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Gwar, Hatebreed, Miss May I, Ringworm
Damn it, I love GWAR! I mean, they lose their frontman and original founding member, Dave Brockie, aka “Oderus Urungus” (he died in 2015 of a heroin overdose), and what do they do after 14 albums and 30-some years as a band? They fucking carry on! They go on tour in honor of their fallen comrade! Brockie would undoubtedly be proud that his blood-and-guts-spewing thrash metal freak show from Richmond, Virginia, refused to lie down and die with Oderus. KELLY O
Paradise Lost, Sólstafir, the Atlas Moth
Chances are you’ve never heard of British gothic-metal outfit Paradise Lost—the band avoided touring the United States in the 1990s while they were releasing their most beloved records. But while groups like Lacuna Coil and Type O Negative piloted their sound to commercial success, neither band consistently wrote songs as sublime as “As I Die” or “True Belief.” In some alternate timeline, guitarist Gregor Mackintosh and vocalist Nick Holms led their band of melancholy men to rock-chart success on these shores. In our timeline, this is the band’s first US headlining tour, and it’s not to be missed, especially since their most recent LP, Medusa, is about as good as their occult classic LPs. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Toronto singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez is known for tackling difficult issues like sexism and misogyny in her music. She'll share new work at this Seattle tour stop.
Iranian Swedish singer Snoh Aalegra, who was sampled on Drake's More Life album, will belt soulful ballads on her Feels tour.
Chinese American electronic musician Zhu has collaborated with the likes of A-Trak, Skrillex, AlunaGeorge, Gallant, and Vancouver Sleep Clinic. He'll bring his unique house music to Seattle on his 2018 DUNE tour.
Koga Shabazz, Campana, Dex Amora, Torpoise
Recent grad of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis-helmed rap camp the Residency, Koga Shabazz showcases his hiphop vocal skills as a native son of the Central District. He'll be joined by Campana of Cosmos, Dex Amora, and Torpoise.
Agent Orange, UK Subs, Guttermouth
Damn, tonight’s lineup is looking sharp for all y’all sleeveless denim jacketed punks! Agent Orange are an original 1980s Orange County punk/skate-rock band, and founder Mike Palm and crew are still shredding their classic, cool, and melodic SoCal punk. As for the UK Subs, well, they were one of the earliest English 1970s punk groups; original frontman Charlie Harper, who is now fucking 74, was also part of the original English beat boom in the 1960s! And to round out the show for the JNCO jeans set, we get 1990s pop-punk via Guttermouth. MIKE NIPPER
MC50, Starcrawler, Fitz of Depression
So, MC50 is Wayne Kramer’s version of the MC5, backed by a clutch of fab rockers: Up front, and really looking like original MC5 vocalist Rob Tyner, Zen Guerrilla’s Marcus Durant, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Faith No More bassist Billy Gould, and Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. I reckon this is something of a promo tour for, or celebration of, the recent box-set treatment of the three MC5 LPs and The Hard Stuff, Kramer’s recently released biography. Whatever the reasons, MC50 are killin’ live and remind us that MC5’s pointed revolutionary messages remain relevant in our current political climate. MIKE NIPPER
Israel Nash, Kyle Emerson
The title cut from Israel Nash's, Rain Plans, is a seven-minute sigh that perfectly combines the sad psychedelia of Dark Side–era Pink Floyd and the grim cries of Neil Young. But to call it a downer would be a mistake. It's forlorn and simmering, the latter adjective being a great way to describe Nash's overall sound. The Missouri-born singer-songwriter also dials it back with bright, harmony-laden cuts that glisten and glow. JASON JOSEPHES
St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Black Pumas
St. Paul & the Broken Bones bring their lively eight-piece soul-based rock unit back to Seattle this fall with opening support from Austin soul group Black Pumas.
Prolific pianist and New York Times darling Marc-André Hamelin will reawaken the rhythms and harmonies of critically lauded neoclassical pieces composed for piano.
