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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 9, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 28
Where It's At: LaVette, Lambert, Silversun Pickups top July shows
Arts & Entertainment
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Where It's At: LaVette, Lambert, Silversun Pickups top July shows

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Truth be told, I'm bummed about the cancellation of Rihanna's tour kickoff at White River Amphitheatre, a concert I was looking forward to since the day it was announced. But the show - or rather, shows - must go on, and here are eight of them worth noting in July.

Steve Miller Band
July 14,
Chateau St. Michelle

Memories of my older brothers locking me in the basement come to mind whenever I hear the Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like an Eagle" or "Rock'n Me." While most of Miller's work is reduced to college dorm parties, such as "Space Cowboy" and "Take the Money and Run," his earlier compositions reflect a bluesier, funkier, and more experimental artist. In what could be a rowdy atmosphere at the otherwise quiet Chateau St. Michelle, here's hoping Miller and company put "Serenade" on their set list.

Bettye LaVette
July 15,
Dimitriou's Jazz Alley

When blues artist Betty LaVette sings, it's as if she's in great agony. Quite possible, seeing that a chunk of her catalog is devoted to heartache, betrayal, and the occasional jerk who made her out for a fool. Her Grammy-nominated effort The Scene of the Crime is a must-have, while her newest offering, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, finds the diva reinventing gems from across the pond, like a stirring version of Led Zeppelin's "All My Love."

Minus the Bear
July 17,
The Showbox Market

Seattle indie quintet Minus the Bear is still waiting for a breakthrough years after living in the shadows of fellow success stories Death Cab for Cutie and Fleet Foxes. The group's 2010 release Omni has been well received by critics, but is it enough to propel them to stardom? Either way, their live performances are said to be mesmerizing - and in front of a local crowd at The Showbox Market, they'll be at their finest.

Adam Lambert
July 20,
The Showbox SoDo

No, he's not unique. Ripping pages from the George Michael and Boy George playbooks, Adam Lambert is a re-hash of '80s pop-glam with twinkles of cute androgyny. But it's working for him, as he sold out a slate of tour performances, including this month's stop in Seattle. The American Idol bridesmaid has two hit singles under his glittery belt, "For Your Entertainment" and "Whataya Want From Me," and in the end it's not about whether you're original or not, it's about being listenable and fun. If taking light rail to The Showbox SoDo, disembark at Stadium Station and walk to 1st Ave.

Capitol Hill
Block Party
July 23-24,
Capitol Hill
district

Bigger may not be better, but it's still bigger. I'm referring to the Capitol Hill Block Party, which grew by inches - and feet - over the years from a tiny neighborhood bash to a multiple-block, three-day festival with enough PBR to flood a football field. Honestly, I haven't a clue who half the bands are on the lineup, but with MGMT and The Dead Weather playing on the same stage in the same weekend and beer gardens packed with skinny-jeans-wearing metrosexuals, well & I'm in!

Martina McBride
July 29,
Chateau St. Michelle

Country star Martina McBride has a portfolio of consistently strong singles, from "A Broken Wing" to "This One's for the Girls" to "Wrong Baby Wrong." With a voice that could shatter a chandelier - in a good way, of course - McBride is one of her genre's most treasured divas. The Kansas native will definitely add to the lush scenery at the Woodinville Winery, where a good bottle of Chardonnay is always available.

Toad the Wet Sprocket
July 29,
Moore Theatre

Sadly, American rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket is known for one song, the melodramatic hit "Something's Always Wrong." But dig deeper into their catalog and you'll unearth great material dating back to 1989, a time when alternative music was barely starting to branch out into its own genre. Lead singer Glen Phillips, who resorts to a solo career when not reuniting with the group, sent a kind note to Seattle Gay News years ago just before our Pride festivities - another reason to love these guys.

Silversun Pickups
w/ Against Me!
July 31,
Paramount Theatre

Remember when Silversun Pickups played at Neumos? That was before the quartet's Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, before they landed an opening gig for UK biggies Snow Patrol and Muse, and before any of those late-night talk show appearances. They're all grown up now and playing to larger crowds, and remarkably still sounding as fresh as the days Carnavas first rolled out. Finally, Silversun Pickups descend to Seattle with a proper headlining performance to toast their year-old sophomore album Swoon. To say I've been waiting for this is an understatement. Against Me! opens the show.

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