A new week, another chance to see some exceptional live music. You could also wind up at some pretty lame shows.
Luckily we’re looking out for you.
Seattle's Best Concerts, In-Stores and More
OK, so it’s Wednesday and we’re just now getting our weekly recs up. Sorry about that.
Long story short, we’re no longer on speaking terms with our snooze alarm.
In good news, we’re happy to report the best of the week is still to come. This week brings some of our favorite new and old, local and beyond musicians to some of Seattle’s best venues.
At first glance this week seemed to be sorely lacking in good shows. However, with a little digging, we uncovered some gems for the most discerning of Emerald City music fans. We’re pleased to recommend some pretty intimate shows this week as well, with the largest venue being the Showbox SoDo, so you can get up close and personal with some great artists this week.
And, if it was a competition to see which venue can book the greatest number of recommendable shows for the week, we’d give the trophy to Sunset Tavern, one of our favorite little Ballard venues, as its calendar is looking pretty great this week!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another day at Bumbershoot, another opportunity to double-book yourself for the same time slot. It’s easy to feel conflicted at festivals where there’s so much great music to see and so little time in the day. Today is no exception, with a really tough decision facing us during the 8:00 hour.
DAY 2: Big Star’s Third (8:00 PM, Starbucks Stage) vs. Pickwick (8:15 PM, Fisher Green Stage)
Big Star might be the most important band you’ve never heard of. Formed in the early 1970s, the band has been hugely influential to other acts you may have heard of: REM, The Replacements, Teenage Fan Club, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Flaming Lips, Wilco and the Afghan Wigs, just to name a few. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, including distribution snafus, the radio trends of the time and in-band fighting paring down the foursome to just two in a matter of years, Big Star wasn’t privy to the limelight like they deserved. However, they did get quite popular in the UK in the late ’70s and have been picking up steam everywhere ever since. For good reason, they’ve have been referred to as “America’s #1 cult band” by Revolver. After the unfortunate passing of frontman Alex Chilton and bassist Andy Hummel in 2010, original drummer Jody Stephens pieced together a notable lineup to play Big Star’s third record for the (now) adoring masses. And rumor has it, a few very special guests will join the band on stage this evening.
That’s why Big Star narrowly beats out local funk favorites, Pickwick, in today’s Bumbershoot-out. Don’t get us wrong – Pickwick is fantastic. Originally they started as a local indie-folk group that had trouble getting much traction in the scene. But then, as a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly, the band when through a metamorphosis – or at least a musical epiphany – and mixed in some funk and soul into their craft. Voila, a star is born. Unassuming frontman Galen Disston has a powerful, emotive voice that suits the band’s style perfectly. And as if that isn’t reason enough to enjoy Pickwick, local Grammy winner Kory Kruckenberg mans the vibraphone and produces the band’s albums.
See, tough decision, right? But history has the edge here so make sure you catch at least some of Big Star’s set. But really this is a win-win situation.
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