Bliss out to “tropical futurism” with Combo Chimbita as you watch beams of light bounce around the Laser Dome on Sunday.
This week, our music critics have picked everything from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to Daniel Schnyder’s Charlie Parker opera Yardbird to Combo Chimbita. 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.
Dutch composer Joep Beving will perform some of his hauntingly contemplative neo-classical compositions.
I have some deep love for Metronomy’s 2011 LP The English Riviera. It’s just so catchy and breezy and effortless and restrained, a sticky addictive slice of synthy, groovy, wonky pop that I still listen to on the reg. Though I haven’t loved the albums that have followed from Joe Mount’s UK indie-pop outfit, last year’s Metronomy Forever, their sixth, had some real fun bops: the guitar-riffed near-rock number “Insecurity”; the “Funkytown”-vibing dance number that is “Salted Caramel Ice Cream”; the fast-paced, womped-up, late-night driving appeal of “Lately”; and the falsetto-caressed cheekiness of “Sex Emoji.” Metronomy are most definitely fun and far more energetic in a live setting than their recordings might imply; when I saw them in Orlando a few years back, they were all wearing matching white suits that felt very Miami Vice-by-Brits and they executed synchronized dance moves at various points throughout the set. Loved it. LEILANI POLK
Recording for America’s hottest incubator of new jazz, Chicago’s International Anthem label, trumpeter Jaimie Branch has released two acclaimed albums in the last few years: Fly or Die (2017) and Fly or Die II: bird dogs of paradise (2019). The former ranges from spacey, Miles Davis–like reveries to rhythmically intricate and mercurial charges that make you want to dedicate your life to fighting injustices. The latter occasionally incorporates Branch’s and guests’ doleful and indignant vocals, which amplify the angular menace that she and her crack band—drummer Chad Taylor, cellist Lester St. Louis, and double bassist Jason Ajemian—summon. For a taste, check out the 11-minute “prayer for amerikkka pt 1 & 2,” one of the most compelling tracks of last year. DAVE SEGAL
Smooth alto songstress Kandace Springs has garnered acclaim for her Blue Note Records debut, Soul Eyes, which demonstrated her masterful ability to blend jazz, soul, and pop into one gorgeous and seemingly effortless sound.
Dashboard Confessional, Piebald
Alt-emo artifact Dashboard Confessional will return to town high off the fumes of their 20th anniversary. They’ll be joined by Andover-bred alt-rock band Piebald.
Australian quartet Stonefield, composed of the four Findlay sisters, has toured with Fleetwood Mac, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, King Tuff, and other well-known acts. Join the psychedelic rock outfit in Seattle on this tour stop in support of their new album, Bent.
The Seattle-based outfit has been cranking out tunes for over a decade now, engendering themselves to audiences with a mix of wryly humorous songs and feminist pop-punk.
Taking cues from Nina Simone, Etta James, Sade, and Tina Turner, Portland-based alternative soul artist Liv Warfield (who used to play in Prince’s former New Power Generation group, RIP) will come to Seattle for a solo set.
Bluesy Englishman and thoughtful singer-songwriter Jack Broadbent will play a slide guitar set of classics and new standards for a Seattle audience.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Terry Riley’s music is my religion, my drugs, my ultimate source of peace—although not necessarily in that order. In my musical pantheon, he occupies the upper echelon, along with Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, Can, Funkadelic, Jon Hassell, Brian Eno, and Wolfgang Dauner. The 84-year-old California composer/keyboardist has become one of the most influential musicians of the last 50 years among artists seeking to tap into that ocean of sound at the intersection of minimalist composition, drone, and tape-based experimentation. While Riley’s music is revered by the more freethinking academics, it doesn’t come off as dry and stuffy, like much highbrow output from the neoclassical realm does. Rather, his epic trance-outs are redolent of outdoor raves, psychedelic jam band shows, and Indian raga concerts in the way they accrue a hallucinogenic effect over long durations. Imbued with a pantheistic spiritual profundity, Riley’s music seeks to immerse you in the infinite. DAVE SEGAL
Ezra Furman, Kelley Stoltz
It’s always a special treat when one artist takes control of a film or TV show’s soundtrack; the musical consistency makes the show’s narrative stronger. And Ezra Furman has blessed us with a soundtrack to Netflix’s wonderful Sex Education series. The fuzzy angst of her music pairs well with letterman-jacket-clad British teens awkwardly rubbing up against each other. Late last year, Furman also released the truly fantastic and punk Twelve Nudes, her eighth album, that roars with a focused rage at the state of politics and our country. I’m personally ready to ride to “Rated R Crusaders.” Furman will be joined by jammy Sub Pop signee Kelley Stoltz. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Freakout Records Presents: Part Time, Gary Wilson, Bryson Cone
