Fresh from headlining Coachella, Snoop Dogg plays the Phoenix Theater (Dec. 15) in one of the venue's biggest bookings yet. If this means seeing Tom Gaffey and the braided, blunted one in the same room, we're all for it. And don't forget Snoop plays the Uptown in Napa the night before (Dec. 14). Commence "Snoop Lion" jokes now . . . The Uptown also brings boisterous bassist and blaster of bottom end Bootsy Collins (Dec. 21), and the Phoenix closes out the year with Zion-I and Mistah F.A.B. (Dec. 28).
The erstwhile Nostalgia Fest, an annual let's-get-bands-back-together effort bringing you the comforting local sounds of yesteryear, returns with Victims Family, Coffee & Donuts, the Louies, Edaline, Punch the Clown and others at the Phoenix Theater (Dec. 22), while over at the Last Day Saloon, California rock juggernaut Trapt flow the juices and chime the power chords (Nov. 27).
Members of the Grateful Dead are all over the December concert calendar, as Phil Lesh plays with Warren Haynes, John Scofield and John Medeski (Nov. 30–Dec. 2), and then with the original "Friends" quintet (Dec. 6–Dec. 9) at his harbor venue Terrapin Crossroads. All shows are steep, but selling out, at $150. Likewise, it's $125–$175 to see Bob Weir and Jackie Greene at 142 Throckmorton (Dec. 6), but remember, it's a benefit. And Mickey Hart wins the former Dead egalitarian award, playing with his space-communicating band at the Uptown Theater for $35 (Nov. 29).
National treasure John Prine plays the Wells Fargo Center (Dec. 5) while Iris Dement, heartache personified, returns to the Mystic Theatre (Nov. 29). Human power drill Dick Dale returns to the Mystic for the 536th time (Dec. 6), while newcomer J. D. McPherson rollicks through a week later (Dec. 11). In other Americana bookings, the Wells Fargo Center hosts Dwight Yoakam (Dec. 15), the Napa Valley Opera House has the Punch Brothers, featuring Nickel Creek's Chris Thile (Nov. 29), the Uptown gives a victory lap to Glen Campbell (Nov. 30), 19 Broadway lights up with Tea Leaf Green (Dec. 21), and the Raven Theater fools around with Elvin Bishop (Nov. 24).
Those keeping smooth for the holidays can find aural Alprazolam in the annual holiday show of Dave Koz & Friends at the Wells Fargo Center (Dec. 14), while super-producer Narada Michael Walden caps a tough year (his biggest successes came working with Whitney Houston) with his all-star benefit Holiday Jam (Dec. 21). Finally, the wild a cappella of Straight No Chaser swings by the Wells Fargo Center (Dec. 2)—and if you've never heard their "Christmas Can-Can," you haven't known the joys of being weary of Christmas, in all its carols, cash-in albums and returning holiday shows.