The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

Seattle City of Music Awards / Wednesday, October 6

There's a reason the 21-member Seattle Music Commission selected alt-country darling Brandi Carlile to receive a City of Music Award. Carlile's raw, emotional songs are both commercially friendly ("The Story" and a handful of other tracks were famously heard on Grey's Anatomy) and critically lauded (über-producer Rick Rubin took the reins on last year's Give Up the Ghost). But to give Carlile the Breakthrough Award, though deserved, seems a little late. Carlile "broke through" in 2004, when Columbia signed her; if anything, she should be recognized for the continual meteoric rise of her career over the past six years. At least the two other recipients—Gerard Schwarz, in his 26th season as music director of the Seattle Symphony, being recognized for Outstanding Achievement, and jazz-band directors Clarence Acox (Garfield High) and Scott Brown (Roosevelt), jointly receiving the Impact Award—are spot on. With Northern Departure, M.O.V., the Garfield and Roosevelt High School Jazz All-Stars, a Brandi Carlile special video performance, and a Big Brass Tribute to Gerard Schwarz. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. PAIGE RICHMOND

Frightened Rabbit / Thursday, October 7

Lyrical honesty is an oft-discussed and intensely debated topic among musicians and fans alike. Some claim to represent it, some fake it, and some pretend it doesn't matter. But to hear this Scottish five-piece lament about a lover whispering the wrong name into your ear, only to ignore the slight in favor of the company—that's soul-baring. What began as frontman Scott Hutchinson toying with a 4-track eventually blossomed into an outfit (a few guitars, keys, bass, and drums) responsible for haunting, layered melodies that complement the equally haunting vocals. And though seven years of touring and recording has translated into a more polished sound, Frightened Rabbit's lovably rugged charm isn't out of reach. With Plants and Animals, Bad Veins. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $17.50 adv./$20 DOS. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

Joseph Giant / Thursday, October 7

Conor Byrne is truly one of Seattle's best-kept secrets when it comes to discovering promising new local talent (most recently, the Head and the Heart got its start here). The gently weathered space's warm brick walls and vintage fixtures exude an ambience and acoustics that make it an ideal platform for singer/songwriters. Joseph Giant will undoubtedly sound lovely under Conor's 14-foot ceilings; band leader Joe Syverson (formerly of the Final Spins) is a curiously compelling vocalist who spins lovelorn tales of doubt and redemption against a backdrop of furiously strummed, bright guitars. With Falcon, Andrew Norsworthy. Conor Byrne, 5140 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-3640. 9 p.m. $7. HANNAH LEVIN

Nomeansno / Thursday, October 7

I like to dream of an alternate universe where the long-running Vancouver post-punk trio Nomeansno—equally shaped by jazz, hardcore, and noise rock—is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while Bon Jovi sits out in the cold, alone and ignored. Where Walmart pipes 1989's brilliant Wrong into its stores and no one is horrified by the strains of "Rags and Bones" or "Big Dick." Where people line up outside enormodomes days in advance, dressed like founding brothers John and Rob Wright, to see Nomeansno in concert while Lady Gaga has trouble filling a broom closet. It'll never happen, but as Jake Barnes says at the end of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, "Isn't it pretty to think so?" With Ford Pier, The Ruby Doe. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Alice in Chains / Friday, October 8

So Alice in Chains has a new lead singer. So what? It's not that replacing a dead legend isn't worth getting worked up over, it's that Alice in Chains isn't. Truth be told, they were negligibly better than Candlebox. Their genius, if you can call it that, was simply a matter of timing: When grunge became huge, Alice in Chains was in its prime. Or, shall we say, sub-prime: Cacophonous minor chords with whiny vocals might be some people's bag of sugar-studded pecans, but for most, it was fucking ear torture. Yeah, they rocked, but given the severe fun deficit in their music, they never rolled. Hence, ambivalence is the proper way to greet the new guy (who sort of looks like Lenny Kravitz); go to this show for Mastodon instead. With Deftones, Mastodon. Key Arena, 305 Harrison St., 682-8225. 7 p.m. $27.50–$63. All ages. MIKE SEELY

