Not hanging out in the parking lot. Josh Bis

Death from Above 1979 (Fri 8 pm, Sasquatch)

After a lengthy hiatus, this bass-and-drums rock duo is gigging again. At SXSW, they caused a small riot when showgoers were turned away from the overpacked venue. Their rock is as strident as it is tuneful, with fuzzy, distorted bass and jackhammer drums. Last time they played Seattle, they absolutely killed it. GRANT BRISSEY

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker is Back Onstage at McCaw Hall! Tickets start at $27.
Join PNB for a timeless tale of holiday adventure performed by PNB’s amazing dancers and orchestra.

Foo Fighters (Fri 9:30 pm, Sasquatch)

Though I'm entangled in a love/hate relationship with the Foo Fighters' discography (love the early stuff, hate the middle stuff, and while the new more rock-centric record isn't immediately impressive, it's growing on me), I still whole-heartedly recommend the Foo Fighters' set as a "don't miss" this weekend. The band knows exactly what's needed to put on a knockout show—they play the hits, and Dave Grohl has a presence that'll engage all the way up to the highest peak of the Gorge's grassy knoll. MEGAN SELING

Seattle Rock Orchestra (Sat noon, Bigfoot)

The Seattle Rock Orchestra is so good at what it does (covering adored rock records and bands like Arcade Fire, Queen, and David Bowie) that Sasquatch! has invited them back for a second year to perform their tribute to Radiohead. The 50-plus-member orchestra will blow your mind with a selection of songs from The Bends and OK Computer. Swoon! MEGAN SELING

J. Mascis (Sat 4:35 pm, Yeti)

Whether he's shredding with his current outfit, Sweet Apple, or doling out the more restrained solo work, former Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis's guitar riffery and distinct high-pitched croon are a staple of contemporary rock. I hope to see his estimable silvery mane blowing in the wind as he strums his latest, the considerably relaxed and acoustic Several Shades of Why, out now on Sup Pop. GRANT BRISSEY

Washed Out (Sat 7 pm, Banana Shack)

Washed Out's "Feel It All Around" is going to be anthologized to death when all those Now That's What I Call Chillwave compilations start issuing forth—and rightly so. The handiwork of Georgia's Ernest Greene, Washed Out's music exemplifies a certain kind of youthful American sound: hazy yet sun-kissed, blissful yet muted, nostalgic but oddly affectless. Emotions appear to be distanced through layers of reverb, worn-out tape, and narcotized vocals. Greene makes a kind of electro-pop-inclined dance music, but it's engulfed in molasses, resulting in a poignant slurring of tones and impeding of rhythmic propulsion. It's impossible to sweat to Washed Out's music. Maybe that's for the best? DAVE SEGAL

Robyn (Sat 9 pm, Bigfoot)

Robyn is a fucking miracle. Over adamantly electro-pop soundscapes, this Swedish pixie crafts songs boasting an almost supernatural understanding of the pop idiom. (If Smokey Robinson, Stephin Merritt, and the gentlemen of ABBA mixed their sperm and impregnated a robot, the result would sound something like Robyn.) Even better, Robyn uses this uncanny understanding as a springboard for all sorts of crazy pop experiments, which, thanks to her impeccable taste, regularly add up to pop art of the highest order. Those who have let electropop trappings deter them from the glory of Robyn should head immediately to iTunes and download "Don't Fucking Tell Me What to Do," "Dancing on My Own," "U Should Know Better," and (my beloved favorite) "Call Your Girlfriend." As for Sasquatch!: Robyn capital-B Brings It live, in a way that clearly delights even her. Don't miss it. DAVID SCHMADER

Death Cab for Cutie (Sat 9:45 pm, Sasquatch)

After a two-year hiatus from playing live, Death Cab for Cutie recently returned to the concert circuit with a last-minute surprise show at the Showbox Sodo to work out the kinks of their upcoming tour. It was incredible. The band has always had stunning musicianship, and while the bulk of the set was filled with newer, more whimsical material, they appeased older fans by happily dipping back into some beloved tracks from We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes days. Amen. MEGAN SELING

