Wednesday, Dec. 1
A laid-back guitarist and singer who made his name as a session musician, the 53-year-old blues guitarist is touring in support of his new album, Prodigal Son (Sugar Hill). Triple Door, 7:30 p.m. $20
David Lavin distributes boisterous blues and campfire folk in equal doses as leader of this ebullient local collective. Dude's an effectively empathetic, observant storyteller, to boot. Tonight is the release show for the intricately composed, aptly titled Composite Sketches (Hercules). Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $5
Thursday, Dec. 2
Leroy Maretz Bell
The former Philly soul songwriter (hits for McFadden and Whitehead) and singer (Bell & James) has been doing the solo acoustic thing to increasing acclaim for well over a year now, and his cult is getting larger by the month. Triple Door, 7:30 p.m. $15
KISW Holiday Hangover Ball: Saliva + Drowning Pool
It's not fucking fair. This is the only local radio station X-mas-travaganza with any trace of nü-metal—not to mention a very real potential for a rock-'n-roll re-enactment of the Pistons-Pacers über-brawl—and you can only score tickets by keeping it "locked on the Rock." How can the powers that be deprive the public of such high comedy? Fenix Underground, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 3
The Coup + Vast Aire
Oakland political rappers the Coup's brilliant 2001 Party Music (75 Ark) has only gotten more relevant since Nov. 2, and Boots Riley is always a galvanizing live presence. Vast Aire's Look Ma, No Hands (Chocolate Industries) is blessedly lighter than his work with Cannibal Ox, though not quite as striking. Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $12 adv.
Darkest Hour + Between the Buried and Me + Cattle Decapitation
Solid gold young metal bill. Cattle Decapitation cackle tongue-in-cheek PETA-friendly grindcore, Between the Buried and Me roll out modern melodic death-metal without the cheesy "anthemic" bits plaguing the genre of late, and Darkest Hour nod to Swedish forebears like At the Gates with emotive, virulent instrumental passages. Graceland, 7 p.m. $10 adv.
Fourth Annual Guitar Toss/Boomtown Cafe Benefit
With local singer-songwriters pitching in for the good of the Boomtown Cafe, where homeless citizens can barter and trade for healthy meals, who cares if actual guitars are actually tossed? Expect acoustic guitars, inspired covers, and lots of warm 'n fuzzies. Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $7
Lynch sings fearlessly—and offensively—about the Special Olympics and priestly molestation. He's a savage satirist who looks like an Abercrombie model; that bland exterior only makes his flat-out meanness (he's up there with classic South Park) that much more shocking. His insistence on tipping every sacred cow may appeal to you; if not, you won't be around after intermission. Moore Theatre, 8 p.m. $29.50
Gilmore Girls has done for Sam Phillips what Magnolia did for Aimee Mann. This year's stately A Boot and a Shoe sounds as fresh as anything Phillips wrote in her louder years, the late '80s and early '90s. Five albums and 17 years after her acid-tinged debut, The Turning, she's made the best record of her career. Don't miss her. Century Ballroom, 8 p.m. $17.50 adv./$20
Saturday, Dec. 4
The unevenness of Bazooka Tooth aside, Aesop Rock's got more rhymes in his notebook than most indie guys, and he's striking onstage—not just because he's really tall, either. Blue Scholars open. HUB Ballroom, University of Washington, 206-543-8131, 7 p.m. $10 UW students/$15
A friend reports that this New Jersey-gone-L.A. '80s indie band's reunion shows in lovely Sayreville, N.J., went just fine, so if you ever harbored a soft spot for 'em, go. Fenix Underground, 8 p.m. $12 adv.
The Kills + the Hunches + the Cops
ALSO SEE CD REVIEW, P. 46. The vocal tilt and politicizing rumble of local rockers the Cops is definitely influenced by Brits—namely, the Clash. Old Royal Trux fans bitch about the Kills' makeup—guy guitarist, girl singer, riffage and attitude galore—without stopping to think that this band has, you know, songs. They sound, gloriously, like Union Jacks raised by wolves in the swampland. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $12 adv.
KMTT's 10th Annual Winter Warmth Concert
"Warmth" is right, with all tepidness implied, especially with this lineup: Sonia Dada, G Love and Special Sauce, and Ray LaMontagne. Moore Theatre, 7 p.m. $5–$60
Sunday, Dec. 5
He'll never, ever get over Fantasy Records suing him in the '70s, and while his voice and tune sense won't leave him, either, they'll never again be revelatory. Especially when he starts bitching. Moore Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $35–$45
KISS Jingle Bell Bash: Avril Lavigne + Simple Plan + Maroon 5 + Hilary Duff + Ryan Cabrera + Christina Milian
Hilary Duff is fourth on this bill?! We get two helpings of Sesame Street pogo-punk (the newly dolled-up Avril and Simple Plan), two helpings of hot-oil pin-up lust (the metrosexed-up lads of Maroon 5 and Milian), and then Duff unceremoniously tossed in the middle?!This would be one of the bargains of the year if the sets weren't so notoriously short. Lord, deliver us backstage! Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, 253-272-3663. 4:30 p.m. $35–$55
On first spin, this local quartet comes off like just another addition to the overstuffed fashionista garage bin. Not so fast. Razrez filter their Clash and Cars influences into jittery freakouts like "Police" and "Snake" that are more indicative of a young band embracing their innate weirdness than stale dance-punk couture. Catwalk, 8 p.m. $5–$7
Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings
This blues slide guitarist and his merry band of minions have a new CD titled Live at the Sierra Nevada Brewery Big Room, which should tell you everything you need to know about whether you'd dig this show or not. Triple Door, 7:30 p.m. $23
Tuesday, Dec. 7
SEE ONE PIECE AT A TIME, P. 43. Premier, 7 p.m. $20
SEE REVIEW, P. 39. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 7:30 p.m. $20.50–$24.50. Also Wed., Dec. 8–Sun., Dec. 12.
SEE SW THIS WEEK, P. 37. Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $12 adv.