Lovin’ and Listenin’

The Christmas season is almost upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by attending some fine live music events? I mean, sure, sitting around with your distant relatives and drinking non-alcoholic egg nog is fun, but I know that’s not what you really want to do. And with this wide selection of excellent offerings to choose from, you’ll have no excuse not to be out celebrating the holidays in the correct fashion. So go ahead and enrich your life, culturally. It’s better than sitting at some bar with your same old drunk friends, right? At least now you can drag your same old drunk friends out to concert venues and drink there.


Friday, Dec. 9

Los Straitjackets and the Pontani Sisters present a Christmas Pageant

Dante’s1 S.W. Third Ave.

9 p.m., 21+

What better way to forget the rain and storms than with surf music? Los Straitjackets have been wearing those Mexican Wrestling masks since way before Strongbad made them front-rank kitsch. The fact that they can still play guitars while wearing Lucha masks makes it even better. Its sometimes hard to shake the feeling that you’re hearing “Satan’s Pilgrims 2” or something, and that’s too bad because compared against the Pilgrims any monster mash-y surf band is not going to stack up. It’s hard to beat five guys in capes playing matching Jaguars. All things considered, though, Los Straitjackets are pretty good, enough for them to play the game while the Pilgrims aren’t around. Sit back and pretend you’re someplace warm and tropical.  


Saturday, Dec. 10

I Can Lick Any SOB In The House/The Punk Group Double CD Release

Dante’s 1 S.W. Third Ave.

9 p.m., 21+

Say what you will about the Punk Group. I’ve heard them called annoying, offensive, and uncreative. But the first time I heard them, I thought they were hilarious. Admittedly, it only lasted about a week, and I haven’t listened to them since then, but you have to give credit where it’s due. They have plenty of refreshing, in-your-face obnoxiousness and egotism, something that’s missing from a lot of music these days. I mean, how much are we supposed to care about someone’s problems, or their search for meaning in life? I want to hear about how bad-ass they think they are! OK, I guess I only want to hear that for a few minutes every once in a while, but it’s good to know that the Punk Group exists. Go support them and buy them a drink. I hear they’re really nice guys.


Tuesday, Dec. 13

The Dandy Warhols

Wonder Ballroom 128 N.E. Russell St.

$15, All Ages

This will probably be the show to see this holiday, if you’re into this kind of music. Rock music, pop music, indie music, psychedelic freakout music or whatever – the Dandys do it all. Even though those Pitchfork types look down their thick-rimmed noses at this group, if there’s one thing the Warhols know how to do, it’s put on a long, sweaty, fuzzed-up, stoned-out rock ‘n’ roll orgy. And it’s not like you have to like Courtney Taylor’s personally to like his band, or have to choose between the Dandys and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Do yourself a favor and choose rock.


Sunday, Dec. 18

Second Annual Holiday Art Exhibition

Crystal Ballroom 1332 W. Burnside St.

2 ?” 8 p.m., All Ages, Free!

Don’t worry, it’s not holiday art. It just happens to be an art show that takes place from 2 to 8 p.m. It wil feature the work of over 50 artists, installation pieces, sculpture in the round, a fashion expo in the bar, some musical performances and even an art sale. Just in time to buy people last-minute gifts, too. That and the price of admission make this a good bet, although you might end up having to rub elbows with a bunch of highfalutin’ art types.


Friday, Dec. 30

Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Quasi

Crystal Ballroom 1332 W. Burnside

9 p.m., $15, All Ages

It’s been a long time since you last saw Sleater-Kinney, hasn’t it? Or Quasi, for that matter. With Sam Coomes so busy with that whole blues thing and SK off touring the world and making it big, it would be a nice post-Christmas/pre-New Year gift to yourself to go to this show. All of these bands are very good, especially Quasi, who can even let a little greatness shine through. If you haven’t seen them, please do so for your own good.