This week, our music critics have picked everything from Chastity Belt to Raphael Saadiq to Lavender Country. 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. Plus, check out our arts & culture critics' picks for the 73 best things to do this week.
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Moe Ribbs Blues Band
Five Chicago blues-loving Seattle musicians band together to play Mississippi Delta-inspired covers and originals. As the band puts it, "We can lay down some blues so greasy you had better bring a bib!"
188 Sullivan: Charlie Parker's New York in the '50s
The D'Vonne Lewis Quartet will play the music of Charlie Parker (which you can also hear this week in Seattle Opera's production of Yardbird) and the Seattle Modern Orchestra will play the premiere of 188 Sullivan (which press materials describe as "Varese meets Bird").
Tove Lo, ALMA
I associate Tove Lo with the horny, sweaty moments when you’re collecting yourself in a club bathroom. “I’m wet through all my clothes / I’m fully charged, nipples are hard / Ready to go,” she purrs on her 2017 iconic BANGER of a track, “disco tits.” The Swedish princess of dark pop is touring in support of her most recent release, Sunshine Kitty. The record is a bit lighter in fare and sound for those accustomed to her “grungy” approach to hyper-pop, but the tropical-inflected track with Doja Cat, “Equally Lost,” is a punch in the face. Tove Lo will be joined by Finnish artist and frequent collaborator ALMA. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Death Cab for Cutie
There is something inherently gray and rainy about Ben Gibbard–led alt-rock band Death Cab for Cutie, which makes sense—they’re from Bellingham. They churn out some poignant ballads. Some barn burners. Some dark, Radiohead-flavored odes. This three-night stint to replace their September storm-out is ostensibly a hometown run, still supporting 2018's Thank You for Today, but also the super fresh (just released) The Blue EP. Three notable PNW acts open each night: Seattle blues-punk greats the Black Tones on Monday, Portland-based dreamily melodic indigenous rocker Black Belt Eagle Scout on Tuesday, and indie folk-rock singer-songwriter Laura Gibson on Wednesday. LEILANI POLK
Lyle Lovett & His Acoustic Group
With 14 albums under his belt, the musician and actor has become an institution unto himself. Now, the acclaimed performer launches a new tour with his Acoustic Group. Together they cover a variety of genres, offering elements of country, folk, jazz, and even gospel.
PolyGras with Polyrhythmics and the Pulsations
Spend Mardi Gras getting down to soulful, funky Afrobeat fusion with Polyrhythmics and the Pulsations (a.k.a West Seattle Soul).
Terror, The Warriors, Creeping Death, Dare, 2KLIX
LA-formed hardcore heavies Terror will shred to death with support from the Warriors, Creeping Death, Dare, and 2KLIX.
Andy Shauf, Molly Sarle
Toronto-based, Saskatchewan-raised songwriter Andy Shauf will come to Seattle with his new concept album, The Neon Skyline, which tells a story that takes over the place of one night. It becomes more rewarding the closer you listen, according to Pitchfork's Sam Sodomsky. He'll be joined by Mountain Man's Molly Sarle.
Mardi Gras with True Loves and Birch Pereira & The Gin Joints
Birch Pereira and the Gin Joints will provide you with swing, country, and rock-inspired originals on Mardi Gras. They'll be joined by Seattle-based soul and funk group True Loves.
A few years ago, Amy Winehouse's Back to Black (created with invaluable help from Mark Ronson and the Dap-Kings) reminded a whole bunch of (white) people about the vast aural pleasures of old-school soul. Legendary singer-songwriter-producer Raphael Saadiq has devoted most of his life to these pleasures, leading the chart-conquering new jack swingsters Tony! Toni! Toné!, producing the deep funk stew of D'Angelo's classic Voodoo, and, most recently, releasing his freakishly accomplished 2008 solo album The Way I See It. The latter is an impeccable dazzler that comes on like a one-man Motown show, with Saadiq playing all the parts, from mastermind Berry Gordy to songwriting factory Holland-Dozier-Holland to singing-songwriting superstar Smokey Robinson. That the end result manages to spring to its own 21st-century life is a testament to Saadiq's gifts. DAVE SEGAL
American vocalist Kat Edmonson makes what she refers to as "vintage pop," a genre blend of jazz and swing with traditional pop, chamber pop, '50s rock, blues, bossa nova, country-inflected pop, and folk music.
