Best Music Shows

The 37 Best Music Shows in Seattle This Week: July 15-21, 2019

Julia Shapiro, Lizzo at CHBP, and More Music Critics' Picks
July 14, 2019
If you're crying because you love Lizzo, don't miss her set at the Capitol Hill Block Party on Saturday. (AJ Ragasa)

This week, our music critics have picked everything from Julia Shapiro and Lisa Prank to Deerhunter and Dirty Projectors to the Capitol Hill Block Party. 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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Gabby's World, Bellows, Dogbreth, Baby Jessica
Gabby's World, the solo bedroom-pop project of songwriter Gabrielle Smith that came after stints under the monikers Eskimeaux and Ó, will come to Seattle with solid support from Brooklyn's Bellows and locals Dogbreth and Baby Jessica.



2019 Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival
The Seattle Chamber Music Society is, once again, throwing its Summer Festival, with free informal recitals and full orchestral performances for all ages throughout the month of July. The cabal of esteemed artists involved this year will include Andrew Wan, Jonathan Vinocour, Jeewon Park, Tessa Lark, Yura Lee, and many more. Plus, don't miss the Music Under the Stars series, during which a student ensemble sets up in a park and plays to whoever shows up, often folks with picnic blankets in tow and maybe a surreptitious bottle of wine, after which Benaroya Hall pipes in whatever festival performance is happening that night.



Foie Gras
I have never eaten foie gras, but I think about it sometimes. I’ve always imagined the texture to be that of ice cream—rich, dense, decadent in both procurement and taste. I think of it as something reserved for special occasions, an aphrodisiac, an unrepentant flex. Bay Area “solo dronescapist” Foie Gras keys into that goth, pulsating sensibility of the duck/goose liver it’s named after. “Red Moon” drips with emotion and mood, the distorted guitar howling over primal drums. “Devotee” is mystic, otherworldly, desire unwavering. It’s hot as hell. JASMYNE KEIMIG


Yeek, Dotha
I was surprised to learn that my new favorite artist hails from Naples, a boring Southwest Florida backwater with nice beaches, a shit ton of super-rich fucks, and not much else. But it’s shitty little Florida towns like these that spawn the most intriguing talents, like Yeek, a singer, rhyme-slinger, songwriter, and producer now based in Los Angeles who churns out sounds that are hard to pin down, a mix of hip-hop and beat tape production qualities, avant R&B grooves, and pop-savvy indie rock-ness. His latest release, IDK WHERE, is a six-track EP that ranges from bouncy beat-and-guitar-riff-driven opener “Cleaner Air” to soulful, slow-burning closer “Fatigued.” Good shit. LEILANI POLK



Pete Escovedo Orchestra with Leah Tysee
Iconic Latin jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo will perform a showcase of his greatest hits with assistance from Leah Tysee.



Bob Schneider
Bob Schneider is an Austin singer-songwriter who crafts breezy, pleasant, sunny-day pop-rock and folk music, his vocals—serenely lulling, lightly husky—gliding over the top and delivering lyrics with subtle (or more clearly present) sweetness. That song “Peaches” is a heart-squeezer and a track you should tap for a playlist to your future lover: “I love you like peaches / I love you like a blue sky / I love you like forever / And here's the reason why / I wanna eat you all up / And not spill a drop / And not ever stop.” He’s earned a slew of Austin Music Awards from 1992 to 2019, and most recent LP Blood & Bones earned him five more, including Austin Album of the Year and Best Songwriter. LEILANI POLK

Greyhounds, Star Crusher
Austin act Greyhounds are keyboardist Anthony Farrell and guitarist Andrew Trube (both formerly members of JJ Grey and Mofro), joined by drummer Ed Miles. Their sound is rock dosed heavily with Motown-influenced R&B, blues, funk, and soul with a dash of country roots. Farrell and Trube share vocal duties; the former hits baritone lows and has a resounding, deeply soulful quality, while the latter has a higher-toned drawl with a light rasp. This tour falls behind last year’s Cheyenne Valley Drive, their seventh full-length. RIYL: St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. LEILANI POLK


KNKX Presents Piano Starts Here: Chicago in the 20s – National Jazz Melting Pot
The Piano Starts Here series showcases the work of musical icons who contributed to the knowledge and appreciation of the instrument. This iteration will celebrate the jazz legends who incorporated Chicago traditions into the jazz canon through innovation and inclusivity, including the work of Earl Hines, Jelly Roll Morton, Jess Stacy, and Joe Sullivan. Featured performers for the evening will include Ray Skjelbred.


