POP/ROCK by Erin K. Thompson
Charles Leo Gebhardt IV/WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4
The ginger garage-rock man-about-town will play the lovable, jangly indie-pop songs that make up his solo material, most recently heard on last year's buzzy Begin Again. With Idle Times, Orca Team, the First Times. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $8.
Detective Agency/SUNDAY, JANUARY 8
Detective Agency is a local, three-quarters female, breezy pop-rock quartet; their songs are innocuous and quietly charming. Tonight they play the Rendezvous' Grotto with Olympia's K Records–signed fuzz duo the Maxines. With Broomsticks. JewelBox/Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave., 441-5823. 9 p.m. $5.
Blouse/THURSDAY, JANUARY 12
Last year this Portland dream-pop trio released a single on Sub Pop and a pretty, sighing debut full-length on Captured Tracks. Opening tonight's show are their Seattle haze-pop contemporaries Seapony. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9:30 p.m. $8.
Ambulance/FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
The very young post-punkers of Ambulance competed in Sound Off! last year; though they didn't win the big prize, their darkly agitated and surprisingly mature brand of guitar rock is still worth checking out. With Friday at the Lake, Plant Party, Brandon Keeley. Q Cafe, 3223 15th Ave. W., 352-2525. 8 p.m. $8. All ages.
Sound on the Sound's Annual Birthday Party/FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
Our friends and fellow local-music bloggers at Sound on the Sound will celebrate with the raucous rockers of Dude York, power-pop favorites the Golden Blondes, and an ultra-secret headliner you'll have to find out about for yourself. Blue Moon Tavern, 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116. 10 p.m. $8.
Gold Leaves/SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
Arthur & Yu's Grant Olsen performs songs from last year's The Ornament, his Hardly Art debut as Gold Leaves: a gorgeous collection of opulent, moving pop-rock songs. With Cumulus. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9:30 p.m. $8.
Youth Lagoon/THURSDAY, JANUARY 19
Youth Lagoon is 22-year-old Boisean multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Trevor Powers, who last fall released his debut, the glowing and extraordinarily tender The Year of Hibernation, to deserved critical praise. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $12.
Ravenna Woods/FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
Seattle's favorite rock-acoustic-folk-toy piano-jamming band plays a tour kickoff tonight before a two-week jaunt down the West Coast. With A Lull, Deleted Scenes. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 322-9272. 9 p.m. $10.
Girl Trouble/FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
Nearly 28 years after their first show, a Steilacoom battle of the bands, Tacoma's old-school garage-rockers are still rocking it live with all four original members. With the Pynnacles. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $7.
COUNTRY by Gwendolyn Elliott
Steep Canyon Rangers/THURSDAY, JANUARY 5
These five string players from North Carolina nabbed acclaim as the bluegrass quintet that backed Steve Martin on tour and on his Grammy-nominated album Rare Bird Alert. Their peppy Appalachian stylings and resonant harmonies are the real thing, with or without that bluegrass version of "King Tut." Snoqualmie Casino, 37500 S.E. North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, 425-888-1234. 7 p.m. $25.
Risky Liver/FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
Risky Liver is the tongue-in-cheek Americana side project of the Starlings' Joy Mills, who performs alongside Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers bassist Mike McDermott and croons with an easy, rich sweetness and a twinkle in her eye. Conor Byrne, 5140 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-3640. 9:30 p.m. $7.
Elvis Tribute Show/SATURDAY, JANUARY 7
To celebrate both what would have been the King's 77th birthday and the Memphis label that launched his career, the Roy Kay Combo presents a special set of Sun Records tunes next to a host of Seattle bands, each with their own spin on Presley's timeless, iconic rock 'n' roll. With Lucky Lawrence, Miles and Karina, Levi Dexter, Marti Brom, Billy Joe Huels, Side Saddle, Marshall Scott Warner, Kim Fields with Lisa Angelatini. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9:30 p.m. $10.
Hot Club of Cowtown/TUESDAY, JANUARY 10
This Austin trio makes fiddle-fueled Western swing fused with ragtime jazz—a toe-tapping, two-stepping style influenced by both Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli's gypsy jazz and the music of "King of Western Swing" Bob Wills, whom they cover on their new album, What Makes Bob Holler. With Rachel Lyn Harrington & the Knock Outs. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 8 p.m. $15.
