Friday 12/20 at Chop Suey

Wednesday 12/18

Capsula, Special Explosion

(El Corazón) This looks like the most interesting thing happening tonight: ornery, sexy, tuneful garage rock of Argentinian descent. The trio of Duchess (bass, vocals), Martin Guevara (guitar, vocals), and Natxo Solimo (drums, percussion) generate classic Stooges-esque swagger, epitomized by Guevara's Iggy-ish sneer and Ron Asheton–ic guitar musculature. One may also detect a fondness for Boss Hog, the short-lived band powered by Cristina Martinez and Jon Spencer, and Mexican freaks Los Dug Dug's. While they're far from original, Capsula do capture the visceral thrill of quick-reflexed, sinewy rock that's not allergic to melody. Bonus: Their repertoire includes a luminous, lambent cover of Black Sabbath's eerie psych ballad "Planet Caravan." DAVE SEGAL

Thursday 12/19

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, And the Kids, Red Jacket Mine

(Crocodile) Portland-residing Sallie Ford's amazing voice, sounding like it time-traveled through a scratchy 1950s portable radio, is the real star of this show. It's a rough, sass-mouthed croon that curls at times into a punkish-rockabilly shout. So recognizable, so familiar, but unique, too. The tickles and licks of bass, guitar, and drums behind her are smart and solid, shrinking and swelling from melody to noise, and the lyrics are badass. Sexy, feminist, strange. This is a perfect show for a winter night. ANNA MINARD See also Underage.

Judge Doug North, a Proponent of Diverting Non-Violent First-Time Offenders into Treatment Programs, is Endorsed by The Stranger
Click here to see what people are saying about Judge North.

Paid for by Committee to Reelect Judge North, P.O. Box 27113, Seattle, WA 98165

Nacho Picasso

(Neumos) Nacho Picasso has become some type of super-antihero to Seattle underground fans over the last few years, since his collaborative albums with production duo Blue Sky Black Death helped pioneer a new, much darker, and way more intoxicated wave of local rap in 2011 and 2012. Though trends come and go faster than ever these days and some naysayers have doubted Nacho's solo staying power, his new release, High & Mighty, is a backhanded slap to the face of all of them. Stepping up every aspect of his rapping, from his writing and punch lines to switching up styles and deliveries, Nacho half-cruises/half-shreds through 12 different-sounding tracks (everything from Bay Area "hyphy"/DJ Mustard "ratchet" bangers to syrupy Auto-Tune hooks can be found here) produced by a host of talent (notably including Jake One, Vitamin D, and Raised Byy Wolves), and it's more than enough to prove he's still the (lizard) king of local underground rap. MIKE RAMOS See also My Philosophy.

Bigtime, 3rd Degree, Dil Withers, Black Magic Noize, Vaughnilla

(Lo-Fi Performance Gallery) For fans of the crackling boom-bap of sorely missed producer J Dilla and/or beat wizard Madlib, Lo-Fi presents an evening of (mostly) instrumental hiphop goodness. Triscuits, Vaughnilla's latest release, sees the Kirkland producer in a subdued mode, all soulful vocal snippets and dusty breaks. Excellent mood music for the leafless trees and heavy skies this time of year. The mysterious Dil Withers weaves together tapestries of jazz, soul, and mean-mugging old-school rap. Headliners Bigtime are a bit more straightforward, favoring up-rocking electronic beats, sultry vocals, and nice-guy indie rap. This is an eclectic bill that's guaranteed to get your Kangol bopping. KYLE FLECK

Friday 12/20

RL Grime

(Neptune) See Data Breaker.

Motor IX: Pete Swanson, Chris Davis, TJ Max, DJ Slow

(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker and Stranger Suggests.

Mike Servito, DJ Struggle, DJ Energy Flash

(Re-bar) See Data Breaker.

