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The Rundown, 12/22/07-1/9/08 (+ Sharon Jones!) [12/22/2007 02:40:00 AM]:
Yearggh. I need sleep. But before I pass out, Dear Reader, I feel obligated to let you know what wonders await you this holiday season. 'Cause boy howdy, is there a lot of it. So go on, ditch the parental units, lie and say your boss called you back in to work, whatever you have to do, and see some shows. You won't be disappointed. (And if you are, hey, just let Krampus know, and I'm sure I'll see some coal in my stocking...)

Sat., December 22:
We Are the Hollow Men Art Show, featuring Fatal Flying Guilloteens, The Jonbenet, The Dimes, Reverberation, Grant Olney and The Brokedown Gospel, B, & The Riff Tiffs @ 1620 Keene Street Warehouse (just N of downtown off Main; 8PM, $5/$7)
Ah, crap. I so wish this was on another night, y'know? I've sworn a blood oath to hit a friend's Christmas party, and I doubt the wife'll take kindly to me bailing after we've been there a half-hour or so. Which sucks, because this show's a veritable cornucopia of cool bands, from screamo heroes The Jonbenet to the ultra-aggro-math-noise Fatal Flying Guilloteens to the neo-psych-fuzz Riff Tiffs to straight-up smart indie-rockers The Dimes. Oh, and it's an art opening, apparently, although I dunno a damn thing about that part of it.

Chris Murray/Ryan Scroggins and the Trenchtown Texans @ The Continental Club
Yeah, so maybe the Christmas party's a blessing in disguise, 'cause if I could go, I'd be seriously torn between these first two shows. Ryan Scroggins & crew are pretty much the best ska band H-town's got going, and Chris Murray's one of my favorite people in the whole roots-ska/reggae movement; his stuff with King Apparatus is excellent, and his Venice Shoreline Chris track "Ex-Darling" is still one of my favorite ska songs of all time.

Secret Saturday Show, featuring Butch & more @ The Shady Tavern (1206 W. 20th St.; 12-5PM, free!)
Yep, it's that "Butch," the one you're also likely to see onstage Christmas Eve at Fitz. Hoo-ah.

The Armfar Collective Showcase, featuring The Baristas, Breathe In Your Neighborhood, B-Side, The Low Ends, & Dee Rail @ Super Happy Fun Land
I'm afraid I'm clueless as to the Armfar Collective, but what the hell -- I've heard a number of these folks are good, esp. the Baristas, BIYN, and the Low Ends. Check 'em out.

Monster Metal Holiday Bash, featuring Necrofaith, Nhuvasrim, Cryptic, Soul On Fire, Burnt Face Jack, Strattera, Epic, Shotgun Facelift, Lycophile, Temple of Wrath, Subtracting Grace, Last Rosary, Consumed, Almost Sober, Rotting Corpse, & Cenocide @ The Meridian
Urr. Metal good. Bang head good.

Sun., December 23:
Rick Smith Memorial Show, featuring Orouboros, Novox, & more @ Rudyard's
Man. I wish I could think of something faux-witty and funny to say about this one, but I just can't. Wish you were still around, Rick.

Mon., December 24:
Faithealer/Kingdom of Magic/This Year's Tiger @ The Mink (8PM)
Dunno the headliners, sorry, but I keep meaning to see This Year's Tiger -- I've been hearing really good things about 'em.

Tues., December 25:
Punk-Mas, featuring 30footFALL, Brian's Johnson, & The World's Most Dangerous Band @ Fitzgerald's
If it's Christmas, it's 30footFALL. Y'know, I first saw these guys play back in college (at the college, actually), about 15 years ago, and somehow, they still manage to blow the roof off. And that's in spite of being all "retired" & stuff.

Tody Castillo @ Rudyard's
Yep, Tody's up at Rudz, and that's always worth checking out. He's got a new album coming out soon, so hopefully he'll be throwing out a lot of new stuff...

