To-Do List, Dec. 31 

FRIDAY 1/1

 

UNDERCLAIRE

9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $5.

 

Underclaire represents for the resilient. The day after the whole world's gone crazy all night long, the local quartet celebrates the release of its new album, “Making Sky,” with another party. Consider it a hangover cure. Underclaire, on this third album, continues to put its two-guitar-pronged attack — of Mike Mullins and Edison DeLeon — out in front, with striking lines that weave and build and come crashing together in anthemic ways. Mullins, who also writes the band's lyrics and sings, wraps everything around a song-cycle about fraternal twins. Relationship problems, a suicide and a killing spree factor in, but the darkness doesn't overwhelm the band's warm instrumental approach. The always impressive Andy Warr and His Big Damn Mouth opens along with Breakthrough. Down the road, Underclaire takes its CD release tour to White Water on Friday, Jan. 29. LM.

 

 

SATURDAY 1/2

 

ASHTRAY BABYHEAD

9:30 p.m., Juanita's. $5.

 

In my year-end rundown, I wrote that playing guitar in the Moving Front might be some secret ticket to the next level since, months after joining the band, Jeff Matika got tapped to tour with Green Day and, just months after replacing Matika, Scott Cook was dueting with Julian Lennon. But that's just a contemporary touchstone. Old heads know that this is an Ashtray Babyhead story. Yep, before they were playing on national TV and jet-setting across the country, Cook and Matika owned Little Rock stages and made really goofy tour videos blessedly still available on YouTube as part of one of the '90s great local bands. In 2008, the band, which also includes Jason Tedford and Ryan Scott, reunited for a couple of shows, where they dusted off super-poppy local hits like “Mir” and “Vilonia.” Hopefully, this gig signals that the band's starting a Big Cats'-style annual holiday tradition of reuniting. The Dangerous Idiots, which features vets of Trusty and Techno-Squid Eats Parliament, opens along with Magic Hassle. LM.

 

 

WEDNESDAY 1/6

 

ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO

9 p.m., Juanita's. $15 adv., $18 d.o.s.

 

Alejandro Escovedo is a bad ass. He wears big black sunglasses on stage and plays a swaggering brand of rock 'n' roll that embraces the genre in all its fullness. Which means his music can sound punked-up here, honky-tonked there and '60s-era guitar pop-y everywhere else. He's earned the right to wander. In the '70s, he played guitar with the Nuns, a seminal San Francisco punk act that opened for the Sex Pistols at their final concert. In the '80s, he returned to his home state of Texas, where he spent time leading alt-country bands like Rank and File and the True Believers. Since the '90s, he's released a steady stream of acclaimed solo albums (No Depression named him its artist of the '90s), each one more appreciated than the one before. Especially lately. Escovedo's latest albums, “The Boxing Mirror” and “Real Animal” (produced by legends John Cale and Tony Visconti, respectively) might be the best (and best-received) of his career. LM.

FRIDAY 1/8

 

AUTO EXTRAVAGANZA

4 p.m., Statehouse Convention Center. $8 adv., $10 d.o.s.

 

It's a souped-up car geek's dream. Dozens of hot rods and customs packed in tight for getting all up close and personal. Special highlights at this fourth annual include custom king George Barris' original 1966 Batmobile; a 1969 Plymouth Cuda called Gold Blowfish; a shopping area where “ladies can shop for bling and goodies!” called “Trick Chick Blvd.” (not sure they thought that one through); and a variety of live entertainment, including cover band Crisis, an Elvis tribute and Jimi Jamison, famous for singing lead in Survivor (but not on “Eye of the Tiger”) and writing and singing the “Baywatch” theme. You can get advance tickets at O'Reilly Automotives. The event runs 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. LM.

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