and
MORE!
and
MORE!
THU
DEC 13, 2012


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Coal Train Hearing

Why: Two thousand residents in Bellingham, another thousand in Mount Vernon—across the state, people are turning out in unexpectedly large, angry herds to protest plans to build the nation’s largest coal export terminal outside of Bellingham. If the terminal is approved, up to 18 mile-long coal trains a day carrying an estimated 48 million tons of coal would start snaking their way through our waterfront on the way to the northern port. Now it’s your turn to testify on the biggest political showdown in Washington State. (Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Pl, Ballroom 6F, 4–7 pm, free)



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Everything Is Terrible!

Why: Everything Is Terrible! is a group of wisecrackers from Chicago that collects and compiles footage from old VHS tapes found at garage sales and thrift stores. You might know them from the YouTube clip “So Your Cat Wants a Massage.” You should know that they do touring shows—this one centered on the most terrible-est holiday of the entire year: Christmas. Expect uncomfortable, hilarious, pee-your-pants-worthy clips full of misplaced nostalgia for winter holidays and surrounded by puppets, fistfights, and fake snow—all hosted by Santa himself (no, really, the REAL one). (Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave, central-cinema.com, 7 and 9:30 pm, $10 adv/$12 DOS, all ages)

FRI
DEC 14, 2012


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Optimo

Why: Optimo—the Scottish DJ/production duo of Keith McIvor and Jonnie Wilkes—have earned a sterling reputation as two of the world’s most discerning disco selectors. Their marathon sets are famous for their unpredictability, adventurousness, diversity, and psychedelic depth. Basically, Optimo play by their own idiosyncratic rules (e.g., early-’80s synth pop into mid-’90s minimal techno within a few tracks). Prepare yourself for six hours of incredible eclectic grooviness at this edition of the Trouble monthly. (Q, 1426 Broadway, qcapitolhill.com, 9 pm–3 am, free before 10 pm/$10 after, 21+)

SAT
DEC 15, 2012


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David Bazan Band

Why: It’s been more than a decade since beloved (and now defunct) indie band Pedro the Lion released their seminal album Control, and it still remains one of the eeriest albums ever. Control tells the dark story of a wealthy family man who’s cheating on his wife: There’s greed, envy, and sex—then there’s vengeance, blood, and death. To hear the narrative sung in poetic lines by the band’s singer, David Bazan, in his unmatchable haunted mumble, causes shivers. Tonight, to celebrate the 10th anniversary, the David Bazan Band will perform the album in its entirety. Shit will get creepy. (Neptune Theater, 1303 NE 45th St, stgpresents.org, 9 pm, $16 adv/$18 DOS, all ages)

SUN
DEC 16, 2012


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Happy Hour at El Gaucho

Why: If you’ve never been to El Gaucho, that’s understandable—it’s so fancy, the booths are trimmed with mink, uniformed employees escort the ladies to the restroom, and a steak costs approximately one arm and half a leg. But it’s a real-deal, old-school Seattle experience—one you can have on the cheap during happy hour in the lounge, which goes all night long on Sunday and Monday. The service is more relaxed (you might even hear a mildly scandalous joke), they’ll let you venture unaccompanied to the lavatory, and the live piano music is gratis. On a cold, dark night, it’s extra luxurious. (El Gaucho; 2505 First Ave; elgaucho.com; 5 pm–close; drinks $4–$10, snacks $4–$9; 21+)

MON
DEC 17, 2012


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The Mountain Goats

Why: The first song I heard in 2012 was the Mountain Goats’ anthemic “This Year.” It blasted through the speakers of a friend’s house, and the small group of New Year’s Eve partyers loudly, drunkenly sang along to the insistent chorus “I am going to make it through this year if it kills me!” Mountain Goats singer John Darnielle is the master at delivering lines that both comfort and inspire. The band’s new album, Transcendental Youth, is no different. The opening line is “Do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive.” It just might be the anthem for 2013. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, showboxonline.com, 7 pm, $24, all ages)

TUE
DEC 18, 2012


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‘Holy Motors’

Why: The newest film by Leos Carax is the cinematic mindfuck of the year. At the center of the story: Monsieur Oscar, a middle-aged man working his way through a day of nine mysterious “appointments,” each one of which requires him to transform into a new character and plunge himself into what is essentially a new film. It’s disorienting by design, but Holy Motors is so brilliantly conceived, executed, and acted, you’ll be happy to get lost in its inexplicable folds. (SIFF Film Center, Seattle Center Northwest Rooms, siff.net, $10)

WED
DEC 19, 2012


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The Soft Moon

Why: San Francisco musician/producer Luis Vasquez began the Soft Moon as one of America’s more rewarding revivalists of the motorik-rhythm worship pioneered by krautrockers like Can, Neu!, and Faust. With 2012 album Zeros, Vasquez and his efficient bandmates have shifted into an aerodynamic model of goth rock that will push the depressed buttons of listeners enamored of Joy Division and the Cure’s 1980–82 output. In Soft Moon’s music, morbid atmospheres roil over propulsive beats, scoring the perfect soundtrack for graveyard chase scenes. (Barboza, 925 E Pike St, thebarboza.com, 8 pm, $10 adv, 21+)

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