'Tis the season for big little local shows from some of Seattle's most talented artists.
Every year after the last ounce of Thanksgiving gravy is guzzled, there’s a temptation to slip into a seasonal food-induced coma lasting until New Year’s Eve. Power through, friends, for there is light on the other side of the Christmas-cookie tube.
As end-of-year touring slows, the concert calendar increasingly fills with gigs from Seattle-area artists in town during the holidays. This year is no different, with local indie-rock icons, breakout rappers and genre-crossing holiday soirees offering much to choose from. Here are 12 shows worth prying yourself off the sofa for.
Pedro the Lion
Last year around Christmas, David Bazan readopted his Pedro the Lion mantle for the first time in years, playing three very sold-out shows — Pedro’s first locals gigs in more than a decade — at the Tractor. It wound up being a prelude to a full-fledged comeback and this year the rebooted Pedro (featuring Sean Lane and Silver Torches’ Erik Walters) hits Neumos after the NFL’s national holiday with a new Pedro album, “Phoenix,” due Jan. 18. Chris Staples opens. 8 p.m. Nov. 23, Neumos, $22, neumos.com.
Sloucher release show
Over the past few years, drummer-turned-frontman Jay Clancy (Hibou, Cayucas) has earned a solid rep for his onetime solo project with well-received live shows. Now with this Black Friday bash, Clancy and co. celebrate “Be True,” their debut album and first full-band effort brimming with ’90s alt-rock guitars and Clancy’s gently mellifluous vocals. Openers Red Ribbon and Snuff Redux — each boasting strong new records of their own — make for a solid local lineup. 7 p.m. Nov. 23, Barboza, $12, thebarboza.com.
Encanto Holiday Concierto
Looking for something more sophisticated than sticky-floored rock clubs? After releasing his vocally booming new album “I Am” in August, local powerhouse tenor Jose Iniguez leads this sixth annual holiday concert mixing opera, classical and mariachi bolero music. With performances from Linda Mattos of the Seattle Opera, Wenatchee’s Mariachi Huenachi, Encanto Orchestra and others. 6:30 p.m. Nov. 24, Benaroya Hall, $25-$77, seattlesymphony.org.
Seattle on Ice
The second annual winter bash turns the Neptune into a winter wonderland through projections and art installations. A stacked local bill includes ’70s-steeped psych-rockers Smokey Brights, instrumental soul brigade the True Loves, Cumulus and All Star Opera. 8 p.m. Dec. 6, Neptune Theatre, $16.50-$18.50, stgpresents.org.
Car Seat Headrest, Kimya Dawson
Benefit gig for Seattle’s beloved all-ages bastion The Vera Project pairs two of our brightest transplanted stars — Will Toledo, leader of garage-rock favorites Car Seat Headrest, and anti-folk stalwart Kimya Dawson — for a stellar double bill. After touring on another critically acclaimed album (the rerecorded “Twin Fantasy”), CSH played two sold-out, OutKast-covering homecoming dates at the Showbox this fall, backed by the always electric Naked Giants guys. Breakout R&B singer Parisalexa opens. 6 p.m. Dec. 8, The Vera Project, $60, theveraproject.org.
Deck the Hall Ball
Alt-rock radio station 107.7 The End usually sprinkles its annual winter fete with local flavor and this year serves up Seattle’s re-energized indie-rock giants Death Cab for Cutie as its main course. (Note: Do not eat the band.) Now residing in L.A., Jenn Champion — emo-tinged indie rocker-turned-synth-pop tear-jerker — returns to Seattle to open the show filled out by Bastille and Young the Giant. 5 p.m. Dec. 11, WaMu Theater, $75-$300, 1077theend.radio.com.
Not exactly local, but Hood — co-founder of Southern-fried alt-country kings Drive-By Truckers — has made a habit of coming up from Portland for intimate solo gigs around hall decking season, armed with politically fraught tales from Alabama Thanksgivings. Don’t be surprised to hear a few stripped-down Truckers tunes. 8-10:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14, Fremont Abbey Arts Center, $25, fremontabbey.org.
The Maldoggies Family Christmas
Longstanding winter tradition co-headlined by Americana rockers the Maldives and the Moondoggies brings the two-night party back to the Tractor, where the kindred bands join forces on convivial Xmas tunes. Widower opens. 9 p.m. Dec. 14-15, Tractor Tavern, $15, tractortavern.com.
The soul-pop singer ends his tour with two sold-out nights in his hometown. Those who slept on tickets can always catch Stone opening for Train and Goo Goo Dolls at White River Amphitheatre next summer. 8 p.m. Dec. 15-16, Neptune Theatre, sold out, stgpresents.org.
The indie-folk mainstay recently celebrated her 20th year in Seattle, commemorating the milestone by giving her debut album a spiffy new vinyl rerelease. Cahoone closes 2018 with a cozy full-band Tractor gig, supported by Ashleigh Flynn & the Riveters and indie-pop songwriter Cumulus (Alexandra Niedzialkowski) playing solo. 8 p.m. Dec. 20, Tractor Tavern, $15, tractortavern.com.
The pride of Burien puts a bow on his breakout year, making the leap from smaller clubs to the venerable Showbox, the 21-year-old’s biggest headlining show to date. The ever-grinding rapper went all Beyoncé with his mental-health-checking “YouGood?” releasing an ambitious visual album with directorial talent Dylan Fout in accompaniment. 9 p.m. Dec. 21, Showbox, $20, showboxpresents.com.
Stas & Kass: Home for the Holidays
An ultra-suave pairing if ever there was one, velvet-voiced MC/DJ Stas Thee Boss teams with visionary jazzman Kassa Overall in a homecoming gig for the Seattle-born, NYC-based drummer. The all-star holiday show features Stas rapping with a live jazz band, a perfect setup for her laid-back flows. Micstro, D. Mikey and Industrial Revelation’s Evan Flory-Barnes also perform. 8 p.m. Dec. 27, Barboza, $10, thebarboza.com.