By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Dec 04, 2007 at 7:10 AM

The first December edition of the / WMSE Local Music Podcast is here in a quaint little package -- just like the best gifts of the season.

We've got three great bands playing out for you this week around town and, as always, this podcast is where you can hear them before you see them.

There are a couple of choices for Friday night, starting with an album release party for 1956 at Stonefly Brewing Co. The new album, "Saboteur," is full of pleasant songwriting with expansive reach, as exemplified by the song "Persistent," which you can hear on this podcast.

Another Friday night option is at the Cactus Club. IfIHadAHiFi has hinted at the release of its new album for months now, and although it's not yet out, you can probably hear parts of it when the band takes the stage for a show with The Dials and Ouija Radio.

Frank's Power Plant has turned into a great place to see shows lately -- and this Saturday should be no exception. Plexi 3 is playing with the Strange Boys and you might want to make the show, as the band heads out on tour until the start of the new year.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”