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Dragon Lady Benefit Concert with Creator Sara Porkalob
Local powerhouse playwright Sara Porkalob will perform a one-night-only concert based on her Gregory Award-winning musical Dragon Lady (the second installment of her semi-autobiographical theater trilogy Dragon Cycle). The artist will portray multiple family members—including her badass Filipino gangster grandma—"about what it means to be brown, poor and newly American."
Dean Lewis, SYML
If you're looking for a musical outlet with which to nurse the open wound of your breakup, or if you just love Australian accents, singer-songwriter Dean Lewis is your guy. He'll perform in Seattle with opening support from fellow singer-songwriter SYML and Jack Gray (who's also from Australia).
TV Girl, George Clanton
TV Girl lead vocalist Brad Petering’s voice sounds like it should be sailing over some math rock tune, some classically twee indie rock song—but it’s not. He sings over strange, experimental pop beats that have hooks you want to move to. His music sounds like the color the room turns when the television is left on overnight. Keep an ear out for “Stupid Actress.” TV Girl will be supported by George Clanton, whose music a close friend and major fan of the singer described as “sexy, anxiety, bratty vaporwave.” It sounds like purple, green, and blue light. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Ja Rule & Ashanti
We all saw, or at least heard about, what happened at the Fyre Festival after those two documentaries dropped last month. And we all know our man Ja Rule was pretty heavily implicated in that entire mess of a situation. While I feared that the controversy would rightfully overshadow this absolute gem of a throwback hiphop concert, there are reports that the Queens rapper is leading chants of “Fuck Ja Rule” at his shows so that fans can get their resentment out of their system and enjoy the night. The people just wanna bump to “Always on Time” and “Mesmerize” in peace! JASMYNE KEIMIG
Joan Osborne Sings the Songs of Bob Dylan with Brenda Xu
National treasure and legendary Grammy-nominated vocalist Joan Osborne will interpret classic tracks originally penned by Bob Dylan with local folk-influenced string musician Brenda Xu.
Kacey Musgraves, Soccer Mommy
Kacey Musgraves isn’t your traditional country-music artist. She told the New York Times that the idea for “Slow Burn,” a track off 2018 LP Golden Hour, came during a “spiritual journey” (an acid trip) and set the tone for the rest of the album, which was more love-song-oriented than past LPs. It sounds like no country music you hear on the radio, and sometimes it doesn’t sound like country music at all, but more like something you might hear come out of Laurel Canyon in the 1970s, or finely-wrought modern pop, or a mix of both, her sweetly dulcet intones soaring over top. Warm-up comes from another fellow nontraditional Nashvillian, indie-pop-rock singer-songwriter Soccer Mommy, aka Sophie Allison. LEILANI POLK
Kevin Murphy of the Moondoggies & Friends
Kevin Murphy of ever-loved Everett rockers the Moondoggies will round up his favorite songwriters to workshop songs and play covers. This iteration brings Dean Johnson (of Lowman Palace and Sons of Rainier), Craig Chambers (of the Lights and Le Sang Song), Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson (of Lake), Kevin Sur (of Indian Valley Line), Alexandra Niedzialkowski (of Cumulus), and Moon Baille (of Pampa).
Miya Folick, Barrie
Miya Folick produced the song that all of us need to hear at some point, the poppy and bright “Stop Talking,” which finds Folick telling us to shut up about that dumb boy who we’re obsessed with and can’t stop chattering about even though he never calls us back when we need him and is a general low-life not worth our time. She just wants us to know that she cares about us! The prescient young California musician will be joined by Brooklyn’s Barrie, whose atmospheric tunes sound at once retro-groovy and from the space age. JASMYNE KEIMIG
The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus are a Minneapolis jazz trio of impeccable taste and talent that are inching toward two decades together. They have a dozen albums to their credit, their catalog heavy on avant jazzy reimaginings of indie rock, pop, and electronic music. Go find their take on Aphex Twin’s “Flim” right now. Then listen to their most recent outing, It’s Hard—“I Walk the Line” (Johnny Cash), “Maps” (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), “The Robots” (Kraftwerk), and “The Beautiful Ones” (Prince) all get the Bad Plus treatment. LEILANI POLK
Never count out Ian Svenonius (Nation of Ulysses, the Make-Up, Weird War, etc.). At an age when most rockers are running on fumes, the 50-year-old eccentric rabble-rouser’s still testing out new alter egos and tweaking his trademark moves into fresh output. Latest case in point is Escape-ism, a project I want to assume is named after the funky, early-’70s James Brown song. Svenonius’s two albums under this handle—Introduction to Escape-ism and The Lost Record—find him wielding guitar and drum machine to live out his own twisted Suicide dream (baby dream), with help from Zumi on sax and F Bermudez on keyboards and percussion. Escape-ism isn’t as cutthroat of a proposition as electro-punk pioneers Suicide (pun intended), but it is an entertaining homage that still retains Svenonius’s meta-kitsch charm. DAVE SEGAL
Good Boiz Gone Bad: A Rihanna Party
If your friends protest when you insist on playing nothing but Rihanna at the party, consider ditching them for the good company of fellow RiRi fanatics Kimber Shade, Ron Gatsby, CarLarans, Kaleena Markos, Karmen Korbel, LüChi, Americano, Orion, HotPink Shade, Ti T, and others, who will spin your favorite bops and provide pop-up performances every 20 minutes. If you own anything Fenty, wear it.
