The Short List: This Week's Recommended Shows

Earshot Jazz Festival/Friday, October 12–Sunday, November 4

The area's largest jazz festival gets started Friday with a tribute to drummer and Garfield High bandleader Clarence Acox [see the Wire, page 15] and ends with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra backing saxophonist/ troublemaker Branford Marsalis in the same room (Nov. 3) and at the Kirkland Performance Center (Nov. 4). In the three weeks in between, Earshot brass have brought together a wide selection of generations, traditions, and instrumentations, from the culture-crossing musings of inventive pianist Danilo Perez (Sat., Benaroya Recital Hall) to the plucking of ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro (Oct. 24, Benaroya Hall). The Oct. 17 set from Vijay Iyer—whose most recent record, Accelerando, has been one of the year's buzziest—is bound to be a highlight of the fest. Various venues, CHRIS KORNELIS


The Corin Tucker Band/Friday, October 12

"Groundhog Day," the opening track of Corin Tucker's fierce second solo album, Kill My Blues, tears off with all the brawl and aggression of Sleater-Kinney's most memorable material. The song recalls Tucker's riot-grrrl rage in its lyrical content as well: Calling herself "Rip Van Winkle in a denim miniskirt," she references the time off she took to get married and have children ("Did I lay down, did I fall asleep?/On the backs of the women who have come before me?"), then rallies herself back to her role as rock star and feminist icon ("What does it mean now, why can't I wake up?/Is our generation stuck in a deep rut?"). Love songs, a eulogy, and a tribute to Joey Ramone follow, but "Groundhog Day" showcases Tucker at her best and strongest—getting political, taking it personally, and using her strikingly forceful voice to take up the torch for modern womankind. With Houndstooth, Dude York. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis/Friday, October 12

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have built up some considerable goodwill going into new album The Heist—not just with the 7,000 fans attending this sold-out show at WaMu Theater, but also with onetime haters like myself. "Same Love" applied Mack's righteously sincere oratory to the worthy cause of marriage equality, then "Thrift Shop" reminded us he could be incredibly charming and convincing while just having fun rapping. But for all his nimble, breathless raps and Lewis' beautiful, dark, but not-quite-twisted productions on The Heist, much of it falls into the same old sanctimonious traps. There's the preachy false dilemma between Christianity and alcohol on "Neon Cathedral" with Allen Stone, the rehashed syrup-to-sobriety struggle of "Starting Over" with Ben Bridwell. The latter includes some interesting internal wrangling about motivations—exploiting one's backstory versus sharing it to help others?—but better is when Mack confronts his rap-cred demons and his riches-to-riches triumph head-on and with good humor, as in "Thrift Shop" or the Cadillac-cruising "White Walls." With DEE-1, Xperience. WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., 381-7555. 8 p.m. Sold out. All ages. ERIC GRANDY

Mount Eerie/Friday, October 12

Mount Eerie released two albums this year—like Death Grips, only without a penis on either cover!—both of which further explore Anacortes singer/songwriter Phil Elverum's well-established and particularly Pacific Northwest sense of place. The first, Clear Moon, with its ambient synth parts and songs like "House Shape" and "The Place I Live," is a misty and meditative ode to the feeling of home, the small wonders and soft dread of belonging to somewhere. The second, Ocean Roar, with its darker and more black-metal-inspired atmospheres, seems to embody the forces which tug and tear at that feeling: the dark, existential waves that crash at the shore, the winds that blow and howl at the windows. Together, they represent as eloquent and persuasive a rendering of Elverum's hyperlocal/internal worldview as anything he's done since the Microphones. With Bouquet, Ever Ending Kicks (7 p.m.), Hungry Cloud Darkening (9 p.m.) Cairo, 507 E. Mercer St. $10. All ages. ERIC GRANDY

Light in the Attic Records' 10th Anniversary/Friday, October 12

Local label Light in the Attic Records was instrumental in launching the careers of the Black Angels, the Saturday Knights, and the Blakes, but it's even better known for curating—with masterful taste—and reissuing obscure, forgotten, and underrated records from a mishmash of '50s, '60s, and '70s artists like Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, and Kris Kristofferson, and compilations themed around everything from Motown and international reggae to South Korean psychedelia and revolutionary Cuban funk. This year's acclaimed documentary Searching for Sugar Man has revived the career of Mexican-American folk artist Rodriguez, whose remastered back catalog LITA started re-releasing in 2008. The colorful Rodriguez, now 70, is headlining LITA's 10th-anniversary party, which will feature performances by two other acts rediscovered by the label: British singer/songwriter Michael Chapman (age 71) and brothers Donnie and Joe Emerson, who hail from Fruitland, Wash., and who only now, in their early 50s, are making their Seattle debut. With DJ Suspence. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. Sold out. All ages. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Kendrick Lamar/Sunday, October 14

Pointlessly crowned Compton's New Favorite Son by most every hyperbole-seller inside and outside the city's boundaries, Kendrick Lamar is one of those all-too-rare young rap stars who actually live up to the hype. Obviously he's not perfect, and his stream of consciousness is occasionally hard to follow, but few among the current crop of sophomores can touch his style. His bars contain effortlessly clever jabs and calmly delivered 'hood observations that link his experimental production of choice back to the streets that have so defined his region's rap output. He's a master of the stoned observation, and his finishing rasp tells jaded stories of Cali life with perfect cadence. Though he's currently surrounded by rap royalty (his new album, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, drops Oct. 22 on Dr. Dre's Aftermath imprint), he's already shown he can swim on his own. With Fly Union, Stalley, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul. Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 877-784-4849. 9 p.m. $35. All ages. TODD HAMM

Tift Merritt/Tuesday, October 16

Tift Merritt's new album, Traveling Alone, is leisurely and ethereal—characteristics often ascribed to the music of Emmylou Harris. But unlike Harris, the ultimate hired gun, the pretty, diminutive Merritt is best cast center stage, where her instrumental dexterity can be appreciated to its fullest. When she played the Tractor in 2010, the enthralled crowd included Zoe Muth, KEXP's Greg Vandy, No Depression's Kyla Fairchild, and Chris Zasche of The Head and the Heart. If a musician's talent can measured by the credibility of those who come to hear her, then Merritt's is of the highest caliber. With Amy Cook. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $18. MIKE SEELY

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