If you ask people in the local music scene who the best rock bands in Austin are and they don’t mention the Golden Boys, they either have shit taste or they’re lying to you in order to preserve the quintet’s cult status. The gang of talented songwriters plays with careless conviction in executing an untamed live show that leaves you hungover with great choruses stuck in your head. Check out this year’s Dirty Fingernails if you don’t believe me. Much of this also applies to the direct support from local punk trio Flesh Lights. – Kevin Curtin
It’s become a South Austin tradition. Two of the 04’s favorite rock and blues musicians, Guy Forsyth and Carolyn Wonderland, round up a band of merry pranksters for unique interpretations of old chestnuts. Inventing a couple of new, irreverent pastimes along the way, the locals’ Christmas disc, Fireside Songs for the Soul, indicates a broad taste in holiday music – John Lennon, John Prine, and Charles Brown – so expect similar nontraditional fare and a warm spiritual buzz afterward. – Jim Caligiuri
Beginning to look a lot like you-know-what given this KUT Twine Time host’s semi-annual blues reunion with ex-Dylan blazer Denny Freeman, 10pm. Sunday, Monte Warden’s reunited country bucks go all-ages, 7:30pm.
Still a few tickets left for Lone Star raconteur’s dysfunction junction.
Homegrown guitar hero Ian Moore and opener Charlie Faye already sold out Friday at “South Austin’s new listening room,” but you can stream the performance here
. Same goes the next night for singsong rocker gone New Yorker Suzanna Choffel, who’s doubtlessly home for the holidays and ready to roll out some yee-haw holiday cheer. Austin’s venue scene continues to grow and evolve, so it’s time to quaff some Strange Brew. Naga Valli opens. – Raoul Hernandez
Stop-motion holiday pre-show included.
Nothing says holidays in Austin like scouring aisles and aisles of local art, crafts, and – thank God – beer. All while surrounded by tunes from one of many musical acts performing this year. Don't worry; Post Office reps will be on the premises to spare you from lugging all that holiday cheer home. Dec. 12-24, 11am-11pm. $5, weekdays till 7pm; $8, evenings and weekends.
Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd., 447-1605
It's privately funded these days, but lights are lights, amirite? Every evening has a theme with some manner of festive entertainment. Food and drinks will be available from local trailers. Park at Austin High School for $5 and the money goes to the school's orchestra. Through Dec. 23, 6-10pm. Free.
Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd., 512/974-6700
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
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 Ave, 472-2499 x201
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
is one of your last chances for unique holiday shopping as vendors, entertainers, and musicians congregate to help you get in the spirit of shopping local. Warm up by the yule campfire, sit down for real talk on the dark side of the season, and get the kids singing along to some of the live acts. Sat.-Sun., Dec. 22-23, noon-5pm, Free
The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 478-5282