POP/ROCK by Erin K. Thompson
Girls/Wednesday, October 5
Girls' 2009 debut, Album, was achingly tender, baring the wounded soul of lead singer Christopher Owens (who was famously raised in a cult). The band's near-perfect new record, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, still hints at melancholy and heartbreak but also brightens into breezy, beachy, beautifully melodious tunes. With Sonny & the Sunsets, Papa. Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 467-5510. 8 p.m. $14. All ages.
*Seattle Weekly's Reverb Festival/Saturday, October 8
If your idea of an ideal Saturday consists of beer, crowds of friends, and your choice of viewing 50-plus rock and country bands, 12 hip-hop/R&B acts, a day-long roomful of DJs spinning dance music, and a good smattering of jazz, all without having to leave the neighborhood, we've got good news for you—we're making it happen today. Ballard, various venues. 1 p.m. 21 and over wristbands $10, under 21 wristbands $5, VIP wristbands $75. seattleweekly.com.reverbfestival.
Zola Jesus/Saturday, October 8
The astoundingly prolific Nika Roza Danilova—alias Zola Jesus—is releasing her third LP this month, Conatus (Latin for "effort" or "striving"). It finds her leaning toward her classical-music instincts; the chaotic songs are built on dramatic live string arrangements and powered forward by Danilova's boldly commanding vocals. With Xanopticon. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $13.
Dum Dum Girls/Sunday, October 9
Only in Dreams, the Dum Dum Girls' follow-up to their fizzy firecracker of a debut, last year's I Will Be, finds the band beefing up its sound—the sunny pop melodies, skittering drums, and reverbing guitars that made them the punk-rock Shangri-Las are still there, but the songs are heftier and pack a more aggressive punch. With Crocodiles, Colleen Green. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $13.
Foster the People/Sunday, October 9
Back in March, L.A.'s Foster the People were headlining the High Dive—since then, their bizarrely homicidal song "Pumped Up Kicks" has become a monstrous summer smash and is now one of the top pop songs in the country. Catch them tonight in all their glory before they move on to even bigger things. With Cults, Reptar. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 7 p.m. Sold out. All ages.
Gardens & Villa/Tuesday, October 11
Santa Barbara's flute-tooting indie-pop quintet Gardens & Villa are still touring in support of their spacey, freewheeling self-titled debut LP. Their songs are lush and stately, and the band is dedicated to playing each and every instrumental part live. With Young Man. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9:30 p.m. $10.
The Drums/Wednesday, October 12
If a catchier song has been released this year than the Drums' "Money" (off the just-released Portamento), I'll eat my hat. Everything about the song, from its surf-rock guitar to its squeaky-high chorus to its pathetically apologetic lyrics ("I want to buy you something, but I don't have any money") is addictively appealing. With Veronica Falls, io echo. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $12.
St. Vincent/Thursday, October 13
St. Vincent—née Annie Clark—released her third LP, Strange Mercy, last month, and critics are near-unanimously calling it one of the year's best albums. Her feverish but elegant songs reference everything from Hemingway to French New Wave film, while the purity of her vocals contrasted with her frenzied guitar riffs makes for a wonderfully strange effect. With Cate Le Bon. Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 467-5510. 8 p.m. $15 adv./$18 DOS. All ages.
City Arts Festival/Thursday, October 20-Saturday, October 22
This year, City Arts is spreading big-name shows from Robyn to Ryan Adams to venues all over the city over three days, and after a summer of Bumbershoots and Block Parties, a festival that doesn't cram everything into one place all at once sounds perfect. Various venues, cityartsfest.com. All-access wristbands $69.
Robyn/Thursday, October 20
The glory of Robyn's masterful Body Talk trilogy—2010's finest pop record—came to a head earlier this year when it was nominated for a Grammy, and the Swedish superstar isn't slowing down. Her bombastic tour is still on the road, and she's reportedly already recording Body Talk's follow-up. With YACHT. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 467-5510. 8 p.m. $28.50 adv./$33 DOS, or City Arts Fest wristband. All ages.
Built to Spill/Friday, October 21
Built to Spill hasn't had a new album since 2009's There Is No Enemy, a record after which frontman Doug Martsch briefly considered ending the band, but here in their native(-ish) Northwest, they never have a problem drawing a big crowd. With Disco Doom, Seapony. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 682-1414. 8 p.m. $25 adv./$30 DOS, or City Arts Fest wristband. All ages.
