My Spilt Milk picks the week's highlights, including funk supergroup Dragon Smoke, sludge metal from Crowbar, Aaron Neville, a solo set from Cat Power, 8ball and MJG, Terry McDermott, A Lightwire Christmas, HAMP Fest, and benefit concerts for Colorado and the Philippines.

Friday: Dragon Smoke feat. Ivan Neville, Eric Lindell, Robert Mercurio and Stanton Moore, St. Paul and The Brooken Bones, 10 p.m., Tipitina’s: The supergroup jam band named after the spot of its first gig at Dragon's Den play only a handful of shows each year. When they do get together, they're a funk force to be reckoned with (tickets); Also on Friday: George Porter Jr. and the Running Pardners10 p.m., One Eyed Jacks (tickets)

Saturday: Crowbar, White Light Cemetery, Delta Doom, The Void, 10 p.m., Tipitina’s: One of the most influential metal bands to come out of New Orleans, Crowbar is known for their slow, brooding, sludge metal sound. Saturday night, they play alonside other local bands for a metal-packed night at Tip's (tickets); Also on Saturday: NOFX7:25 p.m., House of Blues (tickets); Susan Cowsill’s “Covered in Vinyl” with Paul Sanchez singing Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris10 p.m., Chickie Wah Wah; Baak Gwai, Grandaddy Longlegs, Glish10 p.m., Circle Bar


Sunday: Aaron Neville, 8 p.m., Civic Theatre: International ambassador of New Orleans R&B, Aaron Neville performs his favorite Christmas songs Sunday night (tickets).

Monday: Cat Power Solo, 8 p.m., House of Blues: The singer-songwriter has diversified her sound dramatically since the release of her 1995 debut album, Dear Sir, adding elements of blues, punk, folk, soul, and electronica with each additional project. Monday night, she plays a solo set that highlights the vulnerability that has been a hallmark of her live performances.(tickets). Also on Monday: Kelcy Mae10 p.m., Hi-Ho Lounge


Wednesday: 8ball and MJG, DJ Poppa, 10 p.m., The Maison: The Memphis hip-hop duo have produced a steady stream of records since their 1993 breakout album, Comin' Out Hard. Wednesday night, they perform the classics as well as material from their latest solo albums (tickets). Also on Wednesday: Rich Aucoin, The Madd Wikkid8 p.m., Freret Street Publiq House

Thursday: Terry McDermott and the Bonfires, Rotary Downs, The Morning Life, 8 p.m., House of Blues: The locally based Season 3 runner-up of The Voice plays House of Blues with his NOLA-centric band, The Bonfires (tickets); Also on Thursday: Tank and The Bangas CD-release party, DJ RQAWAY, Pinettes Brass Band, Dave Lemon, Team Sno10 p.m., Tipitina’s (tickets); Helen Gillet8:30 p.m., Chickie Wah Wah


Other Stuff:

The Joy Theater's holiday production, Lightwire: A Very Electric Christmas combines dance and technology by New Orleanians Ian Carney and Corbin Popp to tell the story of a young bird named Max and his holiday adventures, all set to brilliant light displays and classic Christmas songs by Nat King Cole, Tchaikovsky, and Mariah Carey. Performances will be held December 12-22.

Howlin' Wolf hosts New Orleans' 5th Annual HAMP (HIV Awareness Music Project) Fest this year, where Quintron and Miss Pussycat, the Mike Dillon Band, and Vox and the Hound will perform Friday night starting at 9 p.m.

Nolarado: A Benefit for Colorado Flood Relief Effort, featuring performances by The New Orleans Suspects, Bonerama with Kermit Ruffins and Dave Malone, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, David Shaw & Ed Williams of the Revivalists, Papa Male, and many more, takes place Saturday afternoon at the Howlin’ Wolf, starting at 1:30 p.m.

Siberia hosts A Benefit for the Philippines, Thursday night at 8 p.m., featuring performances by Gristnam, Ossacrux, The Unnaturals, Dummy Dumpster, DiNOLA, Happy Talk Band, Crystal Joy, burlesque, and raffles