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