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Depths is a monthly audiovisual show by Andrew Crawshaw and Justin Thomas Kleine, who create live, drone-y electronic soundtracks for cult films. Stranger music critic Dave Segal has written, "It's impressive how these musicians transform what can be overly familiar scenes with their spontaneous interpretations." In October, they'll be providing the soundtrack to HP Lovecraft's From Beyond.
Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee
Melbourne rocker Courtney Barnett returns to Seattle armed with her signature blatant lyrical approach that empathizes with “Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence.” Her shredding slices through your latest anxiety without beating around the bush, thanks to Barnett’s latest release, Tell Me How You Really Feel. Katie Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee project has recently returned to her neo-folk roots with the new Great Thunder EP, which rediscovers six songs originally recorded in 2012. In these new versions, Crutchfield peels back the lo-fi effects in favor of beautifully pained vocals to breathe new life into her storytelling. ABBIE GOBELI
Cut Worms, Michael Rault, Guests
Brooklyn-based bedroom-pop artist Cut Worms favors Everly Brothers-esque storytelling about "love-struck nostalgia" on his debut EP, Hollow Ground. He'll play live with support from psych-pop artist Michael Rault.
Ty Segall & White Fence, Lavender Flu
The inexhaustible Ty Segall, who turned 31 in June, has released more records than most musicians twice his age. This year alone, he’s issued a double-LP set, a sophomore album from his thrash trio GØGGS, a covers collection (out on October 27), and his second collaborative effort, Joy, with Tim Presley, aka White Fence. When Presley and Cate Le Bon join forces as DRINKS, they strip things down to the bone, but with Segall, he lets his acid-folk flag fly. They’re like a micro-budget Syd Barrett and Roger Waters—all the guitar heroics, but without any of the stadium histrionics. KATHY FENNESSY
Earshot Jazz Festival
This year at the Earshot Jazz Festival, there is an emphasis on youth and women. Not saying that the festival has neglected young and female players. It has not. And the 2018 edition of Earshot seems to feature less huge names and more names you may not have heard of and need to discover. For example, there is harpist Brandee Younger, who’s worked closely with Ravi Coltrane and is certainly influenced by the musicians John Coltrane worked with in the last period of his musical career (1965–1967). Younger plays the kind of music that clears your brain and soul. Then there is Jane Bunnett and Maqueque. Bunnett is a pretty well-known Canadian saxophonist, but Maqueque, a superb band of Cuban women, is not. And there is also Helen Sung, a pianist who plays with a mesmerizing (and at times mind-boggling) mix of density and clarity. There’s the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, Samantha Boshnack, Sarah Manning, Madison McFerrin, and SassyBlack (formerly of THEESatisfaction). And there is much, much more. CHARLES MUDEDE
This week's top shows: Samantha Boshnack — Seismic Belt (Friday) & Afrocop and Paces Lift (Sunday).
Indie-roots supergroup Glorietta is composed of Delta Spirit's Matthew Logan Vasquez, Seattle's Noah Gundersen and David Ramirez, Wild Child's Kelsey Wilson, Grammy winner Adrian Quesada, and Jason Robert Blum. Dance to the sounds of their pooled talents.
Gregory Alan Isakov
Lyrically focused, ultimate chill-out musician Gregory Alan Isakov will perform his peaceful tunes in support of his new album, Evening Machines.
Oddisee, Evidence, Warm Brew
In style and sound, Oddisee is a throwback. The Washington, DC, MC’s music is lyrically dense and message-driven, his rapping is precise and dexterous, and his live-band production style could have come from any point in the past 20 years. Depending on your point of view, it’s either “real” hiphop or backpack rap, but what sets Oddisee apart from other old-school rappers is his lack of didacticism: Unconcerned with trends, he hones his skill without bemoaning the state of rap music and its current preponderance of face tattoos. In other words, he’s a craftsman, and an unusually skilled one at that. ANDREW GOSPE
Neighborhood Watch presents DoNormaal, Lilac, DaQween
As a part of the Neighborhood Watch series, which intends to get you excited about local artists, enjoy live sets by hiphop thrillers DoNormaal and DaQween and experimental electronica artist Lilac.
