Vampire Weekend will come to WaMu Theatre on Friday in support of their fourth album.
This week, our music critics have picked everything from surf-rock trio Acapulco Lips to Irish folk-rocker Glen Hansard to LA-by-way-of-Atlanta artist Father. 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.
Heading to Portland or Tacoma? Check out EverOut to find things to do there and in Seattle, all in one place.
Back in 1996, Tokyo’s amp-worshipping juggernauts Boris played Moe’s (now Neumos) with sludge legend Joe Preston’s solo project Thrones as part of their first US tour. Now in their 26th year of activity, Boris have used their anniversary as an opportunity to revisit their extensive catalog of studio albums, import-only releases, small-run experimental offerings, and collaborative projects on social media. The big question is how they’ll acknowledge their elevated age status onstage. Given the location and lineup, conditions seem ideal for a career-spanning set, but given Boris’s knack for defying expectations, the audience should be prepared for anything. BRIAN COOK
girl in red, Isaac Dunbar
Twenty-year-old Norwegian singer-songwriter Marie Ulven (aka girl in red) will bring her bedroom stylings to the Emerald City on her world in red tour. Ominous pop artist Isaac Dunbar will provide a warm-up set.
BJ the Chicago Kid
BJ the Chicago Kid is dropping his debut after cutting his teeth on collaborations with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Ty Dolla $ign, Chance the Rapper, and Joey Bada$$. Catch him in Seattle on his The 1123 Tour.
In a recent piece for The Fader, Salvatore Maicki called Velvet Negroni’s new album NEON BROWN “an endlessly surprising endeavor invoking elements of funk, pop and R&B that constantly veers from the trails of presumption and into a wilderness entirely of its own creation.” Catch the artist (aka Jeremy Nutzman) in Seattle.
Matthew and The Atlas, Boy Bjorn, Guests
British singer/songwriter Matt Hegarty and his London-based indie-folk outfit will make their way back across the pond for a North American tour supporting their latest album, Morning Dancer.
If you remember the movie Once, (or if you’re just a fan of Irish folk-rock) you know that Dublin busker Glen Hansard became the lead singer of Irish band the Frames and has gone on to collaborate with everyone from bassist Joe Doyle to electronic musicians Dunk Murphy and Deasy. Of his newest project, NPR said, “Where Hansard’s first three solo albums felt suited to seated shows in elegant theaters, This Wild Willing often seems tailored to rawer spaces, from intimate bars to the open air of a packed amphitheater.”
Mike Watt & the Missingmen, Fine
Mike Watt found his life’s calling as a teenager when a kid fell on him from out of a tree. The kid turned out to be D. Boon, the guitarist for the Minutemen, with Watt beside him on bass. Watt wove together funk and Rush and politics and passion. The Minutemen played two-minute songs that changed gears every eight or nine seconds. After Boon’s terrible death in 1985, Watt’s subsequent bands did much the same, just a little less frenziedly. He played bass in the reunited Stooges, although Iggy Pop told him not to play so many notes. Watt has joined, jammed, and/or feuded with everybody in so-called indie rock you could name. His new band? Well, he’s back to a trio. But don’t expect punk rock. Nothing so simple. ANDREW HAMLIN
Boogarins, Winter, Tres Leches
If you listen to Brazilian rock long enough, you will discern distinctive traits that run through most of it—a kind of ultra-suave breeziness and melodic pulchritude that will banish your cares efficiently and pleasurably. Led by guitarist/vocalist Dinho Almeida and multi-instrumentalist Benke Ferraz, Boogarins have been embodying those qualities ever since their 2013 debut LP, As Plantas Que Curam. Their fourth and most recent album, Sombrou Dúvida, proves they’ve not lost any of their South American magic. The record’s another swan dive into psychedelia lite; its 10 day-dreamy songs sound as if they will only improve with each listen. DAVE SEGAL
Marc Broussard, Samantha Fish
Mixing together funk, blues, R&B, rock, and pop with his Southern roots in mind, frequent chart-topper Marc Broussard will come to Seattle with support from blues singer and guitarist Samantha Fish.
Nightmares on Wax, DJ Kid Hops
Why is George Evelyn, aka Leeds-based DJ/producer Nightmares on Wax, still touring relentlessly? Unlike the Rolling Stones, I don’t think it’s for the money, I think it’s truly for the love. He has parlayed a late ’80s immersion into nascent hip-hop/b-boy culture into a signature sound of chillout beats and obscure samples that has propelled his career from the ’90s to the present—witness last year’s Shape the Future on Warp Records. His appearances in Seattle have been an annual phenomenon since 2016 and he sold out Nectar this past February, which must be why we’re blessed with a second date in 2019. This is a tradition worth keeping. GREGORY SCRUGGS
Nitzer Ebb, Surachai
British EBM group Nitzer Ebb have been churning out industrial synth-punk since 1982. Hear what they’ve been up to on this tour stop with Chicago electronic artist Surachai.
