Live Tonight: 80th Anniversary of the Blue Moon, New Bums, Yonder Mountain Stringband

Tuesday kicked off the first day of gigs celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Blue Moon, a series of special shows running through the 20th. This beloved U District dive, which opened April 15, 1934, has created more than its share of urban legends. Some believe it was frequented by Jack Kerouac; another story goes that author Tom Robbins once called Picasso from its pay phone. If you’ve lived in Seattle for any amount of time, you surely have one of your own. No better way to celebrate “authentic Seattle’s” enduring watering hole than with tonight’s show featuring the Brothers Balthazar (Blue Moon owner Gus Hellthaler’s band) and Daddy Treetops. Later this month, bands like Summer Babes, Country Lips, Star Anna, and a bevy of other local groups will sidle up to the Moon’s dingy stage and play—no doubt to a cheap-beer-fueled, legend-making crowd. Blue Moon Tavern, 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116, bluemoonseattle.wordpress.com. 8 p.m. Free tonight; future covers $5 and up. GE

Lately it seems the folk-rock genre tends to accentuate the folk more than the rock. Though the members of New Bums play primarily acoustic guitars, their song structures and melodies feel akin to the menacing nature of Leadbelly with a nod to Led Zeppelin: sonically quiet, but dark and heavy in tone. With Case Studies, Aykut Ozen. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005, chopsuey.com. 8 p.m. $10. 21 and over. DUSTY HENRY

Rockwell Powers is a tireless champion of Grit City—aka Tacoma—who practices what he preaches: For a half-dozen years, his musical involvement in the south Sound has included Tacoma-themed EPs, mixtapes, and a popular hip-hop radio show. In T-town we keep it real, and it’s refreshing to hear someone rap convincingly about the joys of married life and having a mortgage. With Spoke Unheard, Stoned Ape Theory, DJ Save1. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618, thecrocodile.com. 8 p.m. $5. All ages. MICHAEL F. BERRY

Bands don’t usually go five years without releasing a new record, but this is what the blitzkrieg-bluegrass and progressive-folk band Yonder Mountain Stringband has done. Its self-titled album came out in 2009, but when you make dizzying, kick-ass music that plays well live, fans will forgive you for the wait. With the Brothers Comatose. The Showbox. 8 p.m. $25 adv./$30 DOS. All ages. BRIAN PALMER

 
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