Jeff Beck/Friday, October 28
Jeff Beck, the legendary guitarist of the Yardbirds before his solid solo career, is widely recognized as one of rock's greatest guitarists—universities give him honorary doctorates for his contributions to music. At 67, he still tours regularly, just to show the young guns how it should be done. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 682-1414. 8 p.m. $23–$93. All ages.
COUNTRY by Gwendolyn Elliott
Robert Earl Keen/Wednesday, October 5
Keen's raspy voice lies precisely between the political ravings of Steve Earle and the rambling rants of Craig Finn. The Texas native and occasional collaborator with Lyle Lovett and Nancy Griffith is an unexpected booking for this hallowed hipster den. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $20.
Justin Townes Earle/Friday, October 7
At first, it appeared that JTW was simply retracing the footsteps of his father, the Nashville bad boy/Townes Van Zandt confidant Steve Earle. But four hardworking, melody-driven albums later, he's on pace to top his pops. With Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Caitlin Rose. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $20 adv./$22 DOS.
Vince Gill/Sunday, October 16
Before the contemporary makeover of his pop-country career, Gill was a bluegrass disciple who cut a memorable record with David Grisman, toured with Emmylou Harris, and declined an offer to join Dire Straits. Emerald Queen Casino, 2024 E. 29th St., Tacoma, 253-594-7777. 7 p.m. $40–$75.
Roy Kay Trio/Tuesday, October 18
For vintage rockabilly-pop sounds with a little country twang, come pack the diminutive dance floor at the Hen and swing your partner proper. Little Red Hen, 7115 Woodlawn Ave. N.E., 522-1168. 8 p.m.
Ryan Adams/Friday, October 21
Often cited as a founding father of the new Americana sound via his former band Whiskeytown, Adams' esteemed alt-country catalog is just as wide as his reputation for temper tantrums. Benaroya's beatified hall will offer room aplenty for the songwriter—and his ego. With Rebecca Gates. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 215-4747. 8:30 p.m. City Arts Festival wristband. All ages.
Cahalen Morrison and Eli West/Friday, October 21
These two string players are so seamlessly versatile and sing with such rich harmonies they make Alison Krauss sound like Ralph Stanley. Tonight's release party for Northwest Folklife's Roots & Branches compilation is the most authentic contemporary-bluegrass experience in town this month. With Squirrel Butter, Spoonshine, Mary Sherhart, Corespondents, Chris Cunningham. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 723-0088. 9 p.m. $8.
*Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers/Saturday, October 22
Voted Seattle Weekly's best country act of 2011, Muth has such a grounded approach to songwriting, a band so utterly devoted to her self-penned music, and a voice so guileless it's a wonder the woman hasn't simply floated off into the ether. With Big Sur. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 10 p.m. $10.
Shelby Lynne/Saturday, October 22
Not country enough for the mainstream and too poppy for the alt-country crowd, Lynne is an unconventional, uncompromising artist with a bluesy country wail in a league of its own. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 8 p.m. $28 adv./$32 DOS, or City Arts Festival wristband. All ages.
Abby Mae and the Homeschool Boys/Saturday, October 22
Hearing Mae's soulful alto—somewhere between the ethereal-voiced Gillian Welch and the gravel-throated Sallie Ford—next to the old-timey gospel sounds of her string band is worth the trip to Bainbridge Island's charmingly intimate music venue. Treehouse Cafe, 4569 Lynwood Center Rd. N.E., Bainbridge Island, 842-2814. 8 p.m. $12.
The Gourds/Thursday, October 27
If you've never heard this honky-tonkin' Austin alt-country outfit warble their hillbilly take on Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice," you are in for quite a treat. With Jackrabbit. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8:30 p.m. $15.
HIP-HOP by Todd Hamm
Yelawolf/Saturday, October 8
Yelawolf has split audiences with his ear-piercing voice and choppy delivery, but he's dropped a couple of good tracks lately, and looks to be on the uptick. With DJ Craze, Rittz. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15.
Katie Kate/Thursday, October 20
Whether or not you've seen Mad Rad climb stuff and jump around onstage before, throw yourself a curveball and check out Katie Kate's self-produced pop-rap and the buzz-deserving, danceable space sludge of opening act Slow Dance. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $12, or City Arts Festival wristband.
Blackalicious/Saturday, October 22
Famed lyricist Gift of Gab and producer Chief Xcel are worth the ticket price alone—along with openers Freestyle Fellowship, they're California underground-rap royalty. Hi-Life Soundsystem and Don't Talk to the Cops!, two of Seattle's fastest-rising party-centric hip-hop groups, make this an all-around killer bill. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 7 p.m. $20 adv./$25 DOS, or City Arts Festival wristband.