Blues singer and guitarist Albert Cummings uses his decades of experiences to impart true stories and hardened tales of the genre.
Ron Artis II & The Truth
The soulful blues singer and guitarist Ron Artis II will come to Seattle with his band the Truth.
US3R Record Release Party with Static Shore & Jupiter Drake
Seattle synth-pop artist US3R will celebrate his newest record, Influence, with support from his friends Static Shore, Techno Mage, and Jupiter Drake.
Grammy-nominated North Carolina MC Rapsody, who was featured on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, will come to Seattle on her A Black Woman Created This Tour.
Alter Bridge, Clint Lowery, Deepfall
On their Walk the Sky Tour, forceful hard rock quartet Alter Bridge will promote their latest album of the same name, with Clint Lowery and Deepfall.
Big Bite, Dreamdecay, Old Dark House
Local punks Big Bite will supply sludgy slacker rock before they head out on tour. They'll be joined by locals Dreamdecay and spooky duo Old Dark House.
Papooz, Fruit Juice
I kinda love Papooz, a French band whose self-styled “tropical groove” sound puts me right in the middle of yacht rock’s most fruitful period, the mid-1970s to early ’80s. They churn out airy, easy, rolling soft prog rock that gives off deep Supertramp vibes, but there are also some ELO and 10ecc influences in there, too. There’s some sexy sax, piano-driven segues, and high-toned earnest vocals that veer into breathy and sometimes creamy falsetto heights. You can almost see the wide-leg pants and neck scarves in songs ranging from the soft bedroom ode “Safe Into My Lovers Arms” to “Bubbles,” which feels outer-spacey and expansive even at a mere three minutes, to the laid-back grooving, late-night disco breeziness of “Night Sketches,” the title track from their 2019 LP. LEILANI POLK
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Ladysmith Black Mambazo have a whole bunch of guys singing bass. That's the secret to their success. Okay, Paul Simon "found" them, and that's been the secret to their success in what we loosely term "the West." By 1986, though, when Ladysmith Black Mambazo recorded and performed with Simon, they already had more than 20 albums in their native South Africa. Now they have more than 50 albums. They never stop touring, and they've outlasted the racist apartheid system under which the older members grew up. They're still ambassadors to South African culture. And they make people happy—boldly, unironically, and enthusiastically. ANDREW HAMLIN
WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY-SUNDAYOPERA
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.
Big Brass Extravaganza: Skablins, Ten Man Brass Band, The Highsteppers
Keep your Mardi Gras party spirit going strong with a night of brass with Skablins, Ten Man Brass Band, and the Highsteppers.
moe. brings the concept of a progressive rock jam band to a new level for their first Seattle show in two years.
Stanton Moore, David Torkanowsky, James Singleton
Stanton Moore is a giant of modern drumming who’s been working out of New Orleans since cofounding one of that city’s more popular jazz-funk ensembles, Galactic. He is also one of the key OGs in post-jazz rock outfit Garage A Trois, among a wide range of other gigs (including keeping beats on Street Sweeper Social Club’s eponymous debut) and solo endeavors. On this date, he’ll be with his trio, which includes bassist James Singleton (Nolatet, Astral Project) and venerable NOLA keysman David Torkanowsky. LEILANI POLK
For more than 40 years, Nashville-via-London guitarist/vocalist Robyn Hitchcock has been one of rock’s wittiest and wiliest surrealists. Starting with the short-lived Soft Boys, Hitchcock achieved summits of strange and hook-wise psych-rock, especially on the 1980 classic Underwater Moonlight. A long career leading the Egyptians and as a solo eccentric ensued, with songs veering from whimsical to sinister to absurd to morbid. Hitchcock has taken the twisted aesthetics of Syd Barrett’s “Bike,” John Lennon’s “I Am the Walrus,” and Frank Zappa/Kim Fowley’s “Help, I'm a Rock” to shape his own eldritch catalog. Robyn Hitchcock, his most recent album, is robust sexagenarian rock that proves the man’s lyrical and melodic chops remain exceptionally sharp. DAVE SEGAL
Donavon Frankenreiter with Christina Holmes
Prolific touring musician Donavon Frankenreiter will play everything from surf-inspired serenades to bluesy funk on this stop on his Record Player Tour with Christina Holmes.
