Live Tonight: Red Bull Sound Select Series, Nils Frahm, Rotting Out

The Seattle hip-hop scene is notoriously hard to define. The best way to describe it—as many have—is “weird.” Shabazz Palaces, Erik Blood, and Mark Gajadhar have all focused that weirdness into startling, psychedelic beats. As part of the ongoing Red Bull Sound Select series, these three acts will share a discounted set at the Tractor Tavern. Shabazz Palaces’ Black Up, produced by Blood, is dark and looming. Emcees Ishmael Butler and Tendai Mararie spit like beat poets on a different celestial plane. Blood’s indie-rock background is only subtly hinted at on Black Up, but his entire catalog shows him to be an artist who will experiment with any genre to get the sound he wants. Gajadhar has similarly crossed genres, switching gears from drumming for the Blood Brothers to crafting trip-hop-inspired beats with Champagne Champagne. These three artists shape their surroundings into something outside predefined limits, valuing ingenuity over genre—something to think about while Red Bull hocks overpriced energy-drink cocktails. Tractor Tavern. $3 adv./$10 DOS. May be sold out. 9 p.m. 21 and over. DH

Nils Frahm is a classically trained piano virtuoso and composer who uses his talents for innovation instead of staying in the past and rehashing Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin. Building upon new-age and ambient tones to compose sparse and haunting arrangements, he’s much more Explosions in the Sky than highbrow concert hall. With Douglas Dare. The Triple Door. $18 adv./$22 DOS. 7 p.m. All ages. 10 p.m. 21 and over. DH

Raised on a steady diet of Pennywise and Suicidal Tendencies and named after a Descendents song, Rotting Out is one of L.A.’s best up-and-coming hardcore bands. Tonight it plays songs from its tight and efficient sophomore LP The Wrong Way, which combines hardcore influences from both coasts. With No Bragging Rights, Orthodox, The Beautiful Ones. Vera Project, 305 Warren Ave. N., 956-8372, 7 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. DL

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