For his recent solo album, Composed
(Brassland), Seattle bassist Jherek Bischoff
, formerly of Portland band Parenthetical Girls, used DIY methods to create orchestral pop that sounds anything but DIY. He wrote its nine elegant, sleekly melodic pieces at home, then set out to the homes of fellow musicians (often by bike) to record each of their parts on his laptop—he layered strings, horns, winds, and percussion, achieving an ensemble sound that's remarkably cohesive, especially considering the technique. He then repeated the process for his star-studded cast of vocalists, which includes Carla Bozulich, Dawn McCarthy, Mirah Zeitlyn, David Byrne, and Caetano Veloso (though the last two recorded their contributions themselves). The music's succinct directness has its roots in pop, but thanks to Bischoff's skill as an orchestrator, some of the songs—including the melodramatic, timbrally rich "Your Ghost
," with slightly overwrought singing by Craig Wedren—achieve something more sophisticated and profound. For this show Bischoff plays ukulele with a string quartet; he also supports headliner Amanda Palmer, notorious crowdsourcing millionaire
, as a member of her Grand Theft Orchestra. —Peter Margasak Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra headline, Simple Pleasure and Jherek Bischoff open.