THURSDAY 1/18

DUB NARCOTIC SOUND SYSTEM, INTERNAL/EXTERNAL, UGLY CASSANOVA
(Graceland) Ugly Cassanova is Modest Mouse mastermind Isaac Brock's side project, and, though the facts are sketchy on this Graceland show, Brock is rumored to be collaborating with the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel's Julian Koster on the band's forthcoming recorded material. KATHLEEN WILSON

DAMIEN JURADO, AARON SPRINKLE
(Seattle Art Museum) Tonight's show features the delightful Aaron Sprinkle, who's already released two beautiful and curiously overlooked albums that somehow manage to find the perfect balance between hope and melancholy, buoyancy and introspection. Already a charismatic performer in his own right, Sprinkle's now utilizing the extra oomph of a talented rhythm section in his live performances. If you're still feeling less than compelled to check him out, the wonderfully understated Damien Jurado is also performing. BARBARA MITCHELL

KELLY REVERB, DONALD GLAUDE, TREVOR SHEEN, ZACHARIA, DEMO, NORI
(I-Spy) Gee, everything really is bigger in Texas. Dallas-based Kelly Reverb, as one-half of the duo Southside Reverb, produces meaty, bombastic club anthems--hearty specimens that make local house efforts look spindly and anemic by comparison. Size and subtlety are most definitely not congruent here: Southside tracks have titles like "Work Your Mind" and "Use Your Tool," indicating that it's not really brain stems or box wrenches the two are after, but booties and, um... tools. An appropriately frenzied lineup rounds out the bill, from mainfloor messiah Glaude to 360bpm stalwart Zacharia, so copious amounts of Red Bull or other analogous energy-boosting substances are highly recommended. LEAH GREENBLATT


FRIDAY 1/19

PETER PARKER, JASON TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS
(Breakroom) Sure, Jason Trachtenburg is a fine musician who writes odd little songs that are eminently sing-alongable. And, yes, his wife Tina operates a slide projector like no one's business. And, agreed, Tina's mother cooks up as tasty a tamale as you've ever had at a rock show. But we all know who the star of this show is--I'm talking about seven-year-old drummer Rachel. And this ain't no dog 'n' pony novelty act--girl can play! She keeps solid time, nails the cymbal hits, and even turns the beat around like Elvin Jones' long-lost little sister. Now, young Rachel can get a little distracted by the goings-on at the big club shows, but with a short pause she lowers her head, closes her eyes, and next thing you know, she's right back on target. And the crowd goes wild.... DAN PAULUS

VOYAGER ONE, KINSKI, HIGH VIOLETS, JULIAN & FRIENDS
(Crocodile) Few things get me as excited as a Voyager One/Kinski double bill. In case you've been living under a rock, Voyager One and Kinski are two dynamic bands crafting hypnotic sonic cascades that wash over you, carrying you away to an entirely different, gorgeous time and space. The mighty Kinski is preparing to release a new album in March, while Voyager One is reportedly hard at work on new material. It's like Christmas, all over again! BARBARA MITCHELL

THE RAZORBABES, BLESSED LIGHT, BLACK JACK BETTY
(Catwalk) It seems at times as if the relentless Razorbabes have come out of nowhere, although if so, their big-chord, high-volume punk rock couldn't have hit at a better time. Their list of influences reads like a Who's Who of aggressive rock chicks: Girlschool, Joan Jett, and Blondie all feature prominently. Their music may not be novel exactly, but they're awfully good at it, so a deafeningly pleasant evening is virtually guaranteed. Plus they have really cool cars. What's not to like? GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS

ROCKIN' TEENAGE COMBO, BLUE GLOVE CLUB, DAN HACK & THE OREGON GRIND
(OK Hotel) Rockin' Teenage Combo is rare, in the sense that the band plays funky jazz excursions that don't suck. Most bands of this ilk seem to get caught up in the whole hippie aesthetic and end up boring audiences to tears with long-winded jam sessions that scream Phish rather than speak Coltrane. For the faithful, RTC shows have become a metaphorical trip to a funk-jazz Mecca. For the virgin ear, it's the path laid down by the great Medeski, Martin and Wood, without the mimicry. The day will come when the folks at Blue Note or Crescendo will come knocking down RTC's door. But fear not, loyal music lover, because tonight it's just another one of those exhilarating shows that'll reminds us why this band is still one of Seattle's best-kept secrets. F. VENTURA PENA