Bill Laurance is a classically trained pianist and composer most notable for being a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning, internationally acclaimed neo-jazz group Snarky Puppy. His latest solo works have delved into the sonic partnerships between solo piano, electronics, and composition.
Anna Von Hausswolff, John Haughm
Depending on one’s perspective, Anna Von Hausswolff is either a singer-songwriter whose instrument of choice happens to be pipe organ or an especially tuneful experimental metal artist. Across four full-lengths since 2010, the Swede has crafted a dramatic sound, with organ drones, minor-key guitar leads, ponderous half-time drumming, and songs that frequently exceed 10 minutes of build and release operatics. The most arresting feature, though, is Von Hausswolff’s powerful Kate-Bush-goes-headbanger vocals, which tower like a monolith over the surrounding gloom. Count this among the heaviest shows to come through Seattle this year. ANDREW GOSPE
Monster Magnet, Electric Citizen, Dark Sky Choir, Year of the Cobra
Monster Magnet are unapologetically sleazy. For damn near three decades, this Red Bank, New Jersey, band has been playing druggy, Sabbath-influenced heavy metal. Rock-radio fans may know them as a one-hit wonder, as 1998’s “Space Lord” skyrocketed their album Powertrip to gold status while they toured alongside mainstream acts like Marilyn Manson. That superstardom might not have lasted long, but Monster Magnet proved to have staying power in the world of underground metal, releasing six albums since their commercial breakthrough. Their latest, 2018’s Mindfucker, is everything you need from this band—soaring, catchy hooks and stoned, doom-centric riffage. KEVIN DIERS
St. Lucia, The Night Game
St. Lucia is a band begun by Jean-Philip Grobler, a South African–born musician now making dreamy, gauzy electro-pop in Brooklyn. The blogosphere loves him, and if you're a fan of M83ish synth dramatics, you will, too. DAVID SCHMADER
Ural Thomas & The Pain
Mr. Ural Thomas is something of a PacNW soul and R&B legend. Thomas, now pushing 80, has already had a momentous music career: More than 50 years ago, he was afforded a clutch of 45s and a live LP, performed with Otis Redding AND James Brown, and then quit the biz. Welp, he’s been back in action for a bit performing live and along with his band, the Pain. He even released a double LP in 2016. Y’all, age ain’t dimmed his intense flame—Ural Thomas can still bring it like it oughta be brought! MIKE NIPPER
Research: DJ Seinfeld
Sometimes life pummels you with events that lead you to binge-watch two seasons of The Golden Girls as you try to tamp down your emotions with copious amounts of dairy. Armand Jakobsson, aka DJ Seinfeld, coped with a move to Barcelona and a breakup through hours of watching the aforementioned American sitcom and processing it as “lo-fi house.” His series of EPs and debut full-length, Time Spent Away from U, expel a crunchy haze over layers of jittering drums, simple samples, and weaving synths whose titles are referenced by Seinfeld moments like “What Kind of Sandwich Is This?” ABBIE GOBELI
KYLE, Marc E. Bassy, Tobi Lou
Ventura-based rapper KYLE uses his deep '80s influences of hiphop and gaming culture to inform his smart, positive, and sometimes geeky verses.
Stas THEE Boss, Chong the Nomad
Seattle hiphop is in capable, diverse hands—if this bill is any indication. Stas THEE Boss, of course, formed half of one of Seattle’s deepest and most pleasurable rap/R&B units, THEESatisfaction, as their two Sub Pop LPs proved. Stas has continued to grow as a solo artist, with the excellent S’WOMEN, whose lyrics Stranger freelancer Jake Uitti deemed “noble, poignant, and revelatory.” Chong the Nomad (aka Alda Andara Agustiano) stunned attendees at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party with a series of skewed trap and R&B heaters that she enhanced with ukulele, harmonica, and beatboxing. AAA is one of the most distinctive young musicians working in the city now, balancing the weird and the playful—see especially “Ghosts in the Shower”—with a rare panache. Tonight is the release party for a Stas/Chong split LP on local label Crane City Music. DAVE SEGAL
Richie Dagger's Crime, PSA, DJ Sharlese
I’ve previously described budding performer PSA as being “on her way to becoming the pop star for which Seattle should be known. Using bombastic dance music and swirling triphop production styles to guide the energy, PSA sways through her own tracks like a dolphin on a wave, handling pop with the complexity of a practiced soul artist.” Her lithe popcraft will be coupled with the extensive musical knowledge of DJ Sharlese, KEXP queen and evergreen Seattle music community leader. Richie Dagger’s Crime will round out the bill, which doubles as a release show for their new album, Sea of Dysfunction, featuring their lilting explorations of gently psychedelic pop and rock. KIM SELLING
PlayBack Launch Party
In honor of the launch of PlayBack, Seattle Public Library's new downloadable collection of local music, enjoy performances from Seattle favorites like hiphop collective All Star Opera, experimental hiphop artist Guayaba, and prog rock shredders BEARAXE.
