Wednesday, Dec. 29
Ernestine Anderson + Houston Person
A couple of jazz artists who got their starts in R&B team up for a stand. Anderson started singing as a teenager (she was with Johnny Otis in the late '40s, when Otis was one of the biggest bandleaders around) and has settled into a smooth style as she's gotten older (she's 76). Tenor saxophonist Person tends toward the bluesy, and playing especially well with small combos. The shows on the 30th and 31st will be recorded for a live album. Dimitrou's Jazz Alley, 7:30 p.m. $20.50–$125.50. Also Thurs., Dec. 30–Sat., Jan. 1.
The Bobs After Christmas Holiday Show
If you're an a cappella enthusiast, the Bobs and Rockapella are your Beatles and Stones, and a holiday concert by the former group—expect a lot of material culled from their 1996 album Too Many Santas!—is cause for geeky celebration. If you're new to the Bobs, be sure to shout out requests for "Fifty Kilowatt Tree" and "Rasta Reindeer," and beg if you must for their Grammy-nominated version of "Helter Skelter." Triple Door, 7:30 p.m. $20.
The greatest rhythm masters get beats named after them, and Bo Diddley is no exception—the "shave and a haircut, two bits" rhythm will be his for eternity. He's got a hell of a catalog, too, though his recent shows have been reported to be a bit sour. Still, can't fuck with a living legend. Who do you love? Showbox, 7:30 p.m. $17.50 adv./20.
Thursday, Dec. 30
The Nemesis Theory
The dictionary-haute album title (Eschatology references Christian doctrines about the end of days) and menacing whispers may invoke Tool, but this underrated Seattle quartet operate on a different plane entirely, condensing volumes of paranoia and seething aggression into forward-thinking acupuncture pricks. Graceland, 8 p.m. $6
Friday, Dec. 31
Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse officially claimed dual rights as the faces of Pacific Northwest rock in 2004. Enkrya steadfastly refuse to recognize the ruling class, instead faithfully practicing the brooding dark arts of Dirt-era Alice in Chains. They headline a bill of similarly hard-hitting blasphemers tonight. Doc Maynard's, 8 p.m. $15 before 9 p.m./$25
Of all the local acts to taste national success this year, the Fitness somehow flew farthest under the radar. Their fey, inclusive dance-punk machinations yielded a bona fide hit video in "Day Job." Like 'em or not, you'll be drunk, horny, and ready to shake it tonight and the music they play will be the closest sonic approximation to your state of mind. Capitol Hill Arts Center, 9 p.m. $15 adv./$20
Gatsby's American Dream + Schoolyard Heroes + Kane Hodder
If you like inventive, flamboyant rock and can conquer your fear of spending New Year's surrounded by sketchy SoDo warehouses, you'll reap many rewards from Kane and Schoolyard's deliriously bizarre hybrid emo and Gatsby's volatile math-pop milkshakes. Studio Seven, 9 p.m. $10 adv./$12
Hedwig and the Angry Inch + Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars + Cirque de Flambé
SEE SW THIS WEEK, P. 39. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $17 adv./$20
Hell's Belles + I Can Lick Any SOB in the House
Graceland's remodeling yet again in January (as is Funhouse, which effectively thrusts much of our live punk scene into hibernation), but this is one sweet cham-pain farewell. Tonight is book-ended by the progressive country sneer of ICLASOBITH and the ball-dropping (in more ways than one) grandeur of the finest all-lady AC/DC cover band in the world. Graceland, 8 p.m. $20
In Florida, funky breaks, the easy-going yet powerfully pushy house variant, has ruled clubland for well over a decade, and Icey is (still) its greatest exponent. He'll greet our own new megaclub on the block for a taste this New Year's Eve. Element, 9 p.m. $30
They've finished a new album and if the stars are aligned, it'll take them beyond their core group of diehards, industry insiders, and fellow musicians into a rather more rarefied sphere. In the meantime, catch 'em in a venue grand enough to contain their ambition but small enough to see and hear them decently. EMP Sky Church, 9 p.m. $25 members/$30
Saturday, Jan. 1
Little Charlie & the Nightcats
Plenty of bar bands last a long time, but few have done it as long and as well as San Francisco's Little Charlie Baty and his redoubtable crew. Triple Door, 8 p.m. $18
Given the many folks who've lived in both Minneapolis and Seattle, it's surprising something like this hasn't happened more frequently. But the little purple guy's KeyArena shows were pretty spiff, and boy does he have a catalog, so whatever's in store should be, at the very least, pretty interesting. SeaMonster Lounge, 9 p.m.