Emerald City dwellers, rejoice! After a week chock full of great musical options, our recommendations culminate with the Grand Reopening of Chop Suey in Capitol Hill! We can’t wait to find out if the new owners have stayed true to the original vibe of the venue, but based on the debut lineup, we think the Chop Suey will maintain its superbly gritty underground live music reputation.
For some reason, we often spend time comparing and contrasting the trajectories of our favorite bands and more often than not, are completely at a loss to explain why one band “makes it” while another may spend their whole career in semi- or complete obscurity.
We’re not talking about contrasting the wild success of the Nickelbacks and Kings of Leons of the world with the hardworking, infinitely more talented Damien Jurados and Eef Barzelays that never seem to “break through” (define that as you will).
Instead, the mental Venn diagrams that we often construct involve charting bands that we deem to be of similar skill, song-writing ability and so-called mainstream appeal. It’s in these cases that we’re often unable to figure out why one will end up selling out The Paramount while the other plays to a small but devoted crowd at Chop Suey or whatever the case may be.
In terms of tonight’s SEA live MUSIC picks, that’s exactly the case. As longtime Wilco enthusiasts, we’re thrilled to see Jeff Tweedy and co. get the recognition they deserve – along with the financial incentives that accompany such notoriety. We wholly recommend the band and if you were so lucky to score tickets before they were gone, we know you’ll have a great time at the Paramount tonight.
If you’re looking for another option, we also wholeheartedly recommend another band that also formed in 1994 but has led a very different existence. The Features, headlining Chop Suey tonight, have been cranking out consistently solid, cleverly-worded, rock albums with very little fanfare (in the US anyway – according to Wikipedia, the band has been very well-received in the UK).
Interestingly, some 15 years in, the band’s relative “break” came in being discovered by a very different band, on the other end of the success and arguably talent spectrum, Kings of Leon.
Questionable merit of being endorsed by a band that few will actually publicly endorse aside, The Features truly rank up there as one of the greatest “less-discovered” rock bands of the past two decades.
The Features, Vanaprasta, The Good Hurt @ Chop Suey. Doors at 8 p.m. All Ages.