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Recommended shows

Digging in to Wintersong: Naomi Wachira and Kevin Long

{Team Up Presents: Wintersong}

As promised, we're coming to you today with a bit more of an in-depth look at some of the artists playing Wintersong, the Team Up for Nonprofits benefit we told you about last week. On the odd chance you're holding off on buying a ticket and putting fifteen of your hard-earned dollars to work for the cause, let's see if we can't get you on board with the lineup:

Naomi Wachira

{Naomi Wachira}

Naomi Wachira is going to be one of the artists starting the evening off at the Crocodile in a few weeks, and are we sure glad that we took the time to listen to what she's been putting out into the ether. Holy heaven in a soundbyte! Rooted in Kenya and now hailing from Seattle, this local artist has got a style all her own, with a sound that "blends elements of African rhythm, American folk, and soul" -- all while dropping vocals like fine-tuned bells: punchy, clear and poignant in their every tone. Take your ears on over to the few tracks she's got up on her ReverbNation page, and be immediately sold. We can't wait to hear more at the show, and we'll be up front early on in the night to make sure we don't miss a minute.

Go-to track: "You Better." If you can get with Nathaniel Rateliff's hits-to-the-gut crosshatched through with African soul-sensibility, you'll love this brand of groove.

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Latest comment by: Anonymous: "Can not wait! "

I love this shit: Husky

As we mentioned this summer, recent Sub Pop signees Husky have taken on the world with their "meticulous, soothing, gentle-assault, looking out the train window movie-soundtrack sound", and so far as we can tell, the masses agree. Since that post, we saw Husky come through town on a bill with Shearwater, and the next time we turned around, they're premiering the very video above on Rolling Stone's website. Bravah, Heathers -- the beautiful, attention-grabbing, slow-chugging train of "Tidal Wave" deserves all the attention it can get.

Husky just played a few dates in the Northwest last weekend -- but if you happen to be out in the rest of the country {Chicago, Boston, New York and the like}, you've still got a chance to catch them live over the next few weeks. Pop on over to their Sub Pop page to take a peek at their upcoming tour dates, and head on out to the shows if you can.

On sale today: Wintersong {a Gigs4Good / Team Up for Nonprofits benefit}

Today, tickets go on sale at 10am for the latest Gigs4Good benefit, "Wintersong," which will be taking place on Wednesday, November 28th at the Crocodile. This go-'round, the money by G4G raised will be going to Team Up for Nonprofits, a radical nonprofit that brings awareness, resources, and funding together to -- you guessed it -- help out other nonprofits in the community. Awesome!

There's a great selection of local artists on the roster for this event, including Ivan and Alyosha, Shelby Earl, Tea Cozies, Tom Eddy, Kevin Long, Ben Fisher, Naoimi Wachira, and more TBA -- and they'll all be performing winter-themed songs. Over the next few weeks, we'll be showcasing more information about these folks, so stay tuned for a few in-depth features about why we think this would be a great way to invest a few (specifically: fifteen) of your budgeted holiday dollars this season.

You can get more information Gigs4Good here, Team Up for Nonprofits here, and learn more about the show via the Facebook page here.

Happy almost-holidays!

Two picks to start this weekend off right!

It's Monday morning and the weekend is still with us -- wasn't yours lovely? Ours too! Well, we're here bright and early to (hopefully) ease the weight of the workweek with a snapshot of a few options you can look forward to this Thursday {11/1} and Friday (11/2}.

