of rock ’n’ roll heavies playing together: Steve Cropper, the guitarist of the famous Stax Records house band Booker T. & the M.G.’s, and Dave Mason, the Traffic and Blind Faith guitarist who also released a string of killer early-’70s hits. This show oughta be a good sing-along time, as the set list looks like a mix of both fellers’ radio hits, including “Green Onions” and “Time Is Tight” by Cropper, and “Feelin’ Alright” and “Only You Know and I Know” by Mason. MIKE NIPPER
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Cheap Trick
In the new Joan Jett documentary, Bad Reputation, the ex-Runaway wears a Cheap Trick t-shirt featuring the typography from their 1977 debut. Could anyone have predicted they’d be co-headlining a bill 41 years later? Probably not, but the parallels are rife, like their associations with Epic Records, songwriter-to-the-stars Diane Warren, and less commercial entities like Kathleen Hanna, who has cowritten several Jett songs, and Steve Albini, who cowrote one for Cheap Trick (Albini’s band, Big Black, also covered “He’s a Whore”). With the death of Lemmy, few acts can unite the punks and the rockers quite like these two. KATHY FENNESSY
Save the Showbox Rally & Concert
Show up to the land-use hearing regarding our existing Showbox that will double as a community rally of support for the cherished venue and a concert in City Hall Plaza featuring sets by local rock, pop, hiphop, and soul artists like Dude York, Ruler, SassyBlack, Sol, Spirit Award, and Smokey Brights.
DeVotchKa, Orkesta Mendoza
Art-poppy four-piece DeVotchka have been tooling around Seattle for what seems like forever, and, as is sometimes the case with beloved local indie bands, they have landed a night at the Showbox. The acoustics of the hall should greatly benefit the soaring, emotive, and possibly overly earnest rock of DeVotchka, whose multi-instrumental proclivities and generally Slavic/Balkan bent should have been collecting royalties from Beirut for years now. (And Arcade Fire’s Win Butler could kick in, as well, given the moves he’s obviously been ripping from singer Nick Urata all these years.) KYLE FLECK
John Doe Folk Trio
You know, or you should know, John Doe as one-fourth of the punk-rock band X, and while I always preferred the Germs (who loved X), X had the ear of the Doors’ Ray Manzarek, and they shuffled along inheriting some of Jim Morrison’s neo-noir, creepy-underpass ambience. Doe’s done plenty of movies, sometimes not as a musician, but often on a bandstand—I’m partial to Georgia, where he keeps plunking through that all-too-common moment of the bar-band player where, yes, everything is going to shit, but the plunk must go on, because they don’t get paid if they stop. His album The Westerner points toward mellower, more C&W-influenced sounds; but a neo-noir punk should have a full bag of tricks. ANDREW HAMLIN
MarchFourth, Buzz Brump
The vivacious, extravagantly bizarre MarchFourth is a performance troupe that hails from Portland and features 15 or so members that encompass a full band (bassist, guitarist, percussion corps, brass section) along with fire-eaters, stilt walkers, burlesque dancers, and acrobats. Clad in bedazzled, repurposed marching-band-themed costumes given a burlesque-meets-vaudeville-meets-circus-tent twist (think lots of black-and-white stripes, gold buttons and sequins, feathers, and flamboyant head pieces), MarchFourth delivers a high-spirited, intoxicating mix of indulgent theatrics and musical mastery, their sound dousing New Orleans–style marching band brass with elements of hard rock, funk, gypsy jazz, Afrobeat, and even some Latin music. All together, it makes for one wildly eclectic stage show that is far from novelty and definitely worth checking out. LEILANI POLK
Slothrust, Summer Cannibals
Jazz- and blues-charged rock trio Slothrust, who met at Sarah Lawrence College, broke onto the Brooklyn indie scene with their unique "incandescent riffing" and pop hooks. Hopefully they'll play some covers by Al Green and Britney Spears as they did on their 2017 album Show Me How You Want It To Be. They'll be joined by Kill Rock Stars signees Summer Cannibals.