Dyme Def/Saturday, October 22
The Three Bad Brothers are always good for an amped-up live set, and as all-over-the-place as this mixed-genre bill is, it could turn out to be a surprise hit. With Hopscotch Boys, The Cold Cold Ground. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $8.
Ozomatli/Saturday, October 22
Hip-hop, Latin fusion, activism—it's a lot to take in. Just make sure you come ready to dance while the prolific Los Angeles gang has their fun onstage. With Theoretics, Picoso, Dyno Jamz. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 8 p.m. $10, or City Arts Festival wristband.
Johnny Polygon/Sunday, October 23
Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Johnny Polygon blends verses that are part street, part spoken wordplay with R&B hooks—the sum of which can be a bit hit-and-miss. With the Bad Tenants, Designated Hitters. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 8 p.m. $7.
*Mac Miller/Sunday, October 30
Miller's goofball high-school rap apparently has serious draw in this town—this concert sold out a couple of months in advance. If you actually bought a ticket, get there early to catch the classic boom-bap of endearing Cali-reps People Under the Stairs. With Casey Veggies, The Come Up. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 7 p.m. $24 adv./$28 DOS. All ages.
DJ/ELECTRONIC by Eric Grandy
Neon Indian/Wednesday, October 5
Chillwave survivor Neon Indian headlines, but (even more) atrociously named new Ghostly International signee Com Truise is worth catching for his equally gauzy, down-tempo electro jams. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $15.
Washed Out/Thursday, October 6
Sub Pop's score from the great chillwave bonanza of 2009–10, Washed Out's Ernest Greene deals in slow-mo synth and vocal melt over soft but steady drum-machine beats. Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 682-1414. 8 p.m. $15 adv./$17 DOS. All ages.
Miguel Migs/Friday, October 7
Migs makes sunny house music—smooth synth chords, drippy guitar licks, diva vocals, beats pumping—but with all the edges rounded off. Suitable for Miami hair salons or hotel lobbies. With Julius Papp, Blue Eyed Soul. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 9 p.m. $15.
Two shameless revivalists (Chromeo of '80s electro-boogie, synth-pop, and Hall & Oates–style R&B; opener Mayer Hawthorne of vintage blue-eyed soul); both fine showmen. With Sammy Bananas. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 7 p.m. $27.50 adv./$30 DOS. All ages.
Bass Cannon/Friday, October 14
A proper, glossy-flyer, all-ages rave at the King Cat featuring no less than old-school Seattle record jock Donald Glaude—not to mention "full color lasers & intelligent lighting." With AC Slater, Vaski, Terravita, Fury, MC Dino, The Wolfpack. King Cat Theater, 2130 Sixth Ave., 448-2829. 8 p.m. $20 adv./$25 DOS. All ages.
Truth/Friday, October 14
Proving the worldwide reach of dubstep, Truth brings the bass wobble up to Seattle all the way from Hobbit country, New Zealand. With Absolute Madman, DJ Sho Nuph. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 9 p.m. $10.
Crystal Castles/Thursday, October 20
Crystal Castles buries surprisingly sticky goth-pop hooks under deafening layers of noise and distortion; live, it's a seizure of strobes and shrieking and streaking black mascara. With Picture Plane, Crypts, Nightmare Fortress. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 7 p.m. $28.50 adv./$33 DOS, or City Arts Festival wristband. All ages.
Portishead/Sunday, October 23
Bristol trip-hop innovators Portishead hit the States for the first time in 13 years with their combination of orchestral film-noir scores, sluggish breakbeats, and Beth Gibbons' haunted singing. With Thought Forms. WaMu Theatre, 800 Occidental Ave. S., 381-7555. 7:30 p.m. $48. All ages.
Gold Panda/Wednesday, October 26
A UK beatmaker whose last name actually is Panda, this Ghostly International artist spins headphone-pretty, sample-heavy melodies and beats that feel impeccably refined. With DJ Nordic Soul. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $12.
JAZZ by Ben Morrow
New Gary Burton Quartet/Wednesday, October 5
Led by Burton, a vibraphone master who has performed with everyone from Stan Getz to Chick Corea, they're touring in support of their latest release Common Ground. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 p.m. $26.50.
Roosevelt & Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Bands/Friday, October 14
Of all the great jazz programs in the area, these are two of the best. Both placed highly in this year's Essentially Ellington competition at Lincoln Center. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255. 7 p.m. $7–$15. All ages.
