The Short List: This Week's Recommended Shows

The Beat Down featuring Tim Sweeney/Thursday, July 12

Tim Sweeney's WNYC radio show, Beats in Space, is probably the closest thing the U.S. has to the BBC's legendary and long-running series Essential Mix: a weekly DJ mix scanning the worlds of dance, electronic music, and beyond, featuring world-class guests like DFA/LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, Detroit techno legend Carl Craig, and rising Chilean-American star Nicolas Jaar. Sweeney holds his own alongside such talent by being both an exceedingly affable host and an impressive DJ in his own right, a deep and eclectic crate-digger with ace tastes in both classics and up-to-the-minute tracks. Tonight, Sweeney headlines the new monthly dance night The Beat Down, with local DJs Nark, Recess, and Kadeejah Streets, plus host Lisa Dank and live vibraphone percussion from the Mystic Vibes. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 9 p.m. $8. ERIC GRANDY

The Beach Boys/Friday, July 13

It's slightly surreal to see Mike Love and Brian Wilson onstage together again after all these years. For decades, the Beach Boys' two founding members have represented diametrically opposed aspects of the band: Wilson the reclusive, troubled artistic genius of Pet Sounds and SMiLE, Love the crass, commercial, "Kokomo"-singing, Hawaiian-shirted ham (with Full House's Uncle Jesse on drums). Trouble was, the latter version was the only one you could see live as the Beach Boys. Now, with the release of That's Why God Made the Radio, the Beach Boys' first album of new material in 20 years, fans can witness one of the most fruitful creative oppositions in rock history—one more sharply defined than Mick vs. Keith and John vs. Paul combined. Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, 425-415-3300. 7 p.m. Sold out. ERIC GRANDY

Frank Ocean/Friday, July 13

The calm-voiced R&B singer has became a hot-ticket collaborator over the past year and change, appearing on Jay-Z and Kanye West's massive Watch the Throne and on Goblin, the hot-topic formal label debut by Tyler, the Creator, Ocean's co-member in the controversial L.A. rap collective Odd Future. Ocean also flexed his might as a solo artist on his well-received 2011 mixtape, nostalgia, ULTRA; and his recent announcement (via a poetic Tumblr-page tale of teenage love lost) of his bisexuality revealed a courageous artist ready to take on the world while challenging the "normalities" of the R&B genre. Tonight's audience will likely get a preview of material from Ocean's upcoming Channel Orange, which drops July 17, and get to know the man behind the headlines. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. Sold out. All ages. TODD HAMM

West Seattle Summer Fest/Friday, July 13–Sunday, July 15

Think of this as a free, family-friendly block party on the planet of West Seattle. For the kids, there are all-ages shows and even a set from Chris Ballew's Caspar Babypants (Friday). And for the adults: more than a dozen restaurants pouring bubbly on the sidewalk, a beer garden stocked by Big Al's and Elliott Bay, and an impressive lineup of hard-hitting artists like Pierced Arrows (Saturday), Hobosexual (Sunday), and Star Anna (Friday). West Seattle Junction, California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Alaska Street, wsjunction.org/summerfest. Free. All ages. CHRIS KORNELIS

The Young Evils/Friday, July 13

The first incarnation of the Young Evils—the one that first splashed onto the scene two years ago—was guitarist Troy Nelson and his girlfriend Mackenzie Mercer, singing bright songs in upbeat unison; the duo's live performances and their first record, Enchanted Chapel, were too sunny, catchy, and cute to pass up. The band's since fleshed out to a quintet, and their sound has transformed as well. Back in November 2010, Nelson told me that the new material he was writing "is a little more rocking, a little darker . . . The songs are a little more three-dimensional, a little more complicated in terms of structure." He was right—the songs on their newly released Foreign Spells EP are still quick and snappy, but they reveal a blacker, edgier sound and sport titles like "Dead Animals" and "Devil's Barricade." It's an unexpected turn, and one that better suits their diabolical name. With The Grizzled Mighty, Marco Collins. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 7 p.m. $8. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Slack Fest/Saturday, July 14

Cold canned beer. Hot sunshine. Hard rock mixed with a little country. An outdoor stage at a dirt racetrack. Chicks in tube tops. Mustaches. Hairy chests. Long hair. Camping. If you're thinking this is a description of every July concert held in southern Illinois from 1973–81, you'd be right. But it also describes the present-day Slack Fest, KEXP DJ Don Slack's annual concert campout held in the Stanwood sticks. The lineup is chockablock with local stalwarts, and the air smells like liberty. We're talkin' some fuckin' . . . muscle. With the Moondoggies, Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers, Hobosexual, The Rolling Stones, Hounds of the Wild Hunt, the Wayfinders, Big Wheel Stunt Show, Country Lips, Pipsisewah. Slime Dog Race Track, 23311 70th Ave. N.W., Stanwood. Noon. $25–$35 incl. camping. MIKE SEELY

***EDITOR'S PICK

Ray Davies/Saturday, July 14

This August, the Kinks are releasing The Kinks Live at the BBC, a limited-edition box set containing scads of live sessions and unreleased material, and Waterloo Sunset: The Very Best of the Kinks and Ray Davies, a monster 44-track retrospective. To celebrate the appearance of these collectors' items, the band is sponsoring a contest in which entrants submit their own interpretation of any Kinks song ("Be outrageous!" Davies encourages); the winner gets a meet-and-greet with Davies and former Kinks drummer Mick Avory and a day at the band's famed Konk Studios in London, where they'll have their cover produced. Less ambitious but equally devoted Kinks fans can attend Davies' solo tour and enjoy his own performances of his own songs without having to stress out thinking of ways to make them better. With The 88. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 877-784-4849. 8 p.m. $45 adv./$50 DOS. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

 
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