SPECIAL EXPLOSION Sun 4/27 Laughing Horse Books
WED APRIL 23

Jefferson Starship w/the Windshield Vipers; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside
Jefferson Starship are sort of like Wings: If you disregard their legacy, you won't be let down. As a matter of fact, before they devolved into the castrated offshoot Starship, and recorded what is arguably the most irritating song of all time ("We Built This City"), Jefferson Starship were even pretty good (Red Octopus kinda rules, and you have to give the group props for brandishing Summer of Love ideals well into the '70s). The band is currently on life support and features only two "classic" members, the group's bespectacled mastermind Paul Kantner and bassist David Freiberg. Their latest release, 2008's Jefferson's Tree of Liberty is a covers album featuring a particularly egregious mash-up of "Imagine" and "Redemption Song." 

THURS APRIL 24

Anvil w/Cemetery Lust, Spellcaster, Maniac; Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez
The film Anvil! The Story of Anvil effectively transformed Anvil from pitiable has-beens into the next great cult group—a premise that we, as music lovers, are eternally susceptible to. But are they truly a forgotten treasure, or did the film's creators merely dip into the record store free bin when searching for a rockumentary subject and come up with a threadbare copy of Metal on Metal? At the risk of beating a horse that's been dead for years now, Anvil were hugely important in the development of thrash, and their lack of initial success can be attributed to pretty much everything other than their music—the oldest tale in the rock 'n' roll repository. But boy, did they get the last laugh.

FRI APRIL 25

Spear and Magic Helmet w/JonnyX and the Groadies, Labryse; Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th
The last-ever performance of local Gits tribute band, Spear and Magic Helmet. A benefit for the Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC).

SAT APRIL 26

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy w/Oregon Symphony, Pacific Youth Choir; Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway
Nobuo Uematsu's score for 1987's Final Fantasy revolutionized videogame music. The game was the first to boast gorgeous, thematic compositions—not simply brief jingles or amorphous blips and bleeps—which transcended the technical limitations of the time and could be enjoyed as a separate, musical experience. Expect to hear selections from every installment in the series (of which, Uematsu scored the majority) as they were meant to be experienced, in a live orchestra setting.

SUN APRIL 27

Special Explosion w/Duck. Little Brother, Duck!, Leatherdaddy, Heavy Petting; Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th
Since forming four years ago, virtually everything has gone right for Seattle's Special Explosion. The group—whose average age is 20—released a spectacular eponymous EP in the beginning of 2012 to significant local praise, and placed second in EMP's annual Sound Off! Battle of the Bands. After a follow-up 7-inch and a few brief tours, the group inked a deal with Boston-based emo label Topshelf, which recently released their woozy, spectacular quasi-LP, The Art of Mothering—an impossibly sublime synthesis of Keep It Like a Secret-era Built to Spill, Rilo Kiley, and Kind of Like Spitting. Dreams do come true!