Raffi, The Beach Boys, YG, Chastity Belt, And More Music Picks For The Whole Month
by Stranger Things To Do Staff
November means more than just Election Day and Thanksgiving—in Seattle, excellent live music shows fill the whole month, and, luckily, many of them still have tickets available. See below for concerts that you should buy tickets for now, before they sell out—including The Beach Boys, YG, Chastity Belt, and a one-night-only concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. For even more options, check out our list of 100 arts and culture events this month to get tickets for now, or our complete Things To Do calendar.
1. Preoccupations with Methyl Ethyl
Calgary quartet Preoccupations triggered outrage and protests while they were trafficking under their Viet Cong moniker, which tended to overshadow the incisive power of their self-titled 2015 debut album. They may have been tone-deaf in naming themselves, but these Canadians excelled at tunefully cranky post punk that evokes Siouxsie and the Banshees at their atmospherically darkest while deploying guitar tunings that clang and resonate with Glenn Branca–esque and Harry Partch–like unconventionality. Rechristened as Preoccupations, they’ve returned this year with another eponymous LP, and, sadly, it’s not as exhilarating or challenging as their first full-length. Nothing on Preoccupations attains the heights of “Bunker Buster” or “March of Progress.” Rather, the overall mood here resembles Psychedelic Furs in medium-agitation mode. It’s good, but a bit of a letdown after Viet Cong’s vigor and rigor. DAVE SEGAL
2. An Evening with Peter Hook & The Light
Since his rancorous departure from New Order in 2007, original Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook has toured the band’s material with his own project. Last year, the New Order family feud escalated when Hook initiated a lawsuit with the band for “millions of pounds” after the remaining members signed a new contract, stipulating Hook could earn only 1.25 percent of the band’s royalties. Whether you’re on Team Hooky or Team New Order (or you don’t care and just want to hear “Love Will Tear Us Apart”), the hits will certainly be delivered tonight, as this tour focuses on material from both bands’ hit/rarity-compiling Substance releases. While the unapologetic post-punk bleakness for which the Joy Division sound is now internationally revered (and copied) will likely be absent from these renditions, look at it this way: There may never be another chance to see these songs performed by an original member. BRITTNIE FULLER
3. Joyce Yang
In a triumphant return to Meany Hall, South Korean pianist Joyce Yang utilizes her unique gift of synesthesia to lay out a colorful and lyrically energetic program bolstered by her countless solo recitals and notable collaborations with the world’s top orchestras.
4. John Mayall
I know lots of folks like to deride any and all strictly blues aspects of ROCK. Y'all, I understand, it didn't take long after blues relocated to the city then went hippie for things to turn a little stock-sounding and "bar" band-ish, but John Mayall was an early groundbreaker (pun intended). He is a piece in the puzzle of our rock 'n' roll history. In fact, HUNDREDS (okay, not hundreds, but a handful) of them who’d become rock GODS passed through his group, the Bluesbreakers: Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Mark Almond, and Harvey Mandel! And all the while, Mayall held true to his singular, narrow vision: Play them blues and play 'em RIGHT! Now, he's 82 years old and still going strong! MIKE NIPPER
5. Morlot Conducts Tchaikovsky
Skate along with Music Director Ludovic Morlot to Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony as they confront a variety of human trials faced by the indifference of the universe, with an icy finale set to Sibelius’ Violin Concerto.
6. Earshot Jazz Festival
This is the season of Seattle's premier jazz event, the Earshot Jazz Festival, which includes more than 50 distinct concerts and events in venues across town. One of the big names at this year's festival is veteran pianist Freddy Cole, who will present with his trio a performance tied to the legacy of his late brother, Nat King Cole. There will also be a tribute to Charlie Parker, helmed by the award-winning saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. Local ubiquitous talent D'Vonne Lewis will curate a series of concerts with his groups Limited Edition and Industrial Revelation, the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, and special jazz festival collaborators, as this year's Resident Artist.
See the complete Earshot Jazz Festival schedule.