I love the [untitled] series. The concert happens later in the evening (10 p.m.) in the lobby of Benaroya Hall. Some attendees dress more casually for the event, while others dress to the nines because they're the kind of people who do that. The people-watching is excellent, and the music is always cutting-edge and daring. At this iteration, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and pianist Cristina Valdés will present the work of four contemporary Latin American composers, including world premieres from Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez and Juan David Osorio. RICH SMITH
Shelf Nunny, WMD
One of the most interesting acts on Alex Ruder’s Seattle-based Hush Hush label, Shelf Nunny (aka local producer Christian Gunning) specializes in down-tempo electronic music that unobtrusively gets funky while aspiring to chill you out and tickle that part of the brain that enjoys pretty, delicate melodies. At these tasks, Shelf Nunny excels with understated brilliance. For fans of Boards of Canada, Casino Versus Japan, and Múm. DAVE SEGAL
Beats Antique, David Starfire
Oakland-based Beats Antique is a prime paradigm of three people with diverse talents banding together to create something uniquely fresh. CIA grad David Satori spent many years playing in a 10-piece Afrobeat band, and he juggles viola, guitar, banjo, melodica, and various instruments from around the world like the saz and electric cümbüş (a sort of Turkish banjo). Lifelong dancer Zoe Jakes started in jazz and ballet, settled on belly dancing that incorporates elements of tango, popping, and Indian styles, did stints with Yard Dogs Road Show and Belly Dance Superstars, and plays strap-on bass drum. Tommy "Sidecar" Cappel picked up drums young (he was beat-keeping by 6), and his jazz, prog, and metal influences were augmented by a Berklee education, and grew to encompass world music that included non-jazz rhythmic patterns of African and Arab music. All three are involved in electro production techniques, their resulting sound heady, mesmerizing, sonically bright and exciting, danceable, and just fucking cool experimental world fusion that's heavy on samples, sequencing, and percussives. LEILANI POLK
Mike Clark, Wil Blades, Skerik
As a drummer with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, Mike Clark manufactured some of the most complexly funky rhythms of the funkiest decade ever: the 1970s. On albums such as Thrust, Man-Child, Survival of the Fittest, and Straight from the Gate, Clark proved himself a key figure in fusion while also laying down many grooves sampled by hip-hop and electronic-music producers: Go straight to Herbie’s “Actual Proof” for actual proof. In addition, Clark’s sessionography boasts dates with some of jazz’s greatest: Joe and Eddie Henderson, Chet Baker, Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter, and many more. Now 73, Clark has made a lot of solid records since his 1970s heyday, such as 1992’s The Funk Stops Here with Headhunters bassist Paul Jackson and 2010's Carnival of Soul. He still packs a vigorous punch behind the kit. DAVE SEGAL
T.S.O.L., the Derelicts, Coffin Break, the Lucky Boys, Fully Crazed, Thee Deception, Kids On Fire, Convictions, the Scoffs
Goddamn, y’all, I can almost make my fucking word count just LISTING the bands playing across TWO stages on this big bill!!! El Corazon's stage will feature locals the Lucky Boys, denim-clad punks the Derelicts, and Coffin Break, plus Fully Crazed (“metal tinged skate rock” from Jaks Skate Team/ex-Dayglo Abortions/ex-ShutDown members). The Funhouse stage will feature local punks Thee Deception, fun pop punk from Kids On Fire, melodic punk from the Scoffs, and some Midwestern contemporary metal from Convictions. All are opening for original SoCal punk group True Sounds of Liberty! (T.S.O.L.!) Hella bands for a nice price. MIKE NIPPER
Chastity Belt, Loose Tooth
The always-charming-but-also-kinda-sad post-party-punk quartet Chastity Belt is back, baby! Not that they went anywhere too far, but this is their first tour since calling off dates last year due to health reasons. We’re glad they’re feeling better. Meeting as students in Walla Walla, the now-Seattle-based band hasn’t released anything since their 2017 record I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, but they have some new stuff on the way. In the meantime, you’re just going to have to play the jangly “Cool Slut” over and over while you tipsily get ready to go out. I’ve heard that “Different Now,” the moody, ’90s-inspired opener off their most recent album, is the perfect song to crack open a shower beer to. From a friend. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Falling In Reverse, Escape the Fate, The Word Alive
Beloved by some and deeply questioned by others (Stranger staffer Mike Nipper called them "a wanna-be contemporary version of wanna-be '80s hair bands," for example), punky youngsters Falling In Reverse will come to Seattle on their The Drug In Me Is Gold Tour with support from Escape the Fate and the Word Alive.
