Photo taken by Kyle Gustafson/www.informationleafblower.com

'Tis the season for corporate holiday parties, which could really get in the way of the great music we have in the coming week.

Not that there are any tickets available, and not that most people want to pay the black market price, but the Pixies are opening their 2004 Hammerstein eight-show stand on Saturday. Check out all the dates and openers at Oh My Rockness and read the review of last night's DC show at DCist (above). If you need a ticket, look over the Pixies ticket situation at Craigslist. There are tickets available, most going for $50-$60, which isn't much above the original cost.

Coolfer has mentioned The Bravery a few times in the past. One more time, since they're so much fun. The NYC band is signed to Island Records and have been in England working over the British music press. Not everybody is won over, though. The Village Voice calls them "hype casualties" that are "basically the Killers without hooks." Coolfer predicts that as an opening act The Bravery will match The Killers' 45 minutes they blessed us with as a headliner and will throw out more hooks than Vegas has light bulbs. Live, they perform like The Killers with a much-needed two more years of touring under their belts. The Bravery's EP isn't out yet in the States, but that's no reason to miss their show on Thursday at the Bowery Ballroom. Moving Units is the headliner.

Coolfer won't stick around for Moving Units because Elkland is playing at The Delancey. The last time they were supposed to play there the club was double-booked. Coolfer ranted the following day. But Elkland is a great little band, so The Delancey gets another chance. Mess this one up, Delancey, and out come the Haitain voodoo dolls.

And yet another. Boy, Thursday is a busy night. Ambulance LTD has a show at Northsix. Ten bucks. I said you can't beat the price.

Wait, there's another show on Thursday: Clay Aiken at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. If you're lucky enough to attend, let us know how it was!

If you feel like heading over to the Garden two nights in a row, you can catch the Z100 Jungle Ball 2004 featuring lip-synced and/or abbreviated sets by Destiny's Child, Kelly Clarkson, Good Charlotte, Ashlee Simpson, Ryan Cabrera, Hilary Duff, Switchfoot, Maroon 5 and JoJo. Oh wait! Shit! It's sold out!!

Also on Saturday, jazz musician Ben Neill will play at the BAM Cafe at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Show's at 9pm. No cover, but there's a $10 food/drink mininum. That's a bargain to see someone like Neill.

Broken Social Scene is in town to open for The Pixies, and they have their own headlining shows at the Bowery Ballroom on Monday and Wednesday. A new album is on the way, word on the street tells us, so there's a good chance the Toronto-based collective will test some new material.

Also:

- Josh Wink at Cielo on Thursday
- Anthony Roman and Keith Werwa of Radio 4 spin at Disgraceland on Thursday
- Camp Lo/Grand Agent/Mr Complex at the Knitting Factory Tap Bar on Thursday
- Baby Dayliner/Vitamen at The Mercury Lounge on Friday
- Unisex Salon/Levy/Saints and Lovers (formerly Sons of Sound)/Heathers at Sin-e on Friday
- Radio 4/The Occasion at Southpaw on Friday
- French Kicks at Northsix on Saturday (sold out)
- Eric Morillo at Discoteque on Saturday
- Memphis (featuring Torquil from Stars) at Rothko on Saturday
- Lars Frederikson and the Bastards at Irving Plaza on Saturday
- Move Against AIDS with Peter Rauhofer/Danny Tenaglia/Junior Vasquez at the Javits Center on Saturday
- Junior Boys at Joe's Pub on Monday

Watch, Listen:

- Junior Boys: "Birthday"
- Elkland: "Summer Is Over"
- Baby Dayliner: "Raid"
- Baby Dayliner: "Raid" (Quicktime movie)
- Saints and Lovers: "December"
- French Kicks: "One More Time"
- Unisex Salon: "Woke Up Dead" (live)