The Short List: The Week's Recommended Shows

Ziggy Marley/Wednesday, September 28

Your first taste of Wild and Free, the fourth solo record from Bob Marley's eldest son, which accompanies his comic-book debut, Marijuanaman, might cause a double take; a pro-marijuana-legalization track is far from out of the ordinary for a reggae star, but a duet with actor Woody Harrelson is decidedly less expected. (Or, if you take a glance at Harrelson's legal record, maybe it isn't.) Still, Ziggy—the son who followed closest in his father's footsteps, sounding so like him in some instances that you could easily mistake the two—doesn't stray far from the familiar themes of peace, love, weed, and revolution. Instead of wondering why he hasn't adjusted the mold, a more appropriate question might be "Why fix what isn't broken?" Or, in Ziggy's light and breezy words, "A world without dreams has lost its sense . . .  so I put reggae in my head." Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $27 adv./$30 DOS. All ages. NICK FELDMAN

Toro Y Moi/Wednesday, September 28

The first time I saw Chaz Bundick's Toro Y Moi live was the first time I heard of him—it was May 2010, he was opening for Caribou at Neumos, and although he'd released his woozy debut, Causers of This, just five months earlier, he was already showing signs of shifting to the new material that would become his second album, Underneath the Pine. That record is now used as the standard proof that today's glut of chillwave artists can move beyond into broader and more exciting territory—the album's most memorable and innovative tracks are its singles, the groove-laden "New Beat" and the bass-bumping "Still Sound," songs that create the enchanting good-time atmosphere that Bundick and his backing band beatifically recreate at their live shows. With Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Bass Drum of Death. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $15. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Keith Urban & Dwight Yoakam/Thursday, September 29

Keith Urban and Dwight Yoakam are both country singers, but they couldn't be less alike. Urban is an Australian pansy with bleached hair and a soul patch who makes music that, astonishingly, out-pussifies his exterior. He's married to Nicole Kidman, she of the immovable forehead, and epitomizes everything that purists hate about the modern-day Nashville sound. Meanwhile, Yoakam is a Kentucky-bred hillbilly whose brand of honky-tonk cut so far against the sonic grain in Nashville at the time that he had to move to California to make a go of things. He's universally respected and has made some nice scratch moonlighting as an actor—but it's Urban, not Yoakam, who's playing a giant arena tonight. Life is cruel. Keith Urban with Jake Owen at KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 684-7200. 7:30 p.m. $24–$96.50. All ages. Dwight Yoakam at Snoqualmie Casino, 37500 S.E. North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, 425-888-1234. 7 p.m. $40–$150. MIKE SEELY

Boyz II Men/Saturday, October 1

The '90s are arguably the most underrated decade in music history. Admittedly, they're to blame for a glut of manufactured boy bands and pop princesses. But they need to be praised for bringing R&B to the forefront of mainstream music. The pioneers of that movement? Boyz II Men. A contemporary, edgier version of Motown favorites like the Four Tops and the Temptations, the suave quartet racked up a slew of hits during their heyday, including "End of the Road, "I'll Make Love to You," and "On Bended Knee." Sadly, in 2003, bass singer Michael McCary retired due to severe scoliosis. (Reports have surfaced, however, that he will return to record the Boyz II Men 20th-anniversary album scheduled for release this year.) But whether they perform as a quartet or a trio, Boyz II Men remains an act worth witnessing live, not only for their astounding a cappella renditions but for their seemingly effortless polish—which sadly evades many of today's popular performers. With Brian McKnight, Rocky Sandoval, Choklate, Caitlin Cardier. ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Kent, 253-856-6999. 7 p.m. $32–$99. All ages. ERIKA HOBART

