Saturday 12/29 at Vermillion

Wednesday 12/26

Zeds Dead, Sir Kutz, Just One, Keano

(Showbox at the Market) See Data Breaker.

Thursday 12/27

Bret Michaels

(Snoqualmie Casino) You may remember Bret Michaels as the diabetic frontman of the '80s glam-rock hairball Poison, the pile of eyeliner that brought you "Unskinny Bop" and "Something to Believe In"—a phrase that Michaels has tattooed on his forearm, which was initially misspelled as "BELEIVE." (He later got it fixed in an episode of Rock of Love, his reality show in which haggard clowns fought for his money heart, participating in such challenges as "Talk Dirty to Me"—exactly what it sounds like, PLUS Michaels was hooked up to a penile plethysmograph [A BONER METER] by a licensed medical professional actor.) These days, Michaels's hair is attached to his head with a bandanna and his solo material is worth checking out only if you've been dying for more versions of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." EMILY NOKES

Mr.Xquisit, Yirim Seck, J Brown, Lord Vintage, Jae.Oh.B

(Nectar) I have known Yirim Seck's father for years. But that is another matter for another time. For now, let me say that Yirim Seck is a local rapper who dropped his debut, Hear Me Out, in 2009. Yirim Seck does not follow any trends. He does his own thing—meaning, he makes hiphop that's tuned to the way he feels about things rather than the trends set by the market. As a consequence, he has not received the attention he deserves. But those who are close to him, like Black Stax and Rob Castro, waste no time in singing his praises. Even with written words, you can hear Seck's smoothness: "Something about G that I can't quite touch/Though I know he had fam that he loved so much/I'm like, yeah, JO, man talk that stuff/Unlike you, a lot of niggaz couldn't talk that tough" ("Three MC's RIP"). CHARLES MUDEDE

Toys That Kill, Snuggle, Smokejumper, Slatwall

(Mars Bar) In the spring, Seattle pop-punks Smokejumper released a few new songs to follow up their 2010 self-titled full-length. Each new song was delivered as a single, paired with a cover song. While the originals were good solid punk tunes, it's the cover songs that keep me coming back to listen. The Screeching Weasel–esque "Saturday Night Bonfire Beach Party" comes with a punked-up version of the Mountain Goats' "No Children." The song "Bear Attack" (which sounds like Bad Religion plus Anti-Flag) is paired with Cock Sparrer's "Where Are They Now," and the fast and snotty "The Ballad of Elvin Crab" comes with a great cover of the Mr. T Experience song "Naomi." Smokejumper's version of "Naomi" is a little more punky and just as sunny, and it puts such happiness in my heart. Check out their Bandcamp page—smokejumper.bandcamp.com—to hear them all, and with any luck, we'll get to hear a couple of them during tonight's set. MEGAN SELING

The Satellite 4, Moonspinners, Los Perros Olvidados

(Comet) When it's done right, Southern soul hits with the most solid goddamn thwack in your earotic pleasure zones. What do I mean by "right"? Check out Booker T. & the MGs and the Meters, y'all. Economical, punchy guitar/bass/drums/keys (and maybe some infrequent singing) contoured into streamlined, funkified workouts with deep feeling that comes nonchalantly. The guitar riffs must cut diamonds, the beats must be prepared to enter the military, the keyboards should obey the less-is-more philosophy, except when they go to church, and the bass serves as a four-string sex-enabling machine. Seattle's Satellite 4 have nailed this MO. Cop their Street Food album on the Bandcamp and get down with your Stax-Volt-lovin' self. DAVE SEGAL

Friday 12/28

Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction

(Neptune) See Underage and My Philosophy.

Dog Shredder, Caligula Old Iron

(Chop Suey) "Shredding" used to be the business of the Marty Friedmans, Steve Vais, and Yngwie Malmsteens of the world. But at some point, the punks started giving Michael Angelo Batio and his X-shaped four-neck guitar a run for the money. Much like their compatriot elders Hella and Lightning Bolt, scrappy basement-rockers Dog Shredder might not have the polish and panache of the '80s hair-metal gods, but they certainly have the speed. Seriously, someone get these dudes a deal making those instructional videos they sell at Guitar Center. The Bellingham trio shred so hard that by the end of their three-song Brass Tactics EP, you feel like you've heard a double album's worth of material condensed into 15 frantic minutes. Be sure to take your seizure meds before they take the stage. BRIAN COOK

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony Plus Tango

(Benaroya) First, tango dancers Eva Lucero and Patricio Touceda—these popular local teachers are gorgeous—kick off the night with a performance to Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires with the orchestra. Then the Symphony Chorale joins the instrumentalists for Beethoven's Ninth led by Ludovic Morlot, culminating in the "Ode to Joy." Through December 30. JEN GRAVES

Saturday 12/29

Danny Brown

(Neptune) See My Philosophy.

Karl Blau, Your Heart Breaks, Nana Grizol, Jordan O'Jordan

(Vera) See Underage.

Gavin Russom, Naughty Wood, Bankie Phones, Made Like a Tree

(Electric Tea Garden) See Stranger Suggests and Data Breaker.

