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Rock the bells 

Doom, funk and (mistle) toe jam sound the holiday tune

HOT ICE PRESENTS HOLIDAY SOUL FUNK FESTIVAL (DEC. 1)

There's no place like home – unless you're the ruler of U.K. soul – in which case, there's no place like Atlanta. The local soul scene drenches Omar in so much love when he comes to town, he no longer needs promotional gigs as an excuse to swing through. In fact, he's already played here a few times since his latest CD, Sing (If You Want It), was released more than a year ago. It's the same embrace that made U.K. soul sister Julie Dexter permanently relocate to Atlanta several years ago. Considering that the Hot Ice legacy Ken Batie started on WCLK-FM (91.9) is a big reason for the city's soul seasoning, it's only fitting that both are scheduled to perform, along with Rhonda Thomas, Jahi Kearse, Kelly Love Jones and Urban Soul. DJ Larmarrous will spin sounds while Jamal Ahmad, Cha Cha Jones and Ken Rye host. $20 advance, $25 w/ canned good. 8 p.m. Sugarhill, Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama St. 404-658-0068. www.sugarhillatl.com. – Rodney Carmichael

JANELLE MONÁE (DEC. 1)

Pity the fool who has yet to see Janelle Monáe perform live. With impending rumors of a major-label signing, it could be one of her last hometown shows as a truly independent artist. Not that you should expect the cyber chick to change much. The five-track suite, The Chase, from her Metropolis solo debut has already sold 10,000 copies, proving her operatic melisma and future-soul production suitable for mass consumption. But that's beside the point. Monáe likes to lose it onstage – like a pixie on angel dust. And she's bound to take it a step further at Lenny's, considering the dive bar is a far cry from the soul mainstays she usually plays, such as Apache Café or Sugarhill. Her production duo, the tuxedo-clad Deep Cotton, is also scheduled to perform. DJs Yum Yum and Filipino Colada spin. $10. CD comes with ticket price. 9 p.m. Lenny's Bar, 486 Decatur St. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. – Rodney Carmichael

REGINA SPEKTOR (DEC. 5)

The lovely and talented New York musician Regina Spektor has blossomed from a cult artist to an adult-contemporary star over the past year, thanks to her 2006 sleeper hit "Begin to Hope." Her piano-based compositions have appeared in commercials for JC Penney's and Microsoft, and her concerts have frequently drawn sold-out crowds. Unfortunately, her latest tour was temporarily postponed when she collapsed onstage during a sound check at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Originally scheduled for Nov. 15, her Tabernacle concert was moved to Wednesday, Dec. 5. $22.50-$25. 8 p.m. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. 404-659-9022. www.tabernacleatl.com – Mosi Reeves

THE WINTER FUNKTACULAR (DEC. 6)

Few genres, or descriptors, have been stretched further in the musical lexicon than funk. With a bill that includes a couple of Atlanta's most skilled purveyors – Whild Peach and Entropy – the vibe will be thick with southernplayalisticadillacfunkymusik. Whild Peach has been a major and consistent contributor to the Dungeon Family sound, as heard on OutKast and Goodie Mob songs such as "Liberation," "Just About Over" and "Mutron Angel" from Idlewild. Since the sudden passing of lead singer Myrna "Peach" Brown last April, the band has used a rotating list of stand-in female vocalists. Expect a tribute to Whild Peach's forbearers, from Funkadelic to Betty Davis, and to Screechy Peach herself. Goldenfro opens, followed by Asheville, N.C., Afrobeat band the Afromotive. $13. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. – Rodney Carmichael

CAFÉ TACUBA (DEC. 13)

Café Tacuba is one of the great rock bands of the past decade. Its facility for absorbing a variety of styles – electronic beats, Beatles-esque pop melodies and arena-rock visions, among many others – into a distinctive and memorable voice suggests Wilco, Radiohead and the Flaming Lips in their respective primes. No wonder, then, that the Mexican quartet enjoys a huge cult following in the United States and around the world. Café Tacuba plays a rare gig in Atlanta to support its new album, Sino. $30. 8 p.m. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. 404-577-8178. www.masqueradeatlanta.com. – Mosi Reeves

