Fly Moon Royalty's Last Dance, Freakout Festival, The Classical Soul of Motown New Year's Eve Show, And More Picks For The Whole Month
by Stranger Things To Do Staff
December means more than just the beginning of the holiday season—in Seattle, excellent live music shows fill the whole month, and, luckily, many of them still have tickets available. See below for concerts that you should buy tickets for now, before they sell out—including the Seattle Symphony's Classical Soul of Motown New Year's Eve show, Snoop Dogg's Puff Puff Pass Tour, and the Freakout Festival 2016.
1. CRX, Dead Heavens, Streets of Laredo
Nick Valensi of The Strokes set out on his own after that band splintered, and opened up his own sludge-dive rock outfit. Leading the band on guitar, Valensi strikes a balance between ambitious stadium rock and behind-the-bleachers sex appeal. CRX will be joined by Dead Heavens and Streets of Laredo.
2. Studio 4/4: Paco Osuna
Spanish DJ/producer Paco Osuna has recorded for some of the world’s top techno labels, including Richie Hawtin’s Plus 8 and M_nus, so he’s a perfect fit for the Studio 4/4 weekly’s emphasis on highbrow high times. Serving as a resident jock at Hawtin’s ENTER night at Space Ibiza and other venues worldwide hasn’t hurt Osuna’s rep as a master of euphoric yet cerebral jams, either. As a DJ, Osuna favors minimal tracks that make you feel as if you’ve ingested a few hits of clean acid. As a producer, Osuna cranks up the lysergic intensity even more, as evidenced by his 2014 album, Long Play for M_nus, and his Amigos EPs with fellow psychonauts like Alex Under and Daniel Sanchez. Let’s hope he drops in some cuts from them tonight. DAVE SEGAL
3. Roy Hargrove Quintet
Trumpeter Roy Hargrove, appearing with saxophonist Justin Robinson, bassist Ameen Saleem, drummer Quincy Phillips, and pianist Sullivan Fortner, sometimes starts a set out with slow, low, murmuring discussion between instruments. And the deeply mystical jazz musicians believe, at least, that they can talk on their horns—which, given their affinity for one another and serving, so to speak, in the trenches with one another, I wouldn’t doubt. The band expands this aesthetic, though, so as to keep speaking through more conventional selections—things that sound like bebop, mournful soul, sad lyricism, frenetic testifying—all caught up in the concept of conversation. Since they number five, such conversation must feature complications. And it’ll go on for a while. ANDREW HAMLIN
4. Aurora with Foreign Air
Sprightly Scandinavian singer Aurora will haunt the Showbox with a night of dark, electronica-tinged pop music, and will be joined by Foreign Air.
5. Benjamin Francis Leftwich with Lydia Ramsey
Benjamin Francis Leftwich not only has an incredible given name, but also the haunting vocals and delicate musicianship of a true UK blue-eyed-soul baby.
6. Cathedrals XV
The most important thing to do in the aftermath of the presidential election is to admit publicly and privately that we live within a system of white supremacy and begin organizing ways of protecting ourselves, our loved ones, and all marginalized groups against the violent bigotry heavily present in our government and communities. But after all that, you should really undertake some self-care. Cathedrals, the series, enables listeners to peacefully experience music of complex purity in the majestic cave that is Saint Mark’s Cathedral. In this iteration, heavenly harmonic pop outfit Lemolo headline, with crisply meditative layers provided by roughly hewn chamber-pop ensemble Loch Lomond, and bowed-neck, electro-synth duo NAVVI. Go get your relaxation on, then wake up and keep fighting. KIM SELLING
7. An Evening with Chris Robinson Brotherhood
The Black Crowes have never meant much to me, but their blown-out blues rock is adequate enough. Now that Southern band's lead singer, Chris Robinson, has a side project, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and the wild, gorgeous cover art for the 2012 companion albums The Magic Door and Big Moon Ritual suggest he's given free rein to his psychedelic inner child. If only the music were as far-freakin'-out as Alan Forbes's extravagant design, we might be talking serious tripping material. But, no. This music is more earthbound than it is interstellar. Still, CRB occasionally catch a wave of inspiration and pick out a lovely melody of Jerry Garcia–esque mellifluousness, and Robinson and Neal Casal's guitars sometimes trigger thoughts of the transitive nightfall of diamonds. DAVE SEGAL
8. Kamasi Washington
I’m certainly not a dyed-in-the-wool, vetted-by-the-vets jazz head—but I know me a little bit. Such as the fact that the three-hour 2015 album The Epic, from Los Angeles saxophonist Kamasi Washington (with his longtime West Coast Get Down partners), is revelatory, a continuum-straddling spiritual-jazz homecoming, awake for staid conformity and expectations. Watching the album’s live hometown debut on YouTube—do yourself a favor this afternoon or evening and check it out—you’ll see that the collective energy on display is profound. If you’ve been listening to some of the most innovative black music coming out of LA over the past couple years, some of that was already palpable—whether peeping the stylistic breadth of Terrace Martin, the bold funkonauticisms of Thundercat, or hearing them all come together on the biggest rap album of last year, To Pimp a Butterfly. Even though there’s supposed to be a drought, the incredibly rich musical tradition of the city just pours out—and Kamasi represents a high-water mark. Dive on in. LARRY MIZELL JR.
