Wednesday 12/4

Adventure Club, DVBBS, Hunter Siegel, DallasK

(Showbox Sodo) See Data Breaker.

Pictureplane, DJAO, WD4D

(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker.

Drake, Miguel, Future

(Tacoma Dome) See My Philosophy.

Thursday 12/5

A John Waters Christmas with Kimya Dawson

(Venue) See Stranger Suggests and Homosexual Agenda.

Tomten, Animal Eyes, Yonder

(Sunset) Portland (by way of Alaska) band Animal Eyes explode with positive jams that can barely contain their excitement—catchy guitars, skittering drums, and appearances by both accordions and horns give them a sort of a circus-party/folky-indie-rock-magician feel. Yonder are a relatively new Seattle band making punchy, quick-paced, careful pop that's catchy without bragging about it. With Tomten, Seattle's favorite dream-pop trio that sounds like lying on a paisley quilt in a field of wildflowers on a hazy summer day. EMILY NOKES

Jail Weddings, Quiet Ones, James Apollo

(Chop Suey) Finally, my chance to catch up with Jail Weddings! My coworker Brendan Kiley has sung great praises of them: "A 10-piece, punk soul hurricane," "America's answer to the Pogues," and "A gale-force storm of bacchanalian heartbreak." "A rolling carnival!" All four of these things make Jail Weddings sound like a band I want to love. I've hesitated to listen to them very much on record, instead hoping to see them perform live. Some bands, especially with 10 or more members, need to be experienced. And this is what I aim to do. Go experience them. I just hope they all fit on the Chop Suey stage. KELLY O

Friday 12/6

Devo Cover Night: Ononos, X Suns, Glitterbang, Universe People, Brainport

(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests.

Bonkers! Gel-Sol, Hetrik, Logic Probe, WD4D

(Re-bar) See Data Breaker.

Pearl Jam, Mudhoney

(KeyArena) Ladies and gentlemen, you've waited a long time for this: Seattle's own Flannel Royale. In one corner, we have Pearl Jam, playing angsty, deep-feelings garage rock since 1990. Known for their intense live performances and leading man Eddie Vedder's silky hair, PJ can and will make thirtysomethings tear up while yell-singing "Even Flow" around the campfire at 2 a.m. In the other corner, we have defiant underdogs Mudhoney, who formed in 1988 and have been busy not giving a shit ever since. Known for their wit, durable punk/garage sound, and frontman Mark Arm's inability to age, and for that one song everyone you know absolutely loves. Which band has the nicest bassist? Whose previous band names were more ridiculous? How old is grunge in dog years, anyway? EMILY NOKES See also Charity Challenge.

Basia Bulat, Cate Le Bon, Kevin Morby

(Barboza) Welsh singer/songwriter Cate Le Bon sounds like a sensitive aristocrat on the mic, her voice a distinctive combination of Nico's stolid delivery and umlaut-y vowels and Joni Mitchell's mellifluousness. Le Bon's 2012 album, Cyrk, is a banquet of high-IQ'd rock full of elegant, baroque melodies built to last and sporadic, shockingly great raveups. Her new full-length, Mug Museum, sounds slicker than past releases, but Le Bon's songs retain certain structural peculiarities and melodic quirks—revealing affinities with Pavement and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci—that keep blandness well at bay. Pay close attention to her. DAVE SEGAL

Saturday 12/7

Elzhi, the Good Husbands, Nu Era, Random

(Nectar) See My Philosophy.

Cathedrals 6: Sera Cahoone, Grant Olsen, Tomo Nakayama, S

(St. Mark's Cathedral) See Underage.