Tetuzi Akiyama, John Krausbauer, Bill Horist
Like the legendary minimalist composer Tony Conrad, Bay Area violinist John Krausbauer uses his instrument—and his powerful chants—to erect towers of drone that act as a stroboscope for the ears. His overwhelming gush of serrated string tones—as exemplified by the 2015 Debacle Records CD Blues for the Grave and his last couple of local live performances with synth wizard Kaori Suzuki—generate transcendent sonic force fields that suspend time and space in a howling eternal now. Tetuzi Akiyama is a Japanese improvisational guitarist and violinist who’s worked with luminaries such as David Sylvian, Oren Ambarchi, and Toshimaru Nakamura, and has played in Keiji Haino’s Nijiumu group. Tetuzi is a master of space and distortion on his instruments. DAVE SEGAL
Hoop, Misties, Outdoor Voices
When I first saw Hoop, all that kept running through my head was a constant stream of "Wow, I love this band." Caitlin Roberts, Leena Joshi, and Pamela Santiago trade off singing on the dreamiest friendship-bracelet pop songs, full of tender harmonies and magical guitar lines and introspective lyrics that tug gently on my most sensitive heart strings. ROBIN EDWARDS
John Dillon, Slowfoam, Von Wildenhaus, Thank You
John Dillon is a band made up of previous Tomten and Kithkin members playing the baroque folk-pop songs of Dillon Sturtevant. They'll be joined by Slowfoam, Von Wildenhaus, and Thank You.
KT Tunstall, Maddie Ross
After topping "the charts," soundtracking every major film and TV show, and being labelled the queen of the indie music scene, KT Tunstall dropped everything and peaced out to Venice Beach for a several-years-long detox session. Now she's back on another U.S. tour in promotion of her latest album, WAX. Los Angeles indie rocker Maddie Ross will play an opening set.
Matthew Sweet and the Dream Syndicate
From the four closed-string strokes of “Sick of Myself” into its riff, the backbeat, then the low-key singing into pleading for the chorus, Matthew Sweet’s 1995 LP 100% Fun deftly balanced the powerful with the defeated (a fun album on the surface, but its title harked back to Kurt Cobain’s suicide note). Sweet’s best work maintains and asserts this equilibrium. He’s not young anymore, but then again, he doesn’t need to be. He brings us the truth, and truth isn’t often in youth. ANDREW HAMLIN
WEDNESDAY & SATURDAYOPERA
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
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
Top shows this week: David Sanborn Jazz Quintet (Wed); Kamasi Washington (Wed); Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom (Fri); An Evening with Pat Metheny w/ Antonio Sánchez, Linda May Han Oh, & Gwilym Simcock (Sun); Tribute to Dave Lewis ft. D’Vonne Lewis & Friends (Sun)
Research: Karen Gwyer
London, England, via Ann Arbor, Michigan, producer Karen Gwyer is gaining respect for her live hardware-oriented techno sets, an increasing rarity in a scene where laptop and disc jockeys prevail. Gwyer’s productions flaunt a freewheeling, un-gridlike hedonism, but without losing her knack for intriguing atmospheres and unconventional textures. She’s making some of the most exciting techno in the world at the moment. Tonight, Gwyer is backed by Raica, Succubass, and Cavernous—some of the Northwest’s boldest experimental-electronic musicians and DJs. Take a personal day Friday. DAVE SEGAL
Casual Hex, So Pitted, Bad Luck, Travis Coster
Seattle’s atonal trio Casual Hex are heading off to their European tour on October 22, but before they do, we have the pleasure of hearing their piercingly pensive post-punk. Their timbre is vitriolic, their lyrical cadence is eruditely fragmented, and their staunch means of execution is delinquent dissonance. ZIG ZAG LADY ILLUSION is sold out in LP form and triumphs as their third studio album. Casual Hex are joined by Sub Pop deviants So Pitted, avant-jazz purveyors Bad Luck, and the solo, unnerving stylings of Travis Coster from Olympia’s Naomi Punk. It’ll be a full room of peak rawness and rippers. ZACH FRIMMEL
Even if you think you're unfamiliar with Irish singer-songwriter Hozier, you've no doubt heard his wildly popular 2013 single "Take Me to Church." He'll come to Seattle on this tour stop.
Kaki King: The Neck is a Bridge to the Body
Jazzy guitarist Kaki King will demonstrate her unparalleled love and appreciation for her instrument of choice by using it as a screen to project visuals.
