Tonight’s Music Selections at City Arts Fest
The 2012 edition of City Arts Fest made its official musical bow yesterday, with turns from David Byrne and St. Vincent, The Head and the Heart’s Jonathan Russell, and Ghostland Observatory, among others. If you didn’t get a chance to check out any of Wednesday’s music acts, fret not: There are still plenty of crucial sonics coming down the pike before the Fest winds down on Saturday. A detailed schedule, ticket info, and various sundry good things can be acquired over at the City Arts Fest website, but here are some of the musical highlights coming up tonight.
DJ Swervewon, Thaddeus David, Larry Hawkins (formerly SK), The Physics, Mos Def @ Showbox SODO. Show begins at 7:15pm.
Showbox SODO sits in South Seattle, pretty far away from the Fest’s Capitol Hill and downtown focal points, and it’s an imperfect performance space at best. That said, the lineup’s strong enough to warrant just hunkering down and shaking your ass for the night. Whether he calls himself Yasiin Bay, Dante Smith, or whatever, Mos Def’s more than earned hip hop royalty status after a couple of decades in the trenches (dude’s a really good film and TV actor, too). But the front end of the bill’s brimming with multiple flavors of local hip hop. Thaddeus David keeps it sparse and menacing, the artist formerly known as SK (Larry Hawkins) plies a more expansive, hook-laden sound, and The Physics back their rhymes with a lush sound that combines velour funk with bursts of silken soul-inflected backing vocals.
Tomten, Throw Me the Statue, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground, Gold Leaves @ The Crocodile. Show begins at 8pm.
Yeah, Gold Leaves–the newest project from Arthur and Yu’s Grant Olsen–is pretty as all get out, what with its lush arrangements and Olsen’s plaintive, warm vocals at the center. But the three preceding acts make tonight’s Croc show a full-meal deal. Tomten‘s graceful, loping pop songs are so British-sounding you can taste the vinegar on the salt-and-vinegar crisps, and Throw Me the Statue sell their everything-and-the-kitchen-sink indie pop with phenomenal musicianship and drum-tight live performances. Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground, meantime, sound like earnest chamber pop, bum-rushed by a drunken cabaret band.
Nark, Glitterbang, House of Ladosha, SSION @ the Rendezvous. Show begins at 7:45pm.
Wanna dance, but don’t wanna do so in the barn-like Showbox SODO? Get thee the hell to the Rendezvous tonight. Headliners SSION enjoy reams of notoriety for their warped and over-the-top live shows (lead singer Cody Critchloe’s cartoon charisma alone is worth the price of admission) and the band’s newest material takes a left turn from herky-jerky new wave to hooky electro-disco. That change in sound will nicely compliment Brooklyn beat-meister House of Ladosha and Seattle danceketeers Glitterbang, plus busy Seattle DJ Nark spins for early arrivals.
Slang!, Lemolo @ The Triple Door. Show begins at 8pm.
You probably don’t need to hear another round of hosannahs for local duo Lemolo‘s swirly and devastatingly lovely pop, but there’s a reason for all the hoop-dee-doo: their songs completely captivate, and their live shows have never been anything less than transcendental. Opening outfit Slang! consists of Portland singer/songwriter Drew Grow and Wild Flag/Quasi member Janet Weiss. Grow and Weiss are talented as hell, so it’ll be nice to hear the former lending his famously-passionate delivery to other peoples’ material (Slang! is a cover band, apparently) while the latter delivers contrasting harmonies and (fingers crossed) gets behind the drum kit.