Five non-holiday-themed concerts to see in December: Dandy Warhols, Lee Fields and more

YACHT plays The Biltmore Cabaret Dec. 15.

As the year winds down, concert pickings get slim. Sure, there are plenty of holiday-themed shows—and we’ll do a separate post on those—but what’s a fan of non-seasonal music to do? Fortunately, we’ve uncovered a few non-Xmas related musical entertainments. Enjoy.

The Dandy Warhols (Dec 5 at the Commodore Ballroom)—In town as part of their 25th-anniversary celebration tour, the Portland shoegaze/pop/post-grunge act is best-known for its 2000 breakout album 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia, which includes the hit “Bohemian Like You.” The band’s latest is Why You So Crazy, which prompted Popmatters.com to say, in a more or less positive review, that “The Dandy Warhols still maintain their position as creators of formidable and gutsy art-rock despite the album’s pitfalls.” (Tickets: $47.75 inc. fees at ticketmaster.ca)

The Dandy Warhols, circa now.

Pointed Sticks (Dec 6 at the Rickshaw Theatre)—Pointed Sticks is a local legend, a power-pop band that had a short but memorable run in the late ’70s/early ’80s before flaming out. The quintet reemerged in 2006 until 2012, and following another hiatus have been performing occasionally since 2015. They’re headlining an all-local lineup that includes the Modernettes, who date back to the city’s first wave of punk bands; EddyD and the Sex Bombs; and Strange Breed. (Tickets: $15 (plus appl. fees) at eventbrite.ca, Red Cat (Main Street), Red Cat (Hastings Street), Neptoon Records, Highlife Records, Zulu Records, Bonerattle Music, Noize To Go and rickshawtheatre.com)

Pointed Sticks.

Howlin’ Rain (Dec. 10 at the Astoria, 769 E. Hastings St.)—Fry your brain with some mind-melting psychedelia, ’70s rock-style, with this Bay Area band. Fronted by Ethan Miller (Comets on Fire), Howlin’ Rain is an underground cult favourite that’s been around since 2004. Its most recent full-length studio album is the well-received 2018 acid-rock jam The Alligator Bride. Local acts The Orange Kyte and Brutal Poodle open. (Tickets: $14 at showpass.com)

Bay Area mind-melters Howlin’ Rain play the Astoria Dec. 10. Michael Lessner photo.

Lee Fields & The Expressions (Dec 13 at the Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway)—American soul singer Lee Fields is now well into his fifth decade of performing. His recent work with The Expressions includes the albums Faithful Man (2012), Special Night (2017), and their latest, It Rains Love (2019), as well as multiple tours. “Here are evergreen contemporary songs in which gratitude and fortitude are exercised in no facile fashion, but with spittle and swagger,” writes the Guardian‘s Kitty Empire of the new album. (Tickets: $35 + fees at ticketweb.ca)

Lee Fields & The Expressions play the Rio Theatre Dec. 13.

Yacht (Dec. 15 at the Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward St.)—The L.A.-based weirdo-pop band is playing songs from its latest album, Chain Tripping. According to a 3 1/2 star review at contactmusic.com, the band “took to AI, machine learning tools and creative technologists to deconstruct and understand their back catalogue so that they could then use the source material, and elements that were extracted from it, to formulate new material and new songs.” (Tickets: $19 inc. fees at eventbrite.ca)

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