Joe Henry writes his metaphor-rich songs like a man mesmerized by language, and he applies his honeyed, precise voice to his lyrics with obvious pleasure. But his meticulously detailed records also rely on gorgeous arrangements shaped by the distinctive contributions of top-notch musicians, including the sculptural grooves of drummer Jay Bellerose and the elegant rootsiness of pianist Keefus Ciancia. This summer Henry played a solo show in LA, his first in 25 years, and he liked it enough to do a handful more, including this one in Chicago. He’ll survey songs from his entire career as well as preview material from his next album. And though the solo setting might be short on instrumental detail, Henry will no doubt make up for that with personable storytelling and a well-traveled voice so absorbing it could hold a crowd enraptured even without his guitar or piano. —Peter Margasak $28-$34, $40 for VIP
Blackstone discusses his book Vintage Attraction.
Poets Nathan Hoks and Roger Reeves are the featured readers.
Fried, a software engineer and coauthor of the business book Rework, delivers the keynote address at Tech Cocktail, an industry event for technology professionals and enthusiasts.http://tech.co
The Great Books Foundation celebrates the release of its anthology Standing Down: From Warrior To Civilian. Authors Benjamin Busch, Ed Hrivnak, and Edward Wood, Jr., take part in a discussion about military writing.
Clifford Ando, professor of classics at the University of Chicago, discusses the decline of Rome. Part of the lecture series "Why Did Civilizations Collapse: Internal Decay or External Forces?"
McBriarty discusses and signs copies of his book Chicago River Bridges.
"Because everyone needs a literary hangover." This edition's theme: The End. The featured readers are authors Mark Cronin (Gigantic Failures), Joseph Bates (Tomorrowland), and Ben Tazer (Orphans), and Chicago Literati editor Abby Sheaffer. $3http://readingundertheinfluence.com
Loughran and Seyer of the architecture firm Goettsch Partners discuss the Bienen School of Music building at Northwestern University. Part of Lunch Talks @ CAF.
Period garb is encouraged for this prohibition-themed cocktail party, featuring big-band music by Steve Anthony & His Society Orchestra, storytelling by Paul Durica (Pocket Guide to Hell), and an appearance by Al Capone's grandniece. Templeton Rye craft cocktails for all who attend. $45