Mauno, Jo Passed, Antonioni
Canucks tonight, hey!?! Montreal’s Mauno play sweet, songwriterly, cerebral, and melodic indie pop. Lots of folks call their kind of sounds “post-punk,” but at this point, 40 years post post-punk, someone might wanna suss a contemporary name for the popular contemporary takes. Anyway, Mauno’s singer sounds a LOT like Emitt Rhodes!!!! As for Jo Passed, well, “they’re super-melodic with an occasional bit of sideways-’70s, angular dual-guitar aesthetic and a LOT of the best parts of ’90s indie-pop/-rock, plus a bit of shoe gazer atmosphere.” Also on stage this night is Seattle’s Antonioni. MIKE NIPPER

Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators
Original Guns 'n' Roses guitarist and generic '80s rock god Slash will return to Seattle on tour with his new collaborative band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators in support of their third album, Living the Dream.

We Were Promised Jetpacks, Catholic Action
Scottish rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut album, These Four Walls, with a tour through the U.S. On this Seattle stop, they'll be joined by Catholic Action.


Tal National, Beyond Captain Orca!
For a throng of high-energy West African guitars, don't miss a tour stop with lauded Niger-based group Tal National. Local improvisational rockers Beyond Captain Orca! will provide an opening set. 



William Elliott Whitmore, Michael Ray and the Plastic Sheets
Equipped only with a banjo and a bass drum, folk artist William Elliott Whitmore will leave his farm in Iowa to play live in Seattle after openers Michael Ray and the Plastic Sheets.


Mattress, Ghost Soda, Corey J Brewer
Portland experimental electronic artist Mattress will be welcomed by local murky dream-spinner Ghost Soda and jazz synth lover Corey J Brewer.


Jazz: The Second Century
Jazz: The Second Century is a long-standing program by Earshot Jazz that invites Seattle musicians to creatively consider the future of jazz, and what that could look like, in resulting performative interpretations (thus, an ensuing concert series spread out over four consecutive Thursday evenings in July). Each night showcases original compositions by Seattle artists, and is curated by different peer groups within our local music community through a blind jury process from responses to a general call for submissions. Tonight's artists are FrancescoJAZZ and Kissyface.


Diminished Men, RLLRBLL, Von Wildenhaus
For 12 years now, Diminished Men have been one of Seattle’s best bands. I say this every time I write about the long-running trio, hoping that it will increase their fanbase. So far, my advocacy hasn’t nudged Diminished Men much higher in people’s consciousness, but I’m not going to stop now. The group’s problem might be their tendency to rarely employ vocals, but that’s a strength in my book. What Diminished Men—drummer Dave Abramson, guitarist/bassists Simon Henneman and Steve Schmitt—excel at is eerie, ominous jazz rock that evokes myriad noirish cinematic scenarios. Their music occupies that strange zone where electric-era Miles Davis, Ennio Morricone’s ’60s and ’70s soundtracks, surf rock, and Can at their Tago Mago-est intersect. It’s no surprise that Alan Bishop’s Abduction Records issues their records; Diminished Men reflect Bishop’s omnivorous impulse to hybridize various styles into distinctive compositions. There’s much mystery in Diminished Men’s sound—as well as in their relative lack of notoriety. DAVE SEGAL

Julia Shapiro, Lisa Prank
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

Mind Your Own Uterus Benefit Show
There’s a dumpster fire in the White House, and it’s been spreading across the country. The South has been hit hardest, with government leaders passing aggressive anti-abortion laws with the potential to spur legal battles that could go all the way to a conservative-led SCOTUS and challenge Roe v. Wade. It’s a dire time. Fundraisers like this one, to benefit the Yellowhammer Fund (a reproductive justice organization that provides aid to those seeking care at one of Alabama's three abortion clinics as well as helping with other barriers to access) have never felt more urgent and necessary. Leading the bill is Breaks and Swells, who craft a peppy fusion of horn-escorted R&B, neo soul, disco pop, vintage rock, and funky fresh jazz as driven by the cotton-candy lead belts of Marquetta Miller. Claire George, La Fonda, Motus, and Wolfchild are also performing. LEILANI POLK

The Raconteurs
The most successful Jack White side project—co-led with lesser-known but no less talented rock songwriter Brendan Benson, plus bassist “Little” Jack Lawrence (the Dead Weather, City and Colour) and drummer Patrick Keeler (Afghan Whigs)—craft some mighty fine rock tunes. (You’ve likely heard crunchy strutting first single “Steady as She Goes.”) Over the course of the Raconteurs’ 14-year tenure, they’ve dropped three LPs. The one that brings them to town, this year’s Help Us Stranger, is their first since 2008, and it’s a solid comeback, from earwormy barn-burning opener “Bored and Razed” to the lush, trippy, banjo-flecked deliberation of set closer “Thoughts and Prayers.” LEILANI POLK

Ringo Deathstarr, Tennis System
Texas shoegaze band Ringo Deathstarr combines the tight grooves of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr with the cosmic force of the Star Wars Empire’s moon-sized space station. Catch them after a set from LA noise punks Tennis System. 