9. The Pretty Reckless, Holy White Hounds, Them Evils
Gutter rockers The Pretty Reckless will drag you to hell and back with their divey snarls and bluesy gnashing of teeth. If you can see through the blonde hurricane, you'll catch a sighting of Gossip Girl's Little J somewhere within. They'll be joined by Holy White Hounds and Them Evils.
10. Cathedrals XVI: Damien Jurado, Paris Alexa, Kirsten Wenlock
The last time I saw Damien Jurado play, it was to a wine-sipping, charcuterie-munching crowd at a vineyard in California. Despite the glorious weather and picturesque setting, Jurado was not having it. Backstage, he kept to himself, in the shade, and onstage, he expressed his disdain for the California sun and his love for Seattle’s gloom. Jurado is not Seattle nice, but that’s not what makes his performances engaging. While he’s most associated with his spare acoustic songs of interior life, his latest work—Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, another collaboration with producer Richard Swift—is far more kaleidoscopic, delving into groovy, psychedelic, orchestrated pop. The consistent factor: Jurado’s ability to transport you to someplace sublime. KATHLEEN RICHARDS
11. Pere Ubu, Obnox, SSDD
Those early Pere Ubu singles from the mid to late 1970s—plus 1978’s The Modern Dance and Dub Housing—constitute some of the most bracing rock humankind has ever mustered. Coming from the ecologically challenged city of Cleveland, the inferiority complex capital of America, singer-songwriter David Thomas and company forged a postapocalyptic sound that carried industrial decay in its DNA and made desolation and dejection rock you like a hurricane. Their sonic and lyrical Dadaist panic exploded hearts of darkness with an attack that often inverted rock’s clichés to stunning effect. Obnox—led by the prolific dynamo Lamont Thomas—are worthy torch-carriers for Pere Ubu’s foundation-toppling rock. While Thomas made a rep as a badass drummer for raunch-rockers Bassholes, with Obnox he slashes out hedonistic guitar distortion and sings with a ferocious authority that makes most vocalists seem mealy-mouthed. Obnox represent a new punk-soul zenith. DAVE SEGAL
12. Popnoise Festival NW
Popnoise Festival NW—which has thrived in several US cities—comes to Seattle, verifying our town’s voracious appetite for shoegaze, dream pop, psych rock, and other variants of head music. The event spotlights the dreamier, more ethereal end of rock, and right now, temporary escapism from America’s political horrors is quite welcome. Helping to elevate minds out of our Trump-induced nightmare are Philadelphia MBV acolytes Panophonic, brilliant Portland hazemongers Vibrissae, krautrock-informed ’gazers Red Martian (who often perform as a Kraftwerk tribute band), tranquil drifters somesurprises, chillwave-inflected charmers Little Child Man, and savvy selector DJ Retina Burn of Neon Sigh Records. DAVE SEGAL
13. The Del McCoury Band
Over the past 50 years, Del McCoury’s bluegrass has impressed many prominent musicians, including Vince Gill, Richard Thompson, Fish, and Elvis Costello. Catch McCoury's band at the Triple Door and see why he's still making fans.
14. Silver & Soul
Seattle Men's Chorus will celebrate this season with their annual holiday concert, an evening of beloved carols, gospel harmonies, and musical classics to keep you warm this winter.
15. Chris Mitchell Presents Let It Snow
Grammy-nominated saxophonist Chris Mitchell has a genre-spanning repertoire of jazz standards, big band tunes, and smooth R&B hits. I Found Forever, his latest album, features a collection of romantically woven bossa nova jazz. In "Let It Snow," he'll use these talents to interpret holiday favorites.
