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Get into the holiday spirit at a benefit show:

Dancing will be in order at the 7th Annual Happy Skalidays show, Dec. 23 at Alley Katz. Both ska and punk will be gifted by Murphy's Kids, Neighborhood Friendly, and Vindication. Canned food donations are encouraged, and this year's beneficiary will be 97.3 WRIR, Richmond's Independent Radio.

Richmond jazz-rock combo Ilad is working on a new album at SOMA Electronic Music Studios in Chicago with engineer John McEntire (Tortoise, Sea and Cake). It's the second album release from Ilad through Syjip Records featuring all new material from the quartet. Tentatively scheduled to be released in early-to-mid spring 2007, we hear it will knock your knickers clean off.

Botox Party is the name of the new project featuring Danny from Red Angel Dragnet, Chuck from I Live With Zombies, and Brian from Centreline. Their first show in November was supertight, so listen up RVA punks.

After the breakup of their old bands, three members of Wow,Owls! and two from The SetUp came together earlier this year and formed the just-as-heavy Mouthbreather. Their new demo was laid down at the Recorditorium and is available via Richmond's We Are The Label.

While country is their backdrop, eclectic crooners the Plum Street Ramblers are not likely to be heard on K95. Made up of veterans from bands like Scattered, Smothered & Covered, Used Carlotta, Snaggletooth and Moosa, these folks play the outlaw brand made famous by Willie, Waylon and Johnny with a local flair befitting their Fan-based name. www.plumstreetramblers.com

David Shultz and his new band Subtle Neon Browns have completed work on their second release for Triple Stamp Records, titled "Sinner's Gold." Recorded at Imagine Music in Petersburg, the new disc covers a lot of indie-rock ground and should be available at shows as early as this month.

A special Richmond music treat is Lee Harris' annual all-star Christmas album. With past names like, "More Nog," "Taking Care of Christmas," and "A Whole Lotta Santa," and songs such as "Fistful of We Three Kings" (a brilliant melding of the spaghetti-western classic and the carol), these discs become immediate collectors items, since you can't buy them in any store. Yes, it's a true something for nothing in the Christmas spirit that Lee gives to friends, family and supporters of local music. Just think; if you saw more shows, you might have one.

— compiled by Jeff Sadler, Mike Rutz of "Activate" on 97.3 and Jay Smack of "Studio B" on 102.1

Jay Smack's local music radio show "Studio B" is on 102.1 the X, Sundays at 9 p.m. Mike Rutz's "Activate!" features bands coming through town on WRIR 97.3 Wednesdays at 7 p.m .

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