Friends and Family, Night Cadet, Wishbeard, Tenderfoot
(Crocodile) Though I haven't seen them live yet, light internet stalking of Friends and Family (the band, not my actual friends and family, btdt) hints that this many-membered band's live shows might include, to my absolute delight: costumes, themes, dancing, theatrics. Their 2013 self-released record, Happy, Good-Looking, and In Love (mixed by the one and only Erik Blood) whisks you away into an intriguing pop drama of driving strings and drums, glamorous synth bursts, and happy horns, with sprinklings of early Arcade Fire and of Montreal–ish storytelling flair. And sequins. This show will also feature the dreamy spacegaze of Wishbeard, the swoony twilight pop of Night Cadet, and the heart-shaped folk of Tenderfoot. EMILY NOKES
Brazil Novo, Casey MacGill
(Vito's) See Stranger Suggests.
Caspa, Trolley Snatcha, J:Kenzo
(Neumos) See Data Breaker.
(Chapel Performance Space) That the three gents who make up Triptet met as members of a Sun Ra tribute band should be the first clue as to the sonic environment in which they operate. A few rhythmic motifs are thrown down as the loosest of loose guideposts for jams to meander over and around, never settling in one place for long. Horns skronk and wail like wounded animals, while a fretless guitar hangs back and provides the low end. Occasionally, "cheap electronics" (their words) can be heard mutating sound shapes in the negative space. Like much free jazz, traditional melody is pretty much beside the point: Triptet are all about creating an atmosphere and the interplay of the instrumentalists, weaving and bobbing into and out of eerie, deconstructed grooves. KYLE FLECK
Pill Wonder, iji, Landlines, San Onofre Lizards
(Heartland) See Underage.
Christian Mistress, Occult SS, Paralyzer
(Black Lodge) See Underage.
Black Hat, White Boy Scream + Viviane James, Bat
(Teatro de la Psychomachia) See Underage.
Anna von Hausswolff, Noveller
(Vera) Swedish pianist/vocalist Anna von Hausswolff creates stately pipe-organ-powered chamber pop of considerable grandeur, over which she sings with bold poise. (She is the daughter of noted minimalist composer Carl Michael Von Hausswolff—Papa has passed on some of his love of sonic severity to his offspring.) Ms. von Hausswolff sounds like a less bombastic Zola Jesus, skillfully balancing melancholy and radiant elements in her songs. Noveller (Brooklyn guitarist Sarah Lipstate, who has experience with minimalism herself, as stints with Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca attest), is supporting her new album of instrumentals, No Dreams. It's her most ambitious work to date, displaying the sort of emotionally resonant compositions and wide range of moods that hint at a fruitful career in film scoring—especially serious art-house movies set in places of natural beauty. DAVE SEGAL
Pere Ubu, Monogamy Party
(Neumos) Thirty years on, there's still never been a band like Pere Ubu. Blasting of out Cleveland as leaders of the American post-punk scene in the mid '70s, this experimental rock band full of guys who look like substitute teachers were even great when they tried to sell out. (See 1989's not-beloved-enough Cloudland). In the 21st century, Pere Ubu means longtime leader David Thomas plus backing band, but reviews of the recent tour—in support of the new record Lady from Shanghai—praise a fierce four-piece that's not afraid to get weird, with a set list covering the band's 35-year history. Opening the show: jagged Seattle art punks Monogamy Party. DAVID SCHMADER
A Tribute to Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music: Greg Vandy, Fox and the Law, Hannalee, and more
(Columbia City Theater) Harry Smith's legendary six-album compilation of folk dating from the late '20s to the early '30s is widely regarded as a primary influence on the generation of singer-songwriters who came to prominence in the '60s, including a certain Mr. Dylan. But when you're listening to the anthology itself, the cultural significance takes a backseat to the pure beauty of these sepia-toned recordings. They're simple songs humbly played, about true loves, religion, farming, butchers, drunks, and death. Perfect for sitting on the porch as the sun goes down with a little mason jar of moonshine, the whole collection's filled with that peculiarly American mixture of melancholy and hope. Tonight, a slew of local musicians, including Fox and the Law, Br'er Rabbit, Vikesh Kapoor, and Pepper Proud take a crack at recapturing some of that old-time(less) magic. KYLE FLECK
King Krule, Willis Earl Beal
(Barboza) See preview.