16. Justin Townes Earle with Jason Dodson
The son of country-rock singer/force-of-nature Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle named his last album Absent Fathers to make us laugh, but it’s not (only) a laughing matter. He sounds slippery-syllabled, and more than anything else, tired. He’s mournful; pondering the delicious failures of his past seems the only way to fashion any kind of present. But his songs are all beautifully depressing, at least. That brand of depressing it’s tempting to hide within. Jason Dodson from the Maldives sounds more conventionally rueful. Not lugubrious sad, not slippery-sad, just matter-of-fact sad. With wit. With a keen eye to telling details. This should make for some subtle but fascinating contrasts. ANDREW HAMLIN
17. Petra Haden and Jesse Harris
For those tuning in late, Petra Haden—one of the famous Haden triplets—transmogrified “Don’t Stop Believin’” into a multitracked a cappella affirmation of everything right with the world, and threw in a video for same depicting a love story between a pocket calculator and a fried egg. She’s recorded an a cappella cover of the entire The Who Sell Out LP and a similar album of classic movie themes. Here she’ll gig with singer-songwriter Jesse Harris (himself a twin). YouTube samples seem to promise haunted-space excursions into eerie psyches, summoned by Haden’s violin. Hie thee thither! But don’t expect to rub shoulders with the pocket calculator or even a fried egg. ANDREW HAMLIN
18. Bell Witch, Aerial Ruin, Eos, Serpentent
It’s strange to think that metal has spent much of its tenure in pop culture enduring attacks by critics for being ephemeral, sophomoric, or formulaic. In 2017, metal seems to be the last bastion of rock music that isn’t afraid to take potentially alienating chances. Metalheads are eager to be challenged. This could explain the overwhelming international praise heaped upon Seattle’s funeral-doom duo Bell Witch. Last year’s Four Phantoms was an exercise in tension, austerity, and patience, with each of the album’s four tracks blooming into fetid splendor at the torporific pace of a corpse flower. With an arsenal limited to drums and an adroitly manipulated six-string bass, Bell Witch weave mournful catharsis and animalistic malice into masterfully protracted elegies. BRIAN COOK
19. Deck the Hall Ball
Radio station 107.7 ("The End") presents a stacked lineup including Empire of the Sun, The Head and the Heart, Jimmy Eat World, Phantogram, Band of Horses, Glass Animals, Coin, and My Goodness.
20. Jim James with Twin Limb
Louisville, Kentucky, mountain man Jim James (aka Yim Yames) has an unassailable transcendentalism about him. He's rootsy and Zen, and he has a resonant, yodel-throated mine shaft of a singing voice. With James's first solo full-length, Regions of Light and Sound of God, the My Morning Jacket frontman has become a bit of a Southern mystic. His songs swim through expansively altered folk and gospel, each possessing its own calm, rich, tidal sensation. TRENT MOORMAN
21. Lee Fields & The Expressions with Lady Wray
I don’t think you could do much better on any given Tuesday night than getting down with Mr. Lee Fields, one of the last soul singers from way back still dialed in and still pushing. And he’s currently touring the world in support of his new LP, Special Night. Uh, the album is fucking GREAT, full of deep soul groovers in the Dan Penn/Muscle Shoals vein, some of his mid-tempo funk action, and the anthem “Make the World.” Every song on here only reassures me that Fields’s lamp is lit with lightning. Also on board tonight is Lee’s labelmate, Lady Wray (aka Nicole Wray), who’ll be singing some of the sweet soul tunes off her killer late summer LP, Queen Alone. MIKE NIPPER
22. Charlie Hunter Quartet
Innovative writer and bandleader Charlie Hunter is widely considered an authority on the seven and eight-string guitar, and will showcase his practiced abilities with his quartet in this two-night set.
23. The Dandy Warhols with Telegram
The Dandy Warhols feel like a relic from another era (the early 2000s), in a music scene where detached coolness was valued over vulnerability and "hipster" was a socially acceptable insult to throw around. They're kind of difficult for me to listen to now, the way it's hard to look at someone you had a brief, ill-advised crush on before you got to know them and realized that they were, in fact, all wrong for you. The garage-y, sometimes psychedelic rock band has that off-putting excess-celebrating rock-star swagger (chronicled in the 2004 documentary Dig! that pits them against the Brian Jonestown Massacre), as frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor purses his lips and croons about such deep matters as horse pills and getting off. But still. The band's hits are undeniably catchy, and while I'll cringe a little at the lyrics, I can't help feeling the sing-along power of "Bohemian Like You" and that Veronica Mars theme song whenever they come on. ROBIN EDWARDS
24. Christmas Traditions
For the eighth year, the Northwest University Concert and Chamber Choirs and Coro Amici, joined by the Kirkland Civic Orchestra, present Christmas Traditions, a concert that brings together holiday classics, carol arrangements, and sing-alongs for the whole family.
25. Gill Landry of Old Crow Medicine Show with Guests
Louisiana singer-songwriter Gill Landry, previously of Old Crow Medicine Show, will present a night of musical storytelling, weaving together tales of the South with new American mythology.