John Scofield's Combo 66 with Gerald Clayton, Vincente Archer, and Bill Stewart
Venerable jazz rock guitarist/composer John Scofield is one of those musicians who puts me at instant ease. His playing is liquid and adept, but free of heavy frills, his tone is warm and comforting, and his style is laid-back while still feeling dynamic. He’s also prolific as hell; since the late 1970s, Scofield has released nearly 50 albums as band leader and head collaborator (1998’s A Go Go with Medeski Martin & Wood is a particular fave), and he’s appeared on a mess of others—including Miles Davis—as sideman. LEILANI POLK
I love the Seattle Symphony's [untitled] series. The concert happens later in the evening (10 pm) in the lobby of Benaroya Hall. Some dress more casually for the event, others dress to the nines because they're the kind of people who do that. The people-watching is excellent and the music is always contemporary and daring. At this iteration, the symphony presents Hans Abrahamsen's Schnee. "Schnee" is the worst word for "snow," but, to be fair, Abrahamsen is Danish and can only work with the language he was given. "Schnee" also accurately describes the first 10 minutes of the piece, which is a brittle and airy screechfest that flirts with unbearability. The strings warm-up soon enough, though, before exploding into a blizzard. RICH SMITH
Scriptures, Møtrik, the Luna Moth
The Luna Moth have come back with a behemoth of a rock record, Common Denominator of the Universe. The Seattle trio—guitarist Mark Schlipper, bassist Levi Fuller, and drummer Dan Colavito—have added girth and gravitas to their cerebral post-rock opuses, harnessing a crushing majesty that’s up there with Om and almost early Earth (see especially “Underwater Sounds”). It’s the Luna Moth’s best full-length yet. Portland’s Møtrik sound like a Düsseldorf group speeding down the autobahn, circa 1971—as well as some of the great bands that those artists influenced, such as Th’ Faith Healers and Turing Machine. Krautrockin’ in the USA—in triple time yet, jah. DAVE SEGAL
Michael Nau & the Mighty Thread, Erin Rae, Guests
Michael Nau of Cotton Jones will be in town again promoting his lush recent works, Americana-infused album Some Twist and his EP, The Load, with his backing band the Thread and opener Erin Rae.
LA funk/soul ensemble War have split into two camps: One goes by the name the Lowrider Band, while original lead singer and keyboardist Lonnie Jordan has retained the War moniker. It’s not an optimal state of affairs, but War’s hit-laden 1970s catalog is so potent and redolent of greasily groovy good times and carefree summers (except for the ominous “Four Cornered Room,” which I consider one of War’s peaks) that you can be assured no matter which unit is playing them, they’re going to transport you to a better, warmer place. DAVE SEGAL
Car Seat Headrest, Naked Giants
Somewhere between the Strokes and Jonathan Richman is Seattle’s own Car Seat Headrest (Will Toledo). He’s the Babe Ruth of modern, blasé bar-rock, the Sultan of spot-on, and the Great Bandbino, having released his 11th studio album, Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)—a complete reworking of his 2011 Twin Fantasy—earlier this year at the age of 26. There’s simultaneously sensational angst and stoicism in Toledo’s vocal compositions and a vying of attention between his romanticized schmaltz and his freewheeling wordplay. Let’s hope that Toledo and locals Naked Giants will charm us with their collaborative Talking Head’s cover. ZACH FRIMMEL
Musical Politics: Motets of Influence
Witness the politics behind the music with this program featuring the Byrd Ensemble performing sacred music detailing the complicated religious and political turbulence of the Tudor Renaissance and Elizabethan England.