Come Together: The Music of John Lennon / Saturday, October 9

Had the disturbed psyche of Mark David Chapman not led him to gun down one of the world's most talented musical minds on December 8, 1980, John Lennon would turn 70 today. To celebrate his life and work, an impressive cache of Seattle musicians will take the Triple Door stage tonight. While the entire lineup is stellar, it's the renderings by pop savant Rusty Willoughby and sardonic raconteur John Roderick that have the most potential to adroitly channel Lennon's genius. With Star Anna & the Laughing Dogs, Kristen Ward, Gary Westlake. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7 p.m. $23 adv./$25 DOS. All ages. HANNAH LEVIN

The Corin Tucker Band / Friday, October 8 See the music lead.

k-os / Friday, October 8

Despite any impressions his name might impart, Toronto MC k-os (pronounced "chaos") actually incorporates funk and reggae into his hip-hop rather than black metal. That said, he's not one to shy away from railing against and remolding his genre—a policy that's earned him multi-platinum success in his home country and underground acclaim in the States. Fresh off the release of his Anchorman Mixtape—which yes, includes plenty of Ron Burgundy content culled from the film of that name, as well as an appearance from fellow Canadian Drake—his "Born To Run" tour promises to keep entertaining without pulling punches. With a name that stands for "knowledge of self" and an artistic outlook that includes Otis Redding and the Sex Pistols under the hip-hop umbrella, nothing with k-os is exactly as it seems. With Shad, Astronautalis. Nectar Lounge, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 9 p.m. $15. NICK FELDMAN

Eels / Saturday, October 9

In rock and roll, self-indulgence tends to rear its ugly head in one of two ways. At worst, it manifests in 30-minute solos, onstage temper tantrums, and multimillion-dollar studio bills. On the flipside, it can go the way of Eels mastermind Mark Oliver Everett. Everett, who goes by "E," frequently obscures himself onstage, releases concept-record trilogies, and exhibits the kind of artistic temperament that makes your fans fiercely loyal and your music painfully honest—and gives you the kahoonas to employ a drummer named Puddin'. Both veins of crazy find commonality in that they make major-label music execs burst into tears. With Jesca Hoop. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 877-784-4849. 8 p.m. $23–$28. All ages. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

The Moondoggies / Saturday, October 9

At first blush, booking the Moondoggies to play a brewpub chain restaurant frequented by Mariners and Seahawks fans makes little sense, since the Moondoggies' sprawling, harmonic rock hits the sweet spot for fans of folk and country. One part Grateful Dead, one part Flying Burrito Brothers, the Seattle four-piece combined organs, intricate guitars, and pitch-perfect vocals in nearly every song on their 2008 debut Don't Be a Stranger; they've even turned up the volume on soaring harmonies on the upcoming Tidelands (which hits stores October 12). Plus, frontman Kevin Murphy and his bandmates aren't much for stage banter, so it's hard to imagine them keeping a bunch of potentially drunk sports fans happy. But this is part of the Moondoggies' easy appeal: Their melodies are lovely, their jams effortless. Their songs are the ideal backing music for any party. With Thao With the Get Down Stay Down. Pyramid Alehouse, 1201 First Ave. S., 682-3377. 7 p.m. $18. PAIGE RICHMOND

Seattle Weekly's REVERB Local Music Festival / Saturday, October 9

Imagine a festive, all-day block party with all the beer and live music your heart desires in a much less annoying neighborhood than Capitol Hill. That's REVERB Fest—there aren't many more beloved places to bar-hop in this city than Old Ballard Avenue, and today we'll have stages and beer gardens set up at all your favorite spots, from the Sunset to the Salmon Bay Eagles. Plus, REVERB is like the locavore of music festivals—every musician in the lineup calls Seattle home. That means all the local rock (Wild Orchid Children, the Young Evils), hip-hop (Helladope, Victor Shade), folk (Lindsay Fuller, Cady Wire), jazz, DJs, and so much more that you've been meaning to get acquainted with is available at your fingertips, all in one day. We do what we can. Various locations, Ballard, seattleweekly.com/reverbfestival. 3 p.m. $5 (all ages)–$10 through Oct. 6, $10–$15 DOS. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Witch Gardens / Saturday, October 9

