Thanks goodness for the Australian Open.

I'll definitely be watching a ton of tennis and rooting for the great Roger Federer during what is traditionally the quietest month on the Bay Area live music scene.

January offers up relatively few of the big-name headliners that I would normally review for this newspaper. Sure, there's the giant Justin Timberlake show on Jan. 19, then things begin to heat up at the end of the month with the Eagles on Jan. 29 and 31 and George Strait on Jan. 30. (All those shows are scheduled for SAP Center in San Jose.) Beyond that, however, the calendar is pretty bare in terms of multiplatinum acts.

Yet, I know that Bay Area fans still need their fix of live music. So, with that in mind, I've combed the calendars of our many fine smaller-capacity venues. Those places, thankfully, never take a break. Here's a look.

Voodoo Dolly: I don't recommend many tribute acts, but I hear that Voodoo Dolly does a terrific job with its take on Siouxsie and the Banshees. It's probably worth the cover (pun intended) to hear live versions of such Siouxsie songs as "Kiss Them for Me" and "Peek-a-Boo." Details: 9 p.m. Thursday; Uptown Nightclub, Oakland; $8; www.uptownnightclub.com.


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Ricky Nelson Remembered: Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, the twin brothers who achieved multiplatinum success as Nelson in the early '90s, pay tribute to their famous father. Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 10; Firehouse Arts Center, Pleasanton; $40-$50; www.firehousearts.org.

The Dead Winter Carpenters: The Lake Tahoe act, which draws inspiration from Neil Young, David Byrne and Ryan Adams, has created quite a stir on the roots-rock scene. It boasts a winning hybrid sound that draws from straight-ahead rock, alt-country, ragtime, reggae and other sources. Details: 9 p.m. Jan. 10; the Independent, San Francisco; $15; www.theindependentsf.com.

Wailin' Jennys: No, this is not some all-female tribute to Waylon Jennings. (Although, to be honest, that's something I would definitely pay to see.) The Wailin' Jennys are actually a terrific Canadian folk/roots trio, equally well known for lovely harmonies and well-written tunes. Warning: their shows often sell out. Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 11; Bankhead Theater, Livermore; $15-$55; www. mylvpac.com.

Shawn Colvin: Like the vast majority of the general public, I haven't paid close attention to this singer-songwriter in recent years. Yet, Colvin has so many great tunes from early on in her career, such as "Diamond in the Rough," "Shotgun Down the Avalanche" and "I Don't Know Why," that she's always worth seeing in concert. Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 14-16; Yoshi's San Francisco; $45; www.yoshis.com.

Colin Meloy: I can't wait for the Decemberists, one of indie-rock's best bands, to return from hiatus, release a new album and tour the West Coast. Unfortunately, I have no idea when those things will happen. I do know, however, that catching a solo show by the group's leader sounds like a great way to pass the time. Details: 9 p.m. Jan. 17; Fillmore, San Francisco; $30; www.livenation.com.

The 12th annual Sleepless Nights -- A Tribute to Gram Parsons and Cosmic American Music: Midnight North, Red Meat, Sweet Chariot and Sour Flower are among the acts set to pay tribute to the influential singer-songwriter, who died in 1973 at the age of 26. The concert is a benefit for the South San Francisco Unified School District Elementary Band Program. Details: 9 p.m. Jan. 18; Great American Music Hall, San Francisco; $13; www.slimspresents.com.

Hot Club of Cowtown: The Austin trio is one of the greatest hot jazz/Western swing acts around. Elana James, a former member of Bob Dylan's band, is an absolute marvel on the fiddle and is blessed with a mesmerizing voice. Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 23; Freight & Salvage, Berkeley; $25-$27; www.thefreight.org.

Dent May: The Mississippi singer-songwriter makes dreamy indie-pop recordings that should appeal to fans of Animal Collective and Brian Wilson. Details: 9 p.m. Jan. 24; Slim's, San Francisco; $12; www.slimspresents.com.

The Spinners: Don't miss the chance to hear this legendary vocal troupe perform such R&B classics as "I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" and "One Of a Kind (Love Affair)." The Spinners still feature original member Henry Fambrough, who has surrounded himself with other superb vocalists as well as a fine backing band. Details: 8 and 10 p.m. Jan. 24-25; Yoshi's San Francisco; $29-$65; www.yoshis.com.

Monkey: I attended a ton of Monkey shows in the mid-1990s, so I'm happy to see that this South Bay ska band is still around. The group is celebrating 18 years of Monkey business at this show. Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 31; Blank Club, San Jose; $10; www.theblankclub.com.

George Kahumoku, Ledward Kaapana: This is an excellent doubleheader for fans of Hawaiian slack-key guitar. Both men rank as absolute masters in the genre. Da Ukulele Boyz are also on the bill. Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 31; Freight & Salvage, Berkeley; $33-$35; www.thefreight.org.

Follow Jim Harrington at Twitter.com/jimthecritic, www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.