Tonight in Seattle:  

Recommended shows

Highly recommended: Mazzy Star at The Neptune {11/4}

It has been seventeen years since the release of their last studio album, the stellar Among My Swan. In the reticence of nearly two decades, Mazzy Star has toured twice: once in Europe in 2000, and again last year, with only select dates in the United States. During the 2000 tour, several unreleased songs were performed and of these, “Does Someone Have Your Baby Now” and “Sparrow” finally appear on their new studio album, Seasons Of Your Day. A full North American tour is about to unfurl and for the first time since 1996, the band will be gracing Seattle with a visit to The Neptune Theatre on Monday, the 4th of November.

Contrary to some conjecture, Mazzy Star never officially disbanded. They have just chosen to tour and record whenever they please. Since Among My Swan, it is quite clear that the group has never been in a particular rush to release new material or perform live. Even the new album’s first single, “Common Burn,” was issued nearly two years before Seasons Of Your Day finally saw the light of day. Their intermittent presence, almost clandestine existence and paucity of motivation to schedule tours could mean that this might be your last chance to see Mazzy Star perform live. That much aside, the strength, cohesion and timelessness of Seasons Of Your Day are already reason enough to earmark this concert as one that should not be missed.

So where exactly does Seasons Of Your Day fit in with the rest of Mazzy Star’s output? Exactly where they left off. In fact, the album sounds like it very well could have been recorded in 1997 or 1998. Sonically, it is closer to Among My Swan than So Tonight That I Might See, but is steeped a bit more in acoustic numbers than electric ones. Hope Sandoval’s vocals, intoxicating and otherworldly, pick up right where they left off, seemingly unaged since they were last recorded with the band. David Roback’s songwriting has not undergone any missteps either. The fusion of folk, blues and psychedelia are all merged together extraordinarily well. Some might complain that there is relatively little unchartered territory, but I would suspect that no one really expects Mazzy Star to be experimenting with alternative genres and approaches.

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Don't miss: Wavves and King Tuff at the Neptune Theater {Saturday, 10/19}

Wavves was formed in 2008 as the project of San Diego's Nathan Williams, after he quit his record store job. He recorded his first two releases -- 2008’s Wavves and 2009’s Wavvves -- in his bedroom, and both were somewhat lo-fi and fuzz-filled. (The distortion on the albums is so overriding, it’s almost hard to make out most of the lyrics, but despite the quality there are some good melodies hidden in those songs.) The albums received enough blog hype to garner the band spots on that summer's festival circuit, a small success that wound up leading to an unfortunate incident in 2009 at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain: Williams had taken a cocktail of Valium and ecstasy and had a meltdown on stage, fighting with his drummer and the crowd before ending the show and canceling the rest of the band’s European tour. What some thought at the time a cautionary tale of a young musician getting too much hype too soon turned out to be a turning point for Williams and for his musical project. Instead of devolving and letting his issues consume him, he started taking his work and his music more seriously, and doubled down on his efforts.

Following the public meltdown and subsequent loss of his drummer, he re-formed the backing band with the late Jay Reatard’s former band; drummer Billy Hayes and bassist Stephen Pope. Together they took their newly formed lineup out of the bedroom and into an actual hi-fi studio, and along with producer Dennis Herring recorded some of their best material to date, 2010’s King of the Beach. With it came a departure from most of the lo-fi fuzz and snotty skate-punk of their previous efforts -- now, Wavves had evolved their sound to include more accessible surf-pop gems alongside some dense psychedelic and occasional synth based songs.

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Recommended Event: Bowie Bash at the EMP {10/12}

YOU GUYS. The EMP is pulling out all the stops this month with 31 Days of Halloween events, and the big costume party this year is ALL ABOUT BOWIE! In order to celebrate David Bowie's induciton into the Science Fiction and Fantasty Hall of Fame, they're throwing a Bowie Invades: Fashionably Undead Bash this Saturday, 10/12! 

There will be a costume contest, VAIN will be on hand to apply horror- or Bowie-themed makeup and hair, The Band Who Fell to Earth will be playing Bowie covers, and drinks (of course!) AND AND AND you get to wander around the whole museum and check out the exhibits, which includes Can't Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film (psst: There's a new addition! The SCREAM mask!!!), Icons of Science Fiction, and Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic -- where you can see Bowie's costume from Labyrinth. 