Sleigh Bells (Sat 10:10 pm, Banana Shack)

The Brooklyn power duo known as Sleigh Bells concoct immediately infectious bubblegum metal with crushing hiphop beats. Alexis Krauss's sucrose-intensive, singsongy vocals bounce alluringly over Derek E. Miller's oversaturated bass frequencies and striated guitar riffage, while the least subtle beats ever level your resistance—and possibly small buildings. The songs on Sleigh Bells' 2010 album Treats sound like cheerleader chants set to Queen-gone-drag productions, a novel approach that is going to have a longer shelf life than you think. Plus, never underestimate the power of a savvy Funkadelic sample (see the indelible "Rill Rill"). DAVE SEGAL

Wheedle's Groove (Sun 1 pm, Bigfoot)

A 20-plus-strong collective of Seattle soul and funk artists from those genres' 1960s and '70s heyday, Wheedle's Groove keep that flame burning, as if the aging process were merely chimera. Unsung outside of the Northwest during their prime, the players in Wheedle's Groove—including Overton Berry, Robbie Hill, Pastor Patrinell Staten Wright, and Herman Brown—can hold their own with any of the soul/funk titans who became household names in soulful, funky homes worldwide. Now that they're getting their due via releases on the impeccable Light in the Attic Records, Wheedle's Groove make the most of their time in the spotlight. They put on a hell of a dance party. DAVE SEGAL

Tim Minchin (Sun 2:30 pm, Banana Shack)

Australian actor, musician, comedian, and writer (and Dan Savage fave!) Tim Minchin plays the piano while singing lines like "Your thighs and buttocks are so holdable" or "You have all the holes that normal girls have." His songs often take the form of stories, and they're always rife with wit and hilarity. If you consume too many intoxicants before this show, you may not be able to keep up. GRANT BRISSEY

Reggie Watts (Sun 3:45 pm, Banana Shack)

Former Seattleite Reggie Watts occupies a unique spot on the music-comedy continuum. The former singer for funk-soul combo Maktub and a member of countless other groups during his time here, Watts combines incredibly versatile beatboxing and vocalizing with hilariously absurdist humor. From all accounts, his performances arise spontaneously, making his danceable funk, R&B, and house tracks and surrealistically ridiculous observations even more impressive. Watts's vast range as a singer and febrile rhythmic genius should be taken very seriously, even if he's cracking you up a minute later with a nonsensically circuitous anecdote. Think of Watts as a bizarre merger of Jamie Lidell and Emo Phillips. DAVE SEGAL

Beach House (Sun 4:20 pm, Sasquatch)

Beach House's ethereal pop will go down like a lovely joint in the afternoon. The start time has to be on purpose. GRANT BRISSEY

Archers of Loaf (Sun 6:20 pm, Bigfoot)

Possessors of some of the most magical chemistry in the history of alterna-rock, Archers of Loaf made great albums packed with great songs, but what I treasure most are those glorious moments of pure gorgeous Archerosity scattered across their oeuvre: the intertwining vocal lines under the second verse of "Harnessed in Slums," the warbly whisper-scream guitar dialogue preceding the climax of "Floating Friends," the full-blast perfection of every fucking second of "The Lowest Part Is Free!" Reports from earlier shows have been ecstatic, with the band as happy to be making this racket again as we are to hear it. DAVID SCHMADER

Das Racist (Sun 6:45 pm, Yeti)

Support The Stranger

Das Racist are so fucking funny, you'll wonder if they're a comedy act until you hear enough amazing songs in a row to realize they're a legitimately awesome hiphop group. Rewarding concision and wit, hiphop was built for smartasses, and Das Racist are the smartest asses going. Live shows are historically hit-or-miss, but if they're like 90 percent of all other bands, they're getting better instead of worse. DAVID SCHMADER

