Trailer Trash's first collection of Christmas covers, 1996's Hell, It's X-mas, remains one of the best hip holiday albums of the '90s, recorded live in Rich Mattson's Minneapolis basement in two days with all the warm verve of guys just doing it for fun. After a 2002 follow-up, the Lee's Liquor Lounge legends have returned with Nutcrackers, a third volume featuring rousing twang versions of everything from Clarence Carter's "Backdoor Santa" to Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?"—which they play straight, taking turns on verses, with a few bars of the BoDeans' "Good Things" thrown in because they fit. In person, the honky-tonk band remains one of the last great human jukeboxes, a must-see for out-of-towners here for family, with an eclectic catalog far exceeding the favorites compiled on a second 2009 album, Trailer Trash Plays Smash Hits (all CDs available at trailertrashmusic.com). This also caps the group's 16th annual series of "X-Mas" shows, so expect the looseness and whimsy that comes with going out on a high note.
Wed., Dec. 23, 9 p.m., 2009