I went last year and had the most fun EVER, so I highly recommend. It's a party that's worth the $20 ticket price, for sure. And make sure you check out all the other rad October-y things happening every day this month too! For example, spooky scavenger hunts on Tuesdays, gaming on the big screen on Wednesdays, creature features screenings on Thursdays, social media contests on Fridays (follow @EMPMuseum to join in!) and awesome events on Saturdays, like this Bowie Bash and next week's upcoming Carrie Dunk Tank

{Bowie Invades: Fashionably Undead Bash | EMP Museum | Saturday, 10/12, 9pm | 21+ | $20 ($15 EMP members)} 

Weeknight Show Roulette: Jacco Gardner at Barboza {this Wednesday, 10/9}

Sometimes, your friends are all, "You wanna go to a psychedelic show next week?" and the only way to answer is with an all-caps YES. And then you dig through the Imaginary Inbox (a real thing!) to see if you can find any intel on a dude named Jacco Gardner coming to Barboza, and you check out the video to see what you just signed yourself up for. And it turns out, you made a good call.*

The structure of Gardner's music is primarily a one-man show, layer after layer of tracks set just right. The sound itself is modern psychedelic, and by "modern" I don't mean mod-sounding, I mean a totally legit take on the quintessential sixties vibe that sounds current and throwback all at once -- somewhere between how Joni Mitchell's Blue is utterly timeless, and how those real-deal roots musicians put factory-spun stomp-and-clap bands to shame. At first glance, the new album (Cabinet of Curiosities) kind of sounds like Cloud War minus the XTC vibe, spliced with some Liam Finn and a boatload of hallucinogens, with gorgeous choral melodies and a whole lotta harpsichord. And the song from the video above, "End of August," makes me want to put on big headphones in the middle of a field somewhere in an overstuffed armchair -- maybe with a crocheted blanket? -- so I have a squishy front-row seat to trip out in, while I watch summer fade.

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Recommended viewing: gory awesomeness at Grand Illusion Cinema this month!

Gates of Hell Lucio Fulci Grand Illusion Cinema

YES. It's October! And that means lots of lots of horror movies screening around town. I'm particularly excited for Grand Illusion Cinema's gory programming, which kicks off this weekend with some Italian horror and Grindhouse magic. 

Gorgeous 35mm and 16mm prints, a small, intimate setting, and some cheap popcorn! IMHO, there's no better way to see these films. $12 gets you a seat, and your money goes to a great, local, independent theater. 

Here's what I'm most excited about, but there are horrific screenings almost every night, so check their site for the full schedule! 

Saturday October 5, 8pm
Portland's Grindhouse Film Festival Presents 35mm Exploitation Mayhem! Organizer Dan Halsted will be in attendance. 

The Grindhouse Trailer Spectacular
Featuring 65 minutes of amazing grind house trailers from the '60s and '70s, including Italian horror, blaxploitation, hicksploitation, sexploitation, kung fu insanity, revenge films and more! I didn't even know some of those 'sploitations were a thing. You learn something new every day, huh? 

Gates of Hell (aka: The City of the Living Dead) 
A surreal masterpiece by Italian horror-master Lucio Fulci, which I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT. Rotting dead feasting on the living! Intestines everywhere! A creeptastic soundtrack! And my personal favorite: THE HEAD DRILLING SCENE. 

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Latest comment by: Ben Nason: "Maniac Cop 2 is even better than Maniac Cop; you've also got some Robert Davi up in that flame fueled insanity."

Don't miss: Laura Veirs at the Tractor {tonight!}

Okay, so, there's seriously at least a dozen places to go tonight in town tonight. Fiona Apple is at Benaroya, Mark Pickerel and his Praying Hands are doing a set at Easy Street (for free! 8pm), Dave Chappelle is at the Moore, Fox and the Law have their album release at Neumos, Dug is going down at Lo-Fi... and while they'll all be great shows, I'm putting my bet on Laura Veirs and Karl Blau at the Tractor.

"Sun Song," my favorite track off of Veirs' most recent release Warp & Weft, strikes a very specific chord with me as a now-resident of the Pacific Northwest: her bell-like vocals wrap long arms around the cities I know and love, when the warmth finally wins out over the mossy bones, string-plucks celebrating the first rays of sun breaking through they grey skies.

And to speak to the entirety of Warp & Weft, from her bio:

Beautiful, lush and at times deeply dark, "Warp and Weft" captures the intensity of motherhood, love and violence. Primarily electric-guitar driven, it is a fever dream of an album and could well be Veirs’ best work to date... Veirs was eight months pregnant with her second child during the recording; she says her experience as a mother brought about some of the more beautiful and painful songs. “I’m haunted by the idea that something terrible could happen to my kids but that fear pushes me to embrace the moment. This record is an exploration of extremes – deep, dark suffering and intense, compassionate love.”

