Wednesday, September 8th
THE WALKMEN with The Helio Sequence @ the Showbox at the Market
When a band has been together and touring as long as The Walkmen have (since they were teens), it almost always means they’re amazing live. When being in sync, knowing what the other band members are going to do, and just playing a tight show in general comes as natural as breathing, it leaves the band free to rock out and entertain the crowd without reservation. Combine their experience with the fact that their forthcoming album Lisbon (set to be released next Tuesday the 14th), and in particular it’s first single “Angela Surf City“, sound more raw and energetic than the band has sounded in years, and Wednesday’s show at the Showbox should be incredible. The fact that The Helio Sequence will be opening makes it a can’t miss night of music for indie rock fans. (8 pm, $18 adv/$20 dos)
TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS with Past Lives @ The Vera Project
Indie rock mainstay Ted Leo and his Pharmacists released a new album in March called The Brutalist Bricks that sounds like more of the vaguely punk-y indie rock goodness we’ve been able to count on Ted Leo for over the course of the past decade. You’ll probably recognize the up-beat single “Even Heroes Have To Die” from the KEXP airwaves. Local band Past Lives, comprised of members of Blood Brothers, will be opening and might be worth the price of admission themselves – they’ve just released their debut album Tapestry of Webs on Suicide Squeeze. (8:30, $13, all ages)
Thursday, September 9th
THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH with S. Carey @ Neumos
Sweden’s The Tallest Man on Earth, aka Kristian Matsson, is by many accounts the closest thing contemporary music has to Bob Dylan, and considering Dylan’s lackluster and garbled performance at Bumbershoot on Saturday (sorry Bob), we might need The Tallest Man now more than ever. It is, of course, ridiculous to compare anyone to Bob Dylan, but Matsson is an acoustic-guitar-playing singer-songwriter with a distinctive voice, and that’s good enough for most people. He IS a great songwriter though, and his two albums Shallow Grave and this year’s The Wild Hunt have been extremely well-received and both feature really cool cover art. Anyway, if you’re craving a fresh shot of a Dylan-esque performer, go to this show. (8 pm, $15, 21+)
Friday, September 10th
MENOMENA with Say Hi and Suckers @ the Showbox at the Market
Clear your schedule Friday night – Menomena is at the Showbox. The beloved Portland band released Mines, their first album in a few years in July, and by all accounts it’s absolutely amazing. You’ll surely recognize “Taos” from frequent KEXP airplay, and the rest of the album is full of the deliciously experimental indie rock Menomena have been so adept at producing since their 2003 debut I Am The Fun Blame Monster! . They recently played an in-studio at KEXP that only served to further wet appetites for their upcoming live show, and considering that this is the first show of a lengthy upcoming tour to support Mines, I can’t imagine anyone in attendance will be leaving disappointed, to say the least. Throw in the fact that Say Hi and Suckers, who both played great Concerts at the Mural (especially Suckers, in my opinion), and this is definitely a can’t miss night at the Showbox.
Saturday, September 11th
THE NATIONAL with Okkervil River @ Marymoor Park
It’s been a big year for The National. They released High Violet to rave reviews, have been selling out shows all over the country, and played a packed show on the Main Stage at Sasquatch! that had people talking for days. Their melodramatic, expansive, and powerful indie rock, as well as singer Matt Berninger’s stage presence (he came down into the crowd during Sasquatch!), has turned The National from a underrated but critically-acclaimed indie band to one of the biggest arena acts in the country that can still call themselves indie. Considering the fact that Vampire Weekend cancelled at the last minute the other week, this could easily be the highlight of Marymoor’s summer concert series. We’ll just have to pray for friendly skies.
JJ GREY & MOFRO with Hot Buttered Rum @ the Showbox at the Market
From Jacksonville, Florida (not many bands from Florida, are there?), JJ Grey is a Southern bar rocker who looks like he just got back from fishing for trout. He has a swampy, Southern swagger that translates perfectly into any setting where alcohol will be served. And though Grey is from the South, his music is not country. Along with his longtime band Mofro, he plays contemporary bayou blues that sometimes sounds raucously funky, and sometimes sounds slower and sweeter, like it’s better suited for sweet tea than whiskey. His recently released album Georgia Warhorse, despite the name, might contain more of the latter variety of his music. But don’t get me wrong, Grey can still rock it, and it’s a good thing the Showbox has two bars.