Music for the soul
Chicago-area native Maurice Mahon is a rising star in the soul/r&b world, and he'll perform along with Larry Springfield and Asisa Lisa at a special show this weekend in Rosemont. Attendees are invited to bring a nonperishable food item to the show, where it will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Montrose Room inside the InterContinental Chicago O'Hare hotel, 5300 N. River Road, Rosemont. $25-$40. Go to montroseroom.com.
Noise for Toys
This is the time of year when it's easy to see some of Chicago's best bands while also helping out less fortunate families in the area. The second annual Noise for Toys concert is taking place this weekend, and the lineup this year features Blane Fonda, an energetic dance-rock band with roots in the Northwest suburbs. Other bands scheduled to play include The Noise FM, Archie Powell & the Exports and the Grooks. The show benefits Toys for Tots; if you bring in a packaged toy, you get in for half-price. (That's $5, instead of $10.) 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., Chicago. $10 (half off with toy donation). Go to subt.net.
Thrill Jockey Records, a Chicago-based independent label, is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, and music lovers know that 20 years is indeed a major milestone for an indie label. Thrill Jockey has made its mark with an eclectic roster of bands that has included the alt-country of Freakwater and the experimental blues-rock of Califone, among many others. The label has been celebrating throughout the year with concerts all over the country. Next week, the party comes to the label's hometown with a show that will feature two of the band's mainstays -- post-rock band Tortoise and indie rockers the Sea and Cake. (The band Man Forever will also perform.) The press material for the show promises that the bands will play "weird sets for the hometown weirdos," so prepare for something unusual. Best of all, the show is free with formal RSVP! 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, Chicago. To RSVP, go to thrilljockey.com or emptybottle.com.