The three girls and one boy of Witch Gardens are cute enough to be a cartoon; they even have cartoon character–worthy names—Sara Beabout, Casey Catherwood, Beth Corry, and Karolyn Kukoski. They have a split cassette out with their pals Stephanie, which includes their pervasively melodic song "I Wanna Get Sick" and trading cards of all the band members. Witch Gardens' songs feature super-fuzzed-out guitars and autoharp and chanty, angelic vocals that sound like a children's choir with rhythm. "We write songs about irritable neighbor poodles, the terrible people our parents have dated, witches doing drugs, weird boys, and playing sports," the band recently told me. "People should come see us play because we're all Mary Kay representatives. Forget the music, we can make you beautiful." Makeovers are great, but this music's just too magical to forget. With Partman Parthorse, Consignment. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $6. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Ty Segall / Sunday, October 10

Thee Oh Sees affiliate Ty Segall's Nuggets-esque garage bop is sprinkled with Little Richard–style piano solos, surf riffs, and the Cramps' sneering sass. Formerly a one-man institution, Segall is currently touring with a full band in support of his latest on Goner Records, Melted. It's an apt title: Melted's muddled, lo-fi fuzz is messy and sticky and totally hits the spot when it's hot outside, sort of like a half-dissolved Otter Pop. But there's something more substantial about Segall's music than the fleeting, one-note appeal of frozen sugar water. When popsicles go out of season, we forget they exist until summer rolls back around, but Melted is the sort of stick-to-your-ribs record you'll still be dancing to in December. With the Girls, Basemint, Diver Down. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 8 p.m. $10. SARA BRICKNER

Angus & Julia Stone / Monday, October 11

Sydney musicians Angus and Julia Stone are siblings, but don't call them the next Donny and Marie. There's nothing glossy, creepy, or prefabricated about the Stones' lush, textured pop songs, written in the folky style of Fleetwood Mac or Cat Stevens. Both sing and play guitar; Angus also plays harp, Julia also plays piano and trumpet. The combination's topping the charts in their native Australia, and has made supportive fans of Martha Wainwright, Fran Healy, and Natalie Portman. The duo's newest release, the EP Big Jet Plane, contains one track of Julia softly singing a lo-fi, acoustic cover of "You're the One That I Want" from Grease. Somehow she transforms it into something heartaching and chillingly beautiful. With White Buffalo. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 7:30 p.m. $12. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Liz Phair / Tuesday, October 12

Liz Phair has taken quite the public beating over the past several years. The once-beloved indie queen who created 1993's genius Exile in Guyville was accused by critics and fans alike of selling out after releasing a saccharine-sweet pop album in 2003. The same criticism came when she sold a song exclusively through Banana Republic, and again when she began working as a composer for the CW reboot of 90210. But Phair claims such comments don't bother her, and her new self-released album Funstyle reflects that. It showcases Phair rapping over bhangra beats, utilizing Enya-esque layered vocals, and slamming the recording industry. It's ballsy and bizarre, as lovable as it is hateable. As Phair told SW last year during its making: "I'm very rebellious; I don't want to work for other people. I guess with that attitude I'm gonna sink or swim." Or she might just tread. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $23. ERIKA HOBART

Manu Chao / Tuesday, October 12

International sensation Manu Chao writes (and sings) in more languages than people have fingers, but the reason his music translates so well to audiences worldwide has little to do with the lyrics. His sound is a veritable melting pot of Spanish guitar, Algerian rai, salsa, reggae, French chanson, punk rock, and a smorgasbord of other sonic influences Chao's picked up during a life drifting around the globe. And even if you can't understand what he's saying, it doesn't really matter, because Chao speaks a universal language: stoner. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-STG-4TIX. 7:30 p.m. $32. All ages. SARA BRICKNER

 
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