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Earplugs won’t stop your organs from rumbling.
Kreayshawn, Rye Rye, Honey Cocaine, Chippy Nonstop
(Neumos) I'll never forget the first time I saw Kreayshawn's weird/viral "Gucci Gucci" video on YouTube. A tiny gal, best friend in tow (plus enough makeup and accessories to start a successful second-hand Claire's), she raps about being fed up with "basic bitches" who covet tired brand names and act like Barbies (she then rhymes Barbie with Arby's). I was skeptical at first, but later felt, with the assuredness that comes with being very stoned, that Kreayshawn was some kind of comedic genius ("I got the swag and it's pumpin' out my ovarieeeees"). After scoring a contract with Columbia, Somethin' 'Bout Kreay debuted in September, and for better or worse, it's only getting weirder. EMILY NOKES See also My Philosophy.
The Witches Titties, Gaydolf & the Golden Showers, Jackie Hell, An Magi, Abductee
(Mercury) A fine line divides pull-the-plug wretchedness from transcendent art. The Witches Titties work both sides of that seam, jumping back and forth between them like it's a deranged schoolyard game. Imagine if the Germs in all their "don't look away!" confrontational glory had sired a litter of offspring with the pre-stardom incarnation of Gossip. No day-care center would touch them! But entrusted to the care of maiden aunt Diamanda Galás, they grow plump and strong, howling scales and cranking up their amps in the nursery. In the evenings, adorned in full slap and fantastic costumes, these feral children huddle around an aging Magnavox and watch Ken Russell's The Devils till their heads swim. Won't you please love them? KURT B. REIGHLEY
Health Problems, Freak Heat Waves, Thousand Statues, Slashed Tires
(Josephine) See Underage.
Neema Brings Back the '90s
(Barboza) See My Philosophy.
MellowHype, Trash Talk, Key Nyata
(Chop Suey) This bill boasts two different incarnations/affiliates of LA skate-punk-rap collective Odd Future. Rapper/producer duo MellowHype features Hodgy Beats (who has demonstrated some serious growth as a lyricist on the group's recent Numbers and the Odd Future Tape Vol. 2) and Left Brain (whose woozy, blunted beats provide an ideal setting for Hodgy's aggressive, abstract rap styles). OF label signees Trash Talk do hardcore the way it should be done in 2012: loud, fast, and devoid of the genre's cornier, formulaic elements (look elsewhere if you still think every hardcore song needs a bro-tastic breakdown). Show up early for Seattle Raider Key Nyata, stay for the stage dives and circle pits. MIKE RAMOS
The Family Stone
(Jazz Alley) There's something sad when phenomenal old groups try to carry on decades past their prime with only a fraction of their original membership. Tours by these acts typically bring to mind thoughts of financial desperation, diminishing skills, and concern about the players not involved. With the Family Stone, one can't help thinking of leader Sly's awful downward spiral. Of course, he's not participating in this venture. However, original trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, drummer Greg Errico, and saxophonist Jerry Martini are in the lineup, and all had a role in some of the most dynamic, exciting, funky, and soulful songs ever conceived—an ultimate black/white/male/female explosion of pop. The Family Stone's other four members may not be household names, but the strength of the catalog guarantees hot fun in the wintertime, even without his Slyness. DAVE SEGAL
High On Fire, Goatwhore, Lo-Pan
(Neumos) See Sound Check.
Lo-Fidelity: Bondax, Kid Smpl, Jason Burns, guest DJs
(Baltic Room) See Data Breaker.
The Family Stone
(Jazz Alley) See Thursday.