Spontaneous Rex, Spyn Reset, Swingset
Deep respect to any bands striving to grapple with the daunting legacies of jazz fusion and prog rock this late in the 21st century. Seattle’s Spyn Reset and Spontaneous Rex have applied their phenomenal instrumental dexterity to songs that take you on serpentine thrill rides in odd time signatures and with flamboyant melodies that would make John McLaughlin and Chick Corea prick up their ears. For proof, go directly to Spontaneous Rex’s Bandcamp and play “The Early Adventures of Pro Fresh.” It’s a complex matrix of Miles Davis’s fervid funk, Larry Coryell’s guitar pyrotechnics, Jaco Pastorius’s absurdly nimble bass lines, and spacey, “Dark Star”-like jamming. Bring your longest attention span and a sweat band. DAVE SEGAL



World Music Series: Ganesh Rajagopalan
Ganesh Rajagopalan is a virtuosic violinist and vocalist of Carnatic music. He'll perform traditional and contemporary music of South India during this evening of innovative genre-blending.


Chris Cohen, Dear Nora, Zach Burba
When you get the urge to hear earnest, white-guy indie rock (which happens with some regularity, judging by how much of the stuff circulates at any given moment), you could do—and have done—much worse than to put on some Chris Cohen. The former Deerhoof guitarist writes songs that wear their melancholy lightly, their hangdog melodies spangling winsomely; they’re an introvert's delight. There's nothing mind-blowing about Cohen's music, but its low-key charms and his pleasantly affectless voice—which may be construed upon cursory listens as slack—should not be underestimated. He's a deceptively intricate tunesmith. DAVE SEGAL


NAVVI, Static Shore, Jupiter Sprites, Surrealized
The adjective "lush" gets tossed around a lot in reference to Seattle electro-pop mavens NAVVI, whose first single dropped back in 2013. It's an easy catchall for the enveloping sonic environment that Kristin Henry and Brad Boettger conjure through judiciously applied reverb, intricate guitar, and Henry's soaring voice. The cavernous confines of Neumos should be ideal conditions for you step into NAVVI’s world when they surge into “Polychrome” or “What Reason Do We Need,” both off their debut album, Omni, released on local imprint Hush Hush Records. GREGORY SCRUGGS


Bob Log III, GravelRoad, Ghost Train Trio
What a bangin’ lineup! Locals Ghost Train Trio play driving, melodic rock. GravelRoad dish up blues rock, and were once T-Model Ford’s backing group. And then there’s goddamn Bob Log III, the king of one-man bands. According to me, “He don’t need help to get around to get on his get down. His ‘bass guitar’ is his thumb, his right-hand fingers strum and pick while his left-hand fingers hammer out the ‘melody.’ He sings, er, hollers through an old landline phone receiver fixed into an old motorcycle helmet, and his feet knock out the beats!” MIKE NIPPER

Juan MacLean
Once a guitarist for electro-tinged, post-hardcore curmudgeons Six Finger Satellite (Sub Pop MVPs in the ’90s), Juan MacLean has developed into a durable producer and DJ of better-than-average house music for the prestigious DFA label over the last 17 years. His DJ sets are marked by slightly quirky and funky cuts that can veer from robotic to soulful within a couple of crossfades. And he's been known to mix Laurie Anderson's left-field 1981 hit “O Superman” into bumping house and electroclash sets and make it work. Check out MacLean's 2017 Brooklyn Boiler Room DJ performance on YouTube for a primer on his effective aesthetic. DAVE SEGAL

New Age Healers, The Purrs, Black Nite Crash
New Age Healers will "[pick] up where Echo & the Bunnymen, Love and Rockets, and the Jesus and Mary Chain left off with just a touch of punk to make the ladies swoon." Join them at their album release show with additional sets from Purrs and Black Nite Crash.



Classic rock legends Chicago are back this summer to showcase some of their greatest hits on the meadow of the Chateau.



