Tonight in Seattle: Zola Jesus, Yelawolf, Reverb Fest, and more

Nikki Benson / October 8, 2011

Zola Jesus, Xanopticon @ The Crocodile | 10/08 | $13 ADV (Get Tickets) | 21+

Preview by: Nikki Benson

Image via Last FM

Does the name Zola Jesus make you feel a bit creeped out? If so, the 22-year-old Russian American solo artist (Nika Roza Danilova) has succeeded. Danilova grew up on 100 acres of land and rarely got the benefit of human interaction. Rather, being surrounded by dead animals, the plunder of her father’s hunting, throughout her childhood likely influenced her hankering for darkness (via L.A. Record). She sought out vocal training from the age of seven, and has found her niche in an amalgamation of goth, industrial-electronica, and classical. There are lots of different elements going on with her sound, but the underlying consistency is darkness and beauty.

Zola Jesus is touring in support of her 2011 LP, Contatus. For your chance to win a pair of tickets, e-mail with the phrase “Zola’s Darkness is Beautiful (Zola Jesus 10/08)” in the subject line.  Be sure to include your first and last name for the guest list. We’ll holler back if you win. Follow @SSGPromo to keep tabs on all of our giveaways.


Yelawolf, Dj craze, Rittz @ Neumos | 11/08 | 8pm | $15 ADV Get Tickets Here | 21+

Preview by: Gabriel Arguelles

Yelawolf via Facebook

Gadsden, Alabama’s Yelawolf is, among other things, “standing on top of a mothaf_ckin hundred grand.” Also rapidly approaching the top of the rap world, the recent Shady Records signee’s debut album, Radioactive, drops at the end of this month, and he’s been touring on the strength of his mixtapes and singles alone. Yelawolf’s vision on the single “Pop the Trunk” is one of grimy, swampy visages and anarchic, often brutal behavior in Alabama. Those images stay with you even after he’s changed gears and gone into club banger mode a couple of songs down the line. His vision and his vocal dexterity have gotten him where he’s at today, and Yelawolf shows no signs of slowing down.

Arrive early, because Miami’s DMC World Champ DJ Craze is also on the road with Yela on the “Hard White Tour,” and his performance is not one to be missed.

Guess what? We here at SSG Music have a pair of tickets to give away to see the Yelawolf show at Neumos, and you should enter to win those tickets. To see Yelawolf on us, e-mail with the phrase, “Pop the Trunk (Yelawolf 10/08 at Neumos)” in the subject line! Be sure to include your first and last name in the e-mail for the guest list. We’ll get back to you if you win! Be sure to follow @SSGPromo for all of our giveaways.

Graphic via Reverb

Seattle Weekly‘s Reverb Fest is a local, annual festival. It’s a showcase of local artists, and the greater percentage of the bands are DIY. What a great opportunity to remember the great wealth of music we have in our backyard and discover cool bands that we’ve been just a little too lazy to investigate. This year’s lineup holds plenty of bands that SSG Music has already covered, and there are plenty of bands that might just be our new obsessions. (See the full lineup here; see the schedule here.)

Here are a few bands that we’ve seen and recommend:

Kaylee Cole | Salmon Bay Eagles Stage | All Ages | 2:00 – 2:45

Cole is a rising singer/songwriter whose name seems to be grazing everyone’s lips as of late, and with much reason to. Her vocals are sweet yet powerful, and while she is quite petite her sound resonated throughout the grounds and drew people into the small tent. As stated in our post about her show at Bumbershoot 2011, she is working with Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio) on her upcoming album which is slated for a 2012 release date. – Lindsey Scully


Dyme Def | NY Fashion Academy | All Ages | 2:30 – 3:15

“I don’t know what’s gotten in me,” goes the chorus to Dyme Def‘s new BeanOne-produced jam “Dizzy Izzy.” Me neither — this is the most inspired Seattle’s hip-hop (now) OG’s have sounded in a long, long time. “Dizzy Izzy” is an utterly infectious cut, in large part due to Bean’s pumped-up production providing the perfect foil for Fearce Villan, Brainstorm, and SEV to dumb out with their tongues out — word to their Yuk the World clothing line.

