October Gold @ Avant-Garde Bar on Saturday at 9 p.m., $8

On Saturday night, Avant-Garde Bar is the location of a show featuring — surprise, surprise — another duo. October Gold is a Montreal couple made up of Kit Soden (who comes from a folk sensibility) and Aliza Thibodeau (who plays classical violin). Together, they make music that's lush and traditional, with a heavy element of the theatrical coming through in Kit's vocals. Part of that is due to the fact that some of the band's lyrics come from a fantasy series by Canadian author Steven Erikson. As far as that genre goes, Erikson is seen as a sort of modern J.R.R. Tolkien. So whereas bands in the seventies were writing songs about hobbits and Gollum, now they're on to another complicated mythical world: the one in Erikson's "Malazan Book of the Fallen." So hey, if all your Christmas-shopping is leaving you without much time to read lately, maybe you can get a decent synopsis at the Avant-Garde Bar on Saturday night. October Gold is performing alongside Josef Mieto and Olivier Doyon.

Thom Huhtala @ Mugshots on Saturday at 9 p.m. (pay-what-you-can)

Thom Huhtala

The songs on Thom Huhtala's most recent album, "Mercury," are haunting. Smoky, burned-out melodies descend into torrents of guitar-pedal experimentation and howls. (CBC Music)

Elsewhere that night, just around the corner on Nicholas Street, a soulful Torontonian will be wooing audiences at Mugshots with his psychedelic style of blues-rock. Thom Huhtala met the members of his band out on a fire escape at a party in the apartment building they all lived in. And since then, they've been jamming consistently. They've even gotten into the habit of recording every show they play in order to critique themselves objectively after the fact. It's a football-coach way of taking your music seriously. It pays off, too. The songs on Thom Huhtala's most recent album, "Mercury," are haunting. Smoky, burned-out melodies descend into torrents of guitar-pedal experimentation and howls — fitting music for a haunted jail-hostel. Saturday's show at the hostel's bar is the first in a new monthly series starting up as collaboration between CHUO, Debaser (one of the station's programs) and Weird Canada (Canada's best blog for up-and-coming creative music). They're calling it Fryquency, and the idea is that it's a pay-what-you-can showcase of emerging Canadian talent. Thom Huhtala will be sharing the bill with Grime Kings (about whom I'll withhold gushy remarks in the interest of journalistic integrity, seeing as they're fronted by my baby brother).



Thom Huhtala, Grime Kings @ Mugshots, 9pmPWYC

- October Gold @ Avant-Garde Bar w/ Josef Mieto, Olivier Doyon, 9pm, $8

- Two Hours Traffic (farewell tour) @ Zaphod's w/ Grounders, 8pm, $10

- Loon Choir @ Black Sheep Inn w/ Erik Lind & the Orchard, Pony Girl, 8:30pm, $10

- Eva Bee's Jamboree Goodbye Party/Fundraiser @ Pressed w/ Fevers, pop-up thrift shop, etc., 8pm, $10-20 sliding scale donation

Centretown Recording Alliance Holiday Bash @ Gabba Hey w/ Mnemonics, Fresh Hell, Neck, Slo' Tom, Yuma County, Four-Stroke, Robots! Everywhere!, Blue Nun, Thunder Uncle, Patrick Shanks, Slim and Popular, 7pm, $5

- Lucky Ron @ The Lafayette, 4pm, free

- The Noisy Locomotive @ Kaffe 1870 w/ Birdie Whyte, 9pm, $8

- Uncle Sean & the Shifty Drifters @ Irene's (Ottawa Food Bank fundraiser) w/ Ninety Pounds of Ugly, Lucky Ron, 9:30pm, $5

- The Allaire Show: John Allaire @ Quinn's Ale House w/ Pat Moore 3pm-5pm, free

Monkeyjunk @ The Rainbow, 10pm, $10

- Monster Truck @ Ritual w/ Walking Papers, 9pm, $27

- Brad Morden @ AlphaSoul w/ Stacey and Amanda Cottreau, 7pm, $10


- Adam Saikaley @ Manx, 10:15pm, free

- Finest Kind annual Christmas concert @ Black Sheep Inn, 4:20pm, $25

- Jan Purcell & Pine Road @ Irene's, 9pm, $5

- The Birdie Whyte Show @ The Lafayette, 6pm, free