FEED ME WITH YOUR KISS: SHOEGAZER COVER NIGHT
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests, page 29.
(Seattle Art Museum) Heather Duby is a tiny person who can easily captivate an audience with her infectious bouncing and swaying, but I'm not sure how a show at the Seattle Art Museum will suit her style. The big, open museum lobby might drown the little lady, whose crooning, soft-but-powerful voice seems better suited to small, dark clubs where the lighting techs can bathe her in red or blue. Then again, hearing her perform ethereal songs like "Kensington Place" in that cavernous space might be the coolest thing ever--it's certainly arty enough. Just be sure to secure a place close to her mic, so you can see how cute she is when she sings with her eyes closed, and so you can pretend that it's just you and her in an itsy-bitsy club. AMY JENNIGES
LOVELESS RECORDS SHOWCASE FEATURING VOYAGER ONE, THE DROP, NEO
(Crocodile) Tonight Loveless Records celebrates the holidays and its third anniversary with three choice offerings from their roster (and beyond): the downtrodden dirges of Voyager One; the psychedelic, swirling guitars of the Drop; and the not-officially-on-Loveless-but-might-as-well-be space-pop of Neo. Happy birthday, Loveless. TIZZY ASHER
VISQUEEN, THE POPULAR SHAPES, THE WHIP, DAVID DONDERO
(Graceland) It's that time of year again, when you can't hock a red-and-green loogie without hitting some club's Christmas party. And with all the holiday rock 'n' roll going on tonight, it's tough to pick a favorite. On one hand, you've got this killer lineup at Graceland, which features Visqueen's sweet female harmonies and pop hooks, the revved-up Popular Shapes (who, my friend swears, remind him of Steel Wool), the monstrously heavy and wonderful Karp-esque return of the Whip, and David Dondero, whom I haven't heard (but he's been described as a fingerpicking modern-day minstrel). On the other hand, you've got the Blood Brothers and Akimbo at the Paradox (see below).... JENNIFER MAERZ
THE BLOOD BROTHERS, SUFFERING AND THE HIDEOUS THIEVES, AKIMBO, MURDERED HOUSEWIVES
(Paradox) The Blood Brothers are back for a short time before they hit the road for what they estimate will be "forever and ever." The band's new record, Burn Piano Island, Burn, is a mix of pure atmospheric beauty and intensely wound-up theatrics, where no rhythm or melody seems to last more than three seconds before morphing into something just as noisy but completely different. Expect to hear great stuff from the band before they hit the road again next month. Akimbo are planning on going into the studio in January and doing a little touring of their own. Together, Akimbo and the Blood Brothers make this a tough choice (against Graceland's lineup) for a good Friday-night holiday blowout. JENNIFER MAERZ
WAYNE HORVITZ, BRIGGAN KRAUSS DUO
(Polestar Music Gallery) After years and years of being against experimental jazz and agreeing with Albert Murray that the avant-garde in any form (classical music, cinema, rock) is nothing more than an elaborate scam, I'm finally coming around and resupporting the whole notion of progressive art. Messing with noise and structures; breaking rules; developing, testing, and extending ideas--these are not always bad things. Maybe I'm just tired of simple pop, or tired of being jaded, but experimental works like Wayne Horvitz's 4 + 1 Ensemble and Monologue: Twenty Compositions for Dance--which are abstract and delicate like the folds in withering flowers, or the wings of once-bright but now-dead insects--have recaptured my fascination. Horvitz can be difficult, but what is wrong with being difficult? CHARLES MUDEDE
J-LIVE, WORDSWORTH, LIFESAVAS, ONE MAN ARMY, VITAMIN D
(I-Spy) See Stranger Suggests, page 29.