Depth: Eric Cloutier, Archivist
Kremwerk’s Depth night has established itself as a surefire ticket to some of the headiest techno in Seattle, whether it be with live or DJ sets. Tonight, Eric Cloutier will prove why he’s held residencies at international strongholds like Detroit’s Oslo and Brooklyn’s Bunker clubs with his keen ear for eerie moods, tantalizing textures, and varied rhythms that elude the monomaniacal rut that afflicts many selectors in these styles. Seattle producer Archivist (aka Alex Markey) continues to improve both in the studio and onstage with his brand of poised yet disorienting, dubby minimal techno. Watch him on his ascent to world-class status. DAVE SEGAL
Lee "Scratch" Perry with Subatomic Sound System, DJ Kid Hops, DJ Chilly, DJ Darek Mazzone
I have the last Lee “Scratch” Perry album! It’s called Must Be Free! It’s great! It makes no sense even by Lee “Scratch” Perry standards! I’ll quit with the exclamation points now! He’s collaborating with something or someone called Spacewave. The man says he can read minds, but he doesn’t know that his own website hasn’t been updated since 2010. I’m fascinated on each spin at how the new music recognizes the pull of classic, therefore expected, arpeggios and riffs in electronica, then systematically refuses them and throws out subtlety instead. No idea if the album will relate to the show at all. But Perry is 82. Catch what you can catch of him while you can. ANDREW HAMLIN
Tom Misch, Rob Araujo
South London artist Mischi will bring the jazz- and hiphop-inflected electronica from his bedroom-produced debut album to Seattle on his Geography tour. Los Angeles genre mutual Rob Araujo will perform an opening set.
Parisian globetrotting song-maker Jain will take over the Hill for an evening of complex sun-soaked and rhythm-driven Franco-pop.
The Turn of the Screw
In 1954, English composer Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) premiered his opera based on Henry James's ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Its music is darkly gorgeous, jolting, manic at times, and often outright scary. In key sequences involving the children in the story, the atonal sounds float like a ghost in a room of mirrors. Anyone familiar with the Portishead track “Cowboys” will already have a good sense of how this echo-stark opera sounds. Because the opera is as much about ghosts as sexual abuse of women and children, it provides new and important meanings for our #MeToo moment. CHARLES MUDEDE
Witch Bottle, Cinder Well, Novemthree, Carrion Crows
A little googling tells me that a witch bottle, according to folklore, is a talisman meant to protect its owner from malicious magic. A little deeper digging tells me that locals Witch Bottle have yet to release their second record, Forest Spell, but they might just play some of it at their upcoming show at the Black Lodge. The melancholic folk trio employ drums, accordion, and bowed saw in their compositions. In lesser hands, it could sound corny, but Witch Bottle give me pleasant flashbacks to the legendary early roster of OG goth label 4AD. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Old Time Relijun, Naomi Punk
After a 10-year hiatus, Olympia-based (by-way-of-everywhere) avant-rock freaks Old Time Relijun are returning in the original Catharsis in Crisis (2007) lineup. Founded in 1995 by artist Arrington de Dionyso (see also: Malaikat dan Singa, Indonesian throat-singing William Blake translations; mythical sex paintings), Old Time Relijun bring a no wave sensibility to carnal, psychedelic noise-rock. Recorded semi-improvised while playing a marathon session, the seven songs from upcoming record See Now and Know (out in March) fill the decade-long gap with even more Beefheart-blessed, disjointed trance-punk fever dreams. OTR’s reunion set with Kicking Giant at Obsidian in 2015 was a temporary immersion into hypnagogic weirdness that hints at what’s in store. BRITTNIE FULLER
Bells Atlas, JusMoni, Fysah
Oakland four-piece Bells Atlas explore "Afropop futurism" and other unique genres. They'll be joined by JusMoni and Fysah.