Jens Lekman/Saturday, October 1

"In Gothenburg we don't make a fuss about who you are," Jens Lekman sings in a song from his new EP, An Argument With Myself. That may be true for most, but Lekman is a big deal, beloved by fans and critics in his native Sweden and here in the U.S. And since he hasn't released any new music in four years (his Night Falls Over Kortedala came out in 2007), Argument is also a big deal. The above lines come from "Waiting for Kirsten," a lackadaisical song about Lekman stalking Kirsten Dunst while she was shooting Lars von Trier's Melancholia in his hometown; the story ends with a concierge throwing a drunken Lekman out of the hotel. The other songs on Argument also involve such amusingly personal stories; the punchy title track is about just that ("Fuck you, no, fuck you!")—all related in Lekman's pleasantly witty voice. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave S., 723-0088. 9 p.m. $18 adv./$20 DOS. ERIN K. THOMPSON

*****EDITOR'S PICK

CANT/Monday, October 3

In the downtime since Grizzly Bear's most recent album, 2009's Veckatimest, the band's bassist, Chris Taylor, recorded an electro-charged solo album in a bedroom under the alias CANT. Taylor—originally from Seattle—wrote Dreams Come True with Twin Shadow's George Lewis, Jr.; the songs evoke both modern-day electronica, with its heavy synths and programmed percussion, and old-school soul, with its slow-jam melodies and Taylor's debonair vocals. Standouts like the album's thrumming opener, "Too Late Too Far," and the creamy-smooth "Believe" reflect Taylor's further talent as a producer (he produced Twin Shadow's Forget); Dreams Come True sounds squeaky-clean and impeccably sharp. With Mirror Mirror, Blood Orange. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Retox/Monday, October 3

Compared to Justin Pearson and Gabe Serbian's previous anarchic noisefests, such as The Locust and Holy Molar, their new band Retox is practically an old-fashioned rhythm-&-blues combo. Of course, the tempos are still breakneck, the screaming still sneering and shrill, and the songs still clocking in well within the one-to-two- minute range. But the scrambled synth drilling and unpredictable changes (that feeling of 23 songs compressed into a single burst) are largely replaced by more straightforwardly crushing metal chord progressions and songs which take one riff and run it steadily into the ground, rather than jumping all over the place. No one will mistake it for easy listening, but, you know, relatively speaking. With Melt Banana headlining, though, no one should suffer for a lack of alien gibberish freak-outs. With Dog Shredder. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 8 p.m. $14. ERIC GRANDY

Chip Tha Ripper/Tuesday, October 4

It seems like each Chip Tha Ripper track is accompanied by the same unsettling rise in anticipation: a nice beat and a couple of good lines to get things built up, followed by an unsavory, average punch line and non-creative delivery. There is something charming about the meat-and-potatoes rapper from Cleveland, however; he comes off as the big, dumb, lovable MC who'll slip a few clever lines under the radar if you're not paying attention. This appeal has earned him cameos on notable projects by super-producer Hi-Tek and fashionable emo-rapper KiD CuDi, among others, and you've got to admire his relentless DIY approach. We'll see if he can hold an audience on his own. With DJ EV, Eighty 4 Fly, Dutch. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $14. All ages. TODD HAMM

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All/Tuesday, October 4

At the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago this summer, I missed the planned protest against L.A. rap group Odd Future (for their use of Eminem-derived rape/murder fantasies and more broadly endemic homophobic slurs in their lyrics). What I did catch was ringleader Tyler, the Creator leaping from his crutches to crowd-surf with his cast on, then disappear into the crowd of thousands who were going apeshit to OF's every command. If you believe the hype, Odd Future are the apotheosis of the Not Giving a Fuck generation—a pack of teenage wolves who fire off offensive, willfully provocative raps with blameless glee, like kids playing with cap guns. But it's hard to believe such an ambitious hustle could truly be fueled by apathy. Whether you find the act contrived or the wordplay loaded with real bullets, you can't deny the crew's perverse charisma, especially on cuts like Tyler's "Yonkers" or "French." Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. Sold out. All ages. ERIC GRANDy

 
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