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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

November 12, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Your week in Seattle music: Joan Baez, Flying Lotus and more

Also featuring a perpetually underrated guitarist, the Wu-Tang Clan’s brainiest member and a new side project from the frontman of The Strokes.

1 Julian Casablancas and the Voidz

8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $25–$30 (206-628-3151 or With Mac DeMarco, Connan Mockasin

The highlight of Julian Casablancas’ solo career was probably “Instant Crush,” a collaboration with Daft Punk that’s so polished it’s chrome plated. It’s significantly different than anything he did as the frontman of The Strokes, and so is “Tyranny,” a messy collection of psychedelic rock songs he recorded with new backing band The Voidz and is the reason for this tour.

(Cult Records)

(Cult Records)

2 Mac DeMarco

9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., Seattle; $14–$16 (206-324-8005 or With Great Spiders, Gold Fronts

Indie rock needs more musicians like Mac DeMarco, a talented singer and songwriter who bucks the genre’s stultifying tendency toward seriousness. He’s also a hard worker—this Pitchfork story from earlier this year details the effort that went into latest album “Salad Days”—and his simple, generalist love songs have a broad appeal.

3 Joan Baez

6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at The Moore, 1931 Second Ave., Seattle; $32.50–$57 (206-467-5510 or

Baez is one of the most important folk musicians of her generation, both for her own music as well as the fact she helped break Bob Dylan. These days, she’s continuing her tradition of combining music with activism, commissioning an eponymous award for human rights service through Amnesty International.

4 First Aid Kit

7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at The Moore, 1931 Second Ave., Seattle; $22.50 (206-467-5510 or

The Internet discovered the Johanna and Klara Soderberg in 2008, when a YouTube cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” displayed the Swedish sisters’ pure singing voices to the world. Working with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley), the duo has since expanded its country-tinged folk music into more diverse territory.


5 Capital Cities

7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, at Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle; $29.50–$35 (360-652-0444 or With Cherub, Night Terrors of 1927

Before hitting it big as electro-pop duo Capital Cities, Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian wrote and produced jingles for companies like Honda, Home Depot and, most tellingly, Hallmark. It shows on “Safe and Sound,” a utilitarian earworm of a track that hit the Billboard Top 10 last fall, more than two years after it was recorded.


8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., Seattle; $21.50–$25 (206-784-4849 or

Wu-Tang Clan member GZA will always have a place in hip-hop history because of 1995’s “Liquid Swords,” a lyrically inventive album that, like a lot of notable ’90s New York rap, was a gritty chronicle of street life. His next album will be completely different. Inspired by a lifelong fascination with science and lecture visits to MIT, Oxford and Harvard, the long-gestating “Dark Matter” is a concept album about the cosmos.

7 Flying Lotus

7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., Seattle; $26.50–$28 (206-784-4849 or With Thundercat

Through his music and his Brainfeeder label, Los Angeles’ Flying Lotus has created singular brand of electronic music that finds common ground between hip-hop and jazz, expression and abstraction. To wit, the two most prominent guests on new album “You’re Dead!” are Kendrick Lamar and Herbie Hancock. Bass savant Stephen Bruner, who performs as Thundercat and co-wrote several songs on FlyLo’s new album, opens the show.

Here’s another brief Seattle Times preview of Lotus by Michael Ramos.

8 FKA Twigs

8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $20–$25 (206-628-3151 or With Boots

The word “futuristic” is often used to describe FKA Twigs, a British R&B singer and producer whose profile has risen greatly in the past year. In reality, the two most salient aspects of her music—minimalism and darkness—have some pretty recent precedents. Nevertheless, hers is a fully developed sound with a striking visual aesthetic to match.

Mike Ramos’ Seattle Times interview with FKA Twigs.

9 Death From Above 1979

7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $28.50 (206-709-9442 or With Biblical

In the early 2000s, Toronto punk twosome Death From Above 1979 combined chunky rock riffs with high-energy dance beats, splitting the difference between Queens of the Stone Age and Lightning Bolt. After a six-year hiatus, the bass-and-drums group reunited for live shows in 2011 and released its first album in 10 years this past September.

10 J Mascis

7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at The Tractor Tavern, 5231 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $20 (206-789-3599 or With Luluc

Any conversation about the best guitarists of the ’80s will likely include Eddie Van Halen and Slash, but J Mascis is at least worthy of consideration. Though far less commercially successful, he’s a master manipulator of feedback and effects, a skill he pairs with keen sense of melody. He’s touring behind “Tied to a Star,” a solo album released on Sub Pop this past August.

J Mascis

(Justin Lapriore)

Comments | More in List | Topics: Capital Cities, Death From Above 1979, First Aid Kit


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