THE DIVORCE, ROBOSEXUALS, crosstide, guests
(Graceland) See preview, page 45.
JOHN DOE, AN AMERICAN STARLET
(Tractor) See Drunk by Noon, page 53.
CHRISTMAS CABARET W/BRADEN BLAKE, GAVIN GUSS, JON AUER
(Crocodile) I don't know if any dance numbers requiring jazz hands will be performed tonight, but this show, billed as a cabaret, will make up for any lack of choreography through performances by frontmen hip deep in local music-scene cred. Once upon a time, long ago, Braden Blake sang in the gone-but-not-forgotten power-pop band Super Deluxe, while Gavin Guss fronted the equally memorable Tube Top. John Auer, of course, is one of the two talented singer-songwriters who lend their skills to the much-beloved Posies, who recently signed on to the Rykodisk label. KATHLEEN WILSON
THE BLANK-ITS, THE NEW FANGS, 76 CHARGER, DJ KEN DIRTNAP
(Fun House) The Blank-Its have a robotic quality to their sonic style. The vocals sometimes sound like they're being sung through a fan, that oddly chopped-up and sorta delayed style that adds a calculated Devo-esque distance between their frontman and the rest of the band's stop-start post-punk rhythms. But they still retain enough pop to hook you right in. The New Fangs are a new garage punk band from Dave Bessenhoffer (Tractor Sex Fatality, the Blow Up) that promise good things to come. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE ABODOX, ANYA ODERBIEDER, SCARY BEAR
(Monkey Pub) See preview, page 47.
JENNIFER JOHNS & URBAN SCRIBES PROJECT, FELICIA LOUD AND THE SOUL, BETHURUM COLLECTIVE, SILENT LAMBS PROJECT, DJ ATLEE
(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests, page 31.
SINGLES GOING STEADY CHRISTMAS PARTY W/THE BRIEFS, THE SPITS, THE MINDS
(Crocodile) Some of the Northwest's most fun, flamboyant punk bands come together for Singles Going Steady's annual Christmas extravaganza at the Crocodile. For fans of the independent Belltown record store and the Dirtnap label's cast of eccentric punk characters, this is gonna be the holiday party of the year. The intoxicated energy of the crowd alone should leave you hung over well into 2004. Don't miss this one. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE MINDERS, SUSHIROBO, NIK FREITAS
(Sunset Tavern) The Minders were one of the best bands to come out of the Elephant 6 kitchen-sink overload of the late '90s. Not that you'd know it, as people made more of a stink about the bands with the funny names. But take any track off their singles comp from '99, Cul-de-Sacs & Dead Ends, and you'll see they were hitting their marks from the get-go. Imagine, if you will, fuzzed-out pop that sounds like Andy Partridge circa the Dukes of Stratosphear singing with the Dave Clark Five. It's pop music for obsessives. The attention to detail, the form, the history, it's all there. Well, maybe not all. Let's just say if you have any interest in psychedelic pop music made from 1965 until 2003 though, you'll pretty much be in love within about three and a half minutes. JON PRUETT
(Old Fire House) See Underage, page 61, and Stranger Suggests, page 31.
STUCK UNDER THE NEEDLE XMAS PARTY: CIRCLE OF FIRE VS. MASSIVE MONKEES
(Showbox) See preview, page 42.
THE DETROIT COBRAS, TYCO PARTY, THE GIRLS, SURPRISE GUEST
(Chop Suey) See Stranger Suggests, page 31.
