Live music and more, tonight through Thursday, compiled by Shaun Brady, Tom Di Nardo, James Johnson, Sara Sherr and Jonathan Takiff.

POP . . . plus

Splintered Sunlight: With few national acts touring this preholiday weekend, the "can't always get what you want, but you get what you need" vibe is really dominant in local club bookings. These guys pay "tribute" (yeah, that's the word they've legally gotta use) to the Grateful Dead. The Note, 142 E. Market St., West Chester, 8 tonight, $10, 800-594-8499, www.thenotewc.com.

Badfish: This extra busy tribute band serves up, what else, their tribute to Sublime. With Scott Don't and Flight's Kool. Electric Factory, 7th and Willow streets, 8:30 tonight, $22.50, 215-336-2000, www.livenation.com.

Mr. Greengenes: Formed at West Chester University in 1992, this popular bar band usually covers the hits of the day, from rap-rock to emo singer/songwriters. But here they're hosting their annual "Running of the Santas." Electric Factory, 7th and Willow streets, 6 p.m. tomorrow, $20/$30, 215-336-2000, www.livenation.com.

Donna Jean Godchaux Band: Drive a little, groove a lot as former Grateful Dead vocalist keeps the jam band spirit alive with original (!!!) tunes that chug along as well as the old reliables. Jeff Matson and Anne McCue open. Triumph Brewing, 400 Union Square, New Hope, 9 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 215-862-8300, www.triumphbrewing.com.

Holiday Hop: Will Cornell Gunter's Coasters dangle "Poison Ivy" or mistletoe over your heads? Will the Platters and Marvelettes sing about "The Great Pretender" and "Don't Mess with Bill," or about the big man in the red suit? Stop, you're all right at the Holiday Hop! Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple streets, Sellersville, 3 & 8 p.m. tomorrow, $45, 215-257-5805, www.st94.com.

The Slackers: Rock steady with New York's gift to horn-scorched ska and reggae. The Bullbuckers and DJ100dbs open. TLA, 334 South St., 8 p.m. Sunday, $15, $18, $11.25 (4-pack, individually.), 877-598-696, www.livenation.com.

Greyboy Allstars: Fronted by turntablist DJ Greyboy and super sax/flute man Karl Denson, this hot San Diego aggregation answers to the descriptions acid jazz, funk rock and soul jazz but best prefers their very own term, "boogaloo music." Hear, here! World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $28-$40, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.

Guignol and Mischief Brew: Local talents with a shared taste for rowdy tales and Balkan gypsy rock get it together, literally, as a five-piece. Also, psychedelic surf punksters Mirror & Wires ride the waves in from North Jersey. Barbary, 951 N. Frankford Ave., 6 p.m. Sunday, $10 (all ages) 866-468-7619, www.r5productions.com.

Decimation of the Nation 2 Tour 2009: Got no *@in' time for tidings of comfort and joy? Maybe you're primed for this bunch of howling head bangers. The thunder-thudding Hatebreed, Cannibal Corpse and Unearth lead the undead pack, with support by Born of Osiris and Hate Eternal. Electric Factory, 7th and Willow streets, 7 p.m. Sunday, $22/$25, 215-336-2000, www.livenation.com.

HIP-HOP, R&B

So Special: Emynd and Bo Bliz return for their other monthly party in Northern Liberties, bringing special guest Karis, aka the New York Giant. Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 10 tonight, free before 11 p.m., $5 after, 215-592-8838, www.silkcityphilly.com.

Toubab Krewe: North Carolina-based band combines rock and Afrobeat beat for a sound that falls somewhere in between while sounding very different. With Grimace Federation. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 9 tonight, $15, 21-plus, 215-787-0488, www.northstarbar.com.

Lip Service: Philly native and the Skratch Makaniks founder DJ Excel joins DJ Sammy Slice for this special party at the Piazza. PYT, 1050 N. Hancock St., 10 p.m. tomorrow, free, 21-plus, 215-268-7825, www.pytphilly.com

3V3 B-boy Battle: National Breakin' League holds a first round of competitions for the 2010 Championship in Arizona. Music by DJ Ill-Literate; Superdope's F.A.M.E. One hosts. Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St., 5 p.m. tomorrow, $10. www.facebook.com/nblinfo. 267-312-9572.