7. Alice Bag with Guests
If you don’t already know Alice Bag, you oughta, as she was one of the original, iconic 1970s LA punks—she was the matchstick who fronted the Bags. Well, since the ’80s, still lit by punk’s fire, she’s become an author and a heroic activist. As for her live show, she’ll be playing tracks off her debut solo album, Alice Bag. The album’s styles are varied: raw, pointed contemporary SoCal punk jams AND some sweet, almost pop vocal tracks. It’s good, and it sounds like none of her fire has been lost over time—she’s still angry. Along with Ms. Bag there’s also the mighty Wiscon, noisy punks Control Test, and Kook Teflon, who have promised a “ritual performance as Maiden Mother Crone.” MIKE NIPPER
8. Dudamel & The LA Phil
It’s a one-night only concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by the Phil’s charismatic, 35-year-old music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, featuring the epic Ninth Symphony by Gustav Mahler—the very last work that Mahler completed, while a Mahler conducting competition was how Dudamel, without any formal training in conducting, exploded onto the international scene back in 2004. What more do you want? JEN GRAVES
9. Iska Dhaaf, Special Explosion, Tiburones
Seattle sometimes does things that aren’t so smart, but one thing it does exceedingly well, is produce razor-sharp, intelligent bands. Iska Dhaaf (who, despite a recent move to NYC, will always be a Seattle group) make complex, subtle melodies, lusty rhythms, and lyrics sometimes inspired by Sufi poetry. KELLY O
10. Mac Miller with Guests
Few internet-age rap stars have undergone the metamorphoses Pittsburg/Los Angeles rapper Mac Miller has. After a string of cornball YouTube hits and early career mediocrity, Miller announced his presence as a legitimate progressive hiphop artist with 2013’s adventurous Watching Movies with the Sound Off. Although it stumbled occasionally on problematic misogynist tropes and casually used pejoratives, the album captured Miller in a beautiful, raw creative space between dreamy production and blunted tangles of rhyme. Shedding skin again for this year’s The Divine Feminine, Miller has taken the opportunity to illustrate the godly qualities of the fairer sex and the generally positive feelings relations with women inspire. The downside of this new chapter is that it’s muted the variety of his subject matter, leaving less room for stoned, stream-of-consciousness musings—but luckily, love and lust provide more than enough inspiration for Miller to produce some decent slow jams, so plan on getting down in that respect. TODD HAMM
11. Bill Frisell with Guests
Winter 1995. My girlfriend dumped me. My publisher ripped me off. One of my best friends fired me from the job I needed to pay the rent. Another best friend was laughing at my anguish. I hurt, physically, constantly. On my way to feed the fishes at Sakuma Viewpoint, I drop into Tower Records and the lonely clerk plays Deep Dead Blue by Elvis Costello and Bill Frisell. And Costello sounds blue, but Frisell sounds haunted. Stuff inside only his bearing as a gentleman allows him to bear. I didn’t know then that Frisell can get to any emotion, bone deep from blue to bliss-ninny blowout. I feed the fishes. I drink Budweiser. Then I go back to my piss-pocked mattress and get on with life. ANDREW HAMLIN
12. Bobby Medina: Whipped Cream & Other Delights
Bobby Medina takes on Herb Alpert's classic album Whipped Cream & Other Delights with an evening of Latin-inspired instrumental pop, with retro brass and '60s soundtrack notes.