Gold Panda (Sun 7:25 pm, Banana Shack)

Whatever it is that propels a record from one you like to one you can't stop listening to, even if that means having it on repeat for six hours straight, Gold Panda's Lucky Shiner is soaked in it. Over a base of glitchy beats, the London DJ constructs an endlessly attractive sonic world, where layers of rhythmic percussion (from free-jazz snare clatters to Steve Reich–ian mallet work) are laced with fetching melodies crafted from whatever: plucked piano strings, screaming jet engines, the squeaking frets of an acoustic guitar. Whether you're coming down or flying high, his Sasquatch! set should be gorgeous. DAVID SCHMADER

The Flaming Lips (Sun 8 pm, Sasquatch)

See Sound Check.

Modest Mouse (Sun 10 pm, Sasquatch)

Modest Mouse have been rather quiet lately. However, Big Boi of OutKast recently revealed on Twitter that he's "been camped out in the Lab all week with Modest Mouse. Workin' on the new Mouse LP, coolest cats ever. Long live the funk!" No, I am not bullshitting you. GRANT BRISSEY

The Young Evils (Mon 1:20 pm, Yeti Stage)

Liars! There is absolutely nothing evil about the Young Evils—the cute Seattle duo sing rollicking pop songs about things like beaming light and getting over the things that get you down. They're totally nice! Not evil at all! They are young, I suppose. That part is true. MEGAN SELING

Chromeo (Mon 2:45 pm, Sasquatch)

P-Thugg and Dave 1 are Canada's finest Arab-Jew production team (competition's pretty fierce for that honor, yo). The Montreal duo create unabashedly slick 'n' sleazy electro-funk songs for romancing in the club and dancing in the sheets. Yes, there is a slight scent of eau de douche lingering around some of their crisp and punchy tracks, but Chromeo pull off their shtick with enough self-awareness and talk-box-augmented wit to excuse some of their more shiny-shirted excesses. DAVE SEGAL

Guided by Voices (Mon 3:50 pm, Sasquatch)

Dayton, Ohio's quintessential hissy indie rockers. Too bad they can't drink beer onstage in this state. Word has it they like to. GRANT BRISSEY

Best Coast (Mon 6:45 pm, Yeti)

Best Coast's Crazy for You suggests an alternate universe where Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville was met not with the widespread acclaim that fueled its creator's dreams of stardom but with nonmalicious apathy that drove a bummed-out Phair into the basement with her bong. Catchy songs about guy troubles abound, all wrapped in a Psychocandy-ish fuzz that bounces Bethany Cosentino's voice into the foreground, where it belongs. Cosentino's songs ride more conventional structures than anything allowed on Guyville, but Best Coast is fun—and ready to deliver live—in a way Liz Phair never was. DAVID SCHMADER

!!! (Mon 7:30 pm, Bigfoot)

New York's !!! thrive in live outdoor settings, where their propulsive disco-punk-funk juggernauts have room to breathe. Led by alpha-male frontman Nic Offer, !!! are perpetual hedonism machines onstage; you'd best believe their intentions are bass. On albums such as Louden Up Now, Myth Takes, and Strange Weather, Isn't It?, !!! inject ribald soul into their writhing, metronomic jams, thanks in part to the vital addition of vocalist Shannon Funchess. They've earned every exclamation point in their name, and then some. DAVE SEGAL

Deerhunter (Mon 9 pm, Bigfoot)

Athens, Georgia's Deerhunter specialize in creating shoegaze rock that achieves the difficult feat of conjuring an intimate immensity. Singer-guitarist Bradford Cox is the rail-thin catalyst for the group's beautifully gauzy and moving opuses. At their best, Deerhunter songs trigger wistful sighs and swoons as they smother you in artfully arranged swirl pools of guitar, keyboard, bass, and whispery vocals. This rock billows to massive dimensions, but it retains a shimmering, ghostly quality, evoking a pleasing fullness that's tempered with an aching absence. DAVE SEGAL