Out Every Night: The Best Shows From December 17 to 23

Dec 17, 2012 at 6:09 am

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Bo and The Locomotive Fri., 7:00 p.m. December 21 w/ Magic City, David Vandervelde, Old Lights, Pretty Little Empire @ Off Broadway - $5 By Michael Dauphin Sure, various numerological formulae and astronomical alignments have been proposed in relation to this date, but I doubt any Mayanist scholars predicted this killer bill. Let's say that maybe the world doesn't end. That won't prevent Off Broadway's inhabitants from undergoing a positive spiritual transformation during Magic City's set. I've seen it happen on a nondescript Wednesday night in South City. Or say the world does end. Wouldn't you wanna spend that moment dancing along to Old Lights or being comforted by Justin Johnson's (Pretty Little Empire) calming voice? It may end up being the end of the world as we know it, but those at Off Broadway Friday night will feel fine regardless. Bo Knows Beeman: Bo and the Locomotive is almost done recording its next album at Native Sound Studios with David Beeman of Old Lights. Don't be surprised to hear new songs.

Talib Kweli Sat., 7:00 p.m. December 22 @ Old Rock House - $15-$20 By Daniel Hill Talib Kweli rose to prominence in the late 90s as the not-Mos-Def half of the pioneering underground alternative hip-hop group Black Star. Since then the prolific Kweli has had difficulty shaking the oft-scoffed "conscious rapper" label, despite having released albums with a decidedly more mainstream-accessible sound. Still, collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Madlib, Pete Rock and scores more have endeared Kweli to critics and fans alike and helped prove the versatility of the rapper. If Skills Sold: Jay-Z's lyrical nod on 2003's Black Album helped to expose Kweli to more mainstream success but may have contributed in an ancillary way to that one career mis-step, 2004's Beautiful Struggle. All has been forgiven with last year's Gutter Rainbows, though -- expect melted microphones at the Old Rock House.

The Cuban Missiles CD Release Party Sat., 9:00 p.m. December 22 w/ The Disappeared, The Winchester, Sink The Bismark @ Cicero's - $10 By Ryan Wasoba For the better part of a decade, the local operative known as the Cuban Missiles has been stealthily honing its freewheeling rock and roll with elements of pop-punk, punk-punk, and whatever sort of punk Gaslight Anthem is. Yet the Granite City trio remains below radar thanks to its tortoise-speed approach to marketing its hare-swift tunes. The band's new record When They Come For Us, We'll Be Gone is its first recording that plays like a fully realized album rather than a work-in-progress demo. Fittingly, the Cuban Missiles plan a celebratory blow-out including fellow working class punks Sink The Bismarck, The Disappeared and the Haddonfields. I Swear I've Seen That Guy Before: Those who have never watched the Cuban Missiles play may recognize Drummer Colin Anderson as one of the live sound engineers at Cicero's.

Rum Drum Ramblers Record Release Party Sun., 8:00 p.m. December 23 @ Off Broadway - $5-$8 By Jaime Lees It's a packed Tuesday night at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups, and the crowd doesn't pay much attention when three young gentlemen wearing dapper hats and sharp trousers take the stage. But less than a minute into the trio's set, most of the room is captivated. Two of the men share singing duties, exploring the deep, pained voices of the blues. Occasional hootenanny-style off-microphone hollering energizes the audience, as does a mournful, wailing harmonica. A previously unmoved patron with a gentle face like fine, worn leather cracks a smile. He releases an exhilarated "Hot damn!" and commences tapping his toes and beating out rhythms on his polyester-covered thigh. The Rum Drum Ramblers have won over a new fan -- an increasingly familiar occurrence to anyone who's seen the group live since it started playing together in 2007.