Dilla Day: DJ Supreme La Rock, Jon François Stone, DJAO, J-Justice, Alex Ruder, DJ ShoNuph, WD4D, others
(Electric Tea Garden) See preview.
Hieroglyphics, Hi-Life Soundsystem, AudioDose Crew, DJ Gumbeaux, King Khazm
(Crocodile) What is the underground and when did it begin? The underground is basically hiphop that was divorced from the market. Hiphop did not want this divorce; it wanted innovation and commercial viability to remain wedded. But labels seeking higher and more concentrated profits forced the two apart. By 1998, the separation was complete. This is why Bay Area hiphop collective Hieroglyphics were not underground when they started in the early '90s. Indeed, several of their members enjoyed huge hits: Del the Funky Homosapien had "Mistadobalina," and Souls of Mischief had "93 'til Infinity"—a track that's built on one of the greatest beats in hiphop history. Today, however, Hieroglyphics are in the underground. This is evidenced by the fact that though their members are still making great music, they will never see the kind of critical and commercial rewards that were lavished on "93 'til Infinity." (By the way, Opio, A-Plus, Tajai, Phesto—Souls of Mischief—are on this tour, Del is not.) CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.
Graveyard, Radio Moscow, Sandrider
(Tractor) Swedish retrograde rockers Graveyard are still worshiping at the anti-altar of 1970s Black Sabbath, and while they execute a faithful rendition of that sound, it'd be nice to hear a little more catharsis than faith. Maybe it will come with the amplifiers and live setting. Radio Moscow deliver sprawling, Big Muff psychedelic-blues rock, and with heavy riffers/local favorites Sandrider opening, this is basically gonna be Battle of the Amplifiers. GRANT BRISSEY
Sasquatch! 2012 Launch Party: Junip, Matthew Caws, the Physics
(Neptune) See Stranger Suggests.
Nada Surf, Say Hi
(Tractor) Last week, Nada Surf released their new album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy. They've always played indie-rock/pop songs that would appeal to fans of bands like the Posies, but this new record summons Ken Stringfellow and company more than ever before. "When I Was Young" starts out as a soft acoustic ballad but slowly evolves into a starry electric-guitar explosion. The catchy chorus in "Waiting for Something" sounds like a Frosting on the Beater B-side. The Stars is a really strong album, perfect to listen to while the winter slowly fades away. Unfortunately, tonight's show is sold out. But singer Matthew Caws will also be making a solo appearance at the Neptune tonight, for the Sasquatch! launch party, so you can still get a Nada Surf fix. MEGAN SELING
Satchel, Slow Bunny, Surrealized
(Crocodile) Seattle's Slow Bunny are eclectic maximalists. They may not always hit your sweet spot, but give 'em credit for dispersing their songwriting chops in many directions and striving for lofty stylistic crossbreeding. Flamboyant prog rock with a reggae bridge may not be your idea of sonic nirvana, but you have to admit few bands anywhere would think to attempt this. Raggedy bluegrass with drama-king vocals; Man Man–like, start-stop vaudeville punk; glam funk; and burly country rock also figure into Slow Bunny's arsenal of tricks. And "Jaws of the Butterfly" is a helluva blend of speed-freak noise rock and pastoral balladry. Overall, it's hard to detect tongue-in-cheekiness here, and the playing is tight. DAVE SEGAL
The Pharmacy, Night Beats, Slowdance
(Black Lodge) See preview.
Beats: Knxwledge, Brownbear, DTCPU, Al Nightlong
(Vermillion) See Data Breaker.
Strobe: Justin Sloe, Ramiro, Rhines, Ctrl_Alt_Dlt, Deepvibez, others
(Re-bar) See Data Breaker.
Scribes, Cool Nutz, Kung Foo Grip, E and Dae, Kingz of Kush, Astronomar, Grynch
(Neumos) See My Philosophy.