Revocation, Voivod, Psycroptic, Skeletal Remains, Conjurer
Canuck heshers Voivod are a long-running, maybe now slightly more grizzled but still important progressive metal group. Nearly 35 years ago, the band recorded a clutch of LPs that birthed the longhairs a NEW and progressive, forward-thinking sound. Shocking, but in the middle of all the 1980s thrash trash, they somehow created actual timeless, classic magic via their savage guitar tones and songwriting and, in doing so, they made all the-then contemporary metal bands redundant. Also tonight: a shit ton o’ ass thrashin’ prog metal from Revocation, Psycroptic, Skeletal Remains, and Conjurer. MIKE NIPPER
Tom Brosseau, Shelley Short
Breaking his (most wonderful) habit of sharing a bill with Tomo Nakayama, intellectual folk- and chamber-influenced pop artist Tom Brosseau will take the stage after an opening set from genre mutual Shelley Short.
Banks, Kevin Garrett
The brooding pop/R&B singer Banks will come to Seattle on her The III Tour with up-and-comer Kevin Garrett in tow.
Jackie Greene, Guests
Americana and roots singer Jackie Greene will croon over piano ballads and indulge in bluesy guitar solos in Ballard.
Steve Peters: Canções Profundas (Deep Songs)
One of Seattle’s most important curators of experimental music as head of the Wayward Music Series, Steve Peters is also an accomplished musician of more than four decades. During the ’70s and ’80s, he was a key figure in the city’s underground electronic and rock scenes, collaborating with adventurous artists such as Marc Barreca and Steve Fisk, among others. In 2016, Peters released Canções Profundas (Deep Songs), a 55-minute suite of evocative field recordings, sonorous drones, forlorn chamber-jazz ambience, and melodies inspired, Peters says, “by Azorean musical traditions.” (It traces his Portuguese ancestors’ travels from the Azores Islands to California.) He’ll have some of Seattle’s most deft avant-gardists—including Beth Fleenor, Lesli Dalaba, and Paul Kikuchi—helping him realize this personal work at the city’s most acoustically pristine venue. DAVE SEGAL
Sign up for a night of “strange textures, ephemeral tinklings, and weird dins” with experimental electronic artists Sean Curley, Bill Horist, Tomory Dodge, Josh Medina, and God and Vanilla.
Dr. Martens Presents: Dave B
As part of their DIY music series, Dr. Martens will welcome Renton hip-hop artist Dave B to their downtown store for a live set.
Puget Soundtrack – Arrington de Dionyso’s This Saxophone Kills Fascists presents ‘Emergency Labyrinth’
Olympia music vet Arrington de Dionyso (Old Time Relijun, Malakait dan Singa) has been a force of radical sonic agitation for more than two decades. Blessed with extraordinary lung power (you should hear his throat singing), de Dionyso can rip on the sax like an American Peter Brötzmann. So it should be interesting to hear what ADD conjures for his live soundtrack to Emergency Labyrinth, a stop-motion animation of the creation of a 40-foot sumi ink scroll. DAVE SEGAL
Amon Amarth, Archy Enemy, At The Gates, Grand Magus
Amon Amarth, formed in Sweden in the ’90s (who former Stranger contributor Jason Bracelin described as “the AC/DC of melodic Swedish Viking death metal sans the paunchy, cake-fed replacement singer with Loki-like ’tude”) will come to Seattle to wreak havoc on their Berserker Tour. Archy Enemy, At the Gates, and Grand Magus will share the bill.
Cataldo & Plastic Picnic, Adam Kendall Woods
One day before the release of their sixth album Literally Main Street, pensive pop-rock band Cataldo & Plastic Picnic will come to Seattle on their Fall Tour with additional support from Adam Kendall Woods of Tenderfoot.
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
You can’t go wrong with Ravel’s arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, a bold and colorful composition based on a number of paintings by Viktor Hartmann, whose sudden death at the age of 39 shocked the Russian art world in the 1870s. Everybody always talks about the piano in this composition, but for me, it’s all about the brass. The last four minutes of this thing make you feel like you’re a golden eagle soaring through the golden heavens with a golden fish in your golden talons, screaming about the eternal strength and perseverance of the mother country or whatever. Meanwhile, Daniel Müller-Schott, who the New York Times called “a magnetic young German cellist,” will stop by to play Dvořák’s fantastic Cello Concerto. Not to be missed. RICH SMITH
Wax Tailor, 9 Theory, Thoma
French trip-hop producer Wax Taylor will stop in Fremont on his US Tour, joined by 9 Theory and Thoma.
