Last Sunday night at the Showbox at the Market was the joint holiday party for Caffe Vita, Pike Street Fish Fry, and Via Tribunali—call it the Two-Block-Hack Invitational—along with the relatively far-flung Crocodile. The party was great—the wine and prosecco flowed freely, partygoers snacked on platters of meat and cheese, a few folks wore memorably festive attire—and there was music. Let's get right to it.

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Opening the show, following a fine set of soul and funk spun by DJ Greasy, was a four-piece band called Doctor Doctor. The band was competent enough as a kind of boogie-rock jam band—friends invoked Phish and Spin Doctors to describe them. But the singer, wearing a fedora and a dress shirt with two buttons open and with his VIP laminate around his neck, was hilarious—thrusting his pelvis around epileptically, pulling little half-executed air-guitar moves, pointing his finger at an imaginary upper balcony, tracing a lady's hourglass figure with his hands, dancing around like the bastard child of Scott Weiland, Jamiroquai, and Jim Morrison. (My notes here say "douche swagger," which seems harsh.) Multiple requests for him to remove his shirt resulted in him just unbuttoning one more button. For the band's grooveless Blues Hammer–ing of T. Rex's "Bang a Gong," the guy mimed banging a gong with one hand and then dry humping the air to illustrate "getting it on." More delicious ham and cheese onstage than on every platter in the place combined.

Next up was a reunion set from Green Apple Quick Step, about whom Wikipedia notes (emphasis mine):

Green Apple Quick Step (GAQS) was a post-grunge band from Seattle, Washington that released a few albums in the mid-1990s. They reached modest popularity worldwide through several tours. Several videos appeared on MTV. The video for the single "Dirty Water Ocean" was revered on Beavis and Butthead.

I don't know if it was the wine or the general good cheer or lazy listening on my part when I'd previously seen them, but the Raggedy Anns' occasionally Kinks-y gypsy rock sounded way better than I remembered. It was the first properly festive set of the evening, and the band had the night's biggest crowd dancing right up through their last number, a vintage twist-doing pop song.

Head Like a Kite's show-closing spectacle brought plenty of props and costumes and extras to the stage, including at one point a very pregnant woman singing backup vocals. Here is what I realized: I like some of the duo's own songs, but what I love is when they're just busting out big, convincingly rap-rocking backing grooves for an MC. Singer/multi-instrumentalist Dave Einmo has a good ear for a spare bassy synth riff or a guitar hook, and Trent Moorman (full disclosure: Stranger contributor) just murders a breakbeat on the drum kit. Einmo twice joked, "We've got Buffalo Madonna onstage—security, help!" Buffalo's usual crotch-grabbing aggro antics were flanked by Champagne Champagne MC Pearl Dragon's comparatively chill flow and the always-on-fire Tilson, who rapped on the band's contribution to the GIVE charity compilation and did a little freestyle that rhymed something about a pretty "senorita" with "Caffe Vita."

Fences was scheduled to perform but was nowhere to be seen. recommended