This week, our music critics have picked everything from Queer Bar's Queer/Pride Festival to JusMoni to Russian electronic artist Kedr Livanskiy. 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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Storied Louisianna bluesman Sonny Landreth—renowned for his slide guitar skills—will play a two-night residency at the Triple Door. His live shows are full of energy, so you're in for a treat.
The Wedding Funeral, Poltersleep, Witch Wives
Whoa! For a Monday, this looks like a Friday kind of lineup. Locals Witch Wives will be up first, and honestly I have no idea what they’ll bring, but it’ll be dark. “All synths no computers” Poltersleep will then be dialing it in with his exceptionally on point ’80s soundtrack style. I have to give it to him, he nails it, even on song titles. As for Wedding Funeral, they’re something like a folk duo, but not like, uh, Simon and Garfunkel. Rather, they fuse deep, dark bat-cave creepiness onto their acoustic guitar picking and open-throat howls. MIKE NIPPER
Cécile McLorin Salvant and Sullivan Fortner
In 2016, Cécile McLorin Salvant won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her record For One To Love. She is celebrated for her ability to bring together the connections between jazz, vaudeville, blues, and folk music with her strong tone.
Ceremony, Sheer Mag, Bugg
Ceremony (Rohnert Park) and Sheer Mag (Philadelphia) will co-headline this punk bill with additional support from Bloomington's Bugg and Seattle's Regional Justice Center.
Grapetooth, James Swanberg
Chicago duo Grapetooth is made up of Chris Bailoni and Clay Frankel, whose other gig is indie band Twin Peaks. This project is distinct from their previous work—less slacker-rock and more folky and new wavey with bubbly synths. Grapetooth’s music is a blend of corny and often frustrating sounds. “Red Wine” plays like a jingle for a rejected Colors of Benetton commercial. But “Trouble” devolves into so much noise that it doesn’t as much burst at the seams as it does rip them. Chicago singer-songwriter/rocker James Swanberg supports. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Jim James and the Claypool Lennon Delirium
Lennon and Claypool first discussed collaborating in 2015 when the GOASTT were supporting Primus on a summer tour. Monolith of Phobos—the Claypool Lennon Delirium's cosmic full-length debut—followed in 2016, as did a run of dates that revealed their complementary skills extended beyond the studio. Claypool's slapping, bumping, plucking, and bowing of his low-end arsenal and speak-singing in nasally intones proved a perfect foil to Lennon's bright, dulcet piping, and soloing and experimenting on an arsenal of axes. LEILANI POLK
Dance your heart out to twangy southern rock, "reverb-soaked psychedelia," and long-lived guitar solos from Futurebirds, with support from LA alt-Americana outfit Balto.
Machine Gun Kelly, TM88
Speed rap phenomenon Machine Gun Kelly will headline with support from Atlanta producer and DJ TM88.
PUP, Ratboys, Beach Bunny
Toronto punks PUP will rip through Seattle in support of their most recent album, Morbid Stuff, which, unsurprisingly, features a lot of "lyrics about death." Get there on time for an opening set from Chicago sad gal-fronted trio Beach Bunny.
