Kathleen’s City Arts Schedule
City Arts Festival audibly marks the end of summer and the start of fall. And it does so in the best way I can think of- by inviting us who mourn the sun taking her bow, inside to transition noisily into the contained cooler season. Beginning this Wednesday, October 18, and running through Saturday, October 21, it’s the festival that’s all cozy and tucked away inside Seattle’s downtown venues. I love it because it’s just the right cool down from the sweaty mayhem of summer festivals, when all the stages bleed together and you can’t step outside for fresh air because there is literally no fresh air anywhere at all. Let’s all go back inside while the rain begins to wash all that August grit off the streets, because there will be some worthwhile shows to duck into during this week’s festival.
8:30 pm- 10:30 pm- David Byrne/ St. Vincent at 5th Avenue Theatre:
Well, yeah, I know. Everyone in Seattle with bangs wants to be at this show. I expect some waif-ish girls with weirdly sharp elbows to be throwing down in order to secure a spot. But I still want to try. I’ve got at least 6 inches on most of them, and there is no way I want to miss this strange, beautiful, groovy match up. But! If I don’t get in, I have some other shows that I may actually prefer.
8:45 pm-9:30 pm- Kevin Murphy at All Pilgrims:
Kevin Murphy, songwriter and guitarist for the Moondoggies, will be playing solo. His writing is immense, propulsive, and shrewd, and I wouldn’t miss a chance to hear a rare voice like his on its own.
9:45 pm-10:30 pm- Jonathan Russell at All Pilgrims:
One of the primary songwriters in The Head and the Heart, Jon has recently been writing tunes that are pointed, stark, and powerful in their honesty. In their recent KEXP session, he showcased his solo chops with “Untitled”, a song about shaking off others’ expectations and defying groupthink in the search for life’s elusive glory. So, with that,everyone needs to go see his show without question.
Apparently at midnight there is a David Byrne after party. Who wants to see if we can get him to go on a bike ride down to the water?
9:15 pm-10: 15 pm- Lemolo at Triple Door:
These two Poulsbo ladies released their debut, Kaleidoscope, this summer, and it’s a sparkling carafe of gossamer pop; so dreamy and intricate it recalls summer sun even as the rain falls. I predict this show will fill up quickly, so get there as soon as you can.
9:30 pm- 10:30 pm- Elliott Smith Tribute Show at Can Can:
October 21 will mark the 9 year anniversary since beloved songwriter, Elliott Smith, took his own life. Mark Baumgarten of City Arts has assembled local voices to pay tribute to his catalogue. I have never met someone who loves Elliott Smith idly. His songs were too honest, too raw. They touched all the parts that still ached, like day old, yellowing bruises- the wounds that can’t heal and sit on the surface quietly. I can imagine it will be a touching experience for the artists and audience alike- bound together by the memory of a man who was the salve for so many, but not himself. I am hoping to hear “Twilight”, and pardon me if I am a bit less social at that show.
10:50 pm- 12:00 am- Gold Leaves at Crocodile:
GUYS. I FINALLY LOVE GOLD LEAVES. This show is going to be great now that I get it. If you haven’t listened to him, I would check out the Doe Bay Session we recently posted that turned me from skeptic to fan. Oh, also, his album The Ornament.
8:45 pm-9:30 pm- Land of Pines at Crocodile
No better way to kick off a Friday night than with the churning, playful melodies of Land of Pines, a group of young, raw talent that follows in Seattle’s proud lineage of great pop (Lonely Forest, Death Cab for Cutie, Say Hi, Long Winters). Join me, and I promise you will be pumped up to skip gleefully all around downtown for the rest of the night.
9:45 pm- 10:15 pm- Tom Eddy at Showbox Market
By far one of the most promising vocalists I’ve heard (especially since one morning his vocals fluttered right over the water and woke me up at Doe Bay), his talents have been spread through involvement with bands like Beat Connection and The Doldrums. But his solo work, simultaneously wistful and playful, nostalgic and aching with hope, is what I am hooked on.
11:15 pm-12:30 am- Blind Pilot at Showbox Market
I took my parents to a show at Red Rocks (in Morrison, CO) this May when Blind Pilot and The Head and the Heart opened for The Shins. My mom had never heard Blind Pilot before, and she’s been kind of done branching out musically since The Beatles releasedA Hard Day’s Night. But in an amphitheater full of everyone from 19 year old hippies to those 19 year old hippies’ skeptical parents, Blind Pilot managed to get everyone on their feet. My mom became a fan, and I heard exclamations around me from strangers saying the same. With energetic, tight harmonies, and melodies so bright they rival stage lights, I would say Blind Pilot are proven crowd pleasers with substance- an act not to miss and hard to follow.
9:15 pm-10:45 pm- Devotchka with Seattle Rock Orchestra at The Moore
Guys. Remember that movie, Little Miss Sunshine? Remember the songs that weren’t Sufjan Stevens or Mychael Danna, that you thought were Eastern European pop? NO! That’s Devotchka- the pride of Denver, Colorado. With a tuba that flashes with red Christmas lights on the downbeat, and enough instruments to make any underfunded high school band teacher swoon on the spot, you might think this is a musically literate band of gypsies that tripped on stage accidentally. Their sweeping chamber rock will translate beautifully with the help of SRO, and you should prepare for some mighty orchestral waves to fill the Moore right up to its haunted rafters and get some of those mopey Seattle ghosts moving.
9:50 pm-10:40 pm- Horse Feathers at Crocodile
These Portlanders can make the wispiest melody into something that knocks my breath right out of my lungs. Completely spell binding, unsettling, and comforting in the way that a cello and an upright bass woven together can be, Horse Feathers is an enigmatic outfit that wraps grim subjects in towering, amber string parts, and then expects you to walk away unscathed.
11:45 pm-1:00 am- The Maldives at Neumos
I want to finish off City Arts with some hoop-hollering and possibly some rollicking. Seriously considering some foot stomping. Will take boot-scootin’ under advisement. However I decide to rock, the Maldives will give that to me. They always do.
For a full schedule and ticket prices for City Arts this week, please visit the official page.