Gaytheist, Survival Knife, Mass Games, Glose
(Comet) When I think of an actual "survival knife," I think of either a Swiss Army knife with all those useless features (I mean, no one has ever successfully used those Swiss Army scissors, let's be real) or a giant serrated hunting knife. Olympia's Survival Knife would definitely be the latter sort of blade—the kind of knife you use deep in the wilderness when your tent has been washed away in a flash flood, you've been wandering for days, and you're considering eating your companions. The music of Survival Knife is sharp and sparse rock, heavy but not sluggish, and catchy in a jab jab jabbing way. Their Funhouse show a few months back killed it dead. Speaking of the Funhouse, Brian Foss will be DJing this show, and that guy has great taste! EMILY NOKES
Cathedrals 4: Damien Jurado, Naomi Wachira, Pepper Proud, Kevin Long
(Saint Mark's) Once a month, the folks at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center take advantage of the amazing acoustics in Capitol Hill's dramatic Saint Mark's Cathedral and present an incredible evening of stripped-down performances by some of the Northwest's most remarkable vocal talent. Tonight, for the fourth installment, Damien Jurado, Naomi Wachira, Pepper Proud, and Kevin Long will all take the stage, armed with only their voices and a very limited selection of musical instruments. The seating is informal (pews, benches, chairs, and blankets and pillows on the floor), and the venue requires absolute silence, so leave your cellophane-wrapped candy, cameras with a shutter, crying babies, and bubble wrap at home. The venue and the lineup will make for a stunning evening for sure. MEGAN SELING
12th Planet, Borgore, Krewella, Two Fresh, Dirty Byrdz
(Showbox at the Market) This show will wobble like an uneven desk. 12th Planet's low-end crunch and robust sub bass have recently become a popular way to speed hearing loss. Supporting act Borgore is an Israeli dubstep producer who also has a penchant for bass that is both ruthless and bipolar. It's best not to drink the mystery water dripping from the ceiling, a result of the audience's grinding to sounds of wobbling confusion. Earplugs won't stop your organs from rumbling, but that's the point. AL JACOBS
A Tribute to Anthology of American Folk Music: Baby Gramps, the Horde and the Harem, the Sumner Brothers, Led to Sea, the Washover Fans, Annie Ford Band, Liam Fitzgerald, more
(Columbia City Theater) Originally released in 1952 and given a deluxe reissue in 1997, Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music is the history-making, humanity-enhancing cavalcade of American folk songs gathered from old 78 rpm records found all over tarnation. The whole thing's a treasure, and its best songs—"John the Revelator," "James Alley Blues," roughly two dozen others—are among the most powerful tracks ever recorded. Tonight, KEXP's Greg Vandy hosts an evening devoted to the man and his found songbook, featuring musical performances and special Smith-based animation from the amazing Drew Christie. DAVID SCHMADER
El Vez Mex-Mas: El Vez, Mark Siano & the Enablers
(Crocodile) Do you find yourself thinking the holidays are getting tedious—all the eggnog and tired songs about Rudolph and that old fat guy? Well, maybe it's time you gave El Vez a try! The self-proclaimed "Mexican Elvis" and his "social-political-Las-Vegas-via-Memphis-by-way-of-Mexico-rock-and-roll-revue" never disappoint, and for this show they're bringing all of their Chicano holiday cheer. The El Vez Merry MeX-mas album, released in 1994 on Sympathy for the Record Industry, has classics like "Poncho Claus," "Oranges for Christmas," and "Santa Claus Is Sometimes Brown." ¡Feliz Navidad, Seattle! KELLY O
The Music of John Cage
(Chapel Performance Space) John Cage's unpublished score STEPS: A Composition for a Painting to Be Performed by Individuals or Groups (1989) will be realized tonight, and vocalist Jessika Kenney performs Fontana Radif, a version of Cage's Fontana Mix that Kenney has adapted for Persian vocals (!), with dancer Beth Graczyk and others. JEN GRAVES
(Benaroya) King of Kings! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Forever! And ever! Conducted by Stephen Stubbs, featuring the Seattle Symphony Chorale and vocal soloists Shannon Mercer, Laura Pudwell, Ross Hauck, and Kevin Deas. And Lord of Lords! Hallelujah! Forever! Through Sunday, December 16. JEN GRAVES
Prosumer, DJ Nark
(Q) See Data Breaker.
David Bazan Band
(Neptune) See Stranger Suggests.
Riff Raff, Appletree, Kush Gang Global, more
(Nectar) See My Philosophy.
