Wednesday, Nov. 17
Guided by Voices
Indie rock's longest-running joke band finally calls it quits. Bye. The Thermals open. Neumo's, 8 p.m. $17.50 adv./$20
Ropeadope New Music Seminar
SEE SW THIS WEEK, P. 43. Showbox, 8 p.m. $20 adv.
The former bassist and drummer of mid-'90s noise battalion Hammerhead are spiraling further and further from their aggro past into more esoteric, almost jokey experimental territory. No matter. Watching Jeff Mooridian Jr. make like Stripe from Gremlins on the hi-hat never ceases to be mind-blowing. Graceland, 7 p.m. $8
Thursday, Nov. 18
SEE CD REVIEW, P. 49. Neumo's, 8 p.m. $12 adv.
The legendary industrial-thrash collective hammers away at Dubya, Eminem, and other pop and political figures on their latest blitzkrieg, WWIII (Sanctuary). Yet, much like NOFX, they always leave plenty of track space for hammy self-deprecation ("Intro"). Can't one of their more popular clones (ahem . . . Rammstein) throw 'em an opening bone on their next megatour? Fenix Underground, 8 p.m. $12 adv. Also Fri. Nov. 19.
Friday, Nov. 19
Blues Explosion + the Gossip
A concept bill about the limitations of bands without bass players—we hear they make up for it, or try, with shticky yelling. Neumo's, 8 p.m. $13 adv.
Bob Dylan Opening Party: Highway 61 Revisited
SEE FEATURE, P. 45. EMP Sky Church, 7 p.m.
Climax Golden Twins
If you can't make this show—which will likely include musicians comingling with the crowd while draped with table linens as well as fun, guerilla-politico slide shows—do drop by Fremont's Priceless Works Gallery this month where you can view a retrospective of CGT artwork unhindered by wandering performance punks. Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $8
Their records are OK, but this monstrous blues-rock three-piece, led by former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes, are much better experienced in the flesh. Showbox, 7 p.m. $25 adv.
The grand old men of alternative rock rocked Bumbershoot 2003 more than even their fans expected. Frontman Michael Stipe is still spry like a teenager, and though their records have grown pretty weak, there's little bad to be said about an R.E.M. live show. In light of recent events, this one is likely to get especially political. Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 305 Harrison St., 206-684-7200, 8 p.m. $39.50–$75
Former Carissa's Wierd vocalist Jenn Ghetto's new project is cranky in ways that work—lousy title aside, the new Puking and Crying (Suicide Squeeze) is one of the year's best local records. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $8
Taj Mahal Trio
Blues-rock stalwart and Jazz Alley regular Mahal has a superb, diverse catalog, and he should shine in the stripped-down setting he's bringing here this go-round. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $22.50–$26.50. Also Sat., Nov. 20, Sun., Nov. 21, and Tues., Nov. 22.
Saturday, Nov. 20
George was one of the first pop-stars-turned-DJs, and he's got more on the ball than plenty of full-time jocks, though his last few DJ-mix CDs haven't been all that great. Still, star power counts for plenty, right? Marc Vedo, DJ Girl 6, Misha, and Miss Funk also spin. CoCA, 410 Dexter Ave. N., 206-728-1980, 8:30 p.m. $15 adv./$20
Brisk pop-punk delivered with a controlled urgency that's difficult to resist, partly due to Kaia Wilson's fantabulous voice and partly because the songs are good. On the new Make Yr Life (Yep Roc), the best is a cover of "Your Love" by the Outfield—yep, that "Your Love" by the Outfield. They whisper it, and now they own it. VERA Project, 7:30 p.m. $8 with club card/$9
On her 2002 debut, Be Not Nobody, the piano-playing pixie had the misguided chutzpah to cover the Stones' apocalyptic "Paint It Black." She's really sex-kittening it up in support of the sophomore album, Harmonium (A&M), but her vapid, mall-ready first venture doesn't bode well for the follow-up. Crocodile Cafe, 5:30 p.m. $15
Christopher Lawrence + DJ Dan
Once upon a time, the relatively bland trance that Lawrence specializes in would have confined him to a back room somewhere. Now he headlines. Go figure. Dan's funkier stuff is a surer bet. Showbox, 10 p.m. $15 adv./$20
Country divadom's gone through a lot of phases since the once-junior member of the Judds went solo nova in the early '90s, but we'll always have a soft spot for "She Is His Only Need" and "My Strongest Weakness." Moore Theatre, 8 p.m. $31–$51
Sunday, Nov. 21
Bill Frisell with Victor Krauss and Kenny Wollesen
Frisell's new Unspeakable (Nonesuch) is a tad lukewarm, but he always brings his A-game live; tonight, he'll be joined by bassist Krauss and drummer Wollesen. Tractor Tavern, 8 p.m. $20 Also Tues., Nov. 22.
Le Tigre + Lesbians on Ecstasy
SEE CD REVIEWS, P. 49 AND P. 50. Showbox, 8 p.m. $17 adv./$20
Since John Oates has now guest starred with Handsome Boy Modeling School, don't you think it's time HBMS collaborated with Yanni to complete the mustache circle? Us too. KeyArena, 7:30 p.m. $39.50–$75
Monday, Nov. 22
SEE CD REVIEW, P. 49. Showbox, 8 p.m. $18 adv./$20
These former Polyvinyl girlymen shed their emo flab, got ripped on rock, then ripped off the Jimmy Eat World playbook before kickoff. Like You Like an Arsonist isn't the buff "After" picture it should be, but one-two leadoff "Bombs Away" and "Action Fans Help Us" are out of this world addictive. Graceland, 6 p.m. $8 adv.
Tuesday, Nov. 23
Bury Your Dead
Crushing, efficient, stop-and-go neo-hardcore lives, courtesy of this nattily tailored Boston quintet. All the new cuts are named after Tom Cruise movies. They ordered the Code Red. You can handle the truth. Studio Seven, 6 p.m. $12
Big dumb radio hits—yum. Giant sing-along hooks—yeah. Sorta jerky lead singer dudes—hmmm. Crocodile Cafe, 8 p.m. $21 adv./$26
Gold Chains with Sue Cie
Does a short, chubby kid with a faux-Busta flow, Run-D.M.C. derby, laptop spread, and complementary white-girl booty dancers sound like "the No. 1 Face in Hip-Hop" to you? We say it's close enough. You should've seen this freakshow rock a half-empty in-store at the Capitol Hill Sonic Boom last year. This party will detonate. Chop Suey, 8 p.m. $8 adv.
Pinback + the Advantage
The opener covers theme music from old 8-bit Nintendo games, a move sure to ensconce them in pop culture history as "that fucking Nintendo cover band." The headliner has made the same playful emo album thrice now, but Rob Crow's coy meow never gets old. Showbox, 7 p.m. $12.50–$15