Tastytreats: Long-running (eight years and counting) weekly hip-hop party featuring resident DJ Mike Nyce is one of the best around. Hosted by Yameen Alworld. Fluid Nightclub, 613 S. 4th St., 10 p.m. tomorrow, $7, ladies free before 11 p.m., 215-629-3686, www.fluidnightclub.com.

Back2Basics: Combining live music from the Back2Basics Band with tunes spun by DJs King Britt, Dozia and Ron Clark, this weekly party is easily one of the best way to spend a Monday night. Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 10 p.m. Monday, $8, 215-592-8838, www.silkcityphilly.com.

Fuzed Funk: This monthly party is all about showing off the soulful side of drum and bass, with DJs Armen and Jason Magin on the ones and twos while MCs Armanni, Sharpness and Mis-Ty entertain the crowd. Fluid Nightclub, 613 S. 4th St., 10 p.m. Wednesday, $5 before 10:30 p.m., $10 after, 215-629-3686, www.fluidnightclub.com.

ALTERNATIVE

Cancer Benefit for Dave Sommer of Cloudminder: Friends and fellow musicians pitching in to help include Adam and Dave's Bloodline, Grammar Debate, Rarebirds, Monolith, Controlled Storms and Imperfect Silence. Also includes a silent auction from Mew Gallery. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave., 8 tonight, $10, 215-739-5577, www.themanhahattanroom.com.

Big Mess Cabaret: Philly's ragtag collection of drag queens, burlesque dancers, cabaret singers and more perform their first show in five years, "Als Die Dinosaurier Die Erde Durchsteiften (When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth)." Trocadero, 10th and Arch streets, 9 tonight and tomorrow, $20, 215-922-LIVE, www.thetroc.com.

Like A Fox: Former members of Lenola bring their psych-pop to JB's with the Cobbs and Drew Mills. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 tonight, $10, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.

Ron Trent: Chicago house legend and DC duo Protect-U are guests at the weekly Robotique party. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., 9 tonight, $7, 215-291-4919, www.kungfunecktie.com.

Dirty Diamond: What a great way to end Hanukkah - with X-rated versions of Neil Diamond classics. Also: Bong Hits for Jesus, Action Park and Benny Michaels. Khyber, 56 S. 2nd St., 9 tonight, $10, 215-238-5888, www.thekhyber.com.

The Prisoners: The punk-and rollers rock out with Flyswatters, the Keefs and the Blessed Muthas, who are about to go on hiatus. Mojo 13, 1706 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, Del., 9 tonight, $6, 302-798-5798, www.myspace.com/mojothirteen.

Punk Rock Flea Market: Still doing some last-minute Christmas shopping? Avoid the malls and get unique clothes, art, music, furniture and more from over 130 vendors. Proceeds go to indie promoter R5 Productions. Starlite Ballroom/Club Polaris, 460 N. 9th St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday, $3, all ages, 215-821-R5R5, www.r5productions.com.

Peek-A-Boo Revue: Philly's longest-running burlesque troupe presents "Winter Follies," with a time-traveling Liza Minnelli, Santa's Babes and the Striptease Orchestra. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7 and 10 p.m. tomorrow, $20, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.

Publicist: The latest more electro-leaning project from Ian Svenonius (Make*Up, Nation of Ulysses, Scene Creamers, Weird War, etc.) and Trans Am drummer Sebastian Thomson is part of Elevator Parade's Holiday Variety Hour and Musical Revue. Also: Gondola and Music for Headphones. The M Room, 9 p.m. tomorrow, $8, 215-739-5577, www.themanhahattanroom.com.

Christmas in Hell: Hell Under The El's Punk Rock Christmas includes Eric 13, Loaf-SS, Statues of Liberty and Clashing Plaid. El Bar, Front and Master streets, 9 p.m. tomorrow, $5, www.myspace.com/hellundertheel.

Zombi: Horror movie soundtrack-inspired prog rock duo joins ARP, Faux Slang and Darklord. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue, 9:30 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.

