Trash Talk & MellowHype/Thursday, December 13
It's hard to believe that High on Fire's set the next day probably won't even claim the hardest pit of the week on the Hill, but break a taste off from any of Sacramento punkcore gang Trash Talk's material and see if you don't feel like smashing something. The show's all-ages accessibility and the band's association with every rebellious teen's favorite rap collective, Odd Future, also ensure some unruly thrashing on the floor. On the flip side, young co-headliners (and OF members) MellowHype (the individually and collectively talented Hodgy Beats and Left Brain) have more of a goofy, gravity-bong vibe that should keep older audience members from having a heart attack—until they listen to the lyrics. With Key Nyata, Wreck. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $15. All ages.
Cathedrals 4/Friday, December 14
The great acoustics you can get in a bathroom is one of musicians' favorite jokes (or non-joke—Paul Simon liked to take his guitar into his tiled bathroom and play "The Sound of Silence" with the faucet running). But what about a much classier and even more cavernous stone cathedral? Nathan Marion, the Fremont Abbey Arts director who created concert series The Round, envisioned indie-rock artists quietly playing in the grand space of Capitol Hill's St. Mark's Cathedral while audiences sat back in pews or on the floor; he's now staged such shows with My Brightest Diamond, Gold Leaves, and Mark Pickerel, among others. This installment will be headlined by Damien Jurado, whose peaceful, pensive songs will sound absolutely perfect echoing off the cathedral's high ceilings like thousand-year-old Gregorian chants. With Kevin Long, Naomi Wachira, Pepper Proud. St. Mark's Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave. E., 414-8325. 8 p.m. $14–$18. All ages.
High on Fire/Friday, December 14
High on Fire's latest album, De Vermis Mysteriis, is a low-end avalanche that barrels headlong into Distortion Valley. Drummer Des Kensel's toms, especially, pound your head like bowling ball–sized hail chunks, and Matt Pike's caveman bellow rides atop the thunderous riff cloud like he's riding a steaming bronco in slow motion. It's really business as usual for the Oakland, Calif., power trio, who have by now—six albums in—properly carved their name into the rugged face of stoner rock's Mount Olympus alongside the likes of Mastodon and Kyuss. This show's a must for anyone with a taste for the abrasive. With Goatwhore, Lopan. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $18.
A Tribute to Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music/Friday, December 14
Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids name-drops Harry Smith (no relation) more than a few times, as the eccentric archivist of 20th-century folk music shared a residence with her and then-boyfriend Robert Mapplethorpe in the Chelsea Hotel. Through his compilation of American folk recordings—The Anthology of American Folk Music—which featured the songs of artists like Mississippi John Hurt and the Carter Family, Smith is credited as a pivotal forebear of the '50s and '60s folk revival. Outside the folk circuit, he achieved limited recognition for his work during his lifetime (though he did win a Grammy in 1991, shortly before he died), but Patti Smith, ever the tastemaker, is among those now giving him proper due. With Baby Gramps, The Horde and the Harem, the Sumner Brothers, Led to Sea, the Washover Fans, Annie Ford Band, Liam Fitzgerald, Atlas Stringband, Les Chattes Creoles, Canote Brothers, Jacob Miller & the Bridge City Crooners, Jenny Ritter. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009. 9 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS.
Love and Theft/Saturday, December 15
When Taylor Swift writes about real-life dudes, she typically eviscerates them, no matter their stature. (Ask Jake Gyllenhaal or John Mayer whether they regret playing with the country-pop princess' heart.) But the song "Hey Stephen," off Swift's 2008 album Fearless, was something else entirely. In it, Swift sings of giddy infatuation with a boy named Stephen, wishing that he'll one day choose her. Stephen is Stephen Barker Liles, whose duo (formerly a trio) Love and Theft toured with Swift when her ode-to-a-crush was in heavy rotation, and whose single "Angel Eyes" was among mainstream country's most infectious chart-toppers this past summer. They recently hit the road with Jake Owen, leaving a tequila shortage in their wake. If only Swift cut loose like that, maybe she'd have a shot. With Big & Rich. Snoqualmie Casino, 37500 S.E. North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, 425-888-1234. 8 p.m. $15–$25.
106.1 KISS FM's Jingle Ball/Sunday, December 16
The biggest score on this year's Jingle Ball—KISS' annual Top 40-palooza—is Cher Lloyd, the most successful British X Factor loser this side of One Direction. Lloyd, a pint-sized, tatted-up 19-year-old, released a debut album, Sticks + Stones, that features an impressive array of collaborators, including Max Martin, Shellback, RedOne, and Busta Rhymes. She had two hits in her native UK—the bizarrely catchy "Swagger Jagger" and "With Ur Love," a sweet song that boasts a verse from Mike Posner—before breaking into the U.S. earlier this year with "Want U Back," a taunting single that occasionally samples a savage grunting noise from Lloyd. It's an aggressive touch that's meant to play on Lloyd's cutesy bad-girl image—like the song's accompanying video, in which Lloyd gets arrested for stomping all over a bar. Pop music loves nothing more than a bad girl, so there's nothing stopping her from becoming a star. With Calvin Harris, Afrojack, Ed Sheeran, 3OH!3, Owl City, Alex Clare. WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., 381-7555. 4 p.m. $40. All ages.