THURSDAY 1/26

LIGHTHEADED FEATURING OHMEGA WATTS, GIANT PANDA
(Chop Suey) See My Philosophy, page 35.

Sponsored
Deck the halls with the Seattle Symphony’s joyous Holiday Pops concerts!
Join conductor Stuart Chafetz and Broadway star N'Kenge for this dazzling program full of yuletide cheer.

EUGENE MIRMAN, NICK THUNE
(UW HUB Auditorium) Comedian Eugene Mirman's bio reports, "After being called a commie and fag in junior high and high school, Eugene developed a keen sense of humor as a defense mechanism, and eventually turned that into a career in standup comedy." Thank god for all the bullying because Mirman, who recently signed to Sub Pop, is one funny motherfucker with a flawless dry delivery and hilarious outlook on a ridiculous world. He makes videos, tapes phone calls, and tells stories... clips of which are available at www.eugenemirman.com. MEGAN SELING

FRIDAY 1/27

MARK FARINA, INLAND NIGHTS
(Trinity) See Data Breaker, page 42.

DANNY HOWELLS
(Last Supper Club) Perennially ranking in the top 20 of DJ Magazine's disc jockey poll, Danny Howells bears most of the trappings of the well-heeled jock: gigs all over five continents; past and current residencies at huge clubs like Twilo, Renaissance, Home, and Vinyl; mix discs issued by prestigious labels like Global Underground, Ultra, and Nocturnal Frequencies. The veteran spinner's sound has been called "deepsexyfuturistictechfunkhouse," which just about covers it. Anyone who likes Jeff Mills, Luke Slater, and Orbital's remix of Meat Beat Manifesto's "Mindstream" is quite all right with me. DAVE SEGAL

THE HOLY GHOST REVIVAL, THE LEVITATIONS, THE HONEY HUSH
(Comet) Blues, soul, and garage rock 'n' roll slide around together gettin' sloppy in the Honey Hush, a newcomer to the young old souls of the local scene. The band members are no novices, though, having played in various garagey lineups over the years, and they're fronted by former Midnight Thunder Express crooner Willie Crain, who does his best channeling of the masterful Mr. Iggy Pop over stoned organ grooves and gritty guitar riffs. Tonight they play with the Holy Ghost Revival, who are always a treat to see live. JENNIFER MAERZ

MT. EERIE, KIMYA DAWSON, CALVIN JOHNSON, THIS BUSY MONSTER
(Paradox) Anchored by the lulling, contemplative voice of Phil Elverum, Mt. Eerie is an otherwise hard creature to pin down. Two albums of epic, explorative pop have established a fervent cult following for the band, but live audience expectations are something to be played with. Eerie has at times comprised two drummers, augmented by a Japanese backing band, and with a conceptual sensibility that borders on theater. This evening also offers a healthy dose of context with longtime friends, collaborators, and underground icons in their own right, Calvin Johnson and Kimya Dawson. SCOTT GOODWIN

ROTTEN APPLES, SUNDAY NIGHT BLACKOUT, BLACK HORSE, KLEVELAND
(Funhouse) Rotten Apples frontlady Dejha Colantuono is one tough rocker. With a voice that can spin from jazz to spaz to fit the situation, this woman can growl, croon, cajole, and crank it all out like nobody's business. And the Apples of her eye are revving it up right alongside her, speeding through a world that's a little bit punk, a little bit rock 'n' roll, and a lot of fun. JENNIFER MAERZ

SATURDAY 1/28

THE CRIPPLES, THE FALL-OUTS, UNNATURAL HELPERS
(Sunset Tavern) See Live Wire, page 33.

BLOOD BROTHERS, MINUS THE BEAR, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, CRYSTAL SKULLS
(Showbox) See All Ages Action, page 45.

ROCKY VOTOLATO, SLENDER MEANS, J. TILLMAN
(Crocodile) At long last, Rocky Votolato is unleashing his fourth release (and best to date, if you ask me), titled Makers. Two long years went into perfecting this record, which has allowed Votolato to carefully construct every song with much patience and care. The outcome of his toil is a collection of timeless music. He's celebrating tonight at the Crocodile with two shows (the first being an all-ages event, the second 21+), both of which feature Slender Means and J. Tillman as openers. MEGAN SELING

