THURSDAY 12/30


DJ COLLAGE, THE FADING COLLECTION, PLAN B, DJ PAUL EDWARDS
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker, page 39, and Stranger Suggests, page 21.

THE MELVINS AND JELLO BIAFRA, AKIMBO, SKARP
(Neumo's) Stubborn in more ways than one, the Melvins show no signs of stopping their prolific work schedule any time soon. This year has seen the release of their amazing coffee-table art book, Neither Here Nor There, plus collaborations with dark-ambient noisemakers Lustmord and a new album with Jello Biafra, Never Breathe What You Can't See (Alternative Tentacles). True, the latter isn't the freshest-sounding batch of politically charged punk--in fact, the only clues this CD was recorded in 2004 and not 1992 are the references to Osama bin Laden and John Ashcroft. But while it doesn't top Gluey Porch Treatments, Frankenchrist, or even Jello Biafra with Plainfield, Never Breathe does feature several excellent performances by the backing band and even a couple by Biafra himself. And any chance to see Crover, King Buzzo, and a loudmouth like Jello together onstage is bound to yield some magical moments. WILLIAM YORK

DJ MATTASKAPHELES, STEVE E. NIX
(Catwalk) The Briefs have been around (and touring) long enough that when guitarist Steve E. Nix signs on to DJ, you can bet his set will include an eclectic mix of pop, punk, and all the various places those two sides of the same coin meet. JENNIFER MAERZ

FRIDAY 12/31


THE MELVINS AND JELLO BIAFRA, THE MAKERS, THE EVAPORATORS, BIG BUSINESS
(Neumo's) See Thursday's preview.

THE FITNESS, THE SATURDAY KNIGHTS, MISS MARGIE AND ALICE TIARA, WESLEY HOLMES AND DOUG, JACOB LONDON, JEROMY NAIL, CHRIS FIELD
(CHAC) See Data Breaker, page 39.

DJ ICEY, MEA, DIG DUG
(Element) Orlando, Florida's Icey returns for his quarterly Seattle date, and for a big-room jock, he maintains a healthy disdain for cheesiness. He's the guy whose photo will appear in dance-music histories when the chapter on "Funky Breaks" gets written. The genre's received a vital shot of adrenaline from the nu-breaks uprising, which Icey has weaved into his mixes. But I really give him props for slotting weirder artists into his sets, like electro mavericks Two Lone Swordsmen and Playgroup, and breaks hooligans like Si Begg and 2nd Gen. Mea is a stone fox who plays progressive house and electro over which she adds freestyle vocals. All you struggling DJs will be happy to know she has sponsorship deals with Shure, Numark, Caffeine Clothing, and Volcom. DAVE SEGAL

HEAVEN AND HELL BALL: UNITED STATE OF ELECTRONICA, HARVEY DANGER, AC NEWMAN, THE CAPILLARIES, AWESOME!, DJS DAREK MAZZONE AND YETI, E*ROCK
(ConWorks) USE are kinda the Polyphonic Spree of Seattle. They're not as cultish (that I know of) and they don't don matching robes, but like the Texas 20-something piece, USE bring an amazing ebullience to their gigs, giving even the most sluggish of shows 110 percent and delivering the kind of earnest, nonpretentious electro-pop performance few other local artists have the talent (or dance team) to create. And for anyone frustrated by the drinking and bathrooming constraints parties at Con Works have created in the past, tonight's promoters promise increased space for both ordering drinks and relieving yourself of them throughout the night. JENNIFER MAERZ See also Stranger Suggests, page 21.

'HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH' NEW YEAR'S EVE SPECIAL: ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS, CIRQUE DE FLAMBÉ
(Crocodile) Heading to a rock club on New Year's Eve usually sounds about as appealing as having a Pap smear on Valentine's Day. While I normally shun the amateur drinking crowd and sequester myself at a friend's residence where I can party in peace, I am happily tossing aside that routine to attend this glittering and gritty glam-rock orgy. Even if you've already witnessed Nick Garrison's star-turn as the beloved punk tranny heroine of Hedwig and Angry Inch, tonight's agenda is well worth your $17. In addition to a liberal sampling of Hedwig's greatest hits and complimentary covers (including PJ Harvey, T-Rex and Spinal Tap), Garrison and his band will transform themselves into Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, closing out the evening with a complete rendition of the iconic 1972 album of the same name. If this isn't a worthy exception to my stay-at-home rule, I don't know what is. HANNAH LEVIN See also Stranger Suggests, page 21.

GATSBY'S AMERICAN DREAM, SCHOOLYARD HEROES, KANE HODDER, DOLOUR
(Studio Seven) I still can't bring myself to listen to Gatsby's American Dream because the band name is just untenable. I mean, what's so special about Gatsby's American dream? Isn't the dream always the same and Jay Gatsby was remarkable for the lengths he went to achieve it, not to mention the price he paid once he did? I know that would be one unwieldy name, but Jesus Christ… My colleague, Annie Wagner, loves the hard rockin' Schoolyard Heroes, but she (proudly) admits to knowing nothing about music so let me just say that I like them a lot, too. I also really like Dolour, because they write and play smart, energetic pop songs with careful attention to '60s traditions. Finally, I LOVE Kane Hodder, because they combine the intense complexity of hardcore with fantastic melodies and really smart, funny lyrics. But why should I speak, for I know nothing? SEAN NELSON See also Stranger Suggests, page 21.

1234, MURDOCK, THE ALL-AMERICAN PLAYBOYS, DRAGSTRIP RIOT
(Catwalk) I admit I have issues with the concept behind a Ramones cover band. After all, aren't most punk bands in one form or another already doing Ramones tributes? I'll leave it at that for 1234, but the only cover I've heard billmates Murdock perform is "Tush," a track that works all too well in their cock-rock repertoire. The latter local act is pure party band, with searing guitar hooks and vocals that show a fledgling Steven Tyler prodigy in the works. With songs celebrating the livin' it lifestyle and instrumentation providing the appropriately celebratory hard-rocking support, Murdock should usher in the new year with the call to rock through the wee hours. The Catwalk also promises a free midnight champagne toast, balloons, and "shit like that," as well. JENNIFER MAERZ

MAKTUB, MOUNTAIN CON
(EMP Sky Church) Maktub could start funk fires with wet wood, so on this highly combustible occasion, thoroughly soaked in flammable alcohol, the beat-crazy bonfire could reach the heavens--or the top of singer Reggie Watts' globed Afro, whichever is higher. Watts ranges from buttery baritone balladry to fluttering falsetto peaks to grunge growls, while Maktub's soulful organ melodies chill its scorching songs like ice cubes stirred into scalding soup. The rhythm section propels the party, with every drum blast landing like an errant ceremonial crystal ball plummeting to the pavement, but Maktub avoids the abrasive slap-bass brassiness that plagues many groove merchants. Playing its second-straight calendar-capping gig at EMP, Maktub will likely develop a lasting Dick Clark-like relationship with New Year's Eve festivities. ANDREW MILLER

DJs MAMMA CASSEROLE AND BRIAN FOSS
(Fun House) It may not be the old Guns N' Roses in Vegas at the Hard Rock, but sometimes you want to get away from all the glitz and glam for a moment and party with a quality punk-rock soundtrack in a dive bar that serves cheap beer. The latter's the scene you'll find at the Fun House tonight, as KEXP Sonic Reducer DJ Brian Foss and DJ Mamma Casserole (who's spun from here to the Twilight Exit and back) set the scene for those who want to leave the live music well alone for the night, but refuse to give up all the fun (and free champagne at midnight). JENNIFER MAERZ

COMEBACK: DJs PORQ, FUCKING IN THE STREETS, COLBY B, MC CHOMPERS, GUESTS
(Chop Suey) Capitol Hill's big ol' queer dance party (for the gays and the straights who love them) throws its biggest bash to date. Tonight all the bologna sandwiches, posters of male porn, and frenzies of post punk, electro pop, hiphop, cheese, sleaze, and furries come to a crazy crescendo at Chop Suey. Now if all the glamazon drag queens would just be sure not to hog the ladies restroom mirrors all night… JENNIFER MAERZ

SATURDAY 1/1


DAHLIA
(Nectar) See Data Breaker, page 39.

