Not just the usual year-end celebration, Doomtree Blowout VI also marks the end of a monthlong tour by the whole Doomtree crew, including a sold-out New York show and a border crossing into Canada. Along the way, the group of mostly childhood buddies unloaded copies of Dessa's career-setting 2010 album "A Badly Broken Code," as well as redefining records by beatmakers/producers Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak. For their homecoming bashes, they will also be hyping Sims' upcoming record with a 12-inch of the single "Burn It Down." Mike Mictlan, Cecil Otter, P.O.S. and other cohorts will also be there, of course. (9 p.m. Fri., 18 & older; 7 p.m. Sat., all ages, First Avenue. $12-$15.) (C.R.)


Hall & Oates, the soul/rock duo that was big on the radio from 1975 to '85, is enjoying a renaissance among old fans and young hipsters. H&O played at Bonnaroo this year, performed on "The Daily Show" and were the subject of an entire album by the buzzed-about Bird & the Bee. Plus, doesn't everybody love the '80s? (7:30 p.m. Fri., State Theatre, sold out.) (J.B.)

It was already apparent from their three previous 2010 EPs just how much fun Ed and Ashley Ackerson are having with their new '80s-flavored fuzz-pop band BNLX, but the husband/wife team of Polara and Mood Swings notoriety (respectively) can be heard smiling throughout "EP 4." The four-song set is made up entirely of covers, ones that might have you grinning just thinking about them: "When Doves Cry" (Prince), "Shut Up and Drive" (Rihanna), "Rise Above" (Black Flag) and "Soul Desert" (Can). Opening their latest release party is Motion City Soundtrack singer Justin Pierre's new side band, Farewell Continental, which just finished an EP produced by Ed Ackerson, plus the ever-reliable Red Pens and Voytek. (9:30 p.m. Fri., 7th Street Entry. 18 & older. $6.) (C.R.)

Now that Dean Magraw is healthy and playing great guitar again, there will probably be a few more hometown shows by the "Celtodelic rock 'n' reel band" Boiled in Lead, who vow to deliver "country music from many countries." Not that the still frisky 27-year-old quintet, also now featuring world-acclaimed hand percussionist Marc Anderson, is in any danger of being overexposed. Apart from St. Paddy's Day and CD release shows, whenever charter members Drew Miller, Todd Menton and David Stenshoel assemble, it's always something of an event. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, $12-$15.) (T.S.)

The Rock for Socks concert doesn't just promise to help keep our needy neighbors' feet warm, but also pairs two of the scene's most buzzing new bands: Me & My Arrow, a hair-raising chamber-rock troupe that put out an enchanting EP over the summer, and the Goondas, a rowdy, stage-stomping garage-rock quartet that made a strong impression at the Replacements tribute two weeks ago. Brit-rocky favorites Pictures of Then also perform. (10 p.m. Sat., Turf Club. 21 & older. $6, or $3 with donation of new socks.) (C.R.)

Ozzy Osbourne returns to town with a new album and his first new guitarist in two decades, Gus G, a young hotshot from Greece who has big shoes to fill in taking over for the mysteriously ousted Zakk Wylde. The Ozzman is offsetting all this newness on tour by digging deep into his old discography, delivering a few Black Sabbath songs he hasn't sung in years. And if that doesn't get classic metal fans excited, then the addition of Halford as opener should. Rob Halford's namesake band has also been dusting off a few way-back nuggets by his other group, Judas Priest. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Target Center. $29.75-$79.50.) (C.R.)

The best Irish-accented Americana band around, Romantica had something of an off year finishing up a new album, welcoming new babies and working on other projects, including frontman Ben Kyle's upcoming country duets record with Texas cohort Carrie Rodriguez. Nonetheless, the band has new product to promote: a vinyl edition of its breakthrough 2007 album, "America." Brooklyn-based, locally adored coed rock duo KaiserCartel opens. (8 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center. All ages. $15.) (C.R.)

