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Gossip Wolf: Holiday benefits for homeless women and toyless kids

Plus: A lineup change in Paper Mice, another Leor who's into emo, and more

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During the holidays, it's easy to get hung up on the small stresses of the season (too many social obligations, too much mandatory shopping, not enough pizza) and end up taking health, hearth, and family for granted. This week a few local artists and labels are doing good deeds for folks who are missing some or all of those things.

Chicago alt-country quintet Liza Day, named for their honey-voiced singer, have a summery sound and a serious early-70s Memphis classic-soul vibe on their 2012 EP, One for Courage. On Sun 12/8 they play this year's Woman Power Holiday Show at Schubas with Diana & the Dishes and Lady Laura; tickets are $10, $15 in advance, and proceeds benefit local "supportive housing" agency Deborah's Place, which describes its mission as "breaking the cycle of homelessness" for women in Chicago.

The folks at local label Notes & Bolts have a thing for lathe-cut seven-­inches, floppy disks, and other oddball formats, but Gossip Wolf is especially keen on their holiday toy drive. At Quimby's they're collecting playthings for less fortunate Chicago kids until Tue 12/10, when they cap the drive with a benefit at the Empty Bottle featuring locals Sister Crystals, the Peekaboos, Coffin Ships, and the Iceberg. Admission is free with a new toy, and includes pizza!

This wolf digs aggressively weird local math-rock trio Paper Mice, so we're sad to report that bassist Adam Mc­Cormack is moving to California. The band bids him adieu with a show at the Burlington on Fri 12/6; Mines and Ronnie Kuller open.

Local teenage emo dude Leor Miller has been uploading his raw ditties to Bandcamp since March, and last month his collection Pretty Angsty came out as a cassette on microlabel Bad Waves (which also recently released Mormon Toasterhead's seriously strange emo album 97% Old). Miller plays a release show for Pretty Angsty on Fri 12/6; e-mail for details.

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