Wednesday, Jan. 28
It seems like only yesterday that those little silver and blue cars began infiltrating the streets of Seattle. But it’s actually been two years since Car2Go, that hassle-free service, came to the city. At this show, Car2Go Seattle’s 2nd Birthday Party, three local artists will help celebrate a new Seattle mainstay. Cataldo, aka Eric Anderson, blends stark drum beats and warm vocal melodies on Gilded Oldies, while ambient indie-rock trio Slow Bird brings a heavy dose of contemplation on its latest, Chrysalis. Erik Walters, who performs as Silver Torches, rounds out the lineup with acoustic rock tunes from his debut full-length, The Living Fact. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618, thecrocodile.com. 8 p.m. RSVP only. 18 and over.
Thursday, Jan. 29
Reading up on the Spider Ferns, aka husband-and-wife Alton (guitar/vocals/keyboard) and Kelly (bass/vocals/piano) Fleek, the word “hypnotic” comes up a lot. And after listening, it’s easy to see why. The experimental-rock duo’s debut electronic album, Soon Enough—the release of which is being celebrated at this show—pairs Kelly’s moody and, yes, hypnotic vocals with ambient electro-rock grooves that hint at a psychedelic influence. As per the band’s Facebook bio, “We make music late at night in a converted barn at the base of a small mountain.” The studio’s spacious surroundings translate to the music and add yet another trancelike layer to the album. With Modern Ruins, Screens. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9951, thebarboza.com. 8 p.m. $6 adv. 21 and over.
After making a name for itself as an electronic duo, Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne, who perform as the Blow, are unplugging for this tour. Well, not completely. The pair will perform with the synthesizers and other electronic gadgets they use to record, but they’re leaving the laptops, video projectors, smoke machines, and light shows at home for a more stripped-down performance of songs from throughout their discography, which builds on a series of “Unplugged” shows The Blow played on the East Coast in October. The band’s latest, a self-titled album, is already quite sparse, so this show will boil everything down to its most essential elements. With Anna Oxygen. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009, columbiacitytheater.com. 8:30 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. 21 and over.
A rapid rise in 2013 left many a music fan anticipating the debut album of Iska Dhaaf: drummer/keyboardist Benjamin Verdoes (of Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band) and singer/guitarist Nathan Quiroga (of Mad Rad). And Even the Sun Will Burn doesn’t disappoint. There’s a dark, at times psychedelic, side to the duo (which takes its name from a Somali phrase that loosely translates as “Let it go”) that’s balanced by some seriously spot-on synth-pop sensibilities. This is the duo’s first local show in a while, as Verdoes and Quiroga have been working on new music in New York, so anticipate a big homecoming. With Grave Babies, Newaxeyes. The Crocodile. 8 p.m. $10 adv. 21 and over.
In September, rapper Raz Simone debuted “Cheap Money,” the first look at Cognitive Dissonance: Part 2, the release of which he’s celebrating tonight with his first local headlining show. Starting in late November, the Seattle native released a new song each week, unveiling a little more about everything he’s been through following the release of Cognitive Dissonance: Part 1, as well as things from his past he’s still trying to work through. Drama with loved ones, people trying to “sabotage [his] mission,” his fight to more easily let things go, his transition from “criminal to individual,” and more: Simone doesn’t leave anything out. With Ryan Caraveo and friends. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442, neumos.com. 8 p.m. $20. All ages.
Friday, Jan. 30
Worlds collide at Sonic Evolution as the Seattle Symphony and storied rockers like Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave), Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan, and Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden) take the stage together. (The SSO’s ongoing concert series celebrates iconic local musicians; June’s Sonic Evolution saw Sir Mix-A-Lot performing you-know-what with full orchestral backing and a stageful of female audience members twerking along.) With conductor Ludovic Morlot at the helm, and with help from Cornell, McKagan, and Cameron, Mad Season’s McCready and Barrett Martin will perform three songs, arranged by Scott Teske, from the band’s sole studio album, Above. If that weren’t enough, the orchestra will premiere McCready’s Waking the Horizon, plus works by Yann Robin and Angelique Poteat. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 215-4747, seattlesymphony.org. 8 p.m. SOLD OUT. All ages.
We were crushing on Shelby Earl long before she rocked Bumbershoot last year, and it’s safe to say we’re still smitten with the local singer/songwriter and her sophomore release, the Damien Jurado-produced Swift Arrows. We’re not the only ones. Earl’s blend of grit and soul has enchanted listeners the world over, and praise is still rolling in for her and the album, released in 2013. Salon, for instance, profiled Earl as one of the SXSW performers readers needed to know last year. It takes a special voice to make a song like “We Will Die” appealing, but weaving bright melodies and dark content (“doom-wop,” she calls it) is Earl’s specialty. With Planes on Paper, The Holy Broke, The Ruins. Columbia City Theater. 9 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. 21 and over.
