City of Boston Menorah Lighting
Friday through next Friday, sundown each night
Brewer Fountain
Boston Common
MBTA: Green Line or Red Line to Park Street
Free, 617-424-1190

Just as long as we’ve been writing up all these tree lightings, we though we’d give some love to the 22-foot Menorah. As always, the lighting process will take place over the week, and Sunday promises a special event with entertainment. Probably won’t be Adam Sandler singing “the Hanukkah Song,” but we can’t say it won’t at least get hummed.

Friday through Sunday, see site for times
The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St., Boston
MBTA: Green Line to Boylston
$15, 617-266-1810

Okay we swear this is the last crafts fair listing, but you gotta admit it’s a doozy. The Society of Arts and Crafts promises 100 artists will be displaying their wares in pretty much every medium you can imagine: “baskets, ceramics, decorative fiber, wearables [i.e. clothes], furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper and wood.” Just think of all that wicker...

The Great Poe Debate
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St., Boston
MBTA: Green Line to Copley
Free, 617-536-5400

Goths and English majors alike, rejoice! The BPL is celebrating reluctant Boston homeboy Eddie Poe with “The Raven in the Frog Pond,” a new exhibition on the Poe-Boston connection, which mostly involved the literary giant making fun of the Bean and the Bean saying, “Whatevah, ked.” But should we? Boston poet laureate Sam Cornish will be there to discuss the question.


Ugly Sweater Party
Friday, 8 p.m.
21 Broad St., Boston
MBTA: Blue Line to Aquarium
$10 adv/$15 @ door, 617-212-3251

All proceeds from this b Positive Project-produced event go toward sending 25 severely ill kids from the Starlight Children’s foundation to a Bruins game. Prizes will be award for the most creative sweater and the ugliest sweater. Hopefully Bill Cosby isn’t still in town after last week, because Cliff Huxtable would clean up.


12:12 Fashion Extravaganza
Saturday, 9 p.m.
Blue Lounge, Ritz-Carlton Boston
4 Avery St., Boston
MBTA: Orange Line to Chinatown
$15-20, 617-291-2087

All you aspiring fashion-hounds might find yourselves properly flattered by this event, which features a fashion show, a haircut competition, and an after party which promises that you’ll “Party The Night Away with Boston’s Sexiest Models While over Looking the city.” Obviously, you’ve got to dress yourself nice for this one, or you will be laughed at along with your teacup dog.


‘The House of the Devil’
Through Dec. 19
Friday and Saturday, 11:55 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre
290 Harvard St., Brookline
MBTA: Green Line C to Coolidge Corner
$10, 617-734-2500

It may look like it’s from the ’70s, but this brand spankin’ new thriller is an homage to ’70s horror like “Black Dynamite” is an homage to blacksploitation, except this one’s not a parodical homage. It’s a standard plot, natch- a girl looking applies to be a babysitter, but her employers don’t turn out to have kids. And they’re into Satan.

Day of the Beast w/ Treevenge
Friday, 11 p.m.
Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
MBTA: Red Line to Harvard
$10, 617-876-6837

A priest discovers, through a Cabalistic reading of the Bible, that the antichrist is coming on Christmas Day, to Spain. Now it’s up to him to warn the world, armed only with his TV show and his love of heavy metal. As if that wasn’t nutty enough, it’s prefaced by a short about Christmas trees coming to life and taking, well, Treevenge.

Saturday, 2 p.m.
Rabb Auditorium, Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St., Boston
MBTA: Green Line to Copley
Free, 617-536-5400

This 2008 documentary goes behind the scenes of the Northhampton, Mass.-based Young@Heart chorus, a bunch of senior citizens with an average age of 80 who sing rock songs ranging from James Brown to Coldplay. Watch as they struggle and triumph in learning music that, at its oldest, is still past their time, and marvel at the surprisingly thin line between inspiration and senility.


