(I-Spy) We know how much some of you love listening to KUBE 93 at work and in the car, but it's pretty tough to back that ass up in a Volvo or do any big pimpin' in your 2'x3' cubicle, so may we suggest a better option? Get as nasty as you wanna be with a bona fide KUBEster, DJ Funkdaddy. He'll play all the Lil' Bow Bow and Ja Rule you love, plus golden oldies like Snoop and Jodeci--and he'll even keep in all the dirty words, cuz they don't even let the FCC through the doors of I-Spy. One warning: You'd best dress for success. In the house of hiphop, ballers and lovely ladies are welcome... sorry, sloppy Urkels are not. LEAH GREENBLATT

FRIDAY 12/29

(I-Spy) The sensible folk will make tonight a Blockbuster night, quite content to save themselves for the inevitable New Year's Eve blowouts to come. There is one creature, however, who laughs in the face of these mere mortals; his name is Super Raver, and this hardy soul makes the Energizer Bunny look like a sloth on 'ludes. His pants are big (his pupils bigger) and he will gladly greet the dawn if headliner Pascal Dolle' agrees to take him there. Dolle', at only 25 one of Germany's biggest DJs, has most likely found his way to Super Raver's thump-thumpity heart through his beloved Generation Trance compilations, and the unforgiving deckmaster will surely have his synthy, slinky way with him until our hero's amphetamine-enhanced legs collapse in rubbery delight. But a Super Raver's job is never done. Tomorrow, after all, is another day, and there will be serotonin to recoup, lollipops to share, and ever, ever more dancing to be done. LEAH GREENBLATT

(OK Hotel) The Drop promised to bring the terror by calling their summer release The New Horror Guidelines, and they were mostly successful. If the band's screeching, churning guitar doesn't freak you out, then the vocalist's nasally desperation will do the job. Go see them live because their entire album is laced with ugly thoughts and tough-but-pretty sounds, and because their darkness is a perfect reflection of the winter stinging your extremities and poisoning your heart. NATHAN THORNBURGH

(Graceland) Gruntruck are back. As you'll recall, they called it quits in 1997, but now they're showing every sign of sticking to it for another long haul. Their sound hasn't appreciably changed, but hey, why mess with a good thing? This does make for rather a contrast with weird-pop Ruston Mire, whose Steady Jobs and Flying Cars is rapidly becoming a personal favorite. Both bands may be counted on, however, for energetic performances. Ditto Empty Records duo the Pinkos, full of snarly aggro despite the acoustic guitar. And it's a benefit show, too, if the prospect of seeing these three acts weren't enough for you already. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS


(Paramount) Feeling sorry for yourself this holiday season? Your Christmas sucked, and you haven't been invited to any New Year's Eve parties? Well, there's nothing like some good old-fashioned schadenfreude to make you feel better about your life: Several years ago, a friend of mine was dumped by his girlfriend for another man. Hardly newsworthy, until you consider that the young lady in question ran off with Kenny G, for Christ's sake--after the sax man propositioned her at the local shoe store where she worked. It's hard to imagine a worse humiliation than being cuckolded by the smooooooooth jazz stylings of this sax player. Our poor schmuck has to spend the rest of his days wondering just what made his lover bolt--was it the horn blower's ringleted mane, his Miami Vice jacket-and-tennies fashion sense, or his record-breaking ability to hold a "note" (ahem) for 45 minutes and 47 seconds? As a symbol of our compassion, I only ask that we all observe a moment of silence on this day, and give thanks to the higher powers that our lovers haven't left us for that. MELODY MOSS

(I-Spy) It's hard to talk about Beyond Reality as an MC without talking about her as a "female MC," which is especially bad because even she doesn't speak of herself as a "female MC." I've tried to write up this show avoiding the obvious--for a female MC, Beyond Reality is just great--but I can't get around it. To be sure, she is a great rapper, and she rocks a live microphone with the confidence and motion of a freight train. The English language is purely rhythmic in her flow; when I listen I am pleased by the sound of syllables, which is about half of why I turn my ears to the art of rap in the first place. She makes what is otherwise bland language sound dynamic and aesthetically marvelous. And the voice that does all this is a female one, which, for worse, is an anomaly. I don't know why rap is so male-dominated, but like most institutions in America, it is. When Cantwell is elected as senator and when Beyond Reality steps to the stage I give it up, because the presence alone is a feat against the grain. This strength of presence, the simple protest of showing a face and releasing a voice, is arguably the other half of why I turn my ears to rap. This is why I can't avoid talking about her steez when talking about her music. So two distinct cheers for Beyond Reality, one for her artistry, another for her boldness in presence alone. BRIAN GOEDDE

(Crocodile) It's a night of most peculiar fusion at the Crocodile--the perfect cure for the winter blahs. After all, it's impossible to feel depressed when listening to Kultur Shock; their blend of Eastern European folk with rock, blues, and jazz is downright uplifting. Danceable, too. What's more, they've got an ironic sense of humor that comes out in their music. Meanwhile, Guardian Alien pull in everything under the sun, from reggae to metal to punk. In addition to the expected instrumentation, there are banjos and concertinas involved. With encouragement like this, the sun can't help but rise. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS

(Showbox) Before he played Al Jolson and started writing songs about E.T., Neil Diamond honed his chops in the old Tin Pan Alley factory songwriting system. When rock came and blew down the Brill Building, Diamond camped out on the margin and wrote some amazing, exhilarating half-Broadway, half-Sunset Strip pop songs. Super Diamond have made a living for years now touring the country with their distillation of "Hot August Night" (Diamond's finest hour) and bringing it to you, hair, sweat, toreador pants, and all. You don't own the records, but you just about crash the car when "Cracklin' Rosie" comes on the radio. The guy REALLY looks like him, too; Super Diamond even make you reconsider the merits of The Jazz Singer, at least until you're sober. I've seen this band twice and not worn them out yet. This time should do it. GRANT COGSWELL

SUNDAY 12/31

(Crocodile) See live preview this issue.