Weatherside Whiskey Band/THURSDAY, JANUARY 12
Performing bluegrass and Americana covers along with originals, this five-piece, with members from Seattle to Whidbey Island, is a whiskey-swilling roadhouse outfit with jumpy two- and four-part harmonies. A new EP is slated for release early this year. With The Table of Contents, Relentless Rhythm Machine. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 9 p.m. $6.
Shivering Denizens/FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
Having shared the stage with the likes of David Allan Coe and Eddie Spaghetti, roots/rockabilly/outlaw country band Shivering Denizens keep things heavy and hopping with their blend of banjo, lap steel, honky-tonk piano, and attitude. With 800 Mile Monday, the Dan Family, Texas Rangers. Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack, 5606 First Ave. S., 762-7900. 9 p.m. $8.
Honky Tonk Angels/SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
Few lineups could combine the talent, personality, and gender specificity of these local bands (like SW favorite Zoe Muth and rootsy songstress Shelby Earl), led by soulful ladies with a predominantly country slant. With the Brambles, Kaylee Cole, the Rachel Mae Band, Side Saddle. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009. 9 p.m. $15.
Lonesome Shack/SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
After four years living in a shack he built in New Mexico, guitarist Ben Todd was inspired to form this rootsy, roadside blues duo (with Kristian Garrard of Thousands on drums). Imagine a super-stripped-down My Goodness, Black Keys, or Soledad Brothers, and you're on the right track. With The Curious Mystery, Sugar Sugar Sugar. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $7.
Casey Neill & the Norway Rats/FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
This Portland country supergroup (including members of the Decemberists, the Lucinda Williams Band, the Eels, and The Minus 5) delivers harmony-heavy, easy-rolling ballads and roots-fueled numbers somewhere between Son Volt and R.E.M. With Renegade String Band, Sassparilla. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212. 9:30 p.m. $7.
HIP-HOP by Todd Hamm
Tulsi/FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
Rapping and occasionally singing, Tulsi's playful yet real-life vibe is reminiscent of fellow deep-voiced West Coaster Abstract Rude. With The GNU Deal, Scribes, DJ Modul8r, The MC Type. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $7. All ages.
Grayskul/SATURDAY, JANUARY 7
This legendary Seattle duo, JFK and Onry Ozzborn, are not only some of Seattle's most thorough rap artists on record; they're also notoriously great in concert. This month's KEXP Audioasis gig should be an energetic re-emergence after the two took time off to pursue side projects and solo careers. With Constant Lovers, Monogamy Party. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $7 adv./$8 DOS.
Gabriel Teodros/THURSDAY, JANUARY 19
Perhaps the town's most community-forward rap artist, the ever-positive Teodros is releasing his long-awaited album Colored People's Time Machine tonight, a good chance to enjoy some smooth music and feel inspired. With Meklit Hadero, OC Notes, Spyc-E, WD4D, EarDr.Umz. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 9 p.m. $10. All ages.
The MC Type/FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
Make fun of the man all you want, but the joke-telling ringleader of local raunch-rap is a seriously hardworking individual who puts on entertaining live displays. He's been performing with a live band as of late, which enhances the spectacle. With Prof, Fictitious, the Bad Tenants, T11. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 8 p.m. $7.
Sol/FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
Lounging somewhere between the conscious-minded Blue Scholars and the feel-good aura of Grynch is local MC Sol. Celebrating the release of his new album Yours Truly at a moderate-size venue like Neumos is a good indicator of his progress up the local hip-hop ladder. With Shad, Brothers From Another, DJ Supreme, Sabzi (host). Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $10. All ages.
Nipsey Hussle/SUNDAY, JANUARY 22
Gifted L.A. lyricist Nipsey Hussle is an artist notable for his surprisingly level-headed commentary on life in his South Central sector. Whether you're looking for a grimier strain of street rap, something to dance to, or thoughtful storytelling, you'll find something to jive with tonight. With Eighty 4 Fly, Avatar Young Blaze, Bonaphied. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $18. All ages.
Roach Gigz/SUNDAY, JANUARY 22
Roach Gigz is an Oakland rapper with a distinct sense of humor and a knack for cadence. His bouncy delivery can make even his more sincere tracks sound like party jams, and his party jams sound downright goofy, so look forward to a wild night. With DJ Nima Fadavi. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 8:30 p.m. $12.
