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Itzhak Perlman — Bruch Violin Concerto
Grammy- and Emmy-winning violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, who's played a concert at the White House to honor Queen Elizabeth II and who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, will perform an evening set of Bruch's Violin Concerto.
Wild Child, Batty Jr.
I’ve said Wild Child make indie pop that is instantly likable and head-bobbable, driven by the masculine-feminine vocal exchange of coleaders Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins. She has an exquisite, honeyed, silky-husky vocal quality that’s a pleasing counter to his sincere, higher-toned tenor. The Austin septet is back in town behind 2018’s Expectations, a combination of breezy feel-good numbers, poignant and bittersweet ballads (“Eggshells” gives me those goose bumps every time), and get-down dance odes, most of them lushly orchestrated and full of finely layered cello, violin, and percussion. If you missed their sold-out show last April at the Crocodile, this is your chance to get in and see them in a slightly roomier venue. LEILANI POLK
Rock history hasn’t been all that kind to Ace Frehley. The original lead guitarist of KISS, he left the outfit in 1982, skirting the band’s awkward makeup-free years, but returned in the 1990s before splitting again in 2002. In the wake of these lineup changes (and Gene Simmons’s monthly media gaffes), it’s easy to forget just how good those first few KISS albums were, thanks in no small part to Frehley, whose entry in the band’s 1978 quartet of solo LPs was far and away the best. Frehley still tours, playing classic KISS songs like “Love Gun” and “Cold Gin,” albeit without the Spaceman makeup he made famous. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Mother Mother, Winnetka Bowling League
Vancouver indie-rock five-piece Mother Mother will bring their cool Candian edge to Seattle after an opening set from Winnetka Bowling League.
Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore is famous for one of the silliest plots in all of opera—no mean feat—but also for its rousing choruses, gorgeous coloratura arias, and heroic numbers. The production involves a love triangle, a long-simmering revenge arc, and an old witch who's accidentally thrown her own baby on a pyre. Christopher Frizzelle called it "Extremely satisfying," but be warned that there might be a few long scene changes. He writes: "Mind-bogglingly, this pause in the dark lasted even longer than the first pause in the dark. And then something completely unexpected, something hilarious, something I'd never heard in all my years of going to Seattle Opera, happened. A voice cried out into the dark of McCaw Hall. Someone—it sounded like a male voice—said into the silence, directed at whatever was going on behind the scrim, 'Do you need some help?'"
No performance on Thursday
Danger, Cuff Lynx, Youryoungbody
French electronic musician Franck Rivoire—better known by his stage name, Danger—will come all the way to Seattle. He'll be joined by local darkwave artists Cuff Lynx and Youryoungbody.
Andre Nickatina, Cool Nutz, J.Lately
When I was 14, I used to follow around this 16-year-old girl who had what I thought to be all the edgiest clothes, the best taste, and a bad attitude. I lived in perpetual fear of her opinion of me, and yet I always wanted to hang out with her. Being a teenager is strange. She used to listen to a lot of Andre Nickatina, so for me, this San Francisco rapper will be forever associated with untouchable cool. Nickatina has a very strong and loyal fan base here in Seattle, for good reason: His rhymes are smooth and evoke an old-school type of swagger that cannot be replicated. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Bayside, Kayleigh Goldsworthy
Pop-punk heavy-hitters Bayside will come to Seattle with opening support from folk-pop singer-songwriter Kayleigh Goldsworthy.
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. So, great timing for War to do a four-night run in late January. DAVE SEGAL
The Knocks, Young & Sick, Blu DeTiger
Party-tronica duo the Knocks will headline downtown on their 2019 kick-off tour with LA-based R&B band Young & Sick and Bu DeTiger.
Great Falls, Marriage & Cancer, Blightmaker
Lucifer have mercy, Great Falls’ heavy metal is punishing. But the catharsis it delivers is so damned satisfying, it’s worth a trip through the infernal threshing machine that is their new album, A Sense of Rest, which this Seattle trio will surely demonstrate in full fury tonight. The empaths among you may want to serve vocalist/guitarist Demian Johnston endless cups of honeyed tea after their set. Marriage & Cancer are Portland’s answer to Seattle’s Haunted Horses: Both bands offer scabrous, pummeling noise-rock for smart folks who've had enough of this shit. DAVE SEGAL
MadeinTYO, Thutmose, Key!
