Thursday–Saturday 12/26–28 at Neumos

Wednesday 12/25

Bloodlust: DJs Gin & Tonic

(Pony) I've not been to Pony's Bloodlust night, which happens every last Wednesday, but it looks intriguing. Hosted by DJs Gin & Tonic (a hail of booze for those names), Bloodlust spotlights "goth, synthpop, industrial, and deathdisko." Of course, with any genre, only about 10 to 15 percent of it is great, so let's hope Gin & Tonic will rigorously zero in on the killer cuts from those styles. And if they're taking requests, may I suggest something from Patrick Cowley's recently unearthed School Daze (Dark Entries), a collection of sinister gay-porn soundtrack music? Play the whole damn thing—there's not a bum cut on it. Bonus for you drinkers: Happy hour lasts all night. DAVE SEGAL

22nd Annual Port Townsend Film Festival - Virtual! Streaming Sep 23 - Oct 3, 2021.
80+ films, filmmaker interviews, & special events. 10 days of on-demand independent film. Passes On Sale Now!

Thursday 12/26

Built to Spill, Erik Blood, The Apostophes, Bankrobber

(Neumos) While fact-checking Trent Moorman's recent interview with Built to Spill's original-and-now-current guitarist Brett Netson, I accidentally listened to BTS for an entire day. I say "accidentally" because BTS has always been BEBM (Boring-Ex-Boyfriend Music) to me—the high-ish voice, the never-ending riffage, the trudging similarity of it all, the exes who loved it... But in the privacy of my own headphones, while reading up on these shaggy indie titans, I think I finally understood some of it—you just have to be in the right mood, and BAM, the hooks hook you and you're nostalgic for memories that never even happened. Someone told me the perfect BTS setting is blaring the second or fourth album while chugging a gallon of wine while your friend drives you through the countryside, and I believe it. Who's in? EMILY NOKES

Friday 12/27

Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band

(Jazz Alley) See Monday.

Built to Spill, La Luz, The Apostophes, Bankrobber

(Neumos) See Thursday.

Black Breath, Paralyzer, Old Skin, Countdown to Armageddon

(Crocodile) It felt like there was a brief moment in Black Breath's career when everyone in the Seattle region with even the slightest appreciation for metal embraced their punkish appropriation of Slayer's relentless thrash and Dismember's deathly chug, yet the band was virtually unknown outside of a 100-mile radius. This meant that you could watch Black Breath unleash their fury in local holes-in-the-wall on a regular basis. But as is often the case with Seattle's local heroes, the secret was short-lived, and now Black Breath spend a sizable chunk of the year bashing it out in different hemispheres. That absence makes this show an extra-special, if somewhat belated, Christmas gift to Seattle's Black Breath fans—an overdue dose of blasphemy and brutality to counteract the festive holidays. BRIAN COOK

The Dusty 45s, Zoe Muth, the Swearengens, Miller & Sasser

(Tractor) One would like to think the Swearengens adopted their name from Al Swearengen, the legendarily profane brothel owner from HBO's dearly missed Deadwood, but alas, their music is a rather polite blend of organ-dusted country and Springsteen-leaning road-trip rock. The Dusty 45s are a bit less polished, occasionally incorporating "Ring of Fire"–esque trumpets to liven up their relatively straightforward compositions. You could almost see them playing behind chicken wire, bottles of cheap beer smashing against it as they rock ever onward—high praise for a bar band. Zoe Muth may steal the show, however, with her lilting, farmer's-daughter-next-door voice and alternately melancholy and joyous country tunes. KYLE FLECK

Saturday 12/28

Duke Ellington's Sacred Music

(Town Hall) See Stranger Suggests.

Built to Spill, La Luz, The Apostophes, Bankrobber

(Neumos) See Thursday.

Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band

(Jazz Alley) See Monday.


(Neptune) GO SEE REIGNWOLF!!! DO IT NOW!!! I'm sorry to yell at you, but this is just how it is. If you've managed to see this freak before, you know what's up. If you haven't: We recommend musicians all the time with all sorts of adjectives and metaphors and sometimes the use of the word "sonic." It's hard, then, to say, "This one is an exceptional recommendation, more so than the others!" But this one just is. Trust me! There's something special about Reignwolf—something in his eyes, his sweat, his guitar-shredding, his hairdo. Once in your life, you have to go see a local Wolverine-looking guy impregnate a whole crowd with his sex eyes and then toss a still-playing electric guitar onto the drum set with a crash and walk right the fuck offstage. You just do. ANNA MINARD

Marc Seales Group

(Tula's) Instead of hearing from me, let's hear from a real jazz musician, D'Vonne Lewis (he is a drummer and the founder of Industrial Revelation), about local jazz pianist Marc Seales (he is a professor of jazz piano at the University of Washington): "I knew of him when I was at Roosevelt High School because I used to write poetry with his daughter, Maddie Seales—I was the poet laureate in high school. But Marc was one of the few black musicians I knew of back then. He played with Don Lanphere, a saxophonist, and the New Stories Trio. And Maddie used to talk about her dad all the time. I eventually learned that he was interested in playing with me. So one day, he called me and also Evan Flory-Barnes up, and it was cool. I did not know his style, but his program turned out to be easy. He was like: Just go with it. He was into the groove. He liked my groove, and we have been playing ever since. He is one my of favorite piano players." CHARLES MUDEDE

