Tonight: The Morning Benders at the Crocodile + Philip Glass in Kirkland

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Weston Walker
The Morning Benders, with Miniature Tiger, BOAT. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $10. The Morning Benders' new record, Big Echo, is garnering praise for its sunny and sparkly-clean sound, a palpable shift from their jangly 2008 debut, Talking Through Tin Cans. Some of the songs on Big Echo - impeccably produced by lead singer Chris Chu and Grizzly Bear bassist Chris Taylor - are positively lilting, full of orchestral swells and swooning vocals, much of it modeled with Phil Specter's Wall of Sound in mind. The music washes through you like the white-capped ocean waves on the album cover. The Morning Benders cut their teeth sharing the stage with Grizzly Bear, Yo La Tengo, Death Cab For Cutie, and MGMT, among others. These days, on their current tour, the trio is getting used to selling out shows with their own name atop the bill.

Philip Glass. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., 425-893-9900. 7:30 p.m. $50 (and sold out). Welcome to the Bizarro World. If our world is a sphere, the Bizarro World is a cube. In the Bizarro World, icons of contemporary music don't perform in hip Seattle. They remain unbooked, ignored, by Benaroya Hall, McCaw Hall, or Meany Hall. In the Bizarro World, these icons perform in the suburbs. They perform at the Kirkland Performance Center, which hip Seattle, when it thinks of the venue at all, probably thinks of as a home for touring performances of Annie. But in the Bizarro World, Seattle gets Annie while Kirkland gets a fascinating and ravishing concert by Philip Glass. He'll talk about his music and play a selection of his solo piano works--slender, gemlike pieces that seem to distill the propulsive exuberance of his dance or film music, the splashy color of his orchestral works, and the otherworldly spectacle of his operas into something inward and ascetic. GAVIN BORCHERT

 
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