COMBO CRAIG, BILL HORIST
(OK Hotel) Because the members are always improvising and never predictable, it's difficult to know exactly what a Combo Craig show will be like, but from what I heard on a Sonarchy Radio Hour recording of the trio and its leader (the ever avant-garde Craig Flory), there are a few things you can expect at the OK Hotel. First, there will be sheer anarchy, followed by some intellectual chord changes, then a handful of pregnant silences washed down with a few moments of sheer, bleating terror. For music that goes so far into your inner ear that it actually fucks up your balance, try Combo Craig on for style. NATHAN THORNBURGH

DEADBOLT, THE DUSTY 45's, AL FOUL & THE SHAKES
(Sit & Spin) The members bill this band as the scariest in the world, but unless you're the Church Lady or just deathly allergic to four guys in black playing revved-up rock and roll, there's nothing to fear about a Deadbolt show. They may not be terribly original, but these four San Diego residents know how to entertain--and they're one hell of a lot less frightening than bland, middle-of-the-road dreck like Vertical Horizon, pious, recycled schmaltz like Creed, or any one of the ninth-generation rap-metal outfits that make Korn look like the most original band on the planet. Live a little. BARBARA MITCHELL


SATURDAY 1/20

THEE HEATHEN, LAURA VEIRS
(Sunset Tavern) Danny Barnes' roots rock outfit Thee Heathen is one of Seattle's gems, playing bluegrass, MC5 covers, and pedal-steel-driven country. Be sure to arrive early, though, because Laura Veirs is one of the most impressive DIY/singer-songwriters in this town. Sporting a new CD, The Triumphs & Travails of Orphan Mae, Veirs has put together an intelligent album of subtle strength, guts, and beauty. Mixed by Tucker Martine and featuring Barnes and Eyvind Kang on the violin, Triumph & Travails represents a melancholy epic in the Americana tradition. Combining folk, blues, and a little bluegrass, Veirs presents a compilation of tales about women on the edge of reality, some falling over into the insatiable flames of our obsessively controlling country. KREG HASEGAWA

R. L. BURNSIDE
(Showbox) The quintessential Delta juke-joint blues of septuagenarian R. L. Burnside is unmatched in its spare guitar stomp and grizzled growling vocals. On his latest Fat Possum Records release, Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down, Burnside's rawness is augmented by beats and DJ scratching that are more intrusive than artistic. Sadly, this has been the case with his last three albums since 1996's A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, on which the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion backed him with its ironic Ivy League take on electro-blues freakout. Seeing him live is still the best opportunity to experience Burnside in his unmitigated glory, however, offering the sweaty grit and mass hypnosis of hard-lived wisdom that he has been testifying to since the 1950s. He is sure to play from across his career and his life with the conviction and simplicity that are his hallmark. NATE LIPPENS


SUNDAY 1/21

JACOB FRED JAZZ ODYSSEY
(Rainbow) There's a good number of Seattle musicians, particularly non-rockers, who love to bitch about what a small town this is and how they already know everybody who already knows everybody else, and it's so hard to grow musically, and that the whole Seattle thing is just fencing them in. Before anybody gets feeling too sorry for themselves, though, they should go listen to the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, a free jazz group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From what Hilary Swank taught me about that part of the country, it's not easy to be yourself out there--yet the young men of Jacob Fred have managed to spend their Tulsa time developing brainy, improv-dominated music that has played to good reviews everywhere from the Knitting Factory in New York City to the Elbo Room in San Francisco. NATHAN THORNBURGH


