One of the predominant bands of the always-buzzy Brooklyn scene, Yeasayer brings its self-described “Middle Eastern–psych-snap-gospel” sound to town along with tracks from its new LP, Fragrant World. Neptune Theatre, $30.
Aug 31–Sept 2
Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge
Matthews leads his caravan back to the Gorge this Labor Day weekend, with Seattle soul singer Allen Stone and folk rockers the Avett Brothers bringing up the rear. Fans can expect songs from DMB’s newest album, Away From the World, which is set to arrive in September. Gorge Amphitheatre, $60–$90.
Brazilian DJ Amon Tobin is trying to push the limits of what an electronic music show can be. To tour behind his latest album ISAM, he had a team construct a massive (25' x 14' x 8') multi-dimensional, shape-shifting artistic stage piece that engulfs him during the shows and provides a dazzling visual onslaught for the crowd. Moore Theatre, $30–$35.
Macklemore Night at Safeco
The Mariners celebrate the release of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's album The Heist with discounted tickets, a special hat the duo designed, and a meet-and-greet. Oh, there's also a baseball game with the Mariners taking on the hated "they play in Anaheim not Los Angeles" Angels. Safeco Field, $15.
What other festival could bring together Tony Bennett, dubstep overlord Skrillex, SNL and Portlandia star Fred Armisen, campy cult director John Waters, Aussie pop hitmaker Gotye, Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings, and loads of local talent across music, comedy, visual, and performing art? Only Bumbershoot. Seattle Center, $55–$475.
Dancing Till Dusk Ball Blanc
Put on your best white duds and shimmy down to Olympic Sculpture Park for a free night of waltz, swing, foxtrot, and polka. It doesn't matter if you have two left feet on the dance floor; instructors will guide you through the steps. Unless you literally have two left feet, in which case you should visit your doctor immediately. SAM Olympic Sculpture Park, free.
Sept 1–Oct 1
Z.Z. Wei: 20th Anniversary Exhibition
Compared to the supersized concrete jungle of his native Beijing, Eastern Washington was a revelation for artist Z.Z. Wei when he arrived here in 1989: all melancholy backroads and rolling fields. In turn, his haunting oil landscapes capture the lonely isolation of Edward Hopper's America, with Airstreams traveling along empty highways and rust-red barns half in shadow. Patricia Rovzar Gallery.
BOOKS & TALKS
The Bartender's Tale with Ivan Doig
New from the Montana-born, Seattle-based author is a family saga about a bachelor father and his oft-neglected 11-year-old son, who both find their quiet life in a Montana saloon thrown into disarray by the arrival of an “unsettling gust” in the summer of 1960. Eagle Harbor Books, free.
Snow Leopard Cubs at Woodland Park Zoo
In case you were wondering why the city felt more adorable this week, last weekend marked the first public appearance of Woodland Park Zoo's two new snow leopard cubs. Bring the kids to revel in cuteness. Woodland Park Zoo, $12–$18.
Opening Aug 31
Robot and Frank
First-time director Jake Schreier proves you don’t need an Apatow, Rogen, or Wiig these days to make a decent buddy comedy. Frank Langella plays a cantankerous retiree showing early signs of dementia, whose children (James Marsden, Liv Tyler) hoist a robot on him to be his caretaker. Langella doesn’t have to work too hard to be a gruff smartass to the robot’s straight man (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), and the dialogue couldn’t be better. Robot: “Hi Frank. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Frank: “How do you know?" Egyptian Theatre, $8–$11.