Oh holy night, there’s nothing to do this week—besides gather with friends and family to spread peace, love and understanding, anyway. Local bands are on holiday and touring acts have limited their appearances to a few choice locales. Last year, El Jefe Frost solved a rather troubling void in local entertainment by pointing readers toward out-of-state venues where the action was straight poppin’! Given this year’s looming music-free Christmas, here’s a guide to neighboring-state hot spots featuring somewhat kick-ass shows.
EDDIE SPAGHETTI (PORTLAND, ORE.)
Motorhead’s Lemmy once said, “If you don’t like the Supersuckers, you don’t like rock & roll.” It’s safe to say the same applies to Eddie Spaghetti, who, when not leading the Seattle-based rawkers, unleashes solo material in dimly lit dives. Spaghetti’s one-man show is refreshing for those tired of the-weight-of-the-world-is-crushing-me-like-the-petals-in-your-hair singer-songwriters perfected by Dashboard Confessional and Bright Eyes. His debut effort, The Sauce, is more in line with Merle Haggard and Steve Earle—country folk with attitude and a whole lot of soul. Dante’s, 1 SW 3rd Avenue & Burnside, Portland, 10 p.m. Info: 503-226-6630.
KEVIN SPACEY AS BOBBY DARIN (LAS VEGAS)
Our culture’s current obsession with “reality” is taken to a whole new level on the supper-club circuit. Case in point: “An Evening Celebrating the Music of Bobby Darin,” a performance featuring Kevin Spacey as a modern-day Mack beyond the sea. It might sound strange to hear the Usual Suspects star singing standards in Wayne Newton World, but clearly he was made for the role. Spacey, who wrote, directed, produced and starred in the upcoming Darin biopic, began imitating the late crooner as a child—using a hairbrush for his mic. It could be narcissistic, but his intentions seem pure. “I guess the biggest thing that I recognize, empathize, am interested in exploring is [people] ... who want to keep reinventing themselves,” Spacey told 60 Minutes. Stardust Resort & Casino, 3000 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, 8 p.m. Info: 800-824-6033 or 702-732-6111.
JOE SATRIANI (SAN FRANCISCO)
Don’t dig earplugs? Chances are you’ll reconsider when Joe Satriani takes the stage. This guitar virtuoso doesn’t just bring the noise, he f—king destroys, reconstructs and elevates sound to the next level. Satriani, aka Satch, is most popular among technical musicians without much interest in vocals. He’s also famed for schooling Steve Vai, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Counting Crows’ David Bryson. Satch’s work is also characterized by an outer limits fascination evident on albums like Surfing With the Alien and his latest effort, Is There Love In Space? Upon hearing such other-worldy sounds, you might develop an obsession too. The Fillmore, 501 Haight St., San Francisco, 8 p.m. Info: 415-552-6077.
BLEEDING THROUGH (LAS VEGAS)
Nothing says Christmas like Bleeding Through. Judging by the knife-punctured aorta illustrating This Is Love, This Is Murderous, Orange County’s premium death metal/hardcore act is all heart. The group, whose fans include members of Lamb of God and AFI, is currently supporting dark and brooding forefathers Danzig in the effort to amplify holiday cheer. Carolers will appreciate the joyful noise of soon-to-be-classics—”Revenge I Seek,” “Dead Like Me,” and “Number Seven With a Bullet”—and are encouraged to memorize the following phrases: “F—k your world,” “I’ve had enough of this,” and “You’ve played the role of the angel, now see my face in hell.” Just don’t expect to perform them at mass. Hard Rock Hotel, 4475 Paradise Road Las Vegas, 6 p.m. Info: 702-693-5000 (with As I Lay Dying and Eyes of Fire).
LEFTOVER SALMON (BOULDER, COLO.)
Life is easy when you’re swimming upstream. Or so it seems for Colorado’s Leftover Salmon, a group of blue-collar slamgrassers living on the edge of tradition. The band updates conventional blues, folk, Cajun and rock, inspiring listeners to reexamine their understanding of each genre. Now, after losing legendary Salmon cofounder Mark Vann to cancer, replacing a drummer and bassist, and adding a prodigious banjo player, they’re looking to restructure their legacy. “This band probably isn’t as crazy and off-the-wall as it used to be,” guitarist Vince Herman told Glide Magazine. “We’re still as fun and eclectic as ever, but we’re also more mature and capable too.” Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, 8:30 p.m. Info: 303-443-3399 (also Wednesday).
20 MILES (SAN FRANCISCO)
Judah Bauer doesn’t much care for sleep. When the rest of his Jon Spencer Blues Explosion bandmates take post-performance naps, the tireless guitarist heads out with his Fat Possum Records side-project 20 Miles. While not as raucous as JSBX, Bauer retains the hot-and-heavy undertones established by their predecessor. The project, which started when Bauer kicked heroin and needed an outlet for excess energy, has been good for the boy who left Wisconsin without a reason to live. “NYC seemed like a good place to die, and so that’s where I went. I was on a death trip back then and it took a while to get out of that. But now I’m fine. And we’ll end this on that upbeat,” he told Dallas Music Guide. 12 Galaxies, 2656 Mission St. at 22nd, San Francisco, 9 p.m. Info: 415-970-9777.