Ahmed Gallab has a silky, higher-toned vocal, subtly fine guitar chops, and music that breezily spans across genres—rooted in grooving, easygoing Afro rock and Sudanese pop, and dosed with elements of electro, krautrock, prog, and funk. As Sinkane—interchangeably Gallab’s performance moniker and the name of his band—he sings in English and Arabic (check out the fantastic ““U’Huh”) in songs that showcase his cascading guitar harmonies and generally jubilant lyrical outlook. He’s said that most of his music is based on his life, and this year’s Dépaysé is too, but on a deeper level than usual. According to a letter issued with its release, it’s “the story of an immigrant’s journey of self-discovery in the Trump era.” LEILANI POLK
AP: Kedr Livanskiy, Slowfoam, ‘nohup’
Moscow's Kedr Livanskiy makes slightly left-field electro-pop enlivened by her dulcet, glazed vocals. Her latest album, Your Need, abounds with richly melodic songs that flirt with 1980s synthwave rhythms, atmospheres, and timbres while still sounding of this decade. Her local support acts skew toward the less accessible. 'Nohup' (aka 'sighup,' aka Coldbrew Collective visual artist Bobby Azarbayejani) ranks as one of Seattle's most unpredictable and interesting producers, capable of busting out bass-intensive techno, jittery footwork, club music shot through with non-Western religious chants, and more. Slowfoam (Madelyn Byrd) incorporates field recordings to create unconventional electronic music that casts enigmatic spells and transports you to exotic netherzones, as evidenced by her intriguing 2018 album Important Bodies. DAVE SEGAL
It's interesting to see how electronic-music wunderkinds evolve over a decade after their initial burst of inspiration, and Shlohmo (LA producer Henry Laufer) definitely qualifies as one. His early work had some predicting he'd be on the level of Flying Lotus and Prefuse 73 for brazen, whiplash rhythmic and textural moves. However, Shlohmo's more recent releases have scaled back on the adventurousness and added a more accessible sheen. That being said, the melodious, IDM-leaning LP The End proves he still possesses grand ambitions. Nonetheless, for an underground electronic music artist to play a club the size of Neumos suggests that Shlohmo's doing something right. DAVE SEGAL
Zion I, Slum Village, High Step Society
Oakland indie hip-hop duo Zion I, whose 2016 release Labyrinth was called "a timely new album of politically engaged hip-hop" by PopMatters, will come to Seattle with support from Slum Village and High Step Society.
Earshot Jazz Presents: The Amina Figarova Sextet
Azerbaijan-born concert pianist Amina Figarova will perform with her sextet, with her long-time partner Bart Platteau on flute, Alex Pope Norris on trumpet, Wayne Escoffery on tenor sax, Marcos Varela on bass, and Jason Brown on drums.
I saw Nellie McKay at Jazz Alley recently and, just like the last time I saw her play live, I left feeling like I'd been in the room with some kind of mad superhuman genius. She zooms between jazz piano and reggae ukulele, her new and old work and some well-chosen covers (her version of Loretta Lynn's "One's on the Way" is brilliant), she tells weird jokes, and she's just such a performer as much as she is a musician. She feels decidedly old-school and still perfectly modern, mocking politics, mocking herself, doing "the Tom Waits version!" of her most Blossom Dearie-ish songs, then pivoting into straightforward pop songs and jazz ditties. ANNA MINARD
Yeasayer, Oh, Rose
Brooklyn vocal-harmony-heavy rockers Yeasayer will come to town with support from Olympia gems Oh, Rose.
Pitchfork likens Jamila Woods's work on 2019 sophomore album LEGACY! LEGACY! to that of Nina Simone for its incisive political commentary and deep introspection. “The result is an album full of wordplay, anger, and wry humor.” I don’t know about all that—but I do know that Woods has talent in spades, a Brown-educated poet who turned her knack for playing with words into a musical career without actually abandoning her career in poetry. Her vocals are sultry, and her sound is neo-soul with a healthy hip-hop sensibility, which might be the influence of frequent collaborator Chance the Rapper, who gets some credit for her break. Her guest spot on infectious 2015 single “Sunday Candy” (from Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, his project with Nico Segal) earned her some fine national shine. A record deal came shortly after. LEILANI POLK
Let's just get this out of the way: Jay Electronica is an unforgivably bad name. "Electronica" being a media buzzword used to sell mid-'90s techno for car commercials, it's like calling yourself Jay Alternative or Jay Swing Revival or something. NAGL. Nevertheless, the New Orleans MC's East Coast-flavored raps are commanding and impressively crafted, hard-knocking yet tongue-twisting, and his associations (J Dilla, Nas, Erykah Badu) attest highly to his hiphop bona fides. So, too, do his scant two official singles, "Exhibit A" and "Exhibit C," as well as the crazy introductory epic "The Pledge," on which he raps about rap, UFOs, and the Abrahamic religions over nine and a half minutes looped from Jon Brion's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind score. Call him Jay Spotless. ERIC GRANDY