WORLD, PLANTS, BONUS, kaz nomura
(Gallery 1412) Portland duo Plants (featuring Mercury staffer/Stranger freelancer Josh Blanchard and Molly Griffith) ply a mystical brand of psychedelic folk whose solemn, droning beauty and stately pace recall Six Organs of Admittance and Pearls Before Swine at their most pastoral and intense. The Google-proof World are an offshoot of the transcendent Jackie-O Motherfucker. If they sound anything like JOMF's latest and greatest album, Flags of the Sacred Harp, then we're in for a night of soul-inflating psych-folk spirituals. Locals Bonus conjure metastatic, malevolent frequencies and grinding industrial klang in order to subvert your sense of comfort. It's no laughing matter. A multi-instrumentalist for hyper-prolific, Dadaist rock trio Na, Seattle-via-Japan sparkplug Kaz Nomura has learned all of music's rules so he can break them with greater gusto, thrusting a figurative middle finger in convention's eye. Kaz's crazy sonic universe encompasses lowbrow and highbrow styles and approaches, from ethereal, cerebral drones to Shaggs-like rock shambolics, all of which he imbues with a playfully absurd, outsider-artist brio. Almost anything can happen when Kaz picks up his instruments, and most of his shenanigans inspire "what the hell?!" looks from the audience. Come and bring your best heckles. DAVE SEGAL

SUNDAY 1/29

MF DOOM, ONE BE LO, GUESTS
(Chop Suey) MF Doom (once Zevlove X of brilliant '90s rap group KMD) could well be the most effusively talented man in hiphop today. He is a producer and MC of astonishingly deep ability, and an obsessive and free-roaming conceptualist. Like his seemingly separated-at-birth contemporaries in the Wu-Tang Clan, he draws exhilarating rhymes from comic-book/cult-film culture, genuine villainous poverty, and 5-percenter mythology. Like Kool Keith he has a pathological predilection for inventing new recording personas for himself. Unlike both of them he has somehow found a place not just of relevance but of utter omnipresence in the modern hiphop arena. Tadow. (Note: This is a make-up show for a missed December performance). SAM MICKENS

IMOGEN HEAP
(Neumo's) Ever since her band, Frou Frou, provided the soundtrack for Natalie Portman and Zach Braff's love affair in Garden State, Imogen Heap hasn't been able to escape the buzz. Sounding like an electro-pop Tori Amos or an even breathier Dido, Heap may be minus her Frou Frou bandmate Guy Sigsworth on this solo tour, but she'll be kept company by a bevy of synths, a laptop, a mixing board, and an African thumb piano, which means she plays, sings, loops, sequences, and looks hot, all at the same time. Uh, can we get some multitasking lessons over here, Imogen? MAYA KROTH

MONDAY 1/30

DEAD SCIENCE, GHOST TO FALCO, THANKSGIVING
(SS Marie Antoinette) Originally a one-man band, Portland's brooding and introspective Ghost to Falco now find glamour-puss Eric Crespo joined by the thunderous force of bass playing by Ryan "Left-Eye" Lehman and the sock-em-dead rumbling drum playing of Nick (also in Shaky Hands). More often than not, their songs tip the five-minute meter and crackle with unexpected twists, sweeps of lush analog synth, cymbal swells, and the occasional brutal bludgeon of discordant bass chords. Their songs meander through crevices of desperation and anger, only to silently excuse themselves from the room, leaving ghosts behind that will haunt you for days. JAMES SQUEAKY

TUESDAY 1/31

ROY
(Bad Juju Lounge) Subverting expectations for a group comprising These Arms Are Snakes members, Roy debuted with a distortion-free collection of twang-tinged tunes. They defy easy prediction again with Killed John Train, an album whose artwork suggests politically driven folk. Phil Ochs's quote under the CD tray clarifies matters: "A protest song is... a song you don't hear on the radio." With its power-jangle riffs and cleverly obtuse lyrics, Killed John Train recalls some of the best alt-rock bands to fit that definition: Dinosaur Jr., early R.E.M., Wilco. The record won't hit stores until March, but this free hometown gig promises a comprehensive preview. ANDREW MILLER

Support The Stranger

OF MONTREAL, GRAND BUFFET, DJ JESTER THE FILIPINO FIST, MGMT
(Chop Suey) "Idiosyncratic" isn't a bad way to describe the Elephant 6 collective or its resident tripped out, synth-happy, singalong/clapalong sextet, Of Montreal. With lyrics like "Let's pretend we don't exist / Let's pretend we're in Antarctica," the music sounds like the birthday parties your parents should've taken you to when you were six (though a later line, "You fucked the suburbs out of me," might be less appropriate). Of Montreal's latest tour takes the party-vibe on the road, with opening sets by MGMT, tongue-in-cheek rappers Grand Buffet (who call themselves "The Kermit and Fozzy of undergroundhip hop"), and their DJ, Jester the Filipino Fist. MAYA KROTH

WEDNESDAY 2/1

BOAT, THE QUIET ONES, BLITZEN TRAPPER
(Crocodile) I had this mystery record on repeat in my car stereo for six weeks before I finally broke down and opened the CD changer (gimme a break, it's way back in the trunk) to find out who the hell was responsible for the bizarre blend of indie weirdness and country-fried psych-rock that refused to leave my memory banks. Turned out the disc was Field Rexx, the sophomore release from Portland's Blitzen Trapper. Low-fi, genre-demolishing tunes with quirk to spare made this band one of last year's best discoveries. MAYA KROTH