Drivin’ N’ Cryin’
For many years, you could count on Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ to play the day after Thanksgiving, but in 2007 the band rocked the Roxy on New Year’s Eve. Last year, the venerable yet still raucous Kevn Kinney-led institution played a holiday gig on the day after Christmas, so does that make this the second annual event, or will the holiday change again next year? Whatever happens, it’s good to know they’re always here for one of them and this time around, for the first time in 12 years, the band has newly released material to play. “Great American Bubble Factory,” released in September, is the first album of new Drivin’ N Cryin’ material since 1997.
8 p.m. Dec. 26. $20-$25. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404- 659-9022.
The Lovell Sisters
Three siblings from Calhoun stay true to their Appalachian roots. The sisters were once signed to Lyric Street Records (home of Rascal Flatts and Billy Ray Cyrus), but parted ways when the label wanted to groom them for mainstream country stardom. This is the last time the sisters are playing as a trio. The eldest, Jessica, recently engaged, is headed off to college.
7 and 9:30 p.m. Dec. 26. $15-$18. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404- 377-4976.
Hot 107.9 Jingle Bash
Don’t miss one of hip-hop’s most inventive practitioners as Lil Wayne returns to Atlanta for Hot 107.9’s annual holiday show. The lineup is also scheduled to include Plies, Trey Songz, Young Dro, Shawty Lo, Lil Scrappy, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kandi Burruss and more.
6 p.m. Dec. 26. $29.99-$149.99. Philips Arena, One Philips Drive, Atlanta. 404- 878-3000.
She was one of the year’s biggest breakthrough pop stars, but the music seems to take a back seat to her outrageous outfits in the pop culture discourse. Underneath that sartorial excess is a pretty good batch of pop songs. Nothing in her music is likely to change the world, but it’s fun, catchy and well-crafted. Isn’t that what pop music is supposed to be?
7:30 p.m. Dec. 28-29. $36.50-$75. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404- 881-2100.
Kem, Will Downing and Kindred Family Soul
Ease into the new year with an evening of jazz-inflected soul. These three artists aren’t chart superstars, but their audience isn’t a Top 40 kind of crowd. They make sweet, soulful and soothing R&B for adults.
8 p.m. Dec. 30. $47-$102. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404- 881-2100.
Band of Horses
Formerly based in Seattle, this acclaimed band returned to its native South Carolina before releasing 2007’s “Cease to Begin.” That second album was a shimmering blend of Neil Young and melodic indie rock haunted by the band’s Southern roots. In 2007, the band played a four-night stand in the days surrounding New Year’s Eve at The EARL. Last year, Band of Horses ushered in the new year at Variety Playhouse. As 2009 becomes 2010, they’re headlining the Tabernacle. Things just keep getting bigger and better for Band of Horses, and the members have been working on a third album, which is likely to appear in 2010.
9 p.m. Dec. 30, 10 p.m. Dec. 31. $30-$40. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404- 659-9022.
The hypnotic sound of this Savannah-born band stretches across the jam-rock spectrum, taking in jazz, reggae, rock, country, blues and just about anything else that gets in its path. Luckily, these guys have enough ideas to sustain their sprawling auditory travels, and their dynamic instrumental workouts. PGroove’s last studio album was released in 2007, but frontman Brock Butler released his debut solo album, “Lately Here Though,” in October. It’s available as a digital download at his Web site: www.therevbutler.com.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 30; 9 p.m. Dec. 31. $20-$25 Dec. 30; $25-$30 Dec. 31. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave., Atlanta. 404- 524-7354.
After taking last year off, this Athens institution is back ringing in the New Year in Atlanta. The jam-rock outfit with the fiercely loyal following was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
8 p.m. Dec. 30-31. $51.50. Philips Arena, One Philips Drive, Atlanta. 404- 878-3000.
Gentleman Jesse And His Men
Fronted by Carbonas bassist Jesse Smith, Gentleman Jesse & His Men got a lot of notice from “I Don’t Wanna Know,” a blazing track that spliced together jangly ’70s power-pop and the melodic punk of the Buzzcocks. It was a couple of the finest minutes of music released by Atlantans in 2007. The band finally got around to releasing a debut album in fall 2008, and “Introducing Gentleman Jesse” was worth the wait, delivering on the promise of that stunning single. Paste Magazine recently named the album one of the 50 best of the decade, placing it at No. 38 on their decade-end round-up.
7 p.m. Dec. 31. 529, 529 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-228-6769.