Add in opener Karl Blau and you've got a recipe for a near-perfect night of northwest music. Feel all those from-here feelings in real-time tonight at the Tractor: the 21-and-up party gets started at 9:30pm, advance tickets are $15 and available here.


 

Recommended Show: A benefit for The Glamour and the Squalor at EMP with Sean Nelson, The Young Evils & more {10/11}

The Glamour and the Squalor is a project I've been excited about from the beginning: a kick-ass documentary about a kick-ass guy, Marco Collins, covering both his impact on the music world AND its impact on him. Just in case you weren't listening to KNDD 107.7 The End in the 90s, Marco was the DJ who broke a bunch of amazing bands on the air waves, including Beck, Weezer, The Presidents of the United States, Foo Fighters, and some band featuring Ben Gibbard. Oh, and he's also been inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! NBD, you guys. 

Anywy! TG&TS is SO close to being done, but they still need to raise a bit more cash to make a release happen. So they are brilliantly throwing a benefit concert at the EMP next Friday, October 11! And the line-up (curated by Marco, of course) is kind of insane, y'all: 

Sean Nelson!
The Young Evils!

(!!! my current lady-crush) Mary Lambert!
Fences! 
Nacho Picasso!
Ra Scion & Daniel Blue (motopony)!

IG88! 
Tilson XO!
DJ Action Jackson (from Fly Moon Royalty)!

So basically you get to rock out to a bunch of amazing Seattle bands, AND you'll get to see clips from the film presented by Director Mark Evans, AND you get to help this rad film get completed. Tickets are $35 and include 1 drink, or you can spend $100 for the VIP treatment, which inludes a meet-and-greet with Marco, the filmmakers, and the artists playing & 3 drinks. 

These things are gonna sell out fast, my friends. So get your tix now! And I'll see you there. 

{The Glamour and the Squalor Benefit Concert | EMP Museum | Friday, October 11 | 7pm Doors | $35 GA, $100 VIP | Tickets available online through EventBrite

Recommended Show: Peter Hook & The Light at Neumos {9/25}

Peter Hook and the Light at Neumos Decibel Festival

My New Order fangirl heart is exploding all over the place because the 10th Annual Decibel Fest kicks off tomorrow night, and one of the showcases is Factory Pop, and that means PETER HOOK is playing!!! And not just playing, but playing the whole of Power, Corruption & Lies, along with New Order's debut album, Movement

omfghasdfasdghjlk 

I can't even. I just. I mean. THIS IS AMAZING. Anyway, incredibly, there are still tickets left. So you better get yours now!  

Also amazing, this video from Jimmy Fallon of Peter Hook playing "Love Will Tear Us Apart" with The Roots! The. Roots. 

Though I'm most excited about New Order nostaglia, check out the rest of the Decibel Fest lineup too, which includes the awesome Sub Pop 25 showcase at the Showbox 9/25, featuring Shabazz Palaces, The Helio Sequence, TheeSatisfaction, and Kingdom Crumbs. And also Moby! And Lorde (who I feel like everybody is talking about right now)! And a whole bunch of other great performers! 

{Peter Hook & The Light (11:15pm-1:25am) with ADULT. (10-11pm) + Nightmare Fortress (9pm-9:45pm) | Neumos | Wednesday September 25 | $30 DAY OFF |  9PM // 21+} 

Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "He is playing BASS and singing, but I heard he hates singing and was trying to get Moby to sing more. :) And yes, Moby was doing a very good Ian Curtis impression, both in dance and tone of voice. "

Don't miss: Father John Misty at the Moore {10/6}

Weed, shows, cruise ships, guns, visits to Santa, long drives, pirouettes, cigarettes, meaningful glances, hotel hallways -- who can provide such an ADD-esque (yet totally cohesive) snapshot of his life into a three minute and fifty-eight second video?

Father John Fucking Misty, that's who.


"This is where I fell over the other night."

The most DIY of FJM's video releases to date, "I'm Writing a Novel" hits our radar oh-so-fittingly, just as a stripped-down solo tour is getting underway. With such a penchant for stage antics, it will be downright fascinating to see what Josh Tillman's one-man act brings -- we have the feeling that his creative power / persona will manifest both through his gorgeous, bell-like vocals and levity-laden delivery, with just enough shaman-tinged-Laurel-Canyon vibe to remain decidedly Father John. (Even without the now-trademark "Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings" full-blast freakout.)