Bodyshine: Philly's dance-punk band Prowler is the guest at the new monthly dance party with DJs Diamond Girl, Jeffery, Kyle M. and Toney M. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., 10 p.m. tomorrow, free, 215-291-4919, www.kungfunecktie.com.

Turnaround Vs Immediate: Cat Power's Gregg Foreman, Russ Alexander and the Gieda Brothers spin raw soul from the '60s and '70s. Barbary, Delaware and Frankford avenues, 10 p.m. tomorrow, $5, www.myspace.com/thenewbarbary.

Procrastinator's Holiday Bazaar: Hosted by Positive Space, 30 artists from Fishtown and Kensington display glass, jewelry, paintings, prints, one-of-a-kinds, crafts and artwork. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., noon-4 p.m. Sunday, free, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.

Punk Rock Christmas Extravaganza: Includes Violent Society, the Missile Toads (playing a set of holiday tunes) and The New Peter Fonda Experience. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., 3-7 p.m. Sunday, $6, 215-291-4919, www.kungfunecktie.com.

Charles Cohen & Ed Wilcox: Cohen is known for his work with vintage electronics and Wilcox played in Temple of Bon Matin. The two experimental music vets will play songs from their new CD, "Those Pearls That Were His Eyes." David Talento opens. Germ Books and Gallery, 2005 Frankford Ave., 7-9 p.m. Monday, free, 215-423-5002, www.germbooks.com.

Earsnake Holiday Party: Local experimental and electronic label hosts the Monday Night Club with members of Gemini Wolf, Paper Masques and the Circadian Rhythms. National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd St., 10 p.m. Monday, free, 215-701-4883, www.nationalmechanics.com.

Shawn Kilroy: Philly's Kilroy is versatile in new wave and mod-pop. With Lillie Ruth Bussey and A Stick & A Stone. North Star Bar, 27th and Poplar streets, 7 p.m. Wednesday, $8, 215-684-0808, www.northstarbar.com.

Bouffant Bangout: Enjoy the best pre-Christmas soundtrack with DJ Snackpack and friends spinning '50s punk precedents, '60s surf psychedelics, and French Ye-Ye. Barbary, Frankford and Delaware avenues, 9 p.m. Wednesday, free, www.myspace.com/thenewbarbary.

JAZZ

Tim Warfield: Saxophonist Warfield's annual holiday show, this year with Philly vocalist Joanna Pascale. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and Ben Franklin Parkway, 5:45 and 7:15 tonight, free with regular museum admission of $16, 215-763-8100, www.philamuseum.org.

Orrin Evans/Mulgrew Miller: Inspired by the long-running duo series at NYC's Jazz Gallery, Philly pianist Evans spends the weekend performing with a couple of his favorite pianists, beginning with gospel-tinged swinger Miller. Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St., 8 & 10 tonight, $20, 215-568-3131, www.chrisjazzcafe.com.

Orrin Evans/Uri Caine: On night two of his piano-duo weekend, Evans teams with fellow Philly native Caine, who started playing with local hard-boppers and has gone on to a varied career ranging from straightahead to avant-garde to jazz re-imaginings of classical repertoire. Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St., 8 & 10 p.m. tomorrow, $20-$22, 215-568-3131, www.chrisjazzcafe.com.

Doug Hirlinger Quartet: Drummer leads an outstanding, out-leaning quartet combining talents from Philly and New York, with pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist Tarus Mateen and saxophonist Darius Jones. Ortlieb's Jazzhaus, 847 N. 3rd St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 215-922-1035, www.ortliebsjazzhaus.com.

Garage a Trois: Expanded to a quartet but sticking with the "Trois" in the name, the jazz/jam band - saxophonist Skerik, vibist Mike Dillon, keyboardist Marco Benevento and drummer Stanton Moore - celebrate their groove-filled new CD, "Power Patriot." North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 7 p.m. Sunday, $15-$18, 215-787-0488, www.northstarbar.com.

