20 free events of the week | August 9-15
We're moving into the last few weeks of the season, so it's more important than ever for us to make each sunny day count. This week, we've found 20 fantastic (and free!) events for you to check out as you soak up every last drop of the summer. Aaand we're off!
Whitney Houston Tribute Night
5:30pm, Kit Kat Lounge
The Lakeview venue known for its female-impersonating divas pays tribute to the songstress on her should-have-been 49th birthday.
Graphic novelist Backderf was high-school pals with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Using his own memories, conversations with mutual friends and Dahmer's own writing, Backderf's My Friend Dahmer attempts to paint a more complex portrait of the murderer.
Daniela Olszewska, Melissa Severin and Stephanie Anderson
7:30pm, Women and Children First
Top-flight Chicago poets Olszewska (cloudfang : : cakedirt), Severin (Brute Fact) and Anderson (Particular Particular) share the stage at Women and Children First tonight.
Comedy Night With the Kates
8pm, The Book Cellar
The bookish lady stand-ups have made this storytelling night a must-see.
Bud Billiken Day Parade and Picnic
10am, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr (between Oakwood Blvd and 55th)
This massive kid-centered parade, founded in 1929 by Robert S. Abbott (who also established the Chicago Defender newspaper), features upwards of 160 floats and vehicles, marching bands and community groups. Running for the 82nd year in a row, it's thought to be the largest and oldest parade of its kind. The parade ends with a large-scale picnic in Washington Park.
Gallery Walk with Karl Wirsum
1pm, The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
Join artist Wirsum as he explains his selections for the exhibition "Karl Wirsum Eyeballs the Intuit Collection" and how it feels to be on the other side of the canvas as curator.
volcano! + John Bellows
3pm, Experimental Sound Studio
Aaron With's quirky yet soulfully elastic vocals soar over volcano!'s unpredictable arrangements, combining oddly funky guitar licks with jazzy drumming and outer-space synth jabs to form something refreshingly difficult to categorize. The combustible art-rock outfit plays in support of its new third album, Piñata.
South Side's Got Sole
9pm, Reggie's Music Joint
Kind of like a local version of Toms, Share Your Soles is a nonprofit dedicated to donating shoes to Third World countries. This skanking benefit is asking for your used kicks as the price of admission, which gets you into kick it with Two-Tone ska band the Crombies and soul DJs from Milwaukee's the Soul Hole and our very own Windy City Soul Club.
"Send Me Your Pigeons"
11am-6pm, Galerie F
This inaugural exhibition of 32 works is a promising first effort from the new kid in Logan Square, Galerie F. Curator Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff brings together three artists—Landland, John Vogl and Casey Burns—who made their names as designers of concert posters. A great gig poster successfully translates sound into image and typography, and these three artists demonstrate the enduring strength of this analog medium.
When he's not helping fuel a '90s fashion revival from his Wicker Park resale boutique, Kokorokoko, DJ Ross Kelly specializes in vintage house, disco and throwback electro-boogie beats.
"Out of the Past" Screening
Dir. Jacques Tourneur. 1947. 97mins. One of the best noirs ever made, Tourneur's twisty, flashback-laden thriller casts Robert Mitchum as an ex–private eye pulled back into the life by Kirk Douglas's crooked gambler. The dialogue ("Joe couldn't find a prayer in the Bible") crackles.
9pm, 3160 Piano & Cabaret
The tropicla bustle of 1940s Havana inspires this variety night, featuring "Latin grooves, live music, dance, comedy and burlesque." Grab a second or third mojito afterward and stick around for salsa dance lessons and an open-floor dance party. Further details are at shajaradance.com.
Birthmark + Thin Hymns + Mazes
9:30pm, Empty Bottle
The spellbinding, backward-looped strings on “Shake Hands” and spare, ethereal harmonies drifting through the aforementioned album-closer reveal a songwriter surmounting his demons.
6pm, Reggie's Rock Club
Rising English star Ben Howard plays dark, jazz-tinged folk. His debut, Every Kingdom—released by Ben Mumford's label, Communion—is rife with nature references, swoonsome acoustic guitar strums and softly crooned angst.
6:30pm, The Book Stall
Zimmerman spent months researching the history of New Amsterdam for her book, The Orphanmaster, about a woman trader in 17th-century Manhattan who investigates why orphan children are suddenly disappearing.
Dustin Laurenzi + Devin Drobka + Jeff Swanson
Chicago-based saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi, a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music, plays as part of a trio during Curio's free jazz series. Laurenzi also fronts the sax-driven indie act Snaarj, which released a new record, Levels, in April.
Relax Attack Jazz Series: LeRoy Bach + Dan Bitney + Matt Lux
10pm, The Whistler
Chicago scene staple LeRoy Bach is joined by bassist Matt Lux (Isotope 217) and percussionist Dan Bitney (Tortoise) as part of the Whistler's weekly jazz series.
Rees has made a career out of collaging clip art into hilarious comic strips, with books like My New Fling Technique is Unstoppable. Tonight, he'll talk about his new book How to Sharpen Pencils.
"Last Year at Marienbad" Screening
8pm, Comfort Station
Dir. Alain Resnais. 1961. 94mins. Exploring the often-untrustworthy nature of human memory, Resnais's most enduring headscratcher—which details a real or imagined love triangle—continues to elate and confound audiences. Among narrative filmmakers, only David Lynch has operated as successfully on the wavelength of dream logic.
Movies in the Park
Dusk, Chicago History Museum
Grant Park movies are long gone, but the Chicago Park District has since picked up the slack with its neighborhood outdoor movie series. More than 100 local parks get their own big screen for a night or two. Tonight, the Chicago History Museum offers The Princess Bride. All movies begin at dusk.