Toubab Krewe at Capital Ale House
Afro-pop African music that shares some fundamentals with popular Western music has found new audiences with the popularity of groups such as the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. Toubab Krewe, hailing from the hip little village of Asheville, N.C., brings a Southern sensibility to its brand of Afro-pop. The group acquired its sound genuinely, having made several trips to West Africa and hanging out with local musicians. Toubab Krewe brings a little bit of Mali to the Capital Ale House Thursday, Nov. 29, at 9 p.m. $6-$10. 780-2537. Craig Belcher
Hip-Hop's Uncanny Duo at Toad's Place
Phonte and Big Pooh of Little Brother are the X-Men of hip-hop. Regardless of their heroic attempts to invigorate a dying art, they continue to be underappreciated and disrespected, just like Stan Lee's unhappy band of mutants. With the departure of super-producer 9th Wonder and the termination of the group's contract with Atlantic Records, LB faces the possibility of becoming simply another underground rap group. The odds are stacked against them, as their latest effort, "Getback," was released with virtually no promotion and appears to be super-glued to record store shelves. Somewhere, Magneto is laughing. Sounds like a job for Little Brother at Toad's Place Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 9 p.m. Also on the bill, Dilated People's Evidence and D. Folks and the Movement. $15. 648-TOAD. C.B.
An Offering You Shouldn't Refuse
It's the holiday season and Christian band Offering has a lot to give. The group will be well into its Christmas concert series when it performs at the Positive Vibe Café Sunday, Dec. 2, at 6:30 p.m. The six-piece band is a gospel group, but its musical precision and faultless execution would be lauded in any genre. Offering might be out to save your soul, but don't let that keep you from enjoying some mellow acoustic rock. Expect traditional Christmas carols with some contemporary Christmas songs spliced in, and enough holiday spirit to make a Grinch groove. Reservations are suggested for this free concert. Call 560-9622 or visit www.offeringband.com. C.B.
If It Sounds Like a Movie, It Might Be
In a world where a comedian can do uncanny impressions of the movie preview guy, he can get laughs. Pablo Francisco not only mimics the ubiquitous and sonorous voice of Don LaFontaine, but also counts Dracula, Keanu Reeves, Aaron Neville and John Madden among his spot-on imitations. He's appeared on "Mad TV," "Mind of Mencia," "Family Guy," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and his own Comedy Central special. Francisco has a talent not just for telling jokes, but also for creating humorous situations with vivid characters and sound effects, all with his singular vocal gifts. The voice that's introduced hundreds of fake movies will be at the Funny Bone from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2. $15-$17. 521-8900. C.B.
Cracker and The Gaskets at Toad's Place
It was like some kind of early holiday miracle when Sound of Music reopened a few months ago after an April fire. One of the recording studio's proud parents, David Lowery, expands the feeling with a concert Saturday, Dec. 1, at Toad's Place featuring Cracker (well-known enough to have a "Greatest Hits Redux" album with gems such as "Low," Euro-Trash Girl" and "Sweet Thistle Pie") and those synth-pop high-bounce balls The Gaskets, collectively requiring more energy than your average Grand Illumination. 8 p.m. $15-$18. 648-TOAD. Brandon Reynolds