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THURS/15

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS That revered tradition of the season, the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah" is conducted by Norman Mackenzie. Yeah, lots of people do it each year, but nobody in the Southeast does it as well. $19-$55. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

GUY Nowadays, if you rock the high-top fade that Guy used to sport back in the day, you won't even hear about a hot club, much less get in. But in the early '90s, brothers Aaron and Damion Hall and Teddy Riley had the game on lock, all the way from "Groove Me" to their last big hit, "Let's Chill." The new jack swing days are over, but you can relive that era when the members of Guy take center stage at the Sol-Fusion party to perform their greatest hits. Just don't wear any funny haircuts. Call for price. 10 p.m. Vision. 404-874-4460. www.visionatlanta.com. -- Mosi Reeves

M.A.N.D.Y. German DJ/production duo M.A.N.D.Y. represents for the Berlin-based, Frankfurt-bred Get Physical label. You know that right off the bat because of how physically consuming the act of typing five periods into the damn name every time is. But past that, the music of M.A.N.D.Y. and the label is physical in its own right, a brand of anthemic, minimal electro-house that respires a ravenous and ragged pulse and at its best grips you for some rude rutting like a Vulcan mindmeld fueled by bloodlust. Forget those cheesy sitcoms ads, because this is a special episode of "Cleaning Up the Dirty South." Call for price. 10 p.m. The Mark. 678-904-0050. www.themarkatlanta.com. -- Tony Ware

FRI/16

ANNA KRAMER, HOT YOUNG PRIEST Kramer's songs waft between strident rock and melancholy country swagger, drawing comparisons to disparate acts the Kinks and Gram Parsons. Her timeless merger of mod and American thrust, filtered through an alluring voice and raw strumming resonates with distinction. Atlanta prog-pop power trio Hot Young Priest runs through a collection of songs both old and new. $6. 9 p.m. Lenny's. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. -- Chad Radford

DJ SPINNA If there is anyone who has lured hip-hop heads back to the wonders of house music and convinced them it's not just a "gay thing," it's DJ Spinna. As a master producer and DJ, Spinna mixes the best of both worlds, making music imbued with nod factor and dance rhythm. His current thing, a series of parties centered on Stevie Wonder's music, are the latest feather in his cap. $5. 10 p.m. Django. 404-347-8648. www.djangoatlanta.com. -- MR

MIKE CROSS The always entertaining Cross is an archetype -- the traveling troubadour with a guitar-full of great songs and an endearing onstage persona. He carries the torch for traditional folk music, but delivers much more. A splendid time is guaranteed for all. $22.50. 8:30 p.m. Red Light Café. 404-874-7828. www.redlightcafe.com. -- James Kelly

THE HISS, THE GENDERS, THE COGBURNS Yeah, hard-hitting local garage rockers the Hiss is the headliner, but how many rock 'n' roll bands can you name from Israel? The Genders are one of 'em. Be sure to request their "When I Grow Up (I Wanna Be a Fuckin' Stoner)." Ah yes, inspirational music from the Holy Land, just in time for the season of lighting up. And speaking of festive, those manic Cogburns should be declared a legal holiday. $7. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- Lee Valentine Smith

SONORAMIC COMMANDO Newlywed Rodney Bell makes his return to the stage with the reconfigured Commandos, in a holiday extravaganza that kicks off Jake's Rockabilly weekend. Also appearing are Mark Harper's Optimus Club, and local newcomers The Broken Spokes. You can bet there will be a twangin' good time. Bring an unwrapped toy for good karma. Call for price. 9 p.m. Jake's Toadhouse. 404-633-8090. www.jakesroadhouse.net. -- JK

BOB MARGOLIN His years as a young, gun-slinging guitarist backing up Muddy Waters are long behind him, but Margolin keeps the spirit of working-class Chicago blues alive. He's played with many of the legends in his field and has never left the road, pumping out gutsy, no frills, rootsy blues like the journeyman he is. Local artists might sit in and spice up the set even more. Call for price. 10 p.m. and midnight. Darwin's. 770-578-6872. www.darwinsblues.com. -- Hal Horowitz

10TH ANNUAL TOYS FOR TOTS BENEFIT Jim Stacy trots out his Shitty Claus guise to host this two-night romp with proceeds benefiting the Marines' admirable Toys for Tots campaign. Rockin' ravers Bitch headline tonight and Yule Log burns brightly tomorrow night. A stocking overflowing with special guests will help make the season bright. Bring a new, sealed toy for admission; $10-$15 donation encouraged. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbar.net. -- LVS

SAT/17

ATLANTA CELTIC CHRISTMAS James Flannery directs and hosts this annual Christmas celebration of dance, poetry, song and story from Celtic traditions and their Appalachian descendants. $10-$25. 8 p.m. Schwartz Center. 404-727-5050. arts.emory.edu. -- MG

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