Yes, it's true: The year has flown by and the holiday season really has arrived yet again. Before you stress yourself out worrying about Black Friday, Christmas shopping, and all of your extra commitments, breathe deep and remember you've still got the local music scene to fall back on for some relief and release. Sure, it's a little quiet this weekend because of the holidays, but only a little. There's still plenty of noise to be made and celebrating to do. So if you need to escape the family and shopping this weekend to kick back with bands and brew, never fear: we've got the highlights to get you out the door and pointed in the right direction.
Thursday, November 22
True, it IS Thanksgiving, but sometimes at the end of the day we all need to escape the family for a little bit -- or maybe just escape the turkey and football for a little break. If you're in a funky mood, you can catch GoGo Plumbay laying down some jazz licks at The Colony for a great hideaway from the chaos. If you're looking to be a little more social and hang out with friends, however, your best bet is to settle in at The Shrine for a special return of "Higher Education" with Dustin Pittsley, Jesse Aycock, and whatever other friends may be in town to contribute to the evening. Just think of it as your musical family reunion to cap off the night.
Friday, November 23
The Christmas concerts start right away as Kenny Rogers brings his Christmas show to The Joint for the older crowd. Of course, if you want real hardcore country and Red Dirt, you won't want to miss Jason Boland & the Stragglers with Turnpike Troubadours for the 7th annual "Leftover Turkey" show at Cain's Ballroom, beginning at 8pm. Afterwards, you can continue the tradition by taking the party down the street a block and stopping in for your nightcap with Brandon Clark Band at Hunt Club -- and if you arrive early, you can catch Rebecca Deshong. Meanwhile, over at 18th and Boston, Whirligig gets their jam on at Shrine and Mercury Lounge throws down a great double bill of songwriters with John Moreland and Parker Millsap.
Saturday, November 24
After too much shopping, everyone should be ready to cut loose and it's just a matter of how you want your fix. Of course, the hard rock fans will be at the Cancer Sucks! concert at Cain's with Saving Abel, Texas Hippie Coalition and Aranda. If you're looking to dance, you can either join the "Yo Wobble Gobble" party at IDL Ballroom or get your not-quite so retro fix at Vanguard with "That '90s Party" (the first offshoot of Tulsa's wildly popular '80s Prom).
If you're looking for more of a jam-band fix, you can settle in with Paul Benjaman Band at Fassler Hall, Moai Broadcast at Soundpony or Brad James Band at The Colony. Meanwhile, Mercury Lounge will be throwing a raucous party with Dash Rip Rock and The Joint hosts the big show of the weekend with the arrival of pop and rock icon, Steve Winwood.
Sunday, November 25
Wrap up your weekend and get ready to dive headlong into the holiday whirlwind by chilling out with Paul Benjaman & Friends at The Colony or Brandon Clark's "Sunday Service" at Mercury Lounge. If you're ready to rock once more before heading back to work, though, you can catch Ego Likeness with Cryogenic Seconds, Axis and Ministry of Ingsoc at Vanguard to wrap up your weekend.
After that, it's a quiet week as we all sleep off the tryptophan and get ready for it all to get even busier next weekend. Rest up, because it's all about to hit high gear.
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