Pony Time, Mtns

(Vermillion) Mountainnsss, MTNS, Mountainss—I am pointing out Mtns' various name options so you understand they could be lurking closer than you think—and let me tell you, you don't want to miss having your skull shattered/face melted/noise needs fulfilled just because you weren't sure if it was the Mtns. Such a name could be perceived as serene and folkie, but that would be incorrect, thankfully. Mtns is precise chaos. Abrupt spikes, deep, witchy droning, LOUD EVERYTHING. Their latest release, All Songs Are Spells (currently available as a tape on Trench Art, official LP release slated for sometime in 2013) lures listeners into a house made of candy before paralyzing them and stuffing them into an oven—blaring entropy finds screeching, satisfying organization. EMILY NOKES

Bill Anschell Standards Trio

(Tula's) Tonight's trio: Bill Anschell is on the piano, Chuck Deardorf is on the bass, D'Vonne Lewis is on the drums. Anschell is one of the most sophisticated keyboardists in the region (I have written elsewhere that he has a touch that's precise but not soulless). Deardorf, longtime head of Cornish College's jazz department, is less a player and more an institution that's been thriving in the region for a quarter of a century. As for Lewis, this is what the bassist Evan Flory-Barnes had to say in Earshot Jazz: "There is a side of me that comes out so easily around him; there is this way we both laugh deeply together with and at life." Piano, bass, and drums is for me the holy trinity of jazz. CHARLES MUDEDE

Sunday 12/30

Zachary David Jammin', Nathan Bulmer

(Fantagraphics) See Underage.

Classixx, the Miracles Club, the Tempers

(Neumos) See Data Breaker.

Monday 12/31

Hey Tranny It's Tranny vs. Party Schmarty NYE Bash

(Neumos) Neumos and Nark Magazine join forces to present a New Year's Eve party with something to blow the mind of everyone. For drag lovers, there are performances by Alaska Thunderfuck and Jinkx Monsoon. For burlesque lovers, there are performances by Ben DeLaCreme, Kitten LaRue, and the great Cherdonna and Lou. And for fans of state-of-the-art indie pop, there's a performance by the Intelligence, the beloved band led by certified Stranger Genius Lars Finberg. When indie pop meets burlesque meets drag meets a new year, everybody wins. DAVID SCHMADER See also The Homosexual Agenda.

Monogamy Party, Wimps, Haunted Horses, Ubu Roi

(Comet) Goddamn, this is a SHOW. It's a definite New Year's Eve destination for anyone who likes the noisier, weirder side of the musical spectrum. Haunted Horses are self-described on Bandcamp as "post-apocalyptic satanic space jams" and I really couldn't say it better myself, except to add that there's a little bit of a ghostly surf vibe in there, too. It's eerie and great. And headliners Monogamy Party are less satanic, but no less possessed—singer Kennedy Carda thrashes around the stage like a wild animal. And to up the amount of awesome to nearly incomprehensible levels, the band recently added Pleasureboater frontman Ricky Claudon. And for all this to go down on New Year's Eve, when things have a tendency to get extra crazy? It's possible the Comet will need an exorcism after the show. MEGAN SELING

Pickwick, Radiation City, Tomten

(Showbox at the Market) New Year's Eve is all about both the past and the future—saying goodbye to the old, celebrating the arrival of the new. And tonight's lineup mirrors that notion with current bands who wonderfully pay homage to the past. Tomten's paisley-printed, vintage pop tunes are so legit that even Mike "I hate modern music" Nipper approves. And Pickwick's soulful serenades flirt with blues, gospel, and R&B. The crowd will definitely be grooving, and, like I wrote in this week's Stranger Suggests, there is a 100-percent chance of dark-corner make-out sessions. Hubba hubba. MEGAN SELING

Lazer Ball NYE: Fresh Espresso, Grynch, Keyboard Kid, Metal Chocolates

(Neptune) Tired of spending your New Year's Eves at the same old velvet-rope-and-bottle-service rap events? Ditch that old routine and ring in 2013 at the Neptune in a very futuristic way: with "LAZERS," and a whole bunch of quality local hiphop thrown in as a bonus. Multi-instrumentalist/DJ version of the modern bluesman OCnotes and space-freestyle vet Rik Rude's Metal Chocolates will start things off, and #based producer legend Keyboard Kid will follow with his forward-thinking electro-slaps. King of Ballard/Volvo enthusiast Grynch will hone his polished MC skills before headliners Fresh Espresso (give it up in advance for Rik Rude even attempting to perform two shows on New Year's Eve) tear the roof off like only a synthed-up party-rap group with a banger called "The Lazerbeams" could. MIKE RAMOS

New Year's Eve Concert, Countdown & Celebration

(Benaroya) An encore performance of Beethoven's Ninth, preceded by Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring Benjamin Grosvenor, a rising pianist born in 1992 in the UK. Then, watch the ball drop in a post-concert party in the lobby hosted by charismatic music director Ludovic Morlot. JEN GRAVES

Beats Antique, Y La Bamba, Lynx

(Paramount) More proof that EDM (ugh) is gaining commercial momentum: Beats Antique's last Seattle date in January was at Showbox Sodo; this one's at the much bigger Paramount. The Oakland-based outfit take a polyglot, global-traveler approach to electronic dance music, hybridizing stylistic tics from Africa, Central Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, and London (the world's most prodigious source of bass-centric music) into easily digestible tracks. All very well, but one of the dudes in the group has grown his soul patch into his chinstrap beard, a facial-hair crime that negates anything Beats Antique have done or ever will do. Look, I don't make the rules; I just acknowledge them. DAVE SEGAL

Atomic Rodeo: Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, the Atomic Bombshells, Country Lips

(Crocodile) Do you wanna go somewhere on New Year's Eve that has a fancy champagne toast at midnight? Maybe a toast, paired with a bunch of foxy, real singing cowboys, paired with a bunch of even foxier real burlesque dancers? This is the party for people who wanna party like it's 1899—when Seattle was still a raucous Wild West town, when rough riders, whiskey, and women still reigned supreme in the local saloon. Shine up your spurs and dust off your finest Western dress, and also be warned—the classic country sounds and the vintage Bourbon Street–style stripteasing are gonna make a lot of people lock lips when 2013 is born. S.W.A.K.! KELLY O

Tuesday 1/1

How's your overhang?