Also featuring a young Seattle rapper on the rise, a Tumblr-friendly Swedish MC and a tribute to indie rock’s dourest band.
1 The Moondoggies & The Maldives
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, through Saturday, Dec. 20, at The Tractor Tavern, 5231 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $15 (206-789-3599 or www.tractortavern.com).
Both The Moondoggies and The Maldives are local bands that mine a stylistic vein similar to some of Seattle’s more prominent bands of past 10 years (The Cave Singers, Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes): wistful, harmony-laden, country-tinged rock music. Neither group has broken out nationally yet, but this three-night stand at the Tractor certainly shows their local popularity.
2 A Tribute to The National
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., Seattle; $12 (206-441-7416 or www.thecrocodile.com).
It’s a little strange to see a contemporary band get the “tribute night” treatment, but The National is as good a candidate as any; the Brooklyn band writes airtight rock songs, uninterested in fickle aesthetic trends. Here, members of local bands like Ravenna Woods, Pollens and Seattle Rock Orchestra provide their interpretations.
3 Yung Lean & Sad Boys
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $15 (206-709-9442 or www.neumos.com). With Gravity Boys
Watching a Yung Lean music video is an experience akin to having 20 browser tabs open at once, a phantasmagoria of American pop-culture references and hip-hop tropes largely foreign to the 18-year-old’s native Sweden. New album “Unknown Memory” takes a stab at more-serious hip-hop, and it’s a safe bet the Clams Casino–indebted beats will work better live than his old stuff.
4 Bobby Caldwell
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, through Sunday, Dec. 21, at Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $34.50 (206-441-9729 OR www.jazzalley.com).
Best known for 1978’s smooth-jazz-leaning single “What You Won’t Do for Love,” blue-eyed soul singer Bobby Caldwell has lived on as source material for rappers. This Christmas show is in support of his new album “After Dark.”
5 Posse and Wishbeard
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $8–$10 (360-956-8372 or www.theveraproject.org). With A Weekend at the Feelies
This show features some of Seattle’s more promising young rock bands. Posse’s “Soft Opening” stands as one of 2014 best local records; dream pop foursome Wishbeard sounds like little else in town; and, the past year, A Weekend at the Feelies has released two well-crafted EPs of hazy synth pop.
9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $8 (206-784-4880 or www.sunsettavern.com). With He Whose Ox Is Gored, Leatherdaddy
Every band signed to local rock and metal label Good to Die is punishingly loud, and Sandrider is no different. In February the heavy rock trio will release a split 12-inch with fellow hard rockers Kinski that features, in addition to two new songs, a Jane’s Addiction cover.
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at Saturday, Dec. 20, at El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., Seattle; $25–$30 (206-381-3094 or elcorazonseattle.com). With The Blasters, Girl Trouble
X is known as one of the founding, first-wave members of West Coast punk; two of the group’s albums, “Los Angeles” and “Wild Gift,” are considered classics. For this tour, though, the four-piece is offering fans something different: reimaginations of its songs with saxophone, vibraphone and non-distorted guitars.
8 KEXP Yule Benefit
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $20 (206-709-9442 or www.neumos.com). With S, Cabana
Seattle radio station KEXP has plans to build an expansive center of operations that features, among much more, a new live performance space. Proceeds from this show, headlined by KEXP mainstay rock bands Strand of Oaks and Cymbals Eat Guitars, benefit the project.
9 Piano Starts Here: A Charlie Brown Christmas
6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; $5 (206-906-9920 or www.theroyalroomseattle.com).
The music Vince Guaraldi wrote for the 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has become firmly entrenched in the Christmas music canon. This is a very good thing: songs like “Christmas Time is Here” and “Linus and Lucy” are far less cloying than most Christmas tunes. Performing Guaraldi’s music are local pianists/keyboardists Ryan Burns, Chris McCarthy and Tim Kennedy.
10 Porter Ray
8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at The Crocodile (back bar), 2200 Second Ave., Seattle; $10 (206-441-7416 or www.thecrocodile.com). With Romaro Franceswa
If you were forced to bet on a Seattle rapper to break out in 2015, Porter Ray would be the odds-on favorite. A series of self-released albums and mixtapes over the course of two years drew attention from Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler, who also works A&R for Sub Pop. He helped Ray sign to the label, and he’ll release his first record on it next year.