Wednesday, Jan. 12
This teenage two-piece from Bellingham has earned accolades mostly in the form of Radiohead comparisons. Singer Michael Harris does sound a hell of a lot like Thom Yorke, and that's a good start; live, they kick the showy asses of Keane and other current cookie-cutter mope-rock bands out of Britain, and they can't even legally drink. Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $6
Maynard Ferguson and His Big Bop Nouveau Band
The trumpet legend leads a large ensemble that includes trumpeters Patrick Hession, Ken Edwards, and Keith Faila, trombonist Reggie Watkins, sax players Doug Stone and Julio Monterrey, pianist Ji Young Lee, bassist Eun Chang Choi, and drummer Stockton Helbing. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 7:30 p.m. $19.50–$23.50. Also Thurs., Jan. 13–Sun., Jan. 16.
Rockrgrl 10-Year Anniversary
SEE SW THIS WEEK, PAGE 41. Neumo's, 7:30 p.m. $10
Roy Haynes Quartet
Continuing the run, in recent weeks, of titanic jazz drummer/bandleaders is the hard-swinging Haynes, whose group features reeds player Marcus Strickland, pianist Martin Bejerano, and bassist John Sullivan. Triple Door, 7:30 p.m. $35
Tsunami Relief Fund Benefit: The Presidents of the United States of America + MxPx + Smoosh
A good cause headlined by some popular bands—PUSA's eternal goofiness, MxPx's God-friendly pop-punk, Smoosh's sharp young minimalism. Showbox, 7 p.m. $15 adv. Smoosh also play Sunset Tavern, Fri., Jan. 14.
Thursday, Jan. 13
Admired by the type of Converse-wearing garage fans who are into both old crappy guitars and new crappy Web 'zines, Oakland's Clorox Girls play hard-edged L.A. style punk with a reverence for the Germs. Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $6
I Can Lick Any SOB in the House
Progressive honky-tonk punk from Portland. That alone scores them cool points, but we're more impressed by "The Ballad of Courtney Taylor" (from second album Put Here to Bleed), not because the evisceration of the Dandy Warhols' ringleader is particularly well-written, but because these dudes are even aware that the fucking Dandy Warhols exist. Tractor Tavern, 9 p.m. $7
Iron Composer: Chris Ballew vs. Rachel Flotard
Pugnacious pop practitioners alert! The Presidents of the USA vocalist faces off against the Visqueen frontlady in this quirky, game-show-like improv series. Both will be equipped with a guitar, piano, Seattle School collaborator, and an unhealthy amount of shots to make their battling ad-libs a reality. Crocodile Cafe, 8:30 p.m. $8
The Decemberists' leader and the author of a fine volume of Continuum Books' "33 1/3" series (about the Replacements' 1984 classic, Let It Be) plays a solo show in a rather gorgeous setting, which should make his stuff even more interesting. Triple Door, 8 p.m. $14
David Murray and Kalil El Zabar
The most prodigious sax blower of his generation, Murray's loft-bred style can fit just about any setting, and if it doesn't, he's game to try it anyway. He'll appear here with percussionist Kalil El Zabar. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., 206-654-3100. 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 14
Annual SYPP MLK Hip-Hop Show
Another year, another tribute to one of the country's greatest thinkers and activists. This time around, the Martin Luther King tribute will feature Ra Scion, Cancer Rising, H Bomb, Specs One, Youthspeaks, Onion, and Iisei. VERA Project, 7 p.m.
A jazz-rock pioneer who hasn't lost his taste for adventure, the guitarist shines in any number of settings, from solo to trio and beyond. EMP Sky Church, 8 p.m. $20 adv./$22
Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter
There's tangible tension when Sykes and her band are onstage—not uneasy, uncomfortable tension, but tension that makes you happy you didn't just stay home and listen to the CD again. (Though you could certainly do worse than an evening at home quietly playing their Oh, My Girl). Nine Pound Hammer, 6009 Airport Way S., 206-762-3373, 9 p.m.
As a writer, Englishman and Seattleite Everett True (aka the Legend, and sometimes even the Legend!) has been a love-or-hate-him kind of guy, and the same is more or less true of his music. Both can be a lot of fun, though. No. 13 Baby headlines. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $8
Neurosis ft. Jarboe
The crazy-influential sludge/dirge legends return with the, um, intense ex-Swans vocalist Jarboe. This is the fifth and possibly final of an extremely exclusive series of two-and-a-half hour shows, which will likely draw heavily from their esoteric 2003 collaboration, Neurosis & Jarboe (Neurot). Neumo's, 8 p.m. $15 adv.
An Eastern Washington native and back-in-the-day peer to the likes of Van Morrison, Frank Zappa, Joan Baez, and Mississippi John Hurt, blues/rock/folk guitarist Alice Stuart ought to be more of an icon—especially around here. Better late than never; go check her out tonight. Highliner, 9 p.m. Also at Highway 99 Blues Club, Tues., Jan. 18.
You know those lost winter Saturdays when you wake up hung over and alone halfway through sunset? Spin this local instrumental three-piece's Tremulous Elementals over beer and cereal. By the end, you just may resemble a human being again. Augmented by 8mm visuals live. ToST, 9 p.m. $6
Tsunami Relief Fund Benefit: Ben Gibbard + James Mercer + Dave Bazan
Who better to raise money for the victims of a monumental catastrophe than three of indie rock's most sensitive songsmiths (respectively, of Death Cab for Cutie, the Shins, and Pedro the Lion)? Whatever they trot out—most likely a mix of covers and acoustic versions of their bands' best-known tunes—should sound plenty sweet tonight. If we're lucky, they'll even trade songs. Showbox, 8 p.m. $15 adv.
Tuesday, Jan. 18
Alvin Youngblood Hart + Guy Davis
Two bluesmen of fairly recent vintage: Hart's a regular visitor to Jazz Alley, and Davis is a Handy Award winner, though his recent Legacy (Red House) is a stone bore. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 7:30 p.m. $18.50–$20.50 Also Wed., Jan. 19.
Calvin Johnson + C.O.C.O. + Mount Eerie
Johnson's doing well enough after a severe auto accident to be playing out regularly again, and while we've got major reservations about his performance style we're glad he's OK—dude's brought a lot of good music into the world one way or the other for sure. The bland grooves of C.O.C.O., though, aren't really the best example; better to use Mount Eerie (formerly the Microphones) as a case study. Chop Suey, 8 p.m. $7
So Hot Right Now!: Chromatics + the Formless + Coconut Coolouts
Despite the rather obnoxious, pushy title of tonight's showcase, there is some truth in advertising—but, at least in the case of the Chromatics, they might have just called it So Hot for a While Now! At any rate, count on deliberately raw and overtly nonchalant garage punk from everyone. Neumo's, 8 p.m. $5
Sunset Strip Tuesday: DJ Taylor
Show your stuff literally and figuratively on the pole to the tune of Chingy, Li'l Jon, and presumably many other hip-hop and rock artists who make music for just this purpose. It's win-win: You compete for cash prizes, and we'll have something to stare dumbly at other than the Grey Goose collection in the well. Fenix Underground, 8 p.m. $5