13. PWR BTTM, Bellows, Lisa Prank
New York queer punk-pop duo PWR BTTM's 2015 album Ugly Cherries was an intravenous blast of catchy garage rock delivered to your nervous system with neither warning nor apology. On tracks like “C U Around” and “I Wanna Boi,” guitarist/singer Ben Hopkins and drummer Liv Bruce make heartache and requited love sound as fucked up and messy as they really are, with an unflinching honesty and ear for hooks that’s more than welcome in our era of overcooked irony and tendency for eye-rolling. It’s a breath of honest air in a pre-fab world. We’ve been gassed on lo-fi, low-key genius Lisa Prank for a hot minute here at the Stranger, and she makes the perfect opener on this all-ages bill. KYLE FLECK
14. Ulcerate, Zhrine, Phobocosm
It might not sound like a selling point of a live show to call a band uncomfortable, but there’s no better word to describe the dark, disharmonic songs created by New Zealand death-metal band Ulcerate. Their music is dense and crushing and steers away from the melodic side of death metal made famous by bands like At the Gates and In Flames. Instead, Ulcerate punish us in the best way possible on the eight songs that make up their recently released fifth studio album, Shrines of Paralysis. Get out of your comfort zone and experience the pain that is Ulcerate. KEVIN DIERS
15. The Head & The Heart with Declan McKenna and Deep Sea Diver
Real talk: My only goal in life is to die a less mediocre white lady than the one I was born. That intersectionality-heavy goal becomes more like a blaring neon air horn when this life reminds me that bands like the Head and the Heart somehow still exist. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with enjoying a little earnest faux-folk as a soundtrack to your day. But when the faux-folk all-white (natch) band in question uses instrumental practices first perfected by black sharecroppers more than a century ago, and interprets tradition as a tone-deaf gull echo of lyrics like “I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade,” later naming the single from its soulless third album, Signs of Light, “Rhythm & Blues”? Woof, y’all. Again, nothing against indie folk pop or rehashed roots music. In fact, I have plenty more (and much better) long-haired Americana artists to send your way. Just don’t give your money to this one. KIM SELLING
16. Boz Scaggs
Guitarist Boz Scaggs started his musical career in the Midwest playing in garage bands like the Marksmen and the Ardells with fellow guitar-picker Steve Miller and, though he split for Europe in 1965, by 1967 Scaggs had reunited with Miller in the Steve Miller Band. A year later, Scaggs went solo and in the mid 1970s and early ’80s he scored a string of FM hits. Since those hit-making days, he has continued working, but he’s fallen into a niche, much like his ’60s and ’70s contemporaries, where he still tours and records sporadically but makes no concessions to contemporary pop charts. Now Scaggs shows up and lays down some easy, deeply shaded urban blues, soulful ’70s rock, in his patented, laid-back style. MIKE NIPPER
17. Ms. Lauryn Hill & Guests
It’s been 18 years since The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Ms. Lauryn Hill’s only solo studio album, dropped. Eighteen years since Hill used her unmistakable honey, suede, and scorched-earth voice to spit rhymes with bravado and soar through soulful, textured melodies that still reverberate through the consciousness of so many people. (Seriously, have you listened to it lately? I dare you to play “Nothing Even Matters,” her duet with D’Angelo, and not get chills.) The songs on Miseducation are by turns equally triumphant and tortured. So maybe it’s not surprising that in the years since Miseducation, Hill has become reclusive and mercurial, and that her sporadic live performances are often erratic. A few months ago, Hill showed up two hours late for a show in Atlanta, offering an explanation that “the challenge is aligning my energy with the time.” If you’re reading this and even considering going to this show, though, you probably already know all of this. You know this show, if it actually happens, has the potential to be transcendent. You know the lyrics to “Ex-Factor” all too well: “It could all be so simple, but you’d rather make it hard/Loving you is like a battle, and we both end up with scars.” ANGELA GARBES
18. Music of Remembrance: Vedem
Compiling the experiences of traumatized teenagers surviving the Holocaust, composer Lori Laitman brings their struggle to life with a monumental arrangement known as Vedem, with the Northwest Boychoir and soloists Karen Early Evans and Ross Hauck.
19. Toro Y Moi with The Mattson 2
Chaz Bundick [Toro Y Moi]’s Bull & Me albums always sound like—all joking aside—a really beautiful Tumblr. You’d scroll past pics of beautiful strangers throwing up peace signs in front of some Judd sculptures in Marfa, $45 beanies that would make you the envy of the cafe, and light shooting through venetian blinds in an artful way. Over the last six years, Bundick has ridden the chill wave to the distant shores of synthy hiphop and lite funk. His latest record, What For?, really begs the answer, but ultimately provides incredibly serviceable, unassuming indie rock-ish music. What’s going to happen is you’re going to go to this show and he’s going to play “Empty Nesters” and you’re going to think, “You know, this song has a few more surprises in it than I initially thought!” and you’re going to have a good time. RICH SMITH
20. Leo Kottke
Leo Kottke isn’t as guts-crazy as his sometime mentor, the late John Fahey. But who would want to be? Fahey first rewrote the book, and then wrote his own book, when it came to six-string steel-string guitar on planet Earth, but didn’t seem to like Earth much. Kottke could outpace Fahey by a few decisive concert moves: (a) showing up, (b) showing up on time, and (c) not spending most of the gig talking and giggling with people who are not there. On the positivity flip, though, Kottke’s got pep, verve, nerve, and a dry sense of humor when he decides to sing. And he can get to the darkness inside of happiness. Even without words, he can evoke the void behind joy. Dark brightness. ANDREW HAMLIN
21. Mo-Wave Presents: Pansy Division, Sashay, Pink Parts, DJ Mister Sister
Legendary gay rock band Pansy Division headline this Mo-Wave production, with Sashay, Pink Parts, and DJ Mister Sister in tow to spread the gospel of rough and dirty fun.