Pony Time, Chastity Belt, Darto, American Dream

(Heartland) It's not hard to be a fan of Chastity Belt. On their (awesome) new album, No Regerts,they rocket from the dreamy, oceanic indie rock of lead single "Black Sail" to a pretty little ditty about being drunk and wanting chips in the span of a mere four songs. A little something for everyone! Plus, there's a verystrong B-52s vibe happening on "Giant (Vagina)," which is never a bad thing. Equally crowd-pleasing are volcanic punk duo Pony Time, who've been tearing it up around town for nigh on four years now with a killer live act, their trademark assault of vamping guitar-and-drums stomp, and sneering vocals turned to 11 every time. If the musical genres you enjoy typically come prefixed with "stoner" or "slacker," put the knife hit down for a minute and go dance yourself dumb. KYLE FLECK

The Black Crowes

(Paramount) I was in grade school at the time, but according to now-defunct UK music rag Melody Maker, the Black Crowes were "the Most Rock and Roll Rock and Roll Band in the World" back in the mid-'90s. And who am I to argue? Their commitment to reviving the dormant "traditional" rock sound of the '70s was probably commercially risky given what was in vogue at the time, but it paid off handsomely for them: Multiple platinum albums and critical adoration were quick to follow their 1990 debut. Worshippers of Southern rock deities like the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Crowes also grapple with the demons of vintage Rolling Stones–style raunch. Plenty of beards, blue jeans, and a heaping dose of white-man blues. Not my cup of tea, but hey, if you've sold nine gajillion albums, you're probably doing something right, and if you're a fan, you bought your tickets months ago anyway. File under "you had to be there," which I wasn't. KYLE FLECK

The Dismemberment Plan

(Neptune) Washington, DC, band Dismemberment Plan pulled off what might've been one of the most successful band reunions ever in 2011, after being on hiatus for almost a decade. The fact that this means "The Ice of Boston"—one of the best nerd-punk scream-along narrative anthems ever written by humans—can be performed in front of (or alongside, once the crowd rushes onstage) live audiences across the country again makes it almost entirely worth it on its own. Luckily for Plan fans, their recently released Uncanney Valley (their first album since 2001's Change) shows that Travis Morrison and co. have aged well—you can't exactly call it "gracefully" when they're still writing songs with a "You say 'cluster'/I say 'fuck!'" call-and-response—and their new material manages to capture some of the intangibles that made the band's late-'90s output so memorable. MIKE RAMOS

Vaporland, Tokyoidaho, Jupe Jupe, Death By Stars

(Lo-Fi Performance Gallery) Seattle supergroup alert! Ron Nine and Kevin Whitworth of the great Love Battery, Garrett Shavlik of the Fluid, and Kurt Danielson of TAD have formed Vaporland. Just a gut feeling, but I don't think these seasoned, Sub Pop–affiliated veterans of the '80s and '90s hard-rock wars will be joining their old label's roster. (The band also includes percussionist/vocalist Katie Scarberry.) What little Vaporland music is available to hear online reveals that they have pretty much channeled Love Battery's surging, sinewy psych rock and the Fluid's uproarious melodic touch. You may be a TAD disappointed, but I'm cool with this. DAVE SEGAL

Sunday 12/8

Jabee, Q-Dot, Spac3man, Astro King Phoenix

(Nectar) See My Philosophy.

Lee Ranaldo and the Dust

(Barboza) Lee Ranaldo was always something like Sonic Youth's George Harrison: consigned to one or two songs per album, holding it down with subdued flair on guitar, going underappreciated. As leader of his own band in recent years, Ranaldo's flaws become more apparent. His voice's dullness doesn't stand up to scrutiny over an entire album, and his songwriting lacks the fiery dynamics and tonal adventurousness of the best Sonic Youth material. Sadly, I don't think Lee has an All Things Must Pass in him. His last two joints as a leader—Between the Times and the Tides and Last Night on Earth—chug and jangle with the underwhelming pleasantness of late-era R.E.M. Nothing quite unsettles or seethes like earlier Ranaldo songs like "In the Kingdom #19," "Eric's Trip," or "Pipeline/Kill Time." Mellowing with age isn't a crime, but it does often lead to shrug-worthy releases. DAVE SEGAL