Allen Stone, the Helio Sequence, the Lonely Forest, Shelby Earl
(Showbox at the Market) Come on, this show is going to be good. And just in time for the holidays! Allen Stone will do his charming organ dance pop thing, and the Lonely Forest are gonna make that certain tone of rock and roll that makes the moment you're in feel like a music video about your life—that song about Seattle? Listen to it on your way in or out of town sometime, and try not to cry a little bit. I dare you! Helio Sequence are probably cooler than both of those people and I'm just not hip enough to know it, and Shelby Earl is endorsed by all lovely humans and has a voice like a sexy bird. This is just such a solid, local bill to enjoy and go home feeling satisfied by. ANNA MINARD
Dancer and Prancer, Chastity Belt, Bad Motivators
(Sunset) Going to see Dancer and Prancer, at least once a holiday, is becoming almost as much of a Seattle tradition as buying a ticket to see Dina Martina over at "The Re-bar's Place" [sic]. Sure, some people get sick of hearing Christmas songs, especially when they start force-feeding them to us in October—but what if these same songs were played, instrumental-only, with a sunny, jingle-jangly surf-rock twist? What if they were played by four dudes who wear cheery holiday sweaters and reportedly keep a cold keg of eggnog in their practice space? What if "Frosty the Snowman" or "Little Drummer Boy" were sped way up, and suddenly danceable? Dancer and Prancer are the answer to all of these questions. KELLY O
Holograms, TV Ghost, Atomic Bride
(Chop Suey) Holograms are about as far as you can get from the cheery, neon-and-sparkle cartoon-heroine posse band of Jem and the Holograms. The Swedish four-piece play seriously dark, synthy post punk—grim, gritty songs that tell tales of industrialization, being broke and broken and alienated and alone. On their recently released second album, Forever, Holograms weave in and out of desperate, fast chord progressions—complemented by the dark vocals of guitarist Anton Spetze and bassist Andreas Lagerström. Combining raw rock 'n' roll with the cold sounds of the early Factory Records/the Warsaw days of Joy Division, Holograms create jarring images of coarse, dirty isolation through percussive, grating vocals and disjointed post-punk dynamics. The aptly paired TV Ghost will open with their brand of goth punk, which will please all the Bauhaus and New Order fans who will surely be attending. BREE MCKENNA
The Moondoggies, the Maldives
(Neumos) Some things I'll never understand: intelligent people who smoke cigarettes; folks who take Sarah Palin seriously; how anyone can convert the 7–10 split; and the bubbly enthusiasm many Northwesterners have for the bland country rock of the Moondoggies and the Maldives. These Seattle bands are not bad, by any means, but they're honor-bound to a tradition mired in aesthetic conservativism. Sure, they're great players and singers who seem sincere in their appreciation for this dusty, twangy, wistful music, and they're probably nice people who vote, recycle, and pay their bills on time. But the Moondoggies and the Maldives represent to this listener a pernicious sort of nostalgia for a musical style that was never thrilling to begin with. Most bands bear influences and draw inspiration from the past, obviously, but it's what music you absorb and how you assimilate and combine your influences that sets the interesting, exciting artists apart from the well-meaning but dull epigones. The Moondoggies and the Maldives fall into the latter category. We don't need another Poco, y'all. DAVE SEGAL
DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, Jimi Jaxon
(Crocodile) See Data Breaker.
Chance the Rapper
(Showbox at the Market) Though he's been on the radar of more internet-savvy heads since his 2012 debut, 10 Day, Chicago's Chance the Rapper blew up this year thanks to his earnest and soulful yet pained and nostalgic Acid Rap mixtape. Over beats ranging from forward-thinking takes on footwork/juke to classic sample-based boom bap, the squawk-voiced Chance offers a perspective distinctly separate from the turnt-up, ultraviolent "drill" sound that has emerged from the city so crime-torn some residents call it "Chiraq." And though his style is often tagged with that c-word (conscious), his heartfelt lyrics and dynamic, oddball delivery keep his songs sounding fresh and forward-thinking. MIKE RAMOS
Seacats, New Lungs, Candysound, Sibling Rivalry
(Crocodile) Seacats are the project of Kelso, Washington, brothers Mike and Josh Davis, who have been in the band (with a rotating cast of players) since high school/2009. They were signed to Ballard's Fin Records and released their second (self-titled) LP this year—it's a genuine pop journey through growing up and/or not growing up that has the 'cats nailing the delicate balance between sincere and hilarious. One of the tags on their Bandcamp is "sounds just like Weezer," but for my money, they're more like the Rentals with even more hooks and way better album covers. EMILY NOKES
Rappin' 4-Tay, Deadly Poets, Jailbird and Scott Free
(Studio Seven) I got hip to Anthony "Rappin' 4-Tay" Forté one fall day years back, walking up Alaska from Rainier Avenue, a funeral home on one side of the street, a library on the other. "It's the dank season," he rapped, "for 1994"—which it certainly was. 4-Tay's Fillmore fly shit was vetted by no less a personage than Too Short, when he debuted on the 1988 classic Life Is... Too Short. 4-Tay's brightest light came in '94, when he suavely flexed that he was "just working [his] toes on a mink rug" on the Bay Area classic "Playaz Club"—on which even Seattle got a shout. Gold herringbones, pressed-out curls, crisp fedoras—this was just pimp shit as I knew it even since I was a kid, hanging by the bar while my mother poured drinks for cats named "Shug," "Joe T," and "Eddie Chin, the ho's best friend." LARRY MIZELL JR.
