Local H, a power duo consisting of Lake County natives Scott Lucas and Brian St. Clair, released one of its most acclaimed records in 2012, "Hallelujah! I'm a Bum," a double-LP that bristled with political songs. (The web magazine PopMatters.com called it "the best rock album of 2012.") The band is always a powerful force on stage, and it is making a stop in Palatine this weekend at a special free show!
9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. For a free ticket, go to durtynellies.com.
Worth the trip
The Waco Brothers, Chicago's legendary country-punk band, consistently delivers one of the most chaotic and exhilarating live shows you're likely to see. The band, led by Jon Langford, combines a deep love of country music's heart and wit with an anything-goes punk aesthetic. The Wacos' albums are excellent, including the most recent, "Great Chicago Fire," a collaboration with Nashville musician Paul Burch. But it's on stage where this band really shines. The Wacos are playing this weekend at the intimate Beverly Arts Center on the South Side; it's a trek from the suburbs, but in this case, it's more than worth it.
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago. $23. Go to beverlyartcenter.org.
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The BoDeans exploded out of Wisconsin in the mid-1980s with a classic debut record, "Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams," which featured literate and rootsy rock songs. Singer-songwriter Kurt Neumann is the only original member remaining, but the band continues to make compelling rock 'n' roll.
8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg. Tickets start at $34. Go to ci.schaumburg.il.us/PCA.