Joshua Radin & Friends with Ben Kweller and William Fitzsimmons
Joshua Radin has the monopoly on emotionally resonant indie rock, and will be illustrating the reasons for his success in a set flanked by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben Kweller and emo-folk songwriter William Fitzsimmons.
NYC-raised sibling duo Clyde and Gracie Lawrence lead an eight-piece soul-pop band under their own name. Catch them in Seattle with LA duo Maro.
Paragon Live Presents Ruthie Craft
Join up-and-coming soulful pop-rock artist Ruthie Craft and former American Idol competitor Ruthie Craft for an intimate performance.
Niyaz: The Fourth Light Project
Deemed "an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music" by the Huffington Post, trance music artist Niyaz pays tribute to Rabi’a al-Basri, the first female Sufi mystic and poet, on her Fourth Light Project. Hear it live on this tour stop.
Jeffrey Silverstein, Ancient Forest, Cat Positive, Surething
Portland guitarist Jeffrey Silverstein’s Nassau duo with Justin Wilcox sounds like a cross between Durutti Column and a less bombastic Fleet Foxes. Their 2017 album Heron elicits peaceful, easy feelings. Now on his own, Silverstein has cut an EP for the great Driftless Recordings titled How on Earth, and the feelings are even more peaceful and easy. (He wrote these pieces while serving as an artist-in-residence at Sou’wester Lodge in Seaview, Washington.) Backed by laid-back drum-machine beats, Silverstein looses spangly globules of six-string magic while occasionally singing in hushed tones. He calls this stuff “ambient-folk songs,” but the emphasis is on the former word. Against the odds, Silverstein has created a sweet strain of chill-out tapestries that’s as relaxing as a trip to your favorite nature retreat… which may be in Seaview. DAVE SEGAL
Local drag performer, musician, and nightlife icon Michete will throw a party in honor of her first public appearance after getting facial feminization surgery. The twist? Something may have gone horribly wrong. Find out for yourself and enjoy additional performances from Rowan Ruthless, Femme Daddy, and other locals for a night of drag, music from DJs Jane Don't and Joe Valley, and all the Tito's Vodka drink specials you can handle.
Paw Print: A Benefit Concert for Homeward Pet Adoption Center
This showcase of local hip-hop artists Grieves, Mouse Powell, Campana, JAGA, and Diveyede will donate all proceeds to the Homeward Pet Adoption Center.
Mike Dillon Band with Brad Houser and Brian Haas
Traditionalist jazz heads, beware: You could call what Mike Dillon does “jazz” in the broadest sense of the term—there are grooves, there are rhythms, and there are vibes. But Dillon is a percussive force of nature, not content to remain within the genre lines. In fact, the longer he’s played, the weirder his music has become. He grunts, howls, murmurs in a devilish growl, groans, bellows, and pretty much creates a musical ruckus while playing drums and vibraphone, sometimes both at once, in firm and calculated strokes or full-on crashing and banging modes. The music that issues forth is a punk-caked, metal-shredded, post-jazz explosion with Dillon’s own added salt and vinegar. He’s a fucking beast, and a must-see, especially as joined by Brian Haas, the forward-thinking leader and keysman of super-heady post-jazz explorers Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (he also plays with Dillon in Nolatet) and bassist/horn player/New Bohemians founder Brad Houser, also a member of Critter Buggin with Dillon. LEILANI POLK
Provinces by Chris Icasiano with Brenda Xu and Nic Masangkay
Filipino American percussionist and composer Christopher Icasiano presents his debut solo work, Provinces; two suites that explore "the complexity of cultural identity and community as a second-generation immigrant in Seattle." He'll be joined on stage by all-star musicians Tomo Nakayama, Alina To, and Lori Goldston, with additional support from songwriter Brenda Xu and producer/songwriter Nic Masangkay.