91.3 KBCS Presents: Amy Ray & Her Band with Becky Warren
Amy Ray (one half of folk duo Indigo Girls) released her debut solo album, Stag, in 2001, showing her fans that her musical capabilities go beyond acoustic Lilith Fair-appropriate ballads. Then she harked back to her country/Americana roots with her 2014 album Goodnight Tender. Now she'll come to Seattle with her (other) band for a night of classics and new material with a warm-up set from Becky Warren.
Bleeding Hearts Benefit Show
The Bleeding Hearts Initiative—which aims "to end hygiene discrimination" by providing tampons, pads, and diva cups to local music venues—will host a benefit show with bedroom-pop punks Lisa Prank, dreamy janglers Anime Creek, local ambient artist Dos Leches, and an art market.
Bizarro pop Barbie web artist Poppy has racked up hundreds of millions of views on YouTube for her many surreal Technicolor videos. She'll be performing tracks off of last October's debut album alongside openers Kailee Morgue and Jaira Burns.
Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers
Country Music Hall of Famer and brilliant facial hair-cultivator Kris Kristofferson showcases a career of mature Americana pop and lilting country hits to an audience of light-rock-less-talk enthusiasts.
Research: Laurel Halo, Textasy
Berlin via Ann Arbor, Michigan, musician Laurel Halo has gone far in the underground-electronic-music world by eschewing obviousness in her productions. That courageous approach has led to releases on discerning labels such as Hyperdub, RVNG Intl., and Livity Sound. I once described Halo’s sound as being “poised between artful abstraction and strangely beautiful song-based structures”; that still holds. With 2017’s Dust, she collaborated with the deft percussionist Eli Keszler in a valiant effort to rewrite the electro-pop rulebook with her patented off-kilter melodic and rhythmic allure. For last year’s Raw Silk Uncut Wood, Keszler and cellist Oliver Coates join Halo for a heady whirl into an austere kind of electronic chamber music that’s more about discovering unconventional textures and conjuring elusive moods. No telling what she’ll bring to Kremwerk, but it’s bound to be fascinating. DAVE SEGAL
Tokita & Pezzner Present: Miguel Migs
House music artist Miguel Migs will provide a night of "pure funk bliss."
Dead Meadow, Dallas Acid, Sterling Serpent
Washington, DC’s Dead Meadow always struck me as an impecunious person’s Bardo Pond: molasses-y psych-rock with the occasional poignant melody made by folks who smoke their weight in marijuana daily. So it was mystifying when Matador Records signed Dead Meadow in 2003, even though it already had a superior version of them on its roster. But that’s ancient history. What have Dead Meadow done for us lately? Their 2018 album, The Nothing They Need, comes across as a skint individual’s Brian Jonestown Massacre. The tempos are a bit fleeter than during those Matador years and the songs scan as more conventionally psych-pop, but there’s still an innate heaviness. The last track is titled “Tomorrow Never Knows,” but it’s not a Beatles cover. There’s a metaphor in that decision. DAVE SEGAL
OM, Emel Mathlouthi
If the name itself isn’t already a giveaway, OM have always ranked among the most philosophical of metal bands. Their early albums on Holy Mountain Records set a high bar for heavy doom rock, as bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros (ex-Sleep) waxed theosophical with the certainty and equanimity of a permanently stoned priest. With God Is Good and Advaitic Songs, OM slightly lightened up sonically, adding purring tamboura drones, cello, and tabla to their spiritually liberating sound. With Emil Amos replacing Chris Hakius on drums, the tracks became less turgid. OM have not released a studio album since 2012, so this tour will likely debut some new material while presenting old favorites. If Alice Coltrane were alive and into metal, she’d be an OM fan. DAVE SEGAL
Caroline Rose, Superet, Ings
The second album from East Coast pop-rock songwriter Caroline Rose, LONER, puts a comedic spin on money problems, unfaithful lovers, accidental pregnancies, misogyny, loneliness, and other unsavory subjects. She'll share a bill with Superet and Ings.
