By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Dec 15, 2004 at 5:27 AM

{image1} What if your only music purchasing options included places with senior citizens in blue smocks waiting to greet you? Think about it. It's a pretty scary thought, but if people like Andy and Tommy Noble, hadn't heeded to the incessant fervor that is record collecting, music buying as we know it might as well have been accomplished right after we request a price check on paper towels. That being said, please show your support for one of Milwaukee's independent music store, Lotus Land, by having a blast at their fourth anniversary bash at Mad Planet on Dec. 16. The festivities include the danceable mixes of No Request Friday cohorts Why B and Kid Cut Up, DJ Kid Millions, and of course, the Super Noble Bros. Show starts at 9 p.m. and there's no cover!

Although Milwaukee loves them, sometimes, local musicians feel the need to flee the Midwest, as is the case with The Etiquette's Eugene III. When this happens, there will (hopefully) be someone there to fill the void, if even for just one night. On Dec. 18, Mad Planet hosts an evening of rock to both bid a warm farewell to Gene and also temporarily reunite Milwaukee pop rock favorite, The Benjamins. Performances by The Etiquette and The Benjamins will be preceded by a set by The Saltshakers, an energetic rock band that started adding some spice to the scene in 2002, right around the same time that The Benjamins disbanded. Get ready to rock at 10 p.m.

This town's got soul, right? The Hi Hat seems to think so, seeing it is dedicating an entire evening to the funk, the swing and the boogie. It's not James Brown, but it's the next closest thing. This Sunday, Dec. 19 is the Hi Hat's Second Annual Soulful Christmas, starting at 8 p.m. All you need is 10 bucks and an I.D., and you are well on your way to getting your groove on. The Charlie Brooks Band, featuring the father of funk rhythm himself, Mr. Clyde Stubblefield, has got enough energy to play the whole night. However, they will be sharing the spotlight with Milwaukee's own Dos Proberos, which is Jeff Hamilton and Rob Atwood's organic, bluesy version of their more amped band, The Probers. Come on, it's the holidays. Get soulful! (Look for more on this event Friday on OMC!)

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.”