'The Church' with Mortiferum
Chaos ensues in Dario Argento's film The Church when the staff and visitors of a haunted cathedral—the sight of a bloody medieval massacre—fall victim to an unsealed crypt crawling with unholy monsters. This screening will be preceded by a live set from Mortiferum, who promise to "spew forth anguished slabs of death-doom filth of the most wretched order."
Black Plastic Clouds, ONOFF, Crooked Looks
Experimental prog-rock band Black Plastic Clouds will take over Pioneer Square with support from ONOFF, coming all the way from Dublin.
Seattle Freeze Fest 2
Float between Black Lodge and Victory Lounge for all-ages sets from DARK SMITH, WEEP WAVE, Antonioni, Beverly Crusher, Flesh Produce, Jayomi, Medejin, and other great local punk-rock and experimental bands.
Umphrey's McGee, Andy Frasco and The UN
Umphrey's McGee purvey a heady, percussive-fleshed synthesis of jazz, funk, electro, metal, prog, and rock informed by both classic and modern influences, and salted with reggae, yacht-rock, pop, and blues. They also have a way of genre-jumping from one song to the next, or multiple times within the same song, while still remaining tight and focused. These guys don’t “jam,” but practice calculated improvisation, with pre-determined key changes and a series of hand gestures and signals they employ while on stage to communicate their next move. This is the sort of band that’s as likely to play covers of Talking Heads or Radiohead as King Crimson or Frank Zappa in a two-set show (they also do cover mash-ups), and though they’re 11 LPs deep—the latest is it’s not us—you must experience the Chicago sextet live to appreciate their full awe factor. LEILANI POLK
William Duvall of Alice in Chains
Former Alice in Chains frontman William DuVall will show you what he's made of without his signature band.
Livingroom Concert: Tiffany Wilson
Join up-and-coming soul artist Tiffany Wilson for a cozy concert featuring songs from her sophomore release.
Lavender Country, Ashleigh Flynn & the Riveters
Lavender Country’s Patrick Haggerty is everyone's favorite gay cowboy. This will probably be true for all of time, but it’s definitely true right now. Haggerty has had a popular resurgence ever since Lavender Country rereleased their nearly 40-year-old self-titled debut—recognized as the first gay country album ever created—in 2014. Since then, he’s been on a roll. Haggerty opened for gay country crooner Orville Peck at his most recent show in Seattle. And Lavender Country’s “I Can’t Shake the Stranger Out of You” was recently covered by drag star/country singer Trixie Mattel on her latest album. Go see Haggerty whenever you can. You’ll leave verklempt. CHASE BURNS
Violins of Hope
Music of Remembrance will present a concert featuring the Violins of Hope, a private collection of string instruments that belonged to Jews who played them before and during the Holocaust that have since been restored. This program will showcase music by composers lost to the Holocaust, with violist Susan Gulkis Assadi, cellist Walter Gray, clarinetist Laura DeLuca, and violinists Mikhail Shmidt, Natasha Bazhanov, Artur Girsky.
Global Rhythms: Marc Ribot and Haram
Don’t read the comments, everyone tells you. Which does bring up the question, why does everybody still comment if nobody’s supposed to read it? Well, I went against hive advice and got stung, because Marc Ribot got dismissed as “boring surf clichés recycled. I’m not sure why these guys can’t create anything truly original.” Man. With whom has Marc Ribot played? Everybody! Who keeps hiring him? Everybody! He shouldn’t be able to impress us, let alone frighten us if he wants to! But he does! ANDREW HAMLIN
The music of Los Angeles–based bassist/composer Stephen Lee Bruner (aka Thundercat) is transcendent. And that’s a fact. His distinct blend of jazz, soul, and funk is fresh and cosmic while also throwing back to the likes of Sun Ra and Miles Davis. Having worked extensively with Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, Kendrick Lamar on To Pimp a Butterfly (for which Lamar won a Grammy for best rap/sung performance), Erykah Badu, and dozens of other contemporary musicians, Thundercat is as influential as he is technically accomplished. His most recent release, 2017’s Drunk, is astonishing in its range and intimacy—light some incense and float to “Lava Lamp.” JASMYNE KEIMIG
Harcore DIY five-piece American Nightmare will rip through Seattle with a mix of "traditional hardcore" from the American canon, British punky attitude, and emotional lyrics.
Join indie-pop sibling ensemble Echosmith on their Lonely Generation Tour.