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

January 28, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Your week in Seattle music: Sam Smith, the Sasquatch! launch party and more

Also featuring an ambitious local rapper, classical music at the Tractor Tavern and some of the strangest sounds that can be made on a guitar.

1 Bass Drum of Death

7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, at The Tractor Tavern, 5231 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $10 (206-789-3599 or www.tractortavern.com). With Chastity Belt, Bad Motivators

Oxford, Miss., band Bass Drum of Death writes swaggering, intermittently catchy rock songs that, in the past, were largely the work of John Barrett. For third album “Rip This,” the full band joined him in the studio. The group’s first truly collaborative album boasts the same fuzzed-out, bar-band-ready punk sound as before.

2 Iska Dhaaf

8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., Seattle; $10 (206-441-7416 or www.thecrocodile.com). With Grave Babies, Newaxeyes

Formed from the ashes of Mad Rad and Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, rock duo Iska Dhaaf spent 2014 releasing debut album “Even the Sun Will Burn” and playing the major Northwest festivals that such bands typically play (Sasquatch!, CHBP, Bumbershoot). The twosome’s highbrow take on surf rock is melodic and non-threateningly frenetic, the stuff of KEXP midday playlists.


8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., Seattle; $26.50–$31.50 (206-784-4849 or www.stgpresents.org).

Drake is the sort of pop star who can launch other artists’ careers, and Ontario R&B lothario PARTYNEXTDOOR could be next in line. Released on Drake’s October’s Very Own label, last year’s “PARTYNEXTDOOR 2” didn’t contain a hit like ILoveMakkonen’s “Tuesday,”  but it displays a strain of hedonistic, icy R&B for which, as The Weeknd and Drake himself have proved, there’s certainly an audience.

4 Raz Simone

8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $20 (206-709-9442 or www.neumos.com). With Ryan Caraveo

Raz Simone is a talented hip-hop artist from Seattle who, like another Seattle rapper you may have heard of, writes personal music with far-reaching themes. This show commemorates the release of “Cognitive Dissonance: Part 2,” the followup to last year’s first installment, which was a worthy showcase for Simone’s ambition and universality.

5 Elevator 7

9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at Machine House Brewery, 5840 Airport Way S., Seattle; $10–$12 (206-402-6025 or www.machinehousebrewery.com). With Bill Orcutt, Sean Curley

Elevator is a monthly showcase for experimental and avant-garde music, and this seventh edition features three musicians who explore new sonic avenues using rock’s most staid instrument: the guitar. Bill Horist is particularly compelling, using a litany of effects pedals and physical manipulations to coax sci-fi-worthy sounds from his axe.

6 G Love & Special Sauce

8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $27.50–$30 (206-628-3151 or www.showboxpresents.com). With Matt Costa

For more than 20 years, Garrett “G Love” Dutton has fronted this three-piece rock band, whose languid, groove-driven blues sound sits somewhere between Dave Matthew Band, Sublime and the song where classic-rock enthusiasts unironically claim that Bob Dylan “invented” rap. New album “Sugar” is the group’s second on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records.


7 Bill Frisell

8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $25–$30 (206-628-3151 or www.showboxpresents.com).

Bill Frisell is only nominally a jazz guitarist; his approach to the instrument incorporates a whole host of influences, from Aaron Copland to noise music. His latest album, which he’ll perform at this show, is “Guitar in the Space Age,” a collection of covers of instrumental music from the ’50s and ’60s that influenced Frisell in his youth.

8 Matt Haimovitz & Christopher O’Riley

7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, at The Tractor Tavern, 5231 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $20 (206-789-3599 or www.tractortavern.com).

Classical music and the Tractor Tavern—a venue with a cow skull hanging at the back of its stage—are an odd fit, but Matt Haimovitz (cello) and Christopher O’Riley (piano) have made careers out of putting old-world music into strange contexts. The duo will perform new album “Beethoven, Period” on classical-era instruments.

9 Sam Smith

6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, at Key Arena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $35.50–$71 (206-684-7200 or www.keyarena.com). With George Ezra

Perhaps no mainstream artist broke out bigger in 2014 than Sam Smith, who in the course of a year went from being a relatively little-known British singer to a bonafide pop star with a platinum album and a massively popular single. Smith’s retro-leaning style resonates with the old and the young; that’s probably why this show is at a venue that holds six times more people than the site of his first Seattle appearance in September.

10 Sasquatch! Launch Party

7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, at The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., Seattle; Free (206-784-4849 or www.stgpresents.org). With Ty Segall, Tacocat, The Young Evils

Sasquatch! has been holding these festival launch parties for several years now, but this year’s lineup announcement holds some intrigue. After last year’s cancellation fiasco—the festival expanded to cover two weekends, a la Coachella, and then cancelled the second one when tickets didn’t sell—the scope and ambition of this year’s lineup feels like a good way to gauge what the festival will look like going forward.

Comments | More in List | Topics: Bass Drum of Death, Bill Frisell, Bill Horist


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