(Crocodile) Dreading another holiday session with relatives who either think your tattoos are "nifty" or keep asking how you get your hair that color? Ease into the "normal" holiday experience with a visit to the Willis/Sixappeal show. ("Sixappeal"? That has to be the worst name in recent history.) Consider tonight's evening among the khaki-clad, Noxema-fresh-faced crowd a trial run -- a walk on the mild side, if you will. The music is harmless enough that it won't do any permanent damage, and if you're lucky, it might even numb your senses. BARBARA MITCHELL


( Only eight nights 'til New Year's Eve, so that means, what, 87 more chances to see Maktub before 2000? They have at least 10 or 11 gigs every day, right? Doesn't it seem like they play more often than Hit Explosion? ERIN FRANZMAN

(Showbox) It's a Christmas miracle that Hit Explosion and the Retros have been allowed out of Pioneer Square. Hey, 'tis the season. Hit Explosion: Doesn't it seem like they play more often than Maktub? ERIN FRANZMAN

(Ok Hotel) As the season dictates, I try to show goodwill toward men. That's why I'm not going to mention how unprofessional it might seem that the press release for "An Intimate Evening with Suicide Jack" arrived written in blue ballpoint pen on graph paper. As it's the first press release we've ever been so privileged to see on graph paper, I will award points to the OK Hotel on style, innovation, and impeccable spelling. The evening will feature Skerik from Critters Buggin, Guy Davis from Guardian Alien, Ron Weinstein from Crack Sabbath, and Billy Joe from the Dusty 45's. Though the press release advises, "Probably not necessary to list actual names," I will list them, by god! Don't tell me how to do my job! I need to list the actual names for accuracy, education, and word count, dammit! Do you know how few clubs are even open this week? So I'll list the actual names, thank you very much, and don't you dare try to stop me! Um, Merry Christmas. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Graceland) Soda Pop Unlimited. Salt Pork Unlimited. Sandies, Pecan: Unlimited. Salacious Porn Unlimited. Sliced Prawns Unlimited. Single Parents Unlimited. Stinky Pervs Unlimited. Slutty Pickles Unlimited. Sickly Porcupines Unlimited. Seven Penises Unlimited. Silver Pens Unlimited. Sad Pants Unlimited. Sunday Prayers Unlimited. Say Please Unlimited. Scarlet Pimpernel Unlimited. Sweaty Panties Unlimited. Soiled Pajamas Unlimited. Slow Pedestrians Unlimited. Sacrilegious Proclamations Unlimited. Serious Paraplegics Unlimited. Single-dose Prescriptions Unlimited. Serving Pie Unlimited. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Jazz Alley) I know that I have to try to stay positive through the holidays, but it really is a time of year when entertainment hides behind a sticky sugar coating of oversimplified and empty messages of peace on earth as it gives you the finger, picks your pocket, and siphons off your will to live. One culprit is the "Christmas Show," a genre surgically crafted to elude true human spirit while giving a vulgar massage to all that is predictable, stereotypical, and false about kindness and generosity. Enter the Bobs, a four-member a cappella group whose Christmas show will feature songs from their CD Too Many Santas. They boast "outrageous covers of classic songs" and "songs that range from soulful to satire, from amazing to moving, from familiar to unimaginable." I don't think I'm really ready to hear a song I couldn't also imagine, so the Bobs can shove their unimaginable, familiar satire up their chimneys. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Tractor) Y kan't u get gr8 whirled muzik more often? 4get your troubles, U should B at the Trac 2nite for some Balkan and Gypsy dance music from Kultur Shock. Kwik! And 2 all a good nite. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Gordon Biersch) Attention, all you last-minute shoppers -- reward yourself for your procrastination by throwing yourself into the frantic downtown streets, overcrowded parking garages, and new upscale malls this Christmas Eve's Eve. After you've purchased the last of the gifts, pull up a nice stool in the comfy confines of Gordon Biersch and unwind to the sweet sounds of local indie-rock goddess Jen Wood. If the soothing sounds of Wood's beautiful voice and guitar aren't enough to bring your stress down to a manageable level, GB's gracious cocktail waitresses will be happy to bring you liquid assistance. BARBARA MITCHELL