26. Nightmares on Wax with Romare
Seattle sure loves Nightmares on Wax. The UK tropical funkateers seem to play here at least once a year, roaming through their 25 years of catalog on Warp Records with the sort of laidback head-nod fodder that’s instant sonic sunshine for our Vitamin D-deprived souls. DAVE SEGAL
27. Puff Puff Pass Tour Part 2: Snoop Dogg with Guests
Experience a whole evening of hiphop and pot-related puns with Snoop Dogg at the Neptune, joined by scene veterans Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound, and DJ Quik.
28. The Cave Singers with Ole Tinder and Acapulco Lips
Seattle twang gang the Cave Singers are performing five albums deep now that they've drop their latest disc, Banshee. Throughout their run, they’ve been able to tweak their style enough to separate themselves from the last decade’s mega-folk wave. 2013’s Naomi found them serving their formerly rough pastoral sounds sunny side up, and the band’s two most recent singles mark an even sharper departure. “Christmas Night” is a tambourine-laced romper, and “That’s Why” sounds a bit like Norman Greenbaum’s chugging 1969 hit “Spirit in the Sky.” TODD HAMM
29. Freakout Festival 2016
Rising new Seattle label Freakout Records, in conjunction with KEXP’s Audioasis and City Arts, makes the holiday season more exciting with a two-night encroachment into the hot quartet of venues near Madison and 14th Avenue (Chop Suey, Pony, Bar Sue, LoveCityLove). The emphasis is on left-of-center rock that revels in the raunchy, noisy, reverb-y, and deeply spacey, although DoNormaal leans in to rep experimental hiphop. Among the 24 acts, highlights include Stranger Genius Erik Blood, Murder City Devils frontman Spencer Moody, baroque post punks Zen Mother, Day-Glo brat punks Mommy Long Legs, and Cali garage-rock shredders Melted. (Full disclosure: I’m DJing the fest’s first night.) DAVE SEGAL
30. Average White Band
Forty-four years after their formation, the Average White Band remain the finest funk-and-R&B band ever to hail from Dundee, Scotland. After dazzling the world with their honky-funk chops on the 1974 hit “Pick Up the Pieces,” AWB kept on plying their singular trade, swapping out members as the decades passed (with Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre the only original members still in the lineup) and becoming the type of music-biz lifers whose Wikipedia entry contains sentences like this: “Gorrie also overdosed, but Cher kept him conscious until medical help arrived.” Now it’s the 21st century, and AWB are still at it, but even if they’d stopped, they’d still be part of the culture, thanks to the prolific sampling of their work by the Beastie Boys, TLC, Too $hort, Ice Cube, Eric B. & Rakim, Nas, and A Tribe Called Quest. DAVID SCHMADER
31. Matmos with Jeff Carey
Experimental electronics duo Matmos have unpredictability way down in their DNA, but they can also be counted on for their conceptual ambition, sonic adventurousness, and spectacular live performances. On previous albums, the duo of Drew Daniel and M. C. Schmidt have confined themselves to working with only audio samples of plastic surgery or all analog synthesizers, or to making albums about the Civil War or subversive pop historical figures. ERIC GRANDY
32. Holiday Pops
Broadway star Nicole Parker, acclaimed conductor Stuart Chafetz, and the University of Washington Chorale headline a program of holiday favorites.
33. Clinton Fearon & the Boogie Brown Band, Dub Lounge International, 3J Million
Revered reggae icon Clinton Fearon plays a Nectar set with his full band, and support from Dub Lounge International and 3J Million.
34. Jonathan Biss
The "unerringly sophisticated" pianist Jonathan Biss will perform his own patented program known as “The Late Style,” which explores the late works of Beethoven, Brahms, and Kurtag.
35. Kidz Bop Kids
The Kidz Bop Kids, tiny tyrants of tot-friendly pop, rock, and hiphop, are here to rev up your preteens. See them live before they get their own Disney Channel show.
36. Ryan Caraveo, Jarv Dee, Nick Weaver, DJ Just Jordan
Slightly brotastic but not egregiously so, Caraveo puts words together in a fashion that sounds confident and cool. LARRY MIZELL JR.
37. (Stash) Pot Shop's Second Annual Very Legal Holiday Party
Celebrate two whole years of (Stash) Pot Shop's legal holiday bacchanalia with live music from Seattle's rap scene golden boy Porter Ray, EMI, Isabella Du Graf, Jamie Blake, and Dave B. There will probably also be a shit ton of pot.
