Twenty-five years have passed since Public Enemy declared It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, arguably the greatest hip hop album of all time. Chuck D is now AARP-eligible, but the Hard Rhymer remains “Louder than a Bomb” and Flavor Flav damn sure knows what time it is, boyeeeee! From “Fight the Power” to “Don’t Believe the Hype,” expect nothing less than a parade of certified classics. The iconic rap crew in a venue this size is something of a Christmas miracle. – Thomas Fawcett
Mohawk, 912 Red River
Top to bottom, here’s one of the best local lineups all month. Caffeinated power-pop trio Flesh Lights and neo-hippy garagers the Bad Lovers are lunchmeat in a heavy metal sandwich, sharing a bill with crucifix-flipping, glove-shredding, skate metal quartet Ditch Witch and monolithic instru-metal bruisers Eagle Claw. Free Week’s still a week off, but here‘s a chance to acquaint yourselves with some of Austin’s heavy standouts on the Eastside’s best stage. – Kevin Curtain
Boffo year for Kevin Russell’s Gourds off-shoot.
Capping a productive year that included releasing NPR-approved sophomore LP You Knew and embarking on musical residencies in New York and Los Angeles – plus resolving to complete their annual summer camp despite mid-week eviction from the Scottish Rite Theater – ATX indie orchestra Mother Falcon returns to its favored Central Presbyterian Church for a special winter concert that includes a collaboration with Peter Stopschinski of Golden Arm Trio and Brown Whörnet fame, who’s reworked Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.” – Kevin Curtain
More than 25 years after launch, ST 37 still surfs the bleeding edge of the space/prog/psych continuum. From the lysergic punk of “Sucking on the Family Tit” to imaginative soundtracks for Fritz Lang and a garbled tribute to Marina Oswald on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, their palliative provocation blows out mental mundanities like high-fiber cereal. Saturday finds ST 37 headlining a bill of related bands, including anti-pop troupe Baby Robots and drone-folk operatives Abigail und Hansel along with Thee Eleventh Hours, Venison Whirled, Skullcaster, and Ignatius Telles. 7pm. – Greg Beets
The New York-based company tours their acclaimed spectacle, a journey into a long-lost world of ancient legends, heavenly palaces, and the dusty plateaus of the Middle Kingdom. Music, dance, animated backdrops – an incredible show of talent and skill and artistic dedication. Dec. 26-29. Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2 & 7:30pm; Sun.-Mon., 2pm. $50 and up
Need some bike parts to finish off that two-wheeler of your dreams? This swap has the parts and the know-how if you have the bargaining skills. 10am-4pm. Free.
Pull your zoot suit and flapper dress from the back of the closet and enjoy an evening of 20s-inspired entertainment with music, drinks, appetizers, and casino games. Proceeds go to the Day With Daddy fatherhood program. 8-11:30pm. $35.
Midtown Live, 7408 Cameron, 512/451-5483
This local coffee shop has been stepping up its holiday-light game for years. Every hour on the hour the lights and music explode with the spirit of the holidays. Through Dec. 31, 6-11pm. Free.
Come watch the choo-choos and inspire the next generation to keep this historic hobby alive and well. You might even be allowed to sit behind the controls if you're kind enough to the tip jar. Wed. & Sat., Jan. 1 & 4, 11am-5pm. Donations appreciated.
ArtSpace, 231 E. Main, Round Rock, 512/689-2450
Enjoy six nights of good German food, a great beer selection, and terrific local music rolling up to the new year. Thu.-Tue., Dec. 26-31.
The Auslander, 323 E. Main St., Fredericksburg
Let's give ourselves the gift of victory this holiday season as they face off against our neighbors to the south, San Antonio. 7pm. $17-47.
Vs. Idaho. 2pm. $4-12.