OCnotes, Hightek Lowlives, Bobcatt
(Vermillion) Tonight, yours truly delivers a talk called "What to Do with Free Time," which concerns the strange situation of living in a society that is very rich but puts limits on the availability of what should be abundant and meaningful for all its citizens: free time. We need a politics of free time. We also need to enjoy the massive music of the local musician OCnotes (Secret Society, Moldavite), who performs after my talk. But here is some news that should make your heart beat with happiness: The great Erik Blood is engineering OCnotes's next album. Just the sheer thought of this work, which will be released next year, has already made it my favorite album of 2014. CHARLES MUDEDE
Loulogy: The Lou Reed Memorial
(Waid's) Legendary rocker Lou Reed was set free from earthly concerns in late October, but the mourning and tribute nights continue unabated. Tonight, at the cleverly named Loulogy, several Seattle musicians honor the Velvet Underground songwriting innovator and New York City icon with cover songs from his nearly five decades of output and film appearances. Participants include Kill Your Songs, Marc and Amanda Laurick, Black Nite Crash's Jim Biggs, and Brother James & the Soul-Vation's James Burdyshaw. But will anyone cover "The Original Wrapper," side C of Metal Machine Music, or anything from Hudson River Wind Meditations? (Proceeds from this event go to YouthCare.) DAVE SEGAL
Rustie, Dutty Wilderness
Dearly Departed, Zoë Wick, Kimo Muraki
(Sunset) This has to be one of the stranger bills around town this year.
Since their inception in 2001, headliners Dearly Departed have released a total of two albums and an EP of post-emo "rock," somehow managing to sound comically bombastic yet whiny and anemic at the same time. What brings them to town more than a half decade since their last record is a bit of a mystery. [Correction: this Up & Coming references the wrong called Dearly Departed. This band is actually local folk-hop trio made up of Noble Monyei, Kira Shea, and Brody Smyers. We regret mixing them up with the crappy emo band from Long Island!] Zoë Wick, on the other hand, is a local singer-songwriter favoring crisp arrangements and understatedly catchy indie pop. She does a nice folksy rendition of the heartbreak ode "Love Ain't" by hiphop crew the CunninLynguists that comes off sincere and affecting, not ironic and affected (lookin' at you Ben Folds). And finally, opener Kimo Muraki is a banjo-toting troubadour who can be found on YouTube serenading Doe Bay weekenders with a twangy take on Prince's "Purple Rain." Come early for the earnest six-stringers; the rest is up to you. KYLE FLECK
Follies and Vices, Kylmyys, Trueno, Project DieSlow
(White Rabbit) My intro to Kylmyys was a chance encounter in May at Vermillion Gallery during Second Thursday, Capitol Hill's art walk. They were set up in the back area, wearing bird masks and robes while hunched over synthesizers. The Seattle duo—Brian Kidd and Jason Chamberlain, who claim Oslo, Norway, as their hometown, but that may be misdirection—emitted an array of enigmatic keyboard washes and cryptic twitterings that evoked the malevolent majesty of Igor Wakhévitch and the sinister tonalities of Mort Garson's classic Black Mass LP under the Lucifer pseudonym. Their 2012 album, The Ice Breaks at Dawn, bears a Nordic frigidness that's at once unsettling and grandiosely beautiful. Kylmyys bring a new, bracing gravity to the term "chillout music"—as exemplified by their distorto-voiced cover of Joy Division's glacial "The Eternal." DAVE SEGAL