9:30 p.m. Friday, December 17, Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. $7. 704-333-9799.
With a cast of seasoned local music vets backing tireless showman Bruce Hazel, the garage rock unit powers through a set of punchy, raw rock songs. It's paired with Raleigh’s hip-hop/funk-rock collaboration Shirlette and the Dynamite Brothers and Nashville’s Dirt Heavy.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, December 16 and 17, Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $15-$17. 704-358-9200.
The western North Carolina newgrass institution carries on this holiday tradition with back-to-back concerts that have been packing fans into the Elizabeth venue for a pre-Christmas jam frenzy for over a decade.
9 p.m. Saturday, December 17, The Saloon, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $10. www.ncmusicfactory.com
Two members of J.J. Grey’s Mofro break off with their own take on soulful blues hopping from smoother, contemporary electric blues (think Mofro) to dirtier raw, rocking blues (more akin to G. Love-meets-Blues Explosion).
Aqualads and Friends
10:30 p.m. Saturday, December 17, Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $15-$35. 704-376-3737.
Members of the Chalkies, the Houstons, Snagglepuss as well as Benji Hughes and Bruce Hazel are among the guests joining the surf rock outfit for the release of its guest-laden Christmas album and to honor musician Rodney Lanier, who died last week. The show and album were originally intended as a benefit for Lanier. (Tickets are only available in advance).
9 p.m. Saturday, December 17, Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave. $10. 704-376-1446.
The Brooklyn-based rocking country sextet throws a “Yarn Ball” to benefit Toys 4 Tots. The group urges fans to donate an unwrapped/unused toy at the annual event in exchange for a copy of its cd.
8 p.m. Sunday, December 18, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $16.50. www.livenation.com
8 p.m. Thursday, December 22, The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd$5-$7. www.themilestoneclub.com
The Charlotte avant garde jazz combo will perform three sets - one in its “micro formation” (clarinet, no amps, and different percussion) and two with full band - in celebration of its cinema-inspired new 7 inch release. If you dig the weirder side of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, check it out. (Record included with admission).