THE SPITS, THE SKULLS, NEW TOWN ANIMALS
(Crocodile) Well, I just spent nearly 800 words rambling on about why bands like the Spits (and why the Spits specifically) are so great live (see page 42), so I won't repeat myself here. Also on this bill, though, are New Town Animals; last time I wrote about them, I erroneously said they were local, but in fact they're Canadians! I think the mix-up partly comes from the fact that NTA are so much like the Briefs that they're almost local--they've got the new-wave punk thing going on, they've been known to wear white sunglasses on stage, they're on Dirtnap, and they even feature a member named Stevie Kicks (as opposed to the Briefs' Steve E. Nix). But hell, they're still a fun band if you can get past the fact that they sound and look exactly like our own local punk heroes (who, I should add, are profiled in the new issue of Backfire). This is the place for your punk-rock Xmas party, courtesy of Singles Going Steady. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE BUILDING PRESS, EYES OF AUTUMN, THE LIGHTS
(I-Spy) If encountered in a dark alley on a foggy night, Seattle's Eyes of Autumn might be mistaken for Sunny Day Real Estate on a light-hearted day. Or Death Cab for Cutie on a particularly unhappy day. The most appealing parts of this trio's self-released debut, Hello, seem on loan from other places: post-rock guitars that thread themselves between bass lines in complicated loops, nebulous emo angst that never seems to find a direct target, catchy rock choruses that blast into action. However, the fact that these kids are still young--the drummer is still in high school--tips the scales in Hello's favor. Eyes of Autumn are earnest, passionate, and have an incredible amount of energy to devote to their craft. If properly nurtured, there's a good chance they'll emerge from the shadow of their influences and step into their own sound. TIZZY ASHER
SACRED MUSIC BY DUKE ELLINGTON PERFORMED BY SEATTLE REPERTORY JAZZ ORCHESTRA
(University Christian Church) Duke Ellington spent the end of his life thinking about God. This was the natural thing to do, as he was old and soon to depart reality for eternity. His tribute to God and all that is infinite is embodied in the massive and celebratory works of his sacred concert series. Though his religious suites (there are three in all) don't abandon the energy of his secular work, they are heavier and more dramatic. Anyone who has heard "Come Sunday"--which was composed in 1943 for the great Mahalia Jackson and included in Ellington's first sacred concert in 1965 at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral--knows that Duke Ellington, like Faure (Requiem) or Bach ("Erbarme dich, Mein Gott"), could express with preternatural accuracy the sphere and soul-stuff of this supreme being we call God. CHARLES MUDEDE
THE POSIES, GOLDEN BOY
(Graceland) I don't remember exactly what year it was, and I know for a fact I was drunk as shit on the Breakroom's champagne. The other thing I know to be fact is that the evening was dedicated to the Posies' last show. I swear to God they played a goodbye show; I wasn't so far into my cups that I hallucinated the end of one of the Northwest's most beloved pop bands. Why would I? The band that sounds so much like the Hollies it makes me want to cry would be gone. But lo and behold, the Posies just went on doing show after show--never mind the fact that they clearly waved bye-bye to all on a certain night at the Breakroom. Early after the "breakup," the band was billed as "acoustic Posies" or "electric Posies" to make sure their fans knew they were getting a special treat from a band that really wasn't a band anymore. Now the Posies don't hide behind such pretense and mystery. They're just letting it all hang out and simply calling themselves the Posies again. Like it never happened. Geez. Sorry if I misled all of you when I reviewed the "Posies' farewell show" in this very paper a few years back (when I used to drink a whole lot of champagne and watch shows that I swear on my Grandma's ashes were real). But tonight's show is staring me right in the face: the Posies. Right there on the Graceland stage. Still a band, always a band--yesterday, today, and probably 20 years from now. Ah, we can only hope. KATHLEEN WILSON
MODEST MOUSE, MC FRED ARMISEN, DJ KENTO
(Showbox) I've said so much about Modest Mouse over the years; I hardly have anything left to do except earnestly clasp my hands and wait for another goddamn gorgeous album. A friend of mine gave me a big print (taken from the back) of a shadowed figure standing onstage, hardly visible from the waist up. Instantly, though, I knew it was singer Isaac Brock, because the pants were cuffed up a good eight inches, as usual. God love him. Don't ever change--just write some new songs and come around every once in a while and play the old, glorious tunes we fans lull ourselves to sleep with. Oh yeah--this is the Showbox's famous yearly holiday party, always a night full of debaucheries performed by folks full of beef who drank too much red wine. Sigh. KATHLEEN WILSON
MODEST MOUSE, SWARMING HORDES, DJ KENTO
(Showbox) See Saturday's preview.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me/Back in Black by AC/DC.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me/Led Zeppelin II and Back in Black by AC/DC.