X, the Blasters

(El Corazón) Even on their now-33-year-old debut records, X and the Blasters had deeper musical roots than their peers in the LA punk scene, with X powering their punk with rockabilly beats and deep folk harmonies, and the Blasters mining the golden intersection of rock 'n' roll and country & western. Now, they're the elder statespersons they started out emulating, and still kicking hard. Landing at El Corazón for two-night run, "A Family X-mas with X and the Blasters" finds both bands (who've shared a member or two over the years) banging out classics from their respective, vast, brilliant songbooks. DAVID SCHMADER

Scriptures, Kingdom of the Holy Sun, Hypatia Lake, House of Light

(Waid's) Tonight the Central District gets a heaping vat of Northwestern psych rock. Hypatia Lake and Scriptures have been dealing in epic, elemental songwriting/soundscaping for years, the former conjuring Mercury Rev–like expanses of space through deftly FX'd guitars and the latter forging a dustier brand of broad-shouldered, big-skied instrumental rock à la Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Newer Seattle group Kingdom of the Holy Sun just dropped their Surya's Smile II album, which reins in their more sprawling tendencies for a tighter, slightly sunnier take on psychedelia while still maintaining a serpentine grandeur. And, yes, vocalist Guido Anselmi sounds like Jim Morrison; get over (or under) it. Portland via Berlin and Melbourne's House of Light boast solid songwriting chops and trade in a surging, romantic strain of psych rock that recalls '80s stalwarts the Church and Echo and the Bunnymen. DAVE SEGAL

The Comettes, the Young Evils, the Hoot Hoots

(Tractor) The Comettes show promise in the new reverb-psych world in much the same way that the Black Angels did—by revisiting familiar themes without getting too nostalgic for what's already been done. Drummer Jettie Wilce rolls into their tom-heavy, icy psychedelic jams, while Farfisa master Timmy Sunshine's organ swells and grooves complement guitarist Sager Small's fuzzy, reverb-drenched shredding. There is a unique immediacy to their aural explorations; they manage to both reference previous psychedelic expeditions and somehow still break new ground. Seattle trio the Young Evils create sweet and tangy pop-rock nuggets, their ultra-catchy songs bursting with bubblegum/sunshine by way of twee punk: Think Elephant 6 vibes, in the best way possible. Every Young Evils song's a potential hit. BREE MCKENNA

Yogoman Burning Band, Guardian Alien, DJ Marc Muller

(Columbia City Theater) Yogoman Burning Band are all about upbeat, maximalist, horn-laden funk. Fronted by charisma-oozing vocalist/conductor/drummer Jordan Rain, the Bellingham-based collective are influenced by Jamaican rocksteady as well as the party-starting brass bands of New Orleans. The Burning Band allows no idle asses; booties must move. So uncross your arms and shake what your mama gave ya, all ye cool kids. KYLE FLECK

Saturday 12/21

Dancer and Prancer

(Rendezvous Grotto) See Stranger Suggests.

X, the Blasters

(El Corazón) See Friday.

He Whose Ox Is Gored, Grenades, Drunk Dad, Caligula

(Chop Suey) Despite them having the most hustle of any band in Seattle's cerebral underground metal scene, it's been over two years since we've heard any new He Whose Ox Is Gored recordings. But after listening to Ox's 2011 two-song Nightshade EP, one can easily understand that these kinds of songs don't come to fruition quickly. "Charming the Snake" and "Nightshade" feature the kind of textures, dynamics, and technical musicianship that require some serious hours in the practice space. The band is currently in the studio wrapping up mixes for its next full-length with Matt Bayles, whose past work with Mastodon and Isis makes a perfect match for Ox's combination of agile guitar work and layered ambience. Tonight's show commemorates the vinyl release of Nightshade and provides a sneak peek for material off the upcoming album. BRIAN COOK See also Sound Check.