Here's some supporting evidence:


"I don't need any new friends / 'cause I'm the mayor"

In case you've missed our love for FJM since last year's release of Fear Fun, pop on over here to catch up. Local and national dates below:

Oct. 03 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
Oct. 06 - Seattle, WA - The Moore Theatre {info / tickets}
Oct. 07 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theatre
Oct. 08 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore

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Is it the weekend yet? Bumbershoot 2013 is almost here!

{TheeSatisfaction at Bumbershoot 2012 / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
THEESatisfaction, Bumbershoot 2012

With the excitement of Bumbershoot's approach comes that sad-trombone realization that summer is coming to a close (seriously you guys, LABOR DAY ALREADY?) and in this year's case, a particularly mighty and sunny Seattle summer at that. But really, what better way to spend it than a breezy weekend down at Seattle Center, taking in bands and art and comedy and panels and everything that this year's festival has to offer?

There's so much great programming at Bumbershoot that it seems literally impossible to get to All Of The Things that one wants to see -- and with that said, here are each day's absolute can't-miss non-negotiables on my music schedule this year:

{Charles Bradley at Bumbershoot 2011 / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Charles Bradley, Bumbershoot 2011

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires {Saturday}

Seriously. Between 2011's No Time for Dreaming and this year's Victim of Love, Saturday's sets are sure to be jam-packed with that new-classic soul feel that Charles does so well. To quote the emoting that shot forth when the "Strictly Reserved for You" video came out: this man isn't just a performer, he is a literal force -- and he'll give you that capitalized Experience we all hope for at a show. Fuck it, I'm calling it now: Charles Bradley's set is going to be my Ultimate Festival Moment (tied with the Death Cab set, natch, but we'll get to that in a minute). Lucikly, you'll have two chances to partake in the bliss, as Charles and the Extraordinaires will be doing their main set on the Starbucks Stage on Saturday at 8pm, and if you were lucky enough to get a ticket, you can double-dip with a performance earlier that day for KEXP.

Speaking of, can we take a minute to talk about KEXP's Bumbershoot Lounge? Their series of in-studios are almost like a fest within the fest, with excellent crowd control and icy air conditioning. The station has lined up Thao and the Get Down Stay Down {Saturday}, Charles Bradley {Saturday}, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside {Sunday}, Bob Mould {Sunday}, Superchunk {Monday} -- and that's just a fraction of the performers. The full schedule of bands is on the KEXP site here, but if you aren't already signed up for a seat, you're shit out of luck. Sorry. (We'll be sure to post pictures for you next week, promise!)

Other heavy hitters for Saturday: Thao and the Get Down Stay Down {Fountain Lawn Stage, 3:30pm}, !!! {TuneIn Stage, 6:15pm}, Washed Out {Fountain Lawn Stage, 9pm}, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside {Plaza Stage, 9:30pm}, Heart {Mainstage, 9:45pm}

Death Cab for Cutie {Sunday}

As stated above, this one will be a tie for Ultimate Festival Moment, no contest. Transatlanticism start to finish = heart-explosion of monumental proportions. There's not even anything I can say about it besides (1) HOLY SHIT, it's been ten years?? and (2) see you in the front row. Mainstage, Sunday night, 9:45pm. Earlier on Sunday, the Words and Ideas Stage will host a panel at high noon, with a conversation about Barsuk Records (and their 15th anniversary!) with none other than Josh Rosenfeld, Sean Nelson, John Roderick, and David Bazan at the helm.

There's plenty to do in-between these Barsuk-y bookends on Sunday, specifically: The Redwood Plan {12:15pm, Fountain Lawn Stage}, Ramona Falls {12:45pm, Fountain Lawn Stage}, Tegan and Sara {2pm, Mainstage}, David Bazan {3:30pm, Fountain Lawn Stage}, Katie Kate {4:30pm, TuneIn Stage}, The Comettes {5pm, Plaza Stage}, Mates of State {5:15pm, Fountain Lawn Stage}, Bob Mould {6:15pm, TuneIn Stage}, The Grizzled Mighty {6:30pm, Plaza Stage}, The Breeders {8pm, TuneIn Stage}, The Zombies {8:15pm, Starbucks Stage}, Matt and Kim {10pm, TuneIn Stage}

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