The Handsomes/Thunderado and Friends/Katie Stuckey @ The Continental Club
Nice to see the Handsomes getting recognition in the ol' Chronic recently -- congrats, y'all. And ignore the haters; radio-friendly though they definitely are, these guys are one of the best, tightest, most entertaining bands in town, and the funk/pop/reggae/etc. thing they do always gives me this big, goofy grin.

Thurs., December 27:
Grupo Fantasma/Beetle @ The Continental Club
Honestly, I've got no clue what to expect from Grupo Fantasma, but each time they come through town, I hear good stuff about 'em. Cumbia, apparently, and that's an area I'm just about ignorant on.

Fri., December 28:
Dead Roses/A Pink Cloud/A Thousand Cranes/brown paper kites @ The Engine Room
Crazy noise...at the Engine Room? Wow. Not something you're likely to see every day, I'd bet...

Sat., December 29:
Judas Bear/Bright Men of Learning/Che Arthur/Elaine Greer & Band @ The Proletariat
Okay, so I would wax nostalgic about all the reunions coming out of the woodwork, but sadly, I didn't even realize Judas Bear were dead until long after they'd come & gone. D'oh. Anyway, this is Thane & co.'s return, which should be fun, and both Bright Men of Learning and Elaine Greer are very good.

Secret Saturday Show, featuring several mystery bands & DJs @ The Shady Tavern (1206 W. 20th St.; 12-5PM, free!)

The Capricorny Show2, featuring Anarchitex, Sad Pygmy, & Bad Samaritans @ Super Happy Fun Land
Sad Pygmy rules.

Grand Buffet/DJ Jester the Filipino Fist/Bring Back The Guns/Ceeplus Bad Knives @ Rudyard's
I dunno, I just like the thought of weird, wacky DJs trading off with Bring Back The Guns spastic noise-pop.

Mon., December 31:
Golden Axe/The Squishees/Kvalla @ Rudyard's
Dangit, I guess that 12/21 show with Kvalla got cancelled, eh? Ah, well -- this'll do. The band's the new mëtäl project of Jonxer Danny Mee, and the music I've heard so far's damn cool. Plus, the Squishees rock, and the Golden Axe guys are very nice.

New Year's Party, featuring The American Sharks, Cop Warmth, The Wiggins, & O Pioneers!!! @ Boondocks
From the noisier side of the indie-rock tracks, these folks are a pretty good cross-section of what's cool in H-town these days. I dig Cop Warmth & American Sharks, in particular.

5th Annual New Year's Noise, featuring Black Mayonnaise, Black Magic Marker, The Annoysters, Muzak John, Kairos, Chiasma, Douglas Ferguson, Bully Pulpit, Concrete Violin, Wall With One Side, Y2kazoo, amputee, & more @ Super Happy Fun Land
Y'know, I can't say I'm a noise fan, honestly -- it gives me a headache, most of the time -- but I respect the hell out of the folks in this city who craft noisy, messy, spastic stuff that'll never get played on the radio, nonetheless. They do what they do for love, not money, and they're going to keep doing it 'til they die. It may not be everybody's cup of tea (er, battery acid), but H-town Noise has been around since before I got here, and I can't imagine our little scene without it.

New Year's Eve Show, featuring Skyblue72, D.R.U.M., & Toby Champagne @ Dean's Credit Clothing
Should be a good'un; my three-year-old really loves Skyblue72, and my wife used to drag me to the Bob Marley Festival just to see D.R.U.M.

Pegstar presents New Year's Eve, featuring Ladyheat, Ninevolt, The Tontons, & Alarma @ Notsuoh
Yep, another good bet -- I'm not real familiar with these folks, unfortunately, but have heard good reports about all of 'em.

