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Recommended music: Robert Earl Keen, Pinetop Perkins and Lou Ann Barton, Chuck Prophet, Follow That Bird!, Little Elmore Reed Blues Band, KUT World Music Night, Matt the Electrician

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Thursday

Robert Earl Keen at the Austin Music Hall. Tonight Austin collectively says sayonara to what Time magazine memorably dubbed 'the decade from Hell,' guided by the many luminaries who have, as always, cushioned the blows of reality and kept us tapping our toes even when things take a turn for the worse. The discerning music fan has a wide array of options, but perhaps none are more appropriate than a New Year's Eve set from Keen, the man who's almost certainly soundtracked more parties, road trips and barbecues than any other Texan. Everybody needs a little reassurance in times of change, and it doesn't get much more reassuring than 'The Road Goes On Forever.' With the Band of Heathens, Wade Bowen and the Randy Rogers Band. $55-$75. 7 p.m. 208 Nueces St. www.austinmusichall.com.

Also recommended: Soul Track Mind at the Hole in the Wall, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears at Stubb's, Grupo Fantasma at the Mohawk, the Gourds at the Independent, the Belleville Outfit at Gruene Hall, Scott H. Biram at Emo's, the Sour Notes at the Ghost Room.

Friday

Pinetop Perkins and Lou Ann Barton at Antone's. The term 'living legend' doesn't quite suffice to describe Perkins, the 96-year-old blues pianist who gigs with all the consistency and fire of a man eight decades his junior. Living icon? Living hero? Living pioneer? At any rate, the key phrase is 'living,' and fortunately for us, too, because Perkins still plays and croons Delta blues with a fervor that astounds and a freshness that amazes. He'll be joined by sultry singer, frequent Vaughan brothers cohort and all-around class act Lou Ann Barton. $12. 7 p.m. 213 W. Fifth St. www.antones.net.

Also recommended: Chuck Prophet at the Continental Club, 13th Victim at Beerland, Nic Walker at the Scoot Inn.

Saturday

Chuck Prophet at the Continental Club. Most rock 'n' roll musicians use kicking the crack cocaine habit as an excuse to slow down a bit, but Chuck Prophet is pointedly not among them. Prophet ditched his decade-plus addiction in the late '90s — one that had hounded him through a career with seminal country rock outfit Green on Red — and emerged even more fiercely prolific, with a string of impressive solo albums. Last year he co-wrote Alejandro Escovedo's 'Real Animal.' If Prophet's 2009 album 'Let Freedom Ring,' his most political and incendiary yet, is any sign, the experience left him all the more inspired. With Frank Smith. 10 p.m. $15. 1315 S. Congress Ave. www.continentalclub.com.

Also recommended: Dan Dyer at Central Market North, Marcia Ball and Bob Schneider at Antone's, Co-Pilot at the Scoot Inn, Jeremy Nail at Momo's.

Sunday

Follow That Bird! at Trailer Space Records. Their name evokes 'Sesame Street,' but their sound — surging guitar licks, driving drums and the impassioned warble of singer Lauren Green — is a jagged and explosive rock 'n' roll that recalls all the best parts of riot grrl. It's perhaps the closest thing the world will ever produce to the second coming of Sleater-Kinney. More importantly, they're one of the sharpest and strongest bands coming out of Austin today. In up-and-coming punk rock record store Trailer Space, they might have their perfect venue. With Magic Jewels, Nighty Night, Literature. 7 p.m. Free. 1401 Rosewood Ave. trailerspacerecords.com.

Also recommended: Jon Dee Graham at the Continental Club Gallery, Southpaw Jones at the Whip In, McLemore Ave. at Ruta Maya.

Monday

Little Elmore Reed Blues Band at T.C.'s Lounge. The Little Elmore Reed Blues Band is full of the kinds of players you usually watch out of the corner of your eye, those super-skilled session cats who might not take center stage but who never fail to impress. Take bassist J.P. Whitefield — the elder statesman of the band, he played alongside Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and Freddie King as the house bassist for Antone's in the '70s and was a founding member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Front man Mike Keller might not have that kind of pedigree — though he's no slouch — but he does have an electric voice that's made this Monday night residency at beloved dive blues bar T.C.'s Lounge a safe bet. 10 p.m. $5. 1413 Webberville Road.

Also recommended: Dale Watson at the Continental Club, Chris Gage at Donn's Depot.

Tuesday

KUT World Music Night at Momo's. If you need a break from Austin's bread-and-butter genres — country, blues, soul, indie rock — you'd be hard-pressed to find a better bargain than the KUT-sponsored World Music Night, a weekly collision of styles from all over the globe. India-born Eastern soul singer Naga Valli kicks things off, followed by rock and jazz fusion dance outfit the Batikum and tango extraordinaires the Austin Piazzolla Quintet. 7:30 p.m. $5. 618 W. Sixth St. www.momosclub.com.

Also recommended: Blue Tuesday with Derek O'Brien and Malford Milligan at Antone's, Toni Price at the Continental Club, Boombox at Lucky Lounge, Empire! Empire! at Trailer Space Records.

Wednesday

Matt the Electrician at Flipnotics. Matt Sever, better known around these parts as Matt the Electrician, has perhaps the meanest facial hair in all of Austin — which is saying something. It suits both his blue-collar stage name and his decidedly unpretentious, catchy folk rock. On his latest, 'Animal Boy,' Sever really comes into his own, with 12 cuts of gently acoustic, tuneful folk pop perfectly suited for kicking back and enjoying a cup of coffee. 8 p.m. Free. 1601 Barton Springs Road. www.flipnotics.com.

Also recommended: Megafauna at Chain Drive, Hug at Headhunter's, Soul Track Mind at T.C.'s Lounge, TED featuring Drew Smith at Momo's.