Saturday 12/31 at Crocodile

Wednesday 12/28

Portlandia: The Tour

(Showbox at the Market) See Stranger Suggests.

Black Cobra, Lozen, Dog Shredder, Bell Witch

(Highline) See Stranger Suggests.

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DJ Rama, Sho-nuph, Vape Ape, Ramiro, Sean Imagina

(Electric Tea Garden) See Data Breaker.

Lou-Lou, Truncas Delicatus

(Comet) Over the last few years, Seattle group Lou-Lou have consistently released handmade CD-Rs of charmingly disturbing electro-pop miniatures that sometimes come off like soundtracks for a children's TV show hosted by a post-legal-trouble Pee-wee Herman. Their latest album, Hopscotch, is simultaneously subtly sinister and weirdly naive, with recessive, cloudy hiphop genes. Truncas Delicatus is a new name to me, but the small sampling of the Seattle band's material I've heard intrigues with its lowercase microtone excursions. It's hard to translate infinitesimal sounds into fascinating music, but Truncas Delicatus succeed. They're a magnificent enigma—downright enigmagnificent. (I need a vacation... ) DAVE SEGAL

Special Explosion, Winnebago

(Crocodile back bar) Just last week the Crocodile started hosting shows in their back bar. Hooray! They put in a little stage and sound system, and they promise the cover will always be cheap (or nonexistent!), and some of the shows will even be all-ages. Good move, Croc! Tonight you should take advantage of their new little backroom setup by checking out Special Explosion, a fantastic local band of kids who are bringing back crunchy and fuzzy '90s NW pop. The band's latest song, "Lifeguard," is a guitar-driven ode to Built to Spill's Keep It Like a Secret era, while their other songs recall the Thermals, Peter Parker, and Kind of Like Spitting. They are SO GOOD. MEGAN SELING

Thursday 12/29

Sera Cahoone, Sons of Warren Oates, Jackrabbit

(Tractor) Sera Cahoone is the beloved Seattle musician who drummed for Carissa's Wierd and Band of Horses before establishing herself as a singer-songwriter with a gorgeous voice and a winning Americana songbook. If her performance at the recent Doe Bay Fest is any indication, her show tonight at the Tractor will feature selections from her forthcoming second Sub Pop release alongside old faves. Rounding out tonight's all-Americana bill: Maldives' offshoot Sons of Warren Oates and North Twin offshoot Jackrabbit. DAVID SCHMADER

Theories, Transient, Addaura, Scourge Schematic, Deathraid

Please note: Theories are no longer playing this show.

(Comet) Musicians inevitably try to outdo their forefathers. There was room to push things further for that generation of kids in the '80s attempting to trump classics like Venom's Welcome to Hell or Discharge's Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing. How low could they tune the guitars before their strings went slack? How fast could their drummer play without keeling over from exhaustion? Early grind bands achieved most of those extremes, with pioneers like Napalm Death and Carcass occasionally slipping into an indiscernible bombardment of sound. Where does the new generation go from here? For Seattle's Theories, the answer lies in an element of discipline to their punishing speed and severe instrumentation. Their songs are as ruthless as anything on Scum and Symphonies of Sickness but delivered with unmatched precision and clarity. BRIAN COOK

Reverend Horton Heat, Supersuckers, Redneck Girlfriend

(El Corazón) More than a decade ago, I saw Reverend Horton Heat in Vancouver, BC. He seemed to levitate around the stage, as if on wheels, all the while executing his expertly flawless psychobilly. Ten years later, despite having songs titled "Crooked Cigarette," "Liquor, Beer & Wine," "Gin & Tonic Blues," "Loaded Gun," and "Bales of Cocaine," dude is still touring heavily (I swear they just came through, like, last month), sometimes playing two-night stands (as is the case in Seattle). Based on this highly anecdotal and unscientific evidence, I propose a hypothesis: The 52-year-old Reverend, aka James C. Heath, "born" 1959 in Corpus Christi, Texas, is actually a properly functioning version of the punk-rock robot Mark E. Smith, only the reverend's insane/genius creator wants to bestow the gift of rockabilly and surf rock upon all mankind for eternity. GRANT BRISSEY

USF, Glitter Bang, Vox Mod, DJ Self Actualized

(Neumos) Local duo USF's October release, The Spray, is based on a Jonathan Lethem short story of the same name. Though less than 2,000 words, it provokes some heavy thoughts and emotions about relationships, memories, loss, and the impermanence of all things. Similarly, USF's lyricless album contains only a few distorted washes of samples, vocals, or synths programmed to sound like vocals, but the textures created with these blurred electronic instrumentals tug on the same wide range of feelings as Lethem's story. The Spray is a triumph on all fronts, but don't expect the whole show to be on some reflective standstill business—these guys still get down in a live setting. MIKE RAMOS

Friday 12/30

Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs, Kasey Anderson and the Honkies, Open Country Joy

(Tractor) See Stranger Suggests.

