Live Around Town This Week

The Arcade Fire

Dear God! Once again it’s hard to believe how many amazing live shows will be in town this week. The Arcade Fire, Flaming Lips, Dirty Projectors, The Black Keys, Neon Indian, School of Seven Bells, and more all playing in the span of six days! I couldn’t complain if just one of these shows came through town every month! The Music Gods have truly been bestowing a heavy dose of divine benevolence on the Northwest as of late. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s action:

Monday, September 27th

THE FLAMING LIPS with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti @ The Paramount

I shouldn’t have to say too much about why you should want to go see The Flaming Lips live. We all know about the crowd-surfing bubble and Wayne Coyne’s other antics on stage (although you’re probably not going to see any crowd surfing at The Paramount). As for their recent studio history, they released Dark Side of the Moon, which was nothing more than a Flaming Lips version of the classic album. Say what you will about bands remaking old albums, but I saw they play “Breathe” on Jimmy Fallon and it was absolutely amazing. Also in 2009 they released an album of stellar-as-always original material called Embryonic. Anyway, like I said, a Flaming Lips live show at The Paramount shoulnd’t need touting. Who you might not know as much about is opener Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Ariel Pink recorded hundreds upon hundreds of songs on his computer before eventually getting by Animal Collective, signing a record deal, and forming a band. Their 2010 debut Before Today is one of the year’s best albums, and features incomparably unique pop gems that will take you back to the 70s or 80s but sound like they could have just as easily been sent back from the future. (8 pm, $40 adv/$43 dos)

The Flaming Lips

NEON INDIAN with Prefuse 73 and Minature Tigers @ Showbox at the Market

The super-smooth psychedelic electronica of the Ausin-based project of Alan Palomo has been a favorite of KEXP listeners since their debut album Psychic Chasms was released last year. Everything about Neon Indian‘s music will take you straight back to the 80s. Palomo uses a plethora of cheesy video game effects, synths, and drum beats. What’s good is good, though, and there’s perhaps nothing better to chill out to than Neon Indian. And, of course, don’t be afraid to don a little neon. You probably won’t be alone. (8 pm, $18 adv/$20 dos)

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS with Active Child @ Neumos

An interesting trio composed of Secret Machines’ guitarist Benjamin Curtis and twin sisters Claudia and Alejandra Deheza, School of Seven Bells will be at Neumos on Monday. Their debut album Alpinisms was nearly universally loved, and their airy shoegaze-pop has only become more refined on their follow-up album Disconnect from Desire, which was released earlier this year. Though clearly taking cues from shoegaze pioneers like My Bloody Valentine, School of Seven Bells’ music is all about the lightweight, levitating, dreamlike vocals of the Deheza sisters. Curtis’ guitar is the perfect complement, and together the three spin together delightful little pop gems that sound like they were recorded in the clouds. (8 pm, $13 adv, 21+)

School of Seven Bells

Tuesday, September 28th

MATT & KIM with Fang Island and Champagne, Champagne @ Showbox at the Market

Matt & Kim, the him and her duo from New York with Matt Johnson playing keyboards and singing and Kim Schifinio behind the drums, will be at the Showbox at the Market on Tuesday with not just Fang Island, but Fang Island and Champagne, Champagne. It should be a high-spirited night of music to say the least. What makes Matt & Kim special and the reason they’ve developed such a big following over the past few years is the genuine exuberance with which they play, and in particular with which Johnson sings. People want to feel good when they listen to music or go to a concert, and that’s exactly the vibe Matt & Kim try to transmit. Throw in some catchy dance-pop melodies that people can move to and that’s really all you need. You’ve certainly heard their song “Daylight” from their sophomore released Grand, and their third album Sidewalks, which is scheduled to be released on November 2nd, is sure to be full of more of the same, including the album’s first single “Cameras”. (8 pm, $16 adv)

Wednesday, September 29th

ARCADE FIRE with Calexico @ Key Arena

The biggest indie rock band on the planet with the biggest indie rock record of the year are finally coming to Seattle. It took them a while, but Suburbs, the follow up to Funeral and Neon Bible, hit shelves earlier this year and has cemented the Arcade Fire‘s status as one of, if not the, best bands recording and touring today (and also one of the most innovative: check out this amazing interactive video built using HTML5 - it only works with Google Chrome or Safari, though). Fortunately for Seattle fans who might be a little wary of Key Arena, the Arcade Fire’s live show is made to fill a spacious venue. The seven-piece band is always active on stage, projecting their voices, music, and themselves. With the help of some lights, the epic nature of some of their songs, and a crowd that will have been waiting for this moment for a long time, the Arcade Fire should shave no problem rocking the hell out of Key Arena. (7:30 pm, $38)

THE MALDIVES with The Horde and the Harem @ Chop Suey

The good ole’ Maldives will be playing a FREE show at Chop Suey on Friday. Just RSVP with the link below and you’ll be granted access. Word is the local western-folk-rockers have been working on some new material as well, so head on out if you’re interested. They’ll also supposedly be bringing out some special guests. (8 pm, FREE if you RSVP here, 21+)

Thursday, September 30th

DIRTY PROJECTORS with Dominique Young Unique @ Showbox at the Market

Dirty Projectors are a six-piece band with a little bit of everything. Led by former Yale dropout David Longstreth, the band features multiple singers, angelic vocal harmonies, and oftentimes unconventional instrumental arrangements. Longstretch has been recording music for the majority of the past decade with a variety of different lineups, but Dirty Projectors 2009 release Bitte Orca has brought the band an unprecedented amount of attention and acclaim. I caught a few glimpses of them live at this year’s Sasquatch!, and believe me their live show is just as intriguing as their recordings let on. This will be a performance that should suit the Showbox at the Market perfectly. (8 pm, $22 adv)

JOHN RODERICK (of the Long Winters) @ The Triple Door

Do-everything Seattle music staple John Roderick will be playing a solo show at the Triple Door on Saturday. Over the years he’s worked on more projects than anyone can keep up with, teaming up with countless bands, making appearances at 826 Seattle, writing articles, giving prose readings, and pretty much anything else he can do to contribute to the Northwest arts scene. This is sure to be an intimate evening over which to sip a few cocktails, listen to some songs, and probably hear a few stories. (8 pm, $20)

...And yes, I just copy and pasted this from when he played at the Triple Door a few weeks ago.

Friday, October 1st

WHEEDLE’S GROOVE with SOL, Mike Nipper, and Marc Muller @ Neumos

You saw the movie, now see the band. (8 pm, $12, 21+)

Saturday, October 2st

THE BLACK KEYS @ The Paramount

Now that everyone has had time to digest their 2010 release Brothers, it’s time to see The Black Keys live! Unfortunately you probably would have had to have made this decision a while ago if you actually want to be in attendance, as tickets basically sold out as soon as they went on sale (as they did in neural every stop on their current tour). There’s always craigslist though, and though as of now you’d be looking at paying at least double the face value, it might still be worth it. Though there’s only two of them, the Black Keys are actually better live than they sound on their albums, which have included more and more overdubs, effects, and additional instrumentation in recent years. The Black Keys are at their best when they’re raw and stripped-down, and fortunately that’s what they go for during their live gigs. (8 pm, $30 adv/$35 dos)

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