38. Rooney, Royal Teeth, SWIMM
Rooney's harmless retro-rock sounds like the Strokes if they'd cut their teeth playing beach parties, whereas solo, Schwartzman indulges in more ELO-styled keyboard and synth flourishes. JACKSON HATHORN
39. Stevie Nicks with The Pretenders
Ultimate white witch Stevie Nicks takes over KeyArena for a night of classic pop, rock, and dark folk hits penned throughout decades of pop culture queendom, with an opening set from Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders.
40. An Evening with Toh Kay
Tomas of Streetlight Manifesto headlines at the Showbox as Toh Kay on his Return to the Campfire Tour for a night of acoustic power folk.
41. DoNormaal, Kirt Debique, Ephraim Nagler
The local rapper of the moment creates a transporting sonic landscape. She’s plumbing the depths of her own brain and the expanse of the cosmos on a voyage through purple nebulae and synapses. “I don’t belieeeeeeeeeeve what’s in my miiiiiiiiiiiind,” she moans on “50 Jasper Horses,” the most haunting track on her excellent debut LP, Jump or Die. You’d be wise to follow DoNormaal wherever this journey is taking her. ANGELA GARBES
42. In Flames, HELLYEAH, From Ashes To New, Source
When people tell you they're fans of Swedish metal band In Flames, it’s often followed by the words, “the old stuff.” It’s almost unfair, as the band set the bar so incredibly high with three back-to-back classics, The Jester Race, Whoracle, and Colony. It was almost impossible to continue on with this flawless streak. So instead of retracing their old steps, back in the early 2000s, In Flames shifted sounds dramatically and introduced electronic elements, catchier hooks, cleaner vocals, and simpler riffs—all things that appealed to a much wider mainstream audience, but alienated their once rabid underground-metal diehards. KEVIN DIERS
43. The Irish Tenors' Holiday Concert
Ronan Tynan, Anthony Kearns, and Finbar Wright together are the Irish Tenors, a world-renowned vocal group who will perform holiday classics and traditional pieces from the Emerald Isle. Proceeds from this show go to benefit the programs and services of Ballard NW Senior Center.
44. Mike Stern Band with Dave Weckl, Bob Franceschini & Tom Kennedy
Esteemed solo guitarist Mike Stern will be joined by Dave Weckl, Bob Franceschini, and Tom Kennedy for a night of complex jazz harmonies and bluesy string-bending.
45. The Album Leaf with Rituals of Mine
Soft-spoken post-rock instrumentalist project The Album Leaf will play a roster of songs reaching back to their 1999 formation, with an opening set from Rituals of Mine.
46. An Intimate Evening with Citizen Cope
Long-time touring musician Citizen Cope will treat his most ardent of fans to an intimate evening of his greatest hits in celebration of his album Clarence Greenwood Recordings, which this year will hit its ten-year anniversary mark.
47. Robert Glasper Experiment
In our day and age, you cannot be a great jazz pianist without putting your name, your style, your intellectual brilliance on a common pop tune. For the wizard Brad Mehldau, it is Radiohead’s “Exit Music (for a film).” For the innovator Vijay Iyer, it is Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.” For the genius Robert Glasper, it is none other than Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Glasper, who was born in Houston and is based in New York, is a pianist whose art is somewhere between peak Herbie Hancock (1960s to early 1970s) and the last important hiphop producer J Dilla (he died in 2006). With Glasper, hiphop and classical jazz fuse into something that sounds unforced and feels natural. That is not an easy thing to do.
48. The Residency Hosted By Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
This past summer, 40 young Seattleites participated in an intensive residency program to develop their skills as musicians and leaders. Those same kids now take the stage as musicians confident in their craft. Hosted by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the evening will be punctuated by performances from emerging local hip hop acts West Hell, Munkbizz, One2 & Koga Shabazz, and Vic Daggs II.
49. Sweater Beats, PELL, Different Sleep
Renowned producers, DJs, and electro-composers Sweater Beats, PELL, and Different Sleep take over Neumos for a night of dance music and house/R&B blends.
50. Tacocat, Boyfriends, Connie & The Precious Moments, Dancer & Prancer
In the case of Tacocat, the familiarity of melodic pop songs cut with some element of punk something has been a massively useful framework for containing the humor, creativity, and expressive zeal that explodes out of the band's every gesture like thermal energy out of sparklers. If their 2014 album NVM found their songs catching up with their band-ness, the new record, Lost Time, shows them taking the essential next step of allowing their grasp of the punky pop song form to get a little looser, weirder, more eccentric. SEAN NELSON
51. Sweet Honey In The Rock
Since 1973, Sweet Honey In The Rock has established itself as an ambassadorial African American organization founded on "the triumvirate missions of empowerment, education and entertainment." It also happens to be a vibrant and powerful musical collective and performance ensemble, consisting of an all-female a cappella vocal quartet with American Sign Language interpreter Shirley Childress and featured musician Romeir Mendez on upright acoustic bass and electric bass.
