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  The Week: Music
Thelonious Comes Alive
The best jazz recordings this year were long-lost performances from some very familiar names.
The Cultural Elite: Pop
Kanye West called out George Bush, Mariah and Madonna came back from the dead, and every sixties band put out an album. But the micro-trends made music interesting this year: The Internet finally broke bands, Houston emerged as rap’s hottest city, folk flew its freak flag, and Britain gave us grime and cyber-girl pop.

Groove Train
This week, head to Hoboken for a week’s worth of (unannounced) celebrity appearances.


Yo La Tengo’s 8 Nights of Chanukah
Each year, the seasoned indie rock act Yo La Tengo takes over Maxwell’s, in the band’s hometown of Hoboken, for a series of shows that always sell out weeks beforehand (as of press time, there were still tickets available). The draw—beyond the band’s technically precise, well-honed live shows—is the secret surprise guests they book to play each show. Although the lineup’s being kept under wraps, recent years have brought the likes of Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garofalo, and John Cameron Mitchell to the stage.
12/25–1/1 at 8. Maxwell’s, 1039 Washington St., at 11th St., Hoboken, N.J. (201-653-1703).


First and Final Stop
Stay warm this week: Choose a concert venue that offers real dining, too.


1. Jazz Standard
Stop by Danny Meyer’s excellent in-house barbecue joint Blue Smoke for everything from salt-and-pepper beef ribs to smoked foie gras, and choose from over 30 kinds of bourbon. Afterward, head downstairs for the consistently superior jazz programming: This week brings vocalists Denise Jannah and Kevin Mahogany.
12/19 at 8 and 10. 116 E. 27th St., nr. Park Ave. S. (212-576-2232).


Club Calendar
The Weekly Party List
While all the good Christians will be at Midnight Mass on Saturday, December 24, the folks over at are hosting what they claim is the nation's biggest Jewish singles event of the year...MORE...

  High Priority
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The surprise breakout act of 2005, whose yelping vocalist Alec Ounsworth has been compared—endlessly—to Talking Heads front man David Byrne. With the National and Dr. Dog.

12/31 at 9. Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl., nr. 15th St. (212-777-1224).
The Honey Brothers
A ukelele band whose biggest claim to fame is sporting Entourage’s Adrian Grenier on vocals.

12/21 at 8. Maxwell’s, 1039 Washington St., at 11th St., Hoboken, N.J. (201-653-1703).
Freddy Cole
The brother of Nat King Cole and a critically acclaimed vocalist in his own right.

12/20–12/24 at 9 and 11. Birdland, 315 W. 44th St., nr. Eighth Ave. (212-581-3080).
All Shows
  Concerts   Cabaret:  
  Comedy   Jazz  
Youthful music-lovers offer their takes on noteworthy recent albums from Wolf Parade, Neil Diamond, Talib Kweli, and more.
Girls Gone Mild
Madonna and Kate Bush return to action with decidedly different notions of growing old gracefully.
The Band That Ate Canada
Broken Social Scene is a seventeen-member “collective” that sounds like fourteen different bands. Luckily, none of them is Duran Duran.
Influences: Patti Smith
Thirty years after Horses, the thin white duchess of CBGB talks about Callas, Oz, and not becoming Kiss.
What the Audience Really Thought About Lee Ann Womack and Scooter Jennings
"This was more of a rock show than a country show. If it doesn’t have steel guitar or a fiddle, it’s not a country show."
Q&A with Matt Pond
The singer-songwriter took a moment to discuss his juvenile delinquency, his dalliance with the French horn, and how he narrowly escaped his mom’s dream of a family band.
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