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See & Do 

Wednesday, December 14

With the Barnettes of Charlotte, musical communion is a family affair. The band, comprised of three sisters and their baby bruh Rufus on drums, is a fine act on the rise with intergenerational appeal. The Barnettes' mix of rock, pop and soul is certain to delight those burdened by holiday stress and it will raise the roof off the Evening Muse. Check www.theeveningmuse.com for further details. (Crazy Horse)

Thursday, December 15

Dolly Parton, grand dame of country music, makes a stop in Charlotte tonight at the Bobcats Arena as part of her "Vintage Tour." Parton has been the darling of the CMT network recently, thanks to her hyper-languid (and depoliticized) version of John Lennon's "Imagine." No matter -- any excuse or opportunity to get the amply gifted one (get your mind out of the gutter) back in the public eye should be celebrated. Nearing her 40th year in the business, Dolly's one of those country singers who doesn't need the Joe Henry/Rick Rubin Svengali treatment to warrant popular attention -- she's never really fallen off the pop radar. Opening for Parton is The Grascals (sorry, no Porter Wagoner). Tickets are $45, $55 and $75, available at www.charlottebobcatsarena.com, www.HOB.com or by calling 1-800-495-2295. (Davis)

David Lowery and cohort Johnny Hickman do a rare Cracker acoustic gig at the Neighborhood Theatre Thursday at 8pm. The performance should showcase the band's oft-hidden country-rock roots (remember Lowery's psychedelic twangmongers Camper Van Beethoven), replete with pedal steel and all sorts of other yeehaw-inducing musicmakers. Deliciously lo-fi acoustic singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson opens. Tickets for the show are $15 in advance and $18 at the door, available by calling 704-358-9298 or by logging onto www.neighborhoodtheatre.com. (Davis)

Friday, December 16

The weekend doesn't officially begin until the Charlotte Checkers have dropped the puck on center ice. Friday is Amtrak night. No, you don't get a train if you show up to the game. But you can win an Amtrak trip to see the Hurricanes play in Raleigh. The Checkers will be wearing uniforms modeled after their Daddy-club (the New York Rangers) for Friday night's game against the Florida Everglades. Let's hope that if they dress like the big-league club, they'll play like it too. The game starts at 7pm. Tickets are $10-$25. Call 704-432-4423 or go online at www.gocheckers.com. (Neumark)

Seems like we've only just made Charlotte a Tiny Tim-free zone when Opera Carolina brings back Amahl and the Night Visitors for a sentimental return to McGlohon Theatre. The 12-year-old protagonist and his trusty crutch will charm us in tune to the endearing music by Gian Carlo Menotti and limp to the very brink of the opera's hourlong, made-for-television length. At that point, if you're unacquainted with this 1951 evergreen, Amahl's and his mom's encounter with the Three Kings will climax miraculously. Matthew Carlson makes his OC debut in the title role while Yolanda Denise Bryant reprises her role as Amahl's downtrodden mamma. Emily Jarrell Urbanek wields control over the music, and Chad Calvert stage directs this revamped production, 7pm Friday and 2pm on Saturday. Sung in English. Tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for youth ages 6-16. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

The famed Rockettes will rock Charlotte for 17 days and 35 performances(!) as The Radio City Christmas Spectacular touches down in the Carolinas for the first time ever through January 1. You'll see it all at Ovens Auditorium. The precious "Living Nativity," the precise "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," and the kickiest line of leggy Santas in the universe are all in the holiday package as many as four times a day. Tickets for peak performances are $35-$67, so if you're contemplating a huge family outing, you may wish to navigate the intricacies of the Radio City schedule at the BlumenthalCenter.org website and find the non-peak performances, priced at $25-$58. Or call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

Hot Tuna's finger-picking blues guitar master Jorma Kaukonen and guttural bassist Jack Casady are as hot as ever. The duo made up the rhythm section that fired Jefferson Airplane's psychedelic excursions in 60s Haight-Ashbury, and they've logged countless frequent-flyer miles since then, rewriting the acoustic blues rule book along the way. Kaukonen's road-worn voice balances the band's blend of standard and original unplugged blues tunes. Tuna performs two sets Friday at the Neighborhood Theatre: an acoustic set as a duo and then an electrified jam with friends. Tickets are $25 and showtime is 8pm. For more info, call 704-358-9298 or visit www.neighborhoodtheatre.com. (Shukla)

Saturday, December 17

Motown's gritty squad rolls into town for 48 minutes of elbow-flying, hip-banging, grind-it-out ball. So what if ESPN.com ranks the Charlotte Bobcats 30th best of 30 teams? And so what if the Pistons are the reigning back-to-back Eastern conference champs with the best record in the entire NBA and a 2nd-place rank on the same list? That just means we'll leapfrog over all those teams in the polls after we tromp them. (Hey, at least piss isn't in our name.) The upset begins at 7:30. Call 800-BOBCATS for tickets ($10-$85). (Neumark)

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