Things to do this weekend: July 17-19
The annual Pitchfork Music Festival hits town this weekend. The usually somewhat mild mannered two-and-a-half-day orgy of indie-leaning sound and style in Union Park has become a destination fest for music lovers from the Midwest and beyond. But here in Chicago, we tend to view it as a nice weekend in the park with our friends plus some music. It's not as if we are starved for live music around here. Will all of it be good? Time will tell—be sure to check our blog over the weekend and next week for photos, critical appraisals and assorted shenanigans. Of course, Pitchfork isn't the only thing happening this weekend and those without tickets can see a fair number of the acts at after-parties. A few of which are listed below. Here are fifteen things to do this weekend.
NIGHTLIFE - Classixx
Paris's Kitsune Records has always had a knack for uncovering the coolest shit, way ahead of the rest of us. Classixx can be counted amongst the labels more recent—and truly hip—discoveries. The L.A. duo downplays the electro-tinged sound that dominates the label, opting for more lush and indie-influenced house fare. But it doesn't stop there. There's versatility, too. Classixx has also dropped downbeat remixes for hip-hopper Shwayze and what could only be described as a Balearic sunset remix of French indie rockers Phoenix. We hope that the set at Smart Bar shows the same amount of diversity. Smart Bar. 10pm. $10, free before 11pm.
SHOPPING & STYLE - Edgewater Antique Mall
If you believe in the old saying that “everything old is new again,” then every item in this huge antique mall is really new (to you, at least). Visit this weekend, where 50 dealers of antiques and vintage furniture slash prices anywhere from 10–50% off. 6314 N Broadway St (773-262-2525). El: Red to Granville. Bus: 36. Fri 17, 11am–6pm.
MUSIC - Beyoncé
The new album, I Am…Sasha Fierce, which launched one great hit—"(Single Ladies) Put a Ring on It"—could have used a lick or two of hellfire. Beyoncé revealed surprising emotional depth playing tortured great Etta James in last year’s Cadillac Records. She flat-out sang her ass off on some vintage Chess blues standards, sans superstar studio sheen. That's the girl we're hoping—perhaps naively—to hear as the Sasha Fierce tour makes its run. United Center, 7:30pm, $20–$125.
THEATER - Never the Sinner: The Leopold and Loeb Story
Former Chicago playwright John Logan's 1990 work examines the story of the South Side thrill-killers' 1924 murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks and their subsequent trial; director Michael Rashid and a terrific cast and design team bring the play thrillingly to life. Project 891 Theatre Company at Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 7:30pm, $10–$15.
FILM - The Tall T
You know in Blazing Saddles when somebody says Randolph Scott and everyone reverently sings his name? There’s a reason, and The Tall T helps explain it. Scott, especially in the Westerns of Budd Boetticher, was a grim pillar of moral rectitude. And this Western uses that quality to great advantage, making his stiffness into something profound. Bank of America Cinema, 4901 W Irving Park Rd between Lavergne and Lamon Aves (312-904-9442). Bus: 54, 54A, 80, X80. $5, seniors and kids under 10 $3.
AROUND TOWN/SPORTS & FITNESS - Women’s Health magazine Summer Festival: Are You Game?
Airline ticket prices are high and vacation time is scant, but this summer, Women’s Health magazine delivers an adventure getaway right to our doorsteps. For one day, North Avenue Beach brims with outdoor fun, including a rock-climbing wall, mechanical bull, virtual surfing and more. On the more relaxing side is live music, beauty and spa treatments, fashion shows and a happy hour. North Avenue Beach, 1600 N Lake Shore Dr. Bus: 72, 151. Sat 18, 10am–5pm. FREE!
MUSIC - The Dutchess and the Duke + Vacations
A Pitchfork afterparty showcases '60s revivalists the Dutchess and the Duke and local indie trio Vacations, the freewheeling new combo from Chin Up Chin Up vets. Hideout. 10pm, $10.
AROUND TOWN - Sheffield Garden Walk
Neighborhood homeowners bring this fest to life by opening their yards for garden and architectural tours. Funkadesi, Rusted Root and Poi Dog Pondering will keep the crowds moving. Webster St and Sheffield Ave (773-929-9255, sheffieldgardenwalk.com). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs), Red to Fullerton. Bus: 8, 11, 74. Noon–10pm, $6–$10.
ART & DESIGN - “The Diorama Show”
Our favorite format for book reports inspires "imagined spaces" by awesome local artists. Home Gallery, 1407 E 54th Pl. 6–10pm. FREE!
AROUND TOWN/SPORTS & FITNESS - Gaelic Games
Genuine Gaelic football and hurling take place all summer long, right here in the Chicago area. Watch local lads partake in the ancient Irish games, including hurling (think lacrosse) and their version of football (closely related to rugby). In addition to the action on the field, hot dogs, burgers and brews in the onsite pub will be available to sate your hunger. Gaelic Park, 6119 W 147th St, Oak Forest (708-687-9323). Noon–5pm, $6.
FILM - The Hurt Locker
We know, you stayed away from all the Iraq War movies in droves. But please please please don’t miss The Hurt Locker, which takes us inside the life of a bomb disposal unit. It’s a sharp and insightful look into the psychology of war, and how men (primarily men) become addicted to risk. In local theaters. See timeoutchicago.com/nowplaying for showtimes.
SHOPPING & STYLE - Kiehl’s event
Pamper your skin without punishing your wallet by signing up for a complimentary mini facial at Bloomie’s. Kiehl’s experts are on hand to introduce you to the all-natural Amazonian white clay Rare Earth products. Bloomingdale’s, 900 N Michigan Ave (312-440-4460). El: Red to Chicago. Bus: 2, 3, 10, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 151. Sun 19, 11am–7pm. FREE!
MUSIC - Blitzen Trapper
The members of Blitzen Trapper look just as they sound—scruffy guys in flannel and denim with plenty of facial hair and a bred-in-the-bone feel for the comforts of a folksy shuffle, a campfire harmony and some hearty strumming. Catch an intimate post–Pitchfork set from the Portland, Oregon, sextet. Empty Bottle. 9:30pm, $15.
THEATER/COMEDY - James Asmus Touched Us All
Say sayonara to L.A.–bound performer Asmus at his farewell solo show. Annoyance Theatre, 9pm, $10.