“I don’t mind making year-end lists,” Peter Margasak writes in this week’s Reader, “and in some cases I even enjoy reading them—but anybody who bothers arguing about them is a fool.” I feel the same way, but arguments about matters of taste are a favorite music-nerd activity, and I’m sure the top-ten album lists from Peter and I—and especially from our snarky fictional coworker, Gossip Wolf—will inspire a few.

This week’s music coverage is as much about looking forward as it is about looking back. In Sharp Darts I profile up-and-coming psychedelic punks Rabble Rabble. Gossip Wolf dishes on upcoming projects from the Handcuffs, local cassette-only label Plustapes, and not one but two former members of Milemarker. The Secret History of Chicago music tells the story of soul singer Renaldo Domino. In the Photo Pit, Clayton Hauck provides a peek into the fancy-looking Hideout Holiday Ball. The List highlights shows by the likes of the Bad Plus, Magda, the Snow Angels, and Juiceboxxx, as well as Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang’s annual winter-solstice concerts. And lastly, for those of you who prefer to make your New Year’s plans in advance instead of running around desperately trying to find a party that hasn’t been busted yet, there’s our NYE guide, which has plenty of musical options for your evening.