This week, our music critics have picked everything from a Rare Forms record release show to Los Lobos to Kimya Dawson. Follow the links below for ticket links and music clips for all of their picks, and find even more shows on our complete music calendar.
Join rising Surrey-born rapper Merkules, a two-time Western Canadian Music Award nominee, on this stop of his Special Occasion Tour.
Danny Worsnop, Starbenders
English singer-songwriter Danny Worsnop, best known for his roles in rock bands Asking Alexandria and We Are Harlot, will stop in Seattle on his solo tour with support from Atlanta rockers Starbenders.
Strongly influenced by their chosen namesake, guitarist Django Reinhardt, Pearl Django play Hot Club-style g*psy jazz with intricate finger-picking and a global repertoire.
Shooter Jennings, Jaime Wyatt
If his father’s name opened a few doors, Waylon “Shooter” Jennings had to forge a career in his long, ornery shadow. Though he got his start as an industrial rocker with a fondness for Giorgio Moroder, Shooter found his niche as a practitioner of a particularly crunchy brand of country rock. Along the way, he released his father’s records and even played him in the Johnny Cash biopic I Walk the Line. More recently, he and coproducer Brandi Carlile brought Tanya Tucker back into the limelight with While I’m Livin’, which rightfully topped Rolling Stone‘s best country albums of 2019 list. KATHY FENNESSY
January seems to be the month when all those artists that come to Seattle annually make their way north. Los Lobos land here pretty much every year right around the same time to deliver a multi-night stand at the Triple Door, and 2020 is no exception. You know the Chicano rock band, assuming you’re not too young to have seen the 1987 Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba (the music was Valens as covered and recorded by Los Lobos). These dudes are venerable pros, with longevity (est. 1973) and a huge catalog (21-plus albums) showcasing their distinctive brand of Tex-Mex and traditional Latin American music dosed heavily with elements of rock, country, folk, R&B, blues, Zydeco, and soul. Recent set lists encompass original material, the odd selections off 2019’s Llego Navidad (an LP of Mexican folk songs, holiday songs from Central and South America, and a new original by frontmen David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez), and covers by artists ranging from Grateful Dead to Vicente Fernández to the obligatory Valens nod. LEILANI POLK
3rd Annual Andy King Drum Marathon
Andrew King will attempt to play the drums for five straight hours for the third-ever Andy King Drum Marathon. Featured additional bands will include Reader, Trash Fire, jjjacob jjjames, Subways On the Sun, and more special guests.
Grammy-winning R&B group All-4-One will bust out the lovebird hits they’re famous for—like “I Swear,” “These Arms,” and “So Much In Love”—at this tour stop.
Beethoven Emperor Concerto
Beethoven’s last and most audacious movement, his Fifth Piano Concerto—which is known as the Emperor and which was dedicated to his patron Archduke Rudolf—will be performed here following Mendelssohn’s jubilant Italian Symphony.
What a pedigree Cedric Burnside has. The son of celebrated blues drummer Calvin Jackson and grandson of blues-guitar legend R.L. Burnside, this American drummer/guitarist/vocalist perpetuates the family business with authority. Working with guitarist Lightnin’ Malcolm in the ’00s, Burnside wrought a solid blues-rock catalog that should have been at least as well-known as that of the Black Keys. Burnside’s latest album, 2018’s Benton County Relic, bears a resemblance to John Lee Hooker’s methodical, menacing blues, with his guitar slicing incisively like a rusty dagger and his drums hitting with the finality of nails being driven into coffins. Cedric Burnside’s music is righteously filthy. DAVE SEGAL
Beethoven & Franck
This program will help you exercise all your midwinter feelings. Franck’s Piano Quintet swings from high drama to spare, nostalgic meditations, the sonic equivalent of breaking up with someone in the depths of the monocloud season and feeling absolutely insane about that decision. Meanwhile, Beethoven’s Quintet for Piano and Winds is the promise of spring on a suddenly bright day in late January, the crocus peeking out of the snow. And there’s a dialogue between the clarinet and the bassoon at the end of the second movement that makes me swoon every time. RICH SMITH
Noise Complaint: Dillon Nathaniel
Los Angeles–based DJ-producer Dillon Nathaniel spins bass-heavy beats and grooves to unspool yourself to. An expert of modern house and a virtuoso in the studio, Nathaniel creates quirky, textured tracks that are equal parts moody and low-end. His most recent release, “Do It Again,” devours Xscape’s “Let’s Do It Again” and spits out a sped-up remix with a thumping, growling bass line, spinning the sweet R&B chorus about desire into a hard and energetic house track. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Rezin Tooth, Select Level
Catch the debut performance of the “secret dub side project” of local funk band Polyrhythmics after some analog synth from Select Level.
Local bassist and composer (and Stranger Genius) Evan Flory-Barnes will treat you to his mix of boom-bap, classical, and rock and roll.
