While the holiday season is far from dry from a booze standpoint, as far as live music goes, the flow slows to a molasses pace

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The Weekend Preview

While the holiday season is far from dry from a booze standpoint, as far as live music goes, the flow slows to a molasses pace while touring bands keep close to home like everyone else. Betwixt all the holiday parties, egg nog and tacky sweaters, take some time to appreciate a few options we've got this weekend.

Tonight!

Friday, December 14

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The Maldives in the Redwoods

The Tractor Tavern hosts their annual X-Mas throwdown with the Maldives, Widower (who share four of the same members and a slightly differing, though very Bloodshot sound), Grand Hallway and Devon Williams, who's claim to fame so far is his spot as Lavender Diamond's touring guitarist. When I spoke with frontwoman Becky Stark, she was so stoked on the man (who's name came to her during a meditation session) that she went on about his talents for a good 20 minutes. His beautiful pop stylings will be played solo tonight. 9 p.m. $7

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U.S.E., in case you couldn't tell.

U.S.E. play their second December show with Truckasaurus and Strength at the Vera Project, and if their last Repeal Day throwdown at Neumo's is any indication, this will be one sparkly, colorful, festive, packed good time. 7:30 p.m., $11. All ages.

Saturday, December 15

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Shonen Knife

Shonen Knife roll in to town from Japan, in support of their 14th (!) studio album Fun! Fun! Fun!. Michael Alan Goldberg is excited, and here's why:

More than 25 years into a singularly surreal career that's seen them evolve from a trio of Osaka office workers to an indie-rock avatar, Japan's Shonen Knife show no signs of slowing down. They just released their 14th studio album, Fun! Fun! Fun!, and are now in the middle of their umpteenth U.S. tour. "Nick Lowe, Costello, Beatles/Redd Kross, Ramones, Buzzcocks/Shonen Knife is a cult band!" singer-guitarist Naoko Yamano chirped on "Shonen Knife"—the opening track on 712, the 1991 album that served as an intro to most stateside music fans. Like the four misfits they sang about in "Ramones Forever," Shonen Knife haven't altered their formula over the years, nor called it quits despite several lineup changes. Drummer-turned-bassist Atsuko Yamano (Naoko's sister) retired last year, but she's back on board for this tour, along with drummer Etsuko Nakanishi, who's been playing with the group since 2003. Here's your chance to pogo to three-chord ditties about Fruit Loops, rockets, and Barbie dolls. With the Juliet Dagger and Verona Grove. Chop Suey, 8 p.m. $13 adv.

The resourceful and talented Wally Shoup got a grant from the city to pur on a few shows aroud town, and, as Mark D. Fefer writes in this week's Short List, this is the last of the series:

Wally Shoup Trio—your tax dollars at work. And working harder than you're apt to see most of the time. Creative-music stalwart Shoup lassoed his first-ever grant from the city this fall for a series of concerts, and this is your last chance to catch one. Shoup's free-jazz-aflame trio features the intricate passion of Gust Burns on piano and sophisticated bashing of Bob Rees on drums and vibes. "From a Whisper to a Scream" is the title of the series, which pretty much captures the range of texture and dynamics you'll get from this unit. And with the open acoustics of the Good Shepherd, no pin will drop unheard. Plus, it's free!

Good Shepherd Center, 8:00pm, free.

Sunday, December 16

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The Lonely (and shirtless) H.

Come down easy with a School of Rock matinee at the old Chop Suey! A whole heap of musically talented kids who've gone through the program in Portland will take the stage along with the Lonely H. This is a preview of what's to come: Seattle's own Paul Green School of Rock will open here on January 6th. 3 p.m., $5. All ages!

 
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