Tuesday, Dec. 17: The Ridges with Mark Hubing Band @ Bremen Cafe, 9 p.m.
The grandiose Athens, OH folk group is primarily the project of Victor Rasgaitis and Talor Smith, but a host of violin and trumpet-toting co-conspirators makes The Ridges more orchestra than band. Its 2011 self-titled EP was recorded in an abandoned Athens insane asylum, and the place hangs over it like a specter. Hear them in the generally less-creepy confines of Bremen Cafe for free Tuesday.
Also: Straight No Chaser with Caroline Glaser @ The Riverside, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 18: Fall Out Boy with Chris Wallace and Cash Cash @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Remember Fall Out Boy? Of course you do, and you didn't have to be an ostracized teen in 2005 to recognize smash hit "Sugar We're Going Down" or the double platinum-selling From Under The Cork Tree – they were everywhere. After a greatest hits record appeared in 2009, the band announced an indefinite hiatus, and it was unclear if they'd ever return. They did, with this year's presumptuously-titled Save Rock And Roll. They'll play The Rave Wednesday for KISS FM's annual KISSmas Bash.
Also: Mid Mountain Music with Chad Witty @ Bremen Cafe, 9 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 19: Scott David with Daniel Mitchell and James Sauer, The Calamity Janes and The Young Revelators @ Linneman's, 8 p.m.
With his smoky voice and sparse, pretty guitar-picking, Scott David's music feels like a refuge, especially this time of year. He'll headline a show long on Milwaukee musicians, with the intricate harmonies of The Calamity Janes and the psychedelic rock of The Young Revelators making for an eclectic night.
Friday, Dec. 20: Riff Raff with Phat T, Bass Head Music and Steven Lee @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Riff Raff's confusing career includes a joke collaboration with Andy Milonakis and a $10 million lawsuit against James Franco. Still, the Houston rapper's newest album Neon Icon includes a long list of big-name collaborators including Drake and Snoop Dogg, begging the question of whether or not we should be taking Riff Raff seriously. Decide for yourself Friday at The Rave.
Also: American Monroe @ Bremen Cafe, 9 p.m.
And: Mexican Knives with Cowboy Winter and The Delphines @ Quarters, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 21: Call Me Lightning with Liquor Store @ Cactus Club, 9:45 p.m.
Call Me Lightning released its first new song in years last month, giving fans a mouth-watering sample of what's to come on the imminent Human Hell LP, due in February. Saturday's performance will also be the band's first in some time, and will (hopefully) include more new material. They'll be joined by Jersey dude-rockers Liquor Store.
Also: Chasin' Mason @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 22: Frogwater with Lil' Rev @ Colectivo Humboldt, 1 p.m.
The local folk trio takes up its annual holiday residency at Colective coffeeshops this weekend, with two shows Saturday at the Prospect and Wauwatosa locations and one Sunday at Humboldt. They'll perform holiday favorites with an array of instruments including guitar, mandolin, and Lil' Rev's favored ukulele.