MF DOOM (DEC. 13)

Daniel Dumile is a mystery to most, and he likes to keep it that way. Lately, the masked MC has caused quite a stir among concert-goers. In September, the Village Voice ran a story about fans alleging that Doom has been lip-synching his way through live performances, when he chooses to show up at all. There's even talk that he may have sent an imposter in his place at a recent San Francisco club date. Though the Long Island, N.Y., transplant denies most of the claims and blames his questionable physical appearance on declining health, it makes for interesting fodder in the days leading up to his scheduled concert at MJQ Concourse. Santa never had so many nonbelievers. $25 advance, $5 off door price with a canned good. MJQ Concourse, 736 Ponce de Leon Ave. Call ahead for show time. 404-870-0507. www.ticketalternative.com. – Rodney Carmichael

THE HAPPENSTANCE (DEC. 15)

The motto for the Happenstance, held every year at the Earl, is "embrace randomness." Organizers Jeff Holt and Brian Fletcher cull together 30 local musicians and then split them into six five-person bands, filling with categories such as "Front Person" and "Grab Bag" (for keyboardists, saxophonists, etc.) in the process. The bands then play a 20-minute set with three originals and a cover song for a roomful of drunken friends, with door proceeds going to a charity. The point isn't to laugh at the hastily assembled bands, however, but to enjoy Atlanta's closely knit musical community during the holidays. $8. 9 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Road. 404-522-3950. www.thehappenstance.com. – Mosi Reeves

99X MISTLE TOE JAM (DEC. 16)

Radio station 99X often touts itself as the home of alternative rock in Atlanta, even when it programs decidedly unalternative acts such as the Killers. This year's Mistle Toe Jam, however, features several bands that could reasonably be called indie rock – if you use that term as a description of a sound instead of a statement of an artist's independence from the major-label machine. Northwest godhead Modest Mouse continues to tour behind We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, and the Shins wheel out their version of Beach Boys-inspired pop. The oddball is Australian grunge curio Silverchair, which apparently is still together after its brief chart-topping success in the '90s. L.A. dream-pop upstarts Silversun Pickups open. $10-$65. 5:30 p.m. Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500. www.gwinnettcenter.com. – Mosi Reeves

CHRIS BROWN (DEC. 16)

Chris Brown is for kids. Yes, as an ambitious young man, he wants some grown-up respect – hence his recent cover of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas" – but he knows that it's the tweens who fill his coffers. So unless you're a girl with a monsoon of Chris Brown posters on your wall, or the parent of a girl with a monsoon of Chris Brown posters on her wall, you may want to steer clear of his upcoming concert with Bow Wow, Soulja Boy, Shop Boyz and Lil Mama. If you must go, you'll undoubtedly see a slick show with lots of dancing and showmanship. And thousands of kids screaming their heads off. $39.75-$79.75. 6 p.m. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive. 404-878-3000. www.philipsarena.com. – Mosi Reeves

SOUND TRIBE SECTOR 9 (DEC. 28-31)

For the past few years, organic "livetronica" band Sound Tribe Sector 9 has concluded its year with several New Year's Eve concerts at the Tabernacle. The series, which usually sells out well in advance, is part dedication to its local origins – the group used to gig at the Yin Yang Café, now known as Apache Café – and a summation of its musical growth over the past 12 months. This time, the band will play four nights, and special guests include L.A. turntablists Glitch Mob (Dec. 28), DJ Sub-ID (Dec. 29), and electronic producer Bassnectar (Dec. 30). On New Year's Eve, STS9 holds the stage on its own for three consecutive performances. $32.50-$35, $162.50 for four-day pass. 9 p.m. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. 404-659-9022. www.sts9.com. – Mosi Reeves

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