Touring in support of "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!," a worthy follow-up to last year's self-titled Grinderman release, one of the strongest discs he's made with the Bad Seeds and a strong contender at the three-quarters mark for the best album of 2008, Nick Cave comes to Chicago for two shows at the Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine, at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Black Diamond Heavies open, and while the Monday show is sold-out, some tickets remain on Sunday for $35 via Ticketmaster, (312) 559-1212 or www.ticketmaster.com, or $38 at the box office on the day of the show, if you want to risk it.
Carrot Top Records, one of Chicago's least-hyped but most consistently excellent independent labels, celebrates its Sweet 16 birthday this weekend with two shows to benefit the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Friday's lineup includes the Coctails, Antietam, the katjonband (with Jon Langford Katerina Ex of the Ex) and the Bitter Tears, while Saturday's features the Handsome Family, Megan Reilly, Speck Mountain and Lys Guillorn. Both shows start at 9 p.m., and tickets are $15.00 per night via www.Ticketweb.com.