It would take something pretty special for anyone, let alone a whole family, to actually take time out to listen to a specific radio program these days. And that's why I'm urging you all to do just that this week, because something pretty special is being broadcast, and I don't want you to miss it. On Monday, Dec. 20, KXCI (91.3 FM) is broadcasting its holiday special for the third year in a row, and they've finally given it a proper name. "Sonic Solstice" will run from 5 to 10 p.m., and as usual, about 15 local artists and bands will perform holiday songs, both traditional and original, live on the air. Scheduled performers this year are Nancy McCallion, Ozlo & Matt Mitchell, John Coinman, Grams & Krieger, Kathleen Williamson, Kevin Schramm, Namoli Brennet, Kevin Pakulis, Cathy Rivers, Loveland, Mark Matos, Leila Lopez, Ernie Votto, The Fashionistas and the Nick Luca Trio; plus, any special surprise guests who may turn up at the studio. And, now that they've got two shows in the can, we'll be treated to some of the highlights from years past during set changes. Which, of course, means less time-filling yammering from the DJs and more joyous holiday tunes. (I kid, I kid.) Your gracious hosts this year are Laurie Starr, Don Jennings and Mary Buckley.
It's truly exciting radio (it's live, after all), something that's all but extinct right about now, and I've gotta say, it's quickly become a tradition at my humble abode to make a leisurely dinner and just generally dawdle, while listening to the show in its entirety. It's truly one of my favorite seasonal events, and I can't help but think you might feel the same way if you tune in.
So, c'mon. Make my dad proud. Just for one night, leave the TV off; gather with friends and family; and let a bunch of townies get you in the holiday spirit. It works, I swear.
For further info, head to www.kxci.org.
Fresh off a quickie East Coast jaunt, the almighty Calexico celebrate the season by hosting the Calexico Christmas Show (alternate title: CaleXmas Party), an all-local affair that brings together a slew of guests who will either perform supporting sets, sit in with the Calexicans or both. Said guests include, but are not limited to, Galactic Federation of Love, the Nick Luca Trio, Gene Ruley, Mr. Tidypaws and Tom Walbank. It's a pretty safe bet that all involved will let their hair down a little bit and revel in the informality of it all, which usually translates to "a rockin' good time." It's also a pretty safe bet that this sucker will sell out early, so snatch up them tickets post-haste.
The Calexico Christmas Show begins at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., or online at www.hotcong.com.
If you've already blown most of your cash on gifts, there's good news. Congress' other local holiday shindig is part of the ongoing series of free shows they call Congress Libre. This one's creatively dubbed Christmas Libre, and will feature the diverse bill of Lovemound, The Knockout Pills and Nowhere Man. It kicks off at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22. For more information about either show, call 622-8848.
The TKMA Holiday Party begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at Goddard Hall in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. Admission is $5 for members of TKMA, TFTM, KXCI and DBS; $7 for the general public; $3 for children. For further details, call 792-6481.
The evening begins at 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Admission is only $3. For more information, call 798-1298.
Chris Salveter performs at the Red Room at Grill, 100 E. Congress St., Monday, Dec. 20. For more information, call 623-7621.