Music » Critics' Picks

A Very Bert Dax Christmas shows

9 p.m. Friday, December 15. Lemmons (5800 Gravois Avenue)

9 p.m. Saturday, December 16. Way Out Club (2525 South Jefferson Avenue).

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Seasonal affective disorder or holiday humbuggery got you down? Pop in A Very Bert Dax Christmas, Volume 5 and watch your blues melt away. Curated by Bunnygrunt leader Matt Harnish, this year's compilation, like those before it, offers sincere and sacrilegious holiday tunes from this city's finest punks, string-pickers and noisemakers. Acoustic warriors the Monads will headline Friday's album-release show at Lemmons. The guitar/banjo/upright-bass three piece make their mark with the old-timey string music of "C'mon Santa," which exhorts St. Nick for cash, booze and smokes. Also making a rare public appearance is the duo Mustardfish, who do a banjo-and-Casiotone version of Bunnygrunt's "Season's Freaklings." Saturday's show at the Way Out Club gets noisier as Rats & People, SkareKrau Radio, The Manillas and Learn, Artist take the stage. Rats & People's "Bethlehem Says the Bible" is the disc's most traditionally beautiful song, a quiet, violin-led reflection on the holiday's origins. On the other end of the spectrum is SkareKrau Radio's "Christmas is Love," a song full of cheap beats and basement raps that decorum doesn't allow us to print in this paper.

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