Tonight in Seattle:  

Ring in 2014 with The Black Angels {Moore Theater, 12/31}

 {The Black Angels}

There are an assortment of events taking place on New Year's Eve in Seattle, ranging from fireworks at the Space Needle to a Bollywood Masquerade at the Nectar Lounge in Fremont. As usual, there are a host of concerts around town, and our recommendation is one that is certain to include no party favors and a paucity of prom night attire: this year, celebrate the darker side of things with The Black Angels at The Moore Theatre. Their latest LP, the fantastic Indigo Meadow, came out earlier this year and it continues their murky trajectory through all things psychedelic.

One part Velvet Underground, one part Thirteenth Floor Elevators, and with a healthy tablespoon of Spectrum, The Doors, Love, Red Krayola and other late 60s influences, The Black Angels have been releasing dark, lysergic garage rock since 2005, when our very own Light in the Attic Records picked them up. Four full-lengths later, they are continuing their stride with little sign of diminishing quality. The only difference is that their third and fourth releases are slightly more pop-oriented than the first two, but the ingredients are all there.

The Black Angels stop in Seattle fairly frequently and always put on an excellent show. Their hypnotic live performances are powerful, featuring kaleidoscopic light shows and projected images, a perfect setting for their music. Whether you are a fan or a bystander, this is the perfect opportunity to catch a great show -- and the historic Moore Theatre is a wonderful venue to see anything at, really. It is gorgeous and is not too large (or small), providing the right amount of intimacy and charm.

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The Wolf of Wall Street

{The Wolf of Wall Street opens in Seattle on December 25, and is screening at Sundance Cinemas Seattle, Thornton Place, and the Regal Meridian}

At one point last eve, amidst the rum balls and hot buttered rum and glasses of cava, I declared that I had to write this review and my love suggested that I could just claim my drunken state was “research” into the excess shown in The Wolf of Wall Street. Brilliant, right? And then, I totally forgot and fell asleep.

Brushing the sleep out of my eyes early this morning instead, I’m here to tell you that Wolf is my favorite Scorsese movie since Goodfellas. It’s funny, no, I mean, REALLY funny, and Leo. Mygod. I didn’t even notice it was Leonardo DiCaprio up there on the screen. It WAS Jordan Belfort.

The “wolf”, if you don’t know, is a guy who started on Wall Street as a stockbroker’s intern, got laid off on Black Friday, and then lucked into selling penny stocks and got really great at it, opened his own boiler room turned firm, and proceeded to screw his clients while making millions and millions and millions of dollars for himself ... but of course you can only do that for so long before someone catches you. 

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DVD captures Lemolo's Beautiful Night

When local dream pop duo Lemolo sold out two nights at the Columbia Theatre for the release of their debut album Kaleidoscope, no one was more surprised than the artists themselves. Fortunately, their surprise didn’t stop them from thinking ahead, and they worked with local production company Creative Differences to record both shows for a DVD called Beautiful Night: Lemolo Live at the Columbia City Theatre.

The DVD includes songs from both performances interspersed with backstage moments and shots of the audience. Despite the occasionally jarring effect of switching back and forth between the two nights, the pristine sound and sharp visuals do capture the energy of the shows – especially when the crowd sings along to “Whale Song.”

No one who was there for either of those two nights in June 2012 is likely to forget it. At those shows and many more that followed over the next year, Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox gave performances that layered impressive power and energy on top of the dreamy melodies from the album. Both played their instruments with intense physicality, and the two seemed to share a telepathic connection on stage.

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Latest comment by: Mark: "I've been following Lemolo since their early show @ the High Dive. I've thought their break up in August was a loss. Kendra gave so much power to the duo. Their live shows were waves of sound rushing over you. I couldn't give out Kaleidoscope, it lacked the same ...

Inside Llewyn Davis

{Inside Llewyn Davis opens in Seattle on Friday, 12/20 and is screening at Sundance Cinemas Seattle and The Harvard Exit}

Greenwich Village. 1961. Folk Music. These are things which I know little about, and also things in which I am only mildly interested. What I am interested in is the Coen Brothers and their ability to tell so many different kinds of stories so goddamn well.

Joel & Ethan made their own special brand of magic happen again with Inside Llewyn Davis (that’s Lew-N, in case you’re wondering); the story of a folk musician who’s trying REAL hard to make it on his own.

In the course of a week, Llewyn (Oscar Davis—man, this guy is good) has to deal with losing a generous friend’s cat, an unexpected pregnancy with near-constant verbal assault from the expectant mother, an unsympathetic agent, a lecherous club owner, a heroin-addicted jazz player, and a best friend whose success is imminent, because he’s clearly “selling out.”

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Recommended Shows: A very imaginary holiday weekend at the Volterra Drawing Room {12/20 and 12/21}

The holidays are in full swing, and what better way to get into the spirit than to spend the evening in a cozy venue with a bunch of awesome local bands doing acoustic sets? My buddies Marco Collins and Michelle Quisenberry TOTALLY have you covered! 

Marco has curated an Acoustic Christmas in Ballard: a great selection of amazing musical talents playing two intimate Christmas shows next weekend at the Volterra Drawing Room! Tickets are $15 for standing-room GA, or $25 for reserved seats. AND: you can make a reservation at Volterra restaurant for a pre-show dinner for only $30 (trust me. the food, it is good.) awesome, awesome, and more awesome!  

The holiday-tastic line-up is as follows: 

Friday Night {12/20}

KRIS ORLOWSKI
BRADEN BLAKE (Super Deluxe)
BEN CARSON (Hot Bodies in Motion)
NOAH GUNDERSEN
EXOHXO

Saturday Night {12/21}

HOLLIS WONG-WEAR
HOBOSEXUAL
ADRA BOO (Fly Moon Royalty)
KATIE KATE
WANZ

{Acoustic Christmas in Ballard | Friday, December 20 & Saturday, December 21 | Doors at 7pm, Showtime at 8pm | All Ages | Volterra Drawing Room, 5407 Ballard Ave NW | $15 standing GA | $25 Reserved Seating}