THURSDAY DEC 5
Bad Boys Jam: 9 p.m. Brothers Lounge.
Gemini Club/Strange Names: One part club music and one part indie pop, Gemini Club, like their name implies, utilizes modern technology to their advantage. Their live set-up ensures that no two sets ever sound the same; though, if you've never heard them before, the changes are so subtle, they're probably not noticeable. Constantly remixing their own songs, and other artists as well, they blur the lines between rock and electronic. Their newest EP, Here We Sit, conforms to their standards and features dance-y drums, pop lyrics and plenty of good feelings. It's probably not the kind of music that will trigger an epiphany, but if you want to party, this may be your jam. 10 p.m., free with RSVP. Grog Shop. (Patrick Stoops)
Goblin/Zombi: Known the world over for their impressive horror soundtrack work, the guys in Goblin are particularly adept at creating creepy atmospheres. In the hallowed Beachland Ballroom tonight, that translates to an eerie experience for all who've got the stones to show up and rock out. Goblin hails from Italy, and their sound has firm roots in the canons of Genesis and Yes. Of course, their music is best paired with a horror flick (like Deep Red, Zombi or Dawn of the Dead, for instance), but it works real well on its own too. The band's two-volume Best Soundtrack Collection is probably the most appropriate place to start for beginners. Check out "Suspiria" and, for a bit of the upbeat, "Connexion" and "Funky Top." 8:30 p.m., $25-$65. Beachland Ballroom. (Eric Sandy)
Chris Hatton (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.
Hot Tuna Acoustic: 8 p.m., $22.50-$37.50. The Kent Stage.
Jam Night with Tower City Blues: 8:30 p.m. Grillers Pub.
The Midnight Ghost Train/Ravenna Arsenal: 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.
Granger Smith/Earl Dibbles Jr./Mark Leach: 8 p.m., $12. Musica.
The Spyder Stompers/Neon Don & Eva Dilcue: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.
This Century/Nick Santino & the Northern/Pipe Dream: 6:30 p.m., $12. Grog Shop.
Tommy Tune: 8 p.m., $60. Nighttown.
FRIDAY DEC 6
Animal Collective/bEEdEEgEE: Well, third time's a charm. Making up for the cancelled March and rescheduled-then-cancelled-again July shows, Animal Collective finally returns to town tonight. The highly experimental rock group's last release, Centipede Hz, is a strange and winding album. In comparison to some of their older records like 2004's Sung Tongs or 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion, Centipede Hz is wilder and punchier. It has a glitchy grunginess to it too. The album's opener "Moonjock" blasts through the speakers with a heavy asymmetrical rhythm while the followup, "Today's Supernatural," carries the excitement with fast-paced chaos. The Baltimore-bred five-piece has such momentum, it's hard to pin down what they'll create next (AC member Panda Bear recently made a high-profile appearance on Daft Punk's new record). If you have a ticket to tonight's show, consider yourself lucky and pray the guys don't cancel again. 8 p.m., $22.50 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues. (Stoops)
Bad People/Party Plates/Hysteria: 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.
Max Bemis/Matt Pryor/Sherri Dupree Bemis/Perma/Merriment: 8:30 p.m., $14 ADV, $17 DOS. Grog Shop.
Matt Hectorne & the Family Tree/Rebekah Jean/Morgan Mecaskey: With pronounced Southern leanings, Matt Hectorne has spent the past few years setting out into his personal musical frontier and discovering what sounds and messages lie within him. His solo run, of course, has come after a stint in Cleveland's own Humble Home. But with the release of his third album, Show Your Love, Hectorne is proving that he's got plenty to say and plenty to play. This latest outing is a terrific collection of tunes, anchored in many ways by the patient centerpiece "Man in the Frame." As that tune builds, Hectorne's gentle acoustic melody winds around reflective story and the sparse-but-orchestral backing of his band. With tonight's show at the Beachland comes the guarantee that those in attendance with be among the first to catch Hectorne's newest material live. It wouldn't be wise to pass that up. 9 p.m., $6. Beachland Tavern. (Sandy)
Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour with Oleta Adams/Jonathan Butler/Keiko Matsui: Now in its 16th year, the Dave Koz and Friends Christmas show is a seasonal tradition that pairs the smooth jazz sax man with a slew of guest musicians. For this year's installment, Koz has teamed up with singer Oleta Adams (she came to fame when Tears for Fears asked her to appear on their The Seeds of Love album), guitarist Jonathan Butler and pianist/composer/producer Keiko Matsui. For an extra $50, you can attend a meet-and-greet prior to the show. 7:30 p.m., $10-$65. Palace Theatre. (Niesel)
Madison Crawl (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.