Speaking of which, you’ll have to get to a Dyme Def show to cop those very dope signature ski masks, which will be perfect for taunting the coming winter months or adding a little character to your next home invasion. Yuk the World will debut their Seayuks T-shirts and crew necks soon, no doubt to aptly capitalize on the Chicken Hawk’s #SuckForLuck season. – Joe Gustav


Metal Chocolates | The Sunset Tavern | 21+ | 4:00 – 4:45

Metal Chocolates’ messages are decidedly hazy, a swirling perspective of “I see kingdoms” on “Afro Egypt” and “a green SUV on the run” on the frantic “Car Chase,” and the presentation is no less disorienting. It’s been called psychedelic-rap before, and it will not be able to shake the tag anytime soon — genre stylings are amorphous, jazz, house, soul, world music adding some influence to OC Notes’ original backdrops. Rude’s flow continues on a free-form bent, much more poetic than anything Fresh Espresso, imagery triumphing over accessibility. – Joe Gustav

You.May.Die.In.The.Desert | NY Fashion Academy | All Ages | 6:30 – 7:15

Brian Woods (guitar) of You.May.Die.In.The.Desert came up in the hardcore math-rock scene. Putting those influences into a melodic post-rock band makes for very interesting listen. As one might imagine, their songs can span from as short as three minutes to upwards of ten. There is always a dramatic story for the listener to develop in their instrumental verses, but the aesthetic You.May.Die most embodies is triumph.  – Nikki Benson


Don’t Talk to the Cops | Tractor Tavern | 21+ | 7:00 – 7:45

djblesOne and his lady friend Emecks were strong together and put on a fun b-boy/b-girl performance. El Mizell and cranked things up from behind the laptop as djblesOne and Emecks play off each other. “Buy Me Drinks” was DtttC’s best track of the night. All of their music was full of old hip-hop samples or breakdancing videos that show how much they like to nerd out with music. They’re actually performing on Sept 8th at Chop Suey and if you haven’t seen DTttC yet—I recommend the experience. – Jonathan Cunningham

Corespondents | Volterra Drawing Room | 21+ | 7:30 – 8:15

The visuals that Correspondents had going on in the back background is reason alone to see them live. Correspondents have a very ambiguous type of music. I would even go as far as to say that it is the perfect kind of music to accentuate something else, such as a score to a movie. Correspondents give you that whole package at their live show. – Nikki Benson


Fly Moon Royalty | NY Fashion Academy | All Ages | 8:30 – 9:15

The breakdown of the band is Action Jackson as the producer/emcee and Adraboo on vocals. There is some live instrumentation from Jackson; a lot of the beats are pre-recorded. Sportn’ Life Records [(Fly Moon’s label)] has made a name for themselves by promoting artists that embody old school hip-hop and R&B—the stuff that we used to listen to before being avant-garde was so in fashion. They also seek out talented women who bear their flag. Fly Moon Royalty is yet another artist on their label who embodies what they are all about. – Nikki Benson

Curtains for You | Tractor Tavern | 21+ | 10:00 – 10:45

Curtains for You has found their niche in creating complex music that favors the jangled thoughts of those discontented with straight-forward rock. Citing inspiration such as Tom Waits and Jim Henson, the result is an alternate universe infused with piano, brass, and guitar work. Context aside, they were really fun to watch. Frontman Matthew Gervais has been given accolades for his songwriting and sense of self when it comes to connecting with the audience. He and the rest of his merry men put their backs into it on Saturday–singing, dancing, light head-banging, and the convictions of singers who meant every word. – Nikki Benson


Mash Hall | The Sunset Tavern | 21+ | 11:00 – 11:45

Mash Hall is the best (only?) hip-hop meets punk rock combo in the NW. Every time I see the ever evolving crew perform, they not only get better but they also push the envelope further. Their Bumbershoot 2011 set followed those lines and lots of people seemed to love El Mizell (aka Gatsby) and djblesOne (aka Bruce Illest) rapping, dancing, and yelling full steam. – Jonathan Cunningham


Grynch | The Sunset Tavern | 21+ | 12:00 – 12:45

Here is one good reason to check out Grynch at Reverb Fest 2011: He’s one of the few big-name white rappers in Seattle who approaches  hip-hop without some type of qualifying hook. He’s not doing anthemic emo-rap, his music isn’t absurd party-rap, it’s just straight up, OG hip-hop. DJ Nphared produces top-notch beats, and Grynch is an engaging performer. It’ll be a fun way to finish off your Saturday night. . .I guess that was four reasons.  – Nikki Benson

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