Never one to stand still, once-local banjo maestro Danny Barnes of the Bad Livers brings his latest idea to town, a collaboration with Nick Forster. Notable as the host of nationally syndicated radio variety show eTown, the Colorado-based Forster brings his own musical renown to the gig in having played bass for beloved progressive bluegrassers Hot Rize. Should be the perfect fit, two eclectic spirits performing music both adventurous and sublime. – Jim Caligiuri
Cactus Cafe, Texas Union, UT campus
Seattle’s worshipful Pedro the Lion, solo.
Nothing virtual about Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse dudes Dethklok, whose third death metal disc, Dethalbum III, comes stacked on the road with the almighty Machine Head, All That Remains, and the Black Dahlia Murder, plus an afterparty inside with local brutality by Course of Ruin and Shrapnel. A block down Red River at Red Eyed Fly, Austin metal legend Dangerous Toys celebrates a quarter-century of “Teas’n, Pleas’n” with its annual, year-end blowout. See Earache! Music blog for a check-in with Toys’ frontman Jason McMaster. – Raoul Hernandez
Stubb’s/Red Eyed Fly
Local hootenanny includes sets from Power Chief and avant-garde noisistas Transmography.
Rosie Flores and Marti Brom fete late rockabilly queen Janis Martin
, while equal royalty gets down at the Home of the Blues.
Hot off Thanksgiving weekend’s Ed Hall reunion, Pong remains space age power pogo.
Frank, 407 Colorado
Emo's, 2015 Riverside
It’s been more than a decade since Reflection Eternal architect Talib Kweli released anything that hardcore hip-hop traditionalists would deem essential, but the time between has been more than just a Beautiful Struggle. The progressive Brooklyn MC has released six albums, opened up Blacksmith Records, and proven himself one of the most high-octane rap acts around. Oh, and a Black Star reunion with Mos Def sits there forever on the table. Kweli hits Austin fronting a live band. – Chase Hoffberger
Mohawk, 912 Red River
Featuring "Why Man Creates" (1968), "Quest" (1984), and other rarities made by the legendary director and graphic designer.
Need something Austin-y (art, jewelry, prints, clothing, etc., whatnot, and then some) for a loved one this year? More than 125 artists and artisans will help you with your gifting conundrums. Special events occur throughout the month of December, so shop early and often. Through Dec. 24, 10am-10pm, everyday. Free.
The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6406 N. I-35, 454-2000
Don't get distracted by Santa or his entourage of floats, marching bands, and inflatables and forget to bring a toy to donate to Operation Blue Santa. Get a good spot along the parade has route down Congress from the Capitol to Cesar Chavez. 11am. Free.
The Downtown Austin Alliance and KUT host this evening of seasonal spirit starting with carols on the South Steps of the state Capitol at 6pm. The Capitol tree is lit at 7pm followed by an invitation to take a walk down Congress Avenue where stores and museums will be open late and lousy with specials and all manner of holiday cheer. 6-9pm. Free.
Eat Drink Local Week and the Bicycle Sport Shop invite families to jump on their bikes and take rider-friendly routes to farms and community gardens all over town. Tour stops include children’s hands-on gardening activities, henhouse tours, farm tours, and samplings. Tours leave from two spots: SFC Farmers' Market, Fourth & Guadalupe, 10am; and Triangle Farmers' Market, 46th and Lamar, 9am. Tickets can be purchased online. 9am. $30.
Kids and parents are invited to create their own sugary abodes made from locally baked gingerbread. Through Dec. 23: Wednesdays, 10am; Thursdays, 10am, 3:30pm; Fridays & Saturdays, 10am, 12:30, & 3:30pm; Sundays, 12:30 & 3:30pm. $35 ($30, members).
Thinkery, 1830 Simond, 472-2499 x201
Take in the sights with special events at selected locations. Nov. 23-Jan. 1.
Bandera, Blanco, Boerne, Burnet, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Johnson City, Kerrville, Llano, Marble Falls, and Wimberley
Features an exhibition by artist Paul Pfeiffer and a display of James Naismith's 1891 document the Original Rules of Basketball. You won't want to miss this in-depth and historical look into the sport of basketball. Runs through Jan. 13, 2013.
The Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr., 512/471-7324
Men's/Women's Swim/Dive USA Swimming AT&T Winter National Championships: Thu., Nov 29-Sat., Dec. 1, all day. Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, 646 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
Volleyball NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament: First Round: Thu., Nov. 29: North Carolina State vs. Texas A&M: 4pm; Colgate vs. Texas: 7pm. Second Round: Fri., Nov. 30: NC State/Texas A&M winner vs. Colgate/Texas winner: 7pm. Gregory Gym, 2101 Speedway. $7-12.
Women's Basketball Vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: Fri., Nov. 30, 11am. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River. $8-16.
Men's Basketball Vs. UT-Arlington: Sat., Dec. 1, 3pm. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River. $8-40.
Shiny, shiny ... shiny boots of leather. First Saturdays, 8-10pm. $5 to benefit CTBOL charities.
Chain Drive, 84 East Ave. (I-35 access road), 512/480-9017
Delve into this "Night of the Chanteuse," featuring Jazz Mills, Nina Diaz, and Pamela Hart, with musical director Adrian Quesada, houseband featuring David Garza and Graham Reynolds, and choreographer Sassy DeLure. Whoa! Dang! This is top-notch all the way! 8pm. $50.
Scottish Rite, 207 W. 18th, 512/472-7247
Twas the Night Before the Morning After, babies! That's the theme. So get in there, dressed for excess and for lookin' like a mess after you tear up the silent auction, the "mouthwatering morsels, cash cocktails, sintillating sweets," and the dance floor. 7pm-12mid. $90, $80 in advance.
Norris Conference Centers, 2525 W. Anderson, 454-8646