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Staff Picks: Band of Horses at the Electric Factory

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Band of Horses

Dec. 14 at the Electric Factory

I’ve never been a fan of the Electric Factory’s chilly warehouse vibe. But I’ll make an exception for Band of Horses, one of the best acts to find a home on a major label (Columbia) in quite some time. While not much to look at, the Grammy-nominated, South Carolina-based quintet makes an awful purty roots-rock noise, turning to classic Southern California acts like the Eagles and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for inspiration while keeping things grounded in the present with nods to edgier contemporaries My Morning Jacket and Built to Spill. Mirage Rock, the group’s alternately gritty and gorgeous new release, has my vote for one of the finest albums of the year. Visit livenation.com. —Hobart Rowland
 

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Teasel & Twigs: ’Tis a Critter Christmas Tale

By Paige Singer (Cedar Tree Books, 30 pages)

Ever wonder what happens to your owl, reindeer and angel ornaments when you settle in for a long winter’s nap? In Teasel & Twigs, they don’t just hang around: The “critters”—characters based on the Brandywine River Museum’s handmade ornament collection—find themselves caught up in a Yuletide adventure the night before the annual Children’s Christmas Party. Pick up some critters of your own at the Brandywine River Museum’s Critter Sale Dec. 1-2. Visit www.brandywinemuseum.com. —Emily Riley
 

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Prescription: Murder

By Dr. William H. Simon, (iUniverse.com, 164 pages)

You’d never know Prescription: Murder is this Villanova orthopedic surgeon’s first crack at fiction writing. It tells the story of Ham Marks, a respected forensic ortho-pedist thrust into a flurry of life-threatening situations after he’s called to be an expert witness in the murder trial of a prominent Philadelphia malpractice lawyer. Simon has innate talent as a storyteller, seamlessly incorporating his substantial medical expertise when appropriate for a thoughtful, suspenseful, fast-paced read. —Tara Behan