Tokyo-raised Navy brat and successful SoundCloud rapper MadeinTYO will perform playful, bass-heavy tracks from his latest effort, Sincerely, Tokyo.
Cursive, Campdogzz, Summer Cannibals
I’ve always thought of Cursive as the classy, venerable leaders of emofied post-hardcore realms. Tim Kasher’s distinctive style of urgent whisper-singing and abrasion-free shout-singing has always rubbed me the right way, even as others of his ilk have turned me off completely. There’s just something about his earnestness and the emotion he wrings from any one moment that just feels more authentic than what you hear from many of his peers. Eighth and latest record Vitriola marks a few returns to old ways of playing: Drummer Clint Schnase is back in the fold for the first time since 2006’s Happy Hollow, and they’ve brought back a cellist, the first since 2003’s The Ugly Organ, newest member Megan Siebe. According to a recent interview with NPR, Kasher was “really wanting to go back to that raw emotional feeling that I used to get, how I wrote the first couple Cursive records when I was a younger man.” LEILANI POLK
Since 1997, this Japanese musical/visual-art collective has played only one concert in the world per year, and this year they've chosen to unleash their deeply strange improvisational performance on our fair city. Marginal Consort mix homespun electronic instruments, found instruments, and traditional instruments to create sound environments that are both unsettling and meditative. Sometimes the noises made by the individual members coalesce into a kind of profoundly beautiful music, but most of the time it sounds like a tornado ripping up a fence. RICH SMITH
Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival
This event in Leavenworth—the infamous German-themed town/tourist attraction nestled in the Cascades—looks like the coziest mid-winter music festival, filled with beardo-magnet amenities like skiing and snowboarding, a hot-toddy garden, wine tastings, and festival-branded flannel shirts. The weekend’s musical offerings are generally varied, with numerous local and national acts ranging from indie rock to hiphop. This year's roster is no exception, boasting sets by Shannon & the Clams, Kyle Craft, the True Loves, Parisalexa, Jenn Champion, Tres Leches, and many more. BRITTNIE FULLER
Oh boy—Neumos is doing a hyphy night? “Tell Me When to Go,” sort of the mainstream-hit-that-was-the-death-knell of what is commonly thought of as the hyphy movement, did come out 11 years ago. It used to be 20 years before the generational nostalgia cash-in started, but seeing as we passed the event horizon of this black-hole-to-hell-itself some time ago, everything is strictly get-it-while-you-can. Now, I tend to think of hyphy less as a particular slice of time and set of songs than an evolving dimension of the Bay Area rap scene, one known for fierce innovation and trendsetting originality. Something tells me that this is going to be more of a Bay Area rap night rather than an exclusively stunna-shaded, cereal-mascot-tee’d-up hyphy night. Which is great, because the Yay has created one of the world’s all-time greatest musical subcultures, from Short to HBK. (Play some fucking Turf Talk!) Just, please, no G-Eazy. Have some fuckin’ respect. LARRY MIZELL JR.
Open System: Sound X Spirit: Golden Donna, Market Failure, QOQO ROBOQS with Saira B
Screwdriver Bar's new auxiliary space Belltown Yacht Club possesses the sleazy-chic atmosphere of a 1960s basement venue, which is perfect for the raucous garage-rock/soul-oriented Wig Out monthly I recently witnessed. Thankfully, the owners are open-minded enough to take a chance with an underground-techno party, too. Portland-via-Wisconsin headliner Golden Donna (Joel Shanahan) makes lush, melodic techno informed by Warp’s crucial Artificial Intelligence comps, without being too obvious about it. QOQO ROBOQS has been rising through Seattle’s competitive techno scene over the last few years with increasingly riveting live performances, including a great 2018 set of sleek yet foreboding minimal tracks at venerable gay bar the Eagle. Market Failure (David Bjelland) is a brilliant new presence on the local circuit whose abrasively psychedelic techno productions will surface this year on respected Seattle label Transfusions. DAVE SEGAL
Northwest-based sound artists, musicians, and composers will showcase their "auditory and musical experimentations," including Portland's Chloe Alexandra Thompson, Seattle's Nico Tower, and others.
