There are a few tickets left for the Flaming Lips’ show tomorrow at the Paramount, so if you’re still thinking about it, you better get them now. If you are going, arrive early to catch openers Klangstof, a Dutch quartet (one member, Koen van de Wardt, is Norwegian). In an interview with Stoney Roads, the group said they were told they’re “like Radiohead for people that aren’t suicidal.” Not that bad of a description, but I think they have some pretty stunning electronic Pink Floyd and alt-J sounds too, like in “We Are Your Receiver.” Their songs are so handsome (“Island” and “Sleaze” break my heart), and ones all you Flaming Lips fans will be able to trip out to. Oh, and Northwest people: Klangstof returns to the area for a performance at Sasquatch! on May 27th. But they are here NOW!
It was an evening with Lea Michele at the Moore Theatre in Seattle last week. She started the show with “Cannonball” – the first single off her debut album Louder – and continued to delight the large audience with her beautiful, powerful voice. Michele is touring the US in support of her recently released sophomore album, Places, and mentioned this was her first time in Seattle. Well known as Rachel Berry on the hit TV series, Glee, from 2009 to 2015, the frequent F-bombs added levity to Michele’s already animated show. The two-song encore ended with a standing ovation.
The Zombies@ the Showbox, 4/22/17
Photos: John Rudolph
Details: The Zombies, featuring two founding and main members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, headlined the Showbox at the end of April. What an amazing spot to see this English rock band, who is loved for so many songs, from “She’s Not There” to “Time of the Season.” Fans were thrilled the Zombies reunited this year to honor the 50th anniversary of Odessey & Oracle, the album with “Time of the Season” on it. PS: They’re performing the entire album!
Show Preview: Kongos @ the Showbox, Sun. 5/14
Sunday, May 14th is Mother’s Day. If you’re lucky and have your mother around, be nice to her, get her something nice. Maybe call her or take her out. And then you can see Kongos at the Showbox. You have my permission and encouragement to do so. Hey, you could even take mom to see the South African rock band (comprised of four brothers!), whom you are all probably familiar with via their huge 2012 hit, “Come with Me Now.”
Capturing, in tunes such as Lunatics‘ “I’m Only Joking,” a rather stomping rock sound, and creating unique accordion rock in “Take Me Back,” sometimes they remind me of Travis. I don’t know if they hate Travis; I sure hope they don’t, because I mean this as a good comparison. Kongos are partly based in a South African music genre called kwaito. What’s kwaito? You can research it on Wikipedia, but boiled down it’s African samples used in house music (originally, anyway. The sound, as everything, changes and mixes with others).
For their latest album, 2016’s Egomaniac, they boldly put a giant gorilla on its cover, which makes me think they are not messing around. There’s nothing really tougher than a gorilla, is there? Or so at risk. The photo is by Jean-Christophe Verhaegen, and I find it really moving. The album itself has very cool tracks on it; my favorites are “Autocorrect” and “Repeat After Me,” with this chant: If I could breathe, I’d be free/And I’d get high, I’d turn water to wine/If I could be, I’d breathe free at last/And I’d get high, I’d get so high/I’d get so high if I could breathe. More cool facts: They’ve toured with bands such as Imagine Dragons and Kings of Leon, which are very good fits, and their dad, John Kongos is also a talented musician (believe me – have a listen to “Tokoloshe Man.”)
Head here for tickets and showtimes etc.
Laura Marling recently played a sold-out show – as well as a rare seated one for the audience – at Showbox at the Market. Backed by a three-member band plus two backup singers, the English singer-songwriter was in the middle of the tour in support of her latest album, Semper Femina. Valley Queen, fronted by Natalie Carol, opened.