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Grizzly Bear, Mika lead the way in October

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Like September, this month is incredibly busy with one amazing act after another coming to Seattle. From the dozens of expected-to-be-awesome shows, here are five that stand out from the rest.

Minus the Bear
Pyramid Ale House
October 10

Seattle indie darlings Minus the Bear are still clawing their way to mainstream attention, and they could reach the surface with the release of their forthcoming album, said to be in the final stages of completion in the recording studio. The leadoff tracks from the CD, "Into the Mirror" and "Broken China," will be available October 27 as seven-inch singles. Embarking on a nationwide tour, Minus the Bear lands here at home in mid-October at the Pyramid Ale House - not a common music venue, but there will be no shortage of beer around, that's for sure. The quintet sports a '70s-style AM radio sound, very soothing and near experimental-pop with playful keyboards and spastic-light guitars.

Snow Patrol
Paramount Theatre
October 14

This is the longest gap of time between the release of a new album and playing live in Seattle for Snow Patrol, releasing A Hundred Million Suns last fall and finally arriving here this fall. They've been everywhere on the planet, including a series of concert dates with Coldplay, yet their anticipated return to Seattle is just days away. The popular five-piece promises to play selections from its upcoming new project, Up to Now, as well as familiar favorites "Run," "Chasing Cars," and "Hands Open." If memory serves me right, this is the first time Snow Patrol will perform at the Paramount Theatre, a fantastic venue to see them at - I love their sound in a concert hall vs. an arena.

Grizzly Bear
Moore Theatre
October 16

Lots of albums have been compared to Radiohead's classic OK Computer, but Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest is perhaps the most worthy - coincidentally, the New York quartet opened for Radiohead on the second leg of last year's tour. The critical accolades have been solid across the board for this band, fronted by openly Gay lead singer Ed Droste, and expect their newest record to land on a shitload of year-end critics' lists - it appeared on SGN's best CDs list at the half-year mark in June. "While You Wait for the Others" is going to sound unbelievable inside the Moore Theatre, as will "Two Weeks" and "Ready, Able." Expect a hipster turnout for this show, but don't let that pressure you into wearing plaid - a worn-in scarf will do.

The Gossip
The Showbox Market
October 23

We adore Beth Ditto because she's a big girl who embraces her alternative sexuality, somewhere between Bisexual and Lesbian, and because she has the balls of steel to say whatever she wants to. We also love her because she's the best thing since Ann Wilson, a husky vocalist who sinks deep into her songs - like "Standing in the Way of Control" or "Heavy Cross" - and belts them out like a woman who's about to kick some serious ass. The band, which got its start in Olympia then relocated to Europe, makes its second appearance of the year in Seattle, having played at the Capitol Hill Block Party a few months ago. The crowd will be a mix of Gays, straights, Bis, and those available for convergence.

Mika
Moore Theatre
October 26

I'm not sure what Mika's sexual orientation is, and I don't really care - he's hot and he flaunts it confidently. The British lad, responsible for the inescapable hit "Grace Kelly," sold out The Showbox SoDo on his previous venture to Seattle - it happened to be on Valentine's Day, just so you know. He has a strong following, which hints at a possible sell-out at the Moore. Flamboyant and charismatic, this theatrical pop star comes across as Freddie Mercury on a downer or Rufus Wainwright with ADD. Mika will perform music from his new album, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, and from his previous chart-topping release, Life in Cartoon Motion. I don't even think a feathered boa or plastic tiara would look out of place at this concert, so have them at the ready.

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