Wu-Tang Clan/WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25
At their 2007 Bumbershoot performance, the most famous hip-hop collective of all time had yet to figure out what to do with all those amazing MCs onstage when they weren't rapping. It also proved they could turn a relatively sloppy set into a fantastically memorable show with any one of their classic tracks. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 8 p.m. $35 adv./$40 DOS. All ages.
Doomtree/FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
Just after the Wu-Tang Clan invades Showbox SoDo, the similarly large yet far more underground Doomtree takes on the Croc. This gang of Twin Cities rappers and DJs, which includes quality acts like P.O.S. and Dessa, has an abundance of both group and individual material with which to impress. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618. 8 p.m. $15.
DJ/ELECTRONIC by Eric Grandy
V206 Episode 3: Falling Up What Stairs?/WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4
Ease into the new year with an evening of diverse electronic sounds in the cozy confines of The Living Room, headlined by smart, tunefully complex producer and DJ The Naturebot. With Eric Moon, Laura Lamb. The Living Room, 1355 E. Olive St., 708-6021. 9 p.m. Free.
Body Heat 3/SATURDAY, JANUARY 7
The latest in Classcadia's series of smart, high-endurance house nights is this month headlined by deep-house sophisticate Manik, with solid local support from 214 and Pezzner. With J. Alvarez, OFDM. Electric Tea Garden, 1402 E. Pike St., 568-3972. 10 p.m. $12.
Stop Biting/TUESDAY, JANUARY 10
Seattle's well-loved beats-and-break-dancing weekly hosts NYC's Blind Prophet and local Ill Cosby, two producers bound to bring some dubstep depth to the night's usual hip-hop groove. Lo-Fi Performance Gallery, 429 Eastlake Ave. E., 254-2824. 9:30 p.m. $5.
Max Cooper/FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
From twitchy techno remixes of Hot Chip to his own prolific productions, Max Cooper balances beautiful minimalist composition with club-wise rhythms and bass. Tonight kicks off a new monthly from Decibel at Re-bar. With Cyanwave, Nordic Soul. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., 233-9873. 10 p.m. $12 adv./$15 DOS.
Pictureplane/FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
Actual Pain's actually awesome goth rave brings "post-physical" lo-fi electro dude (and Actual Pain model) Pictureplane out to headline its first night of the new year. Electric Tea Garden, 1402 E. Pike St., 568-3972. 10 p.m. $7.
Motor City Drum Ensemble/SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
Stuttgart producer Danilo Plessow (aka MCDE) helmed one of 2011's best DJ mixes with his DJ-Kicks entry, unearthing the wide range of sounds, from Afrobeat to jazz to techno, that inform his impeccable deep-house originals. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., 233-9873. 10 p.m.
Redemption/THURSDAY, JANUARY 26– SATURDAY, JANUARY 28
Local producer Steve Fisk's resume ranges from grunge heavyweights to his own experimental electronic productions, including one bona fide "big beat" hit (via Lo-Fidelity All Stars' remix of "Battle Flag"). Tonight, he plugs in with punk-aligned marimba player Erin Jorgensen for a unique performance. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 217-9886. 8 p.m. $20. All ages.
Fujiya & Miyagi/FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
This UK quartet melds deadpan electro-funk to motorik lock-grooves, tops it off with cheeky vocals, and sets stiff-limbed audiences to wiggling. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $13.
Beats Antique/SATURDAY, JANUARY 28
Your tolerance for world music, Gypsy affectations, belly dancing, and burner "culture" may unfairly color your reaction to this otherwise unremarkable down-tempo trio conceived by ex-I.R.S. Records boss Miles Copeland. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444. 8 p.m. $25. All ages.
The Social/SATURDAY, JANUARY 28
Hedonic local crew Shameless presents a showcase of friends and family for one of their own's birthday (headliner Adlib). Expect conviviality and raving good times. With Adlib, Pete Spinning, Brooke Would, Rhines, Recess, Joe Bellingham. Electric Tea Garden, 1402 E. Pike St., 568-3972. 10 p.m.