Thursday: Sea Wolf and Great Wilderness at the Tractor Tavern

Sea Wolf first hit our radar back around 2007ish when KEXP blasted "You're a Wolf" into my heavy rotation, that and "Middle Distance Runner" off of Leaves in the River make up what SW's sound seems to encompass: indie-lite, a little dreamy; achy and pleasing. And after taking a pass at the first single from their new album Old World Romance, it seems as though the vibe is continuing to evolve beautifully -- a little more punctuated, a little more weathered for the better:

The band is currently on the road with everyone's favorite local alt.orch-pop outfit Hey Marseilles, but they won't be playing this Friday's Tractor date -- instead, our PDX pals Great Wilderness will be taking their place, and we highly recommend getting down there in time for their set. {tickets}

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Tea Cozies — Bang Up

Here is some fantastic news to brighten any grey Seattle Fall day -- our favorite garage-surf rockers the Tea Cozies are releasing a new EP on October 30! I don’t think I have stopped randomly breaking into “sha lalalala”-style choruses since their last album Hot Probs dropped. Their latest effort, titled Bang Up, is a five-song feel-good funhouse that’s filled with three-chord riffs and dreamy pop vocals.

Bang Up was recorded over the summer and features the Tea Cozies’ distinct brand of 60’s girl group harmonies blended with effervescent surf pop rhythms. Briefly venturing into the darker reaches on “Cosmic Osmo,” you get a taste of their more rough edge capabilities and quirkier sound. But it doesn’t last long: they quickly take you back to dreamland in the closing track “Silhouette in a Suitcase,” which catapaulted me straight to the days of Veruca Salt and Blur.

The highlight is “Muchos Dracula,” a wonderfully retro-spooky monster ode reminiscent of The Munsters theme song and Creature From the Black Lagoon Not to mention, it’s bloody perfect for Halloween! All in all, the Tea Cozies didn’t stray far from the familiar, but instead work on perfecting what they already know. And that’s okay by me because heck, it had me skipping down the street.

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Recommended Show: Mayer Hawthorne and the County at The Neptune {10/24}

Chances are you might not recognize Mayer Hawthorne but you probably already know his music. His song "Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’" was featured on an episode of Ugly Betty, and Kanye even used a Hawthorne track in his short film We Were Once a Fairytale. His soulful throwback sound, reminiscent of Motown’s hit makers, has made him a cross-genre favorite and he’s played with everyone from Chromeo to Booker T. Jones.  And he’s about to sing Seattleites right out of their skinny jeans, appearing at the Neptune on Wednesday October 24 with his band The County. This is baby making music for hipsters.

His last album, How Do You Do featured the single "The Walk" and showcased what Hawthorne does so damn well: tongue-in-cheek humor wrapped in a Smokey Robinson-style melody.  And the video ain’t bad either -- a Mr. and Mrs. Smith ass kicking, assassins-getting-even montage. His ladykiller persona is helped along on the seductive "No Strings", a guaranteed panty dropper for even the Ira Glass faithful.

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City Arts Fest: (mostly local) one-a-days

This year's City Arts Fest has an incredible lineup, and like much of what goes on in this city, there's something for everyone. Killer lineups at traditional venues, experimental art-house 'secret' shows, happy hours, late night surprises -- the list goes on and on. You can head on over here to build your schedule and here to pick up some tickets for whatever floats your boat, and if you've got the means and you're primarily interested in listening to some solid music, that $55.00 wristband for all-access to (most of) the shows is absolutely the way to go.

There's tons to pick from, but if you can only do one show per evening, here's what I humbly suggest you make time for:

Wednesday: Jonathan Russell and Kevin Murphy at All Pilgrims Church

{Jonathan Russell / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

This photo was taken from a performance Jonathan Russell did at the Fremont Abbey (performing in the round with Damien Jurado) earlier this year. If it's indicative of what we'll be hearing at Wednesday's All Pilgrims Church show, you'd best get yourself there early, nab a seat up front, and don't plan on moving for the entire set. It's not simply Head and the Heart-lite -- not that a set of HatH tunes would be a bad thing, but from what we've been able to witness, Jonathan takes the time and space in his solo performances to expound on new material and creative covers (hello, "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers, echoing out into a high-ceilinged, hushed hall) as well as belting out some band selections we know and love. Add the rootsy, engagingly-delivered verbal prowess of Kevin Murphy (The Moondoggies) to the bill, and you've got yourself a no-brainer.