THE INTELLIGENCE, THE PULSES, COCONUT COOLOUTS
(Fun House) If you're wondering what to do with that $10 check grandma gave you for Christmas, do yourself a favor and track down the Pulses s/t record on Dirtnap. It's one of the best albums to come out of Seattle, or anywhere, in the last couple years, displaying the best aspects of '90s indie rock, but short and to the point like the kids like it these days. The band hasn't played out much lately; hopefully they've been weathering the Seattle winter honing ideas for a new record. It could be the start of the next musical revolution. Maybe they could throw in a chainsaw and some promo shots of that Fremont Troll. I heard that's how grunge started anyway. JED MAHEU

SUNDAY 1/2
Haven't you had enough?

MONDAY 1/3


MORE OR LESS
(Confounded Books) See Stranger Suggests, page 21.

TUESDAY 1/4


COBRA HIGH, RAZREZ, EXIT STORIES, DJ FUCKING IN THE STREETS
(Neumo's) See Stranger Suggests, page 21.

JOHN TSUNAM, POSING AS PEOPLE, ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS, CRTV DSTRCTN
(Chop Suey) Bouncing out of Hawaii's surprisingly strong hiphop scene, newly relocated MC John Tsunam is about to blaze the 206 with his quicksilver skills. His self-released debut disc, Not Too Intelligent but Extremely Resourceful, busts out of the gate with the confidence of Ben Wallace. Tsunam raps with a swiftness that melds the erudite, quick-witted flows of Paul Barman, Buck 65, and Sole to sublimely morose orchestral funk redolent of the RZA. Tsunam's producers--Aloeight, Paulfava, Nocturne, Rev. Left, Orphan, and Mr. Cooper--roll out red carpets of moodily complex funkiness down which the rapper can strut his tongue-twisting stuff. Welcome a major lyrical talent to our drizzly burg. DAVE SEGAL

WEDNESDAY 1/5


MEMBERS ONLY: DJs J CLARK, RED LEATHER CHAPSTICK, FUCKING IN THE STREETS
(Baltic Room) See Stranger Suggests, page 21.

JOHN RODERICK, CRAIG MARKEL, TIM SCANLIN, LUKE TEMPLE
(Neumo's) Luke Temple's gentle guitar fingering and sinewy vocals call to mind Paul Simon, Nick Drake, and Elliott Smith. The Boston-based singer-songwriter released his debut EP on Seattle's Mill Pond Records, and it shimmers with four evocative, contemplative tracks. In the song "Make Right with You," Temple sings of facing life's dilemmas and resolving them from within--first he needs to make right with you, then with man, and then with God--only to come full circle in the culmination, realizing, "I need to make right with God, to make right with you." Profoundly quiet and gently whimsical, this moral musical tale breathes like a peaceful resolution for the New Year. As for John Roderick of the Long Winters--you could hand that man a guitar and the phone book, and he'd captivate an audience for hours. Expect an evening of songwriting and live showmanship at its finest. DANA BOS

MATT HOPPER, BRIAN WHELAN, ROBERT DEEBLE, ALEX ROSE
(Sunset) On his self-recorded, five-song EP, singer/songwriter Matt Hopper explains, "I come from the country/beyond your city walls/I got some stories/but you're going to have to write to me and call," conjuring a Replacements-esque take on soft alt country. His stripped-down arrangements place subtle acoustic guitar work beneath melancholic vocals. In places, Hopper's whistle is the loudest part of the song, but there's something endearing and sweet in his vulnerable admissions and delicate instrumentation. JENNIFER MAERZ

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