STRFKR started as Joshua Hodges’s scrappy one-man dance act, and in the late 2000s grew into a three-piece that put on shambolic live shows at Portland DIY spaces. (Think lots of costumes and instrument swapping.) Ten years in, though, the group has changed into a rather buttoned-up, anonymous-sounding electro-pop band—sonically, every STRFKR record is enjoyable, but not particularly distinctive. Being No One, Going Nowhere, a 2016 album whose title references the teachings of a Buddhist nun, continues a recent trend of writing explicitly about heavier themes like existentialism and Eastern philosophy. Maybe that’s what sets STRFKR apart from other electro-pop bands: a sense of their own mortality. On this tour, STRFKR are rolling through on the 10-year anniversary tour behind their self-titled debut LP, which means one set will be devoted to delivering it in its entirety. ANDREW GOSPE
The King Romeo Santos
Latin artist Romeo Santos, crowned many times over as the "King of Bachata," will play two nights of high-energy tracks that have gone multi-platinum on his Golden Tour.
Beethoven Violin Concerto
Virtuoso violinist Augustin Hadelich will team up with the Seattle Symphony to tackle Beethoven's immortal violin concerto, along with dreamy selections by Debussy.
No performance on Friday
It’s not quite on the level of Decibel Festival for world-class electronic-music bookings, but Kremfest is making strides to fill the void that that Seattle institution left. The event unites various local crews to create a strong demonstration of the city’s robust underground club culture. Detroit minimal-techno deity Robert Hood heads a strong bill that includes Swedish-American cosmic-techno artist Pleasurekraft, DJ/activist JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN), house-music titan Doc Martin, Detroit techno renegade Sinistarr, Noncompliant, and more. DAVE SEGAL
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Paul Cherry
His wheelhouse is vintage blues dosed with modern guitar-fuzzed grit, swaggering and strutting funk, howling soul, and hard-crashing R&B amped up ever further by some rather tight, Tower-of-Power-meets-Morphine vibing horn work, which adds an urgent, full-bodied brass overtone to his songwriting. Austin’s Black Joe Lewis plays guitar and harmonica, has an old-soul vocal quality, and arrives in town behind fifth and latest full-length, Backlash, which scaled the Billboard blues charts to the number three spot the week of its release. LEILANI POLK
A young Ben Haggerty’s greatest triumphs once came in the form of thoughtful social observations and personal conscience mining. More recently, a veteran Macklemore has struggled to find a side of himself he hasn’t explored yet on record, having already written definitive statements on many of the social justice and personal issues that concern him. Between anthem-chasing and extolling the joys of fatherhood on his latest album, Gemini, Seattle’s most famous rapper lands a hit with the Offset-featuring, horn-blasted “Willy Wonka.” Moments like these are sparse, but a good moment is a good moment, and it should fortify his Billboard-chart-hit-parade set nicely. TODD HAMM
Johnny Marr, the Belle Game
Johnny Marr is best known as the guitarist and co-songwriter of the Smiths, crafting jangles that pair well with woe as you look forlornly out the rain-stained bus window. Besides soundtracking your angsty days, this British rocker was a temporary member of groups such as the Cribs, Electronic, Modest Mouse, The The, and the Pretenders. In addition, Marr has kept himself more than busy cowriting tracks and collaborating with film composer Hans Zimmer. Marr recently returned to his solo pursuits this past June to drop his third release, Call the Comet, which feels sharpened and polished in comparison to 2014’s Playland. “Hi Hello” highlights that Smiths-esque jangle, but as you dive further, Marr has fine-tuned his lyrical hooks and embraced more of a post-punk approach, à la “Actor Attractor” and “My Eternal.” ABBIE GOBELI
John Coltrane Birthday Celebration Weekend
On September 23, 1926, one of the greatest American musicians to ever live was born in a small town in North Carolina. His greatness was not discovered until more than half of his short life, 40 years, was completed. He died of a bad liver in 1967. But his last decade in this world was simply out of this world. In this short period of time, he contributed to one of the greatest American cultural achievements, Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, and, with the John Coltrane Quartet, made his own American masterpiece, A Love Supreme. His late works were very difficult but deeply important to him, in much the same way that the almost unreadable novel Finnegans Wake meant a lot to its author, James Joyce. On this night, local jazz musicians—Ben Shapiro, Matt Jorgensen, Marc Seales, and Charles Owens—honor the birth of the jazz giant. CHARLES MUDEDE
John Prine, Todd Snider
Herman Melville once wrote “there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast.” You cannot savor warmth without knowing the cold. And you can’t really fathom happiness unless you’ve known the full depth of sadness. Folk legend John Prine appears to understand this principle. His charmingly sweet songs like “In Spite of Ourselves” set you up for heart-rending ballads like “Sam Stone” and “Hello in There.” It can be such a roller coaster that even the lyrically light “Long Monday” seems like a heavy-duty painkiller. You can keep your young sad-sucker minstrels with their endless string of minor chords. I’ll take the old guy whose upbeat demeanor belies a lifetime of genuine heartache. BRIAN COOK
Few contemporary axmen can match Jonny Lang's skill at crafting sizzling solos, and even fewer share his penchant for blue-eyed soul bellows. But no one in any genre can top Lang's ability to make guitar-playing look like the most vile of tortures. During each concert, Lang musters an expression that screams, "Bloody hell, I just lost my hand to the hedge clippers," even as his digits nimbly operate the strings. It's hard to discern the source of Lang's ostentatious angst, as he's been a successful musician since age 16. Fortunately, he doesn't resort to a far-fetched lyrical backstory, as dramatized in Ghost World when an all-white group moaned about "picking cotton all day." But Lang's recent leanings toward polished boogie rock have alienated longtime followers. If he unveils too many tunes from 2003's Long Time Coming at this show, fans might even outscowl their wayward hero. ANDREW MILLER
Seattle Classic Guitar Society: Iliana Matos
Not only does Iliana Matos crush international guitar competitions across the board, but she's also the first woman to win the prestigious S.A.R. La Infanta Doña Cristina International Guitar Competition, and the only person to win the special prize for Best Interpretation of Spanish Music in two consecutive years, 1995 and 1996. She'll play tracks from her acclaimed album Angels in the Street alongside other classics.