22. Crater, Natasha Kmeto, DJAO
Seattle’s Crater—core members Kessiah Gordon (drums, samples) and Ceci Gomez (vocals, synths, samples)—sound poised on their debut album, Talk to Me So I Can Fall Asleep, to make waves in the indie mainstream. While some of their early material flirted with industrial dissonance, they’ve cleaned up their sound a bit for this full-length. The predominant style is dance pop with creamy, dreamy vocals and melodies that push emotional buttons in a familiar, pleasant manner, with IDM-ish weirdness happening on the peripheries. On “Habits Die Slow” and “Brew,” heavy, distorted guitar and synth intrude on a Natasha Kmeto-esque torch songs while on “Gross Relations,” a huge, pummeling quasi-techno beat cuts a moody swath through an Echo & the Bunnymen-like rock anthem. It’s when Crater go off on tangents like these that they strike the most interesting chords. Your local radio station program director may disagree, however. DAVE SEGAL
23. Fishbone, Larry & His Flask
People who believe their knowledge of American popular music is up to snuff are in the habit of stating, when the opportunity presents itself, that Fishbone should have been bigger than Red Hot Chili Peppers. Both bands were born in Los Angeles around the same time (the early '80s), regularly toured together, and approached music in roughly the same way—blending genres. Fishbone blended punk and ska; RHCP blended punk and funk. Fishbone was a black band that didn't make R&B, and RHCP was a white band that didn't make rock. Almost everyone knows RHCP, and only critics know Fishbone. What the hell happened? Why didn't Fishbone become huge? Was it a race thing? No, I don't think this was the case. We know RHCP not because they're white but because the music they made was far more accessible to the common ear than Fishbone's. Being good at music is one thing, being popular is another. The two must never be confused as one and the same thing. CHARLES MUDEDE
24. SPG and the Vices, COHO, Lanford Black, Sundog
SPG (Stefan Paul George, natch) performs indie rock with all his Vices, laying out a very early '00s Dispatch vibe with some backcountry regret at its foundation. They'll be joined by COHO, Lanford Black, and Sundog.
25. The Wild Reeds, Valley Queen
Growing from a sisterly trio to a full quintet, The Wild Reeds take on folk-infused rock and tender yet strong river-pop, with support from Valley Queen.
26. Pictures At An Exhibition
Perambulate with the Seattle Symphony through a glossy framing of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's 10-movement suite for pianist showboats, Pictures at an Exhibition, arranged by French composer Joseph Ravel, paired with the perennially colorful Cello Concerto No. 1 of Saint-Saëns.
27. Amira: Queen of Sevdah
Sevdah is a Bosnian song form favoring stately tempos and warm melodies, and thanks to Amira, it's been experiencing a revival. Hear the soulful Balkan wonder for yourself.
28. Florida Georgia Line, Granger Smith, Chris Lane
Nu-bro duo Florida Georgia Line have hit the big time making contemporary country music for the masses. They'll be joined by Granger Smith and Chris Lane on their "Dig Your Roots" Tour.
29. Andy McKee
World-renowned acoustic guitarist and YouTube community favorite Andy McKee plays a two-day set rife with steel string guitar standards.
