August 30, 2014

Bumbershoot-out: Mac DeMarco vs. Iska Dhaaf

Music festivals never fail to schedule at least two great bands at the same time, and Bumbershoot 2014 is no different. We’re here to help you make the inevitable tough decisions to make sure you catch the best sets of the day.

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DAY 1: Mac DeMarco (5:15, Fountain Lawn) vs. Iska Dhaaf (5:30, Pavilion Stage)

Mac DeMarco, a Montreal-based indie pop multi-instrumentalist, is a strong contender for your time. His latest single, “Salad Days,” feels like an easy-going summer jam that is somewhat reminiscent of Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” with sadder lyrics. His songs teeter and amble, occasionally stumbling into unexpected key changes that keep his music intriguing. Certainly feel-good and fun to listen to, DeMarco is an ideal summer festival act to put on stage.

However, we give the edge to Seattle’s own Iska Dhaaf for this face-off. While their music is darker and more complex, they have a distinct surf-rock undertone that keeps the music dance-able and somewhat hypnotic. The retro-inspired guitarwork paired with compelling time signatures and a tinge of sorrowful desperation in the lyrics provides a magnetic, modern sound that is entirely its own.

Don’t get us wrong, both sets will be great. You really can’t go wrong. See you out there (in the rain)!

 

August 30, 2014

Bumbershoot Day 1: Top Picks

Bumbershoot_Day1_TopPicks_new

If you’re anything like us, you’ve been pouring over the official Bumbershoot lineup with multi-colored pens and developing a hefty piecemeal schedule for each day. Or maybe that’s just us.

Either way, we’ve got you covered. Our favorite in-city music fest has officially arrived, and if you’ll be participating in the Labor Day fun at Seattle Center, we’ve spelled out the can’t-miss acts every day. So, do as we did and mark up your hard copy, plug these into your customized official Bumberapp or  just Sharpie these on the back of your hand. Our top recommendations for Day 1 are below:

DAY 1 – SATURDAY, AUG. 30

Cumulus – 3:00 PM, Pavilion Stage.

Poppy female-fronted rock with snappy drums and driving guitar riffs.

The Lonely Forest – 3:30 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

A final farewell performance from the Anacortes indie darlings.

Cataldo – 4:15 PM, End Zone Stage

Locally sourced folk-tinged songs infused with clever wordplay and a strong dose of pop sensibilities.

Iska Dhaaf – 5:30 PM, Pavilion Stage

After a much lauded debut to the Seattle scene, Ben Verdoes and Nathan Quiroga drive a raw, dark brand of surf-tinged rock.

Elvis Costello – 6:15 PM, Mainstage

England’s pub rock legend helps the Bumber-crowd “pump it up” with catchy melodies and engaging lyrics.

RA Scion – 8:45 PM, End Zone Stage

Hip hop master of Common Market fame will surely play some new tracks from his latest album released earlier this year.

Wu Tang Clan – 9:45 PM, Mainstage

Wu Tang returns to Bumbershoot, featuring a collective of hip hop heavy hitters.

August 19, 2014

Five Best of the Week – Chris Staples, Beck, Tacocat + More

For those looking to catch some live music, you’ve come to right place. And by right place, we’re talking about our city. But this site should help you too.

Here are five picks for the rest of the week. See you out there!

As always, head over to our calendar for the long view.

8/19 (Tuesday) Chris Staples, Valley Maker, Jesse Marrow @ The Tractor Tavern

Hushed, narrative-driven pop rock from Seattle’s own Florida-born singer-songwriter [Record release for Chris' superb latest - American Soft]

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August 13, 2014

Chatting Up the ‘Lady: An Interview with Adam Schatz of Landlady, Man Man

Landlady
 

With all the admiration that’s constantly being heaped on some other music cities, we sometimes feel that being music-loving Seattleites is a city-centric version of Stephen Colbert’s “Who’s Not Honoring Me Now” segment. Are we really not worthy of admiration anymore? Clearly we all think we’re still great but it’s always nice to hear people from other places say nice things too.

Songs like Landlady’s “Washington State is Important” offset our fictitious complex. It’s not exactly about music or Seattle but it’s a good song with a positive message about our home state, so we’ll chalk it up as a win for the KEXP crowd. With the good vibes flowing, we set out to chat with Brooklyn’s Adam Schatz [LandladyMan Man, Vampire Weekend (guest musician), many more] and caught up with him last week at the start of the tour in Illinois.

On the tour, Adam gets the rare honor of playing back-to-back sets, first as the frontman with Landlady, then after a short stage change, as part of the Man Man collective. As Adam told us from the road last week, it’s “double the sound checks, double the shows and of course, double the fun.”