A WHITE ALBUM CHRISTMAS
(Sunset) For all the Beatles fans out there, this night is a tribute to the lads from Liverpool by a bunch of local characters. The White Album fans who'll put their tribute skills to the test include Dave Dederer, Sgt. Major, Scott McCaughey, Bill Herzog (along with members of the Nightcaps), Sanford Arms, the Speedles, the Black Panties, Mike Maker, and Rusty Willoughby, among others. And since it's also that giving time of year, this show is a benefit, raising money for the new Seattle musicians' health-support network the RACk, a very well-intentioned nonprofit that's just getting its feet on the ground. To find out more on the organization, check out http://pacnwrack.org. JENNIFER MAERZ
FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM, THE BLOODSHOT, GUESTS
(Fun House) The Bloodshot were the dark horse of the W...ntage Records Totalfest in Missoula, Montana, last summer. Word was they came championed by ex-locals Fireballs of Freedom and were driving all the way from Minneapolis for this lone gig--but aside from that, total mystery. They ended up a highlight of the festival, a bedraggled power trio channeling the freak blues, slobbering forth stoned trailer-park psych with a vaguely paranoid edge, contemporizing Up and Blue Cheer with darker grooves. The Bloodshot looked like the band had crawled collectively from the womb, as is, perhaps after some terrible Manson Family orgy or from a car on the way home from the Altamont Speedway. This show also teams them up with pals the Fireballs; consider yourself hipped that the Bloodshot are worth turning around and shutting up for. FRED BELDIN
BLUE SKY MILE, KISSING TIGERS, DAYTIME HERO, PROBLEM WITH HEROES
(Ground Zero) I'll give you two great reasons why you should go to this show. (1) Blue Sky Mile. (2) Problem with Heroes. And while dropping those two band names might be enough to get a good number of kids through the door--since Problem with Heroes have really started to hit their stride in recent past, and Blue Sky Mile's live show gets better every time I see them (no, really)--one more factor you should consider when trying to decide where to lay down your hard-earned cash is this: Tonight's show is PWH's last show. Just a few weeks ago the band members decided to go their separate ways. But that doesn't mean they won't tear Ground Zero apart with their scream-infused, heavy-but-melodic indie rock before they're done. You really should go and give them one hell of a goodbye. MEGAN SELING
THE POPULAR SHAPES, ELECTRIC BLANKET
(Hideaway) Take my advice--don't leave the room before the Popular Shapes take the stage. Not even for a refill. The spastic Seattle punk band ramps up the energy so high, it's like shaking up a champagne bottle and never releasing the cork. The sound just gets more highly concentrated and excitable--but that doesn't mean their sets last long enough to savor. Plant yourself at their feet to make sure you don't end up with one of those "over before it started" kinda performances--they're definitely worth the stay (especially if they deliver on their cover of "Hey Ya!"). JENNIFER MAERZ
GODS AMONG MEN, PEYOTE CALAMITY, THE ABODOX, MRG
(Fun House) See preview, page 47.
THREE IMAGINARY GIRLS BASH W/JOHN RODERICK, THE DIVORCE, THE MALINKS, THE SENATE ARCADE, ALIEN CRIME SYNDICATE, AMAZOMBIES, SUSHIROBO, LOVE HOTEL, THE LAWNMOWERS, THE PALE
(Crocodile) It's hard not to fall in love with the Three Imaginary Girls and their ebulliently supportive website. Dedicated to boosting Seattle's music scene by printing polite show reviews and Q&As with local musicians, threeimaginarygirls.com pays an admirable amount of attention to rookie bands and those who, to whatever end, have yet to be acknowledged by other local media outlets. Tonight's enviable holiday showcase features several bands that readers of the website will recognize as being among the Girls' favorites, as well as the Senate Arcade, a three-piece whose sound is the result of a mighty fusion of power pop and mathy indie rock. On the band's self-produced EP, Vitamins Taste Like Dying, singer and bass player Todd Schlosser's vocals are plaintive enough for Braid fans, while guitarist Matt Terich and drummer Austin Hugill strike angular sonic poses. Look forward to their upcoming full-length produced by Matt Bayles. KATHLEEN WILSON
SUPERSUCKERS, I CAN LICK ANY SONOFABITCH IN THE HOUSE
(Tractor) Yes, it's true--Jason Finn of the Presidents of the United States of America/Love Battery/Mini Cooper fame is the latest drummer for the Supersuckers. And just as he did in the Fastbacks, he's taking over the stool most recently warmed by Mike Musburger. Having just returned from another successful national tour, the Suckers, their dependably potent RAWK infused with lots of funny, should turn the club into a barnburner--even if this is billed as a country show. KATHLEEN WILSON
Three French hens.