30. The Beach Boys
Baby Boomer nirvana will be attained tonight, if all goes according to plan. The Beach Boys’ 1966 album Pet Sounds is about as canonical a rock album as the world has ever heard (ask the Beatles). For millions of discerning and casual listeners, Pet Sounds is a touchstone for youthful romantic feelings and a bottomless source of melodic beauty, idiosyncratic timbres, and earnest spirituality. Fifty years after its release, the album continues to defy time’s ravages, its songs as wrinkle-free and supple as they were back when Brian Wilson and Tony Asher massaged them into timeless ebullience and dulcet melancholy, boosted by the finest session players—the legendary Wrecking Crew—that Capitol Records could hire. Sure, Mr. Wilson’s voice has experienced deterioration, but Pet Sounds’ 13 evergreen compositions should keep your election-year dread at bay for at least an hour or so. You still believe in Brian. DAVE SEGAL
31. Dave B, Ye Ali, Jamie Blake
As far as rap monikers go, “Dave B” is about one notch less intriguing than “Young Thug.” And yet, like Thug, the name purposefully understates what amounts to a deep intelligence and understated swagger. Dave B’s album Punch Drunk combined melodic, West Coast throwback production (think Souls of Mischief) with B’s recollections on heartbreak and self-deprecating humor. It’s a refreshingly ambitious entry to Seattle’s young hiphop canon, and the dude always brings the easy-going heat to his live shows: His appearance at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party was a (rained-out, gray-skied) blast. There’s a reason this kid won the Vera Project’s underage Sound Off! Competition back in the day; hell, his new joint gives you about nine reasons. KYLE FLECK
32. D.O.A. with Coffin Break
Lifelong Vancouverite rabble-rousers D.O.A. showcase their legacy of being a founding band of hardcore punk, with Coffin Break.
Kids these days still have morning wood for EDM and acts like beatmaking duo Flosstradamus, who recently have forayed into what is now being referred to as “trap,” a genre that takes its name from the hyper-attitude Southern hiphop of the early ’90s and is characterized by hard bass and manipulated 808-sample melodies. Flosstradamus often vacillate between more hiphop-oriented beats and electronic trap throughout a set, and according to the die-hard youngster demographic, they’re quite good at it. The duo recently released a 10-minute documentary (Flosstradamus IRL), which is something more music acts should do, even if they end up with quotes like “We speak the same language, and that language is music.” GRANT BRISSEY
34. Goldroom & Autograf with Patrick Baker
Soul-inspired electronic artists Goldroom and Autograf co-headline this tour full of West Coast sound, with support from Patrick Baker.
35. Yelawolf, Bubba Sparxxx, Jelly Roll, Struggle Jennings
Yelawolf is a lean, tattooed, half-white, half-Cherokee MC from the unlikely hiphop outpost of Gadsden, Alabama, at the tail end of the Appalachians. He has floppy, jet-black hair that falls some-where between mullet and uncharged Mohawk. He's probably the most unusual face in Southern hiphop right now, and after years of mixtape toil, he's poised for big things in the year to come. (Say "great white hope" and you will get slapped.) ERIC GRANDY
36. Sequentia: The Monk Sings The Pagan
What Sequentia does is like sci-fi for the past. Sequentia is an ensemble led by Paris-based Benjamin Bagby, whose “art is speculative reconstruction,” wrote Allan Kozinn of The New York Times in 2012. For this program, Bagby and Cambridge University musicologist Sam Barrett have created reconstructions of how Boethius’s classical text Consolation of Philosophy was performed in European monastic centers between the 9th and 12th centuries. Whoa! To me, that sounds like nerd heaven. Okay, but if you think you are not nerdy enough for this, then consider that Boethius wrote his text about the nature of evil, God, and happiness while awaiting execution for treason, and in the late 19th century, these poems were called “by far the most interesting example of prison literature the world has ever seen.” So hear the medieval monks sing the superlative pagan. JEN GRAVES
37. SassyBlack, The Seshen, Tay Sean
SassyBlack is one half of the now-defunct galactic powerhouse that was THEESatisfaction, and dropped her solo album this past May. Prepare your brain for a deep submergence in gorgeous afro-futuristic soul and the heart of one of the most talented musicians in Seattle right now, with The Seshen and Tay Sean.
38. Monarchy + HER
London duo Monarchy tout themselves as "glacial pop with a throbbing undercurrent of humanity," which they'll be taking on tour with HER.
39. Imani Winds
Grammy-nominated wind quintet Imani Winds established their presence in the classical music world with dynamic energy and culturally relevant programming. They'll be performing with special guest Italian pianist Fabio Bidini.