Scotland’s gift to Big Star/Beatles/Byrds worship keeps on keepin’ on. Like most rock aficionados, I jumped on the Bandwagonesque bandwagon when that classic 1991 album came out and swooned to its pitch-perfect, harmony-rich jangle pop. True, some may miss the noisy japes of the band covering Pink Floyd and Madonna, as well as their raucous Mudhoney tribute (on 1991’s The King), and the freakier moments of 1990’s A Catholic Education. But it’s safe to say that fans who’ve stuck around this long will find TFC’s ambling, touching dad rock as welcome as their best friends’ smiles. And, hey, look out for brilliant new member Euros Childs of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.
Much-decorated Cuban trumpeter and classical musician Arturo Sandoval was the founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Cuban jazz fusion group Irakere, and has spent decades developing his own solo work, including a full album that interprets the romantic bolero of Armando Manzanero.
Masters of Hawaiian Music: George Kahumoku Jr, Nathan Aweau, & Kawika Kahiapo
George Kahumoku Jr, Nathan Aweau, and Kawika Kahiapo bring the island vibes to the main stage with a two-evening set of slack-key and slide guitar, ukulele, and songs from traditional and contemporary Polynesian musical eras.
Seattle Festival Orchestra: Eroica
Enjoy the triumphant glory of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica, as it is performed alongside Richard Strauss’s Concerto No. 1 for Horn and Orchestra by the Seattle Festival Orchestra and international horn soloist Andrew Palletier.
Men I Trust
What first grabbed me about Men I Trust is their name. It made me think—who are the men I trust? It fucked me up. But this Montreal-based band creates the fuzziest dream-electro-indie pop to calm down and unwind to. The reverby guitar and lead singer Emma Proulx’s voice intertwine to make you feel like you are floating on a moonbeam over the ocean. Come and dance to the up-tempo “Tailwhip” or slowly spin out to “Show Me How.” JASMYNE KEIMIG
Sharon Van Etten, Nilüfer Yanya
“Comeback Kid,” the first single off Sharon Van Etten's Remind Me Tomorrow, reminded me of 1980s-era Kate Bush, but with its own distinctive appeal. I did a double take when I discovered it was Van Etten, who I’d known as a guitar-driven folk artist with confessional tendencies. Her current material is intriguing synth-and-keys-rooted indie rock with vague new-wave flavor, unexpected grooviness, and hopeful moodiness. She was apparently already on her way to an evolution five years back with Are We There. Becoming a mother, an actor (see: The OA), and a student (she went back to school for psychology) has obviously had a (positive) impact. Consequence of Sound called Remind Me Tomorrow Van Etten’s Ok Computer, and I don’t disagree. It’s my favorite LP of 2019 so far. LEILANI POLK
Slang, Hutch Harris, Wild Powwers
Garage-rock foursome Slang is composed of Modern Kin's Drew Grow, Sleater-Kinney/Quasi drummer Janet Weiss, Thermals bassist Kathy Foster, and Viva Voice guitarist Anita Lee Elliott. Where else are you going to get your fix of melodic shredding from seasoned Northwest professionals? Hutch Harris (also of the Thermals) and local psych-rockers Wild Powwers will share the bill.
Waxahatchee, Bonny Doon
Waxahatchee is the project of Alabama singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield, whose indie-rock style has a vaguely Liz Phair Exile in Guyville feel, while her lo-fi experimental-folk leanings are entirely of her own appeal. She and her band (which includes twin sister Allison on keys and percussion) are leaning harder into the former on their second Merge release and fourth overall, Out in the Storm, which has a more full-bodied sound than past efforts and added gritty-melodic 1990s guitar textures, and was produced by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth). LEILANI POLK
Japanese singer/producer Joji will bring a dreamy lo-fi blend of folk, hiphop, electronic, and R&B to Seattle.
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
Contemporary opera probably isn't the most intuitive delivery system for the life story of the CEO of the world's largest tech company, but in some ways it kinda makes sense. Jobs was a major mythical figure for geeks, a reportedly tyrannical boss who basically wore a costume all the time, and a literary enthusiast! Regardless, the opera, which was written by Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell, has been getting great reviews since its premiere in Santa Fe last year, thanks largely to its state-of-the-art, "visually stunning" projection sequences. RICH SMITH
Perhaps Cleveland, Ohio's chief contribution to the history of hiphop, the melodic rap stylings of Bone Thugs now seem almost prophetic, with more rappers singing these days than actually rapping. The Eazy-E-signed quintet have undergone many changes and bumps along the way since their smash single "Crossroads," releasing the album New Waves in 2017 with just Krayzie and Bizzy Bone. Expect to see the original lineup in full force, combining old-school lyricism and forward-thinking harmonies that will get any crowd going. NICK ZURKO