(I-Spy) If New Year's Eve is a time to get drunk and think wistfully about the past, no matter how much it sucked, then the Dudley Manlove Quartet are the perfect New Year's Eve band. They play songs that suck ("Seattle" by Perry Como) and pay homage to singers who suck (Tom Jones, Barry Manilow, and, of course, Perry Como), but they do it in an upbeat, tight show that surprisingly doesn't suck at all. Sure, there are plenty of people who despise DMQ's glibness, but there's really nothing wrong with trying to make Seattle music fun again. One disclaimer about this show: The Shitkickers, who are being billed as if they were a separate group, are really the selfsame Dudley Manlove Quartet, minus the saxophone, playing their usual retro party trade, only this time with cracker country music. NATHAN THORNBURGH

(Sit & Spin) See live preview this issue.

(Baltic Room) This sounds like a good way to spend New Year's Eve, except that it costs $20 and I don't have a job. But I think you should go on my behalf, because I believe in supporting Seattle talent, and Seattle is better for having Maktub and Vitamin D as residents. Maktub came out with Subtle Ways and made heads turn toward someone who could belt out strong soul, while being able to do the rock scream when so compelled. This time last year they were on a concert spree, playing shows like they were Roger Rogers, and they may have played themselves out. They've been quiet since then, and while frontman Reggie Watts popped up here and there in different projects, Maktub haven't been much a part of the Seattle landscape in 2000. But they're back, hopefully to try out some new material. And Vitamin D! I think I just caught up with Table Manners, his release of two years ago. A compulsive scratcher who is inclined to funk and soul beats, following Vitamin D is like being taken for a wondrous tour through a museum of sounds. It's the kind of reverent treatment that makes me realize why EMP's Funk Blast ride was such bullshit. This show will correctly essentialize the music to "lick your soul" like the best of funk and soul does. BRIAN GOEDDE

(Showbox) See Saturday listing.

(Graceland) Local phenom Hell's Belles, an all-female AC/DC cover band, are deserving of the hype they have been receiving. Singer Om Johari looks like the motorbike stuntwoman from the movie Earthquake (healthy starter 'fro, skintight T-shirt, more attitude than anyone has had since about 1974) and belts out hits like "TNT" and "Big Balls" like Bon Scott's lost female twin. The intro to their namesake song is so perfectly timed as to be for some reason completely hilarious. The Belles feed off audience participation: Watch this band leading a room of grown-up heshers in exultant celebration of something they thought belonged only to men, and you will be transformed by a vision of confrontational, confessional intergender communion. One-group cover bands like this are several levels above human jukeboxes like Hit Explosion or Jr. Cadillac. This is a theatrical performance. You play your teenage self, at the Seattle Coliseum, January 1981. You're on. GRANT COGSWELL

(Central Saloon) Performing Latin-based funk with enough musical muscle to shake the dance floor, Rubberneck have launched three national tours since 1998, playing 200 dance-crazed dates a year. Their CDs Nosotros and El Nino pulsed through the Northwest making extended appearances on regional music charts. This is gene-spliced Latin funk--like when Carlos Santana and James Brown run into each other in the supercollider. A strand of pop threads its way through their DNA as Rubberneck ride the wave of Latin music's recent radio heroics, but this band has way too much funk in its soul to descend into homogenized commercialism. If you want to attack the dance floor, though, this is your army. FRAN GRAY


Go to bed, you nasty bastard.


(Jazz Alley) Not many great musicians come from Indiana (Michael Jackson notwithstanding), so when they come, they need to be remembered. That's how it is with the octave-doubling, fast-picking Wes Montgomery, arguably the best jazz guitarist of his era, who was rewarded for his beautiful talents with a fatal heart attack at the age of 43 in 1968. The Remembering Wes Montgomery tour features the surviving members of his original trio--Melvin Rhyne on Hammond B-3 and "Killer" Ray Appleton on drums. They're both solid musicians with long histories of jazz collaboration and teaching, but the title "Remembering Wes Montgomery" is actually unnecessary: In the world of jazz, at least, he was never forgotten. NATHAN THORNBURGH


(Jazz Alley) It's only been a month since our once-cuddly democracy revealed itself to be a hoary corporate beast that crapped a half-retarded Texan into the White House, so we can be excused for still needing to curl up in a little ball and listen to romantic music that will transport us to a happy place far away from Austin or Tallahassee. That's why we need veteran jazz vocalist Ernestine Anderson, who knows defeat and the subsequent redeeming powers of musical beauty as well as anyone. Her big-band-backed blues and jazz standards are soft around the edges and completely untouched by cynicism, which is why you will find me at her show, bawling like a suckling pig with my lips wrapped around a customized bottle of Courvoisier with a nipple attachment. It may not be a pretty picture, but how else will I find the will to keep living in George Bush's America? NATHAN THORNBURGH

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