FRIDAY 12/24

(Your Roof) "From [their] groundbreaking arrangements to [their] heartbreaking harmonies to their shockingly introspective lyrics, [Santa Claus and the Reindeer] remain the standard for psychedelia, pop, and all points in between.... Oh sure, the Who and Pink Floyd's theme albums made a bigger splash, but [Santa] broke through the alt-rock landscape to remind the world that an artful, futuristic vision could be presented without bombast." Not forgetting their lush, haunting soundscapes, I'm sure that Santa Claus and the Reindeer's gig on Your Roof will make every top 10 concert list of 1999. [ERIN FRANZMAN] AND SEATTLE WEEKLY

(Your Stereo) I'm having a difficult time getting into the holiday spirit this year, but I can feel it coming -- it'll arrive as soon as I get to my mom's and throw on John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas. Ol' John-Boy has been jingling my bells since I was a toddler -- partly because of his straight-laced, straightforward renditions of such standards as "Oh Holy Night" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but mostly for the sheer, twisted genius of "Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk on Christmas)." For those of you in worse shape than I am, may I also recommend the John Denver & the Muppets' classic, Christmas Together. Happy holidays, indeed! BARBARA MITCHELL


(Your Home) Tonight, Your Home is proud to present You, coming out of retirement from the stage for this extremely rare appearance. Some folks on your Internet fan club are calling it your "Comeback '99." You'll be performing your repertoire of holiday standards, including your world-renowned rendition of "Silent Night" and "Here We Come A Wassailing." For this very special, one-night-only performance, You will be joined by special guests Your Family, Friends, and Loved Ones for a range of tunes like "Angels We Have Heard on High," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," and "Good King Wenceslas." You will bring your special kind of showmanship to the performance, as always, and are sure to be swept away by your unique singing voice. This is a limited engagement and tickets are hard to come by, so make reservations to see yourself early! ERIN FRANZMAN

(Showbox) Although a party with gifts and surprise DJs (Sorry, Grandma, I don't take requests) might sound suspiciously similar to the aforementioned You gig at Your Home, they tell me this one's at the Showbox. Seeing as how the Showbox is way bigger than my apartment and has more booze, and furthermore since the gift party at my place will be long over by 10 pm, the idea of going to another gift party is REALLY appealing. I'll go anywhere for a present. In fact, I would propose that the Showbox starts giving gifts to its patrons at every show, regardless of the season. It could be the latest trend out of Seattle: Gift Parties! It's about time those stinky clubs started giving a little something back. Hey, Showbox, I need a scarf! Hey, Breakroom, gimme mittens! ERIN FRANZMAN

SUNDAY 12/26

(Kells) Missing, or just on a drunken bender? That was the question on the world's mind earlier this month when Liam Gallagher's whereabouts could not be accounted for. His management company tried to keep it on the down low by claiming he was in the U.S. promoting the ridiculously titled new album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. But everyone knew he was really in Seattle getting roaring, stinking drunk down at Kells. Liam was flying victory signs and insulting the customers after vomiting on their shoes, hitting on the barmaids with his big droopy face hanging all over everywhere, and dancing Irish jigs on the tables while singing bawdy songs about what a ho his wife Patsy is (first Dan Donovan, then Jim Kerr, now Liam). He's back in the U.K. now, but Kells missed him so much, they've hired an impostor to carry on with the show. Doesn't look anything like him. Doesn't sound anything like him. And no one but the house bagpipe player is throwing up on the customers' shoes. But the essence is there, man, and that's all that counts. KATHLEEN WILSON