Piss Drunks, Speed Wobble, Value Ape, Oil Can
Now this is my kind of show: leather, bristles, studs… um, gray hairs, dodgy knees, and bald spots!!! It’s all punk all night, y’all, starting with Oil Can, who’ll be bang-clanging out solid, sometimes melodic, late-’80s-style punk. Then Value Ape, very good-looking noise punters who’re still riding a wave of massive success after having just released their first album. And finally Piss Drunks, who are keeping them ’80s snotty punk embers stoked. And that’s just the local yobs! Sandwiched in there too is San Francisco’s Speed Wobble, who thrash, who trash, and tho they do wobble, never crash!! MIKE NIPPER
Julia Shapiro, John Atkins
Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt fame is dropping her solo debut, Perfect Version, this summer on Hardly Art. The record arrives about a year after Shapiro took a break from touring due to some health issues and heartbreak. In an interview with the Fader, she said the album just happened: “It didn’t really feel like a decision. I started recording stuff in my apartment just for fun. I wanted to learn how to use Ableton.” Shapiro’s solo songs are definitely a departure from the upbeat, quasi party tunes of Chastity Belt—the lyrics and music are much quieter, intimate, and introspective. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Pride Kick Off with Moon Palace, MANiCA, Seaside Tryst
In honor of Pride Week, Seattle indie-rockers MANiCA and Seaside Tryst will donate proceeds from this gig to the Lavender Rights Project, which provides social services to trans and queer low-income people. You can also buy goods from Queer Love Mart & Kiki Robinson at a pop-up market.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert
If you do not know who John Williams is, do not bother reading what I have to say about him in this blurb. John Williams’s greatest achievement as a film composer is his love theme “Han Solo and the Princess” for Han and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back. (You, the pop-culture ignoramus, are still reading! Yes, Williams composed the music for the Star Wars series, and also Jaws, Indiana Jones, and so on, and so on.) This love theme has all of the sensitivity and cheap beauty that made “Spartacus: Love Theme” a jazz standard. If the great jazz pianist Bill Evans were alive today (why don’t some people live forever?), he would have made pure magic out of Williams’s “Love Theme.” CHARLES MUDEDE
Bill Frisell Trio with Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen
Winter 1995. My girlfriend dumped me. My publisher ripped me off. One of my best friends fired me from the job I needed to pay the rent. Another best friend was laughing at my anguish. I hurt, physically, constantly. On my way to feed the fishes at Sakuma Viewpoint, I drop into Tower Records and the lonely clerk plays Deep Dead Blue by Elvis Costello and Bill Frisell. And Costello sounds blue, but Frisell sounds haunted. Stuff inside only his bearing as a gentleman allows him to bear. I didn’t know then that Frisell can get to any emotion, bone-deep from blue to bliss-ninny blowout. I feed the fishes. I drink Budweiser. Then I go back to my piss-pocked mattress and get on with life. ANDREW HAMLIN
A Glitteris Pride Pre-Funk
As the official beer sponsors of Pride, Elysian brewers concocted a special fruit-forward ale by adding blackberry and raspberry purees to the fermenter—and naturally, it's glittery, too. Try it for yourself at this funk-themed release party and groove to tunes from excellent local DJ Stas THEE Boss.
Mamma Mia! Pride Edition
Shimmy and shake to the biggest, sparkliest hits of the '70s, with a special feature of tracks from the ABBA discography, thanks to DJ Disco Vinnie.
Stayin' Alive at the Roller Disco!
Take your disco outfit to the next level by adding a pair of roller skates and going around the rink (or grooving at the bar) to funky beats from DJs Ajax, Doc the Lion, Jame$ervin, Jesse Leer, Koister, Lady Auds, Pezzner, Zac Levine, and Live Sax by Spencer Edgers.
Jeff Lynne's ELO, Dhani Harrison
Dang, y’all, goddamn Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra is (finally) playin’ the Pacific Northwest!!! If you have any musical taste in genius pop music, I’ll assume YOU ALREADY HAVE TICKETS. But if you need context, ELO was a huge, like massive, Top 40 band in the 1970s and early ’80s. ELO started with Lynne, once a principal member of psych-pop group the Idle Race, when he partnered with Roy Wood and Bev Bevan from the Move and took their side project of basically using only cellos and violins to craft an orchestral progressive pop album and rode it to stardom. (See: “Mr. Blue Sky,” “Living Thing.”) MIKE NIPPER
Lyle Lovett & His Large Band
Remember when Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett were married? That was weird. Anyway, here's prolific country crooner Lyle and his massive band. They'll be playing a full set, with charm enough that's sure to please even the most cynical of old school country music enthusiasts.