DOLL PARTS: A Riot Grrrl Tribute Party
Pretend that Courtney Love and Kathleen Hannah aren’t mortal enemies at this Riot Grrrl dance party with DJ Baby Van Beezly, who will bust out all your favorite feminist anthems by the likes of Hole, Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, and more. Local rockers Whorechata will also play a live set.
High Step Society, General Mojo’s, Filthy Femcorps
Settle in for a night of jazzy beats and electro-swing with High Step Society after additional sets from local psych-rock outfit General Mojo’s and Filthy Femcorps, who bill themselves as “Seattle’s premier all-female and non-binary street band.”
The Rare Forms, Bread and Butter, Razor Clam
This record release show for the Rare Forms’ upcoming LP is bound to be a barrage of filthy fun. Featuring members of the Shivas, VHS, and Marion Walker, the Pacific Northwest supergroup is debuting their premier, self-titled album through Seattle-based label Casino Trash Records. The five-piece band’s brazen rock tales take pyrographic effect with smoky vox and guitar chars. The night’s malefic mood will be well balanced by the feel-good anthems of Bread and Butter, and canorous glam of Razor Clam. DJ 50 Spence will also be hopping onto the turntables to keep the atmosphere amped between sets. AJ DENT
Theo Katzman, Rett Madison
LA-based singer-songwriter Theo Katzman—also known as the drummer for funk band Vulfpeck—will flex his rock and roll roots off his debut album, Heartbreak Hits.
Your Smith, Chelsea Jade
Visually, Your Smith looks like Halsey cosplaying as Katharine Hepburn. Sound-wise, the singer-songwriter lands somewhere between folk and soul-influenced pop standouts like Carly Simon, HAIM, Fleetwood Mac, and Emily King. That is to say, her sensibilities are VERY GAY, and I’m here for every second of it. I’d recommend her body of work anyway, but especially if you’ve got a solo West Coast road trip coming up in which you’d planned to ruminate on the many layers of your sexuality. KIM SELLING
Bowie’s Birthday Bash: BowieVision, SOS
There are a few artists whose deaths might not feel as fresh to me as when they happened, but whose non-existence on this earth still feels a little like a gut-punch when I’m listening to their music. Prince is one. David Bowie is another. Technically, Bowie was my first concert (the first one I remember going to, anyway—my mom dragged me along to a date on his Glass Spider Tour when her girlfriend bailed; I was 7). BowieVision are a well-regarded local seven-piece of Bowie appreciators/musicians (led by singer Stefan Mitchell) who deliver note-perfect, showmanship-savvy selections spanning from earlier career cuts (“Space Oddity,” “The Man Who Sold the World”) to 1970s and ’80s era jams (“Young Americans,” “Fame,” “Ziggy Stardust,” “Modern Love,” “China Girl,” “Let’s Dance”) to 1995’s “I’m Afraid of Americans” (which is so relatable). You’re probably not gonna hear any deep cuts, but that’s not really what these kind of shows are about. Should be a grand old time, nonetheless, though it’d be better (and I’d respect it more) if their set list included something off Blackstar, the album Bowie released right before he passed. Preferably the title track. That shit is fucking brilliant. LEILANI POLK
Kimya Dawson, The Beauty, Nic Masangkay
Local anti-folk stalwart Kimya Dawson will head up this Hollow Earth in-studio with additional sets from anthemic punk band the Beauty and singer-songwriter Nic Masangkay.
This Seattle Opera production brings together the genius of two great Russians: Alexander Pushkin, who wrote the novel in verse, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker), who penned the score. It’s a simple but moving and melancholy story of a young woman who falls in love with a cold-hearted nobleman, an encounter that tragically changes the course of their lives.
EVAN GIIA happens to be a classically trained opera singer, but leans more toward R&B-influenced and electronica-laden dance-pop in her output these days. Join her for a night out on the Hill.
Jeffrey Silverstein, Ever Ending Kicks, Amethyst De Wolfe
Portland guitarist Jeffrey Silverstein’s Nassau duo with Justin Wilcox sounds like a cross between Durutti Column and a less bombastic Fleet Foxes. Their 2017 album Heron elicits peaceful, easy feelings. Now on his own, Silverstein has cut an EP for the great Driftless Recordings titled How on Earth, and the feelings are even more peaceful and easy. (He wrote these pieces while serving as an artist-in-residence at Sou’wester Lodge in Seaview, Washington.) Backed by laid-back drum-machine beats, Silverstein looses spangly globules of six-string magic while occasionally singing in hushed tones. He calls this stuff “ambient-folk songs,” but the emphasis is on the former word. Against the odds, Silverstein has created a sweet strain of chill-out tapestries that’s as relaxing as a trip to your favorite nature retreat… which may be in Seaview. DAVE SEGAL