Thursday: Lemolo at the Triple Door

{Lemolo / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

The Triple Door is going to be a near-perfect backdrop-slash-forum in which Lemolo can bring their particular brand of hyper-intelligent, dream-synth to the stage, with a rapt audience to take in their gorgeous, thought-provoking song-gems. To put it simply: I. Can. Not. Wait. For. This. Set. Their album was released earlier this year to much critical acclaim, they're packing venues left and right, and with every performance that emerges and every video that surfaces, Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox seem to be fine-tuning into a near-perfect version of this... thing that happens when they are together creating art in the same space. If we get there in time, all that + an order of potstickers before the show = HEAVEN.

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A few don't-miss picks for City Arts Fest

Yep, summer is officially over -- the air is crisp, and those sunny, crowded thoughts of festival season are long past. However, smack in the middle of October is City Arts Fest 2012, bringing you one last hurrah of all the local bands and cool national acts that it's able to pack into four days. Not only is there music to be enjoyed, but there's also the super awesome Culture Club, showcasing art and after parties to make your nights (and some days, too) as fully wonderful as possible. Here are some of my personal picks for you to keep in mind as you head into the fest:

Wednesday

David Byrne and St. Vincent are the big draw for Wednesday, and with good reason. The spacey, horn-heavy album Love This Giant is a collaboration that only could be conceived (and executed) by this pair, and I'm eager to hear it live -- I've been told the horn section is particularly spectacular. Post Byrne / Vincent, just in case you haven't gotten your fill, you can hit up the David Byrne After Party at the Culture Club -- or, try something different and head up to Barboza to catch Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band at 11:15.

8:30-10:30 David Byrne & St. Vincent, 5th Ave Theater
10:00-midnight David Byrne After Party, Culture Club
11:15-12:15 Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Barboza

Runner-up choices for Wednesday: Jonathan Russell (The Head and the Heart) and Kevin Murphy (The Moondoggies), All Pilgrims Church; Grynch, Neumos; Pollens, Barboza

Thursday

Thursday is a tough day, as there are a lot of great bands playing and really not enough time to fit them all in. Song Sparrow Research and Throw Me the Statue are my two top picks for the night, and having never seen Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground before, I've decided to stay at the Crocodile to check out their psychedelic pop sounds. Following all of that up with a set from Gold Leaves will make it an awesome Thursday night.

8:00-8:30 Song Sparrow Research, Barboza
8:45-9:30 Throw Me the Statue, Crocodile
9:45-10:30 Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Crocodile
10:30-12:00 Gold Leaves, Crocodile

Also worth making time for on Thursday: Tomten, Crocodile; Lemolo (with Slang!), Triple Door; Legendary Oaks, Vince Mira and the Dusty 45s, Barboza; The Physics and Mos Def, Showbox Sodo; Joshua Radin and A Fine Frenzy, 5th Ave Theater

Friday

There's a few Unofficial Happy Hour Showcases which start Wednesday but, if you can only pick one, Friday's is the one to catch. Produced by Treefort Music Fest, the Crocodile will be featuring Hot Bodies in Motion, Finn Riggins, Learning Team, and And And And from 5:30-7:00. After the showcase you can walk right over to the Rendezvous for Case Studies, followed by Land of Pines back at the Crocodile, and then one more trip back to the Rendezvous for Tiny Vipers. Finish out your night at Showbox at the Market with Blind Pilot and Pt. Juncture, WA.

