‘Tis the Season for Live Music

The holidays are busy, especially if you’re the host. House guests. Menus. Cooking. Lists. Fatigue…and then you hit the wall.

For me, this usually occurs halfway through. I’ve been known to sneak up to my bedroom for a nap (maybe they’ll think I’m at the grocery store), or I’ll quietly slip out the door with my dog Lucy for a quick solo walk around the block. I inhale and relax. No one knows I’m gone; they’re busy watching football or chowing down on my Frito dip. The cousins are lost in a video game frenzy; the grandparents have nodded off while reading the newspaper by the fireplace. I step back into the house and head back to the kitchen; the next meal is waiting to be prepared.

Although holiday time is home time, an evening out would be a treat for all. Live music is a great option. It’s better than booked restaurants, crowded stores and “magical” holiday-hyped events with sugar-plummed kids. There are many small venues in downtown Chicago that offer a different kind of magic. The artists who play these venues will guarantee it. As you plan ahead, why not try one? You may get hooked.

Shows not to miss:

December 5: Polica at Metro (introducing a new sound, electronica)

December 6: Booker T. Jones at SPACE (take the grandparents–R&B/soul)

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December 7: Leo Kottke at SPACE (singer/songwriter)

December 8: Steep Canyon Rangers at Old Town School of Folk Music (family bluegrass)

December 13: Beyonce at United Center (holiday gift for the family)

December 20: Andrew Belle at SPACE (fabulous artist for any age)

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December 26–28: Poi Dog Pondering at City Winery (rock for the family)

January 4: Otis Clay at SPACE (chill out after the holidays)