Andrew McMahon’s pop gets personal

  • Thu Feb 4th, 2010 3:44pm
  • Life

By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer

Andrew McMahon made a wise move when he ditched pop punk for a more earnest, piano-driven sound.

McMahon, the one-time frontman for Something Corporate, started Jack’s Mannequin in 2004. His new band — basically a solo project — found him writing lovelorn songs such as “The Mixed Tape.”

While a bout with leukemia kept McMahon from extensive touring after the release of his 2005 debut, “Everything in Transit,” his fan base grew.

His second album, “The Glass Passenger,” offered another batch of personal pop music. It debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 in September.

6 tonight, Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle; $24; or 800-745-3000.

The Editors: This English group shifted gears on its October album, “In This Light and on This Evening.”

The Editors earned its reputation as post-punk revivalists, releasing scrappy, dark music that was anchored by lead singer Tom Smith’s brooding baritone.

Its newest album, however, finds the band shifting away from guitars and toward synthesizers.

Fans can get a taste of the group’s reworked sound — which was developed with Nine Inch Nails producer Flood — at a Seattle show tonight.

8 tonight, Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $20; or 800-745-3000.

Van Dyke Parks: Parks secured his spot in pop rock history after collaborating with Brian Wilson on “Smile,” which was originally conceived as the follow-up to the Beach Boys’ classic album “Pet Sounds.”

His work with Wilson didn’t see release for decades, with many feeling it was lost to the ages. In 2004, however, Wilson put out the album as a solo project, preserving Parks’ odd and psychedelic lyrics.

Now, Parks — also known for his work as a session musician and composer — comes to Seattle for an intimate headlining performance at the Triple Door.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $20; or 206-838-4333.

St. Vincent: Annie Clark got her start as a member of the Polyphonic Spree, a symphonic pop group with more than 20 members.

She eventually set off on her own, releasing her first solo album as St. Vincent in 2007.

Her skewed take on pop rock has since won her writeups in the New York Times and glowing reviews from, the taste-making Web site.

8 tonight, Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $13; or 800-992-8499.

Elton John and Billy Joel: The two pop icons wrap-up their trip to Seattle with a second show at KeyArena.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $68.55 to $198.30; or 800-745-3000.

Slightly Stoopid: This band blends hip-hop, reggae and punk on albums including “Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet.”

8 p.m Thursday, Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $24; or 800-745-3000.

Wilco: The critically adored Chicago rock band plays a sold-out show in Seattle on Wednesday.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; sold out.

Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455;