This week showcases some of the finest Seattle-based acts playing around the city. In fact, we’re only recommending one non-Seattle act this week, meaning there’s a lot of local music love to be had!
It’s hard to believe the calendar already says “June.” But that means that we’re ramping up to the summer tour season! The bands we’re highlighting this week run the gamut in terms of music styles – from gypsy folk to alt-punk to indie rock. Enjoy!
3/5 (Tuesday) – Matt Pond
PA @ The Crocodile
Lyrically-driven indie rock with the ability to evoke that certain mood of sadness mixed with optimism.
3/5 (Tuesday) – Passion Pit @ Paramount Theatre
Synthy dance-pop that made the #1 spot on the CMJ charts last summer.
3/6 (Wednesday) – Morrissey @ The Moore Theatre
Highly influential former Smiths frontman with an amazing falsetto.
You don’t have to contain your 4th of July celebrations to Wednesday. At least not when it comes to enjoying good music around our Emerald City. Another reason to celebrate? All Seattle residents know that the 5th of July is the official start to our PacNW summer. So three cheers for all the great concerts this week!
7/2 (Monday) – Audra Mae @ Tractor
Soulful country crooner from LA by way of Oklahoma.
7/5 (Thursday) – The Torn ACLs @ Tractor
Fun-times pop rock from Seattle.
7/4 (Wednesday) – Pickwick @ Gasworks Park
Have a blast at the Family 4th Celebration with your favorite indie-folk-turned-soul band from Seattle.
7/6 (Friday) – Bryan John Appleby @ Columbia City Theater
Thoughtful, folk-tinged acoustic melodies from one of Seattle’s finest singer-songrwriters.
7/6 (Friday) – Lower Dens @ Barboza
Multifaceted, ethereal experimental rock from Baltimore.
7/7 (Saturday) – The Moondoggies @ Barboza
Driving, Americana-infused melodic rock from Ballard.
7/7 (Saturday) – The Next Fifty Play The First Fifty featuring Vendetta Red, Grand Hallway, Fly Moon Royalty, Seacats, Candysound, Special Explosion, Brothers From Another, Dungeon Science @ The Mural
Free show Seattle Center’s Mural Ampitheater featuring local acts playing original songs interspersed with covers of legends of PacNW.
7/7 (Saturday) – The Cloud War (formerly Brother Bear) @ Tractor Tavern
Indie folk pop with a vaudeville twist from Seattle.
Along with Ships, our first recommendation this week week, Lost Lander is another more recent “discovery” for us. We’d missed the fact that the ocassionally still relevant granddaddy of music pubs Rolling Stone profiled the band for their excellent “Afraid of Summer” this past January.
The band plays an intricate variety of pop-infused rock that fans of acts like Ramona Falls and Menomena should find comfortingly familiar as Lost Lander’s debut sees Breff Knopf of Ramona Falls and Menomena fame in the producer’s chair. The band also features Matt Sheehey along with other musicians who rank up there as some of Portland’s finest.
If you like what you’ve heard so far, be sure to head down to Columbia City to take in the in-person experience for yourself. They are supporting Lemolo’s album release this evening.
6/29 Lemolo / Lost Lander / Kaylee Cole / Slow Skate @ Columbia City Theater :: 9:00 PM :: $10 advance :: 21+
We don’t know about you, but we could use a mid-week pick-me-up in the form of some beautifully crafted songs. Luckily for everyone, Patrick Watson is playing at the Columbia City Theater tonight.
With evocative arrangements that are more complex with every listen, and rich, high-range vocals that would make Bon Iver swoon, the Montreal-based group has been on a slow-but-steady trajectory to international acclaim. They create music that might be better fit for the big screen instead of a small club stage, and frontman Patrick has, in fact, scored film soundtracks in his earlier years as a musician. Both cinematic and classic, Patrick Watson is sure to turn into one of your new favorite artists.
Don’t miss Patrick and his band tonight at Columbia City Theater with opener Cat Martino.
6/13 Patrick Watson / Cat Martino @ Columbia City Theater :: Doors at 7:30 p.m. :: Tickets are $15 :: 21+
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band have certainly gone through a lot in the past few years. From a well-planned debut shrouded in mystery to an extreme amount of success on the local and national scene to band reorgs to family issues to more band reorgs, the band’s seen nearly as much a young band can see on a personal and professional level. With a backstory that for years was more compelling than their music, the band’s really starting to come into its own as frontman Benjamin Verdoes comes to terms with a trying recent past.
While the focus of the Sound on the Sound-hosted night rightly is on the rebirth of MSHVB and subsequent EP release, we highly recommend getting their early to see the opening bands. In particular, Wintersleep promises to put on a great show as the Juno Award-winning band translates their orchestral, expansive radio-ready indie rock to an intimate venue like CCT. The Nova Scotia band will pull from its past decade of intelligent, guitar-driven rock songs that feature enough pop-savvy to make everyone in the audience question why they haven’t heard more about this band all along. All in all, tonight’s Columbia City Theater offering is one you definitely won’t want to miss.
6/1 Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Wintersleep, You Are Plural @ Columbia City Theater, Doors at 9 pm, $12
Best known for her work The Shins and Beck, Jessica Dobson has been putting out music via her solo project-turned-band Deep Sea Diver since 2007. As the band says in their bio, they’ve gotten “comparisons to early Cat Power and PJ Harvey” so fans of intelligently-penned, female fronted rock should be pleased with the band’s latest offering “History Speaks.”
Take a listen below, watch the excellent Tyler Kalberg video from Sound on the Sound below, and if you like what you hear, head over to Columbia City Theater for the album release show tonight.
2/24 Deep Sea Diver, Soft Hills, Daniel G Harmann @ Columbia City Theater, Doors at 9pm, $10
We like it when people are able to take something old and obsolete, and turn it into something new and shiny. In music, it’s always intriguing when musicians are able to revive passé musical styles and add some pizzazz to create a new genre that is entirely its own.
Combining vaudeville sensibilities and a modern pop twist, Brother Bear offers an entrancing blend of good ol’ saloon tunes with today’s flavor of indie pop rock.
Brother Bear is supporting Smokey Brights tonight at Columbia City Theater in south Seattle.
1/13 Smokey Brights / Brother Bear / Sean Flinn & the Royal We @ Columbia City Theater :: Doors @ 9:00 PM :: $8 :: 21+
As more and more of our friends outside of the Seattle area are falling in love with The Head and The Heart, we’ve been seeing more interest in our musical ramblings. With increasing frequency and intensity, these friends are asking us to recommend Seattle area bands that we’d classify as kindred spirits.In addition to Ivan & Alyosha, who we wrote about yesterday as having a polished indie (slightly) folk pop sound, the more rustic Campfire OK is the band that gets some of the strongest reactions. This comes as little surprise as local blogs, starting with Sound on the Sound, have been lining up with their allegiance. With harmonies reminiscent of Midlake and down-home, syncopated instrumentation, Campfire OK has piqued interest both locally and nationally with their recently released debut album, Strange Like We Are. If you’d like to experience the band for yourself, head to Columbia City Theater tonight to see the band in action.
2/5 at Columbia City Theatre :: Campfire OK :: Koko & The Sweetmeats :: Bryan John Appleby :: 9 p.m. :: $10