Brain Fruit, Plankton Wat, Total Life, DJ Veins

(Machine House Brewery) Quite a heady lineup tonight for this newish Georgetown bar. You get Brain Fruit's kosmische synths-and-drums explorations, Total Life's Zen-noise drones, and the gentle-souled psychedelia of Plankton Wat (ex–Eternal Tapestry/Edibles guitarist Dewey Mahood). Plankton Wat draws on the powerful tributaries of the Grateful Dead's seemingly paradoxical pastoral/astral proclivities, but makes them more interiorized. His oracular, pretty songs evoke the feeling that you're in on a mystical secret that's only revealed through the vibrations of Mahood's pensively strummed and plucked guitar strings. Last but least, DJ Veins, who (full disclosure) is the fool writing this blurb. DAVE SEGAL

Rose Windows, Unnatural Helpers, Low Hums

(Neumos) Seattle's Rose Windows play hazy folk-psych that swirls and shifts like earth-toned kaleidoscopic images formed with ribbons of incense smoke. The band's seven members each bring heaps of talent to the table, from lead singer Rabia Qazi's deep and versatile voice to Veronica Dye's enchanting flute to Chris Cheveyo's songwriting, which mixes in sounds that hark back to mid-'60s San Francisco and the drug-tinged alterna-rock of the late 1980s. With the blistering sweat jams of the Unnatural Helpers and the desert drone rock of Low Hums. EMILY NOKES

The Physics, Tangerine, DJ Nick Beeba

(Crocodile) The Physics, one of the 206's leading hiphop acts for the past six years, have just released a new album called Digital Wildlife. The mode of this work is very mellow, very clean (in terms of production), and robotically romantic (in terms of mood), but it also does not break with their other releases—Tomorrow People, Love Is a Business, and Future Talk. True, there is an unusually large dose of singing on this recording (and one track, the lovely "Pay It Off," is all soul vocals), but as a whole, Digital Wildlife still sounds and feels like the other beats made by the talented trio of Thig Nat, Monk Wordsmith, and Justo. CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.

11th Annual Benefit Show for MUSICARES: Aaron Daniels, the Chasers, Robb Benson, Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme, and more

(Tractor) Don't you dare call any one of these bands and ask them to "put you on the list" for this night. Nearly all of the $10 you spend at the door goes directly to MusiCares, an amazing and much-needed safety net for musicians and people in the music biz—people who often have to work crappy jobs without dental or health insurance, so that they can take time off to tour and stay focused on making actual music. When a financial or medical emergency strikes, sometimes MusiCares is the only place that does care. It's a worthy cause. And these six bands/artists will perform Pink Floyd's album The Wall in its entirety, which is a damn worthy album. Everybody wins! KELLY O

Sunday 12/22

The Music of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'

(Royal Room) See Stranger Suggests.

Support The Stranger

Monday 12/23

Eagles and Aliens, Wildlife Indoors, Dead End Friends

(Crocodile) Listening to Eagles and Aliens is a little like sitting in on your friends' band practice: You're nodding your head encouragingly, but you sort of just want to play games on your phone. It's vaguely aggro, decently executed rock music, and that's pretty much it. More intriguing to these ears are the sounds of Wildlife Indoors, who traffic in spoken/sung, slightly shaggy post punk. Their track "Come to Your Door" could almost pass for Slint at points, which is no small praise. Newish Seattle duo Dead End Friend will open with their heavy yet harmonious combination of blues and classic rock. KYLE FLECK

Tuesday 12/24

McTuff Trio

(Seamonster Lounge) If you want organ-centric jazz for free (no free jazz, though), you can't do much better than Seattle's McTuff Trio. Led by Hammond organ maestro Joe Doria, McTuff also contain one of the region's most dexterous guitarists, Andy Coe, drummer Tarik Abouzied, and, sometimes, wild-card saxophonist Skerik. Along with Afrocop but in a bit more of straight-ahead manner than that younger group, McTuff Trio write alluringly malleable tunes, redolent of soul, ablaze with technical virtuosity, and often funky. And they do a radical reinvention of the Beatles' "She's So Heavy" that deserves a Nobel or something. They play Seamonster for free every Tuesday, so it's easy to take them for granted, but these guys would be a bargain at $20 a gig. DAVE SEGAL recommended

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