(Owl 'n' Thistle) What a treat it has been to hear Danny Barnes (Bad Livers, Old Codgers) pick up his electric guitar once again with this phenomenal new band, starring Zony Mash's rhythm section and pedal steel ace Dan Tyack. It's simply a case of Danny wanting to use "the right wrench for the job" -- as many of his songs, both old and new, call for the kinda muscle his trusty old banjo just ain't got. He's also breathing new life into classic country tunes and rockin' covers of the likes of the MC5 and Roky Erickson. In sum, welcome to Americana bar-band heaven. JAMES KIRCHMER

(Linda's) You can go through most of your life being miserable about things: violence, ignorance, hunger, deforestation. Or you can let the little bright spots of life work their magic on you: a great parking space, minty toothpaste, funny press releases. "Funny press releases?" you ask. I offer this: "DJ Woodsen spins an eclectic melange of hits and misses." Ain't it the truth, though? With all due respect to DJ Woodsen -- who I'm sure is as fine a DJ as you could hope to hear -- pretty much every DJ misses with a song sometimes. But not many will admit that they're not perfect. Oh the humanity! And the down-to-earth and refreshingly humble folks at Linda's are willing to cop to the fact that their DJ might not play an entire set of songs you like! See? Capitol Hill isn't all bad. ERIN FRANZMAN

MONDAY 12/27

(Gordon Biersch) Yeah, Christmas is over, but the malls are still packed with ungrateful shoppers busily returning all the gifts their relatives so lovingly picked out for them. Especially at high-falutin', snooty-pants Pacific Place Mall, home to high-falutin', snooty-pants "brewpub" Gordon Biersch, which happens to book some of the best local singer/songwriters to play tender melodies while Abercrombie & Fitch-wearing ball-cap-heads snack on garlic fries and salmon quesadillas. Marc Olsen's there tonight, in case you have any returning to do.... KATHLEEN WILSON


(Crocodile) Well, not everyone feels like celebrating the holidays in the Norman Rockwell manner. For those of you who'd rather deck your relatives than an innocent evergreen, there's always Hog Molly. Featuring the one and only Tad Doyle (wouldn't he look cute in a Santa suit?), the Hog should provide a nice alternative to saccharine carols and Hallmark sentiments. Meanwhile, word on the street is that Subminute: Radio have matured quite nicely -- probably better than that bottle of cold duck that Grandma keeps pulling out this time every year. BARBARA MITCHELL


(Gordon Biersch) I've never been able to take more than seven minutes of that Ally McBeal program on the television, largely because of that shrieking harpy, the calculatedly soulful and hideously melodramatic piano man, Vonda Shepard. Listening to her voice is actually less fun than pulling out my eyelashes one at a time. I'm told Tiger Zane is like Vonda Shepard but not evil and depressing, so that sounds okay. Plus, Gordon Biersch can't be as annoyingly pretentious as the Vonda Shepard club in Ally McBeal 'cause it's in a mall. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Crocodile) If you're looking for a religious experience this holiday season but loathe the idea of setting foot in a church, a Faith and Disease show could be exactly what you've been searching for. There are definite comparisons to early 4AD artists to be made (mostly because of Dara Rosenwasser's gorgeous vocals), but thankfully F&D manage to stake out their own territory -- seemlessly blending folk and ethereal elements into a mesmerizing whole. It's dark but uplifting, achingly beautiful and -- like the lingering smell of incense -- haunting in the best possible way. BARBARA MITCHELL

(Habana) As our dimly lit discussion of the latest happenings lost momentum, my friend slammed his drink to the table and exclaimed that Halloween ought to come around once a week. I smiled and told him about the Mad Tea Party, a traveling entertainment package (look for it weekly -- and at a new venue come 2000) filled with drink specials, proven musicians, psychedelic props -- and a no-cover policy for those in costume. Hosted by "Pauly Ethnic" (a gregarious rapper), this freak show's recent Christmas-crashing arrival couldn't have been more timely. JAMES KIRCHMER

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