Dance Friday
Every Friday
Bookline Tai Chi Center
1615 Beacon St., Brookline
MBTA: Green Line C to Washington Square
$8-12, 6I7 997 0948

This event has been going on for three decades now, surely enough to qualify “institution” status. The concept has never changed: DANCE, barefoot, however you want, to all different kinds of music. No alcohol is served, but if you really need the drink to get your groove on, you’ve got more problems than having nothing to do on a Friday night.

Vadalna Tribal Dance Company’s 2009 Winter Gala
Sunday, 7 p.m.
2 Arrow St., Cambridge
MBTA: Red Line to Harvard
$20 adv./$25 @ door, 866-811-4111

A night of dance and music drawing influence from all things from techno to belly dancing and everything in between, featuring, aside from Vadalna, Zafira Dance Company backed by Balkan ensemble Dudochka, the band Incus, and other guests. This is Vadlana’s last performance before returning to what they describe as “the cave” to work on new routines. So that’s something.


Electric Laser People
Wednesday, 9 p.m.
TT the Bear’s Place
10 Brookline St., Cambridge
MBTA: Red Line to Central
$8, 21+, 617-492-2327

Local disco-punks with a sense of humor (goofy rap “Makeout Song”) that makes them less detached than their peers. Their grooves will force you to dance if not trance, and the singing vacillates between LCD Soundsystem hipster-mumbling to dancehall MC grandstanding to as if he’s the point where all disco-rock meets and, uh, makes out. And why not?

Tanya Donelly
Thursday, 10:30 p.m.
The Plough and Stars
912 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
MBTA: Red Line to Central
$6, 21+, 617-576-0032

It wasn’t enough for Tanya Donnelly to have co-formed the Throwing Muses, one of the earliest bands in that mysterious catch-all pseudo-underground 80’s and 90’s genre called college rock, then she went and founded another titan in the scene, the Breeders, with Pixies bassist Kim Deal. We’re not sure when she’s doing solo tonight, but chances are it will be good.

Kittens Ablaze
Thursday, 8 p.m.
Middle East Upstairs
490 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
MBTA: Red Line to Central
$9, 18+, 617-864-3278

It’s not often that a band convinces us to write them up purely from cover art alone, but this Brooklyn Group’s new album has such a strange, creepy, yet almost cute fairy tale quality to it- you can look at it a long time and still be amused/confused. Musically they’re all over the map of Pitchforky indie rock- their identity isn’t solid, but it’s good music to drink yr PBR’s to.


Ongoing through Dec. 20th, Opening reception: Saturday, 3 p.m.
Engine Company 40 Firehouse
260 Sumner St., East Boston
MBTA: Blue Line to Maverick
Free, 617-504-1237

Artist Liz Nofziger’s installation at this newly renovated art space combines sound and video projections to create a uniquely stimulating brain event. The sounds are bells alarms, three of which were already a part of the firehouse in its days as a firehouse. Don’t worry though, it won’t drive you nuts- they go off at different times like musical instruments.

Neri Oxman: At the Frontier of Ecological Design
Ongoing till February
Museum of Science
Science Park, Boston
MBTA: Green Line to Science Park
$20, 617-723-2500

Those interested in futurism and combinatory thinking will find this exhibit, on MIT Dept. of Architecture fellow Neri Oxman, who designs building “skins” that expand and contract like biological tissue, endlessly fascinating. The implications are surreal: imagine a home that sweats out its excess moisture like so much drainage runoff. Can’t? Neither can we, but the future doesn’t care.

Trash Menagerie
Ongoing till June
Peabody Essex Museum
161 Essex St., Salem
MBTA: Commuter Rail Newburyport/Rockport Line to Salem
$15, 978-745-9500

This exhibition, about to reach the halfway mark of its run, features art made out of banally ubiquitous household detritus such as detergent bottles, rubber bands, aluminun cans- you know, all that stuff the villains on “Captain Planet” were filling the oceans with. It just goes to show that even the most awful garbage (artistically and literally) can be turned into something smile-inducing.

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