Live Tonight: Kid Cudi, Heatwarmer

2013 has been a banner year for Kid Cudi, who’s received some of the best reviews of his career for his recently released third studio album Indicud—which he says is based on a template set forth by Dr. Dre’s imitable The Chronic 2001. Whether he lived up to that album is up for debate, but Indicud is nonetheless a beautifully strange and twisted collection of tracks with cameos from an odd assortment of artists like RZA, Too Short, and Michael Bolton (yes, that Michael Bolton). Cudi offers a grand refocusing of both vision and ambition, touting more illustrative themes than in his previous releases. Consider “King Wizard”: “Like me I had to put my bid in/All this rose gold I’m dipped in/Juste un clou, while I coast through clouds.” This evocative line perfectly describe his ascent from his humble beginnings in Cleveland to his current status as a top hip-hop star. With Big Sean, Logic. WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., 381-7555. 7 p.m. $50. CORBIN REIFF

Classifying Heatwarmer’s eponymous debut into one genre is a challenge, due to the numerous twists and turns the band takes throughout. Bits of “Magic Hearts,” for instance, sound like they could be played between circus acts. But just when you’re ready to grab popcorn and peanuts, Heatwarmer flips the switch on “Rejoice,” which features a very classic-rock solo from guitarist Kristian Garrard. Then there’s “You Move,” which sounds like something one might hear at a Parisian cafe. This European vibe carries over into “All Clear,” where a flute solo from guest performer Ivan Arteaga (one of nearly a dozen guests on the record) transitions into a groovy bass line from lead vocalist/bassist Luke Bergman. “Jungle of Mystery” seem very contemplative, and features Bergman, from UW’s jazz studies department, singing over a collection of solemn jazz grooves until the tempo picks up halfway through. “My Life Is So Random,” on the other hand, is completely instrumental, scattered with spacey bleeps and bloops, and “Keep Shining Through” wraps up the sonic grab bag on a synth-heavy note. Such wild and unpredictable elements add a bit of excitement to Heatwarmer, as you don’t know what the band has in store from one song to the next. It’s almost as though the quintet—rounded out by Aaron Otheim on keyboards and vocals, Andrew Swanson on EWI (electronic wind instrument)/keyboards/vocals, and drummer Evan Woodle (all rotating members of the Racer Sessions and the Table and Chairs record label)—composed the album inspired by that very idea. In that case, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. With La Luz, Bad Luck. Neumos. 8 p.m. $8.

 
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