Recommendations: City Arts Fest on Friday
Built to Spill ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
There are so many great options for Friday Night courtesy of City Arts, you’re bound to see a solid show basically no matter where you end up. Keep in mind that individual tickets are sold out for Ryan Adams, Shabazz Palaces and Pickwick, so you’ll need to have a wristband to be able to attend those shows.
Here’s our recommendations for Friday night.
Ancient Melodies of the Future. Has an album title ever so poetically expressed the sound of a band? I’m not sure one has. Built to Spill writes music with something for almost every rocker: stoners, indie-shoegazers, classic rock shedders, garage-dwellers. They’ve managed to take influences and make a sound completely their own and edging through its own evolution. You hear those melodies of the past, though their influences are hardly ancient, but Built to Spill always manages to live and sound more in the realm of the future. Their City Arts performance is their only stateside performance of 2011 and they are one of the most consistently excellent live bands making music today. I’ve seen them at least 10 times and have never wished I chose another show or set. (Abbey)
I’m a voracious consumer of Seattle’s veritable buffet of local talent. With City Arts presenting its wares so beautifully, it feels almost sacrilege to go to a national act this weekend. There are few artists that could even tempt me away from Friday’s shows like Bryan John Appleby or Pickwick. One of those artists, however, is Ryan Adams. Steeped in heartbreak and dysfunction for most of his rambunctious career, Ryan Adams has proved himself to be a prolific songwriter, releasing records almost on top of one another, and ones that sound completely different one to the next. Shaking the image of a country’s new darling after his release of Heartbreaker in 2000, Adams has made a career of being unexpected, at turns inaccessible, and enormously talented. Adams writes songs that can range from abstract (“Two” is about painkillers, didn’t you know?), to jarringly honest (all of Love is Hell), to downright weird (“Halloweenhead”), and has brought along a raving fan base with each turn. After 2010′s record, a sci-fi metal departure called Orion, Adams has released Ashes and Fire, a return to his dirty guitar days. The supporting tour for Ashes and Fire has been hushed and private, with no photographers allowed, and very few recordings. I was able to listen to a recording of his show in Denver, and it was jarring in its beauty. New arrangements of songs from his whole, varied, emotive catalogue, and a gentler Adams than the stories of his belligerent stage antics portray. It could be argued that Adams has lost his edge with the change from his whiskey swilling, bottle throwing era, but he’s a man that bears up change radically and unselfconsciously, and we would be fools to miss out on what he’s offering now. (Kathleen)
Shabazz Palaces ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
“I’m free to be a slave to all these things I can’t escape…” – Shabazz Palaces on “Free Press and Curl”
Universal sentiment from a group that doesn’t write music for everyone. Hip-hop for those who live on a dystopian planet. ATLiens was supposed to extra-terrestial, and for its time I guess it was. However, if aliens do exist (shutup, the truth is out there), I promise you that Black Up would be only album they’d be listening to. The Greys, sitting around their coffee shops in a different galaxy, complaining about how they can’t bitch about the weather because they live in outer space. It’s a tough life being miscast in movies such as Independence Day and the ones that star Sigourney Weaver. Shabazz Palaces are on this earth to make music and serve as ambassadors to beings from different planets. I see you in the crowd, thinking that you comprehend the music that Shabazz Palaces are giving you. Gentle readers, they are communicating on a different realm…literally. Now give me that homemade mix drink that you smuggled in here. Metal Chocolates. I used to read this group’s name and think about the band Seaweed. Don’t ask me why. Then I heard it on KEXP one day and was like “Oh, this is hip-hop. How much are these yams?” Seriously, that’s exactly what I said because I was at a fruit stand and they were playing KEXP on their speakers. Fruit stands are cool like that. Support your local vendors. “Candy Store Controller” reminds me of these crazy dreams I used to have as a kid. I’m not going to go into them but let’s just say they involved Ginger Baker (the drummer from Cream) Latrobe, Pa. and the use of inhalants. I’d love to see Hallmark use this song for the during the next Valentine’s Day. Nothing says “I love you” like finger snaps, bon-bons and mescaline. What was that honey? Oh, that’s just my stereo. I close my eyes and I start hearing things…. (Phil)
Read the rest of our Friday recommendations
Sons of Warren Oates ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
Any one of these bands could sell out the tiny Rendezvous theater on their own. Easily. The combination of all four of these bands could easily sell out a venue the size of The Tractor or Columbia City Theater, if not Neumos or The Crocodile. You’ll probably never see any of these performers in this small a room again and if you want to see them in this small a room tomorrow, you’ll need to get there early.
You want to get there early:
The Replacements aren’t the usual arena sized rock band that tribute nights are oft-dedicated to, but for Seattle, they’re the perfect band for a tribute night. Why? Well, first and foremost, they have a wealth of great songs. Their “Best Of” retrospectives have 34 and 20 songs, respectively. But more than that, with a varied sound pulling from punk to singer-songwriter influences, a tribute night to The Replacements can pull from bands and performers of all different genres who have been influenced by the band. Like the band’s catalog, this isn’t going to be a one note tribute night. City Arts editor at large, Mark Baumgarten and curator of the evening’s tribute night noted this when telling me he’d gotten punk and rock bands to perform The Replacements rockers and some of Seattle’s singer-songwriters for Paul Westerbergs softer and solo tunes. (Singles soundtrack folks, Singles soundtrack.) With performances from members of the Fastbacks, Virgin Islands, Fort Union, Cataldo and a special performance by John Roderick. (Abbey)
I’m pretty sure we don’t have to say anything to convince you to go see Pickwick tonight. The show’s individual tickets have already sold out, they have the number one selling CD at Sonic Boom Records and the most watched video in Sound in the Sound’s history. With Boxer Rebellion having had to drop out last week, the evenings biggest draw will actually be headlining. But in case you do need a little convincing, perhaps this will help …
Other Excellent Friday Night Options:
Fresh Espresso ::: photo by Abbey Simmons