8:15-9:00 Case Studies, Rendezvous
8:45-9:30 Land of Pines, Crocodile
10:30-11:00 Pt. Juncture, WA, Showbox Market
11:15-12:30 Blind Pilot, Showbox Market

More killer picks for Friday: Reignwolf, Laserdome; Howlin' Rain, Barboza; Ghostland Observatory, Showbox Sodo; Fresh Espresso, Neumos; Ravenna Woods, Crocodile

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Celebrate ten years of Light in the Attic with Rodriguez at the Showbox {10/12}

If you haven't gotten tickets already, well. We're sorry to inform you that you're plum out of luck. Rodriguez is playing the Showbox tomorrow night with Michael Chapman and Donnie and Joe Emerson, as part of a pair of shows celebrating the tenth anniversary of Light in the Attic Records. On the odd chance you're not familiar, head on over here to get a taste of the literal gems that the LitAR folks have unearthed and brought back to life. From their site:

In the ten years since its inception, Light In The Attic has launched The Black Angels to the world and released rare treasures from funk-rock maverick Betty Davis, proto-punk band The Monks, folk singers Karen Dalton, Jim Sullivan, and Michael Chapman, larger-than-life troubadours Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood, Korean rock hero Shin Joong Hyun, and Memphis soul heavyweights Wendy Rene and Charles “Packy” Axton.

Over the years, we also delved deep in to the history of our home town with vintage Seattle soul via the series Wheedle’s Groove, reissued classics from country stalwarts Kris Kristofferson and the Louvin Brothers, brought rock-n-roll farmers Donnie & Joe Emerson to the public, expanded minds with the deeply vibrant Jamaica to Toronto series, and played a key role in the rediscovery of legendary singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, recently celebrated in the Sony Pictures Classics critical smash film, Searching For Sugar Man. The list is long.

Fitting, then, to host a hell of a party to celebrate. And if you're not heading to the Showbox show, may we suggest this alternate: pop down to Easy Street Records tonight {yep, Thursday, October 11th} to catch Michael Chapman's in-store at 7pm -- and since you're going to be at the record store anyway, it'd behoove you to grab a few albums and get to know the bliss that these fine, fine people make a business of turning the world on to. For instance: Cold Fact {Rodriguez}, U.F.O. {Jim Sullivan} and Histoire de Melody Nelson {Serge Gainsbourg} would be key pieces to add to your record collection, if you don't own them already.

We'll see you there!

Latest comment by: John in Ballard: "

Wow. What are the chances we'll get the full orchestra packed on the Showbox stage tonight? That would be amazing, but I'm not holding out too much hope. Even without them, this show is gonna be great. 

"

Recommended event {and sweet things!}: Bake It In A Cake Cookbook book release party on Thursday {10/4}

Bake It In A Cake

Not to ruin the surprise for any of my loved ones, but this year you're getting a copy of the Bake It In A Cake cookbook for your upcoming birthday or holiday gift... and I'm hoping to get each copy signed by none other than the book's author, Megan Seling, at tomorrow's Bake It In A Cake book release party at Elliot Bay Book Company {in Capitol Hill}.

Tomorrow is going to be about more than just getting most of my holiday shopping done, it's going to be a wonderful celebration of all the amazing work Seattle's own (and radio DJ and acclaimed writer at the Stranger) Megan Seling has done for the world of baked goods.  

About two years ago, she started with an idea of combining two things we all love: cupcakes and pies, candy, fruit, or anything else she dreams up that is a delectable match for said cupcake shell.  Since then she's brought together banana cupcake with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Hello Panda chocolate-filled biscuits baked into mini brownies, and the holiday favorite--a mini PUMPKIN PIE baked into a cream cheese vanilla cupcake, topped with cinnamon cream cheese buttercream.

Each creation is a masterpiece, and so it's no surprise that in the last 2 years she's been praised by Martha Stewart, Rosie O'Donnell, and countless drooling sweets affectionados.  And now, everyone can be the life of the party snack table by creating our very own treat from the Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats With a Surprise Inside cookbook.  

The book release party starts at 5pm, this Thursday (tomorrow) and, of course, there will be even be cupcakes!!!

Latest comment by: Anonymous: "Heyy, all these cakes look really nice and yummy, i'm gonna try some of them sometime! =D "