The Mid-Week Beat: Holiday Concerts for Music Snobs!

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rock-santaTurkey Day has passed and you’re starting to hear the familiar strains of holiday songs coming out of the speakers of every store, shopping mall and restaurant around town. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love holiday music, but I don’t think I’m alone when I say that hearing some of those songs over and over can sometimes make me want to ram a candy cane in my eardrum.

Basically, I’m a music snob. So, when picking out holiday concerts for you, my faithful readers of The Mid-Week Beat, I thought I’d try and find events that stray away from the typical holiday concert and are certain to appeal to your discerning tastes. You won’t find any Nutcrackers in this list, no Christmas Carols and certainly, no Messiah‘s. Instead you get a psychedelic music festival in Seattle, Christmas songs as done by The Who, a choir composed entirely of indie rock songstresses from Brooklyn and much, much more. The one common thread: they all center around music and they all attempt to bring something fresh and new to the age-old “holiday concert” concept.

Of course, if you’re a traditionalist, we have plenty of traditional fare on the site but why not go out and experience something a little different this year? You can always catch The Nutcracker next year.

Be sure to pick up tickets soon as all of these shows are sure to sell out.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 6 I Psychedelic Holiday Freak OutSeattle, Washington tumblr_mv58oo2nPf1rjap9ao1_500

FunkFarm, a Seattle-based imprint, has announced the Psychedelic Holiday Freak Out — a 2 day, 38 band music festival taking place on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. With stages for rock and hip-hop, the festival will bring top West Coast talent to the city to play alongside a collection of rising local artists.

The event was conceived during a hung-over drive between Portland and Seattle. “We saw the dreariness out the window and decided that Seattle needed a late-fall festival to shake things up before winter really set in,” said organizer Nate Leonard-Berliner. “We originally wanted to cater to fans of psychedelic music, but our scope quickly expanded when we saw the sheer variety of great acts interested in working with us.”

The lineup highlights top performers across a wide swath of genres, including sonic futurist Vox Mod, hip-hop fire spitters Kung Foo Grip and hard-driving garage rockers Fox and the Law. Individual stages will be hosted by legendary radio DJ Marco Collins, consummate sci-fi cowboy Brent Amaker and local hip hop veteran Bishop I of Oldominion.

290962-250Friday, December 6 I How Grinchy Met The WhoTraverse City, Michigan

This rock n roll mash-up is a reimagined parody of both the classic Christmas story we all know and love and the psychedelic 1970s rock opera Tommy, with a little extra Who sprinkled in. What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a trip to Whoville as you’ve never seen it before?

Our mission is to bring a unique rock ‘n roll theatre experience to Traverse City. Our shows combine not only parodies and great music, but also irreverent comedy, moments of improv and audience participation, and surprising dance moves that defy gravity. We promise you there is nothing like it up north!

Tuesday, December 10 I Sirens of Brooklyn Winter 2013 ConcertBrooklyn, New York300903-250

The Sirens of Brooklyn is a choir of indie rock songstresses based in New York City. On Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 7:30PM, the Sirens of Brooklyn Choir will be singing Christmas carols and other holiday songs at the historic Plymouth Church on Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights. The choir has grown substantially this year and will include over 20 New York based indie songstresses. All proceeds from this concert will go to support the Sirens of Brooklyn Girls Music Education Fund.

299314-250Thursday, December 12 I Thistle Thursdays: Sherrie Austin, Jeff Jacob, Jason Jones & Michael Hunter Ochs with Forlorn StrangersNashville, Tennessee

Run by the Magdalene graduates and residents, women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction, the Thistle Stop Cafe sells Nashville-based and fair-trade coffees, teas and healthy catered foods. As with their product line, the food is as good for the body as it is for the earth. The Cafe serves as a gathering place for the Nashville community and guests to Thistle Farms. Their stage gives women a place to share healing stories and provide opportunities for artists to showcase their creative works.

On Thursday, December 12, The Thistle Stop features a very special concert featuring Sherrie Austin, Jeff Jacob and more!

Sherrie Austin‘s opened for Johnny Cash and starred on Broadway in the lead role in Ring of Fire. As an RCA/Arista recording artist her hits “Never Been Kissed” and “The Street of Heaven” are STILL huge fan favorites and as a songwriter her songs have been cut by everyone from Blake Shelton to Tim McGraw. Sherrie is very involved in Anti-Bullying and Suicide Awareness programs, and her new single by Morgan Frazier “Hey Bully” is climbing the charts.

From 3 years as a Staff Songwriter with The Songs of Love Foundation, to days spent rescuing dogs, Jeff Jacob has recently released his 6th full-length CD, 7 Days. He’s produced numerous benefit projects and is currently gearing up to co-produce a benefit CD called Songwriters for Soldiers to benefit the coolest (behind the Thistle Stop Cafe) new non-profit in town, The Beat of Life, and it’s partner organization SAFE.

Saturday, December 14 I Firehouse *Black & White* Holiday Ball w/Johnny Boyd plus Victor & PennySan Diego, California300061-250

Come celebrate as The Firehouse Swing Dance turns 15! What better way to celebrate the 15th Birthday than by hosting a Black and White Holiday Ball featuring live music from one of the leading pioneers of the Neo-Swing Revival of the late 1990’s:  Johnny Boyd, former frontman of Indigo Swing fame!

Sunday, December 15 I Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: UnwrappedSeattle, Washington

Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Unwrapped gives audiences a look at the holiday season through the jaded, sassy, somewhat boozy eyes of two bitter queens. Featuring original songs, covers and comedy from these celebrated performers, Unwrapped has a little something for everyone at the most wonderful time of the year.

Seattle welcomes back two Cornish alums, Jerick Hoffer and Richard Andriessen, following their acclaimed run in the Off-Broadway sleeper hit The Vaudevillians. They return to the Emerald City to share the holidays with their fans in Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Unwrapped after a week of performances at The Laurie Beechman Theater in New York City.

Jinkx Monsoon is the alter ego of Jerick Hoffer, who graduated with a degree in theatrical performance from Cornish College of the Arts. With ten years experience on stage, Hoffer is a seasoned Portland-born entertainer who has captured the attention of his native Northwest region. As early as 2006, Hoffer appeared as the lead dancer in the world’s largest drag queen chorus line, which made the Guinness Book of World Records. By 2012, he had advanced to roles in Seattle theaters, playing Moritz in Spring Awakening (produced by Balagan Theatre) and Angel in Rent (produced by the 5th Avenue Theatre). Earlier this year, Hoffer played Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (produced by Balagan Theatre and Seattle Theatre Group).

Major Scales is the evil twin of Richard Andriessen. He is a writer, composer, and performer from Seattle, who graduated with a B.F.A. in Theater from Cornish College of the Arts. He has contributed original music to venues throughout Washington, from the Intiman Theatre to Hump!, Seattle’s premier amateur adult film festival. He recently composed music for and starred in Washington Ensemble Theater’s original musical The Callers, and performs regularly in DeLouRue Presents Homo For the Holidays and Freedom Fantasia.

Saturday, December 21 I A Christmas Lu’auHonolulu, Hawaii

Join the men of Gay Men’s Choir of Hawaii for our 2nd Annual Holiday Concert at the Hawaii Convention Center’s Queen Lili’u Theatre. The fun and beautiful evening will be set as a holiday celebration at the beach and under the stars. Old and new favorite music includes Hawaiian and traditional songs of the season. Featuring hula and other surprises.