Gary Wilson is the rare cult musician who appeals both to indie-rock and electronic-music fans. His quirky music has been rereleased in this century by both the Feeding Tube and Stones Throw labels. The former company reissued Another Galaxy, Wilson’s 1974 debut album, which does not prepare you for what came after. Playing piano and stand-up bass, Wilson led a trio through four instrumentals of spare, questing, groove- intensive jazz that flashed deceptive traces of funk. The thing is, nobody really heard this record until 2016, so it hit with serious WTF? impact. Wilson is much better known for his 1977 full-length, You Think You Really Know Me, a twisted collection of women-obsessed tunes that constantly keeps you wondering if Wilson is parodying lovestruck lounge-pop or if he’s genuinely revealing his idiosyncratic personality. Whatever the case, these songs ooze a peculiar charm that’s aged well over the last 43 years. DAVE SEGAL
Led Zeppelin 2 Plays lll: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
For power, grace, indelibly monstrous riffs, and acidic Sturm und Drang arrangements of blues songs, Led Zeppelin were damn near unparalleled. Drummer John Bonham’s death in 1980 ground the juggernaut to a halt, but the lust for Zep’s music continues unabated to this day. Which opens a door of opportunity for a tribute group like the Chicago-based Led Zeppelin 2. These guys have LZ’s sound down to an artful science, plus the singer—Yakuza’s Bruce Lamont—even keeps his shirt unbuttoned onstage (details are important!). Guitarist Paul Kamp mimics Jimmy Page’s excoriating flourishes with panache, Chris Klein embodies John Paul Jones’s quietly spectacular contributions on bass and keyboards, and drummer Ian Lee replicates Bonzo’s dexterous bludgeoning—and he has a gong. Good times (probably not bad times). DAVE SEGAL
SubPopular: Bruce Pavitt, Calvin Johnson, Sharlese
Re-bar is best known for its long-running house-music weekly Flammable and radical theater, so it’s somewhat strange that Sub Pop cofounder Bruce Pavitt and K Records boss and Beat Happening/Dub Narcotic Sound System leader Calvin Johnson are DJing the venue’s 30th-anniversary party. No doubt, though, KEXP/False Prophet selector Sharlese will ably hold up the electronic-dance-music end of the celebration while the older gents will put on a Pacific Northwest music history lesson with their deep crates and vast knowledge of our region’s indie-rock scenes. This event will be particularly poignant in the wake of the recent death of Michael Tippett, a frequent performer at Re-bar. DAVE SEGAL
Haüsed: 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 his 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?” He lands in town behind Galazy, his first release on his new Young Ethics label. ABBIE GOBELI
Carl Stone, Robert Millis
American avant-garde composer/musician Carl Stone, as I wrote on Slog last year, “is a master of voice manipulation, shredding singers’ phonemes into mesmerizing and discombobulating mosaics of otherworldly intrigue. Sometimes his pieces sound like a pop artist’s CD glitching out spectacularly, a manufacturer’s defect alchemized into sonic art of the highest (dis)order.” Stone has been creating beautifully disorienting electronic music since the 1970s, and his most recent albums—Baroo and Himalaya—reveal no diminishment of his imagination. This music opens portals to bizarre realms rarely glimpsed. On his label Unseen Worlds’ Bandcamp, Stone explained his process: “The pieces use a technique of time slicing that I first started doing back in the ’90s… wherein sound files are metaphorically shattered in time like glass and then reorganized into mosaic patterns.” Opening is Climax Golden Twins guitarist Robert Millis, a sonic shape-shifter, collagist, drone-meister, and archivist with a mischievous streak. DAVE SEGAL
Electronic artist Vincent and indie-rock band the Griswolds have combined their sonic powers to form a new project, Lost & In Love. They’ll come to Seattle with support from Melvv, an electro-dance artist off of Atlantic Records.
To quote myself, seeing the more than two-decades-old NYC mainstay Antibalas play “is akin to feeling like you’ve been invited to a lively tropical party that has one foot in the sun-soaked 1970s, where Fela Kuti & Africa 70 reigned with brass-splashed percussive-fueled Afrobeat, and another in the present, fusing in jazz, dub, and funk with tight prowess and no small bit of playfulness. Nigerian-British vocalist/conga player Duke Amayo leads the charge with exotic bilingual vocals, conga thumping and battering, and martial-arts-inspired dance moves while the ensemble—which, in a live setting, ranges from 12 to 15 people—supports with guitars that fluctuate from wet wah-wah textures to grittier riffs, thick throbbing bass lines, chugging and slinking rhythms, and washes of bright, urgent brass from a many-piece section led by bari sax player and band founder Martin Perna.” New Antibalas album FU Chronicles, their first in eight years, marries kung fu with Afrobeat in a way that is intriguing and intoxicating. LEILANI POLK
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Singer and saxophonist Karl Denson will bring his band to town for a melding of energetic funk, soul, rock, jazz, and blues with Take It To Space.
