In Fun & Games with not-New Boys (12.22)

When The Connells first came rattling out of Raleigh, the terrain of Southern pop still had the deep indentations of Byrds-styled Rickenbackers (they were certainly a touchstone for these Boylan Heights boys), and R.E.M. was still a regional success story. Reckoning had just come out, after all. Butmore than two decades, many tours and handfuls of harangues with record labels laterthe group still sticks its head out for a few shows a year. Talk of their first proper compilation and several reissues has surfaced, and perspective seems to be sneaking up on the Raleigh pop stars, kind of like the creeping, snagging melody of their unforgettable “Darker Days.” Remember, it’s holiday time, when ex-pats and old friends come back to town and head out looking for familiar faces. Well, you found some, and they’ll still be playing your favorite song. See The Connells at The Pour House on Friday, Dec. 22, with openers The Saving Graces at 9 p.m. Tickets are $14. Chris ToenesIn anti-culture culture (12.21)

Listening to live music, shopping and drinking are fun things to do individually, but doing all three under one roof is simply amazing. The Anti-Mall is the place to have that alternative experience. This Thursday, New York’s self-described “dirty folk singer” Jessica Delfino will perform her own brand of anti-Christmas music. While patrons are entertained by Delfino’s raunchy stand-up comedy and vulgar folk songs, they can also sip hot coffee (or something with a little more kick) from Buzzed Coffee. Women and men can shop for trendy shoes at Ha Ha Shoes or retro apparel and alternative accessories at Electric Blender. Fanboys can peruse comic books at Jigsaw Comics or walk through 305 South, a music venue and art gallery. The stage is centrally located so that shoppers can still have an excellent listening experience. 305 South is located at 305 S. Dillard St. in Durham. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. For more info visit and Iesha BrownIn making it through December (12.21 ~ 12.23)

Triangle musicians have been busy this holiday season: Already, we’ve seen an excellent seasonal non sequitur from singer-songwriter Dan Bryk, a benefit compilation featuring The Rosebuds, Kickin’ Grass and a dozen others, the third installment of Chris Stamey’s Christmas Time, and albums from David McKnight & Bruce Emery and The Brantley Family Band. Now, it’s time for the shows. Dexter Romweber Duo (Dexter and Sara) rocks the bells of Local 506 on Thursday, Dec. 21. Stratocruiser and Sister Fanny (The Stones reference is intentional) jive that bill, too. The Cave spreads its noggin’ over three nights, none of which is Christmas: Red Clay Rambler Jim Watson brings his 21st annual yuletide show back on Dec. 21 (last year’s was in Hillsborough), with Evil Wiener sugar-fixing the place on Friday, Dec. 22. Lucy Summer’s Christmas Show starts Saturday, Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and ends with Tarboro-born, Nashville-based songwriter Michael Kelsh sharing songs with bassist Stu Cole. Terry Anderson, a Christmas baby, has been using Christmas to celebrate his own birthday in rock clubs for years, and he brings his Olympic Ass Kickin’ Team to The Pour House for the celebration at 8 p.m. Expect him to leave Rudolph blushing. For the word on Christmas jams at Nightlight, Chaz’s Bull City Records, Hideaway BBQ and Blue Bayou Club, see this week’s Get Out. Grayson CurrinIn still dancing after all these years (12.21)

Join the Friends of Chuck Davis and the African American Dance Ensemble family for a gala celebration to honor Baba Chuck’s 70th birthday! Enjoy food, music, dancing and lots of “Peace, Love and Respect.” Send a personal greeting via commemorative journal, or purchase a symbolic candle (cloth) with your name on it to be added to a commemorative quilt as a gift for Chuck. The celebration will be held on Thursday, Dec. 21 from 6-10 p.m. in Bay 7 at the American Tobacco Campus, 334 Blackwell Street, Durham. For more information, visit or call 560-2729. See also our profile of Chuck Davis. Fiona MorganIn overlapping magisteria (through 1.4)

Some see awe and mystery in the accounts of the Bible; others find it in the vastness of the cosmos as revealed to our telescopes. For the last 57 years, the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill has been heroically bridging the culture-war gap between science and religion with its Christmas special, Star of Bethlehem. An entirely home-grown UNC production, it’s the world’s longest-running planetarium show, dating to 1949. Retooled four years ago, the updated version is surprisingly entertaining and informative for young and old, secular and devout alike. There’s enough scripture to satisfy the observant, plenty of dope astronomy for science geeks, plus history, art and, for wee ‘uns and the short of attention span, explosions (dig the Tunguska event!). The planetarium is at 250 E. Franklin St. on the UNC campus. Shows run until Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and at 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $5.25 for adults, $4.25 for children, students and seniors. Visit or call 962-1236 for additional planetarium and digital theater shows. Marc Maximov