February 23, 2015

Something for Everyone: Best Live Music in Seattle [week of 2/23]

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One of the best things about living in the Emerald City is the fact that on any given night there’s usually music to fit any fancy, and today’s post is further proof. From folksy singer-songwriter tunes, to electro-dance mashups, to local grunge-metal, our recommendations run the gamut this week.

2/24 (Tuesday) Brett Harris, Kevin Murphy @ Sunset Tavern

Member of Big Star’s Third and solo artist joins forces with the Moondoggies frontman for an evening of downtempo indie rock.

2/27 (Friday) Kawehi @ Barboza

A talented vocalist, a keyboard, and some great looping gear = skillful and spritely dance (re)mixes.

2/28 (Saturday) Sandrider, Kinski @ Neumos

Easily one of the best metal bands in the PacNW these days, and one of our Bumbershoot faves.

February 9, 2015

Feel the Love: Best Concerts of the Week [Feb. 9]

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Valentine’s Day week is upon us, and we suggest a non-traditional celebration for you (and your significant other, if you have one). Skip the expected chocolates and roses and instead opt for a memorable evening taking in some great music with a couple Heinekens. There are plenty of good options this week, whether you want to celebrate with a sweetheart or go solo.

2/10 (Tuesday) Dr. Dog, Hanni El-Khatib @ The Showbox

Philly’s finest bring their unique brand of lo-fi, 60s-infused indie pop to The Showbox.

2/13 (Friday) Billy Idol @ The Paramount

1980’s British pop icon is back with more blonde hair and a brand new album.

2/14 (Saturday) Hozier @ The Paramount

The Irish-born singer songwriter has taken the world by storm with his heavy and soulful ballads.

2/15 (Sunday) Cursive @ Neumos

Critically acclaimed indie rock heroes with clever lyrics and turn of the millennium (in a good way) sensibilities. 

January 19, 2015

Weekly Best Bets: Seattle Concerts for the Week of 1/19

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This is a big week for music in our little corner of the country. Just as we wipe the tears from our eyes from the farewell show at Chop Suey, we’re reminded that Seattle’s music scene is still very much alive and well. This week kicks off with a set from punk’s poet laureate Patti Smith. As if that wasn’t enough musical prowess so early in the week, that show is followed by a (pre-announed but still) surprise club show from Seattle’s claim-to-indie-fame Death Cab for Cutie. After a couple days to recover from all that musical goodness, we wrap the week with a set from Portland’s Loch Lomond opening for another legendary group, The Vaselines.

Does it really get much better than this?

1/19 (Monday) Patti Smith @ The Moore

Female punk rock legend who infuses personal, artful lyrics and commanding rock melodies.

1/20 (Tuesday) Death Cab for Cutie, Say Hi @ The Crocodile

Seattle indie rock superstars surprise fans with an intimate club show supported by fellow Seattle indie artist Say Hi.

1/24 (Saturday) The Vaselines, Loch Lomond @ Neumos

Portland’s whimsical indie artists Loch Lomond opens for Scottish alt-rock darlings.

January 16, 2015

Have Weekend Plans? Seattle’s Can’t Miss Music for 1/17 & 1/18

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Inevitably after the rush of the holidays there’s a lull in the city. We all need a few days to catch our breaths, remember what it’s like to wake up early for work, and think of creative ways to work off the extra calories we’ve consumed in Christmas cocktails cookies. The music scene tends to fall into a lull as well, knowing full well that music fans will be distracted with merry making outside the music venues.

The good news is that we’ve all made it through the lull and the Emerald City music scene is stirring from its slumber in preparation of the spring tour season. Take, for example, this weekend’s stellar lineup.

1/17 (Saturday) Laura Gibson, Valley Maker @ Fremont Abbey Arts

Portland’s favorite songstress teams up with Seattle’s Valley Maker for a mellow, moving night of deeply personal and gorgeously crafted indie folk.

1/18 (Sunday) Another One Bites the Dust: TacocaT, Pony Time, Kithkin, Chastity Belt @ Chop Suey

Bid adieu to the one, the only, Chop Suey in Capitol Hill with a farewell bash that is sure to go down in Seattle music history. (And say a little prayer that the venue will be back in some form or another in the near future!)

November 28, 2014

We’re Thankful For… Bumbershoot [In Photos]

Not to get too sentimental, but sometimes it is important to take a step back and admire all the wonderful things about life. Whether it’s family, friends, trips, pets, health or living down the block from your favorite coffee shop, we can all find something in life to be grateful for.

