On any given weekend in Seattle, there are a million amazing shows to see - from jazz sets at coffee shops and orchestras at theaters, to a grunge shows in DIY spaces and major touring acts at any of our larger venues. Maybe this weekend you want to try something new; maybe you heard one song by this small electronic, folk, grunge group that you heard on Audioasis or from a friend; or maybe you’re just tired of what you’ve been previously listening to. Luckily for you, the PNW is ripe with local acts who perform in our city every day. Because we love the amazing diversity of venues, art spaces, producers, bookers, musicians, and talent, we’re going to suggest a few. This week, we recommend substrata 1.3 at Good Shepherd Center; Hibou with The Soft Hills and Snowdrift at Columbia City Theater; Palms Out photography show at LoveCityLove; and Wimps, Satan Wriders, Dude York and The Narx at Cairo.
Seattle hosts many shows every year, but perhaps the most exciting and surprising festival occurs at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford and values flying under the radar to a degree of almost secrecy in terms of press. I think I can safely say that substrata 1.3, three years young, feels far more like a perfectly conceived and elegantly curated visit to a museum than any sort of “festival” experience you may have in mind. “Intimate sound & visual art weekend” seems a bit rough around the edges as well. However, when speaking about artists as prolifically genius as Portland’s Grouper, Brooklyn’s Noveller, and Silent Records founder Kim Cascone pretty much all words will probably fail you. Not only does this festival pull from ephemeral ambient experimental music, but with a focus on visuals alongside sounds, multi-talented performer/composers such as Christina Vantzou, whose terrifying and mesmerizing surreal videos we saw at Decibel Festival last year, are allowed to shine. While not focused on the PNW specifically, substrata 1.3 draws in several Washington and Oregon artists alongside others. Although mostly sold out, tickets are still available for Saturday, and with or without access exploring the recordings of these performers in incredibly worthwhile experience. More info here. Good Shepherds Center, all-ages.
Thursday July 18th:
I’m sorry to admit that I’ve only been to Columbia City Theatre once so far, but I thoroughly enjoyed the space’s old theater feel as well as the excellent sound and generally fun vibes of being somewhere I haven’t been before. Hopefully, with Capitol Hill slowly giving way to condos and other multi-use high-rises, more of us will take the trip to Columbia City for some of their well-booked shows. This Wednesday is an excellent example of a show that should bring you down there: Seattle’s dreamy surf pop group Hibou will be performing with The Soft Hills and Snowdrift. When I first listened to Hibou’s music, I was immediately surprised that they weren’t signed to a label already. Free drifting yellow auras abound inside their well-crafted visions of summer - memories of chillwave’s birth alongside our need for something both slightly melancholic and upbeat to counter the hot sun and seemingly endless days bring us to Hibou. And not to abandon the two supporting acts, well worth checking out is The Soft Hills harmonious folk-psyche as well as the hauntingly rural aural meanderings of Snowdrift. More info here. Columbia City Theater, 8pm, $8, 21+.
The Soft Hills:
Friday July 19th:
I won’t pretend that I actually knew what lovecitylove is before I started writing this, despite having been there for Beat Connection’s performance a few weeks ago. In fact, I had to call one of the photographers from the show to find out. Is it a gallery? a venue? a store? The answer is all of these, because the building will be torn down at the end of the summer, the space has been handed over to artists, collectors, and musicians among others. This Friday is the reception for Palms Out, a photography show from Seattle based photographers Conner Lyons, Leena Joshi, Lauren Colton, and Lucien Pellegrin. Standing with palms facing outwards has long be a symbol of openness, and in this show, the four photographers seek, despite their various styles and lives, to expose their gaze through the exposure of their photographs. Experimental hip-hop DJ Aleron will play throughout the night. More info here. lovecitylove, 7pm, free.
Saturday July 20th:
This Saturday you can see among the best garage-y underdog-gone-right bands Seattle has to offer alongside Oakland punks Satan Wriders. Need I list the reasons I love every band on this lineup? I need not, but I will. Who doesn’t love Wimps , a trio (unless you count Lizzie Doll as a member then there are four) who would rather nap than go to your oh-so-cool party or the oh-too-sunny beach? Satan Wriders have very little music on their soundcloud, but what’s there is golden and fuzz filtered - I tried playing this to the sleep visitors at a coffee shop and was asked if I could switch the music to something more produced. It might be impossible to not like Dude York , whose upbeat garage sounds like it was attacked by a pop lawn mower and spit out in a glorious glow of teen confusion and adult capabilities. And finally those who hate sleeping as much as Wimps love it, The Narx, need your attention. So heads up, everyone! More info here. Cairo, 8pm, all-ages.
In case you needed an accurate adjective filled description: “Punk Show at the Heartland! Get into it!” Tonight, this Tuesday July 16th catch Stillsuit / Death Drive / Dogjaw / Childbirth. Seattle’s Midday Veil and Master Musicians of Bukkake will be filling Chop Suey with their spirally psychadelic phantoms this Thursday July 18th. Saturday bring us Skrot Up Records showcase at Black Lodge featuring Seattle’s Dreamsalon and Glam Code, as wellas visitors Little Pilgrims, Emotional, Jani/Jussi of Jeans Wilder. Also Saturday is Witch Mountain with Eight Bells, Eye of Nix, Gladiators Eat Fire at Highline.