Pierced Arrows, Don't, Dude York, the Bermudas

(Funhouse) See preview.

NYE Bender: Treasure Fingers, Pezzner vs. Hanssen, Flat Black, BGeezy

(Neumos) See Data Breaker.

A Toast to Brandenburg: Seattle Baroque Orchestra

(Town Hall) After the stuff of a year has piled up in your system, you want to hear clean, crisp, cleansing baroque music. This is the music of Bach and Telemann. The anti-Tchaikovsky. The anti-Messiah, even. Every voice of every violin, flute, harpsichord, and recorder can be heard. Nothing clumps or jells, everything speaks declaratively. It will not only sound good, it will feel good. JEN GRAVES

Saturday 12/31

NYE Bender: John Tejada, Bit Funk, Lucine, Sean Majors vs. Gene Lee, Blondzie

(Neumos) See Data Breaker.

Metal Chocolates, Don't Talk to the Cops, Katie Kate, OC Notes

(Chop Suey) See feature.

Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa, Rose Windows, Master Musicians of Bukkake

(Black Lodge) See Underage.

Andre Nickatina, Eli aka Smoov-E, Mumbis, Mike P, Chillest Illest, DJ Prince

(Studio Seven) I haven't listened to Fillmoe legend Andre Nickatina since 2004's Bullets, Blunts N Ah Big Bankroll, which included a Last of the Mohicans–sampling beat, one of Mac Dre's last guest spots (RIP), and more of Nicky T's typically outlandish rhymes about cocaine, blunts, cocaine blunts, and liking/eating food items ranging from candied yams to spicy prawns. But judging from the sheer amount of kilos, Swishers, and stripper butts present in his latest video for "Call the Dealer," not much has changed for the 41-year-old formerly known as Dre Dog. Nickatina headlining this New Year's Eve show at Sodo's perfectly grimy Studio Seven can only mean that this will be one wild-ass night. Expect at least a few clenched jaws and sniffling noses in the crowd, and remember, kids: Don't do drugs that are harder than you. MIKE RAMOS

"The Rolling Stones," Night Beats, Country Lips

(Comet) At their best (from 1966 to 1973), the Rolling Stones were one of the greatest rock bands ever. (Now you know.) Seattle tribute band/supergroup "The Rolling Stones" have reached an exalted point where they've replicated their idols' swaggering panache, lubricious groove mechanics, and melodic bonhomie so well that even Mick and Keith would have to recognize their mastery. Know this: In 2011, "The Rolling Stones" at least equal the real deal. Speaking of swaggering panache, local garage-sike zealots Night Beats almost do for 13th Floor Elevators' debut album what tonight's headliners do for the Stones. But they do it with true-believer fire and they originate from Texas, like Roky and company, so it's cool. Country Lips? I see what you did there. DAVE SEGAL

Starfucker, Champagne Champagne, special guests

(Crocodile) At the very least, Starfucker cover Madonna's "Burning Up" with more finesse and sincerity than Ciccone Youth. Thankfully, there's more to the Portland group than that modest feat. They've worked their way up to near the top of the modern electro-pop heap with lovingly contoured, sugar-spun ditties that beguile with a kind of effortless tunefulness. Leader Joshua Hodge's breathy near-falsetto wafts above buoyant songs that never mean any harm but rather only wish to charm and disarm. Starfucker's shiny moodiness makes for archetypal, contemplative dance songs geared for folks born in the '90s. DAVE SEGAL

Sunday 1/1

Racer Sessions with Tari Nelson-Zagar

(Cafe Racer) See Underage.

Monday 1/2

If you can find a duller day in 2012 than this, please notify us posthaste.

Support The Stranger

Tuesday 1/3

Taco Tuesday: Guest DJs

(Wildrose) For a long stretch, when Jodi Ecklund was booking punk acts at the Wildrose, it was one of the best places to see shows on a weekend. All the dipshits who swarm the block on weekends were afraid of lesbians, so they compacted themselves in all the surrounding bars, leaving Wildrose blissfully unscathed. Sharlese Jul-anetia Metcalf, of KEXP and general radness notoriety, still books shows there sporadically (next one: 1/14 Vox Mod and Glitterbang). But everything in this blurb that precedes this sentence speaks nothing of Taco Tuesday, where the delicious tacos are $1, and lesbians are nothing to be afraid of, unless you're a dipshit. GRANT BRISSEY

Encourager, guests

(Funhouse) Comparing a band to Weezer in 2011 is a risky move, considering most of their recent efforts have been cringeworthy at best, but in all reality, local quintet Encourager bring to mind all the quirky eccentricities that made us fall in love with the once-great geek rockers—the clever lyrics, the undeniable hooks, and, y'know, the geekiness. Some of Encourager's songs are more straightforward pop punk than others—think early Saves the Day meets the Ataris. So if it's depth and originality you're seeking, look elsewhere. But checking out Encourager is well worth your time if you're down for an evening of nostalgic '90s emo-ternative catchiness. KEVIN DIERS