Nine albums into his experiment-filled career, psychedelic London rapper and electronica guru Tricky bounces all over the map on his latest. "Mixed Races" features everything from Jamaican dancehall to New Orleans jazz, with one rocky track featuring Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie. The results are indeed mixed, but he remains one fascinating freakazoid. (8:30 p.m. Tue., Varsity Theater. 18 & older. $18.) (C.R.)

Led for more than 40 years by founding tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo, the mighty Tower of Power plays horn-fueled funk with the right amount of Oakland grease and San Francisco soul. The group is best known for its 1970s hits "You're Still a Young Man," "Very Hard to Go" and "What Is Hip" but the horn section has backed numerous stars, including Elton John, Phish and Josh Groban. (7 & 9:30 p.m. Wed., 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Thu. Dakota Jazz Club, $45-$70.) (J.B.)

Offering neither the biggest names nor the heaviest hitters from the club's storied history, First Avenue's 40th anniversary lineup does boast a nice cross-section of its many eras and genres, plus it's loaded with some of the Twin Cities scene's best-known characters. Representing the '60s and '70s are Spider John Koerner & Tony Glover and the Hypstrz. From the '80s and '90s come the Mighty Mofos, Grant Hart (ex-Hüsker Dü), Gary Louris (Jayhawks) and Matt Wilson & John Munson, most of whom continue to put out great records. Har Mar Superstar and Heiruspecs throw down for the heyday that was the '00s. Chooglin', Birthday Suits and Greg Norton's Con Queso also perform in the Entry. Look for a story in Sunday's Variety section. (7 p.m. Wed., First Avenue. 18 & older. $10.) (C.R.)

Minnesota has had its fair share of noteworthy musical clans. Now, meet the Fenners. Proud papa John Fenner leads a droll veteran roots combo, Strange Friends, which features son John Devitt Fenner on the drums. That same teenaged son opens the night with his own work-in-progress group, The Mammoth Catches Fire, only this time he's playing guitar and singing. Then the evening closes with the Family Jewel$, a heretofore unknown "'60s soul group" featuring Fenner's daughters, Mae and Marvel. It's all good fun, and there's no cover. (9 p.m. Thu., Lee's Liquor Lounge.) (T.S.)


Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus rings in its 30th season with "Holiday Harmonies," which balances serious performances of Christmas favorites and traditional French and German carols with the wit and over-the-top camp that is the chorus' trademark. The show also features Bells of the Lakes handbell choir and soprano Lola Watson., plus TCGMC's response to the recent headline-making bullying of GLBT youths. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 S. 4th St., Mpls. $24-$51, 612-624-2345 or www.tcgmc.org.) (W.R.B.)

Once the Christmas queen of Hennepin Avenue who occupied her piano throne for a full week, Lorie Line has retrenched to just two days at the State Theatre and a five-piece backup group. But she doesn't skimp on the costumes or the entertainment: gold lamé Santa suit for hubby Tim Line, Elvis wigs for her male musicians and -- we won't give away any of her eye-catching outfits. And don't be surprised if some kids from the audience are invited onstage. Oh, and Lorie will be the grand marshal of the Holidazzle parade Sunday. (3 & 8 pm. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., State, $47.50.) (J.B.)

Dublin soprano Katie McMahon came from Ireland to perform in "Riverdance" at the Orpheum, met a Minnesota man and settled in the Twin Cities. With her husband, two children and four CDs, she is entrenched in Minnesota. That's apparent on her splendid new "Christmas Angels," her second holiday CD. The 20-song disc is a remarkably versatile collection that mixes Irish and British traditions with American ones (love the jazzy ensemble singing on "Angels Are Singing") as well as seasonal songs from France and Germany. For her ninth annual Celtic holiday show, the angel-voiced McMahon will be joined by the Corda Mor Irish Dancers. (7:30 p.m. Sat., the O'Shaughnessy, $26.) (J.B.)

