For those of you who have this week off-and even those of you that don't- and are looking for something to do to tide you over until NYE- take Michael Alan Goldberg's advise and head to the Croc tonight. . .
Hoquiam + the Swaybacks + Dear Darling
Oft-wistful, always enthralling Seattle indie-rock band Dear Darling—fronted by passionate, somber-voiced singer-guitarist Jesse Smith (who's also no mean chef about town, from what I hear)—has played far too few shows around town for my liking over the past year or so. That probably has something to do with the amicable departure of drummer Andy Fitts not long after DD self-released their album, Songs of Friends and Family, in the spring of 2005. I last caught them live around that time, and the trio's set was brilliant—a mix of heart-tugging, acoustic-guitar-led rootsiness, and the infectious, slanted guitar-pop of late-era Superchunk, all of it led by Smith's lyrics lamenting crumbling love. Word is Dear Darling is working on a new full-length, and hearing some new material at the Croc should be terrific, but getting to catch the band live at all is a real treat. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG Crocodile Cafe, 8 p.m. $6