This Week's Recommended Shows

From the Barleywine Revue to My Goodness.

Barleywine Revue/THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22

Too often, performances in our local chamber/baroque/Americana pop scene feel like overly precious MTV Unplugged episodes. Tacoma bluegrassers Barleywine Revue exist to relieve some of the tension and pop the bubble of seriousness. They pack some of the same weapons of their peers—banjo, double bass, violin, etc.—but they pluck them alongside a washboard, an instrument that's impossible to listen to without a grin. They're not trying to change lives or adhere to the zeitgeist. They just want you to untuck your hands and have another beer. With Little Ray & the Uppercuts, Pickled Okra. Skylark Cafe & Club, 3803 Delridge Way S.W., 935-2111. 9 p.m. $5. CHRIS KORNELIS

Sing Sing/THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22

During the slow holiday season, one dependable gift is old friends coming home to celebrate together. Tonight, Seattle expat DJ Pretty Titty (né Clayton Vomero) and Four Color Zack revive their hip, genre-hopping club night of the early aughts, Sing Sing, in what has become a Xmas tradition. In its heyday, Sing Sing reveled in the then-fashionable style of mashups—not so much Girl Talk overload (although Zack can quick-cut records with the best of them) as the sly rock/hip-hop/electro blends of Diplo's old Hollertronix output. It might seem quaint now, but there was a time when such an eclectic program—getting indie kids dancing to hip-hop, rap heads to bouncing to new wave, and so forth—seemed revolutionary. Messrs. Titty and Zack's tastes have kept up with the times, of course, but expect a party as lively and diverse as ever. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 9 p.m. Free. ERIC GRANDY

Country Lips/FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23

Many, many years before the likes of Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, and Blake Shelton donned 10-gallon hats and began crooning about blue jeans and cheesy romance, country was the genre of choice for drunkards, rebels, and rockers. Seattle's own Country Lips pay homage to that proud tradition, cranking out debauched ballads with slurred-speech choruses that would make Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard proud. The eight-piece band has a reputation for rowdiness (as should any roots/country revivalists worth their weight in Jack Daniel's), which ought to make for some lively pre–Christmas Eve festivities. With Rollin Hazards. The Mix, 6006 12th Ave. S., 767-0280. 9 p.m. $5. KEEGAN HAMILTON

Full Toilet/FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23

Don Sheets, the man behind grime-punk group Full Toilet, is a peddler of super-short songs (think the Minutemen minus 30 seconds) that run extra-long on angst. The 13 smearingly sludgy tracks that constitute his new self-titled Sub Pop EP—tonight is its official release—clock in at just under five minutes total and are heavy on distortion, maniacal drums, and mumbled lyrics that string together in a fluid, cacophonous stream, making it hard to tell when one stops and the next begins. The sound experience is unnerving, but there's a beautiful simplicity about it; you get the feeling that this is Sheets' burgeoning, irrepressible magnum opus. Through his sputtering rage, Full Toilet offers a glimpse inside a creative and angry young man who is something of a mystery. With Big Wheel Stunt Show, Toyskulls. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $7. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT

***EDITOR'S PICK

Crocodile Holiday Party/FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23

The holidays can be a slow time of year for venues that usually host touring bands—no one wants to spend Christmas on the road. Good cheer still needs to be spread somehow, though, so the Crocodile's hosting a Yule soirée in their back bar this Christmas Eve Eve. As at any proper party, there'll be food and drink—the bar's happy hour (drink specials, two-for-one pizzas) will be extended all night—and music, with DJ sets by Crocodile staffers/little Santas Alicia "Miss L Toe" Amiri," Eli "Festival of Lights" Anderson, and Meli "Tinsel Tits" Darby. Darby tells me the tunes will be "mostly party jams with some holiday gems sprinkled into the mix," and that the purpose of the party is to loosen up and prepare for the days ahead, "because let's face it, this time of year can be fucking stressful! So let's eat, drink, and BE MERRY!" Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618. 8 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Nacho Picasso/FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23

Don't let his Steve Urkel specs fool you: Nacho Picasso is the weightlifting villain of Seattle rap at the moment. With a cardigan of tattoos, the tough-jawed Picasso spits raps from Necro's inkwell with a sickly-cool rasp and foot-dragging pace for effect. His style is pretty grisly, which fits the ghostly production (by talented teams Blue Sky Black Death and Raised by Wolves) he's been rapping over, and creates a graphic landscape that has proven different—and badass—enough to earn him nationwide cred as of late. With a crew of his Cloud Nice comrades in tow, this show should add a little hot-brandy burn to your Christmas nog. With Sam Lachow & Company, Steezie Nasa, Pu$h Gang, Real Rogers, DJ PhoSho. Chop Suey. 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $10. All ages. TODD HAMM

Talcum/SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25

If you're a Christmas orphan, or just looking to ditch the family after dark and blow off some holiday steam, you couldn't ask for a better present than Talcum's Northern Soul dance party. Hosted by Seattle's top-notch Emerald City Soul Club, Talcum is a festive affair year 'round, lubricated by a light dusting of the eponymous white powder on its dance floor and by the always-ace selections of its DJs, whose knowledgeable taste and crates of rare soul 45s are rightly legendary. Deep as those crates go, though, this isn't some obscurantist pissing contest; everything is groovy and upbeat, and even the songs you don't know feel totally familiar, a vintage sound that's basically in America's veins. Dress up, dress down, but have your dancing shoes on. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 9 p.m. $5. ERIC GRANDY

Woody Allen and His New Orleans Jazz Band/MONDAY, DECEMBER 26

At the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, where clarinetist Woody Allen has played for years with his New Orleans Jazz Band, admission throws you back a cool $125 (add $50 for the premium deal). It's a princely cost even for New York, but for fans of Allen and his films, peppered with iconic hot-jazz soundtracks—including some of his own stuff in Sleeper—it's a necessary expense to see him in the flesh. Allen is an infrequent visitor to the Northwest, which makes the $46 mezzanine-level price a screaming deal to catch the musician and filmmaker perform selections from a repertoire of more than 1,200 songs that have set the tone for his many movies, most recently the tender, whimsical fantasy Midnight in Paris. And no Woody Allen experience would be complete without a little self-depreciating shtick, so there's also that to look forward to. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 467-5510. 7:30 p.m. $45.75–$85.75. All ages. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT

My Goodness/MONDAY, DECEMBER 26

It should be no spoiler to say that My Goodness will impress with their bulky blues-punk; they've been grabbing concertgoers' attention for a good minute now. The real story here (aside from the fact that bringing a wrapped toy for Toys for Tots gets you $5 off the cover) is the fact that this bill is as whacked-out strange as the carnival-themed, basketball-court-smoking-area'ed venue itself. Let's see: We'll get our goofy dance-rock in with the Downstrokes; sleaze things up with Lisa Dank; do our bouncy surf-girl (and -boy) thing with Sweet Pups; and be pleasantly disgusted by Funhouse-appropriate duo Ronald McFondle and Billy the Fridge. Take that, normalcy! With DJ Nils Forever. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 8 p.m. $10. TODD HAMM

 
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