40. Queensryche, Armored Saint, Midnight Eternal
People have been slow to forgive natives Queensrÿche. their influential Operation: Mindcrime album is a classic, but the band's nasty split with ex-singer Geoff Tate left many cold. Their ambitious latest LP, Condition Human, could smooth all that over, thanks to more ambitious arrangements and singer Todd LaTorre, formerly of Crimson Glory. JOSEPH SCHAFER
41. Ravel & Mozart
The Seattle Symphony showcases the fruitful friendships of Mozart and Ravel with Mozart’s trio of vignettes for clarinet, Ravel’s Sonata (also a memorial to their relationship with Debussy), and works by two Soviet composers inspired by Shostakovich.
42. Cherry Poppin' Daddies
Swing revivalists and zoot suit lifers Cherry Poppin' Daddies roll through Jazz Alley in support of their latest release, The Boop-A-Doo!
43. The Posies with Anomie Belle
Beset by distance and the recent deaths of two bandmates, the Posies were perhaps not the likeliest candidates to return with an exuberant, inventive album. But circumstances forced (or maybe invited) Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow to return to their original incarnation as a two-member bedroom band—never mind that the bedrooms were on different continents (and were actually probably fairly well-equipped studios). Without the internal combustion of their rock band identity to push things along, the songwriters turned inward, and it yielded the most engaging and engaged work these guys have done in many years, together or apart. Though the whole record is gorgeous, special notice is reserved for "Squirrel vs. Snake," an urgent, epic cri de coeur in the form of a perfect power-pop diamond. If songs like this were still allowed to become hits, the world would feel a lot more just. In the absence of such a possibility, it's all the more stirring to know someone is still writing and singing them. SEAN NELSON
44. Suzanne Vega with Teddy Thompson
Suzanne Vega balances velvety songs of desire with gently ironic, visual sung portraits of diverse characters. Catch her on her nationwide tour with lauded English-born rocker Teddy Thompson.
45. Chastity Belt, Malidont, Versing
Chastity Belt burst on the scene a couple years ago with a fully formed pop sensibility that slashes with post-punk astringency and glints with chiming guitar textures à la Television and the Feelies. Their debut album, No Regerts, vibrates with guitarist/vocalist Julia Shapiro’s trenchant, witty observations about the ups and downs of being too smart to get enchanted with your surroundings, set to rock songs that ingratiate themselves without being obnoxious about it. The beautiful, surging title track of their new album for Hardly Art, Time to Go Home, betokens interesting things. DAVE SEGAL
46. Sol's Haiti Relief Show with Special Guests
Haiti is dealing with unimaginable consequences in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, so Seattle hiphop artist and Haitian-American Sol has organized a benefit show to allay the relief work in his family's hometown of Les Abricots and in other regions. Joining him will be friends and special guests, with all show proceeds going to efforts on the ground led by the organization Friends of Paradis des Indiens, Inc.
47. Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 4
Make sense of the present by confronting the past with Shostakovich’s immense Symphony No. 11, snaking from Soviet Russia all the way back to the momentous Revolution of 1905, with a revival of Old World grandeur emanating from Rachmaninov’s final piano concerto.
48. Anders Osborne and James McMurtry
New Orleans songwriter Anders Osborne was called "the poet laureate of Louisiana's fertile roots music scene" by Guitar Player Magazine. He'll be joined by James McMurtry.
49. An Evening with Zemfira
Russian rock singer Zemfira graces Showbox SoDo with an intimate night of heavy-hitting solo work.
50. Global Party
This cultural and artistic celebration will feature young local artists performing music and dance from around the world; produced by STG Education & Community Programs.
51. Seattle Rock Orchestra: David Bowie
Seattle Rock Orchestra throws down with a full set of rollicking glam and dance rock hits from greats like David Bowie, T. Rex, and ELO. Dress the part and show up to boogie to classics like "Young Americans," "Get It On (Bang A Gong)," and "Don't Bring Me Down," with many more jammers throughout the night by all three artists.