High on Fire, Kvelertak, Windhand

(El Corazón) Look, heshers—I know it's easy to take High on Fire for granted. They've toured relentlessly on a consistent slew of records for damn near 15 years. It's easy to think a sweaty, shirtless Matt Pike will always be around to deliver his otherworldly overtone howl and that furious barrage of weed-n-speed-fed riffs. Brothers, this is not the case. Yes, last year's De Vermis Mysteriis is every bit as savage as their Art of Self Defense debut; the band shows no signs of mellowing out. But Pike has had a flawless track record stemming back to 1990 with his work in Asbestosdeath and Sleep. The dude is bound to eventually either drop a Load on us or simply drop dead from exhaustion. No man is a god (sorry, Kanye), though Matt Pike comes pretty fucking close. Worship the riff while you can. BRIAN COOK

Bach-Gamel: Gamelan Pacifica

(PONCHO Concert Hall) Yes! Gamelan Pacifica, with Stranger Genius vocalist Jessika Kenney and four baroque music specialists, explore links between music of the baroque period in Europe (1600–1750, Bach's time) and Javanese Gamelan. This should be unusual and grand. JEN GRAVES

Monday 12/9


Tuesday 12/10

Jake Miller

(Crocodile) See My Philosophy.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

(KeyArena) Like any major pop event, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's "Same Love" attained its stature by riding several individual waves of significance. The first time I heard it, soundtracking the just-released video on YouTube, it felt like a great loving gesture from a hometown rapper to a city at the center of a statewide push for marriage equality. Five months later, hearing it blasting out of rooftop speakers over a street full of revelers celebrating the passage Referendum 74, it sounded like an organic anthem for a brave, inspiring, and distinctly Northwest reality. By the time I heard it blasting incessantly—INCESSANTLY—from corporate radio stations in Orlando and Nashville and Denver, "Same Love" had morphed into something I never would've dreamed: a true pop hit, which happened to be about gay equality. Not only are all who dismiss the song as mere pandering wrong, they miss the point: Never in the history of music has "pandering to gay political concerns" been a fast track to mainstream success. Quite the opposite. So grouse all you want (please! The writing and conversation inspired by "Same Love" is an important part of it). The song's part of history now. DAVID SCHMADER See also My Philosophy and Charity Challenge.

Bill Horist, Suzuki Junzo, Walt the Fish

(Hollow Earth Radio) Tokyo guitarist/vocalist Suzuki Junzo has played in the psych-rock combos Overhang Party and Miminokoto and collaborated with some of Japan's upper-echelon mind-melters, including Acid Mothers Temple's Kawabata Makoto. His repertoire includes spacey drones that evoke Ash Ra Tempel and Kluster's desolate, lunar tone nebulae, turbulent psychedelia that's more winter of hate than summer of love (see the aptly titled "Eight-Sided Infinity"), and fractured blues numbers that don't need vocals to convey hardship. Seattle's Bill Horist—who is one of the most articulate and perceptive musicians I've encountered—has been preparing guitars to generate unorthodox sounds in this city since 1997. The bizarre, surgically precise glossolalia that emanates from his instrument needs to be seen and heard to be believed. DAVE SEGAL

Jagwar Ma, Iska Dhaaf, Vox Mod

(Neptune) Australian trio Jagwar Ma (apparently also known as Noel Gallagher's favorite band) make Madchester-inspired indie rock melted into poppy dance music for sun-stoned festivalgoers rocking tasteful body paint. Their songs' recipes usually call for a couple rhythm patterns (say, layers of funky beats and looped vocals) warping and expanding before unpinning into a floppy psychedelic swirl—wash, rinse, repeat. "Come Save Me" is one of those radio hits you can guiltily appreciate, knowing full well it could also sell some serious Mazdas and/or iPads. EMILY NOKES

Soda Jerks, Nudes, Negative Press

(Black Lodge) If you're a fan of '80s hardcore, this one is for you. Unlike the macho-tough-guy "hardcore" of today, local band Nudes is the epitome of punk ferocity: short bursts of shrieking guitars and piercingly angry vocals rage atop a solid foundation of furious drum blasts. Negative Press come straight out of Tacoma and, much like Nudes, bring forth a solid assault of distortion-driven punk rawness. This is that type of show where you shouldn't be surprised if you walk out of the club with a handful of bruises and a couple of ringing ears—the true sign of a solid hardcore show. KEVIN DIERS