THURSDAY NOVEMBER 23
Billed as a "Food Coma Noise Party," this gig boasts a rare solo appearance by Jeffrey Taylor from Climax Golden Twins along with the Noisettes Deluxxx Big Band, [some terrible music], and Dialing In, whose deliriously swaying drones were a highlight of the recent Wooden Octopus Skull festival. Rendezvous, 2320 Second Ave, 441-5823, 9 pm, $5.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 24
This very fine choir sings festive carols from England and the Americas accompanied by a consort of brass and leavened with seasonal readings from Dickens, Tennyson, and Hardy. Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave, 323-9415, 8 pm, $15—$25.
Although I've seen Pacific Northwest Ballet's fine production of this Tchaikovsky ballet heaps of times, I'm still a sucker for Nutcracker's courtly choreography and the vivid sets by Maurice Sendak. I've relived Nutcracker's tale of gently evaporating youth through the disfigured lens of many, many empty pint glasses. Save your liver and go to the ballet instead. Nutcracker runs through December 28; see www.pnb.org/season/nutcracker for a complete schedule. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 441-2424, various times, $18—$108.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 26
Here's my nominee for sleeper gig of the week. Concert Opera of Seattle performs a piano-plus-singers concert version (i.e., no sets, no costumes, no orchestra) of the Tchaikovsky opera. Central Library, Level 1 Auditorium, 1000 Fourth Ave, 622-6882, 2 pm, free.
JIM CUTLER JAZZ ORCHESTRA
This big band plays old chestnuts, new charts, and an experimental number or two. Sit close and peer into the overlooked world of an orchestra: trumpeters in back whispering, inscrutable hand signals from the leader, and the appreciative looks from fellow musicians when someone unfurls a smokin' solo. Tula's, 2214 Second Ave, 443-4221, 8 pm, $5.
Circa A.D. 530, St. Benedict prescribed music and manual labor as an antidote to the excesses of monasticism (self-flagellation, standing on a pillar year after year, vermiform mortification, etc.). Benedict outlined seven offices to be spoken and sung. Compline, the last holy office of the day, is sung after dinner, hence the late Sunday start time. The cathedral is chilly this time of year, so dress warmly. St Mark's Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave E, 323-0300, 9:30 pm, free.
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 29
UW CHAMBER SINGERS AND UW CHORALE
These two ensembles present a passel of choral music, featuring two settings from the Song of Solomon, one by a Renaissance master, Palestrina, and the other by a Canadian composer, Healey Willan. I'm most interested to hear "A Boy and a Girl" by Eric Whitacre, who deftly burnishes his smoothly tonal works with hints (creamy clusters, trapdoor modulations, sudden pauses), of the avant. Two choral works with percussion round out the program: "The Stomping Bride" by Lithuanian composer Vaclovas Augustinas and "Ah, El Novio," a traditional Spanish folksong. Meany Theater, UW campus, 543-4880, 7:30 pm, $10.