JAZZ by Ben Morrow
Arturo Sandoval/THURSDAY, JANUARY 12–SUNDAY, JANUARY 15
As a founding member of Irakere, trumpet virtuoso Sandoval helped create that band's explosive mixture of jazz, classical, rock, and traditional Cuban music. Since leaving the group in 1981, he has earned four Grammy Awards, six Billboard Awards, and an Emmy, and was voted Cuba's Best Instrumentalist from 1982 to 1990. In the dead of our winter, his sound could easily transport any listener to Miami or Cuba, and he may even bring some vitamin D to boot. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. $28.50.
McTuff Trio/TUESDAY, JANUARY 17
Leading the trio through funk, jazz, and beyond, Hammond B3 organist Joe Doria is a prime example of a Seattle musician who's carved out his own voice, adding depth and dimension to every project he's involved in and leaving no musical stone unturned. McTuff shows often range from atmospheric psychedelia to soul-jazz to funk, seemingly randomly. But rest assured there's a definite method to the madness. With Andy Coe, Tarik Abouzied. Seamonster Lounge, 2202 N. 45th St., 992-1120. 10 p.m. Free.
Chris Minh Doky & the Nomads/TUESDAY, JANUARY 17– WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18
Carrying on the Danish tradition of spotlighting the bass as a lead instrument, Doky's sound is rooted in East Coast jazz and seasoned with the lyrical traditions of Scandinavia. Widely recognized as a master of his instrument, he plays with authority and clarity on his latest release, Scenes From a Dream—a beautifully sparse album that blends jazz fusion with electronica, often creating music that feels cinematic and expansive. With Dave Weckl. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729. 7:30 p.m. $20.50.
Varmint/THURSDAY, JANUARY 19
Now performing in the brand-spankin'-new Royal Room, Varmint has slowly migrated just down the street since their early days at Lottie's Lounge. While the group has always been a cover band, they take a jazz approach—they don't rehearse and frequently have guest musicians sit in. Expect them to cover anything from Neil Diamond to Sun Ra, with a healthy dose of country mixed in. Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. S., 906-9902. 9 p.m. Free.
THE HEAVIES by Hannah Levin
Grudge Rock/THURSDAY, JANUARY 5
The latest installment of Jake Stratton's ongoing homage to Family Feud is a formidable smackdown between Bellingham prog-metal mavens Dog Shredder and Akimbo side project Sandrider. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., 233-9873. 8 p.m. $8.
Witchburn/FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
Witchburn fly their horns high in classic metal style, spearheaded by the stunning stage presence of frontwoman Jamie Nova and propelled by Mischa Kianne's powerfully seductive guitar work. With Ancient Warlocks, Curse of the North, Skullbot. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $5.
Monogamy Party/SATURDAY, JANUARY 7
Newcomers Monogamy Party's angular, caustic punk would have been right at home on the Touch & Go roster circa '95. It's perfectly paired with the equally mouthy if more melodic sounds of Constant Lovers. With Grayskul. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $7.
Mico de Noche/WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11
Easily one of Seattle's best-kept secrets in terms of doom-driven, acerbic metal. Also on the bill, Portland's White Orange channel psych and desert rock with pop heart and hard-rock soul. With He Whose Ox Is Gored, Ancient Warlocks. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 9 p.m. $7.
Fu Manchu/SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
These SoCal stoner-rock stalwarts finally return to Seattle in support of the reissue of 1996's In Search Of . . . album, which they'll play in its entirety. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 8 p.m. $13 adv./$15 DOS.
Wolves in the Throne Room/TUESDAY, JANUARY 17
Olympia's fraternal duo came to fully textured, deeply disturbing fruition on this year's critically heralded Celestial Lineage, a work of consistently engrossing and challenging black metal. With Master Musicians of Bukkake, Druden. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618. 8 p.m. $13.
Princess/SATURDAY, JANUARY 21
Rarely are four-band bills this worthwhile. After a protracted hiatus, Portland's Black Elk is playing shows again, as is our own Princess. With Nether Regions, Helms Alee. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9 p.m. $8.
The Pack A.D./SATURDAY, JANUARY 21
This hugely promising punk duo out of Vancouver, B.C., essentially sounds like the bratty love child of Sleater-Kinney and the White Stripes. Hobosexual delivers 4:20 rock at blissfully blistering volumes. With Wylie & The Wild West. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599. 9:30 p.m. $10.