ALTERNATIVE

Since

CSS

made its Philly debut at the Mummers Museum, the Brazilian dance band has always been welcomed here with open arms - and the band members give it right back. Led by the jumpsuit-wearing

Lovefoxx

, who made it to NME's 2007 Cool List, the group mixes new-wave dance like Tom Tom Club and B-52's with its homegrown sounds. With

Hey Willpower

(

Will Schwartz

from Imperial Teen) and Philly's own

Pink Skull

on the bill, this makes a perfect pre-holiday bash.

Transit, 6th and Spring Garden streets, 215-925-8878

- Sara Sherr

CLASSICAL

Philadelphia Orchestra

assistant conductor

Danail Rachev

gets a chance to shine in a program of seasonal favorites. Rachev led family and outreach concerts at the Dallas Symphony. A graduate of the same Bulgarian conservatory as associate conductor Rossen Milanov, Rachev shares the same eagerness to connect with new audiences. With the

Philadelphia Singers

chorale, the orchestra will offer symphonic arrangements of 10 familiar carols, plus Vaughan Williams' gorgeous "Fantasia on 'Greensleeves' " and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" and Handel's "Messiah," plus evergreen gems by Schubert and Bach. This program's a celebration of the entire holiday-music catalog, enveloped in that famed orchestral sheen.

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce streets, 7 tonight and tomorrow, $9-$105, 215-893-1999, www.philorch.org.

- Tom Di Nardo

HIP-HOP

The 2004 death of the colorful ODB didn't slow either the in-studio or on-tour consistency of

Wu-Tang Clan

, arguably the second-best rap group of all time, behind Run-DMC.

The remaining eight members - RZA, GZA, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface and Masta Killa - took a break after losing ODB, then came back with the strong live album "Return to the 36 Chambers" and their latest effort, "8 Diagrams." In between, solo members have released a flurry of well-received albums. Fans should expect a run-through of many Wu-branded hits, including "Glaciers of Ice," "Ice Cream," "All I Got Is You," "C.R.E.A.M." and "Daytona 500." Rising emcee Writtenhouse will open. There's an after-party too; space will be tight, so get there early.

Trocadero, 1003 Arch St., 9 tonight, $48, 215-922-live, www.thetroc. com. After-party with DJs Spunk and Mike Nyce, Fluid, 613 S. 4th St., 10 p.m., 21+, $15.

- Damon C. Williams

JAZZ

Enjoy an evening of old-fashioned tenor madness as a pair of new-generation hard-boppers face off in a cutting session.

Eric Alexander

's glowing-embers tone has graced countless recordings, while his deep respect for tradition is key to his ongoing partnership with veteran pianist Harold Mabern, 30 years his senior. Toronto-born

Grant Stewart

possesses a breathier approach and an equally impressive resume. But the most important thing these two share is a firm grounding in the legacy of their forebears, Coltrane and Rollins at the forefront, without being mired in the past.

Chris' Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St., 8 and 10 tonight and tomorrow, $15 (tonight), $20 (tomorrow), 215- 568-3131, www.chrisjazzcafe.com.

- Shaun Brady

POP

When cool, swinging singer

Jacqui Naylor

gets smashed, she's on top of her game. Naylor's vision is to co-mingle two songs - a technique she calls "smashing" - singing the tune of one while her band plays the distinctive backing arrangement of another. This was used to great effect on her 2007 "Smashed for the Holidays" disc, the reason she's here. That release finds her making surprisingly logical and effective overlays of, say, "What Child Is This?" and Led Zeppelin's version of "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You." Naylor's laid-back, ironic aura also works well in non-smashed versions of John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," done as a slip-sliding shuffle, and the Kinks' "Father Christmas," performed in a piano-centered, Springsteen rock aria.

World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $25-$35, 215- 222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.

- Jonathan Takiff