JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
From a rockabilly queen to local scene-stealers, there’s still plenty of great music to check out in 2012 before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.
1. Wanda Jackson
10:00 p.m. at Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave., $55-100
The Party Ain’t Over declared the music legend on her 2011 Jack White-produced album that brought the undeniable Queen of Rockabilly back to the spotlight. Lucky for us, she’s still got some Unfinished Business to get through before 2013 makes its entrance.
2. Naked Raygun
8:00 p.m. at Cobra Lounge, 235 N. Ashland Ave.; Sold Out (try Craigslist for tickets?)
Since reforming in 2006, Chicago’s resident punks prove they can still kill a live show even after 30-plus years. Here’s to hoping 2013 brings us the new LP they’ve long been promising.
3. Tilly & the Wall/My Gold Mask
10:00 p.m. at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave.; $25
These two bands combined offer an unparalleled rhythm section—Tilly even has a clog dancer! Go early for local duo My Gold Mask, who have more energy than the Red Bulls you’ll slam on this all-nighter.
4. Screeching Weasel
8:00 p.m. at Reggies Rock Club, 2105 S. State St.; $40-80
If you can’t score tickets for Naked Raygun, Screeching Weasel is your best bet. The former Chicago punks have influenced other hometown favorites Rise Against and Alkaline Trio—could a surprise appearance be in store?
5. Mucca Pazza/White Mystery
9:30 p.m. at Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie, $25
Usher in the new year with your own parade, courtesy of local freak rock marching band Mucca Pazza. The hardest-working garage rockers in town, White Mystery, get things started.
6. The Airborne Toxic Event
9:00 p.m. at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., $61-71
Not only does the L.A. indie alt band boast the totally appropriate hit single “Sometime Around Midnight,” but they play at Metro, where you’ll always find one of the best New Year’s parties in town.
7. Porter Robinson
8:00 p.m. at the Congress Theatre, 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., $50-175
If you’re looking for a traditional dance DJ for NYE, this fresh talent is your best bet. Robinson’s debut Spitfire, on Skrillex’s label, was #1 on iTunes dance chart and his Lollapalooza appearance was the standout of Perry’s Stage. Just don’t toast him too much: the kid’s only 20.
8. JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound
10:30 p.m. at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave., $45
2012 will go down as the year of this funk soul revival band who appeared just about everywhere the past 12 months; if you’re looking for a surefire celebration, find it here.
9. The Hood Internet
8:00 p.m. at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave., Sold Out
Looking for big beats? This duo came to prominence for their mix tapes featuring master mashups of popular hip-hop and indie rock tracks. Bonus: play a drinking game of Name That Tune with your companions. Stick around for the guys’ original work, too.
10. Third Eye Blind
9:00 p.m. at House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, $110
Admit it, you still know all the words to “Semi-Charmed Life.” Go ahead and sing your heart out, no one’s watching—except those news crews filming live for their countdown coverage.
Selena Fragassi is a contributing music critic for Chicago.