Music Critics' Picks: Songs of the Emerald Isle, Julia Dream, Religious Girls

March 22-24: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

By Volcano Staff on March 18, 2015


You may not know it yet, but you are going to love Kaitlyn Lusk. She first sang with the Baltimore Symphony at age 14. A year later, she was chosen as featured vocal soloist for composer Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings Symphony suite. If you're a Tolkien geek, her rendition of "Into the West," which she performed at the Grammy Honors in New York, will move you to Valinorean tears. Now she's deploying her gorgeous soprano in support of a program of Irish classics, including "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and the soul-withering gut punch of "Danny Boy." Joining her are tap dancer Trent Kowalik, uilleann piper Andrew Thomson, and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. Kowalik won a Tony Award for his work in Billy Elliot the Musical. Fair play to ya! {CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL}

SONGS OF THE EMERALD ISLE, 2:30 p.m., Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $19-$80, 253.591.5890


Here are the things that I know about Julia Dream: they have taken their name from a Pink Floyd song; they are a Korean psychedelic band; they take their Pink Floyd and psychedelia seriously; they are solely devoted to making your brain do backflips. Every song of theirs is designed to open up synapses in your gray folds, to open you up to the cosmos and all the supremely groovy things it contains. Should your body resist their unstoppable force, there is a cavalcade of bands on this Sunday's psych-dominated bill to take your square ass and escort it into the fifth dimension. With the show starting at noon, there will be plenty of time to have your brain melted and subsequently molded into one that resembles the Milky Way. I'm not saying you need to do drugs, but maybe do drugs? {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

JULIA DREAM, w/ Sean McArdle, Deep Creeps, Problem With Dragons, Mountain Tamer, The Raven and the Writing Desk, Earl Willis Beal, Joppa Mazama, noon, Deadbeat Olympia, 226 N. Division St., Olympia, no cover, 360.943.0662


Oakland trio Religious Girls is gospel music for noise. Praising everything both beautiful and abrasive, Religious Girls are fascinated with taking clattering and chanting and making it a main character. Eardrums are pummeled, pupils are dilated, and minds are expanded to the place where they can receive that glut of input being ejected from Religious Girls. Above all else, the drums become the frontman for Religious Girls, shoving and cajoling the music into places it wouldn't otherwise have gone. Tricky time signatures and sparkling instrumentation find the band precariously balanced in the nether-space of approachability and coy distancing. Religious Girls want you to meet them halfway when it comes to absorbing their exorbitant sounds and letting them flow through your limbs and out onto the dance floor. {REV. AM}

RELIGIOUS GIRLS, w/ Saul Conrad, Joseph Hein, the Breakfast Cowboy, 8 p.m., Deadbeat Olympia, 226 N. Division St., Olympia, cover tba, 360.943.0662