Though the Aragon is far from the ideal venue for the band--I've been longing to see these unlikely arena-rockers return to a Chicago Theatre or a Metro for years now--the bizarre pop experiments and gleefully tuneful exuberance of Weezer's recently issued seventh studio album "Raditude" arguably make braving the muddy-sounding Capone-era ballroom worth the gamble. Jack's Mannequin and Motion City Soundtrack open at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1; tickets are $44.75 plus egregious service fees through www.ticketmaster.com, (312) 559-1212.
Following a close second to the Jesus Lizard's two shows at Metro, the sure-fire best way to shake off the Thanksgiving-induced tryptophan hangover in the coming days is with the take-no-prisoners, sheer-the-top-of-your-head-off Japanese noise-rockers Melt-Banana, who are making a rare U.S. appearance on Sunday, Nov. 30, at the Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St. Triclops!, 97-Shiki and Jewsus open at 8 p.m., and tickets are $14 through www.ticketweb.com. Call (312) 929-2022 or visit www.bottomlounge.com for more information.
Hopefully, the holiday spirit will prompt many to consider worthy causes in the coming weeks, and for the Chicago music community, that list certainly includes veteran musician, producer and soundman Lee Popa, who's fighting an awful disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitisin. There's a Website set up for the former member of the Slammin Watusis at http://saveleepopa.com/, and a benefit taking place on Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Liars Club, 1665 W. Fullerton, with music and a booth offering the opportunity to throw pies at Joe Kelly of the Beer Nuts.
Finally, many in the suburban punk underground will fondly remember the Sputnik Coffeehouse in Homewood for a stretch some years back when it offered a cool alternative all-ages venue for up-and-coming acts. Owner John Brazas, a longtime scene mainstay and the heart and the soul of the place, is now battling pancreatic cancer without health insurance, and he's hosting a Sputnik Coffeehouse Ten Year Reunion show as a benefit on Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28, at Lassen's Tap, 2131 W. 183rd St in Homewood. Friday's performers start at 7 p.m. and include Polyfuse, Johnnie and Tate Brazas, Rachel Mylan, Jeremy the Cowboy and more. Saturday's lineup starts at 8 p.m. and features Wolcott, the Conways, Frederick, the Seventies and others. Tickets are $10 per night; for more information, visit Sputnik on Facebook.