Take a Lunch Break

Christmas night swings at Blue Lunch's Matzoh Ball

Now in its third year, Blue Lunch's (bluelunch.com) annual Matzoh Ball & Latke Party — which comes to the Beachland Ballrooom at 8 p.m. Saturday — has become a yuletide treasure. "Being Jewish, we didn't have anything to do on Christmas," says singer-guitarist Bob Frank. "I wanted to do something for Hanukkah, so we put a show together." The Beachland will be serving latkes, but you'll also find barbecue on the menu. "So it's not kosher by any stretch of the imagination," says Frank. The veteran swing, R&B, and blues band is enlisting many musical guests for the event, which benefits the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Guests include Mississippi Reese and Blue Boy Lonnie, a pair of blues singers from the South who are pals with Blue Lunch's harmonica-playing frontman Pete London. And don't let the theme scare you away, non-Jews: "It's designed to appeal to anybody who is sick of sitting at home with their family all day on Christmas," says Frank. Tickets are $12, $10 in advance.

A longtime local favorite, singer-songwriter Anne E. DeChant (anneedechant.com), puts on a special Christmas show at 9 p.m. Friday at the Winchester. Tickets are $10.

Alt-country band Hayshaker Jones (myspace.com/hayshakerjones) is reuniting for a free holiday show at 7 p.m. Sunday at Prosperity Social Club.

Hip-Hop Gives Back 3, a benefit concert for Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, features performances by rappers Soul Kryziz, D. Roof, Caine, Cray8theGreat, Mookie Motonio, and Split Personality. Showtime is 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 22, at the Grog Shop. Tickets are $5 — or get in free with a donation of a "new non-violent toy." Visit grogshop.gs for more info.

The Beachland Ballroom is throwing a free Festivus Miracle bash on Tuesday. Inspired by a popular Seinfeld episode, the holiday celebration includes performances by local roots rockers Oldboy and indie poppers Tastycakes. Library Me open the show. The Beachland's gift to you: $2 Gennys! Showtime is 8:30 p.m.

Pianist Dennis Lewin (dennislewinmusic.com) plays a special holiday-themed concert featuring Broadway classics and seasonal tunes at 7 p.m. Monday at Nighttown. Tickets are $20.

The Smokin' Fez Monkeys (smokinfezmonkeys.com) — best known for twisting old-time folk music into something new — play a free holiday show at 8 p.m. Thursday at Prosperity Social Club.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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