Queer Bar's Queer/Pride Festival
Queer Bar’s three-day Pride party features go-go performers, DJs, a celebrity guest (Carson Kressley, one of the original Queer Eye guys, currently a RuPaul's Drag Race judge), drag and performance artists (including Drag Race finalists), and live music by some very special guests. LGBTQ icon and New Orleans–brewed “Queen of Bounce” Big Freedia headlines the festivities with big, booming hip-hop that finds her shouting over rapid-fire beats and engaging in nasty, call-and-response lyrics, all of it whirring to a loud, make-ya-ass-shake climax (see: “Booty-Whop”), or segueing directly into her next banger. Grammy-winning breathy-sweet R&B songbird and Dancing with the Stars alum Mýa is also on the bill. You know her from (1) the 2008 “Lady Marmalade” redux (with Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Lil' Kim); (2) “Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do),” a 2000-era jam about a creeper ex-girlfriend; and (3) “Best of Me, Part 2,” that sexy grooving hip-hop joint with Jay Z circa 2000 (it was a good year for Mýa). Seattle pop maker Left at London, ethereal rapper DoNormaal, and surrealist drag band the Loungettes also perform. A portion of the ticket proceeds go to nonprofit group OutRight Action International, which fights for the safety, dignity, freedom and equality of LGBTQ people around the world. LEILANI POLK
Day Crush to Night Crush
Night Crush is a monthly dance party for queers that centers on people of color to maintain a safe space for QTPOC, people of varying abilities, and all bodies. This popular night will be doubled in duration for Pride, taking its attendees through a day of gogo crews and DJs—including Stas Thee Boss and Kween Kay$h—into a night of queer magic with Casual Aztec, Delish Da Goddess, and more.
Train Car Pride Party: Riz and Rob = Won Love!
Celebrate Pride by dancing the night away to house music inside an old train car.
Santana, The Doobie Brothers
Guitarist Carlos Santana—who's featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—will come to Seattle with his band on his Supernatural Now Tour. They'll be joined by "roots-based, harmony-laden, guitar-driven rock and roll" band the Doobie Brothers.
Tomo Nakayama, Wolfgang Strutz, Trebled Morels
Tomo Nakayama makes, if anything, deeper sense to me 16 years after I discovered him in the wake of 9/11. His music was calming folks—although I understand that isn’t his primary intention—in the shadow of 9/11, Election Day, or whatever confines us within the famous Hoodie of Dread. He’s still sensible, still tuneful, understated, urging us to look at the sky, the moon, nature, and commonplace things, commonplace feelings, even. A good friend of mine got Siri to say, “You should be satisfied with what you have,” and has no idea how he got Siri to say that. Tomo knows of what he sings, telling us to at least consider satisfaction with what we have. And then build from there. ANDREW HAMLIN
Vivian, Johnny Raincloud, Lo Fives, Proud Dad
Local cat-enthusiast band Vivian will play with support from Portland's Johnny Raincloud and Lo Fives and Seattle punks Proud Dad in celebration of the release of their collaborative live album.
