Without further ado, here are the very best bets of the weekend. Sure, there are other great options possibly worthy of your time and cash but we deem these the absolute worthiest of the pack. Enjoy.
Quite a variety this week. From a solo set from a favorite former Seattleite to relative newcomers to legends from Seattle and beyond, this week has something for fans of many styles and many geographies. As always, check out our calendar for a longer look at what has caught our eyes.
1/29 (Tuesday) – Father John Misty @ Neptune Theatre
The lauded, swagger-filled (post Fleet Foxes) alter-ego of Josh Tillman of Foxes and J. Tillman (solo) fame returns to the U District as a headliner two days after his pre-The Walkmen set
2/1 (Friday) – Brite Lines w/ Pocket Panda @ Columbia City Theater
Poppy, self-described “electic, Electro-Americana” purveyors Brite Lines play with fellow fans of lushly orchestrated folk-tinged melodies (and fellow Seattleites) Pocket Panda
2/1 (Friday) and 2/2 (Saturday) – Ken Stringfellow w/ The Maldives @ The Tractor
Local power pop legend of The Posies and Big Star fame (among many others), Ken Stringfellow plays two highly anticipated nights trading headlining duties with The Maldives
1/31 (Thursday) – 2/3 (Sunday) – Dr. John and His All-New Band @ Jazz Alley
New Orleans’ iconic growl-voiced pianist brings his eclectic blend of blues, soul, rock, pop and jazz to the Emerald City with some of the finest side-players around today
While we witness the proverbial phoenix rising in many aspects of our lives, the world of music may in fact be the true aviary for such rebirth. Well before Wings took flight following the finality of the Fab Four and arguably to an even greater degree since, second acts for musicians have served as the ultimate silver lining for music fans bummed out by the demise of past favorites.
This week, here in Jet City, we’re thrilled to recommend two first-rate shows born out of a favorite local act of the not-too-distant past, Fleet Foxes.
Poor Moon, a band that counts past Fleet Foxes Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott as founding members, embraces the love for rich harmony that served as the foundation of the Foxes sound and marries with it a love for retro-leaning melodies with pop flourishes. Their lyrics rejoice in the simple beauty of everyday life, and prove that simple arrangements are both elegant and powerful. The band will play Neumos tonight.
On the other side of the spectrum, Father John Misty frontman (and former Foxes drummer) Josh Tillman use his commanding vocal prowess as a largely dominant centerpiece of his sonically adventurous and often vaudeville-tinged tunes. While FJM certainly leans on tight harmonies from time to time, the prettiness of the backing vocals take a backstage to Tillman’s rich narratives of psychedelic misadventures and spiritual awakenings. Tillman and his band will play Neumos on Friday.
9/20 Poor Moon / Tom Eddy / Pollens @ Neumos :: Doors at 8:00 PM :: $12 :: 21+
9/21 Father John Misty / Jenny O. @ Neumos ::Doors at 8:00 PM :: $16 :: 21+
If you’re not going to at least one of these shows, your friends might finally hold that intervention about you needing to reassess your claim about being a music fan. Another great week ahead. Top picks below.
9/18 (Tuesday) – Sondre Lerche @ The Crocodile
Norwegian singer-songwriter noted for his clever wordplay and his pop sensibilities
9/18 (Tuesday) – Animal Collective @ The Paramount Theatre
The most sonically adventurous, often polarizing group in Maryland’s history
9/19 (Wednesday) – Reptar @ Neumos
The Athens-based dance-pop quartet is back after their celebrated Concerts at The Mural performance
9/20 (Thursday) – Poor Moon @ Neumos
One of the finest Fleet Foxes side-projects you’ll hear all week
9/21 (Friday) – Father John Misty @ Neumos
The lauded, swagger-filled (post Fleet Foxes) alter-ego of Josh Tillman of Foxes and J. Tillman (solo) fame returns to his favorite Seattle venue
9/22 (Saturday) – The Raveonettes @ Neumos
Hook-laden, distortion-heavy rock from everyone’s favorite Danish duo from the past decade
9/22 (Saturday) – The Shins @ Paramount Theatre
Everyone’s favorite Portland-by-way-of-Albuquerque band featuring current pride of Seattle, Jessica Dobson
Despite the storm, we’re making the trek up to Capitol Hill for the first night of the appropriately named Capitol Hill Block Party. Not only is it known for being one of the premier hipster-spotting events in Seattle, or the event that makes it impossible to find parking on the hill, but there are also some musical gems awaiting our eager ears. Whether they’re staples of your music collection or slightly under your radar, you won’t want you to miss these great acts.
