Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at Cedar Park Center. Quite an honor for Ben “Macklemore” Haggerty to headline over mentor-by-example Talib Kweli. But the Seattle-based rapper and production partner Lewis earned the status with catchy, fresh and edgy LP “Heist.” First single “Thrift Shop” made history by being the first self-released track to hit No. 1 on Billboard, but it was the second and third singles — “Can’t Hold Us” and homophobia-busting “Same Love” — that showed this duo has depth. Rehab has done wonders for Macklemore’s career, but you have to wonder if he got sober after waking up after a bender and realizing he gave Lewis co-billing. Big K.R.I.T. opens. And if you can’t make it to South Waco, Talib Kweli’s gonna be spinning later at Holy Mountain. 7 p.m. $45-$56. 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. www.cedarparkcenter.com.
Also performing: Reckless Kelly brings Idaho to ACL Live with the Braun Family Thanksgiving. Willy and Cody Braun’s dad Muzzy Braun, who’s the Jerry Jeff Walker of the Sawtooth Mountains, will also perform, along with Micky and the Motorcars … Guitar great Ady Hernandez fronts the original lineup of Dahebegebees at One-2-One … Nobody has a stronger gutbucket for the blues than Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights at Stubb’s (indoors) … Flesh Lights bring brainiac punk to Red 7, with Screaming Females … James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, who recently collaborated on the Arcade Fire album, does his acclaimed DJ set at Emo’s East. No dress code … East Cameron Folkcore plays songs from politically charged new LP “For Sale” at Scoot Inn … As long as you’re gonna come home for Thanksgiving, might as well make some coin. Right, Gary Clark Jr.? The Stubb’s show by the guitar-playing Varvatos model is way sold out, as is Saturday’s more intimate Antone’s set … Also home for the holidays are Alejandro Escovedo, who plays a two-night stint at the Continental Club, and Joe Ely who plays Friday and Saturday at Saxon Pub.
Invincible Czars 10th annual Rockin’ Nutcracker Suite at Spiderhouse Ballroom. Tell Tchaikovsky the news: Austin’s favorite indie rock/circus polka/classical music band is leading an all-day affair with family fun starting at 2 p.m. During the day ($5 kids, $10 adults) there’s a Nutcracker dancealong, face-painting, snowflake-making, costume-wearing, like that. The Invincible Czars, who are taking this show all over Texas and Louisiana this month, play “Nutcracker Suite” at 10 p.m., followed by a funk/pop dance party with Foot Patrol at midnight. 2908 Fruth St. www.spiderhousecafe.com
Also performing: Expect the new Antone’s owners to be on hand for Gary Clark Jr., unless there’s some sort of National Geographic expedition going on. Nobody has done more for the Antone’s brand in recent years than the Stevie Ray Vaughan successor … There was a time when little Patrice Pike, with not a tattoo on her, and her band would pack clubs with a cool hippie/funk vibe. Sister 7 plays the One-2-One Bar, with revisitation hours from 10 p.m. … Over at the North Door, you have Borrisokane looking this way, Knifight looking that way, and Black Books going “What do you want from me?” And they call it Good Music Club, not the Goodfellas Lounge … Bucket list items will be checked off as Ex-Modern Lover Jonathan Richman plays an early set at the Continental Club … It’s amazing what Joe Bonamassa can do with a guitar at ACL Live … Lowdown dirty groove king Ramsay Midwood and his pocket troubadours play Sam’s Town Point, the last cool bar that the hipsters haven’t found. Homer Henderson of Lee Harvey friendship fame opens at 9 … Help Foreign Mothers drummer Christine Lough celebrate her birthday at Hotel Vegas with Bad Lovers, Dixie Witch, Feral Future and more … Roadtrip! The great Billy Joe Shaver plays the Brewhouse in Bastrop.
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue at Stubb’s. When Troy “Shorty” Andrews played “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” on HBO’s “Treme” in the first season, the segment was a nod to his grandfather Jessie Hill, who wrote the Mardi Gras fave. Playing trombone since he was 3 and leading a band at age 6, Andrews has Nawlins street music in his soul, but he’s also of the hip-hop generation. His stew, which I call a gumbo, will feed the crowd’s frenzy. Opening are Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, another band that says yes to N.O. Check out newish drummer Nikki Glaspie, who wowed with Beyonce for five years. Doors at 7 p.m. $20. 801 Red River St. www.stubbsaustin.com.