Capitol Hill Block Party 2019
Capitol Hill Block Party is a large-scale weekend music festival that originally started as a charming neighborhood get-together and has since morphed into a massive spectacle of Top 40 headliners and Seattle heavy hitters converging during the dog days of summer in the Pike/Pine corridor. The complete lineup for CHBP 2019 features more than 60 touring and local talents—including headliners like future-bass producer RL Grime, beat-heavy alt-poppers Phantogram, and twerking-flautist phenom Lizzo; mid-range artists like indie heartbreak queen Mitski, bedroom pop savant Cuco, and ambient house project Shallou; and Seattle stunners like soul-rockers the Black Tones, hooky punks Tres Leches, and up-and-coming dance-pop crafter PSA.



10th Annual Cornbread Ball
Slim's 10th annual Cornbread Ball features a whole heap of deep-fried greasy goodness, musical and otherwise, from the likes of Tom Howard, Joe Buck Yourself, Wildcat Rose, Ohio Valley Boys, and many more.


Depth: Silent Servant, Kristen Dalen, Yamanaka
Silent Servant’s annual appearances at Kremwerk’s dank bunker always brings a potent dose of dark, stark techno, a commodity essential to any music aficionado's diet—at least in my twisted view. The LA DJ/producer and former Sandwell District member is one of the most dependable champions for this kind of club music that simultaneously reflects a sense of looming catastrophe and provides the catharsis to cope with it. Seattle DJs Kristen Dalen and Yamanaka should set the tone well with their own savvy selections in the banging, psychedelic techno realm. DAVE SEGAL


Youth Brigade, Lower Class Brats, the Bridge City Sinners, Ground Score
Forty years later, the “sound and fury” of the three Stern brothers’ Youth Brigade is still in “full force,” and they're still fighting to unite the kids! Their first two LPs, both titled Sound and Fury, are 1980s SoCal hardcore classics, which helped engender progressive thinking for a generation of outcasts. The rest of tonight’s thrash-a-thon will be just as raucous, what with Lower Class Brats’ street punk, Ground Score’s melodic 1990s punk, and Bridge City Sinners’ acoustic folk. MIKE NIPPER


Deerhunter, Dirty Projectors
Experimental rock band Deerhunter have a certain clanginess to their music that is easy to identify. Led by Brandon Cox (whose solo project Atlas Sound is even more fried and delicious), the band’s body of work encompasses many genres—from shoegazey pop to lo-fi garage rock and back again. Over it all is Cox’s distinct drawl, which helped define, for many, what indie rock sounded like in the mid-to-late aughts. Deerhunter’s most recent album (their eighth), 2019’s Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?, was recorded in rural Texas. The dust is most apparent in the twanginess of certain tracks, which go in unpredictable directions. Joining them on tour is equally cool, bizarrely fun art-rock/alt-R&B group Dirty Projectors. JASMYNE KEIMIG

Igor & Red Elvises, The Pornadoes
German-born musician Igor Yuzov grew up during a time when rock music was illegal in the former Soviet Union, where he was raised. In 1995, after having left Russia for California, he reportedly had a dream in which Elvis told him to start playing rock 'n' roll, and immediately started a "Siberian surf rock band." Since then, the Red Elvises have been a "traveling rokenrol party that's constantly in motion and consistently evolving." He and his band will be joined by local rockabilly group the Pornadoes. 



Cody Johnson, Whitey Morgan
Cody Johnson's 2014 album Cowboy Like Me earned him the attention of Nashville bigwigs, and he's been crooning country originals with solid instrumentation and easygoing melodies ever since.

The Deer, Takenobu, Aviva le Fey, Daniel Steinbock
With elements of dream-pop and chamber music, indie-folk outfit the Deer could easily soundtrack your annual midsummer mushroom trip (not to be confused with a Midsommar mushroom trip). The visiting Texans will be joined by cellist and composer Takenobu, Mendocino singer-songwriter Aviva le Fey, and the Bay Area's Daniel Steinbock.


Reel Big Fish, Bowling for Soup, Mest
For y’all pop punk and third wave ska-rnivorous kids who came of age in the mid-1990s, it looks like tonight might be the time to re-pierce yer bottom lip and/or eyebrow, dig out your porkpie hat, and see if them wide-legged short britches and braces still fit! Uh, who’d have ever thunk third wave ska would still be a thing two decades later? Well, here it is and still skankin’. We got Mest and Bowling for Soup joining up with the late-1990s sing-along ska group who are surprisingly as popular as ever, Reel Big Fish. MIKE NIPPER