Today’s best sets are below… we’ll see you there!
Father John Misty | 4:00 pm • Main Stage
You may remember our rave preview of J. Tillman’s new act, and we can’t emphasize enough how much you need to leave work early to catch his set.
Youth Lagoon | 6:30 pm • Main Stage
“Youth Lagoon’s tunes are like taking a dreamy, auditory swim through memories that you never had, but seem familiar nonetheless.” [SEAliveMUSIC]
Fly Moon Royalty | 7:00 pm • Vera Stage
A must-see that we previously described: “The Seattle duo perfectly blends R&B with electronica which results in a velvety, danceable mashup of sonic goodness.
Colonies | 7:30 pm • Barboza Stage
A new find that we think “builds on these subtle touch-points of the earlier work of bands like Death Cab for Cutie and even some aspects of Modest Mouse and layers upon it their penchant for more atmospheric soundscapes.”
Nouela | 8:30 pm • Barboza Stage
The frontwoman of “People Eating People” decided on an appropriate name-change for her piano driven indie rock.
Thee Oh Sees | 7:45 pm • Main Stage
A primal blend of low-fi, post punk, psychedelic rock that you should check out if you can’t get to Colonies.
Fitz and the Tantrums | 10:45 pm • Main Stage
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: this combination of vintage soul with modern day dance music will literally force you to dance. Put your preconceived notions on the shelf and go see this band live. You’ll thank us later.
Some samples of tonight’s best picks:
We’ve been fans of Josh Tillman for quite a while. From his solo stuff (as the more mysterious and melanchonic J. Tillman), to his time on the throne with the Fleet Foxes, we’ve always appreciated his commanding voice and his unparallelled musicianship.
His latest project, Father John Misty, goes above and beyond all his previous contributions in our book. With tinges of psychedelic rock layered over thoughtful folk rock arrangements and signature harmonies, the result is an album full of songs that are sad and dark, yet catchy and accessible.
While we don’t often quote descriptors cited by press materials, SubPop offered some great ones we feel capture a few more obscure dimensions of inspiration perfectly. Along with other apt comparisons, SubPop asserts Father John Misty’s lyrics elicit “the hedonist-philosophy of Oscar Wilde and the dried-out wit of Loudon Wainwright III.”
With a confidence and swagger we’ve never seen from him before, Josh Tillman has come into his own. And musically speaking, that’s a great thing.
Watch the two videos below to get a taste of what’s in store and don’t miss the live experience at Neumos tonight. We expect it will be one of the best shows of the year.
5/7 Father John Misty / Har Mar Superstar @ Neumos :: Doors at $8 :: Tickets are $13 :: 21+
Much like Damien Jurado‘s drastic evolution with Maraqopa and J. Tillman’s creative rebirth as Father John Misty, tonight’s Neumos headliners had grown so tired with the over-abundance of “folk” references from critics, fans and everyone in between they decided to try something new.
According to Delta Spirt‘s press materials, the pigeon-holing was especially jarring to the band as they never set out to be a band who would attract broad descriptors like “rootsy Americana” or “twangy folk.”
The band, fronted by “former unabashedly vocal busker,” Matt Vasquez, just released their third album that attempts to thoughtfully and gradually strip away those elements that attracted such terminology in the first place. According to lyricist and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich, “the intention was to introduce the album with something that hints at what we used to sound like. We wanted to ease people into it.”
If the mostly positive reviews are to believed, they’ve certainly succeeded. As Consequence of Sound aptly puts it, “Delta Spirit’s breadth still demonstrates a natural quantum leap from their earlier work, and the band itself is stronger for it.”
Whether you’re a fan of their older sound, are curious about the new one or are just up for a night of high-energy rock that walks the fine line between unbridled passion and control, head over to Neumos tonight for what will promises to be one of the best Seattle shows of the month.
5/4 Delta Spirit, Waters, Tijuana Panthers @ Neumos, Doors at 8 pm, $13