Justin Timberlake at Consol; Joseph Arthur at Altar Bar (CPs Sat., 12/14/13)
1) Back when posters of boy bands adorned the bedroom walls of every teenage girl in the country, naysayers said all those J Crew model-esque pretty boys would be exiled from the limelight in 10 years—and the naysayers were mostly right, but not in the case of Justin Timberlake. The ever-charismatic breakout star from ’N Sync has shown rare staying power, contributing songs like “Cry Me a River” and “SexyBack” to the canon of 21st-century classics and branching out to movies. (You remember him as a devil-may-care dot-com guru in The Social Network.) Through it all, Timberlake hasn’t taken himself too seriously; his sly, self-referential humor made him an often-invited-back host of “Saturday Night Live.” A natural performer, he’ll give a show at the Consol Energy Center today that will remind you again why he survived the great cultural purge of ’90s teen pop stars. 8 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.
2) Art-rock eccentric and world-music enthusiast Peter Gabriel started the Real World label to release records by Latin American choirs, Finnish folk bands, West African drum ensembles and such. But Gabriel was impressed enough by Joseph Arthur to make an exception to the label’s mission of giving voice to the obscure corners of the musical map, and to sign an American singer/songwriter. Possibly the heir to the throne of the late Jeff Buckley, Arthur combines acoustic rhythms with honey-dripped vocals. His songs are continually gorgeous (as are their packaging; Arthur is a visual artist who designs his own album covers). Catch him today at the Altar Bar after opening sets by two people from famous ’80s/’90s bands gone solo: one-time Black Crows drummer Bill Dobrow and former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills. 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District.
3) There is quite a neo-burlesque scene in New York City and few performers are more active in it than Angie Pontani. (Yes, as you might guess from the name, she’s from across the river in Jersey.) She’s one-time winner of the Miss Exotic World Pageant, leader of the Pontani Sisters (featuring her actual sisters), creator of two burlesque-themed workout videos and star and co-producer of the Burlesque-A-Pades touring show. Tonight, she brings the classic mix of song, dance, comedic routines and classy, old-timey stripteases to the Rex Theatre for a Holiday Spectacular, featuring the Pontani Sisters and others. It should prove to be both naughty and nice. 9 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side.
4) Even though they come from gritty Philadelphia, Hoots and Hellmouth are obsessed with Appalachian folk music, playing a jittery, barely modernized version of the antiquated, rural sound. Led by carrot-topped guitarist/singer Sean Hoots, the four-piece band is known for its sweaty, high-octane live show. They’ll be at Club Café tonight with Holy Ghost Tent Revival, a similarly raucous and rootsy band from North Carolina. 8:30 p.m. 56-58 South 12th St., South Side.
5) Local alt-rock foursome The Show are back following a hiatus due to the successful treatment of lead singer Johnny Saint-Lethal’s mouth cancer. They have been recording with producer Chris Potter, known for his long-standing relationship with Richard Ashcroft of The Verve, and are making a triumphant return to Stage AE tonight. Come out and drink a round to endurance and new beginnings. Also on the bill: Johnny and the Razorblades, Shag Dog Melon Head and Sylvania. 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.