A musical guide to surviving the holiday week

It's Christmas and Hannukah week, and we all know what that involves: the mad scramble at the mall, the in-depth combing of the internet for holiday recipes to impress your friends, and selecting the highest proof scotch to get you just where you need to be by the time family dinner arrives. For many, such pressures would cause the epic sort of holiday breakdowns that are the making of those awful, corny holiday flicks that pop up around this time (cough New Year's Eve cough)--but not for you, savvy reader. You are made of mettle, and you have a solid week of music to get you through.

We've highlighted a couple shows this week, just in case you need an excuse to skip out on decorating the eighth batch of holiday cookies to be gifted to your shitty neighbors.

Tuesday, December 20 HanukCrush Cause Spirits and Sound Bar / 9 p.m. / Free / 21+

Tonight kicks off the Hanukcrush extravaganza, curated by the Dream Crusher cast and held at Cause for the next nine days (not including Christmas Eve). All of the shows are free and start at 9 p.m., and feature a sprawling cast of Twin Cities musicians that lead up to Dream Crusher's much-anticipated album release. Tonight, you can catch Reflection City, Hardcore Crayons, Humanda, With A Gun For A Face and, of course, Dream Crusher. Catch the full list of bands on the Facebook event page. Thursday, December 22 Gentle Lovers Presents: Hot Toddies and Hot Bodies Club Jager / 9 p.m. / Free / 21+

In what will surely be the sexiest DJ night this week, the collaborative DJ couple Gentle Lovers (Grant Cutler and Allegra Oxborough) are throwing a sweaty dance night at Club Jager, just so you can get it all out of your system before you put your Grandma-worthy smile on. Gentle Lovers Presents: Hot Toddies and Hot Bodies promises much in the way of R&B slow jams to get you in the mood. Because no one wants to be alone for the holidays, eh? Friday, December 23 Dark Pony Holiday Show with Ashleigh Still and Special Guests Cedar Cultural Center / 7 p.m. / $15

Folk-rocker Jon Herchert and his band Dark Pony are bringing some holiday cheer to the Cedar Cultural Center this Friday, along with singer-songwriter Asheligh Still, Dan Israel, Dan Rodriguez, and Courtney Yasmineh. This cast promises warmth and cheer for the whole family, should you be in the mood for more of the traditional festivities--and there are hardly any warmer voices in town than the ones on this bill. Additionally, both Still and Rodriguez have holiday releases out: Still has just released a jingley, sly little single called "Your Boyfriend" she collaborated with Jeremy Ylvisaker on, and Rodriguez has a jolly 4-song digital pack of festive tunes available for download here.

Friday, December 23 Annual Christmas Eve-Eve Show Fine Line Music Café / 7 p.m. / $6 / 21+

A show that really unites good music with goodwill: the Annual Christmas Eve-Eve Show at the Fine Line this year features a quadruple bill of folk-pop artists Watson, Wayside, Consolation Champ, and local gems Joey Ryan and the Inks, while doubling as a food drive for the Pillsbury United Communities. You get $1 off your cover charge for every nonperishable food item you bring--so come loaded with six boxes of macaroni noodles and get in for free if you want. If you're really searching for the holiday spirit, you can probably find it at this show.

Friday, December 23 A Very Psychedelic Christmas w/ Boom Island and Delta Lyrae 331 Club / 10 p.m. / Free / 21+

Just in case you aren't in the mood for any of that festivity stuff, the trusty 331 has your back with their Very Psychedelic Christmas showcase featuring Boom Island and Delta Lyrae. Stop in for some jam-worthy, trippy tunes that won't make you want to strangle yourself with tinsel and let the hardy bartenders pour you a stiff one.

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