Free events this week | August 16-22
This week offers events in all categories: music, theater, dance, comedy—you name it, you can find a place to enjoy it (for free!). And with just a few precious weeks left of August, there's no time like the present to get out and experience Chicago. Anchors away!
Matt Ulery's Loom
6:30pm, The Pritzker Pavilion (Millennium Park)
Chicago native Ulery has a lot of pull, be it with the tender chamber-jazz honed in his Loom, or with the Balkan-imbued workouts reveled in as a member of Eastern Blok. He’s set the bar ever higher on his latest, By a Little Light, a sweeping double album that speaks to his eclectic appetite as much as his ambition, alternating between bucolic themes and more ominous motifs.
7pm, Evanston Public Library
Editorial cartoonist and reporter Rosenberg talks about her recent book, Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp the Public Health.
10pm, Smart Bar
Smart Bar's Thursdays continue to get an expanded take on bass music thanks to the extremely diverse tastes of Comeups DJs Intel and Maker. Between the two, they cover hip-hop and drum 'n' bass, as well as dubstep and its many offshoots. This week, the residents team up with Sub-T's FEx crew, inviting DJs Newlife and Itzi Nallah in to spin their worldly jams.
6pm, The Whistler
The former Karate frontman calls Chicago home now, and we can't think of a cozier place for his signature guitarwork than this Logan Square cocktail lounge.
Grazyna Auguscik & Paulinho Garcia
The chilled cabaret of Grazyna Auguscik deserves a spot next to Barber and Elling in the lineup of Chicago's most original jazz vocalists. In this breezy collaboration with Brazilian singer and guitarist Garcia, the music is effortlessly laid-back. Tonight the pair celebrate their birthdays.
The devious minds behind Zombies vs Skeletons and White Horse have gone all out with a freaky blacklight decor, UV (i.e. glowing) body paint, glowsticks and DJs PHNM, Mega Mike and Vicelord spinning all manner of electro and bass music with residents Knife Fight getting dirty on the Dutch and moombahton tip and Mr. Bobby, who specializes in electro and industrial.
The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour
Midnight, Annoyance Theatre
Holy fuck is right. Have you seen the lineup for this night of sketch, magic, character studies and all-around tomfoolery? It includes Conner O'Malley, Amanda Blake Davis, Jo Scott, Kellen Alexander, Barry Hite and many other of our favorite local comedians.
noon, El Zócalo Plaza (18th and Paulina)
Nationally touring artists slated for this year’s festivities in Pilsen include Pacha Massive, Cecí Bastida, Monica Lionheart, Los Rakas and Bachaco among others. Local faves Los Vicios de Papa, Quinto Imperio, Tarima Son and Rica Obsesión also appear. Visit unisonofestival.com for more information.
Mad Decent Block Party 2012
12-10pm, Fulton Street (between Ashland and Justine)
Diplo’s Mad Decent shindig stakes out a new location on Fulton Avenue for its third year of all-day non-violent daggering and air-horn blasts. Chicago's headliners include Action Bronson and Tanlines, with additional appearances by Spaceghostpurrp, Bonde Do Role and more. See complete lineup and R.S.V.P. at maddecentblockparty.com.
Lauren Barnett, Neil Fitzpatrick and Bernie McGovern
Indie comics publisher Hic and Hoc brings three authors to Quimby's for this showcase, including Barnett (Me Likes You Very Much), Fitzpatrick (Neil Jam) and McGovern (An Army of Lovers Will Be Beaten).
Myopic Poetry Series
7pm, Myopic Bookstore
Larry Sawyer hosts a Chicago School of Poetics reading tonight, featuring Angie Tsiamas, Heather Cramond, Elizabeth Goold, Naoko Fujimoto, Madhuri Deshmukh and Mark Buford
1pm, Theatre-Hikes at North Park Village Nature Center
Brian Rabinowitz directs this outdoor production of G. Riley Mills and Ralph Covert's historical drama, following swindler Cap Streeter as he procures prime downtown real estate.
Wade's World Weekend: Chicago Has Talent Showcase Auditions
9am-5pm, Fosco Park
Chicago native son Dwyane Wade returns to host a weekend of basketball camps, dinners, live entertainment and the Chicago Has Talent Showcase— where kids 7 through 18 can showcase their skills on Sat 25. Today, event organizers are looking for hopefuls to take center stage.
Quiz Show Screening
Dir. Robert Redford. 1994. 133mins. Essentially a procedural about the dirty business of TV, Redford's best film—his only outstanding one, really—dramatizes the game-show scandals of the 1950s. It lost the 1994 Best Picture Oscar to Forrest Gump, putting it in the esteemed company of fellow bridesmaids Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption and, er, Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Ed Schrader's Music Beat + Magical Beautiful + T'Bone
9:30pm, Empty Bottle
Baltimore native Ed Schrader's baritone croon and minimalist, bass-and-floor tom blasts at times recall the sinister-yet-danceable appeal of goth acts like Tones on Tail, and at other times, the sheer poetic aggression of protopunks like Suicide. He and Music Beat bassman Delvin Rice play in support of debut Jazz Minds, which has contributions from experimental outfit Matmos.
6:30pm, DuSable Museum of African American History
Grammy Award–winning gospel singer Israel Houghton appears for the tenth anniversary of Dedry Jones's series The Experience, which Patti LaBelle likened to "Inside the Actor's Studio, only better."
10pm, Danny's Tavern
Eclectic selectors B. Walsh and Ross Kelly of Brilliant Pebbles break out the crates for a monthly excursion into the far reaches of disco, Italo and classic electro.
Bronzeville Comedy Show
7:30pm, Bronzeville Coffee and Tea
The dog days of summer are a lot funnier at this energetic night of alfresco jokes hosted by Brian Babylon and featuring stand-ups from all over town.
"Band of Outsiders" Screening
8pm, Comfort Station
Dir. Jean-Luc Godard. 1964. 95mins. Quentin Tarantino named his production company, A Band Apart, after the original French title of this early Godard film. And no wonder: Its vision of chatty, movie-obsessed criminals plotting a score proved a major influence on QT's body of work, especially Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.
Resident selectors Cordell Johnson and James Vincent take a more worldly approach to this low-key dance night, spinning techno and house, but also Latin, broken beat, Afro, jazz, funk and neo soul.