52. Taj Mahal Trio
Eternal roots and blues cornerstone and national treasure Taj Mahal has been crafting tales for almost 50 years with the musical traditions of the American South. He graces Jazz Alley with his trio for an eight-day stretch, showcasing decades of iconic lyricism, expert guitar work, and warm rust-imbued vocals.
53. Amos Lee
Perennial Starbucks-soundtracker Amos Lee champions his latest and sixth full-length album with a night of soulful singer-songwriter vibes.
54. Jesu & Sun Kil Moon
Benji is simple and magnificent. Kozelek has become an American Nick Drake. The album is like that shoebox full of Polaroids you find under someone's bed. Someone who's not here anymore. You sit there for hours, planted in the images, in the blurred, awkward expressions and lifelines. They're perfectly imperfect. You look out the window. Branches of an elm wave slightly in the breeze. You call someone you love. You are here –> X. TRENT MOORMAN
55. John Cage Musicircus
Given that it's John Cage's music, you can take for granted that this is no ordinary concert. You're free to wander and listen up close to the 42-some musicians stationed around the auditorium. Come at 6:30 for a lecture on the inventor of such concepts as the "prepared piano" (piano with random stuff sitting on the strings) and silent music, or go straight to the concert at seven.
56. Seattle Rock Orchestra Social Club #1 Performs The Beatles
Seattle Rock Orchestra kicks off its second season of Social Club, as well as its return to the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, with the discography of The Beatles, featuring vocal performances by Dane Ueland and members of Hannalee, and SRO Quintet to open the show (playing even more Beatles tracks).
57. Sessions of She: November Showcase
This multidisciplinary arts event (with art, comedy, and music) aims to establish a sense of comfort and community between artists and audience members by interspersing performances with on-stage interviews. This month's featured guests include Brittany Hunt (art), Mona Concepcion (comedy), and Alaia D’Alessandro (music).
58. Jeffrey Lewis & the Los Bolts, Kurly Somthing, Vivian
As a singer, Jeffrey Lewis is more of a rough-hewn talker, which suits his wry observations about money and pop culture, while his song structures are simple and forthright, with a few exceptions, like the title track, which veers into a flute-infused psych-folk direction, and "So What If I Couldn't Take It," where he shifts gears from deliberate finger-picking to fast strumming studded with flares of feedback. KATHY FENNESSY
Beluga-entrancing, rape-culture-hating, ukulele-ing Raffi upholds his many decades of creating foundational children's music for his 40th Anniversary tour.
60. Star Anna with Tekla Waterfield
Star Anna brings her years of singer-songwriter experience and rough-around-the-edges pop sensibilities to the Triple Door, with indie Americana songstress Tekla Waterfield.
61. YG, RJ, Kamaiyah, Sadboy
When first we met YG in 2010, he was wearing a Coogi sweater and boasting about his “magic stick” on the radio-friendly single “Toot It and Boot It.” With his 2014 debut full-length, My Krazy Life, the Compton rapper (with lots of help from producer DJ Mustard) delivered a solid album faithful to the sounds and themes of ’90s gangsta rap. “I can’t die,” YG declared a year before getting shot outside of an LA recording studio, “I got too much to live for.” In advance of the delayed release of his follow-up, Still Krazy, YG has stayed busy—and admirably political. He lent legitimacy to Macklemore’s best attempt at hardness (a track called, um, “Bolo Tie”), dropping a verse indicting the media for ignoring rappers’ positive cultural contributions. Most recently, with rapper Nipsey Hussle, he released a song we can all get down with: “Fuck Donald Trump.” Its message—and YG himself—becomes more nuanced the longer you listen. ANGELA GARBES
62. Seu Jorge Presents: The Life Aquatic, A Tribute to David Bowie
Seu Jorge burst into the American consciousness with a grip of mellow, mellifluous David Bowie covers that appeared in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The Brazilian singer's deadpan baritone and acoustic-guitar strums bestowed a new, gentler glow upon those Bowie chestnuts. Jorge seemed to be sing-speaking while swinging on a hammock, his deeeep voice acting like a balm in contrast to the composer's glam camp and hysteria. DAVE SEGAL
63. Helms Alee, He Whose Ox Is Gored, Wild Powwers
