Curbside Splendor presents readings by Samantha Irby, Ben Tanzer, and Megan Stielstra.http://curbsidesplendor.com
Now in their 11th year, the Snow Angels remain devoted to smearing Christmas cheer all over ragged, bluesy, garage-influenced covers and originals—delivered with a soulful growl and a hearty belch or three from sleigh-bell jingler Santa Coz, aka Outer Minds drummer and occasional Reader contributor Brian Costello. Also featuring current and former members of Vee Dee, Mannequin Men, and Bare Mutants, the Snow Angels enlisted an assortment of guests to play and sing at their tenth-anniversary show, but according to Costello they’ll be getting “back to basics” this year. I encourage you to leave what the “basics” are to your imagination, but I feel comfortable guaranteeing “CTA X-mas Train” (a rare expression of CTA love during the Ventrapocalypse), ironic Christmas outfits and decorations, plenty of punning, and nine flying reindeer soaked in canned beer. —Kevin Warwick donation suggested
Latin Street Dancing hosts its holiday party. DJ Dwight Burr spins a selection of salsa and tropical tunes. $10
Nilsen, author of the short story collection Rage of Poseidon, is interviewed by Jessica Hopper.
A lot of people have probably heard Red Fang and just don’t realize it. Over the past three years or so, two of the band’s music videos have gone viral—“Prehistoric Dog” off their 2008 self-titled debut and “Wires” off 2011’s Murder the Mountains—earning more than 2.5 million YouTube views between them (and that’s only including the official label accounts, not the uncountable reposts). So even if you’ve seen the boys in Red Fang crash a LARP session in homemade beer-can armor or transform a beater station wagon into a battering ram, you might not have heard a single other song from them. And that’s a shame, because they fucking rip. Red Fang play groovy post-stoner metal with plenty of massive guitars and caveman drums—a sound not too far from Doomriders or midperiod Baroness—and they steadfastly refuse to take themselves too seriously. The songs on their new Relapse LP, Whales and Leeches, are heavy and catchy as hell, jam-packed with melodic hooks but never crossing the line into pop—you won’t have to feel like a wuss for loving them so much. —Luca Cimarusti Cancer Bats, the Shrine, and Radkey open. $15
A comedy variety show hosted Flabby Hoffman.
Francis O'Neill, who served as Chicago's chief of police from 1901 to 1905, was a bit obsessed with the music of his native Ireland. He once disappeared, prompting assassination rumors and a police manhunt, only to turn up at the house of a friend—where he was busy playing duets. But in the latest version of Adam Whiteman's musical tribute, which Stefan Brun returns to direct, this fascinating character gets a lackluster dramatization. Though Tom Cassidy portrays O'Neill with genial confidence, the stilted script bends more toward hagiography than genuine storytelling. The show's stellar music—selected from O'Neill's own published collections of traditional Irish tunes, and played by a talented trio—remains the true star of this quirky jaunt. —Keith Griffith $25