Live Around Town This Week

Colin Meloy of The Decemberists professing his love - photo by Chona Kasinger

Valentine’s Day will kick off a monstrous week of live music coming through the jewel of the Northwest, including but not limited to The Decemberists, Gang of Four, Yo La Tengo, Smith Westerns, Shabazz Palaces, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Justin Townes Earle, and, of course, your usual dosage of local flavor.

Monday, February 14

ELUVEITIE with 3 Inches of Blood, Holy Grail, System Divide @ El Corazon

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than at a venue called “the heart,” watching a band called 3 Inches of Blood? Talk about romance! (7 pm, $15, all ages – bar w/ ID)

Wednesday, February 16

GANG OF FOUR with Hollerado @ Showbox at the Market

Last year Canadian rabble-rousers Hollerado were the first band to play a three-act lineup at The Crocodile, a gig they were late to because a mechanic in Vancouver had broken a key off in their van’s ignition. Fast forward a mere nine months and they have a few more live shows under their belt, including a confetti-covered KEXP in-studio performance, and are now opening for revitalized post-punk legends Gang of Four at the Showbox. Not too shabby. Here’s their clever, OK Go-meets-Holllywood Squares video for “Americanarama”:

(8 pm, $27-$29, 21+)

Thursday, February 17

YO LA TENGO with the Corin Tucker Band @ Showbox at the Market

Let it be known that this will be no ordinary Yo La Tengo show. Last year, they released this statement on their website, cluing fans into the fact that their early 2011 performances would toe the line between rock concert and variety show. They weren’t kidding. Here they are performing a skit from Seinfeld in Chicago:

(7 pm, $18-$20, all ages – bar w/ ID)

SHABAZZ PALACES with Thee Satisfaction @ Neumos

2011 should be a big year for local hip hop duo Shabazz Palaces, as their debut full-length will be out on Sub Pop sometime later in the year. See this precursor of a show on Thursday. They’ll be joined by local mainstays THEESatisfaction. (8 pm, $15 adv, 21+)


Not surprisingly, the GY!BE fanatics have already bought up all the tickets to this show. You might be able to find a deal on craigslist if you missed the boat. (8 pm, sold out, SOLD OUT, all ages – bar w/ ID)

SMITH WESTERNS @ The Crocodile

In Dye It Blonde, Chicago youngsters Smith Westerns have put out one of the best albums of 2011 so far, and are primed for a full year of touring, interviews, press photos, and general adulation (It’s still going to take a few more months of exposure for me to stop mistakenly calling them Smith AND Westerns…damn guns). You’ve probably heard the single and album lead-off hitter “Weekend” on KEXP or elsewhere, but don’t sleep on the rest of the record, which is full of beautifully-crafted, dreamy-but-energetic indie rock. (8 pm, $10, 21+)

Smith Westerns – Weekend

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Friday, February 18


The Decemberists are soaring to new heights of popularity with the release of their 6th LP The King Is Dead. Not only did the album make it to #1 on the billboard charts, but it did so without setting the record for the worst selling #1 album of all time, a rare feat in this young year of paltry record sales. Check out this nice, short, piece about Colin Meloy and co. “Bracing for Success” from the New Yorker. And, of course, this show is sold out, but for any diehards who are willing to pay for a ticket, god bless craigslist. (8 pm, SOLD OUT)

YUNI IN TAXCO with Feral Children, Ocean Age @ Columbia City Theater

Also in the business of having a big 2011 are local tropical indie rockers Yuni in Taxco, who will be celebrating the release of their new album at the Colubmia City Theater along with Feral Children and Ocean Age on Friday. (9 pm, $10 adv / $12 dos)

RYAN BINGHAM & THE DEAD HORSES with The Silent Comedy, Liam Gerner @ Neumos

Here’s a look into the making of Ryan Bingham’s latest album Junky Star:

(7 pm, $20 adv, all ages – bar w/ ID)

THE PICA BEATS with Whalebones, Quiet Ones, Low Hums @ Comet Tavern

Here’s what KEXP Music Director Don Yates had to say about Whalebones‘ new album:

“Since their promising 2007 EP, this Seattle band has slimmed down to a trio (complete with new rhythm section) while also becoming a more potent, hard-driving rock band steeped in the music of the late ‘60s-early ‘70s, particularly the likes of Neil Young & Crazy Horse and the Stones. Their long-awaited debut full-length is a masterful blend of trippy psych-rock, garage and folk-rock, featuring lots of distortion-fried guitar riffs, primal rock rhythms, earthy harmonies and Justin Deary’s assured lead vocals.”

(9 pm, $8, 21+)

ONCE FOR KICKS with The Tripwires, Llama @ Sunset Tavern

The Tripwires at Easy Street Records - photo by Jim Bennett

(9 pm, $8, 21+)

Saturday, February 19

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE with Dawn Landes @ The Crocodile

I only need to see Justin Townes Earle‘s name to know that I’d pay to see him play. He’s the son of Steve Earle, who named him after Townes Van Zandt. I think I’m going to like what I’m about to hear. Initial namesake-related associations aside, Justin Townes Earle plays great Tennessee country in his own right, and while clearly his father’s son, he’s reached the point as a performer where he’d be turning heads if his name was John Doe. He clearly takes his cues from the originators of the genre, playing country the way it was meant to be played. His songs are timeless and fresh at the same time, and his 2010 album Harlem River Blues is full of feel-good blues songs that will make you smile in appreciations that JTE is carrying on the tradition, while expanding on it at the same time.

Here’s JTE live at KEXP last year:

(8 pm, $15 adv, 21+)

THE LOVE LANGUAGE with Seapony @ High Dive

North Carolina’s The Love Language play absolutely lovely lo-fi folk rock and should make for a nice night out in Fremont. After they play on Saturday, they’ll be hooking up with Telekenesis and heading out into the country for a number of additional dates. (9 pm, $8, 21+)

SEEK AND DESTROY PRESENTS: Red Fang, Argonaut, Absolute Monarchs @ Sunset Tavern

It wouldn’t be a Saturday night at the Sunset without a rad Hannah Levin-sponsored event. (9 pm, $10, 21+)

SHIM with Summer Babes, The Redwood Plan @ Tractor Tavern

SHIM’s stripped-down arena rock is riff heavy and will most certainly warrant some headbanging. This is the epitome of rocking out and if you’re tired of hearing castrated indie rock everywhere you turn, a SHIM show could be just what the doctor ordered. (9:30 pm, $8, 21+)

THEE EMERGENCY with The Cute Lepers, Broken Nobles, The Knast @ Comet Tavern

Thee Emergency at the Comet. You know what’s up. (9 pm, $8, 21+)

A Benefit For Drew Grow @ Columbia City Theater

Earlier this year Drew Grow of Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives was severely injured in a car accident, leaving him hospitalized and likely needing several months to convalesce. Not only that, but the band’s tour van was totaled. The Seattle music community is rallying in support of their temporarily fallen brethren for a night of music to benefit his and the band’s recuperation. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the tunes! Among those performing will be The Maldives, Kevin Murphy (of the Moondoggies), Ghosts I’ve Met, Bryan John Appleby, Jake Hemming (of Big Sur), Mychel Benjamin Goodwater (of OK Campfire). And if you can’t make it but still want to help, you can donate directly here. (8 pm, $12 adv / $15 dos)

KINDIPENDENT KIDS ROCK SERIES feat. The Not-Its @ Mount Baker Community Club

In my humble opinion, the Not-Its are great, but they’re a long way from challenging Caspar Babypants as the king of Northwest toddler rock. This will still be a great event for kids and parents alike. (10:30 am)

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