Live Around Town This Week

The xx

It’s going to be a really busy week for live music around Seattle. Even without the highly anticipated Decibel Festival and the 23rd Annual Rockabilly Ball, there are some heavy hitters making their way through the Northwest. Here’s a quick rundown:

Tuesday, September 21st

HOT HOT HEAT with 22-20s and Hey Rosetta @ Chop Suey

It’s been a wallowing decade for Hot Hot Heat. Since their acclaimed release Take Up The Breakdown in 2002, on which the Victoria BC five-piece sounded like a noisy, punk-y, Ritalin-popping version of The Strokes, the band has fallen out of favor with most. Future Breeds, their latest album and their fifth full-length release, has been by many accounts their best release in years. The album is full of similarly nosiy, synthy pop punk that is so crazily effect-laden that it sounds like there are multiple alarms going off at once. Distinctive singer Steve Bays’ shout-y voice is also noticeably depleted of some of the energy that he was known for back in their hey day, but Future Breeds should still be something for fans to get excited about, or at least check out. And British openers 22-20s were just shown to me by a friend the other day are amazing. Listen here. (8 pm, $13 adv/$15 dos, all ages)

Wednesday, September 22nd

VAMPIRE WEEKEND with The Head and the Heart @ The Paramount

Vampire Weekend left a huge crowd of eagerly awaiting fans at the altar at Marymoor Park the other week, and to make up for their last-minute cancellation they promptly scheduled two make-up shows at The Paramount. Very nice of them. We all know that Vampire Weekend is a great live band, but what is going to make these shows special for local music fans is the fact that local folk/pop darlings The Head and the Heart will be opening. The Head and the Heart have been getting ridiculously popular over the summer and these will unquestionably be their biggest shows yet. So basically both bands should be putting on absolutely incredible performances, and this is going to be a milestone show The Head and the Heart. If you’re a fan of the band, sell what you need to sell to get money to get to this show. You won’t regret it. (7:30 pm, $36.50)

The Head and the Heart - photo by Robertsen Ashman

PERFUME GENIUS with Diamond Rings and Shenandoah Davis @ The Crocodile

I have to say that I was not really expecting to like Perfume Genius’s music, but after reading up and giving it a listen, I was absolutely enthralled by it’s poignancy, starkness, and overall authenticity. Perfume Genius is Seattle’s Mike Hadreas, and his music is extremely moving, extremely lo-fi, and usually only features his minimalist piano playing and frail voice that makes you feel that if you don’t listen to it intently and with your undivided attention, it might wither away. After being discovered by Los Campesinos!, Hadreas has released his debut full-length Learning this year. His music really is affecting and you’re not going to find anything more genuine. His lyrics are specific and lack vague generalizations about love or despair or whatever. You can tell it’s nothing more than Hadreas pouring his heart out, and he’ll have the entire audience at The Crocodile on Wednesday in the palm of his hand. (8 pm, $10 adv, 21+)

Thursday, September 23rd

VAMPIRE WEEKEND with The Head and the Heart @ The Paramount

Because two shows are better than one!

FENCES with Richie Young and Campfire OK @ The Crocodile

Fences is another band that’s been building buzz around the city this summer. The melancholy indie pop band fronted by Christopher Mansfield played amazing sets at the Capitol Hill Block Party and Bumbershoot, and it’s all been building up to the release of their much-anticipated debut album. The release party is this Thursday at The Crocodile, and though this is a happy occasion for the band, expect the performance to be just as comfortably sad as you’d hope it would be. (8 pm, $10 adv, 21+)

Christopher Mansfield of Fences

Friday, September 24th

LOCAL NATIVES with The Love Language and The Union Line @ Showbox at the Market

If you couldn’t tell by their name, LA band Local Natives’ music is tribal in natures, featuring chanting lyrics, beautiful collective harmonies, and tom-heavy and oftentimes furious drum beating. Their live shows are no different either – on stage they are youthful, energetic, and make a concerted effort to bring the audience into the party. There were so many people packed in front of their stage at Sasquatch! that I couldn’t even finagle a decent view, but I could hear enough to make me proud that Local Natives are from the West Coast, despite playing music that most would think came out of Brooklyn. Their debut album Gorilla Manor which was released earlier this year. (8 pm, $16 adv/$20 dos, all ages)

COBIRDS UNITE (featuring Rachel Flotard & Rusty Willoughby) with The Young Evils and Numbers & Letters @ Columbia City Theater

Cobirds Unite is the project of Rusty Willoughby and the amazing Rachel Flotard of Visqueen. They’ll be playing two sets, one at 7:00 pm for all ages, and another at 10:00 for the 21 and up crowd. Both shows are only $8! This video should be all you need to see:

Saturday, September 25th

THE XX with Warpaint and Zola Jesus @ The Paramount

Sexy-sounding British group The xx have exploded since the release of their 2009 self-titled debut album. They’ve been a sought after festival act, they’ve been headlining sold-out shows in bigger and bigger venues, and just recently they were awarded the prestigious Mercury Prize, which goes to the best UK album of the year. They’re also a band whose mellow, minimalist style will sound absolutely beautiful in a venue like the Paramount. (8:00 pm, $26.50)

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