Brokaw, Akimbo, Deadkill, Crawler
(Sunset) Tonight is the record-release show for Seattle quartet Brokaw's debut full-length, Interiors. The band's origins can be traced back something like 35 years, when Stuart Dahlquist and guitarist Rick Troy started playing together. You can hear the history in the record's jagged-edged guitar work, crushing rhythm section, and tenacious pace. This sound is mean without anger, and it's deployed exactly how they want it. Interiors will be one of the tightest Seattle rock records to drop this year, and I can't wait to hear it loud and live. GRANT BRISSEY
Wreckless Eric, Thee Sgt. Major III, Head, Tripwires
(Funhouse) Wreckless Eric's been around since something like 1800s England, where he wrote one of the best punk singles of all of time "(I'd Go the) Whole Wide World"—a perfect and perfectly simple song often taught by guitar teachers because it only has two chords. "Whole Wide World"—which has been covered by Elvis Costello, the Monkees, and Paul Westerberg—was first released on legendary UK punk/new-wave label Stiff. But don't go to this show and be a total asshole, fawning only for this single. Wreckless Eric is now more like Wreckless & Amy—a sweet garage pop two-piece made up of Eric and his wife, NYC songbird Amy Rigby. KELLY O
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Total Life
(Crocodile) Led by Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Efrim Menuck, Montreal's Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (SMZ, henceforth) make grandiose rock that's as long-winded as their name. Unlike the mostly instrumental GY!BE, SMZ feature Menuck's ungainly singing voice; like GY!BE, SMZ launch epic chamber-rock compositions that drift, swell, and sometimes explode—all very methodically. This is music for people with long attention spans and an appreciation for subtle emotional gradients—especially those in the key of somber. The tension between "ponderousness" and "dramatic" is ever-present, if you like that kind of thing. DAVE SEGAL
The Dusty 45s, the Maldives, Lazy Susan, the Young Evils, Betsy Olson, Davidson Hart Kingsbery, the Purrs
(Showbox at the Market) It's been really cold outside lately, and thankfully a lot of us have a warm home to go to at night. But there are thousands of people in the Northwest who aren't so lucky. You can help! Tonight's show—with some of Seattle's best—is a benefit for DESC, an organization that has been fighting homelessness since 1979. So not only do you get to enjoy the music of great local artists—the swinging Dusty 45s, the Americana-loving Maldives, acoustic cuties the Young Evils, and more—but all proceeds from your ticket will go directly to help end homelessness. Learn more about DESC and its efforts at www.desc.org. MEGAN SELING
In Flames, Trivium, Veil of Maya, Kyng
(Showbox Sodo) In Flames basically invented melodic death metal, along with fellow Swedish metal bands At the Gates and Dark Tranquility. I know this only because my high-school boyfriend and his friends were really into metal, and when In Flames came to town WE JUST HAD TO GO. I didn't know where to buy the requisite spiked jewelry (Hot Topic was for poseurs!), so I went to a pet store in Ballard and got an actual dog collar. I do not remember the show, except that it sounded like this: "GRAAAAAAOOOOOOUUAAAAAAGGHHHHHHH!!!!!" and felt like a million people squishing me to death for no reason. Here is my friend's review: "There was no ventilation, and the show was way oversold, and we were almost crushed by masses of douchebags. Also, the opening band sucked about a hundred balls. Also, that was 10 years ago. Which is just awful." Ah, youth. ANNA MINARD
Kore Ionz, Part One Tribe, Ethan Tucker, Zions Gate Sound
(Nectar) See preview.
Don't Talk to the Cops!, Purple & Green
(Baltic Room) See Data Breaker.
(Neptune) This extravagantly brash Welsh collective (think a much younger, much gayer Mekons, featuring glockenspiel) have made a bunch of good-to-great records, from their stellar 2008 debut, Hold on Now Youngster..., to last year's sturdy Hello Sadness. But live is where Los Campesinos! tear shit up, putting all the band's greatest strengths—passion, youth, songwriting—on full display. Tonight, the band tears up the Neptune, apparently without an opening act, which seems weird, but whatever. DAVID SCHMADER See also Underage.
Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds, Blood Red Dancers, Local Dudes, Broken Nobles
(Comet) Brian Tristan, aka Kid Congo Powers, came up in the LA punk scene during the late '70s and '80s. Though he started small, running a fan club for the Ramones and a zine for the Screamers, he ended up playing in seminal bands like the Gun Club, the Cramps, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Now with his own band, the Pink Monkey Birds, Kid Congo Powers blends his West Coast punk roots with doses of grooving '60s Chicano rock and garage psychedelia to superb effect. Both 2009's Dracula Boots and last year's Gorilla Rose show that the Kid has aged gracefully, still capable of kicking out the kind of jams that should have plenty of feet moving tonight. MIKE RAMOS
Dyme Def, Hypatia Lake, Derek Kelley and the Speedwobbles
(Sunset) Most residents from Ballard and the surrounding areas may be going to this Audioasis show to check out Hypatia Lake's heavy, spaced-out psych rock, but leaving this one early would be a total sucker move. Stick around for local hiphop heroes Dyme Def, who quietly released Yuk the World—a triumphant return to form for the 3BadBrothaaas responsible for the most-crucial 2007 local release, Space Music—late in 2011. Drink a bunch of alcohol before their set (it's Saturday, after all) and get down with your uninhibited self. Dyme Def's appropriately hype, party-friendly cuts are not conducive to that arms-crossed, standing-still crap. Be careful, though, you might actually enjoy yourself. MIKE RAMOS
Seattle Chamber Music Society Winter Festival
(Benaroya) The Beethoven, Paganini, and Franck pieces on the program will be fun, but what you're out on a cold night for is "The Devil's Trill," a sonata for violin by Giuseppe Tartini, to be performed this particular cold night by Seattle's James Ehnes. One night in 1713, the devil came to Tartini in a dream, picked up Tartini's violin, and played a solo so incredible that Tartini woke up and tried to take it down—only to find himself tortured by the inadequacy of his memory. "The Devil's Trill" is as close as Tartini could come, and it's fuller than full of trills and devilishly difficult runs and turns. Just imagine the piece the devil had in mind. JEN GRAVES
Nudity, Zodiac Death Valley, Wayfinders
(Black Lodge) San Francisco quintet Zodiac Death Valley play boisterous, heart-on-sleeve rock that isn't nearly as psychedelic as their name would suggest. While their signature tune, "Methadone Mambo," promises wilder things than it delivers, ZDV do have an undeniable passion, skillful songcraft, and swagger and will probably bring it with a vengeance live. Wayfinders consist of Seattle rock vets who have mastered the art of writing mellow-dious, poignant rock without wimping out. Nudity remain one of Olympia's most galvanizing psych-rock groups. DAVE SEGAL
Stumptown Coffee Talent Night: Constant Lovers, Mongrel Blood, Koko and the Sweetmeats
(Sunset) What does Stumptown Coffee have to do with the Sunset and/or talent nights? Well, most of the bands in this lineup feature employees of Stumptown. Also, all of the proceeds from this show go to the Betsy Hansen Cancer Fund (Betsy's a musician, longtime smiling face in Seattle's music scene, and owner of RADAR Hair and Records). It's a win-win night. I especially want to see Mongrel Blood, another sure-to-be-fantastical project by Spencer Moody. Since Murder City Devils, that frickin' guy seems to always be lurking around in some strangely awesome new band with a really weird name. KELLY O
Twin Sister, Ava Luna, Lemolo
(Vera Project) See Underage.
Wilco, White Denim
(Paramount) Jeff Tweedy's ability to write a song that so perfectly captures the bajllion kinds of sadness one person can feel in a lifetime is both rare and annoying. Have a depressingly unrequited crush on someone? "We're Just Friends." In love with a fucked-up person who's carrying a lot of baggage? "Reservations." Have baggage of your own? "Please Be Patient with Me." Wilco's sad songs are so great at being sad songs, in fact, it causes me to completely disregard what they're even better at, which is writing sunny, Americana-laced pop songs like "Heavy Metal Drummer" and "I'm the Man Who Loves You." I want to listen to them over and over again! But Wilco's bummer ballads make it feel so good to be sad, why would you ever want to cheer up? MEGAN SELING See also Stranger Suggests.