Sound check: I Fight Dragons release show at Lincoln Hall; Stubhy hosts MS benefit at Bottom Lounge
Welcome, Player Two
Ah, the good old days sitting in front of flickering video games, with their early computerized sound effects and tinny 8-bit tunes. You can still hear that Nintendo-inspired music when I Fight Dragons takes over Lincoln Hall this weekend. Chicago’s famed geek-rock band infuses their alt-poppy hits with 8-bit chiptune sounds behind snappy vocals about general geekery, zombies, aliens, love and, of course, video games. For the guys in I Fight Dragons — Brian Mazzaferri, Packy Lundholm, Hari Rao, Chad Van Dahm and Bill Prokopow — life is an adventure, and we’re all invited to hit start along with them. The weekend’s show is a release party for the band’s new album, “Canon Eyes,” as well as the 10-year anniversary of “Cool Is Just a Number,” its 2009 debut EP. Chicago soul-pop fivesome Violet Crime brings its lush and catchy melodies to the stage, along with Ben Joseph’s indie-rock project Secret Bad Boy, to kick off the show. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $15. (773) 525-2501 or lh-st.com.
Kick up the cool factor with your friends when you bring them to Subterranean for an early holiday present. The venue’s very first Pop-Punk Xmas! brings fun music from some of Chicago’s most-fun live acts — Fluorescents, Invictus, Four Stars, The Kozmic Kicks and Wolf Rd — for a 17 and older show in the main venue. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., Chicago. $8-$10. (773) 278-6600 or subt.net.
MS Sucks: Singing for a Cure
Two months ago, Stubhy Pandav of Lucky Boys Confusion revealed his struggle with multiple sclerosis and announced a charity event to benefit the Accelerated Cure Project. The MS Sucks: Singing for a Cure show, this Saturday at Bottom Lounge, is a full day of music broken into a few parts. The afternoon session features performances by LBC, El Famous and Park & Main. The evening session includes acoustic performances from a who’s who of the Chicago scene: Plain White T’s, AM Taxi, Ike Reilly, Scissors, Stellar West, Zombie Schoolboy, Fairview, Releaser, Steve Knecht and more. Fans who purchase tickets for both sets also will be invited to attend a VIP event in between, with music from DJ Greg Corner, food, drinks, raffle tickets and a chance to hang with some of the musicians. Donations to the Accelerated Cure Project can also be made online. Noon and 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago. $20 for matinee performances; $25 for evening charity event; $40 for both events plus VIP lounge; ticketweb.com. (312) 666-6775 or bottomlounge.com.
READ MORE: LBC’s Stubhy Pandav turns MS diagnosis into a benefit project
Schubas’ funk, reggae pairing
Powerful pop-rock heavily informs The North 41, one of Chicago’s premier funk projects. The band — with two LPs and a funked-up cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” earning them fans from across the country — takes the stage at Schubas this weekend, bringing some new tunes and a festive light show to that comfortable hug of a music venue. The Bank Notes, whose recent EP “Bassment” drags solid alternative rock through filters of funk, reggae and a touch of ska, opens the hot pairing. (The band’s “Heebie Jeebies” is a carnival funhouse of trippy, twirly discord, while “Phlebotomy” drives ahead with a jammy sound.) Catch both crowd-favorite acts at Schubas; just be sure to wear your dancing shoes. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. $20. (773) 525-2508 or lh-st.com.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).