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    Upcoming music events around Boston

    Chris Pizzello/associated press

    ‘Ideas’ man

    LEONARD COHEN Following a critically acclaimed tour in 2009, the bard of doom and gloom is back on the road with a show that spans the length of his distinguished career. To sweeten the deal, Cohen will be playing songs from his terrific new album, “Old Ideas.” Dec. 15-16, 8 p.m. Tickets: $75-$253.75.
    Citi Wang Theatre. 866-348-9738,


    POP & ROCK

    MATES OF STATE Now in their 15th year as a band, this husband-and-wife duo have a chemistry that extends beyond the personal. They’re touring behind “Mountaintops,” their electro-pop confection from last year. Dec. 13, 9 p.m. Tickets: $15. Brighton Music Hall.

    RYAN MONTBLEAU A longtime favorite around here, Montbleau gamely channeled his inner soul singer on this year’s “For Higher,” a solo album (at least without his usual backing band) he recorded in New Orleans. For this two-night stand, the Peabody native and his band will welcome a pair of guests: On Friday, Mike Doughty opens the show, and on Saturday Lake Street Dive does the honor. Dec. 14-15, 9 p.m. Tickets: $20. Paradise Rock Club. 800-745-3000,


    THE KILLERS A shortlived hiatus, in which frontman Brandon Flowers put out a solo album, did nothing to squash the euphoric spirit of this power-pop band. The Killers roared back in September with “Battle Born.” Tegan and Sara, ahead of a new album expected next year, will open the show. Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $33-$63. Agganis Arena. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster



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    VANDAVEER Mark Charles Heidinger, who performs under the more mellifluous moniker Vandaveer — a family name nicked from a pocket watch passed down from his great-grandfather — is about to release an album of traditional folk murder ballads. Alas, no tips for those looming holiday gatherings; the album doesn’t come out until early next year. Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10. Johnny D’s. 888-777- 8932,

    MIRI MESIKA As evidenced by the fact that she has been voted her country’s singer of the year four times in the last seven years (including 2012), Miri Mesika has become one of Israel’s premier singing stars. She arrives in Boston on the last night of Hanukkah to perform her distinctive, multilingual mix of Western pop and rock and Arabic and Middle Eastern sounds. Dec. 15, 8 p.m. Tickets: $35-$55. Berklee Performance Center. 617-747-2261, www.berklee

    YULEGRASS Yulegrass promises what its name implies: a relaxed evening of holiday music served bluegrass- and acoustic-style, brought to you by an impressive roster of artists that combines the talents of Crooked Still members Brittany Haas and Corey DiMario, remarkable folk/bluegrass/country singer and multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien, and others. Dec. 16, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. Club Passim. 617-492-7679,

    JAMEY JOHNSON The current torchbearer for outlaw traditionalism in mainstream country music just released a tribute to Hank Cochran that was crawling with star-studded guest singers and at times sounded closer to polite Music City production than Jamey Johnson. The thought behind all that vocal firepower was surely heartfelt, but it'll be interesting to see what Johnson and his road band do with those songs live. Dec. 19, 9 p.m. Tickets: $30. Royale. 800-745-3000,




    HEE HAWK Martha’s Vineyard-based pianist/composer Adam Lipsky’s band blends jazz, folk, and new music, joining raw-boned, emotive Appalachian folk strains with the harmonic sophistication, classical structures, and improvisational elan of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. Dec. 14. 7 p.m. Tickets: $10. The Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge.

    AARDVARK JAZZ ORCHESTRA 40th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT The Boston institution presents its yearly holiday celebration, with this edition featuring two new pieces by trumpeter/composer/musical director Mark Harvey plus music from four decades of Aardvark Christmas concerts, including “Sugar Rum Cherry” from the Ellington-Strayhorn Nutcracker Suite, and jazz arrangements of classic carols such as “Silent Night.” Proceeds will benefit Community Works and Emmanuel Church. Dec. 15, 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston. 617-776-8778 or 617-452-3205, www.aardvark

    PETER PARCEK 3 The soulful singer and incendiary blues guitar virtuoso just keeps getting better. He was nominated for blues artist of the year in the 2012 Boston Music Awards, and his latest recording, “Pledging My Time,” reinterprets four Bob Dylan classics. Dec. 15,
    9 p.m. Tickets: $5. Smoken' Joe's Blues
    & BBQ, 351 Washington St., Brighton. 617-254-5227, www.smokenjoesbbq

    NELS CLINE & JULIAN LAGE DUO Playing compositions by both men as well as improvising spontaneously, the two guitarists draw each other out of their respective comfort zones: sonic explorer Cline eschews effects pedals while lyricist Lage breaks tonal and structural boundaries. Dec. 18, 8 p.m. Tickets: $20-$23. Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan St., Fall River. 508-324-1926, www.narrows



    BOSTON CAMERATA: ‘A HISPANIC CHRISTMAS, 1300-1700’ Works from Spanish-speaking countries under the direction of Joel Cohen, with the women’s choir “Les Fleurs des Caraïbes” joining as guests. Dec. 15-22, various locations, 617-262-2092,


    BLUE HERON: ‘CHRISTMAS IN 15th CENTURY FRANCE & BURGUNDY’ Music by Dufay, Josquin, Obrecht, and Brumel. Dec. 21-22, First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden Street, 617-960-7956,

    CHORAL BOSTON Many of the city’s choruses are performing programs tailored to the holidays, for instance: Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (Dec. 14-17), Masterworks Chorale (Dec. 14-15), Boston Cecilia (Dec. 14 and 16), Back Bay Chorale (Dec. 15), Musica Sacra (Dec. 15), Boston Choral Ensemble (Dec. 15), Cappella Clausura (Dec. 15-16), Chorus Pro Musica (Dec. 21).