Blending multiple genres on an album is nothing new, but G. Love & Special Sauce has truly mastered the art. Throughout its 20-year-plus career, the Philadelphia trio—singer/guitarist/harmonica player Dutton, drummer Jeffrey Clemens, and string bassist Jim Prescott—has mixed alt-rock, blues, hip-hop, and R&B in such a way that classifying the band within a single genre is nearly impossible. “Come Up Man,” from the band’s latest, Sugar, is a prime example. Dutton raps each verse while playing slide guitar as Prescott lays down a quintessential blues riff. What sounds jarring on paper comes together swimmingly as soon as you hit play. With Matt Costa. The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, showboxpresents.com. 8 p.m. $27.50 adv./$30 DOS. 21 and over.
Saturday, Jan. 31
In recent months, the call to organize inherent in the phrase “Black Lives Matter” has become a movement, mobilizing many, especially youth, to work to eliminate the systemic racism that has plagued our world for far too long. In honor of one group working to keep the effort going in Seattle, Fists Up! A Benefit for the Garfield Black Student Union is being co-hosted by local booker Mamma Casserole and POC as Fuck, which celebrates rock bands and fans of color. Through nonviolent activism, the Garfield BSU has led several peaceful demonstrations that earned them a Rising Human Rights Leaders award from the Seattle Human Rights Commission in December. With Mascaras, Trick Candles, and Wiscon, DJ Mamma Casserole, DJ El Mizell. The Lo-Fi, 429 Eastlake Ave. E., 254-2824, thelofi.net. 9 p.m. $10. 21 and over.
After listening to Sleepwalking Sailors, the latest from local sludge-rock trio Helms Alee, it’s amazing that audience members leave the band’s shows in one piece. As a whole, Sailors isn’t the heaviest record around, as more pensive moments, like the reverb-laden “Slow Beef,” give listeners, and the band, time to breathe. But when the trio (guitarist Ben Verellen, bassist Dana James, and drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margullis, who all share vocal duties) really gets into it—as it does on “Heavy Worm Burden,” “Fetus. Carcass,” and album-closer “Dodge the Lightning”—it’s every fan for themselves. With mosh pit–ready guitar riffs and lots of throaty vocals, wallflowers should sit this one out. With Marriages, Grenades. Neumos. 8 p.m. $12 adv. 21 and over.
Known by many musicians as a guitar virtuoso, PNW transplant Bill Frisell
used his latest album, Guitar in the Space Age!, as an opportunity to pay homage to those who inspired his own musical journey. The Chantays’ “Pipeline,” the Byrds’ interpretation of Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser,” the Kinks’ “Tired of Waiting for You,” the Tornados’ “Telstar,” and more get a sonic facelift from Frisell. Though these aren’t his tunes, Frisell makes them his own by adding the jazz-rock feel he’s mastered over his decades-long career, but without taking away from the magic of the originals. The Showbox. 9 p.m. $25 adv./$30 DOS. 21 and over.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear Key Nyata’s latest release, The Shadowed Diamond, was a Big K.R.I.T. project. That’s not meant to imply that the Seattle native has stolen K.R.I.T.’s style, of course, but to praise Nyata for capturing the same atmospheric vibes that K.R.I.T. did on his latest, Cadillactica. On The Shadowed Diamond, Nyata, plus more than half a dozen guests, including Nacho Picasso, Avatar Darko, and Fresh Espresso’s P Smoov, brings an otherworldly feel to more grounded subject matter with distorted vocals and methodically placed synth features. With Mackned, Special Thraxxhouse Guests, Tre Ross, :30. The Vera Project, 305 Warren Ave. N., 956-8372, thevera project.org. 8:30 p.m. $10 adv./$15 DOS. All ages.
Monday, Feb. 2
Whether or not you’ve recently gone through a breakup, and especially if you have an unrequited crush, it’s hard not to get at least a little teary-eyed listening to Sam Smith. The British crooner’s debut album, In the Lonely Hour, which includes his breakthrough hit “Stay With Me,” chronicles the thought process of pining for someone from afar. From seeing the one you love with another (“Leave Your Lover) and knowing you’d be a better match (“Like I Can”) to finding out your feelings aren’t reciprocated (“Not in That Way”), Smith has been there, done that, and he’s putting words to the heartache that keeps us up at night. With George Ezra. KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., 684-7200, keyarena.com. 7 p.m. $35.50 and up. All ages.
Tuesday, Feb. 3
It’s never too early to start planning for Sasquatch!, especially after this year’s lineup is announced at this Sasquatch! Launch Party. Recently announced lineups for Governor’s Ball, Coachella, and Bonnaroo might hint at some of the national and international artists heading to the Gorge this Memorial Day weekend, but Sasquatch! always features a solid lineup of local acts, too. Ty Segall, Tacocat, and the Young Evils will be on hand to kick off the festivities. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 682-1414, stgpresents.org/neptune. 8 p.m. Free. All ages.