Top 17 Recommended Concerts This Weekend: December 18-20, 2015

Lil Wayne, Kremwerk's Ugly Sweater Anniversary, The Psychedelic Holiday Freakout, And Many More
December 16, 2015

This is a big one, folks. Besides a Friday filled with fantastic rap (take your pick: Lil Wayne, Chimurenga Renaissance, or Devin the Dude), this weekend also features Kremwerk's sure-to-be excellent ugly sweater anniversary, the Psychedelic Holiday Freakout, and much more, so enough jibber-jawing! Let's take a look at this weekend's best. For all the live music this weekend, check out our Things To Do calendar.

1. Lil Wayne
"It’s funny to think that Lil Wayne may now, in 2015, find himself at the most interesting point in his career. This is the post-Rikers Island stint, post-assassination attempt, post-rock-music foray, current-Cash Money lawsuit-pressing, continuously syrup-slugging Weezy, and for better or worse, he’s probably more himself than ever." TODD HAMM

2. Chimurenga Renaissance
"It is fitting that the most experimental, dazzling, and even dangerous work by Chimurenga Renaissance (Tendai “Baba” Maraire and Hussein Kalonji), the upcoming Girlz with Gunz, finds its inspiration in the post-colonial fire of the revolutionary African woman. The duo translates this fire (ballots or the bullets) into a music that’s richly and thickly innovative. Chimurenga Renaissance’s contribution to the trans-African Black Constellation (Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, Erik Blood) is very bright indeed." CHARLES MUDEDE

3. Phantoms and Beat Connection
"As evidenced by their buoyant new EP, Broken Halo, Phantoms are going to be festival fixtures, because festivalgoers love their sort of hooky, smooth, vocal-centric dance fare. Seattle’s Beat Connection perfectly complement the headliners with their own cheerful dance pop for people who find Hot Chip a bit too edgy." DAVE SEGAL

4. Devin the Dude
"There’s a strain of melancholy, Southern rap that bangs bluesily, utilizing chicken-scratch guitars, deep-fried organs, and sumptuous horns to tell bleary-eyed street tales and revel in sun-baked nostalgia. Think UGK’s first few albums, or the work of production team Organized Noize. It’s a lush, humid sound, and Houston’s Devin the Dude has pretty much perfected it over a decades-long career in the game." KYLE FLECK

5. No Age
"Their liquid style and involved, instrument-rotating live show will likely be the highlight of the most action-packed night of the two-night, four-show Psychedelic Holiday Freakout mini-festival." TODD HAMM

6. Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets and Cactus Blossoms
"At first glance, you might think this a strange pairing—British singer-songwriter of a certain vintage who became a master 40 years ago and has miraculously only gotten better with time AND the rowdy rockabilly instrumental combo that… Oh, wait, no. It’s a match made in goddamn heaven." SEAN NELSON

7. Squall
Kremwerk's monthly noise/experimental night gets especially freaky, with sets from Microscopic Suffering, Blowupnihilist, and other sadomasochist noise-mongers.

8. 1st Annual Ground Zero Toy Drive
Bring a newish toy to Ground Zero for access to an evening of excellent local rock.

9. Kremwerk's 2nd Annual Holiday Party
"Witnessing the continued evolution/refinement of nightlife hotspot Kremwerk has been one of the few truly inspiring things happening in the Seattle scene of late. The club has been embraced by the queer community just as much as brainy techno folk, through a refined combo platter of bookings and monthly nights. And now, with another year already fading into the rearview, they bring it back to their roots with a night of deep techno, heady house, and ugly holiday sweaters." KYLE FLECK

10. Smokey Brights
"Go to the Tractor Tavern. Do it. Do it for Smokey Brights, who are the kind of crackly and warm guitar-driven rock that you already know and love, even if you’ve never heard it." KATHLEEN TARRANT

11. Gaytheist, VHS, Merso, Old Iron
An excellent four-top of local PNW talent, from the blistering Portlanders Gaytheist to Merso (formerly Leatherdaddy) and their grind-y, hesh-y hard rock.

12. Grizzled Mighty
"Seattle duo the Grizzled Mighty have one of those self-descriptive names that show a blunt confidence in what they’re doing: robust blues rock, without an iota of irony." DAVE SEGAL

13. Clinton Fearon
Revered reggae icon Clinton Fearon has, somehow, decided to call Seattle his home, playing Nectar every three months or so. Go pay homage.

14. Destroy My Sweater
Destroy all your ugly holiday sweaters with Weezer cover group extraordinaire Weezus.

15. David Bazan
"Sink into new arrangements from [Bazan's] vast catalog, remember what it is like to feel again. Yell out requests for Headphones songs, try to start a mosh pit. When you get kicked out of the venue, you’ll know it was worth it." KATHLEEN TARRANT

16. ArtAche Holiday Market
"Chop Suey’s ArtAche Market is a reliable treasure trove of hand-crafted art, clothing, and other bits and bobbles, and this “holiday edition” promises to be extra-special, with DJ sets by Explorateur and One Eye, plus a live performance from electronically inclined singer-songwriter Briana Marela. For free!" KYLE FLECK

17. A Charlie Brown Christmas
"We must love this work because it expresses Christmas feelings in a very urban way. It is indeed the sound of the Holiday Season in a big city and not that no-place out there in the country. In this jazz classic, the snow falls on apartment buildings and not on a forest." CHARLES MUDEDE

And as usual, here's the rest of our complete music calendar.