The SLM team has a lot to be thankful for this year. We have been able to attend some amazing concerts and talk to some incredible musicians. Anyone who claims “music isn’t as good as it used to be” just hasn’t been looking in the right places  – we’re grateful to be able to find new music we’re excited to share with our friends and readers every week.

One of the experiences we’re thankful for every year continues to be Bumbershoot. Hopefully you took us up on some of our recommended performances for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3, and even more importantly, hopefully you were glad you did.

Here’s to another great Bumbershoot at Seattle Center this past September and some of the scenes we love looking back on from the festival.

November 27, 2014

Apparently Thanksgiving Playlists Are a Thing, Here’s Ours

Thanksgiving! A day where Americans get gluttonous with feasts, friends, family and football. Most of us even have the day off work and/or school to soak in the gravy revelry.

You have your elastic waistband to accommodate the food overload, but what can help mentally prepare you for the family overload? We usually turn to our some favorite artists in times like these, so we’ve put together a list of our top 10 “Thanksgiving” tracks. The below list focuses on the themes of loved ones, dinner and, at the risk of sounding trite, being thankful (without the blatant cheesiness of Adam Sandler’s “Thanksgiving Song”).

We hope at least a couple of these songs will find their way onto your own playlist for Turkey Day.

 

“Thank You Girl” – The Beatles

 

“Cousins” – Vampire Weekend

 

“I Am Part of a Large Family” – Great Lake Swimmers

 

“Thanksgiving Song” – The National

 

“Dinner Bells” – Wolf Parade

 

“Thanks for Nothing” – Middle Brother

 

“Friends and Family” – River City Extention

 

“Thank You Friends” – Big Star

 

“Don’t Thank Me” – French Kicks

 

“Bare Feast” – Ratatat

November 25, 2014

SEA live Spotlight: Hypnotic Grooves from Elliot Moss Debut, Highspeeds

In our line of work hobby, we come across a proverbial {insert Thanksgiving word here} cornucopia of great emerging artists. Occasionally we come across such an exceptional talent that causes us to break from our standard week-of their Seattle show preview posts. For such burst-at-the-seams-if-we-don’t-share moments we’re kick-starting a brand new series on the blog called SEA live Spotlight. Up first, we introduce you to Elliot Moss.

He’s one of those rare combinations of singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, which seems like entirely too much talent for one person. Hailing from New York, he is already making a splash with his debut album, Highspeeds, and opening for the Cold War Kids on a national tour (which will be coming through Seattle in February). Much like Washed Out, Elliot recorded and mixed an excellent record largely on his own. Of course he did.

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Highspeeds features dark, chic grooves suitable for everything from a long nighttime drive, an afternoon of studying or a sophisticated dinner party. The album’s slow, slinky beats drive layers of swaying keyboard and synth melodies, topped with Elliot’s downbeat lyrics – a blend that flawlessly balances background ambiance and intriguing digital ditties.

Faraday Cage, one of the standout tracks on the album, perfectly encapsulates Elliot’s style. The song is eerie and hypnotic, with Elliot’s breathy voice acting as the spotlight that slowly fades in and out of the backdrop of lilting synth and jazzy percussion.

We also love the title track, Highspeeds. It features Elliot’s layered vocal tracks to highlight the deeply personal lyrics, some trance-inducing looping and a few outer space style flourishes. The song feels expansive yet personal, perfectly matching the song’s sentiment of letting go.

Really, you should check out the album for the full experience. It’s a great listen from beginning to end, and you’ll instantly want to hit replay once the album finishes.

Of course, if you enjoy what you hear, head over to Showbox to get tickets for his opening slot supporting Cold War Kids on Friday, February 20.

November 24, 2014

Best Live Music of the Week – 11/24

Hello readers! Welcome back to our regularly scheduled programming of weekly music recommendations.

As you prepare to give thanks for your mom’s turkey and apple pie later this week, we’re giving thanks that the Emerald City can boast such amazing venues and artists. See below for a quick glance at the best live shows this week.

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11/26 (Wednesday) Bryan John Appleby, Shenandoah Davis, James Wallace @ Fremont Abbey Arts Center

This month’s installment of music at the Abbey features three talented, bluesy, indie singer-songwriters.