Memphis Cradle/Morticia's Chair/George Foley and Friends: 5:30 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.
Mothcock/Guerilla Toss/Jerk/Clan Of the Cave Bear/Blanche Blanche Blanche: 9 p.m., $5. Mahall's 20 Lanes.
The Oblivion Project: 8:30 p.m., $20. Nighttown.
Outlaw: 9 p.m. Thirsty Cowboy.
Over the Rhine/Matt the Electrician: Cincinnati's indie folk-rock act Over the Rhine first formed in 1989 and had a brief brush with stardom in the '90s, when it signed to the I.R.S. imprint, the same label that launched the career of R.E.M. The band never broke through to the mainstream, but it has delivered some solid folk-rock albums. The Long Surrender, a terrific release that it recorded with Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry (Loudon Wainwright III, Ani DiFranco), features a guest appearance by Lucinda Williams. Henry even co-wrote two songs with the band. The band's latest album, Meet Me at the Edge of the World, features tender vocal harmonies and rich soundscapes that feature folk instrumentation. Expect to hear songs from it as well as some holiday classics at tonight's show. 8 p.m., $25. The Kent Stage. (Niesel)
Protest the Hero/Architects/Affiance/The Kindred: 6 p.m., $16 ADV, $18 DOS. The Agora Theatre.
Velvet Shake: 9:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge.
WJCU 88.7 & Auburn Records Present: 5th Annual Cleveland Metal Holiday Food Drive with Dark Arena/Soulless/Embalmer/Fuck You Pay Me/Vulgar Devils/Alternate Reality: 7 p.m. Beachland Ballroom.
SATURDAY DEC 7
The Brothers Band CD Release: 9 p.m., $10. Musica.
Paul Franks (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.
JP and the Chatfield Boys: 9 p.m., $7. Mahall's 20 Lanes.
Bill Lestock/Cleveland Brass Works/Mike Maimone: 6:30 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.
New Salem Witch Hunters: 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.
On the Cinder: 9 p.m., free. Now That's Class.
Potluck hosted by DJ K-Nyce: 10 p.m. Grog Shop.
School of Rock: 11:30 a.m., $10. Beachland Ballroom.
Straight from the South Tour: Bun B/Richie Homie Quan: Rap icon, distinguished college lecturer and coloring book author, Bun B is a man of many talents. Focusing more on the rap portion of his career, Bun B's rap tracks have a deep intensity and heaviness about them. A standard of Southern rap, his albums have been hailed as modern classics. His latest, Trill OG: The Epilogue, is a bombastic and boisterous album, akin to the kind of thing you'd hear being blasted out of an SUV rolling on 26-inch rims. Tracks like "Fire" feature the played out rap sirens, sampled choirs and prominent snare drums lines we've been bombarded with for years now. There's something under the surface of his songs that deserves a deeper look. In his guest lecture series at Rice University, where he teaches a class called Religion and Hip-hop Culture, he analyzes the cross-section of the two worlds. And so, in his music he proposes similar questions about the world of crime, murder and money. If that's too much to think about, Bun B's Rap Coloring and Activity Book may be more to your liking. 8 p.m., $37.80-$70.20. The Agora Theatre. (Stoops)
Phil Vassar: 9:30 p.m., $20. Thirsty Cowboy.
WJCU 88.7 & Auburn Records Present: 5th Annual Cleveland Metal Holiday Food Drive with Shok Paris/Global Warming/Ground Zero/Black Death Resurrected/Slitt/Scum Park Hooligans: 7 p.m., free. Beachland Ballroom.
Womack Family Band/Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons/The Middle Rats: The folksy roots of America's early music live strong within the songs of local heroes, the Womack Family Band. Their slow-paced guitar lines intermixed with three-part vocal harmonies harken to a simpler lifestyle, closer to country living than bustling city life. This group of friends has created its own musical family, and the closeness and unity of their personal lives weaves its way into their music with the instrumentation and orchestration. Their most recent record, The Blue Room, is a quiet effort that features delicate guitar lines and gentle vocals. The attention they put into the little details of their music pays off tenfold. 8 p.m., $8. Beachland Tavern. (Stoops)
Woodchoppers Ball with Muriel Anderson/Pete Huttlinger/Michael Kelsey/Brian Henke/Mark Sganga/James McKinney/Andy Wahlberg/Roger Hardin/Helen Avakian: 8 p.m., $25. The Kent Stage.
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