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The Waco Brothers | PHOTO COURTESY OF BLOODSHOT RECORDS

The Waco Brothers | PHOTO COURTESY OF BLOODSHOT RECORDS

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Updated: January 22, 2014 6:03AM



In Chicago, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is generally known as a time when music rooms host shows that, by now, are annual traditions in the music season. They are also opportunities for people who want to hear some music during their time off from work, but are not necessarily in the mood to fight crowds on New Year’s Eve night.

Here are some of this season’s best shows to get your music fix between both holidays:

Total Therapy with Kid Sister 10 p.m. Dec. 26 at Berlin, 954 W. Belmont:

The Chicago rapper and “Pro Nails” singer hosts a night of live music with support from Berlin’s resident DJs: Teen Witch Fan Club, DJ Pluto, Claire Van Eijk, and Virtual Brat.

Cornmeal’s Holiday Ramble , 9 p.m. Dec. 27 at Martyr’s, 3855 N. Lincoln:

The Chicago bluegrass collective plays its annual holiday shows featuring members of likeminded bluegrass, old-timey, and jam bands including Family Groove Company, The Ragbirds, Old Shoe, and more.

The Waco Brothers , 9 p.m. Dec. 27-28 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport:

Billed as “The 11th Annual Waco Weekend,” this pair of shows is the only time every winter to see the country punk collective, also one of the best live bands in Chicago. Stickfight opens the Friday; show. Detroit garage rock band Amy Gore & Her Valentines opens Saturday.

Melvin Taylor and the Slack Band , 10 p.m. Dec. 27-28 at Rosa’s Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage:

The best living example of the West Side Chicago blues sound, guitarist Melvin Taylor headlines this weekend stand at the club he has called home for years. The guitarist, a scorching player, is known for the virtuosity of his skills, and his blending of rock, jazz, and blues.

Robbie Fulks , 9 p.m. Dec. 28 at Fitzgerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt Rd., Berwyn:

Titled “Robbie ‘Raps’ Up 2013,” this annual year-end show by country singer and songwriter Robbie Fulks is half parody and half music. A dizzying amount of entertainment is packed into these three hours, which features members of Second City in sketches, parody songs looking back at the previous 12 months in news, and “the rap of the dead,” a vocal-beat summary of those we’ve lost. A total hoot.

The 9th Annual Alex Chilton Birthday Bash , 8 p.m. Dec. 28 at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western:

Chicago pop bands and songwriters who owe a strong debt to the late leader of Big Star and the Box Tops gather each year at the Empty Bottle to pay respects through faithful renderings of his songs. This year’s lineup includes the Injured Parties, Certain Stars, Lutz, Letterbomb, and many others.

The Flat Five , 6 p.m. Dec. 31 at SPACE, 1245 N. Chicago Ave., Evanston:

An early show on New Year’s Eve gets you home. This band features some of the city’s finest and most versatile vocal and instrumental stylists — Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, drummer Alex Hall and Scott Ligon and Casey McDonough of NRBQ. Known for annual live shows that cover the more obscure country and soul jewels from the golden era of the 1960s-70s, plus harmonies that can stretch between two, three, and four golden voices.

Mark Guarino is a local freelance writer.



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