Jon Hopkins, Leon Vynehall
Two of the UK’s most inventive producers join up for this show. Jon Hopkins makes brainy, cosmic dance music, drawing primarily from techno and IDM in his wide-screen compositions. They’re easy to get lost in, and easy to like: He releases on indie-rock label Domino, so this stuff has broader-than-you’d-think appeal. Leon Vynehall is a house producer par excellence, merging organic textures, creative sampling, and clattering percussion with classicist dance grooves. Latest record Nothing Is Still is an exciting new path for Vynehall—a near-beatless collection of ambient tracks inspired by his grandparents’ immigration to the United States—but at this show, expect plenty of the floor-fillers on which he’s made his name. ANDREW GOSPE
Clinton Fearon & Boogie Brown Band, Irie Lights, DJ Miss Ashley
A former member of the classic Jamaican reggae band the Gladiators, Clinton Fearon is the only real roots rocker in the Pacific Northwest. His first Seattle band, the Defenders, was beloved by all black immigrants, who were moved by his sense of authority, his command of important issues, and his determination that Africa would one day rise again and destroy monolithic Babylon. The Defenders' "Chant Down Babylon" even became a local hit. The Jamaican expat is still alive and well, performing now with the Boogie Brown Band, which does a competent job of backing this reggae master. CHARLES MUDEDE
Flogging Molly & Dropkick Murphys
For the past two-plus decades, Flogging Molly have been waving the flag of Celtic punk proudly, touring the world and providing thousands of devoted fans with a night of drunken, sweaty, sing-alongs. The seven-piece LA-based band is truly a spectacle, as they play a wide range of instruments, including the bodhran, mandolin, accordion, banjo, and tin whistle. Kevin Diers
The daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, and brother to Rufus, Martha Wainwright is the unsung dynamo of her bountiful family tree. “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole” off the singer-songwriter’s 2005 debut—which sounds suspiciously like any number of classic Loudon tracks—is one of the best parental kiss-offs in recorded history. (And it makes her brother’s similarly melodramatic “Dinner at Eight” seem like a Father’s Day e-card by comparison.) The artist’s latest release, last year’s Goodnight City, touches on everything from indie rock to Edith Piaf, affirming Wainwright’s position as one of the most adept and eclectic songwriters in modern folk. MORGAN TROPER
An Evening with George Winston
Easy-on-the-ears pianist George Winston's autumnal show features music of the fall and winter, including tribute piece to Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts, as well as piano styles like melodic folk, New Orleans R&B, and stride.
Parquet Courts, Gong Gong Gong
With their Ellen DeGeneres–endorsed new jams, Parquet Courts are Wide Awake on their fourth studio album. With help from Danger Mouse’s production, the New York cadre are still strapped into their legato-lyriced post-punk, but have also tapped into some type of The Mix-Up-era Beastie Boys grooves on their disco-fied title track. This time around the country, the four-piece are diverging into some unexplored sonic territory and can reasonably claim Rolling Stone’s title for “the most exciting, young band.” With punk poetics displayed over distorted guitar and Beijing’s fuzz-droners Gong Gong Gong warming up the room, you’ll be drenched and thoroughly quenched. ZACH FRIMMEL