Artist: The Dirty Nil
Details: The Dirty Nil’s cover for “Idiot Victory” has Halloween vibes going on. With a skeleton, orange lines and a yellow border, I am reminded of candy corn – which I like. Candy corn has again been voted a favorite Halloween candy in many American states.
Wow, Hot Chip released their seventh album in June! Seems like just yesterday their debut, Coming on Strong came out. This year’s A Bath Full of Ecstasy found the band producing again, but this time with Rodaidh McDonald and Philippe Zdar (Zdar was one half of Cassius). The band deserves bragging rights, as their albums just keep getting better. This is hard to do, as every single one is great. To celebrate this, the band has hit the road, and appeared at the Showbox with Canada’s Holy Fuck.
Show Preview: Adia Victoria @ the Neptune, Mon. 10/7
Nashville, Tennessee’s Adia Victoria brings her beautiful voice and songs to the Neptune on Monday, October 7th. Victoria, who’s released two very well-received albums, including 2019’s Silences, is a legitimate blues artist. I don’t know who first tagged her as a gothic blues musician, but it seems to work. With songs like “Devil Is A Lie” and “Dope Queen Blues,” I get it. Victoria writes poetry as well, and this year won the 2019 Songwriters Hall of Fame Holly Prize, which awards an “all-in-one songwriter.”
She’ll be the opener for Tank and the Bangas, so get there on time (show starts at 8 P.M.).
A chill in the air and the first autumn leaves signal the start of Earshot Jazz Festival season in Seattle. The festival is presented by the nonprofit music organization Earshot Jazz, which has served greater Seattle since 1986. Unlike traditional single-weekend festivals, Earshot Jazz is a month-long event series held at venues across the region, from the intimate club Timbre Room to the spacious Benaroya Hall.
This year’s stunning lineup features several Grammy Award winners, including drummer Chick Corea, pianist Chucho Valdés, vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, drummer Brian Blade, trio Kris Davis’ Diatom Ribbons, guitarist Julian Lage, and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts (with Orrin Evans Trio). The festival highlights acts from around the world, as well as staples of Seattle’s thriving local jazz scene. Several Seattle-raised artists who now reside in New York City—pianist Aaron Parks, drummer–rapper Kassa Overall, and pianist Carmen Staaf (with Parlour Game)—will be returning home for the festival, too. With over 50 shows that span big-band to Latin to rap to avant-garde, the 2019 festival promises concert options for almost any jazz fan.
The official event runs from October 4 to November 6, with a Brian Blade: Life Cycles “festival warm-up” that happened on September 27. Visit the Earshot web site for the schedule and tickets (including student, military, and senior discounts).
Gothic-folk artist Marissa Nadler played a pretty and melancholic opening set at the Tractor Tavern on October 19, 2018 . Her tour supported her September 2018 release, For My Crimes, which also features prominent vocalists Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, and Kristin Kontrol. Like all her albums, it has been critically acclaimed.
Nadler played nine songs from across her discography, alternating among electric, acoustic, and 12-string guitars. At times she was accompanied by a mysterious guitarist–vocalist shadowed behind a cattleman hat.
Nadler is a seasoned vocalist whose live performances can be indistinguishable from her studio albums. Although her show did want for the texture of her small string section and ethereal double-tracked harmonies, it didn’t cost any haunting beauty. There is a palpable darkness to all her music, and her lyrics confirm pervasive themes of loss: in this set, the passing of a cherished car, a lover moving to the South, and even an inmate on death row. But tossing devastation aside, Nadler joked between tunes and greeted fans warmly afterward. Seattle is fortunate that she always schedules a stop here.
Headlining 1980s avant-garde rockers Mercury Rev put on a quirky, high-energy set with plenty of fog and onstage dancing. The horns of the T.T. cow skull were decorated for Halloween—a little bit—with a strand of polyester spider web.
Late edit: Nadler returns to Seattle on October 9th, 2019. Be sure to catch her show at the Neptune.