We like those rappers who crawl outside the beat box, who try to put a creative, unique stamp on what can be a very rote medium. Guys like Mos Def, or his buddy Talib Kweli — who's throwing down in town this weekend. Still touring on the strength of 2007's "Ear Drum" disc, the Brooklyn rapper is here for two Dare 2 Dream benefit concerts Saturday at House of Blues. Tickets are still available, or you can RSVP here to win a pair of VIP passes.
More clubland events after the jump ...
American Nick Zammuto (right) and Dutchman Paul de Jong create collage-like albums using samples of sound, speech and music. In past live performances, they sang and played acoustic guitar and cello with prerecorded electronics and synchronized video. Whatever they put together for the MCA, it will surely stimulate the senses. At 7 and 10 p.m. Sunday at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. Tickets are $20. Call (312) 397-4010; www.mcachicago.org. -- Centerstagechicago.com
INTONATION MUSIC WORKSHOP
Originally known for sponsoring two challenging music festivals in Union Park, Intonation has shifted its focus in recent years toward the Intonation Music Workshop, an after-school program serving at-risk children ages 6 to 18 who have limited access to musical instruments and few opportunities for music education. The organization is holding a benefit starting at 10 tonight at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, featuring Horse in the Sea and David Singer & the Sweet Science, two groups that count IMW teachers among their members. Tickets, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Call (773) 227-4433; www.hideoutchicago.com. -- Jim DeRogatis
Though the band employs a startling array of instruments -- including hurdy gurdy, tabla, sitar, vacuum pipes, banjo and tympani -- the otherworldly Japanese combo probably is best known for the extraordinary guitar of Michio Kurihara, who also has loaned his talents to bands ranging from Damon and Naomi to Boris. The nomadic group is making a rare U.S. appearance on Tuesday at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, after openers and Drag City labelmates Baby Dee at 9:30 p.m. Tickets, $12. Call (773) 276-3600; www.emptybottle.com. -- JD
A six-year labor of love, Brian Peterson's Burning Fight: The Nineties Hardcore Revolution in Ethics, Politics, Spirit, and Sound finally has arrived in bookstores, providing the definitive look at the resurgent hardcore-punk underground of the '90s. The author is celebrating its publication this weekend with shows at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Metro, 3730 N. Clark, providing the perfect soundtrack for the scene he has chronicled. Both shows are sold out. Visit www.burningfightbook.com/blog for more about the book. -- JD
Whether or not John Hammond would actually drive a thousand miles to catch Geremia live (like he so emphatically likes to claim), there's no diminishing the caliber of husky howl and the lightning-fast finger-picking that Geremia has been touting for 40 years strong. It certainly helps that he's a warm storyteller in the vein of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Willie McTell. Geremia may be able to see fine, but he's just as inclined to share all the history he soaks up while navigating back-road Americana. Jim Craig opens at 7 p.m.Sunday at SPACE, 1245 Chicago in Evanston. Tickets, $12-$20. Call (847) 492-8860; www.evanstonspace.com.