The Short List: The Week’s Recommended Shows

Son Volt

Wednesday, July 24

Released earlier this year, Jay Farrar and co.’s album Honky Tonk is a slight departure from the dusty Americana rock the band has played so well over its now-six-album-deep catalog. It’s more country roots than hipsters in boots, full of barroom waltzes, sprightly fiddles, and, in “Bakersfield,” even nods to the California seat of honky-tonk that introduced us to Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Of course you can’t take Farrar’s easy-rolling drawl out of the equation: The album is wholly his, his unhurried croon melting over the lyrics of ballad “Wild Side”: “You’re on the wild side/That’s where you’ll always be/You’re living proof that there’s grace in this world/Outside living free.”  Shimmering pedal steel only helps make the tune tenderer—and yes, more country. With Colonel Ford. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 682-1414. $18 adv./$20 DOS. 8 p.m.

Shooter Jennings

Thursday, July 25

Despite the better judgment Waylon Jennings imparted in “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,”  he begot in his only son a Nashville guitar picker who’s on the road more than he’s home. It’s been a rocky road for Shooter, who’s bounced around record labels and found only middling chart success. Taking this fact in his teeth, Jennings’ March release The Other Life is an ode to Waylon and his generation, which, as Shooter sees it, today’s country has forsaken. The first single, “Outlaw You,” is a spare missive against the pretty boys in new hats and shiny boots who Shooter sees taking over Nashville and co-opting his father’s legacy. The album is preachy at times, but Jennings is smart enough to practice what he preaches, soaking many of his songs in the slide and twang that was the hallmark of 1970s country, and which is now his birthright to carry forward. With Scott H. Biram. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 262-0482. 8 p.m. $22 adv. DANIEL PERSON

Leann Rimes

Friday, July 26

Love her or hate her, Rimes has been delivering country hits since before most of us (including her) were able to drive. And while she’s no longer the 13-year-old “Blue”-singing phenom but a TV-movie-acting tabloid machine, she’s still got chops. Her most recent release, 2011’s Lady & Gentlemen, proved a country-fried collection of “I love you, I love you not”s, but it’s safe to assume that tonight she’ll bust out some classics as well (is anyone else crossing their fingers for “Can’t Stop the Moonlight”?). If you’re looking for a hand-clapping, romantical evening of good ol’ Southern feelings, this is where it’s at. Woodland Park Zoo Amphitheatre. 601 N. 59th St., 548-2500. $32.50.

Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers

Saturday, July 27

Seattle’s “own Emmylou” may have moved to Austin—where, there’s no denying, the number of urban cowboys outranks our own—but the singer/songwriter hasn’t forgotten her hometown. A tireless tour hound, Muth this week will also play the Treehouse Cafe; Timber! Fest; a gig in Bellingham; and a free show (Wed., July 24) at the Bank of America Plaza for the Out to Lunch Music Series. Her most recent EP, last year’s Old Gold, a collection of mostly (old, golden) covers, was a tease compared to her previous two excellent full-length releases, 2009’s self-titled debut and 2011’s Starlight Hotel, but it works to tide over her fans. Plus, every songwriter needs a break here and there, and she is a newlywed, after all, since marrying her drummer Greg Nies last year. With Thee Midnight Creep. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. $12. 9:30 p.m.

Around the Block Party

Sunday, July 28

Three-day passes to the Capitol Hill Block Party are already sold out, and single-day tickets will set you back $40. You know what will set you back $0? Around the Block Party. Chop Suey’s freemium minifestival is stacked with nine stupid-good bands that rival its big brother’s lineup. Two of the city’s best drummers, MTNS’ Dan Enders and Haunted Horses’ Myke Pelly, will be ripping the living shit out of their kits for their respective spazzed-out, Satanic noise bands. The show also features some of Seattle’s best punked-out pop songwriters—Wimps, Dude York, and Childbirth (a new supergroup featuring members of Chastity Belt, Pony Time, and TacocaT who perform wearing maternity gowns). If that doesn’t completely sell you, there will also be free hamburgers and hot dogs. Also with Hot Victory, Dream Salon, the Exquisites, and Agatha. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 3 p.m. Free. 21 and over.

Week of Wonders

Tuesday, July 30

Week of Wonders calls itself “tropical punk.” The name is more than appropriate—Leif Anders effects his guitar to sound like electrified, ’verbed-out steel drums that zip around to Caribbean-style bass lines and hyperactive Latin percussion. The “punk” comes into the picture through Week of Wonders’ energy. The band members, decked out in all-white, shimmy their islandy asses hard when they perform. Their shows will make you want to grab a hollowed-out coconut, fill it with sangría, and surf the biggest wave you can find—more than appropriate for the unusually warm summer we’ve been having. With Jeans Wilder, Detective Agency. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. S.W., 784-4880. 8 p.m. $6. 21 and over.

 
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