Dr. Dog closes out a long day of tunes at Congress Theater on Saturday.
Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival
All day Saturday at the Congress Theater; $35 (kids 12 and under free)
You couldn't cram more music into one day if you tried. Starting at 11 a.m., 25 bands will play three different stages in a bluegrass smorgasbord. Acts you shouldn't miss: The Giving Tree Band (3 p.m.), Eddie "Chief" Clearwater (4:30 p.m.) and the legendary Bela Fleck (8 p.m.). Check out Dr. Dog (10:30 p.m.) to put a rockin' end to an amazing day of live music. And bring your own instrument if you want to join in the all-day jam session.
The Cool Kids
8 p.m. Thursday at Reggie's Rock Club; $20
When you get compared to the Beastie Boys as the next great party hip-hop group, you know you've got some big shoes to fill. But Mikey Rocks (from the 'burbs) and Chuck Inglish (from Michigan) have been living up to the hype. See them now before they blow up even more. Bun B (of UGK) and Chip The Ripper open.
Twelve Bars of Xmas (TBOX) Pub Tour
All day Saturday, various bars in Wrigleyville; $30
This is the bar crawl to end all bar crawls. Starting at 8:30 a.m., a group of more than 6,000 partiers will invade Wrigleyville, hitting up 36 bars dressed as wacky Santas, naughty reindeer and pretty much anything else you can think of. If there's a bigger bar crawl around, we sure haven't seen it.
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound
9 p.m. Saturday at Double Door; $8
These soul masters are tearing up the scene, and a live show of theirs is not to be missed. They got a new record, they got a new label, and they want to knock your socks off with Brooks' mesmerizing falsetto voice. It's a jam-packed night of music, too, as Heather Perry & the Banks, Black Bear Combo, East of Edens Soul Express all open.
Want free tickets? Send us an email with your name to enter.
A Nightmare Before XXX-mas
7:30 p.m. Sunday at Mary's Attic; $15
What's up with all the adult-themed Christmas shows (not that we're complaining or anything)? The Ripettes Burlesque one-night striptease show promises to put a little naughtiness into your holiday cheer. Really, who wants to be nice all the time? We're sure Santa will understand.