Miles Raymer’s pick for the city’s best rock or pop act, Stranger Waves, plays the early all-ages show at Schubas (3159 N. Southport) tonight at 7, and the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) tomorrow at 9.

Writes Miles: “The Stranger Waves were opening, and though they looked pretty young, they were dressed cool and seemed to be having fun—even before they picked up their instruments we thought they’d probably be decent. Then they finally got onstage and from the first beat just blew everyone’s minds like it was no big thing. With two guitars, drums, and three vocals they managed to kick up a bigger racket than bands twice their size. They had riffs like AC/DC, a song called ‘When I Sleep’ I bet the Black Lips would kill to have written, and a cover of Wreckless Eric’s ‘(I’d Go the) Whole Wide World’ that turned even jaded scenesters into fist-pumping superfans.”