52. Cash Cash
Drums and bass-obsessed DJ three-piece Cash Cash bring the party to Showbox Sodo on their Must Be The Money Tour.
53. Dope Music Festival: Old School Night
In a precursor to Dope Music Festival, Old School Night kicks things off with a line-up from an early '90s hiphop fantasy with sets from Busta Rhymes, DMX, E-40, Method Man + Redman, Too $hort, Kokane, Pharcyde, Da Brat, Money B, and Young Hump of Digital Underground.
54. Red Fang, Torche, Whores
Change is good, but sometimes you want a constant, too. Do you need to own a Ramones record after Rocket to Russia? Probably not. Is it comforting to know the new Slayer record is gonna basically sound like Slayer? Absolutely. Red Fang are only four albums into their career, but over the course of their ascension from unsung local dive-bar heroes to internationally revered sludge-metal heroes their commitment to form has fallen on the Slayer end of quality and consistency. Sure, the album production got a little nicer and the stages they play got significantly larger, but Red Fang still sound like your favorite musicians in your hometown got together, got drunk, and challenged each other to write the grimiest heavy rock record possible. Let’s hope that never changes. BRIAN COOK
55. Maldoggies Family Christmas
Northwest indie rock and folk-pop stalwarts The Maldives and The Moondoggies join forces for a family band Christmas series for two nights at the Tractor.
56. The Coats Annual Holiday Concert
Seattle vocal band The Coats return for their annual holiday concert, a night of seamless a cappella arrangements of holiday classics and more contemporary favorites.
57. Brothers From Another with Beeba (DJ Set)
Don’t let the fresh faces fool you. The local hiphop trio of Cole DeLeon, Isaiah Sneed, and Nick Beeba has shared stages with the likes of De La Soul, Macklemore, and Blue Scholars. If their sound keeps one foot planted firmly in commercial, accessible soil, this allows them to lean toward the more exciting underground sensibility that inspired their forbears. “We never try to be anything we aren't as individuals,” DeLeon told The Stranger. “We collectively just try to spread positivity in our own way.” SEAN NELSON
58. Dope Music Festival
After you've prepped yourself at Old School Night, get ready to wild out at Dope Music Festival 3 with sets and appearances from artists like Gucci Mane, Meek Mill, Jeremih, Lil Uzi Vert, William Singe, Clemm Rishad, Russ and Yodi Mac, and hosted by Nate Jackson and DJ Drama.
59. Duke Ellington's Sacred Music
Now in its 28th year, this concert of celebration for Duke Ellington's musical legacy erupts forth with tomes of jazz classics in the vein of the three Sacred Music concerts that Ellington himself premiered in 1965, 1968, and 1973, which were the culmination of the last and most liturgical phase of his life’s work.
Widely regarded as the "King of Persian Pop," Ebi returns to Seattle on his Jane Javani World Tour, performing tracks from his best-selling album of the same name.
61. JINGLE BOMB 15
Now in its 15th year, Jingle Bomb explodes at Studio Seven, promising a night of widely acclaimed DJ talent, and as always, snow machines. Enjoy high-energy dance music sets from T-Mass, Far Too Loud, Reid Speed, Beauflexx, Thiq James, Wheelz, and more.
62. Mudhoney, The Fall-Outs, Pink Parts, Less Than Equals
When I think about Mudhoney, I always think about Citizen Dick. Matt Dillon’s fictional band in the 1992 grunge rom-com Singles parodies the Mudhoney hit “Touch Me I’m Sick” with a song called “Touch Me I’m Dick.” There’s a reason Cameron Crowe chose that song to poke fun at: Mudhoney are Sub Pop’s flagship band, and that 1988 single remains a fiery, headbanging classic. And so does the band. While so many groups associated with that six-letter G word have gone the way of Dillon’s long locks, Mudhoney have continued to shred with sinister distortion, Mark Arm’s piercing vocal howl, and plenty of feedback that never diminishes with each new album. Unlike Crowe’s film, Mudhoney aren’t a charmingly dorky time capsule—they’re a band that’s remained effortlessly cool and still totally rocks. ROBIN EDWARDS
63. David Bazan’s Christmas Miracle with Advance Base
David Bazan’s downfall is also his greatest virtue: a deeply misanthropic consistency that makes you groan with impatience as much as you nod your head in agreement. His latest album, Blanco, incorporates a mirrored synth effect that is a new aesthetic for his solo work, but somehow easily folds itself into this weathered canvas, as its referential palette of Pac-Man bleep-bloops serves to give an almost earnestly youthful and truly rather tender feel to what otherwise would be deeply depressing bowling-alley poetry. This noted production change from his work of 2011 to now (while still maintaining his staunchly linear emotional context) is really just a manifestation of relief: that of all the David Bazans in the world, he continues to be the David Bazaniest. KIM SELLING
64. Ensign Symphony & Chorus: A Joyeux Noel
Ensign Symphony & Chorus begin their new season with A Joyeux Noel, an evening of lush holiday traditions explored through song and orchestral arrangement, with guest conductor Maestro Fabio Pirola.
