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

December 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Your week in Seattle music: Rufus Wainwright, Deck the Hall Ball and more

Also featuring a ubiquitous radio rapper, a star-studded southern metal band and a British guitar legend.

1 Radiation City

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., Seattle; $12 (206-441-7416 or With Wild One, The Comettes

In 2012, rock quintet Radiation City was named Portland’s best new band by the alt weekly Willamette Week; for Seattleites, its sound should be familiar to anyone who’s listened to the Morning Show on KEXP.  The group is tough to pin down, but it draws from the past 10-or-so years of college rock and is a polished and tour-tested live act.

(Radiation City)




2 Shelby Earl

9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $10 (206-784-4880 or With Field Study, Cumulus (solo)

Seattle singer-songwriter Shelby Earl has had studio support from some of Seattle’s biggest folk artists—John Roderick produced her 2011 debut, and Damien Jurado did the same on last year’s “Swift Arrows.” One of last year’s most underrated local records, it has a lot in common with the wide-open sonics and careful songwriting of Jurado’s “Maraqopa.”

3 Meat Puppets

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $16 (206-709-9442 or With Cass McCombs

By the early ’90s, Meat Puppets had already been a band for more than a decade, but few had heard of them until they accompanied Kurt Cobain on “MTV Unplugged.” That appearance, which included Cobain’s rendition of “Lake of Fire,” helped make 1994’s “Too High to Die” a college radio hit. Some 20 years later, the group’s blend of country, punk and psychedelia is still arresting and weird.

4 Jeezy

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle; $30–$35 (360-652-0444 or

Even if you know nothing about rapper and label head Jeezy (he’s dropped the “Young” since his last album), you’ve likely heard him on the radio since he’s appeared on top-20 hits by Usher, Rihanna and YG. New album “Seen It All: The Autobiography” features appearances from Jay-Z, Future and Rick Ross.

5 Peaking Lights

7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $12 (206-709-9951 or With Ecstatic Cosmic Union

There’s a lot that’s precious about Peaking Lights. The Madison, Wisc., electronic duo are husband and wife; use homemade synthesizers made from found electronics; and have featured “vocals” from their then-one-year-old son Mikko in songs. Fortunately, there’s nothing cutesy about the group’s scrappy, dub-influenced electronic pop, which is inventive and unpredictable.

6 Rufus Wainwright

7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at The Moore, 1931 Second Ave., Seattle; $32.50–$42.50 (206-467-5510 or With Danny Fingers & The Thumbs

Acclaimed singer, pianist and songwriter Rufus Wainwright is accomplished in many facets of the music world—as a pop artist, a composer and, more recently, a writer of operas. This tour occurs in advance of his first greatest hits album, set for release this coming spring.

7 Ryan Hemsworth

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $18–$20 (206-709-9442 or With Tennyson, LUCAS

Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth gained a following online with a tuneful, sensitive-guy take on hip-hop and R&B, demonstrated equally in remixes as it is in productions for rappers. Contrary to its title, melancholy new album “Alone for the First Time” is filled with collaborators from the margins of Soundcloud, all of whom sing over or add to Hemsworth’s springy beats.

8 Johnny Marr

8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8, at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $27 (206-709-9442 or

Most guitar heros are known for pyrotechnics, but Marr, famously the guitarist for The Smiths, is a master of texture, technique and restraint. After a stint as a guitarist in Modest Mouse and numerous appearances as a session musician, he’s released a solo album each of the past two years. Neither represents his strongest work, but this show is sure to include numerous Smiths classics.

9 Deck the Hall Ball

2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Key Arena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $50–$90 (206-684-7200 or With Cage the Elephant, Vance Joy, Royal Blood

Held by 107.7 The End, Deck the Hall Ball remains a mixed bag of popular alternative rock music both old (Weezer, TV on the Radio) and new (Kongos, Young The Giant). Headlining is Imagine Dragons, whose Arcade Fire–for-dummies shtick has been thoroughly dressed down by voices far more authoritative than mine.

10 Down

7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, at The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $27.50–$30 (206-628-3151 or With Orange Goblin, Bl’ast, King Parrot

The popular conception of metal is that it’s fast and technical, but this New Orleans foursome is indebted to the drum grooves and thick, bluesy guitar riffs of Southern rock. The metal supergroup, which has been active off and on since 1991, features members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity and Eyehategod.

Comments | More in List | Topics: Deck the Hall Ball, Down, Imagine Dragons


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