Fucked and Bound, Acid Teeth, Trash Fire
Raging local d-beat hardcore band Fucked and Bound will head up a punk show in Belltown with Acid Teeth and Trash Fire.
50th! Great Records of 1969 – Come Together: Abbey Road
Hark back to an iconic year in music with the Beatles’ seminal album Abbey Road performed in its entirety by an all-star local band led by Darren Loucas.
Angels & Airwaves
After Blink-182 went on hiatus in 2005 (you remember, don’t you?), lead singer Tom DeLonge formed a new band with some members from his previous pop-punk group to form a supergroup of rock. They’ll come through Seattle on their latest North America Tour.
Cigarettes After Sex
It’s tempting to be cynical toward any band that blows up before their first album drops. Sure, Cigarettes After Sex had an EP from 2012 and a few scattered songs floating around online in the interim between their debut and this summer’s self-titled full-length, but that kind of early internet hype typically doesn’t pan out so well when the artist finally makes a proper album. Fortunately, that’s not the case here. And considering our withering attention spans in the age of media saturation, the ability of a sparse, hushed, narcoleptic pop group to actually grab people’s attention without a bunch of pandering promotional gimmicks is a testament to Cigarettes After Sex’s songwriting strength, tasteful restraint, and simple aesthetic grace. So come on aboard, there’s lots of room for you on the bandwagon. BRIAN COOK
The Seattle Public Library will present a free show with four great, genre-diverse Seattle bands: art-rock power trio Tres Leches, hip-hop artist SPECSWIZARD, dream-punk outfit Dark Smith, and self-proclaimed “gunk-pop” trio Black Ends.
Tune in to Rosie Tucker’s airy indie-rock riffs and Courtney Barnett-esque lyrics.
Shura, Quinn Christopherson
Rising electro-pop singer Shura will take the stage with support from 2019 Tiny Desk Contest winner Quinn Christopherson.
Not to be that person, but I saw Vampire Weekend way back when, in 2008, when the Ezra Koenig–led group were on the come-up with the melody-drenched, college-thoughtful, Afropop-infused songwriting of their self-titled debut. Nearly a dozen years and minus one founding member later, they’re touring behind fourth album Father of the Bride, and have sold out the 7,000-seat WaMu. “Harmony Hall” is what they’ve been playing on the radio, but the most obvious standout is the Grateful Dead–vibing first single “Sunflower,” its rising and falling scat singing serving as both the refrain and a surprisingly well-placed rhythmic device. LEILANI POLK
Formed in Ohio in the late ’50s, celebrated R&B group the O’Jays are fixtures of the American Songbook, with such anthems as “Love Train” and “Livin’ for the Weekend.” It’s current members, Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, and Eric Grant will headline in Tacoma.
Psychedelic Autumn Equinox Festival
Move into fall with the help of psych-rock, prog-rock, and jazz-rock from local artists like Nosretep, Zhong Yu, and Super Z Attack Team (Fri) and Pink Octopus, Fraktal Phantom, and Cantrip (Sat).
Staying true to traditional bluegrass but not forsaking his roots in a Michigan metal band, Billy Strings will stop in Seattle on tour supporting his new album, Home.
Best You’ve Ever Seen: AKIRA with DJ Bricks and Screens
In this series, one band and one DJ invent a new score for a popular film. This time it’s Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime thriller Akira, with a techno/acid score by DJ Bricks and Screens, visually remixed by blazinspace.
Fleetmac Wood Presents Gold Dust Disco – Seattle
DJs Roxanne Roll and Smooth Sailing will edit and remix Fleetwood Mac songs for the dance floor. The dress code is “Metallically Magnificent.”
Ten Years of Trash
The most fun gay bar in Seattle and possibly the world is turning 10 years old! Pony will go off with a night of drag and dancing with Ade, Cucci Binaca, and resident DJ Sling Dion.
An Evening with the Residency
The Residency will celebrate five years of providing a platform for young hip-hop artists with an evening of student performances, guest speakers, a community awards dinner by local food celeb Tom Douglas, and a special performance from Macklemore.
Acapulco Lips, Baywitch, Alaia
Apocalypse is nigh. Sorry, excuse me, I mean: Acapulco Lips is nigh. The Seattle surf-rock trio pushes music that makes the Pacific Northwest seem like a beachy, warm place to be. Their sound is very vintage, but never superficially so—”Awkward Waltz” is lovingly lo-fi and fuzzed-out, like it’s the summer in the 1960s. “Shoes On” made me go out and buy some paisley pants. “Gotta Know” brought me out of my gray-weather depression. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Bear Axe, Gabija & The Blue Gleams, Sous Chef
Local soulful prog-rockers Bear Axe will headline with support from local jazz/R&B outfit Gabija & the Blue Gleams and Sous Chef.
