Music Critics' Picks: Andy Coe Band, The West, Kye Alfred Hillig, Laughs and Lyrics

May 9-14: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

By Volcano Staff on May 8, 2014

[JAM] + FRI, MAY 9

I have a confession. I love The Grateful Dead. I own Steal-Your-Face shirts. I have dropped and been "enlightened" by Garcia. I sometimes sing "Ripple" as a lullaby to my kids. The reason I'm telling you this is because the Andy Coe Band is coming to the Olympia Ballroom for a night of Dead covers. Coe (Skerik's Bandalabra, McTuff) can noodle a guitar like nobody's business and skillfully channels The Dead; his band backing up in all the right layers. To compliment this already awesome night is The Psychedelic Shadow Show, a band that covers Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Cream, Buffalo Springfield and other famous '60s bands, complete with light show and lasers. Starchild Creative will also provide a backdrop of live show entertainment on a big screen. Groovy baby. {NIKKI MCCOY}

ANDY COE BAND, w/Psychedelic Shadow Show, 9 p.m., all ages, 21+ bar w/ID, Olympia Ballroom, 116 Legion Way, Olympia, $8-$10,


There was a decent stretch of time, starting from the '80s and working its way through the middle of last decade, when indie rock and dancing may as well have been antithetical concepts. It's hard to pinpoint exactly when artists started striving to reintroduce dance into the language of indie rock, but it wouldn't be unfair to say that LCD Soundsystem were figureheads of the movement. There's a reason why the West's "It Was Disco and It's Over" recalls so strikingly of the majestic drive of LCD's "All My Friends." The West have been working at carving their place in the still-burgeoning indie dance-rock scene since 2011, steadily working to refine their air-tight grooves. There's a jubilance lurking in the back of even their most post-punk indebted compositions that charmingly calls out to guarded hipsters and asks them to crowd the stage. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

THE WEST, w/ Death By Stars, Cloud Person, Bandolier, 9 p.m., The New Frontier Lounge, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, $5, 253.572.4020


Kye Alfred Hillig has produced an incredible body of work over the past few years. Wednesday, he'll release his latest set of songs, on the Real Snow LP. On record, Hillig is a restless explorer of delicate melodies and grandiose styles, dipping his toe in electro-pop, U2-esque melodrama and dusky folk-rock. As a solo performer, Hillig frequently strips everything down to just him and a guitar, embracing the troubadour motif, and exposing his barebones songwriting in the process. That his compositions so frequently pass this crucial test is a testament to Hillig's rocksteady skills as a writer and performer. Hillig's voice is strong and unadorned by affectation, while also steering clear of cloying over-sincerity. Wednesday's Urban Grace show will see him off as he takes to the road on a tour down the west coast. {REV. AM}

KYE ALFRED HILLIG, w/ Bradford Loomis, Daniel G. Harmann, Cloud Person, 7 p.m., Urban Grace, 702 Market St, Tacoma, $7 advance, $10, 253.272.2184


The South Sound has had a few talented jokesters emerge and stay relevant over the years - namely Ralph Porter (Tacoma) and Nate Jackson (Lacey). Hopefully, the area can add another to the list. The Sampan's (Laughs & Lyrics series launches Wednesday, presenting host/DJ Backpack Chris and other DJs spinning after comics every second Wednesday. The kickoff show offers a dinner special paired with the comedic stylings of Anthony "Blu" Harlem, who opened for the legendary Dave Chappelle during his most recent visit to Seattle. {JOSE GUTIERREZ}

LAUGHS & LYRICS COMEDY SERIES AT THE SAMPAN, 8 p.m., The Sampan, 922 Hensley St., Olympia, $5, 360.456.8020