Ex-homegirl Tina Schlieske of Tina & the B Sides fame remains one of the most underappreciated singers in Minnesota bar-room history. As is her December tradition, she turns into her holiday alter ego, Lola & the Red Hots, for a roaring run through yule classics, often in the guise of an inebriated Elvis. She also throws in incendiary classic-rock covers of Aretha, Janis and Wings, as only Tina can. And occasionally, she lets her terrific backup singers, the Ho-Ho-Hos, handle a ditty or two. (9:30 p.m. Sat., Cabooze, $12-$15.) (J.B.)

For Trailer Trash's 17th annual Trashy Xmas, all the Trash-men wear spiffy new red mechanics' shirts, the revelers pack the dance floor and rock the sleigh-bell-shaking Jingle Stick. An invigorating, intoxicating mix of honky tonk and holidays, this twang fest is one part punk, two parts Hank and three parts fun (listen for the Twin Cities-centric "I've Shopped Everywhere" and the mashup of "Do You Hear What I Hear" and the Kinks' "You Really Got Me"). On Sunday, there's a special non-bar-room show for families, which means no "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas." (9:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 17, 18, 19 and 25, Lee's Liquor Lounge. 12:15 p.m. Sun. Cedar Cultural Center, $12-$15, kids $6.) (J.B.)

Minnesota Orchestra's "A Scandinavian Christmas" should be quite a spectacle. It features soprano Jill Sandager, tenor Robb Asklof, guitarist Jeffrey Foucault, the Minnesota Boychoir, Twin Cities Girls Chorus and the Ethnic Dance Theatre. Standards such as "Song of the Bells" by Swedish-American composer Leroy Anderson will share the stage with works by Finland's Jean Sibelius and Norway's Edvard Grieg. A full Santa Lucia candlelight procession and an audience sing-along, along with festive décor, Scandinavian drinks and desserts will enhance the holiday spirit. (2 p.m. Sat.; 2 & 7 p.m. Sun., Orchestra Hall, $22-$60.) (W.R.B.)


One of the longest but still evolving holiday traditions, Sounds of Blackness' "The Night Before Christmas: A Musical Fantasy" examines the classic Clement Moore story from an African-American perspective. That means dancin' chitlin's, rappin' Rudolph and other surprises from the Grammy-winning choir in its 32nd annual presentation. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Guthrie, $16.50-$32.50.) (J.B.)


One of the best little bands in music-rich Louisiana, the Joe Krown Trio has been called "a killer combination between three of New Orleans' greatest players." A longtime sideman of Gatemouth Brown, organist Krown is joined by legendary guitarist and singer Walter (Wolfman) Washington and drums dynamo Russell Batiste. It's a trio that's equally conversant with classic Crescent City R&B, jazz, blues, and funk, serving up a cool cornucopia of the good stuff. (7 p.m. Sun., Dakota, $20.) (T.S.)


A local jazz pianist and composer who's on a career fast track, Bryan Nichols has already won a McKnight Fellowship and an American Composers Forum grant, is a member of roughly a dozen bands, teaches at MacPhail Center for Music, and spent four years in Chicago playing with heavyweights from several generations. At his first-ever AQ weekend headline gig, Nichols will show off his original tunes and his "kinda new" quintet featuring Michael Lewis and Erik Fratzke of Happy Apple, plus fiery sax man Brandon Wozniak and drummer J.T. Bates. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists' Quarter, $12.) (T.S.)

Like a lot of the other artists on Ropeadope Records (Charlie Hunter, Sex Mob, Martin Wedeski & Wood), Minnesota native Todd Clouser's A Love Electric liberally mixes jazz, funk and rock with compelling results. Sporting avant flourishes and grooves galore, the guitarist and composer's label debut comes out in February, but you can stream selections at ToddClouser.com. Now living in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, Clouser is flying in the same day as his gig. Let's hope he won't be too jet-lagged to fully enjoy a night with Minneapolis pals Chris Bates (bass), Adam Meckler (trumpet), Bryan Nichols (keys) and Greg Schutte (drums). (9 p.m. Thu., Aster Cafe, 125 SE. Main St., Mpls. $8.) (T.S.)

Contributors: Staff critics Jon Bream and Chris Riemenschneider and freelancers William Randall Beard and Tom Surowicz.