Eli Scheer

Cloud Cult: Neptune Theater, Seattle, WA 5/6/13

e're here in part for the same reason you are: to get a little out of our skin."So said Craig Minowa, leader of Minneapolis based experimental indie (in the true sense of the word) rockers, Cloud Cult. Now 11 full-length albums into their career, the sound is as expansive and, in Minowa's own words, schizophrenic, as ever. Yet a 90 minute set, as the seven piece band offered up in Seattle in support of their latest release, Love, remained an entirely cohesive and, dare I say it, life-affirming affair.

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Frightened Rabbit: Showbox at the Market, Seattle, WA

And where's that? It was at the Showbox in downtown Seattle, WA, watching Frightened Rabbit carry the torch quite successfully where the other Scottish bands before them have handed it off. They aren't a band trying to reinvent music, but in not claiming to, they release themselves from that pressure. Instead, with their new album, Pedestrian Verse in tow, they rifled through many of the new tunes and much of their older material, each anthemic chorus leading perfectly into the next as the crowd gained momentum.

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Wintersleep: Columbia City Theater, Seattle, WA 11/15/12

You made a big mistake, Seattle. Well – not all of you. There were 27 hearty folks, including this reviewer, who made the trip out to the beautifully remodeled Columbia City Theater to see Wintersleep last Thursday. It was a wonderful, if beguiling, treat for the lucky ones who got to see this band (2008 Juno Award winners,)play their hearts out after openers Elliott Brood.

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Heiniken City Arts Festival: Seattle, WA 10/17-10/20/12

The historic and beautiful Moore theater offered the perfect backdrop for a festival finish, hosting Colorado natives Devotchka for a standout set, backed by the Seattle Rock Orchestra. Not only did their eclectic mix of influences shine with this extra backing, they fully took over the room and the night; Nick Urata's voice soaring to the rafters, while the rest of the band swapped instruments and provided the skeleton on which to rest the orchestra's powerful additions.

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The Low Anthem: Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

This album, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, is beautiful. The new long-play offering from Providence, RI based trio The Low Anthem explores changing times, places, love, and loss over the course of its 42 minutes.

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Live at KEXP Volume 3: Various Artists

The folks over at KEXP, that venerable institution of all things musically cool, have put together a third mix tape, culled from their back catalogue of live, in-studio performances.

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Hot Hot Heat: Happiness LTD.

"5 Times Out of 100" should please longtime fans and while it would easy to point out several other standout tracks, it may just be easier to go ahead and recommend Happiness as the best of Hot Hot Heat's career.

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