Branford Marsalis Quartet
The great saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who is a member of jazz’s royal family (the Marsalises—Ellis, Wynton, Delfeayo), is famous for participating in Sting’s only decent solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, leading the band on Jay Leno’s show in the mid-’90s, and working with DJ Premier on jazz/hip-hop collaboration Buckshot LeFonque. He is less well known for the ribbons upon ribbons of beauty extracted from Igor Stravinsky’s “Pastorale”—a piece on the album Romance for Saxophone. Branford Marsalis is also known for upsetting his more famous brother Wynton. Branford loves popular culture; Wynton hates it. Branford and his band land in town behind a new record, 2019’s Grammy-nominated The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul. CHARLES MUDEDE
David Sanborn Jazz Quintet
“Saxman supreme” and six-time Grammy-winning David Sanborn has played with Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Paul Simon, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, and the Rolling Stones.
Dave Hause and The Mermaid, Guests
Philly-bred, Santa Barbara-based roots-rocker Dave Hause uses classic Americana styles to sing about issues like global warming, a crumbling democracy, and getting old. He’ll come to Seattle with his band the Mermaid.
False Prophet: Ritual Veil, Profit Prison, Sharlese
Everyone’s favorite sweaty basement complex Kremwerk is celebrating six years of bringing weird and world-class acts to Seattle. False Prophet will be hosting headliner Ritual Veil from Portland in the adjacent Timbre Room. The post-punk trio peddles moody, synth-heavy tracks that drip with a queer gothic sensuality ripe for the dance floor. Joining them is Seattle-based electro-punk Profit Prison, who fits the gothy, synthy vibe. And be sure to get there early, as KEXP DJ and False Prophet host Sharlese will be warming up the stage with her dark pulsating tracks. If there were ever a time to break out the leather and lace, it’s for this show. JASMYNE KEIMIG
KW 6 Year Anniv Friday: Omar S [Research x QDA x Boyhood Pres]
Research DJs Omar, Succubass, Alex Carrabba, and Shaw L will fill the basement with bass drops on Kremwerk’s sixth birthday. Upstairs in the Timbre Room, DJ Having Sex and Bronquito will head up a slightly more mellow “queer dance affair.”
Ghost-Note, JoJo Mayer / Nerve
Grammy-winning artists Robert Searight and Nate Werth (Snarky Puppy) share percussion duties in their new project Ghost-Note. They’ll be joined by Swiss virtuoso drummer JoJo Mayer (aka Nerve).
Polyrhythmics Live on KEXP
Spend Mardi Gras getting down to soulful, funky Afrobeat fusion with Polyrhythmics at a free, public set.
Named for the goddess of wisdom, war, and the arts, Athena is an apt introduction and shows what Sudan’s capable of achieving with support from a team of producers that included Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Sampha) and Paul White (Danny Brown, Charli XCX). It’s bigger and more ambitious than her bedroom productions, more slickly and finely wrought without losing its DIY moments. She bares it all, literally, on the album’s cover, which finds her nude, sculpted in bronze, posing strong and proud like a Greek goddess, balancing a violin on one hand, and within the album, where she addresses themes of family, sex, rebelliousness, money, and heartache. Her combination of earthy and electro sounds is reminiscent of trip-hop, though instead of jumping off from jazz and hip-hop, it’s rooted in R&B and African sounds. Its ethereally groovy, pared-back production is magnetic, a mix of bowing and pizzicato plucking that’s often layered, looped, and/or effected to add texture and dimension to her compositions, though her violin limit-pushing and experimentation remain accessible. LEILANI POLK
Ayo Dot & the Uppercuts, INVICTVS, Eye Eff
High-energy hip-hop fusion group Ayo Dot & the Uppercuts take the vocal power of Ayo and weave it into riff-shredding and bass-heavy throw-downs among the Uppercuts. They’ll be joined by Seattle-based rock-hop group INVICTVS and Eye Eff.
Perhaps Cleveland, Ohio’s chief contribution to the history of hip-hop, 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
Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Dr. John and Art Neville
Celebrate late New Orleans blues icons Dr. John and Art Neville with a lively evening of tribute performances by Jeff Fielder, Keith Lowe, Eric Eagle, Tim Kennedy, and others.
The Best ’80s Party Ever ! (So Far) with Tiffany, Nite Wave, DJ Indica Jones
High-energy ’80s tribute band Nite Wave will bring you renditions of your favorite big-hair hits by Duran Duran, the Cure, Prince, Depeche Mode, and the like. They’ll be joined by DJ Indica Jones and actual ’80s pop icon Tiffany (“I Think We’re Alone Now”).
