Today in (Northwest) Music:

Blake Lewis drew big crowds last week at Westlake Center
photo by Jenn Mau

Rest easy, Seattle. Blake Lewis is still in the running for American Idol, having just beat out the precious Melinda Doolittle on last night’s show. Hopefully, the continuing success of Bothell’s beatbox champ will make everybody forget that Sanjaya also hails from the Pacific Northwest.

While you’re anxiously waiting for Blake to face off with Jordin Sparks on next Tuesday’s season finale, you might check out a few events going on around the Seattle area this weekend, including a birthday bash, a hearing awareness benefit, and this…

PDXplore May 19This Saturday, KEXP along with Barbara Mitchell and Dave Allen, present another installment of PDXplore, in effort to bring together the Portland and Seattle music scenes.

Beginning at 9:30 pm at the Ash Street Saloon in Portland, you can see Seattle bands Slender Means and The Feral Children join Portland’s own Wet Confetti and Boy Eats Drum Machine for a mere $6.

Wet Confetti – Laughing Gasping (MP3)

Boy Eats Drum Machine – Interview with Pampelmoose (MP3)

Slender Means – Van Gogh (MP3)

Ball of Wax

  • Tonight, head over to the Sunset Tavern for the Ball of Wax release party for Volume 8, which features 18 songs of instrumental music from the likes of Joy Wants Eternity, Bill Horist, The Luna Moth, and many others. Admission to the show tonight is only $6 and gets you a copy of the Ball of Wax compilation, lovingly crafted by Levi Fuller. For a preview, head over the the Ball of Wax MySpace page.
  • On Friday, The Henry Art Gallery celebrates its 80 year anniversary with The Big Bang Bash, featuring the Astral Art Sale, of work priced $300 and below, hosted by interplanetarily-famous auctioneer Laura Michalek. In addition, Sarah Rudinoff, Nick Garrison, and special guests Sissyfist perform space ballads, robot songs, and interplanetary odes.
  • Also on Friday, the Vera Project and Seattle International Nights present Mirah ft. Spectratone International, who are also performing daily through Saturday at the Seattle International Children’s Festival. That night at the Vera, you can also see Kimya Dawson and Department of Energy.
  • On Saturday, at the Old Redmond Firehouse Teen Center, plug your ears with good music for an EAR-responsible concert featuring Damien Jurado, Ghost Stories, and Tiny Vipers. According to Sound on the Sound, the event will provide advice for musicians and fans on how to protect their ears at music venues, “the only occupational facility where noise is not regulated.” Get there early to join a raffle for iPods with custom headphones. This all-ages event is $6.
  • Damien Jurado – What Were The Chances (MP3)

    Tiny Vipers – Shipwreck (MP3)

    Ghost Stories – The Upper Ten/The Lower Five (MP3)

  • Eagerly awaiting Bumbershoot? So are we, especially after hearing this news reported by Line Out: Seaweed are reuniting to play this year’s festival and will be recording a new album!
  • Seaweed – Thru The Window (MP3)

    To see what else is going on this weekend, check out the KEXP Club Calendar. Also, tune in tomorrow morning at 9:30 am to hear Slender Means perform live on the Morning Show.

    If you have any Northwest music or music news to share, email us at

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