Our highlights for this week in New Orleans include Usher, Anders Osborne, NOLA Polar Express, Nancy Whang, and a night of power pop with The Junior League and associates.

anders osborne photo
Anders Osborne, by Jayne Tansey-Patron

Friday: A Johnnyswim Christmas, 8 p.m., House of Blues: Married couple Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez tap in to the domestic, homespun side of Christmas on A Johnnyswim Christmas without becoming sappy or faux. (tickets) Also on Friday: Anders Osborne Third Annual Holiday Spectacular, 10 p.m. (tickets); Brownout presents Brown Sabbath, 10 p.m., The Maison (tickets); Hamp Fest 2014 feat. Morning 40 Federation, 10 p.m., One Eyed Jacks (tickets); The Junior League, Televisionairies, The Missing Links, 10 p.m., The Circle Bar; Nancy Whang, Carmine P. Filthy, Will Brennan, Izo, 10 p.m., Hi-Ho Lounge (tickets); Holiday Potluck Party feat. Chris Rehm of Caddywhompus, Sea Battles, The Gasa Gasa Orchestra and more, 8 p.m., Gasa Gasa (tickets)

Saturday: Usher, 7:30 p.m., Smoothie King Center: Usher’s still working on his long-overdue UR album, but despite the tour’s title—“The UR Experience”—the album is a minor part of what has largely been a greatest hits show at previous stops. (tickets) Also on Saturday: Caddywhompus record release show, Grotto Girl, Tara and Sexy Dex, 9 p.m., One Eyed Jacks (tickets); Anders Osborne Third Annual Holiday Spectacular, 10 p.m. (tickets); Carolyn Wonderland, 9 p.m., Chickie Wah Wah

Monday: alt-J, 8 p.m., Civic Theatre: alt-J doesn’t work too hard onstage, instead letting singer Joe Newman’s voice and the gorgeously textured songs do the work. (tickets) Also on Monday: The Legendary Shack Shakers, Whiskey Shivers, 10 p.m., One Eyed Jacks (tickets)

Wednesday: Chris Corsano, Ava Mendoza, Donald Miller, John Dikeman, Onno Govaert, Rob Cambre, 10 p.m., Gasa Gasa: Anxious Sound presents a night of improvised music with an international flair. New York-based drummer Chris Corsano, John Dikeman and Onno Govaert of Dutch band Cactus Truck, and New York guitarist Ava Mendoza join guitarists Donald Miller and Rob Cambre of The Death Posture. (tickets) Also on Wednesday: Mat Zo, Haywyre, 10 p.m., The Republic (tickets); Ill Doots, Tank and the Bangas, Fancy Pants, 10 p.m., The Circle Bar

Thursday: Elle Varner, 8 p.m., House of Blues: R&B vocalist Elle Varner was last in New Orleans to play the Essence Music Festival, and her debut album Perfectly Imperfect is a smart, promising blend of soul, popcraft, and hip-hop. (tickets)

Other Stuff
Comedian Hannibal Buress has been in New Orleans a few times in the last few years—once to work on new material at The New Movement Theater during his brother’s bachelor party weekend, and I saw him at Buku earlier this year enjoying Nas. He most recently made news as the guy who reminded an audience about Bill Cosby’s less-talked-about past, which led to the shitstorm that has rained down on Cosby since. Buress will do two shows at the Civic Theatre Friday night, and if they’re not sold out, they’re down to the last tickets. (tickets for the 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. shows)

Saturday night, the NOLA Polar Express returns with New Orleans’ indie rock bands Paper Bison, Social Set, Wooden Wings, and The Breton Sound performing at the Freret Street Publiq House at 9 p.m. to raise money for CASA New Orleans and CASA SoLA. (information)

Comedian Dave Chappelle blew up the Internet recently when he announced that he would play the Saenger Theater on Thursday, then when it sold out a second show, then when it sold out a Friday show was added. Needless to say, tickets for Chappelle’s shows are hard to get if they can be got at all. (tickets)