Angry Snowmans, Phantom Tank, Hurry Up and Die, Coverage
(Comet) Angry Snowmans are a holiday-loving punk-rock band of merry motherfucking elves from the north (read: Canada). About this time every year, they magically appear out of the clouds to play festive parodies of punk-rock classics including "Candy Cane Addiction," "Blitzen Bop," "Horror Christmas," and "Ebeneezer Über Alles," and if Christmas music doesn't make you want to choke on a sharpened candy cane, you'll absolutely love them. Plus! A circle pit totally counts as a Christmas decoration because it kind of looks like a wreath of flailing humans! And, because you've been extra good this year, Coverage, a Descendents tribute band, opens the show. MEGAN SELING
He Whose Ox Is Gored, Serial Hawk, Princess, Bitches Crystal
(Black Lodge) No one's really doubted Seattle's wealth of musical talent in the last 20 years. But in the wake of Nirvana, there has been a constant push to assert that we aren't just a grunge town. We've got Fleet Foxes! Shabazz Palaces! Decibel Festival! Macklemore! But even after two decades, Seattle is still a city that embraces the convergence of punk's antagonism and lack of refinement with metal's ferocity and technical skill. Tonight's show is an apt demonstration of how that hybrid still thrives in the Emerald City. From the fretboard savvy of math-proggers Bitches Crystal all the way through to the cosmic thunder of He Whose Ox Is Gored, this show is guaranteed to be as loud, sweaty, and beer-soaked as those gigs in the old Charles Peterson photos. BRIAN COOK See also Underage.
(Chapel Performance Space) Pianist Gust Burns performs from his recent collection of scores, REAL BOOK, made by erasing material from popular jazz songs published in Chuck Sher's The New Real Book. Burns will play solo and in a quartet with Paul Kikuchi, Carmen Rothwell, and Jacob Zimmerman. JEN GRAVES
Blackalicious, Theoretics, Gran Rapids
(Neumos) See My Philosophy.
Sunn O))), Earth, Dead in the Dirt, Loincloth
(Neptune) You go to a Sunn O))) show knowing exactly what to expect: mammoth doom dirges (what I once called "the obsidian-monolith grind") that saturate the low end with sadistic totality (wear a diaper, to be safe); ritualistic, methodical movement from the robed players onstage; occasional guttural intonations from vocalist Attila Csihar; and enveloping dry-ice clouds. As most know, Sunn O))) essentially build on the minimalist-maximalist foundation laid down by Earth on Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version, a feat they do with utmost religious devotion and solemnity. It's a noble pursuit. You need to witness Sunn O))) at least once in your life to understand how music can affect you on a molecular—and sphincteriffic—level. DAVE SEGAL
Lamb of God, In Flames, Hellyeah, Sylosis
(Showbox Sodo) Lamb of God have sure had a busy year. First, they released their seventh studio album, Resolution, early in 2012 to international praise and approval, showcasing their thrashcentric formula for their heavy yet memorable American groove metal. From there, shit got cray. You remember that slogan "FREE RANDY" from early last summer? Well, that was in reference to LOG vocalist Randy Blythe being arrested and held overseas in the Czech Republic on manslaughter charges. Now that things are straightened out and they're back on the road, expect nothing less than a refreshed and recharged band. KEVIN DIERS
So Pitted, Ecstatic Cosmic Union, Kingdom of the Holy Sun, Portable Shrines
(Vermillion) The Seattle wife/husband group Ecstatic Cosmic Union have been around less than a year, but they've made a deep impression so far. The two shows I've caught by keyboardist/vocalist Rena Bussinger and guitarist Aubrey Nehring—both of whom run the Portable Shrines psychedelic-art-music collective—have tapped into a profoundly tranquil and transportive vibe; it's apropos that the first performance happened in a friend's backyard, under a canopy of trees. Ecstatic Cosmic Union's music is in no rush to get where it's going, and the trip it takes you on is just as beautiful and rewarding as the destination. Check out their eerie, hypnotic psychedeliquesence at soundcloud.com/harry-eyeball. DAVE SEGAL
Mountain Goats, Matthew E. White
Stop Biting: OCnotes, AbsoluteMadman, WD4D, more
(Lo-Fi) See Data Breaker.
Kingdom of the Holy Sun, Red Hex, Drinking Flowers, Adult Books
(Chop Suey) I've blathered on about Kingdom of the Holy Sun a lot lately (know that they're one of the city's best psych-rock bands), so let's focus on this bill's other acts. Tacoma's Red Hex play rugged, savage garage-sike with raw, shouted vocals that sound like dude needs to get laid real bad (and that's good). Drinking Flowers is such a great name, it almost doesn't matter what the LA band's music sounds like. But, FYI, based on Bandcamp evidence, they play a lo-fi, trebly, reverbed strain of garage rock that sounds like an amped-up Cramps as well as a sludgier, red-eyed psych rock that you can't take home to mother. California's Adult Books run through the Nuggets playbook with studied gusto and come out somewhere between Ty Segall and the Fresh & Onlys. DAVE SEGAL