Bad Tats, Boss Martians, the Crap, Acapulco Lips, Terman Shanks, Dirty Sidewalks, Back Stabbing Romeos

(Lo-Fi) Holy jeez, it's not often you get seven bands on one bill. Most crazy to my eyeballs, though, is seeing the Boss Martians in this lineup. I haven't seen them play since ye ol' olden days, the late '90s/early '00s, when we still had the Gibson House and you could still ride your skateboard down to Fallout and buy some records. I'm not sure how continuously Boss Martians have remained active since forming in Seattle in 1995, but recently they announced that they're rereleasing their song "Mars Is for Martians" on a new, limited-edition vinyl. Why should you remember or care about that track? Dude. They wrote and recorded it with Iggy Pop. KELLY O

Sunday 12/29

Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band

(Jazz Alley) See Monday.

Monday 12/30

Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band

(Jazz Alley) Poncho Sanchez is a legendary conga player who's been in the game for nigh on four decades, both in support of other groups and leading his own eponymous band. One of the tightest ensembles around, Poncho's Latin Jazz Band play a refined yet effortless-seeming set, with the occasional stunning solo: Seriously, you have never seen a percussion instrument played the way Sanchez plays that conga. Given Seattleites' need for brain-vacations this time of year, this show cannot be recommended highly enough. Monday concludes their initial four-night stint at Jazz Alley; tomorrow the band plays an extra-special New Year's Eve gig. KYLE FLECK

Tuesday 12/31

"The Rolling Stones," Country Lips, Pony Time

(Tractor) See Stranger Suggests.

Cock & Bull

(Re-bar) Produced and hosted by the guys behind the video extravaganza Collide-O-Scope, Cock & Bull is Re-bar's "freaky fun party for queer dudes and their friends." Historically, the crowd is a mix of stoner bears, gender warriors, and fun-loving lesbians, all of whom are refreshingly game to hit the dance floor. Tonight's special NYE Cock & Bull will feature sets from celebrity "she-jays" Ro and Queen Mookie, the latter of whom has proclaimed, "It is my duty as a disco shaman to be an example of frivolity elevated to a spiritual level." Bonus: entrancing video projections and Jell-O shots! DAVID SCHMADER


(Neumos) Portland's Starfucker PYRAMID Pyramiddd STRFKR avoided becoming flash-in-the-pan indie stars and survived a brief name-change dispute by releasing solid, shimmering electro-pop albums Reptilians in 2011 and Miracle Mile earlier this year, cementing their status as heavyweights of the Greater Northwest's music climate. That's all fine and good on record, but in a live setting their synth/bass-heavy feel-good jams take on an even more party-friendly, everybody-get-down identity. It's not that surprising that their talents have been enlisted to rock back-to-back nights at one of Seattle's most popular venues, one on New Year's Eve eve and one on the real thing. There simply aren't many other bands from the area better suited for providing a soundtrack to a mass of drunken revelers dancing their respective asses off than these guys. MIKE RAMOS

Support The Stranger

The Black Angels, La Luz

(Moore) The Black Angels' music has always come off as something like psych-rock 101. While they have a solid discography in the Velvet Underground/13th Floor Elevators/Doors style, which has become a default mode for a lot of psych groups, the Black Angels never conjure the delirium and otherness that the greatest psych artists achieve. These Texans too closely adhere to psychedelia's dog-eared manual rather than forging new pathways to aural transcendence. They may be (figuratively) tripping, but they've always got one hand on the reins. Don't get me wrong: The Black Angels are a very good band, probably more enjoyable than 79 percent of the groups working today. But they could stand to fire all of their guns at once and explode into space once in a while. DAVE SEGAL

Andre Nickatina, Cool Nutz, Neema, Ace Gamble

(Studio Seven) If ringing in the New Year clad in dress clothes and surrounded by velvet ropes isn't really your thing, look no further than Sodo's seedy Studio Seven—quickly becoming home to one of underground Seattle's biggest New Year's Eve traditions thanks to SF coke-rap veteran Andre Nickatina. Though Nicky T is 43 years old now and has been going hard since his 1993 Dre Dog debut, The New Jim Jones, he hasn't slowed down nor sold out, and is still cranking out drugged-out, G'd-up, Bay Area mob-music bangers that in no way sound outdated. His latest self-titled album features fellow veterans (Mac Mall, Messy Marv, Richie Rich) and rising newcomers (100s, Problem), gangster-movie-worthy amounts of drugs, guns and women, and more G.O.A.T. food punch lines... FILLMOE. MIKE RAMOS