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Salute to Vienna
Each New Year's, I try to forget that the music of Johann Strauss, senior and junior, functioned as escapist anesthetic for a decadent autocracy; that even today Vienna is, by all accounts, the world capital of reactionary complacency; that the Vienna Philharmonic's hiring policies are overtly, even proudly, sexist and racist—and immerse myself (and any holiday guests) in the Strauss family's waltzes, polkas, and overtures and their endless wealth of tunes, effervescent orchestration, and infinitely subtle rhythms (if you're doing it right, all that oom-pah-pah is as flexible and nuanced as orchestral music gets). A special concert celebrates Strauss Jr.'s music and that of his contemporaries (Lehar, Kalman); the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, here redubbed "The Strauss Symphony of America," plays, with Johannes Wildner on the podium and singers and dancers all re-creating the opulence of Emperor Franz Joseph's Austria. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 292-ARTS, www.ticketmaster.com. $35–$78. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT
Three years ago, just after the release of their debut Control Group album, The Funeral Sciences, ex–Seattle Weekly writer Andrew Bonazelli described this local horror-rock foursome as "living proof of the dicey theorem Misfits + No Doubt = Good Band." If that theory seems chopped to hell, rest assured that Bonazelli (now an editor at extreme metal rag Decibel) knows of what he speaks. While vocalist Ryann Donnelly, vocalist/bassist Jonah Bergman, guitarist Steve Bonnell, and drummer Brian Turner are all still at UW (or otherwise occupied), they've since toured the nation, and turned up as a Spin Band of the Day after releasing last year's follow-up, Fantastic Wounds. Not bad for a bunch of literate misfits bent on expanding punk's horizon to include pulp, noir, and the occasional operatic flourish (courtesy of Ms. Donnelly's world-class pipes). They're "Home for the Horror-days" tonight with the Divorce, Kane Hodder, and Control Group label-mates Sirens Sister. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094, www.elcorazon.com. $12. All ages. 7 p.m. RACHEL SHIMP