Wednesday, Dec. 22
Tower of Power
Making their multi-umpteenth appearance here (meaning Jazz Alley as much as Seattle), this Bay Area combo keeps on delivering those '70s hits y'all love so much. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $31.50–$33.50. Also Thurs., Dec. 23.
Thursday, Dec. 23
Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter
SEE CD REVIEW, PAGE 45. Tractor Tavern, 9 p.m. $8 adv./$10
Rockaraoke X-Mas Eve Eve Spectacular
Seattle nightlife basically assumes the Baby Jesus fetal position after tonight, so don't miss this golden opportunity to drunkenly caterwaul '80s hits onstage with a full backing band. Or maybe they'll do carols. God only knows. No matter the playlist, the men of Rockaraoke (specifically guitarist Rusty Urie) will totally hold your hand and not make you feel like the idiot you'll definitely look like. Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $7
How better to celebrate the night before the night before Christmas than with an instrumental covey of speed metal? Where their punk counterparts are cacophonous and just plain loud, Swarming Hordes are like an accelerated symphony of death songs. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $7
Saturday, Dec. 25
Industrial Christmass Night
"They say 'Why are you dressed like it's Halloween? It's so absurd. It's so obscene.'" If you're among the select ministry who remotely identify with this lyric, chances are you'll postpone cramming your Bauhaus discography into your new iPod in favor of flailing about in fishnets tonight. DJs Glis and Androidheart spin. Catwalk, 9 p.m. $2
3 Inches of Blood + Book of Black Earth + Six Demon Bag
Thank you, Graceland, for giving the agnostic minority the option of spending Christmas day in the searing heat of a black/death metal tar pit. Marginally interesting gossip newsflash: a Book of Black Earth member recently revealed that opening for 3 Inches is preferable to headlining because they break almost everything onstage. Fuckin' A to that. Graceland, 7 p.m. $8
Sunday, Dec. 26
SEE CD REVIEW, PAGE 45. Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave., 206-322-1533. 7 p.m. $5
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. Also Mon., Dec 27–Tues. Dec., 28.
Monday, Dec. 27
Seattle Holiday Comedy and Music Festival
SEE CD REVIEW, P. 45, AND SW THIS WEEK, P. 37. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 206-215-4800, 8 p.m. $40 adv./$50
Tuesday, Dec. 28
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 Wed., Dec. 29–Sat., Jan. 1.
Indie Post X-Mas Party
The Preons, Argo, Pleasurecraft, Arkade, and DJ Colin from Mercer unite three days after the birth of Christ to perform originals, sing carols—which makes no sense—and cover Michael Jackson songs, which makes even less. Then again, the Christmas season is all about the children, so maybe the latter kinda does. How can you look away from a car wreck this original? Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $6
Rematch: Beakers vs. Blackouts
You'd be a fool to miss this release party for two long-gone Seattle skronk-punk/funk bands that history hasn't quite been fair to. Because neither band could reassemble, the stand-ins for this CD release celebration will include some of the original players and their newly rejuvenated recordings, spun live by rejuvenator Calvin Johnson. Green Room, 7 p.m.
Seattle Sings Messiah
You can probably hum the "Hallelujah Chorus," but did you know it's only the centerpiece of an entire Handel oratorio? Thanks to the outsized fame of one measly passage, Messiah can seem like a drag to sit through; people just mark time 'til the climax, then start checking their watches immediately afterward. When you get to sing along, though, it's hard to get bored, and that's the chief virtue of Seattle Sings Messiah—performed by "the SSM Orchestra," with harpsichord solos by Robert Kechley. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255, 7 p.m. $10–$12