Breaks and Swells, Trick Candles, FIX
Soulful, classy, expressive, percussive—just a few words you can use to describe this funky, fun, seven-piece Seattle band. They pack the stage — people let loose and dance up a storm to good old jazzy and blues riffs as lead singer Marquetta Miller’s sugary coated vocals give a sweet flavor to the sound. AMBER CORTES
Murder By Death
Indiana-spawned Murder by Death have been plying their blend of brawny yet poignant indie rock and folk roots for nearly 18 years, giving it gothic dramatic overtones with heavy strains of cello and infusing it with old-timey western appeal while fleshing out the mix with mandolin and banjo. On their recent outing, 2015’s Big Dark Love, they added horns and extra percussion, too, and experimented with electronics, to great effect. LEILANI POLK
Shadow of the Season, Rob Joynes, Careen
Gloomy indie-rockers Shadow of the Season will crank out new tracks with support from local singer-songwriter Rob Joynes and Careen.
Brandi Carlile with Seattle Symphony, the Secret Sisters
The experience of listening to Brandi Carlile’s 2018 album, By the Way, I Forgive You, is similar to that of listening to Carole King’s Tapestry or Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks; it’s a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and a lot of hard truths about the human race. Carlile’s talents lie in her tone, a dusky alto that swims around confessions of heartbreak and lifelong efforts to love and be loved, with the deftness of a much more senior troubadour. She’ll be joined in this performance of her recent works by the Seattle Symphony, with an opening set by Americana singer-songwriter duo the Secret Sisters. KIM SELLING
Shigeto, Jon Casey, Taso, Lefto
Kremwerk will allow Soul Focus to take over their sixth birthday party, bringing DJs Shigeto, Lefto, Julie Herrera, and Mister Moon to the decks.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Goose
Baltimore-based psychedelic funk band Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will be joined by Connecticut indie-groove band Goose (what a beautiful union of common birds!) at this downtown show.
Atmosphere, The Lioness, Nikki Jean, Blimes & Gab, DJ Keezy
I have never related so hard to a track upon immediate first listen as Atmosphere’s nasty yet telling “Trim.” It’s about being one half of a grown-up couple with three kids and seemingly no energy for anything other than lazing on the couch, trying to get it in and make time for each other whenever you can (“Feeling like I miss you, but I’m living with you / Help me take the garbage out so I can try to kiss you / You forgot that it could get so hot inside of a parked car up in the Target parking lot”). It is well-produced and perfectly delivered, as is most of what you hear from the Minneapolis alt-hiphop duo made up of Slug (raps) and Ant (beats), including their ninth studio outing on Rhymesayers, Mi Vida Local (“Jerome” is a fucking jam). LEILANI POLK
Eighties- and ’90s-loving pop outfit Joan will appeal to fans of the 1975 on this Seattle tour stop with disco-y synth artist Ralph.
Mo Troper, The Sun Spots, Seacats
Portland power-pop musician Mo Troper will play songs about falling in love on online gaming forums, eating burritos, and watching karaoke from his new album, Natural Beauty. The Sun Spots and Seacats will provide warm-up sets.
ZZ Ward, Patrick Droney
ZZ Ward has a snotty, brassy, sultry, husky vocal quality, like she was meant to be sassing some douchebag man (it’s a good kiss-off timbre), but maybe also crooning a torch song in a slinky red dress. Her music has a roots-rocking blues-and-R&B-splashed style of AC pop rock that I don’t hate. The singer, songwriter, and harmonica blower hasn’t dropped a new album since 2017’s sophomore effort The Storm, but she has released a few singles, the heartachey made-for-radio minor-chord ode “Break Her Heart,” and the much sexier, swankier “Sex and Stardust.” LEILANI POLK
Charlie Parker’s ‘Yardbird’
Jazz icon Charlie Parker gets the operatic treatment in this Seattle Opera production of Daniel Schnyder’s Yardbird, a journey through limbo by Parker, who struggles to complete his last masterpiece amidst a series of flashbacks that showcases the glorious heyday of iconic NYC jazz club Birdland, as well as the failures and victories of Parker’s dynamic life.
Combo Chimbita, Y La Bamba, Savila
This is such an ideal lineup for a night spent watching lasers bounce around a big old dome. Headliner Combo Chimbita are composed of four first-gen New Yorkers who have roots in Colombia. They fuse cumbia with genres they loved growing up, creating their own new danceable genre, “tropical futurism.” Portland-based folk-rockers Y La Bamba put out two of the best albums of 2019 (Mujeres and Entre Los Dos), and are led by Luz Elena Mendoza, a musician with a tremendous voice and an even bigger spirit. The very chill Latin/cumbia/R&B-inspired Sávila are also not to be missed. Take an edible and float. JASMYNE KEIMIG