11/28 (Friday) Noah Gundersen, Rocky Votolato @ The Moore

Up-and-coming singer songwriter joins one of Seattle’s tried-and-true songsmiths at one of the loveliest venues in the city.

11/29 (Saturday) Black Whales (album release), The Young Evils, Timbre Barons, @ The Tractor Tavern

The 1960’s-influenced folk garage band Black Whales releases their latest collection of raw, psychedelic pop tunes.

November 17, 2014

Where in the World is SLM? Q&A Reveals All!

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Much like everyone’s favorite grade-school mystery woman Carmen Sandiego, SEAliveMUSIC has been MIA. Also much like Ms. Sandiego, we’ve done a little globetrotting.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions from our friends and readers, so we’d like to address these inquiries. You’ve (possibly) enjoyed many an interview with musicians here on the ol’ blog, so now here’s a short Q&A from the team on the future of SLM.

Readers: Um, where are my music recos? Are you guys majorly slacking or what?

SLM: We know, we know. We’ve been preoccupied. The SLM team has actually moved. Across the world. To another continent. Remember a little band called The Beatles? We’re living in their homeland now. So as you might imagine (and have likely seen), the  blog has suffered (more than) a little in the transition.

Readers: But… but… why?

SLM: SLM co-founder and master new-music-finder Matt is going to business school in England. It was a great opportunity and a nice excuse to do some immersive research into the British music scene.

Readers: Come back to Seattle, please.

SLM: We will! We love Seattle and it’s our home. We’ll be in England for at least a year for school, and maybe a year or two for work after that, but we fully intend on coming back home at some point.

Readers: So is the blog on hiatus while you gallivant around Europe? That’s selfish. We need music!

SLM: Never fear, dear readers. While we did take a short hiatus to pack up our lives, move to a new country, find an apartment… sorry,  flat… and figure out how to unlock our cell phones, SLM will live on! Even though we’re across the globe doesn’t mean we don’t still care very much about the local scene in Seattle. So we’ll be starting up our weekly posts, calendar updates and artist interviews within the next week or so. 

Readers: OK, that’s not so bad. In that case, can we come visit you?

SLM: Of course! We love visitors, and we’d love to show you around our little English town. In fact, we’re near some fantastic music venues in the Bristol area, and near some great places in England that mean a lot to music. Ever heard of a little band called Portishead? The town of Portishead is just a short train ride away. Liverpool and the Beatles, Stornoway and the band Stornoway… it’s great. Lots of music history and tourist activities. We’re fully planning on blocking traffic on Abbey Way  soon. Come on out and we’ll rock our (temporarily) British hearts out.

In the meantime though, visit us virtually here on the blog for all the latest recommendations on great live music in the Emerald City. We’re with you in spirit, Seattle friends.

September 1, 2014

Bumbershoot Day 3: Top Picks

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Adapting to festival life isn’t so hard. Our brains have already adjusted to thinking, “Oh, this is our life now. We rush around Seattle Center all day listening to amazing music. I guess we live here now.” But alas, silly brains. That is not the case. For today is the final day of Bumbershoot (queue gentle weeping and cries of “NOOOOO!!!”).

Maybe we should save the weeping for tomorrow morning when it’s back to work and “normal” life, whatever that is. So for now, let’s rejoice and revel in the fact that today boasts another amazing lineup of music! Hurrah!

DAY 3 – MONDAY, SEPT. 1

La Luz – 12:30 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Sweet vocals over strong surf undertones from the Emerald City.

Smokey Brights – 1:45 PM, Pavilion Stage

Country-tinged rock with a PacNW twist.

Rose Windows – 3:30 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Hometown, female-fronted ethereal retro-rock that keeps it sludgy yet buoyant. 

Julianna Barwick – 5:30 PM, Pavilion Stage

Atmospheric and echoy Iceland-inspired melodies from a Brooklyn-based vocalist.

Hurray for the Riff Raff – 6:15 PM, Starbucks Stage

Knee-slapping Appalachian mountain music from a Puerto Rican virtuoso.

Nada Surf – 7:00 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Legendary Brooklyn indie-rockers with a penchant for intertwining the highs and lows of life.

Jacco Gardner – 8:15 PM, End Zone Stage

Cinematic, psychedelic indie-pop from a young, Dutch 60’s enthusiast.

Real Estate – 9:00 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Pleasantly hazy surf-tinged indie-rock from the Garden State.

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