The tribute to British shoegaze sweethearts Lush found on Australian singer/guitarist Hatchie’s 2018 EP Sugar & Spice caught my attention for its pinpoint accuracy and blatantness. That was nostalgia working its insidious magic in a middle-aged shoegaze fan’s mind, but if it leads more young people to explore this strain of soaring, blissful rock, everyone wins. This year’s follow-up full-length by Hatchie (aka Harriette Pilbeam), Keepsake, strikes a slightly darker chord while retaining her earlier work’s swooning melodiousness and saccharine shimmer. Los Angeles’s Orchin purveys a hushed, Novocaine’d pop with subtle electronic touches on his new mauve-shaded album, Serene. DAVE SEGAL
Nilüfer Yanya, Hana Vu
Blending soul and jazz into pop songs with flourishes of electronica, Nilüfer has toured with the likes of Interpol, Broken Social Scene, and Mitski. This time she’ll headline her own tour, stopping in Seattle with support from LA indie-rocker Hana Vu.
Original Music inspired by Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
The Bushwick Book Club will play music inspired by Haruki Murakami’s acclaimed novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, about a man who discovers a netherworld beneath the city when he goes looking for his cat and his wife.
Relive the top-charted Lilith Fair heyday of the ’90s with Grammy-certified songstress Paula Cole. Make sure she plays “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone.”
Mahalia, JVCK JAMES
Up and coming “psycho acoustic soul” singer Mahalia will journey from Leicester on tour in support of her debut album, Love and Compromise, with support from JVCK JAMES.
Huun Huur Tu, Carmen Rizzo, Yaima
Huun Huur Tu, the descendants of isolated Siberian herdsmen, take earthly acoustics and add funky rhythms, avant-garde electronica, and throat singing from their native Tuva. Join the quartet live in Fremont.
In 2017, young rapper Dominic Fike put out a Soundcloud album, Don’t Forget About Me, while on house arrest, which scored him a $4 million deal with Columbia Records the following year. Of his new album, Fader writes, “The new songs, even in their unfinished state, are more sophisticated than those on Don’t Forget About Me without being indulgent or overwrought.” He’ll perform in Seattle on his Rain or Shine Tour.
Father, Khris P
Though you wouldn’t guess it from his rather generic rap handle, LA-by-way-of-Atlanta artist Father knows the importance of a good name. The provocative titles of his first two albums (Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First? and I’m a Piece of Shit) and the name of his label (Awful Records) concisely preview his self-deprecating style and offbeat sense of humor. His latest project, a mixtape released in collaboration with Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, is a strong but understated record, mixing Father’s trademark debauchery and nonchalant flow with spare, tough production. It’s introverted party music for a space between the living room and the club. ANDREW GOSPE
London-born rapper and spoken-word artist Kate Tempest (who won the Ted Hughes Prize for her epic poem Brand New Ancients) will perform in Seattle.
Crumb, Divino Niño, Shormey
Meeting as students at Tufts University in Boston, Crumb blew up on various streaming platforms thanks to their trademark brand of uber-chill psychedelia-meets-jazz-meets-rock paired with trippy, fantastic visuals. I’ve been stomping around the city all summer listening to “Ghostride,” a love song that’s equal parts sexy and hollow, fueled by the disaffected and sorrowful vocals of frontwoman Lila Ramani. But the quartet is way more than an internet phenomenon. Their debut album, Jinx, which dropped in June, revealed the band’s ability to observe the strangeness of life and turn it into music that makes you feel a bit out of your body. In a good way. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Dave Mason & Steve Cropper
Rock ’n’ roll heavies Steve Cropper and Dave Mason have returned to treat us to their sweet sounds once again! Cropper was the guitarist of famed Stax Records house band Booker T. & the M.G.’s, while Mason played with Traffic and Blind Faith, and also released a string of early-1970s solo hits. Like last time, I reckon, this show will likely be a sing-along good time, as the set list appears to be a mix of their respective radio hits (including “Green Onions” and “Time Is Tight” by Cropper and “Feelin’ Alright” and “Only You Know and I Know” by Mason). MIKE NIPPER
Spain with Josh Haden and Friends
Best known for their 1995 debut The Blue Moods of Spain, LA rock band Spain “bestowed a burnished, jazz-informed glow to the slowcore subgenre,” as Dave Segal has it. They’ll play their first Pacific Northwest show since 2001.