Watch and listen to performance clips. Plus, what you need to know before the shows.

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Big Ass Boombox Music Festival

7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, and Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., Seattle; Free (206-441-7416 or

January is a fallow time for music festivals, but for the third year in a row, this free concert and literary series offers a cross-section of local rock music. Acts are split between the Croc’s main stage and smaller back bar area; headliners are electro-grunge duo Ever So Android and ’80s power pop fetishists The West.

Car Seat Headrest

8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $10 (206-784-4880 or With Naked Giants, Boyfriends

For all its utility in helping artists get paid directly, a less-discussed aspect of Bandcamp is how it can help musicians build an audience. Singer-songwriter Will Toledo used the service to release dozens of homespun, talkative tracks, and the site’s users began to take note. He moved to Seattle after finishing college in Virginia, and released his Matador debut last year.

Read Chris Kornelis’ preview of Car Seat Headrest here.

Juan Maclean

8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Nectar Lounge, 412 N. 36th St., Seattle; $13 (206-632-2020 or With Marcus Marr, Pressha, Blueyedsoul

LCD Soundsystem was back in the news this week after the band announced a new album and an accompanying tour a mere five years after calling it quits. This DJ set from Juan Maclean, a veteran producer and key contributor to the sound that James Murphy’s DFA Records was pushing in the early 2000s, is as a good a way as any to gear up for LCD’s return.

Pony Time

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $10–$12 (360-956-8372 or With Dirty Dirty, Asterhouse, LocoMotive

Pony Time is closely associated with some of Seattle more prominent punk bands—drummer Stacy Peck plays in Childbirth with members of Chastity Belt and Tacocat—but the duo’s music is more workmanlike than that of those other groups. Last year’s “Rumours 2: The Rumours Are True” (complete with a Fleetwood Mac–aping cover) is filled with effective, stripped-down garage rock.


8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, at Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $8 (206-709-9951 or With MTNS, X Suns

Fulfilling outsider stereotypes, there are two weed bands in the Pacific Northwest: one with two Es from Vancouver, and this one, with three Es, from Bainbridge Island. Last July’s excellently named  “Our Guru Brings Us To The Black Master Sabbath” is a stoner-metal/psych-rock odyssey, bookended by two 15-minute tracks.


7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, at Benaroya Hall, 200  University St., Seattle; $32–$47 (206-215-4800 or

There’s a fairly obvious “orchestral” component to DeVotchKa’s sound. The Balkan-inspired band comprises four multi-instrumentalists who play at various points piano, violin, accordion, trumpet, upright bass and other non-rock instruments. For this show, that orchestral component is made explicit as the band is joined by the Seattle Symphony.


JD McPherson

8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $21.75–$25 (206-628-3151 or With HONEYHONEY

The difference between “rock” and “rock ’n’ roll” is one of scope. The former could credibly describe anything from Elvis Costello to Linkin Park to Sigur Rós, while the latter is rooted in a specific era: suited-up bands, Sun Records and Ed Sullivan. Oklahoma’s JD McPherson is one of the few modern performers attempting to put a new twist on that older variety of rock.

Lupe Fiasco

7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, at the Neptune Theatre, 1303 N.E. 45th St., Seattle; $35–$40 (206-784-4849 or

Chicago’s Lupe Fiasco is a favorite of the conscious/lyrical hip-hop crowd, and there is indeed a commendable depth and pathos to the rapper’s often character-centric songs. Most recent album “Tetsuo & Youth” falls a bit flat musically, but Fiasco sounds energized—perhaps the result of this album being the final one of a contentious contract with his record label.


8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., Seattle; $15 (206-441-7416 or With Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, and SneakGuapo

Even at a time when listeners are accustomed to disparate sounds rubbing elbows—in Facebook feeds, festival lineups or Spotify playlists—it’s still pretty rare to see local shows that book across genre lines. That’s not the case here, as Mackned (and a few of his Thraxxhouse associates) get an opener in punk band Snuff Redux that’s an appropriate pairing for the rapper’s scuzzy sonics.

Read Mike Ramos’ preview of the Thraxxhouse show here.


10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, at Foundation Nightclub, 2218 Western Ave. No.100, Seattle; $34–$45 (206-535-7285 or

French production wunderkind Madeon first got attention for a rapid-fire DJ mashup of pop and electronic music he posted to YouTube in 2011, and the same knowledge and manipulation of pop tropes plays out in his music. The 21-year-old’s tracks are meant for the big stages at EDM festivals, and they exist in the squeaky-clean house/disco lineage of his countrymen.