Elspeth Savani & Correo Aereo/Friday, October 14
Savani brings her Latin-inspired jazz/pop band while Correo Aereo take a more traditional approach to music from Venezuela, Mexico, and Argentina. Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S. Alaska St., 725-7517. 7:30 p.m. NC. All ages.
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra/Thursday, October 20
The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is recognized as one of the best all-around dance bands. Keeping the tradition alive is bandleader Nick Hilscher. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, 425-828-0422. 7:30 p.m. $32–$35. All ages.
Brad Mehldau/Friday, October 21
This guy's a genius—whether performing jazz standards or Radiohead songs, Mehldau is a riveting pianist. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 215-4800. 8 p.m. $30–$32. All ages.
Celebrating Coltrane & Mingus: We Four and Sonando/Saturday, October 22
We Four is tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson, pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Nat Reeves, and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Cobb on drums. This promises to be a John Coltrane tribute with plenty of soul. Opening is local Latin/jazz group Sonando. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255. 8 p.m. $10–$22. All ages.
Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom/Thursday, October 27
Normally found drumming for the likes of Peter Gabriel or Ani DiFranco, Miller has earned her jazz credentials backing up Steven Bernstein, Mike Stern, and others. Here she'll be joined by pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman, and bassist Todd Sickafoose. PONCHO Concert Hall, 710 E. Roy St., 726-5066. 8 p.m. $10–$22. All ages.
*The Bad Plus/Saturday, October 29
Ethan Iverson (piano), Reid Anderson (bass), and David King (drums) continue to break down the walls of jazz convention. They are highly acclaimed, distinctive, and controversial—the perfect recipe for modern jazz. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255. 8 p.m. $12–$24. All ages.
LATE-NIGHT DRINKS & SNACKS
Mecca's dual personality aims to please whatever mood you're in—there's the grungy bar side if you need loud music with your liquor, and the tamer diner side if you need a burger or some mashed potatoes to go with your beer. 526 Queen Anne Ave. N., 285-9728. Food and drinks 'til 2 a.m.
Toulouse Petit boasts the "Best Happy Hour and Late Night Menu in the Nation"—and the menu seems to back up the claim. Besides cheap drinks, it offers 70 dishes from fried alligator to bananas Foster, most in the $5 range. 601 Queen Anne Ave. N., 432-9069. Food and drinks 'til 1 a.m.
What the Funhouse lacks in class and cleanliness, it makes up for in entertainment, with live music and rotating drink specials each and every night. 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. Drinks 'til 2 a.m.
Let the good times roll with some late-night Pac-Man or Buck Hunter at Jabu's, just a short walk from Seattle Center. Jabu's has two bars, so pack in all your friends for $7 pitchers of PBR. 174 Roy St., 284-9093. Drinks 'til 2 a.m.
The low-key Streamline is the ideal place to go to wind down a stressful day, a favorite local haunt where regulars kick back around the horseshoe bar to enjoy cheap booze and a rockin' jukebox. 121 W. Mercer St., 283-2923. Drinks 'til 2 a.m.
After a show at the Crocodile, head down a block to the newly renovated Wasabi Bistro—during happy hour, their delicious rolls, short ribs, and tonkatsu are priced around $5 and go down perfectly with a bottle or two of sake. 2311 Second Ave., 441-6044. Food and drinks 'til 1 a.m.
Honey Court Seafood Restaurant
Cap a night of karaoke or clubbing in the International District with some honey-walnut prawns or beef chow fun at Honey Court, which serves dim sum until 3:30 a.m. on weekends—and is usually packed until around then too. 516 Maynard Ave. S., 292-8828. Food and drink 'til 3:30 a.m. Friday–Saturday, 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
West Seattleites can chow down into the late hours on breakfast and dinner items at the Heartland Cafe. Bonus tip: If you hit the cafe's Benbow Room on a Friday night and show 'em your tattoos, they'll give you tater tots for $2. 4210 S.W. Admiral Way, 922-3313. Food and drink 'til 2 a.m. Friday–Saturday.
If you're hungry after a night at the Comet or Neumos, Big Mario's crusty, New York–style pizza is a no-brainer. The toppings are much more interesting and varied than Hot Mama's, plus you can get a beer on the side. 1019 E. Pike St., 922-3875. Food 'til 4 a.m., drinks 'til 2 a.m. Friday–Saturday.
Keep the night alive after a Sunset Tavern show a short walk away at La Isla, where you can sit streetside and simultaneously sip your mojitos, mai tais, or rumgrias while doing some late-night people-watching. 2320 N.W. Market St., 789-0516. Drinks 'til 2 a.m.