Sleeper success Tritonal have been coasting on the popularity of their 2016 single "Blackout." They'll play a set of pop-heavy, melodic electronica.
The itinerant musical/literary project of Einstürzende Neubauten bassist Alexander Hacke and versatile poet/vocalist Danielle de Picciotto (who plays hurdy-gurdy, autoharp, violin, and piano), hackedpicciotto emit a latent menace in their austerely beautiful art songs. Picciotto coos with grave sweetness while Hacke is adept at guttural throat singing, as the duo conjure a brooding beauty-and-the-beast dynamic. Hackedpicciotto's newest album, Menetekel, puts you through the wringer with its Sturm und Drang sonic travelogues. Seattle somehow lucked out and will get a free show by these two romantic wanderers at a nontraditional Georgetown venue. DAVE SEGAL
That an Icelandic multi-instrumentalist of such mildly “interesting” music as Ólafur Arnalds can play a venue the size of the Moore Theatre testifies to the hegemony of NPR-approved, middlebrow aesthetics. Mutedly grandiose orchestral pop with tepid electronic touches, effete art song, somberly beautiful piano pieces... everything Arnalds does is well-executed, Tasteful™, and blander than I can stand. But I seem to be in the minority on this one. DAVE SEGAL
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
Orgone, Acorn Project
LA-based Orgōne channels disco, boogie, funk, and '70s California rock. Leilani Polk has said, "In sum, this is a show made for shakin’ yer ass." Bellingham electro-funk outfit Acorn Project will provide an opening set.
Dorothy is all about reviving the storied past of rock and roll, with plenty of whiskey-soaked vocals, Cobain and Joplin references, and velvet pants to go around.
Sexy-poignant R&B jam “Distance” has more than 11 million plays on Spotify, but I bet you’ve never heard it, and maybe you haven’t heard of Emily King, either. “Distance” is about fighting and making up and making a relationship work when there’s distance in the middle of it, about living apart and getting back together, with a rather sweet refrain (“Oh, love is always better / When we take time to get back to who we are / When we are apart / Distance makes the heart grow / Even when I’m lonely / Happy knowing that your love is never far”). The NYC singer-songwriter has soulful, breathy-husky yet sweetly melodic and confident vocals (I’m reminded of Tina Turner, if not in sound, then definitely in spirit), and a few new singles with slow and easygoing grooves and subtly rich production that precede a third studio album, Scenery, due out on ATO in February. LEILANI POLK
Seattle Chamber Music Society Winter Festival
The Seattle Chamber Music Society will present its winter season program with a two-weekend festival of six concerts flanked by free pre-concert recitals. Twenty acclaimed musicians are featured this year, including internationally renowned soloists, principals with major US orchestras, and top competition winners like violist Rebecca Albers, pianist Andrew Armstrong, cellists Edward Aaron and Ani Aznavoorian, and violinists Tessa Lark and James Ehnes.
In anticipation of the Lunar New Year, Seattle Symphony will perform their annual Celebrate Asia concert, which has celebrated traditions of Seattle’s Asian communities for 11 years now. This year's concert will feature music by famous Korean composers.
Silverstein, Hawthorne Heights, As Cities Burn, Capstan
In 2003, the underground post-hardcore and screamo scene was blowing up, with every “Verb the Noun” band and their side projects getting massive amounts of coverage in outlets like Alternative Press magazine and even MTV2. From day one, Ontario-based band Silverstein stood out with lead vocalist Shane Told’s piercing screams and sing-songy harmonies complementing the band's almost annoyingly catchy riffs. While the scene thinned out with their contemporaries breaking up or changing directions, Silverstein remained on course, releasing eight-plus studio albums and touring nearly nonstop—proof that for every subgenre, there are always a few artists who stand the test of time. KEVIN DIERS
An Evening With The Posies
However dark things may seem, there is still a light somewhere—however small, and however lost you may be—and the Posies have delivered that surviving light throughout their three decades as a band and in their discography. Celebrate the survival of your emotional, vulnerable self in all its glory at this show—and if you do cry, make them tears of joy. You made it. SOPHIA STEPHENS