Squirrel Nut Zippers
The Artcenter—Squirrel Nut Zippers crackles like an old record of Duke Ellington playing a honky tonk bar. The band's slightly distorted and warm swing-inspired dance music comes with a drawl that's worth sitting down to hear. James "Jimbo" Mathus acts as sideshow ringmaster, bringing in klezmer, calypso and vaudeville tacks for good measure while trading vocals with the silky jazz intonations of his former wife, Katharine Whalen.
Formed in 1993 and apart for the beginning of this decade, the Squirrel Nut Zippers present this holiday bash to celebrate their recent revival run and photographs from the past two years of touring, collected in a new book. A reception with the band begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 8:30 p.m. Expect to hear from their 1998 release, Christmas Caravan, in which Mathus croons, "I'm coming home for Christmas/ to be with my family and loved ones so dear." Tickets are $20. —Andrew Ritchey