65. The Sounds, Zipper Club, My Jerusalem
Swedish indie rockers The Sounds, fresh off a hugely successful European tour, will return to Seattle for a night of Scandinavian pop and American-influenced dance-rock. They'll be joined by Zipper Club and My Jerusalem.
66. Sara Gazarek: Home For The Holidays
Sara Gazarek’s a Seattle native. She graduated from Roosevelt High School and its sophisticated jazz programs. She lives in LA but comes up here not quite enough. She’s one of the most interesting jazz singers working; the only aggravating thing is that she may never become a superstar. She doesn’t force anything and she doesn’t grandstand. What she does comes off subtle, and you have to lean your ears in carefully to get to the bottom of it. The new album Dream in the Blue finds her as half of a duo, with pianist Josh Nelson. Listen to it several times after you buy it at the show. Come to think of it, buy her other records on top of that. ANDREW HAMLIN
67. Anuhea, Justin Kawika Young, Jessica Domingo, Two Story Zori
Join island girl Anuhea for two nights of Vitamin D-infused reggae on her All Is Bright Holiday Tour with Justin Young.
68. DigiTour Winter
The future is now, and DigiTour Media LLC is capitalizing on that by creating the first ever touring music and social media festival. The tour began as a showcase for social media stars from YouTube, but its roster has grown to include performers and "social media influencers" from Vine, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as traditional pop music stars. Performers for this round include Blake Gray, Baby Ariel, Weston Koury, Nathan Triska, Mark Thomas, and many more.
69. The Senate
Seattle trio The Senate reunites for the holiday season with two nights of barn-burning Dionysian folk and rock-infused jazz.
70. Fly Moon Royalty's Last Dance (Final Performance)
If you know anyone who's still whining about how "Waaaaah, no one ever dances in Seattle," then you need to shut them up by getting their ass to this Fly Moon Royalty show, stat. Not only does the duo—Adra Boo and Action Jackson—sometimes come equipped with their own back-up dancers, but their smooth and sexy electro-flavored R&B tunes gets just about every butt shaking. Even me, a person who always says "I don't dance! I'm a terrible dancer!" It's true, I am, but when it comes to Fly Moon Royalty, all bets are off—I will shake my ass proudly and, as Boo sings, "If you don't like me, then tough titty." MEGAN SELING
71. Manatee Commune On Ice!
This festive art and music extravaganza promises an experience not unlike "dancing inside of a snow globe with 1,000 of your closest friends." Draws include performances by Manatee Commune and Yppah, projection mapping, and art installations.
72. Total Request Live Night: Ugly Sweaters Edition
The Croc joins in on the ugly sweater phenomenon with a very '90s, very holiday edition of their storied "Total Request Live" night, with sets from local indie rockers American Island, and DJs Indica Jones and Pryme. Ugly sweaters are, obviously, encouraged.
73. The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s 13th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour
Iconic guitarist and Grammy-winner Brian Setzer hits the stage with his 19-piece orchestra as they whip up a frenzy of retro holiday cheer on their Christmas Rocks! Tour, which features music from their latest Christmas album, Rockin’ Rudolph, their three other holiday albums, and original Brian Setzer hits.
74. Machinedrum, Tom Kha Soup, Owleks
Club chameleon Machinedrum began his career crafting crystalline, abstract hiphop instrumentals for the Merck label. It was competent stuff but got a bit lost in the post-IDM shuffle of the early ’00s, as much of Merck’s output tended to. With 2011’s Room(s) and 2013’s Vapor City, however, Machinedrum leapt to the upper echelon of electronic producers by fusing his latent melancholia to of-the-moment juke beats and the occasional smeared, Burial-lite vocal sample. It appears the man born Travis Stewart might be going full circle, though, as he’s recently taken to producing sultry downtempo tracks for up-and-coming singers like Rosie Lowe and Obenewa. If one had to hazard a guess, you might say that after a decade and a half he’d like to finally make a halfway decent living at this thing. KYLE FLECK
75. Straight No Chaser
Renowned all-male a cappella ensemble Straight No Chaser celebrate their 20th anniversary as a group with a night of holiday classics and contemporary favorites.
76. Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band
Poncho Sanchez, whose band won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2000, is one of the foremost, if not the biggest, percussionists in Latin jazz right now. He will perform with his air-tight band, drawing from a decades-long repertoire.
77. Bad Luck, Newaxeyes, Sassyblack, Zen Mother
Bad Luck bring Ken Burns–flouting, free-jazz power moves to a generation who’d only previously heard their elders speak about it in reverent tones. DAVE SEGAL
78. Jai Ho! Bollywood Masquerade Pre-New Year's Eve Party with DJ Prashant
Jai Ho throws down for New Year's Eve Eve for the fifth year running with a masquerade-themed dance party within their wild Bollywood zone. Expect high energy house, bhangra, and other Indian-flavored beats at an all-night dance party with DJ Prashant, along with a free mask with ticket, henna by donation, and a bhangra dance lesson at the beginning.
79. Quannum MCs with Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, Latyrx, Gift of Gab, Chief Xcel, and Lateef
Legendary West Coast hiphop collective Quannum make their long awaited reunion this December, with appearances and performances from Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, Latyrx, Gift of Gab, Chief Xcel, and Lateef. Guest openers include local talents Draze & The Ancient Robotz, The Bad Tenants, and DJ Indica Jones.
80. Vivaldi Untuxed
Enjoy the four violin concertos of Vivaldi's Four Seasons during a special edition of "Untuxed," a low-key, no-intermission way to enjoy the Seattle Symphony without worrying about what the bourgeoisie will think of your hat and tails.
81. Thunderpussy with Guests
At their root, Thunderpussy are a driving rock and roll group whose jams land smartly this side of “bar band.” Rockin’ like they do alone would fantastic, but they bring a dash of cheeky theater to their shows that makes for hella fun. MIKE NIPPER
82. Beats Antique with Thriftworks
Get to your ethnotronic-groove happy place tonight. Oakland troupe Beats Antique embrace musical influences from the Middle East, Africa, Central Europe, East Asia, and London to create hybrids to which folks can shake their dreads and swing their gauged ears. DAVE SEGAL
83. Black Umbrella NYE with Sam Lachow & Raz Simone
Hometown heavy-hitters Raz Simone and Sam Lachow headline a year-end local hiphop showcase, with Romaro Franceswa, King Leez, Malitia Malimob, Fatal Lucciauno, and Jake Crocker, and hosted by Simone's artist collective and music management company Black Umbrella.
84. Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, DJ Paces Lift
You can always count on Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme for a GOOD god-damn time; they never fail to brang it, swang it, and then hang it out to dry. I’d rate ’em as some kinda Seattle institution. Seriously. MIKE NIPPER
85. Hell's Belles with Black Sabbitch
World-famous all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles kick off the new year with a night of loud, wild rock and roll, with an opening set from Black Sabbath obsessives, Black Sabbitch.
86. Joey Jewell's Sinatra at The Sands, with Jim Kerls' Swingin' Sixties Orchestra
The classiness of Sinatra's mob-approved croon tunes will never dissipate, and Joey Jewell will do his best to honor that classiness in his rendition of a full Vegas melee, with Jim Kerls' orchestra bringing the swinging sixties to a loud, layered, big-band jazz reality.
87. New Year's Eve Classical Soul of Motown
Witness the Seattle Symphony parade through the new year with Broadway stars Capathia Jenkins and Darius de Haas, and guitarist Michael Nicolella, as they play orchestral interpretations of Motown and soul classics while the clock strikes forward into the new year.
88. One O’Clock Jump – Seattle’s Swingin’ NYE Bash!
Rock in the new year with Seattle’s premier big band jazz bash, One O'Clock Jump, an all-night-long dance party with a focus on swing-era music, complete with vintage-inspired cocktails and a beginner drop-in dance lesson at the start taught by Savoy Swing Club.
89. Resolution 2017
A gargantuan EDM bash as 2016 kicks the bucket, with acts from Above & Beyond, Adventure Club, Yellow Claw, Tritonal, and more.
90. Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Yes, I know, they're cheesy in the extreme and not even actually from Siberia, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra's jolly blend of electric-guitar shredding and Christmas music is like the flu: It comes around every year and it's extremely catchy. That being said, if I'm going to be afflicted with pinch-harmonic-inflected cheer, then I'm at least going to focus on the upside. Which is, TSO formed from the remains of the excellent and under-appreciated power-metal outfit Savatage, whose interpretation of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" probably sparked the whole classical-music-meets-metal fad. Now if only they still had Alex Skolnick from Testament in the band. JOSEPH SCHAFER