Tom Morello: The Atlas Underground Experience
Tom Morello has such a singular tone and style (crunchy, off-kilter, heavy-metal-/punk-rooted riffs peppered with screaming, scratching, wah-wah, and bomb-dropping effects achieved via pedals and amps and his own techniques) that you can recognize his playing wherever it may land—Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Street Sweeper Social Club, the Nightwatchman, Prophets of Rage, even with Bruce Springsteen, who tapped him for seven years and two albums. The Atlas Underground is his new outing, made up of collaborations with the likes of Bassnectar, Big Boi, Killer Mike, Gary Clark Jr., and others, who, Morello has said “set my creativity into uncharted territory.” Based on the singles released so far, it’s heavy on the EDM and hiphop influences. This tour finds him playing the new LP in its entirety, with possible “special appearances by surprise guests.” LEILANI POLK
Enjoy cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason's take on Beethoven's bold and energetic Symphony No. 1 and Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations 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.
Puget Soundtrack: Too Much Johnson
William Tyler of the Silver Jews and Lambchop (Dave Segal called him "brilliant") will live-score a reconstruction of a once-lost filming of a stage production of Too Much Johnson, which was edited by Orson Welles. Too Much Johnson was a 1894 farce written by William Gillette; quite possibly, the title is meant as a naughty pun.
Peanut Butter Wolf, Pressha, DJ Indica Jones
Peanut Butter Wolf (Chris Manak) is a top-notch entertainer behind the decks, but he's perhaps better known as head of the excellent Stones Throw label than as a producer or DJ. That'll happen when you release music by artists like J Dilla, Madlib, Dâm-Funk, Stark Reality, and James Pants. But PBW is also the first disc jockey I ever saw sync up his tracks to videos of said tracks, which took DJing to a decidedly more fascinating level. Wolf's unerring ear for deep funk and party-igniting jams of myriad genres ensures that any live appearance by him will become a hedonistic free-for-all. DAVE SEGAL
Curren$y, BLKSKNN, Carter Wilson, D. Mikey
The rap cat with nine lives, Curren$y has undergone many a zeitgeisty change during his nearly two decades in the game, navigating a career that stretches from the early- to mid-’00s No Limit and Cash Money rosters up through his 2010 breakthrough album, Pilot Talk II, and into his current role as impresario of Jet Life Recordings. Curren$y is a whip-smart performer with charisma to spare, and his live shows reflect his verbal alacrity alongside his role as a consummate entertainer. One for the heads. NICK ZURKO
Mercury Rev, Marissa Nadler
Over eight albums apiece, Mercury Rev and Marissa Nadler have used the folk song structure as a framework for richly atmospheric pop ranging from dreamy to baroque. Highlights from Mercury Rev’s discography include Yerself Is Steam, their deliriously disorienting 1991 debut, and Snowflake Midnight, their 2008 excursion into electronica. This acoustic tour revolves around Deserter’s Songs, the beloved 1998 opus they recorded in the Catskills with members of the Band. Nadler’s new release, For My Crimes, also features a murderers’ row of collaborators, from vocalists Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen to harpist Mary Lattimore and drummer Patty Schemel. KATHY FENNESSY
The Weather Station, Jennifer Castle
On her fourth (and first self-titled) album as the Weather Station, Toronto's Tamara Lindeman follows in the jazz-folk footsteps of Joni Mitchell and Elyse Weinberg, who both traded Canada for Laurel Canyon. The singer-songwriter floats through vowels and grazes consonants before landing in a lovely thicket of guitar and strings. KATHY FENNESSY
Sabrina Claudio, snny
SoundCloud-bred R&B singer-songwriter Sabrina Claudio will bring her vocal prowess to Seattle after a lush set of soul and hiphop from New York-based artist ssny.
Soweto Gospel Choir
The 40-plus-member-strong Soweto Gospel Choir have two Grammys to their credit (three if you count their contribution to Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu”). But that’s the least of the reasons why you should care about them. And you don’t have to believe in god to be moved and inspired by their sonic expressions of love, unity, and hope. The South African group bring extra helpings of joy and uplifting exuberance to their rich, infectious, multi-voice performances of African gospel music, American spirituals, freedom songs, reggae, and pop music. Soweto Gospel Choir—who were among the lineup of performers at the first 46664 Concert, a series of AIDS benefits hosted by Nelson Mandela from 2003 to 2008—celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in their 2018 album, Freedom, and their current worldwide tour in support. LEILANI POLK
Latin Grammy Award-winning flamenco guitarist Vicente Amigo, commonly referred to as the "Sultan of Duende," will return to the Seattle stage.
