<b>PLAY IT FORWARD:</b> Beta Play helps out Toys for Tots this Friday at Velvet Jones’ 15th anniversary party with The Kyle Gass Band.

YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE: ’Tis the season, and what an abundance of musical gifts await in the coming days. Tonight, Thursday, December 17, if the reds and greens of commercial cheer have rendered you colorblind, consider revitalizing your wearied eyes with the alternative hues of The Blues and Greys and Clean Spill (SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, 9pm). Should you be seeking an alternative locale altogether, on the other side of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the Mariachi Divas will warm the chilly river valley with their world-famous dancing and merrymaking (Chumash Casino, 8pm).

Under the tree of Friday, December 18, sit a few huge concert presents too enticing to leave unopened. Best of all, these are the kinds of gifts that benefit others, as well. Velvet Jones will celebrate its 15-year anniversary with not one but two shows to fill out the night. First, at 7 p.m., Tempe, Arizona’s Jared and the Mill will deck the Velvet Jones halls with their acoustic-driven southwestern melodies. Following their show, area favorites Beta Play take the stage with opener The Kyle Gass Band, featuring KG of Tenacious D, for their annual holiday show. The show will benefit Toys for Tots, meaning your love for homegrown rock ’n’ roll will help make a child’s holiday season brighter. Should you want a preview of the night’s proceedings or have Friday conflicts, consider enjoying Beta Play from the decorated comforts of your home on the Thursday night prior, when you can also watch their online holiday concert via Concert Window (concertwindow.com, 6:30pm).

Back over at SOhO, they will be throwing their Annual Holiday Sweater Party with Spencer the Gardener, One Two Tree, Conner Coffin and Travers Adler, and Green Flag Summer (the duo of Matt Kustura and Andrew Fedders). Whether your sweater sports a Santa, a reindeer, or some newfangled Internet meme done up holiday style, no doubt the sounds of such Santa Barbara mainstays will make your holidays sweeter. All proceeds benefit the Unity Shoppe and Boys & Girls Club. Should you consider yourself an area music fan, between this or the Velvet Jones party, you would be a veritable Scrooge to skip out on either.

On Saturday, December 19, Buellton’s Standing Sun Winery continues its tradition of hosting some of the nation’s best country and folk bands with The Coals (Standing Sun Winery, 7:30pm) with food by Al Fresco Picnic. What an on-the-nose name for a band playing so close to the winter holidays, although with their California country sound, they will certainly be stuffing your stockings with a substance far more pleasant than coal itself. Or, you could see Venice, curiously one of Holland’s favorite bands, who will be celebrating Christmas Santa Monica–style over at SOhO (8:30pm).

If Sunday finds you out and about taking some last-minute shopping breaks in the Funk Zone’s very de-stressing tasting rooms, consider settling in altogether at the S.B. Wine Collective, where Alec Lytle & Them Rounders will be rounding ’em up with their folky tunes (4pm). A little wine, a little folk music, nearby a beach… Certainly East Coasters, in their frigid climes, could never enjoy such a welcome holiday shopping respite. Enjoy it on their shivering behalf.

Come Tuesday, December 22, Omar Velasco will host his first annual Festival of Friends (SOhO, 8pm). The concert will feature a variety of Santa Barbara musicians, with proceeds going toward the benefit of Velasco’s ailing friend. “This is our attempt at contributing to the spirit of brotherhood, because I think it’s important for everyone to do what they can,” Velasco said. Support some great music and support a friend of a friend in need.

And last but not least, on Wednesday, December 23, SOhO sweethearts Cory Sipper and Zach Madden play the last show before Santa does his rounds (SOhO, 7:30pm).

Happy holidays!


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