Fri., January 4:
Ragged Hearts/Juan Louder/The Bowen Brothers @ Rudyard's
Dunno either of the openers, but Ragged Hearts are pretty great -- they look like they should be playing in a squat on the Lower East Side, but they sound like a bunch of alt-country kids. And they do it well, too.

B./The Church of Philadelphia/Hollywood Black/Buxton @ The Loft (The Woodlands)
Looking doubly good on this one... First off, it's the Church of Philadelphia, who are one of the few bands that make me want to just stand there and bask in the beautiful, amazing sounds they make, and it's also the second(?) show put on by brand-new booking crew Kids Eat Free, which is at least partly run by the CoP folks. It's gonna be good, I swear, so all you Woodlands/Spring/whatever kids, get out of the house & go.

Sat., January 5:
Dumbarton/I Miss Being A Kid/Earnie Banks/Elaine Greer/John Rawls @ Super Happy Fun Land
Damn, I wish I could just say, "go here," 'cause the I Miss Being A Kid folks have warned me that this'll be their last show. Which is a damn shame, 'cause they're good (as are Earnie Banks & Elaine Greer). Fingers crossed that they change their minds...

Hootenanny!, featuring Blades (as Foo Fighters), John Sears (as Sam Cooke), Indian Jewelry (as Depeche Mode), Laws (as Creedence Clearwater Revival), The Jonx (as Nomeansno), The Dimes (as The Pixies), The Mathletes (as Talking Heads), Panic in Detroit (as Jawbox), Something Fierce (as The Clash), Satin Hooks (as The Wipers), AWESOME! (as Weezer), & Papermoons (as Pedro the Lion) @ The Backroom (The Mink)
Yep, rambled about this one elsewhere already, so I'll spare you. Just go.

Sad Like Crazy @ The Proletariat
Oh, this is awesome. Never thought I'd see the day, although I'd certainly hoped to. Ex-Celindine/-Trompedo/-Schrasj crew comes back together to do some shows -- anybody know if it's only Trey, Mari, & Thane, or if Gram's coming back from Rogue Wave-dom in California?

Secret Saturday Show, featuring several mystery bands & DJs @ The Shady Tavern (1206 W. 20th St.; 12-5PM, free!)

My Education/Alkari/Hymn Six @ Rudyard's
I was ready to blow this one off somewhat, actually, but then I listened back to some My Education stuff I picked up a while back and found myself enjoying it. Like Explosions in the Sky but less morose, if you get what I mean. A listen to Alkari's excellent "The Code" tipped the scales.

J.J. Worthen (CD release)/Thee Armada/The 71's/Three Fantastic/Electric Touch @ Warehouse Live
This is a weird, weird, weird bill. Worthen, as far as I can tell, is a folky singer/songwriter. Thee Armada are a Marshall-stacks-on-10 post-emo rock band. Three Fantastic are a quirky bunch of pseudo-funksters with ties to the whole Sprawl/Middlefinger/Clouseaux axis of bands. About the only thing they have in common is that they're good.

Tony Booth/Miss Leslie and Her Juke Jointers/Molly and the Ringwalds @ The Continental Club
Yay, Miss Leslie's playing again. Folks, if you like your country with more Flatt & Scruggs in it than Toby Keith, this is where you need to be. She's & her Juke Jointers are incredible.

Wed., January 9:
Fantasys Core/Motion Turns It On @ Walter's on Washington
Cool local prog band (Motion Turns It On) + crazed, baseball-obsessed Japanese rock band = a weird, most likely interesting night.

Fri., January 25:
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings/The Ivan Meliv Band @ Walter's on Washington
Yes, I know I'm skipping ahead a week or two, but fuck it -- I've just got to mention this one, 'cause it's gonna be mind-blowing. I'm talking so mind-blowing I almost didn't want to mention it here, in case I couldn't get tickets. Cool, funky, expertly played soul sung by a lady who sounds like she stepped off of one of your parents' old 45s.

Have a merry Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Festivus, or whatever it is you do...

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