Your Live Music Bets for the Weekend of December 16th through the 18th
Tonight (Friday, December 16):
Duff McKagan’s Loaded @ Key Arena. $40.00 to $87 at the door. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm.
Duff McKagan’s earned serious Seattle musical war-hero stripes over the years, having played drums for punk-pop legends The Fastbacks at age 16, and also manning the skins for local old-school punks The Fartz and playing bass for 10 Minute Warning. He’s probably best known as erstwhile bassist for glam-rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, but The Taking, McKagan’s current release as frontman for his combo Loaded, drags its knuckles along the same gloriously filthy path as Green River and Mudhoney, then filters that noise through an epic big-rock filter (the winningly-ugly “Follow Me to Hell” sounds like Dry as a Bone in Cinemascope). Rumor has it that McKagan has some connection with the night’s headliners, a hard-rock band that achieved a modest measure of success during the tail end of the Reagan Years. Dollars to donuts McKagan’s band will mop the floor with ‘em.
Thee Emergency, Sugar Sugar Sugar, Last Watch @ The Comet Tavern. $8 at the door. Show at 9pm.
Thee Emergency lead singer Dita Vox possesses more charisma in her well-manicured pinkie than most lesser mortals do in their entire bodies, guitar Matt ”Sonic” Smith throws a pinch of glam into his garage soul riffing, and the sturdy rhythm section of Nick Detroit and Tom T. Drummer can pretty much push complacent clubgoers’ asses into motion at a hundred paces. Cracka’ Slang, Thee Emergency’s most recent full-length, trades some of that pulsating energy for dollops of candy-coated psychedelic pop and country, but there’s no way they’ll leave the Comet without busting out some beloved rave-ups like “Can You Dig It?”. They’ll have to: Awesome Bellingham heavy-groovers Sugar Sugar Sugar, who precede them, do the dirty dog with the Stooges and T. Rex somethin’ sweet.
Jay-Z, Kanye West @ The Tacoma Dome. $49.50–$99.50 at the door. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm.
My mom, who doesn’t even own a CD player, knows who Jay-Z is, for God’s sake. She likes Annie some, but it never occurred to me to ask her for her take on the Annie-sample-laden “Hard Knock Life”.
Saturday, December 17:
Scratch Acid, Oxbow@ Neumos. $20 advance. Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm.
Art punks vomited up from the bowels of Austin, Texas, Scratch Acid cracked the skulls of Bad Brains and the Dead Kennedys together to create ungodly, ranting, cacophonous noise that remains as corrosive (and mind-blowing) today as it was thirty-some (!) years ago. They’ve (reportedly) still got the goods. And for just five bucks more, you’re nuts not to take in what’s sure to be a lively Q & A between principal Scratch Acid screamer David Yow and local music scribbler extraordinaire Chris Estey (with spoken word by Oxbow’s Eugene Robinson) across the street at the Comet Tavern two hours prior.
Dinosaur Jr. and Pierced Arrows, with an interview by Henry Rollins @ The Showbox Market. $22.50 advance, $25 at the door. Show at 7pm.
Dinosaur Jr. made Neil Young cool amongst punk rock kids, thanks to J. Mascis’s openly Young-infused whine and broiling axwork. To a lot of ears, they never topped Bug, their 1988 opus and the last Dino full-length to feature original bassist Lou Barlow until 2007′s Beyond. Also stopping by: Punk legend/spoken-word gadabout Henry Rollins, who’ll be grilling Mascis, Barlow, and drummer Murph about Bug and lotsa other stuff.
Sunday, December 18:
Holiday Showdown: Portland Cello Project, Israel and Ryan of Blind Pilot, Emily Wells @ Columbia City Theater. $12 advance, $15 at the door. Shows at 7pm and 10:30pm.
The Portland Cello Project augment well-honed perfectionist chops with puckish humor, in an engaging melange of classical, jazz, and popular music (their cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” kills). Things are sure to take a holiday turn, but wherever they journey sonically, it’ll sound sublime in the immaculately-appointed Columbia City Theater. Blind Pilot purvey a brand of acoustic indie-folk that gracefully transcends all of the folkies-come-lately crawling around these parts with clean and lushly romantic pop hooks. ”Go On Say It” is one urgent and gorgeous acoustic love song, so here’s hoping that band members Israel and Ryan bust it out in their opening set(s).