ECHHS Battle of the Bands
Local high schools have proven to be fertile ground for musicians and bands, and for a glimpse of what's to come there are few events as fun as the East Chapel Hill High Battle of the Bands. This year's bill includes Sons of Suburbia, Paris: Guilty, Alvarez Painting, Humongasaurus Rex, The Keep, Cracker Barrel, Red Bud and Asian Cafe. Finishing up the night is Litter Box--the East Wildcat's faculty rock band. Show starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.
Chapel Hill Public Library
Hear Chatham resident Juan Manuel Reyes-Alonso, just released from a federal detention center in Louisiana on $50,000 bail, tell of his plight and see the award-winning documentary Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties at 7 p.m. Sponsored by the Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Donations accepted for the Free Juan Fund. Contact 968-1888 or 942-2535 for information.
Quail Ridge Books
Novelist Reynolds Price reads from his new work, The Good Priest's Son, which is set for a June 2005 release, at 7 p.m.
Berkeley Cafe --It's hard to figure who's to blame for the dispiriting state of the local dance music scene, though the dearth of venues is a major culprit. Fortunately, groups like Raleigh's Gruv Glu collective are doing their best to raise awareness. The Gruv Glu Studios umbrella encompasses a roster of artists from drum'n'bass to breaks to house and does promotion, event planning and commercials. Local progressive house DJs Mr. Smith and Bobby C. will be on hand. Free. 9 p.m. --Chris Parker
A Christmas Memory
Theatre in the Park
Ira David Wood III stars in Truman Capote's one-man show. Showtimes are Dec. 17, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (the 10 p.m. show benefits the annual Crepe Myrtle Fest); Dec. 18, 8 p.m.; and Dec. 19, 3 and 8 p.m. www.theatreinthepark.com. $12.
Rescue Mission Benefit
Ooh La Latte
307 Knox Records presents a holiday bash and benefit for Durham Rescue Mission with Gerty, Little Miss Messy, Fashion Design, Wigg Report, Topography and My Little Phony.
Spiritual kin and one-time tourmates of Sister Hazel, the Alexandria-based quartet attended high school together in Virginia. For close to a decade they've been kicking across the country developing a buzz around their MOR-blend of blues, funk, folk and pop. Their Southern-bred sound goes down easier than cough syrup (though with decidedly less chance of altering your perception), and singer/guitarist Andrew Poliakoff at times channels the gruff baritone vocals of Hootie's Darius Rucker. $8-10. 9 p.m. --CP
Donald Davis recounts tales in the style of Southern Appalachian storytellers at 11 a.m. at McIntyre's Books in Fearrington Village, south of Chapel Hill on U.S. 15-501. Canned food will be accepted as admission. 542-3030.
Gulf Land Workshop
The Triangle Land Conservancy is holding a workday to improve McIver's Landing, the group's canoe and kayak access on the Deep River. Sign up with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Swingle and Laura King just finished their debut album as The Moaners, titled Dark Snack, for Yep Roc, so their playing is super-tight these days. This is strong stuff with no chaser, a female duo belting out gritty rock that sticks. The Carolina blues never sounded so goddamn joyful. Cordero and Latino rock band Letal open. 10 p.m. --Chris Toenes
The Pour House
When A. J. Roach won the Chris Austin songwriting contest at this year's Merlefest for his song "Grandaddy," he was writing fact, not fiction. The moonshine running parts that sounded like outtakes from Thunder Road were real. Roach's Appalachian roots ground him in the traditional mountain music that he's the self-proclaimed torchbearer for. Les Dirt Clods open. $5. 7 p.m. --Grant Britt
The Pour House
When you make that Alt-Country/Roots Rock Superheroes list, leave room for Walter Salas-Humara alongside the Alvins, Escovedos, Ringenbergs and Lucindas. Salas-Humara possesses a calming charisma that radiates whether he's rocking out with the Silos, the band he's fronted for going on 20 years, or, as will be the case at The Pour House, delivering his big-beat songs solo. $8. 8 p.m. --Rick Cornell
Edenton Street United Methodist Church
The boys choir, all decked out for the holidays, sings the Carols of Christmas accompanied by pianist John Root and flutist Jason Brame. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. at Edenton Street United Methodist Church, 228 W. Edenton St. Tickets are $15, $13 seniors and $11 students. Visit www.raleighboychoir.org for more information.
West Point on the Eno
Winter starts Tuesday morning and doesn't stop until late March. Cool, clear nights make the annual solstice hike a special event: plenty of stargazing, nature chatting and jumping around to keep your toes from freezing. Dress warmly, and don't forget the hot chocolate.
Jim Watson's Christmas Special
This annual event will surely melt your rum butter, as Red Clay Rambler and chief caroler Jim Watson hosts his annual Christmas special. It's a sing-along with a rotating list of local folk greats dropping by to join in with the audience on holiday tunes well-known, rare and just plain odd. 8 p.m.