VR Sex, Prettiest Eyes
Led by Drab Majesty’s Andrew Clinco (aka Noel Skum), Los Angeles trio VR Sex exist at the intersection of minimal wave and goth-leaning, post-punk resurrection. It’s a common approach in the second decade of the 21st century, and the songs on VR Sex’s new Human Traffic Jam album hit you like draughts of smoggy air from above a clogged LA highway. The guitar sounds like an aerated version of the corroded chimes ground out by Killing Joke’s Geordie Walker and the Banshees’ John McGeoch in those crucial British bands’ early years. Prettiest Eyes churn in similar waters, but their attack is sparser and stealthier. The LA trio’s new Volume 3 LP stabs with stiletto precision, leveraging a cranky Von LMO/Brainiac-like aggression that leaves you pleasantly stunned. DAVE SEGAL
Yonatan Gat & the Eastern Medicine Singers
Among the under-sung musical migrants who’ve settled in the United States is avant-garde guitarist, composer, and band leader Yonatan Gat (formerly of Israeli garage rock band Monotonix). He experiments with the sounds of psychedelic rock, punk, free jazz, and world music of the likes you’ve probably never heard, against which he pits some truly heady, whimsical, gorgeous, or straight-up complex and compelling ax work. He’s collaborated with Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Thor Harris (Swans), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and, most recently, the Eastern Medicine Singers. With Gat, the Rhode Island–based band of Native American drummers, singers, and dancers create a sound that is somehow both ethereal and earthy. LEILANI POLK
JusMoni + Stas THEE Boss
Beacon Hill native JusMoni (aka Moni Tep) is bringing her dreamy, R&B-inflected tunes back to her home turf. On 2018's Sweet To Me, her voice—sweet and ethereal—transports you to other dimensions on spacey, bass-heavy "Linked In," much different from the corporate hellscape that its named for. "Got It on Tape" features the one and only Stas THEE Boss (also performing tonight), where JusMoni's voice floats like smoke over tight electric guitar and Stas raps deftly over the retro beat. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Pride Is For Everyone 2019
Go mad with love for the LGBTQ+ universe and its limitless expressions at this 28-hour bash brought to us by Bottom Forty and produced by NARK magazine. Nathan Micay, Bottom Forty, Wesley Holmes, Sean Majors, and others will queer the consoles and dancers will keep the movement going all night long.
Wildrose PRIDE 2019 with GayEXP
Lesbian holdout the Wildrose will revamp their annual 15,000 sq. ft. block party for Pride with live music, all-day and all-night DJ sets, gogo dancers, multiple bars, and food from Pettirosso. If you want to bro down, they’ll have an eight-team beer pong table. If you’re more of the boogie type, enjoy the services of DJ Riz all day Sunday and sets by ManDate, MirrorGloss, and Chanarah on Saturday.
American Aquarium, Brandy Zdan
Experience the highly popular folk-infused Southern rock of North Carolina's American Aquarium on their Seattle tour stop. They'll be joined by Nashville rocker Brandy Zdan.
Rowdy bluegrass group Greensky Bluegrass have been seen in venues across town and headlining Summer Meltdown in Darrington many times. They're known for their comingling of traditional instruments with original sounds that showcase '70s musical touches with current genre trends.
BabexHouse at Kremwerk Pride
Join BabexHouse Collective, a group of POC/LGBTQ+ Seattle-based artists and DJs, for a dance party as part of Kremwerk's Pride Week. Your DJs for the night include Reverend Dollars, Dos Leches, N SO, Rlynow, and JennGreen.
Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions
Longtime NYC-based Swedish-Turkish saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin's home stage is the club he opened on Manhattan's Lower East Side in 2002, Nublu. It's where many of his most fruitful collaborations were conceived and other projects, from Brazilian Girls to Wax Poetic, had their start. Ersahin’s style is rooted in jazz and world music, and his Istanbul Sessions—which include Alp Ersonmez on bass, Izzet Kizil on percussion, and drummer Turgut Alp Bekoglu—are “a combination of Ilhan’s NYC/Nublu sound mixed with the sounds and spirits of young Istanbul.” Turkish scales, ambient beats, thumping percussives, jazz improv, and Ersahin’s sax notes generally setting a haunting mood. LEILANI POLK
Dido, Ria Mae
Electronic pop chanteuse and gentle soul Dido has returned with her first new album in five years, Still On My Mind. She'll play tracks from this new collection, which is reportedly full of emotional dance music, on this tour stop.
The Emmy-winning Imagination Movers will bring their interactive, family-friendly rock concert to Seattle.
Ivy Sole, Blossom, Parisalexa
The Femmetape Summer Tour features three R&B-pop singers on the come-up. Portland-based Blossom (who is originally from Trinidad and Tobago) makes groovy, breezy tunes about love that are equally influenced by funk and reggae. Ivy Sole, who calls Philly home, throws some rap and poetry into the mix, her deep and soulful voice providing a stable center for her chill, jazzy beats. And then there’s Parisalexa, Seattle’s very own, who’s got singing chops that could best most musicians out there currently and knows how to work a crowd. It’s a stacked lineup. JASMYNE KEIMIG