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We've already listed our holiday CD picks and some great Christmas-themed shows, but here's some more for the last days before the big day:

Whatever happened to holiday variety shows? Remember the Johnny Cash specials in the late '70s? They retreated to the cool bars. Scott Lucas & the Married Men, the rootsy side project from the Local H singer-guitarist, will present "The Hideout Holiday Music Hour" at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabanasia ($8). It's Lucas' own homage to "A Prairie Home Companion."


"At first we were only going to do a couple of Christmas songs, but we got carried away," Lucas said in an announcement. "We wanted to fashion a show after old-time Christmas radio specials -- like "A Prairie Home Companion," but also with an almost Opry-type of vibe. And the Hideout is perfect for that."

Can't make it. Tune into the Married Men site while opening gifts on Dec. 25 for a broadcast of the show.

3 Makes a Trend: Rolling Stones play extended and more

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A heap of Stones-related stuff has been out there this summer and fall. Here are at least three recent items of note:


George Harrison (Andrew Yearick) shows Brian Jones (Aaron Snook) a few things about the sitar in Signal Ensemble's "Aftermath."

Chicago's Signal Ensemble Theatre has extended the run of "Aftermath," a new play about the Rolling Stones. The show, which premiered in May and was remounted at Signal Ensemble's new Ravenswood space earlier this fall, was due to close this week but has been extended through Jan. 23.

3 Makes a Trend: Plethora of Pink Floyd histories

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Excited by Roger Waters' presentation of "The Wall" in concert, putting on four shows this week in Chicago? Here are three new opportunities to dive into the history behind that show and the band's nearly iconic original singer ...

1. If you need to go back to the film of "The Wall" -- or especially if you want to see it for the first time -- don't dial up the occasional rerun on VH1 Classic. Like your first "Rocky Horror" experience: You need a big screen, and you need guidance. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, hosts of NPR's weekly pop music talk show "Sound Opinions," will introduce and comment on the film before screening "The Wall" at another Sound Opinions at the Movies event, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets are $9 in advance, $10 at the door.

An occasional blog feature highlighting trends that appear in at least three notable instances in pop culture ...

1. In the late '60s and into the '70s, the neighborhood in the scrubby hills just north of Los Angeles, dubbed Laurel Canyon, became an epicenter for America's post-folk rock and roll. Most of the people who came to define the easygoing sound of SoCal rock -- the Byrds, the Mamas & the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, the Doors, plus Crosby, Stills & Nash and others -- wound up living in the rustic cabins and cheap homes scattered around the area's winding lanes. They hung out together, they wandered down to the Sunset Strip to jam together, they signed business-changing record deals together.

A new documentary out today chronicles the formation and impact of the above-mentioned bands and a few more. "Legends of the Canyon" tells its story around the recollections of music photographer Henry Diltz, a former folkie who wound up as a lucky hanger-on through most of the Laurel Canyon scene. Featuring interviews with C, S and N, plus several other musicians, scenesters and music industry kingpins like Lenny Waronker (Warner Bros.) and David Geffen (who started Asylum, then later his own Geffen Records), "Legends of the Canyon" is a rose-tinted look back at the flowering of folk-rock and the anecdotes that created a scene and an industry. Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and David Crosby are the most intriguing interview subjects much of the time, with Crosby referring to the hood's creative scene as "yeasty" and discussing his two most admired guitar players in terms of creative tunings: Mitchell, and later instrumental genius Michael Hedges.

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