What You're Doing Tonight: Dec. 17

METALLICA AT THE FORUM: There's a time for merry, decorate-the-tree carols, and there's a time for metal so tough, so shredding and so deep you can feel it in your bones. The time for the latter is nigh, when Lars Ulrich and one iconic band make the amps cry out for mercy. Wednesday, December 17 and Thursday, December 18. 7PM. The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Boulevard, Los Angeles. 310-330-7300

MIDWEEK MEANS MERLOT: Even if we like our jobs, and things are stress-free (is that possible?), usually along about Wednesday night we need a respite: a magazine, a bath, a new car... Okay, a celebratory wine tasting will do. Enoteca Drago holds its vino up to the light -- what beautiful clarity, what bouquet! -- after 5PM. Wednesday, December 17. $25. 410 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills. 310-786-8236

CHEAP TRICK IN THE OC: Is "I Want You to Want Me" one of the best pop-rock ditties ever? We vote yes. We also like the special menu HOB has going just for the gig. We'll have an order of "Heaven Tonight" Barbecue Rib Fingers with a side of "You Drive, I'll Steer" Garlic-Style Mashed Potatoes. Wednesday, December 17, 8PM. House of Blues, 1530 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim. 714-778-2583

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