One would hope that hometown heroes Helms Alee need no introduction at this point. The trio have brandished their blend of thudding tumult and spacious guitar pop across three superb albums and a smattering of EPs and split releases over the course of the last nine years. BRIAN COOK
64. Industrial Revelation, D’Vonne Lewis’ Limited Edition, Nick Drummond Band
The group has four members—D'Vonne Lewis (drums), Evan Flory-Barnes (bass), Josh Rawlings (keyboards), and Ahamefule J. Oluo (trumpet). All are trained primarily as jazz musicians and play in a number of jazz bands and venues around town. However, IR's 2013 album Oak Head makes it clear that when these four men make music together, they cannot be classified as a jazz band. IR have a sound that is not determined by one genre, but instead is overdetermined by multiple genres—hiphop, indie rock, punk, soul, and so on. But here is what makes IR truly unique and worthy of the status of Genius: Their mission as musicians is not to save jazz or to be relevant to younger audiences. Absent from their live shows and two albums is exactly that kind of desperation and scheming. What we hear instead are tunes composed and performed by four very talented musicians who are naturally, effortlessly, constantly inventive. CHARLES MUDEDE
65. The Paperboys 10th Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Meltdown
Spend three nights (or just one if you don't want to go whole hog) with Vancouverite folk-rockers The Paperboys as they celebrate Thanksgiving the only way they know how, with a weekend-long superset at the Triple Door for the 10th year running.
66. Car Seat Headrest with The Domestics
It feels strange that the prolific, amazing Car Seat Headrest isn’t a band you grew up with. I remember when there were lots of bands that sounded like they were born when a Tascam cassette four-track machine got drunk and seduced a crate full of impeccable post-punk and college rock classix, but that form appears to be on the wane. Car Seat Headrest has smart, anxious guitar music in its cells, its bones, its DNA. SEAN NELSON
67. Emancipator, Tor, Edamame, Lapa
Portland producer Emancipator creates middling, orchestral, down-tempo electronic music that seems tailor-made for TV movies (do they still make those?). His tracks skew predominantly melancholy and blandly funky, like a smooth-jazz version of Thievery Corporation. DAVE SEGAL
68. Encanto Holiday Opera
Featuring award-winning tenor José Iñiguez and pianist Jeremy Neufeld, Encanto pairs the diverse qualities of opera arias, classical piano, and mariachi bolero for an evening of holiday-themed genre-blending. Proceeds from this concert will go to funding scholarships for first-generation students pursuing college/university education.
69. James Vincent McMorrow with Allan Rayman
Irish artist James Vincent McMorrow shows off his James Blake-esque vocal chops in his latest album, We Move. His dreamy electro-haze-pop set will be flanked by a live set from Allan Rayman.
70. Nipsey Hussle, Choice, Tha landlord, J.D.U.B.
Rolling on the success of perma-relevant track "Fuck Donald Trump" with YG, LA rapper Nipsey Hussle graces us with his energetic presence and live theatrics, with Choice, Tha landlord, and J.D.U.B.
71. Daughter with Alexandra Savior
English indie-folk trio Daughter share their darkly emotional textures with a live set pulling from their 2016 release Not to Disappear, flanked by Alexandra Savior.
72. Schubert Untuxed
Enjoy the endless current of melody that is the Fifth Symphony of Schubert during a special edition of "Untuxed," a low-key, no-intermission way to enjoy the Seattle Symphony without worrying about what the bourgeoisie will think of your hat and tails.
73. X with Skating Polly, Visqueen, Small Wigs, Tripwires
It’s rare to find a punk band that can truly stand the test of time, that can tour now and not look like a sad shell of their former nihilistic selves. To be fair, the live-fast-die-young mentality mixed with whatever cocktail of intoxicants the generation of yesteryear could find isn’t exactly a formula for aging gracefully. X, on the other hand, are timeless. Whether it’s 1981 or 2016, the LA-based legends—led by John Doe and Exene Cervenka—sound spot-fucking-on. KEVIN DIERS
74. Booka Shade
Berlin-based producers Booka Shade put on a raucous live act rife with high energy contemporary dance music, perfect for a night out clubbing in Ibiza.
75. Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman
After a 25 year hiatus, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, and Rick Wakeman are back to reform the most well-known line-up of successful prog rock group YES as Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman (ARW).