Take your anxiety over the Showbox, sadness about Sasquatch!, and irritation at Upstream, and find some relief at this fest. NadaMucho.com has been supporting local musicians for 22 years, which is essentially a century in internet years. Punk-punctuated, rock-heavy, and peppered with hiphop, all three days of this celebration are gaga-good. Eight acts perform each night, rotating between Substation’s main stage and Chandelier Room, with Strawberry Mountain, Happy Heartbreak, and Nauticult headlining. Look at your long game and go witness these ascending artists in a space that hasn’t yet been saddled by New Seattle. AJ DENT
All hick Balkan music kinda sounds the same to me, but in Three Letters from Sarajevo, Goran Bregović showcases the genre's ethnic and aesthetic diversity. The musicians he gathers here hit pretty hard, and their music forces you to adopt a fun, kinda brassy mood that will lead you to do weird shimmy dances in your seat. RICH SMITH
Black Moth Super Rainbow, the Stargazer Lilies, Air Credits
Psychedelic synthesizers run through monster fuzz distortion that would impress Tony Iommi—it’s not the most contemporary aesthetic in the world, but maybe Black Moth Super Rainbow do it best. Over the last 15 years, BMSR have honed their blown-out electronica attack into a rhythmic focus that would make the Black Angels blush on their new LP, Panic Blooms. The LP comes after a six-year absence, during which time frontman Tom Fec (aka Tobacco) has maybe eclipsed his band’s name recognition—but he does his best work in this ensemble. JOSEPH SCHAFER
King Khan & The Shrines, Gabriella Cohen
This is one pumped hoedown! Seriously, I don’t know anyone who does NOT love the rock-and-roll mayhem King Khan brings when he and his Shrines rain down their contemporary party-time rave-ups. God damn, after a night like tonight, tomorrow morning might hurt. MIKE NIPPER
Lykke Li, TiRon & Ayomari
Swedish electro indie-pop artist LYKKE LI is a festival favorite, having played at Coachella and Lollapalooza, among others. She'll stop by Seattle on her So Sad, So Sexy tour, with support from Los Angeles electronic duo TiRon & Ayomari.
Tech N9ne, Futuristic, Dizzy Wright, Krizz Kaliko
Hiphop legend and frequent PNW visitor Tech N9ne will bring his many evolutions back to Seattle for a night with opening guests Futuristic, Dizzy Wright, and Krizz Kaliko.
Cane Hill, Sharptooth, Afterlife, Forever Convicted
Groovy, aggressive, and riffy, Cane Hill are one more band on the border of metal and hardcore looking to capitalize on the disaffected and testosterone-riddled teen-boy market, as if that vein weren’t already strip-mined into gravel (says someone who totally came from that market). Their tourmates Sharptooth, however, are worth the price of admission. Fiercely socially conscious and named after the deranged tyrannosaurus from The Land Before Time, Sharptooth are exactly what hardcore ought to be in 2018. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Windhand, Satan's Satyrs
As far as amplifier worship goes, it doesn’t get much better than this. Windhand’s melding of soulful vocals and towering Black Sabbath riffs netted them a prestigious slot on the Relapse Records roster, where they continue to put out quality work. Windhand will be touring to support their new LP, Eternal Return, so the band promises to be fresh. Openers Satan’s Satyrs have a similarly impressive pedigree—bassist-vocalist Clayton Burgess is an alumnus of esteemed UK doom act Electric Wizard. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Mayday Parade, This Wild Life, William Ryan Key, Oh, Weatherly
Florida quintet and standard-bearers for the pop-rock genre Mayday Parade are back in Seattle for the 11-year anniversary of their release A Lesson in Romantics. They'll be joined by Long Beach rock duo This Wild Life, William Ryan Key of Yellowcard, and Dallas alt rockers Oh, Weatherly on their Welcome to Sunnyland tour.
Tove Styrke, Au/Ra
On this tour stop in support of her latest single, "Say My Name," Swedish pop star Tove Styrke will play introspective songs that you can most definitely dance to about falling in love.