Also performing: ACL Live should have “Cruise” sickness bags available for the Florida Georgia Line set. The inescapable “country” song with the Nelly break just won single of the year on the American Music Awards … New Orleans metal band Crowbar reign at Dirty Dog on Sixth Street… Can’t imagine a better pairing of artist and venue than Sam Baker, whose new “Say Grace” LP is one of the year’s best, and the listening room of Strange Brew … Vocal magic via Rockapella visits One World Theatre … NYC power trio the London Souls bash and howl at Stubb’s … Twang vixen Amber Digby plays the revived Ginny’s Little Longhorn.
Monster Magnet at Red 7. You remember “Negatonic Teenage Warhead,” right? That cool, futuristic video was all over MTV in 1995 and Monster Magnet was huge. The actual future, it turns out, is not quite as cool for the New Jersey stoner metal band, back with new LP “Last Patrol” and first U.S. tour in 10 years. Openers are Anti-Mortem and Diesel & Dixie. Doors at 9 p.m. $20. 611 E. 7th St. www.red7austin.com.
Also performing: Recent Maine transplant Elsa Cross plays David Lynch’s kind of rockabilly at the Continental Club … Kathryn Legendre and Chris King bring Americana to Sahara Lounge … Austin guitar great Derek O’Brien leads the free Blue Monday happy hour (6 p.m.) at Antone’s … Jeremy Delgado’s rarely peaceful or quiet band Peace & Quiet plays the Mohawk … Rock N’ Roll Karaoke is at Beerland … Naughty, old timey string band Hot Nut Riveters are at Strange Brew.
Nightlands at the Mohawk. The solo dreampop project of Dave Hartley of the War On Drugs (the band, not the waste of time and money), Nightlands is touring behind the “Oak Island” record on Secretly Canadian. Opening are psych-rockers Holy Wave and atmospheric singer-songwriter RF Shannon. 9 p.m. $8. 912 Red River St. www.mohawkaustin.com.
Also performing: Houston’s charming Tontons follow Fun Fun Fun with even more fun at Empire Control Room … What better way to mark 50 years as a fulltime musician than to play a club like the ones you came up in? That’s Jimmie Lee Vaughan at the Continental Club … Morbid Angel plays 1993 metal classic “Covenant” in its entirety at Red 7, with Vex and others … As Bounce House, Josh and Jess play punk rock without a bass at Holy Mountain. The new EP is “Hottest Day of the Year.”
Texas Observer presents Neal Pollack at the North Door. Funny, eccentric, sharp, spontaneous — that’s writer Neal Pollack, who recently won serious Uchiko cash ($62,000) on “Jeopardy.” The “Jewish Garrison Keillor” will read from some of his eight books, tell jokes and there will be a band. Expect funny interaction with the crowd, though Pollack says he “will not be rude to anyone who comes unless they specifically try to start something.” 6 p.m. Free. 502 Brushy St. www.ndvenue.com
Also performing: Dikes of Holland can cold rock a garage punk party at Hotel Vegas. This is the tour kickoff show, so all the bands the members are also in will be on hiatus for a month … Portland hipster metal band Red Fang will play old ones and introduce songs from new LP “Whales & Leeches”at Red 7 … Tracie Lynn plays trad country at Broken Spoke … if you’re not cool enough to have singer-songwriters playing in your living room, go to theirs: Lisa Kettyle and Anna Joy Harris are at Flipnotics.
The Belle Sounds at Scoot Inn. After four albums under her own name and constant contact, in a beating motion, of her head against the walls, singer Noelle Hampton chucked the West Coast music biz and moved to Austin with her husband, guitarist Andre Moran. The idea was to get jobs and play music for self-expression and fun only. Hampton’s new songs and the new supportive atmosphere called for a band project, which resulted in a wonderful, self-titled debut that came out in April. Easy ref point is Aimee Mann, but the Belle Sounds are their own thing. Laura Marie opens at 8 p.m., followed by Tara Craig at 9 p.m., Belle Sounds at 10 p.m. and Dead Tree Duo at 11 p.m. $5. 1308 E. Fourth St. www.scootinnaustin.com.
Also performing: Attendance Records, a program that links students and teachers with artists and musicians, holds its second annual holiday benefit at the Mohawk with Corduroi, Sip Sip, Chase of Marmalakes and Gang Sign … Miles Zuniga of Fastball and Scrappy Jud Newcomb give lessons in songcraft at Strange Brew … Michigan organic space rockers Soil and the Sea land at Holy Mountain, with Easy Tiger and more … Florida ska-punkers Less Than Jake bring ‘90s nostalgia to the Belmont … Carolyn Wonderland and Guy Forsyth kick off their “Roast the Holidays, Toast the New Year” show at the Rollins Theater at the Long Center.