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Tonight: ‘Jingle Ball’ at Xcel, Wu-Tang Clan at First Ave.

It’s time for Jingle Ball, when this area’s very hottest radio station corrals this nation’s very hottest musical acts and moves them across the Xcel Energy stage like so many award-winning swine, bovine and equine over the sawdust at the State Fair. You wanna see Rihanna? Get there late. The likes of Lady Gaga, Boys Like Girls and Shontelle will be singing (or lip-syncing?) their hit(s) over what is likely to be prerecorded music, before American Idol runner-up (what’s that, only one foot of clay?) David Archuleta and megastars T.I. and Chris Brown take their turns.

“Jingle Ball.” 7 p.m. today. Xcel Energy Center, 199 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul. $69-$89. Online.

Meanwhile, over at First Avenue, the immortal New York hip-hop crew Wu-Tang Clan will deliver deeper sentiments in a more intimate venue, but quantity-over-quality problems remain. One original Wu member (Ol’ Dirty Bastard) has passed away, and others may skip out (last year it was their sonic architect, RZA), but with nine originals and a couple added since, that’s still too many rhymers and not enough microphone time — especially when the rappers want to plug their own current projects as much as the vintage Wu material.

Wu-Tang Clan. 8 p.m. today. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. $35. Online.

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