From Snoop Dogg to Neil Diamond, Seattle is music city this week
Seattle is awash in music this summer. This week alone, Snoop Dogg, Dirty Projectors, Neil Diamond, Fiona Apple and Big K.R.I.T. are all in town.
Special to The Seattle Times
Why did half the entertainers in America suddenly decide to show up in Seattle this week? Just as we're recovering from the Capitol Hill Block Party, along comes a new gauntlet: Snoop Dogg, Dirty Projectors (with Wye Oak), Neil Diamond, Fiona Apple and Big K.R.I.T. Sorry, but there's no way we could get all these folks on the phone, not to mention find space for them in the paper, so what follows is a bonsai version of Seattle's musical garden this week.
Snoop Dogg with Dyme Def and Jay Barz
7 p.m. Sunday, Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle; $39.50-45.00 (800-745-3000 or showboxonline.com)
Despite a relentless touring schedule (it seems like he's in Seattle every year), reality TV shows, B-movies and ubiquity on pop radio, the California rapper, amazingly, has not worn out his welcome. It must be the voice. Snoop's slinky way with a word and a phrase captivated America's suburbs in the gangsta-rap heyday of the early '90s, and he's casually ridden out trends since. Now that popular hip-hop is softer and party oriented, Snoop is riding that wave, too. His recent album with Wiz Khalifa, the popular rapper who is like a 20-years-younger Snoop clone, sounds like it was made as effortlessly as possible.
Dirty Projectors with Wye Oak
8 p.m. Monday, Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $22.50 (888-929-7849 or www.showboxonline.com)
Yelp-y voiced singer-
guitarist-mastermind David Longstreth and vocalists Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle make a glorious racket as one of the foremost bands inheriting the David Byrne/Talking Heads mantle of making African-influenced punk rock. The Dirty Projectors' last album "Bitte Orca" brought Longstreth's polyrhythmic arrangements together with the arty pop of Bjork and traces of Mariah Carey's sound for a big critical hit. New album "Swing Lo Magellan" focuses more on programmed drum beats, while still presenting a rock band creating its own idea of soul music. It's a little disjointed but pretty brilliant.
8 p.m. Monday, KeyArena, Seattle Center; $52-$117 (800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com).
"Cherry, Cherry," "Sweet Caroline," "I'm a Believer," "Red, Red Wine" — hard to get more mainstream than that. Neil Diamond's eminently singable hits are as familiar as air and water. Columbia Records has announced a compilation of the crooner's very best for December. But before that you can see the Kennedy Center honoree and Las Vegas fixture in the flesh, right here in the Emerald City.
Fiona Apple with Blake Mills
8 p.m. Wednesday, Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $41.25-$56.25 (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org)
Apple reigns as the current queen of poison-pen pop songwriting, a title she has assumed every three to seven years since 1996, whenever she has decided to put out an album. The new installment (take a breath), "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do," is critically acclaimed, like the others. Musically stripped-down to mainly piano and voice, it centerpieces Apple's singing style, still startlingly seething, full of love and fury. Her old-fashioned songs match the elegant Paramount, but her angry rapper-esque vibes are all up in your face.
Big K.R.I.T. with Casey Veggies, Big Sant and Tito Lopez
8 p.m. Wednesday at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $20 (206-709-9442 or neumos.com)
When we talk about Mississippi producer/rapper Big K.R.I.T., there is some debate as to which goes first, producer or rapper. Which is he better at? Like Kanye West, or locally, Palaceer Lazaro from Shabazz Palaces, K.R.I.T. does both. Popular opinion says producing is K.R.I.T.'s strong suit. And in this case popular opinion is correct. If he doesn't have a muddying live band interpolating his sound at Neumos (fingers crossed) and decides to plug his beats straight into the mixing board, the banging speakers should do poetic justice to his country rap tunes. And he's no slouch on the microphone. Pay attention past the barrage of southern rap slang and you'll catch an uplifting, never-
Seattle Times music writer Paul de Barros contributed to this report.