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August 11, 2014

5 Great Shows in Seattle This Week

We’re all about simplifying. Here are the best shows in town this week. No more, no less.

See you out there.

8/11 + 8/12 (Monday + Tuesday) Arctic Monkeys @ The Paramount

Hook-laden rock from love-em-or-hate-em Brits

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August 4, 2014

5 Best Concerts of the Week [Early August Edition]

Your place probably doesn’t have AC. Might as well venture out and chill out with some (fellow music) fans.

OK, that lead-in was pretty lame. Sorry about that. It’s just too hot in this room to even… <passes out from heat>.. Wait? What? Where were we? Oh, right. As a token of our apologies, here are the best options of the week in our opinion.

8/5 (Tuesday) Parquet Courts, Naomi Punk, Gag @ The Vera Project

Jagged Malkmus-esque “American punk” rock from Brooklyn

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July 30, 2014

FREE Live Music: Best Summer Shows of 2014 [KEXP, Artist Home + More]

As the saying goes, twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the shows you didn’t see than the ones you did. OK, so that’s a liberal take on Sam Clemens’ maxim but it certainly applies to this important aspect of life as well.

If you’re someone who finds that you aren’t taking in as much live music as you’d like since shows often go late, mean you’ll have to spend beautiful nights inside, cost money, etc., then summer is certainly your season.

We’re always thrilled when August rolls around as that marks that start of our favorite free, outdoor audio experience from KEXP and the Seattle Center. Beyond that one that kicks off this Friday you’ll find some gems in the rest of free* outdoor series, most of which have been running for weeks now.

Concerts at the Mural

KEXP concerts at the mural 2014

At the Seattle Center’s Mural stage, music starts at 5:30

8/1 Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires, Kithkin, Cumulus
8/8 Yppah, Katie Kate, and IG88
8/15 A Place To Bury Strangers, Battleme, and Wimps
8/22 Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Star Anna, and Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands

Out to Lunch Concert Series

Seattle Out to Lunch Concerts

Across the city, music from noon to 1:30pm

7/31 Vaudeville Etiquette  @ City Hall Plaza
8/1 Mango Son @ Waterfront Park
8/6 Chuck Prophet @ Two Union Square)
8/7 Space Theory Presents: Exploring the Deep Connection @ City Hall Plaza
8/8 The Paperboys @ Harbor Steps
8/13 Kris Orlowski @ Two Union Square
8/14 The Horde and the Harem @ City Hall Plaza
8/15 The Dusty 45s @ Harbor Steps
8/20 Vicci Martinez @ Two Union Square
8/21 Rivers, Lakes, and Oceans: Lunch at the Cabin @ City Hall Plaza
8/22 The Maldives @ Occidental Square
8/27 LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends @ Harbor Steps
8/28 The Dip @ City Hall Plaza
8/29 Jovino Santos Neto @ Columbia Center
9/3 Clinton Fearon and the Boogie Brown Band @ Bell Street Park
9/4 Delhi 2 Dublin @ Waterfront Park
9/5 Hey Marseilles @ Freeway Park

Sounds of Summer Concert Series

University Village Concerts

At University Village by the RAM, music from 6:30 to 8:30pm

7/30 Eldridge Gravy and The Court Supreme
8/6 The Paperboys
8/13 Vicci Martinez
8/20 Hit Explosion

One-time (a summer) events

SCMS’s Chamber Music in the Park

Seattle Chamber Mozart and Beethoven Concerts

At Volunteer Park, music starts at 7pm

7/30 Mozart and Beethoven

Artist Home Presents Summer Bonfire Series 2014

Artist Home Summer Bonfire Series 2014

At Golden Gardens, music at 5:30pm

Bands remain a secret until they take the sandy stage

*Goes for all, those who believe in karma and local music would be kind enough to bring cash for donations.

July 28, 2014

Best Seattle Shows of the Week [July 28]

After a bit of a snooze, we’re back and energized to serve up some excellent live music options that will help you make the most of this brilliant mid-summer week. As always, we pour over venue calendars, picks from our fellow bloggers and updates from our favorite artists to give you a short-list of can’t miss shows. Be sure to let us know who else we should include in the weeks ahead.

7/29 (Tuesday) Miniature Tigers, The Griswolds, Scarves @ The Vera Project

Catchy synth-pop from loveable, former power pop enthusiasts

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June 2, 2014

Seattle’s Best Concerts of the Week [Week of 6/2]

SLM_June2

Even though we’re still in the early days of June, this first week is already packing a punch when it comes to music to see. Some new and old favorites are gracing us with their presence this week. Our advice? Get some sunshine and see some music!

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May 20, 2014

Pre-Gorge Best Three Concerts of the Week

New week, another chance to see some excellent live music. As always, here are our top picks.

Be sure to check out our calendar for the long view.

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