MONDAY 1/22

GALACTIC, COL. LES CLAYPOOL'S FEARLESS FLYING FROG BRIGADE, LAKE TROUT
(Paramount Theatre) The hyperactive Primus frontman returns with yet another side project, this one including former Primus drummer Jay Lane and guitarist Todd Huth, multi-genre keys man Jeff Chimenti, and saxophonist Skerik of our own Critters Buggin. Whatever this bunch has come up with, it's bound to be unique. Touring with New Orleans jazz-funk ensemble Galactic and Baltimore strange-jazz group Lake Trout, Claypool continues to satisfy his yen for giving things weird names by dubbing this the SnoCore Icicle Ball Tour. Despite what these descriptions may lead you to believe, all of these bands have a good beat you can dance to. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS


TUESDAY 1/23

JAY FARRAR
(Showbox) Since Uncle Tupelo's 1994 breakup, Jay Farrar has hewn closely to Tupelo's overall sound while giving it his own stamp. With Son Volt's 1995 debut, Trace, Farrar set out to attain the high marks of the traditional country songwriting he admired and marry it to a psychically intense, rock-informed rural music. The result has been a balanced palette of country and rock that never gets too doctrinaire. With his expressive, husky voice, Farrar brings the many varieties of sadness and ache home with weariness and wisdom. The archaic and the immediate, the sentimental and the mordant, all coexist and illuminate each other in his beautiful songs. This solo show is a great opportunity to see a true believer who makes music that is timeless, beholden only to the formidable tradition of its own creator. NATE LIPPENS

HIM, FCS NORTH, AVEO
(Graceland) Him is essentially Douglas Scharin, a one-time drummer for Codeine, founding member of Rex and June of '44, and current dub instrumentalist so connected in Chicago's talented and elitist jazz-rock community that Jeff Parker of Tortoise and Isotope 217, as well as Chicago Underground Duo's Rob Mazurek, have loaned him their ambitious instrumentation on record. Him is an evocative, complex hybridization of the finest elements of early-'70s electric jazz and latter-day hold-button music worldwide. Seattle's FCS North will complement the experimentalism with the undeniably skillful instrumental explorations that have garnered the band so much attention of late. Unlikely opener Aveo will play the rock and roll. JEFF DeROCHE


WEDNESDAY 1/24

MAYNARD FERGUSON & HIS BIG BOP NOUVEAU
(Jazz Alley) Seventy-two-year-old Maynard Ferguson has some legitimate fears about getting old. Aging isn't easy for bop musicians in general because they've always relied too heavily on the kind of speed and precision that old age tends to dull. But it's even tougher for Ferguson because he, among all trumpet players, made his name by playing higher and more technically accurate than anyone before or since. And what was once the source of (some thought) too much pride must now be a bit of an embarrassment to Ferguson, as he might need a bit of Viagra to get it up to a high "C" tonight. NATHAN THORNBURGH

FAIRGROVE, PETER PARKER, POLECAT
(I-Spy) Fairgrove, Peter Parker, and Polecat. Quite an odd combination, really. But actually the bands play together quite often, and are good friends to boot. Peter Parker plays hyperactive, melodic pop, while Polecat punches pop in the face with its frenzied rock. Fairgrove keeps the emo high, but plays it with an earthy feel. How the three get along is beyond me, but friendship is a beautiful thing and I'm not one to argue with beauty. MEGAN SELING

LAURIE LEWIS & HER BLUEGRASS PALS
(Tractor Tavern) The only radio station I can listen to on my beat-down car stereo is NPR, which means that usually the only music I get to hear in my car is whatever hokey trash Garrison Keillor drags on to his deathly boring A Prairie Home Companion show. That's how I heard Laurie Lewis most recently, when she was a guest on his show, but for some reason, she didn't bug me like the rest. Maybe that's because I'd already heard about how she blew the cover off of gender roles in country by becoming a better fiddler (apparently, that's a man's job) than 99% of the men out there. Or maybe I just liked her for the same apolitical reasons you will tonight--she brings strong playing and singing that reaches across the border of country music to import and include the best elements of Tejano, blues, funk, and Cajun. NATHAN THORNBURGH

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