Fourplay: Popular smooth-jazz supergroup - featuring keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, guitarist Larry Carlton and drummer Harvey Mason - have remained together for nearly 20 years. They'll perform material from their latest CD, "Energy," some of which was inspired by recent travels to South Africa. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $29.50-$39.50, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com.

Magnetic Ear: After Hurricane Katrina, German-born tenor saxophonist Martin Krusche expanded his New Orleans-based trio into a larger collective, including members of many of the city's best-known brass bands, currently focused on a core quintet. They'll share a bill with Philly's Rhinoceri Trio, a spin-off of the West Philadelphia Orchestra. Tritone, 1509 South St., 9:30 p.m. Sunday, $5, 215-545-0475, www.tritonebar.com.

Holiday Jazz Special: Saxophonist Tony Williams' weekly showcase gets into the spirit of the season, augmenting his band of Philly jazz stalwarts with vocalist Doris Spears and ceding the stage for part of the night to a quintet of "young present and future jazz communicators." LaRose Social Club, 5531 Germantown Ave., 6 p.m. Monday, $12, 215-248-4415.

Ric Iannacone: Guitarist Iannacone is briefly back in town, packing this bill with two bands: New Ghost, his long-running quartet with saxophonist Elliott Levin and John and Steve Testa, and Character We, a septet featuring many of the horns from Bobby Zankel's big band. The bill is completed by the dual-guitar quintet Birds for Arms. Tritone, 1509 South St., 9:30 p.m. Monday, $5, 215-545-0475, www.tritonebar.com.

BALLET

Pennsylvania Ballet: The spectacular production of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" is a welcomed annual ritual, coming this year after performances at Washington's Kennedy Center. This is one of the few companies licensed to use the brilliant choreography by George Balanchine. Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, 7 tonight and Dec. 23; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. tomorrow; noon and 4 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 27, 29 and 30; noon Dec. 24 and 31; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 26 and 28; $24-$129, 215-893-1999, www.paballet.org.

Donetsk Ballet of the Ukraine: 18-member Ukranian troupe led by Vadim Pisarev teams with 50 local students from the International Ballet Exchange in their annual presentation of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker." Plymouth/Whitemarsh High School, 201 E. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, 2 and 6 p.m. tomorrow, $28, 215-849-7950.

Brandywine Ballet: The company celebrates 30 years with the perennial "Nutcracker" ballet in a fully staged and costumed production. Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, High Street and University Avenue, West Chester, 2 p.m. tomorrow and 6 p.m. Sunday, $18, 610-696-2711, www.brandywineballet.com.

CLASSICAL

Temple University Horns and Trombones: Led by Philadelphia Orchestra's hornist Jeffrey Lang and trombonist Matthew Vaughan, these performers will fill the resounding Plaza space with holiday selections. Plaza at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 5:30 tonight, free, 215-204-7600, www.temple.edu/boyer.

Piffaro: Our own Renaissance wind band's holiday programs are always unique and delightful, and this one celebrates the wealth of holiday music performed in Renaissance Spain. Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Ave., 8 tonight; and St. Mark's, 1625 Locust St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $15-$35, 215-235-8467, www.piffaro.com.

Peter Nero and the Philly Pops: Nero's "Holiday Pops" is a surefire audience pleaser and this year Nero, recent recipient of the Mario Lanza award and Lifetime Achievement honor by the Musicians Union, has decorated his musical tree with an abundance of guests: vocalist Lauren Kennedy, the Pops Festival Chorus, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas' Gospel Choir, the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Wanamaker organist Peter Conte, plus surprises. Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, 2 p.m. today and tomorrow, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $27-$104, 215-893-1999, www.phillypops.org.

Choral Arts Society: As part of the Bach Festival, the chorus and orchestra led by Matthew Glandorf will present a "Christmas in Leipzig" program, designed to replicate a Lutheran Vespers service from Bach's time. St. Paul's, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., 8 tonight, $25, 215-240-6417, www.choralarts.com.

Anonymous 4: The celestial voices of this female quartet resonate perfectly with the season. Their program, "The Cherry Tree," was inspired by the ancient miracle anthem and features medieval English carols and English-influenced American sacred songs as only they can interpret them. St. Mark's, 1625 Locust St., 8 tonight, $23, 215-569-8080, www.pcmsconcerts.org.

Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale: For 41 years, this chorus has presented a seasonal program, and this year's "Joy To The World" will feature full orchestra, holiday songs and traditional carols. St. David's, 763 Valley Forge Road, Wayne, 8 tonight, $40, and Holy Trinity Church, 1904 Walnut St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $35-$40, 215-222-3500, x200, www.phillyboyschoir.org.

Voices Chorale: Lyn Ransom conducts the 65 singers in a program of holiday music by American composers, including Conrad Susa's "Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest" for chorus, harp, guitar and marimba. Soloists are soprano Rochelle Ellis, guitarist James Day, harpist Elaine Christie and Bill Trig on marimba and xylophone. Pennington Presbyterian Church, 13 S. Main St., Pennington, N.J., 8 tonight; and St. Paul's, 214 Nassau St., Princeton, N.J., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $18, 609-637-9383, www.voiceschorale.org.

Tuba Christmas: Now for something completely different - and fabulous: a regalia of nearly 100 tuba, euphonium and sousaphone players, joyfully bouncing their brassy sound around the huge space. Plaza at the Kimmel Center, noon tomorrow, free, 215-893-1999, www.kimmelcenter.org.

Metropolitan Opera: Offenbach's final work, the masterpiece "Tales of Hoffmann," gets a "Live in HD" presentation on big screens, with Joseph Calleja, Alan Held, Anna Netrebko, Kathleen Kim and Ekaterina Gubanova. At seven area movie theaters, 1 p.m. tomorrow, $22, www.fathomevents.com.

Philadelphia Singers: The annual "Christmas on Logan Square" concert, led by David Hayes, includes a repeat of the Jennifer Higdon piece "O Magnum Mysterium" for chorus, flutes, crystal glasses and chimes, commissioned by the Singers in 2002. St. Clement's Church, 20th and Cherry streets, 5 p.m. tomorrow, $20-$45, 215-751-9494, www.philadelphiasingers.org.

Tempesta Di Mare: The ensemble's season is crafted around the six revelatory Brandenburg Concertos by Bach, with Adam Pearl as harpsichord soloist in the ecstatic Concerto No. 5. Co-founders Richard Stone and Gwyn Roberts will appear, respectively, as lutenist in a Concerto by Fasch and recorder soloist in a Suite by Graupner. Works by Pachelbel and Telemann written for virtuosi in Baroque cutting contests are also on the bill. St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 8000 St. Martin's Lane, 8 p.m. tomorrow; and Old St. Joseph's Church, 321 Willings Alley, 3:30 p.m. Sunday, 215-755-8776, www.tempestadimare.org.

Joan Morris and William Bolcom: The husband and wife team makes their annual visit, celebrating the art of the American popular song. Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $23, 215-569-8080, www.pcmsconcerts,org.

Camerata Ama Deus: Baroque works reflecting the holiday season by Pachelbel, Corelli and Manfredini, along with pieces for solo trumpeter Elin Frazier by Clarke, Purcell and Torelli. The wrap is Domenico Scarlatti's Triple Concerto for two violins (Robert Spates and Linda Kistler) and cello (Vivian Barton Dozor). St. Paul's, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., 7:30 p.m. tomorrow; and Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College, 256 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr, 4 p.m. Sunday, $25, 610-688-2800, www.voxamadeus.org.

Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra: Irving Ludwig's ensemble leads Handel's "Messiah," teamed with the Upper Darby High School Concert Choir. Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill, 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, $12-$16, 610-622-1189, www.udpac.org.

Pennsylvania Girlchoir and Keystone State Boychoir: Joint holiday concert features Kile Smith's Two Laudate Psalms. Holy Trinity Church, 1904 Walnut St., 5 p.m. Sunday, free will offering, 215-247-6901, www.pagirlchoir.org.

Verdi's "Il Trovatore": This high-def live-delay simulcast comes from Barcelona's Le Gran Teatre de Liceu direct to the big screen. Marco Armiliato conducts, with Fiorenza Cedolins and tenor Marco Berti. Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $25, 610-527-4008, www.brynmawrfilm.org.