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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dinner & a Show: Saturday 7/31

Posted By on 07.31.10 at 12:27 PM


Show: Night Beats If the hype over Pitchfork and Lollapalooza has left you with little more than a low-level desire to own a Toyota or an unexplained craving for energy drinks, the post-psych glaze of Night Beats can sonically squeegee your heart, mind, and soul. This Seattle three-piece pairs hypnotic ooga-booga drums with the sort of incredible howling guitar solos you only wish you could be subjected to at Guitar Center.

10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401,, $8.

Dinner: A Tavola Tiny Ukrainian Village storefront with an equally tiny but satisfying Italian menu and, arguably, the best gnocchi in town.

2148 W. Chicago Ave., 773-276-7567,

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Friday, July 30, 2010

B-Cycle Launches in Chicago

Posted By on 07.30.10 at 05:27 PM

Chicago's B-Cycle bike sharing program launched today with self-service stations in six locations: Daley Plaza, McCormick Place, the Museum Campus, Buckingham Fountain, the Chicago Park District Administrative Offices, and the Hancock Center. The program, designed to allow people to take quick trips by bike around the city, is managed by the bike rental company Bike and Roll Chicago. Users can either rent bikes for $10 an hour or purchase monthly passes. Groupon is offering a 90-day pass for $19 today, 65 percent off the usual rate of $55. With the pass, users get the first hour free; rental costs $5 an hour beyond that.

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7/31 — Free Seminar on Japanese Woodblock Prints

Posted By on 07.30.10 at 05:20 PM

Katsushika Hokuasais The Great Wave Off Kanagawa (1830)
  • Katsushika Hokuasai's "The Great Wave Off Kanagawa" (1830)
Tomorrow from 1 to 3 PM, Floating World Gallery (1925 N. Halsted) presents "The Great Wave: An Introduction to Japanese Woodblock Prints," a free seminar by director of exhibitions Elias Martin on the art form's history and production. Martin will also discuss connoisseurship and collecting strategies, using the gallery's museum-quality prints as examples. Afterward is a brief reception with light refreshments. Space is limited, so email to RSVP, or contact Elias Martin at 312-587-7800 for more info.

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New Guitar Music at the Hideout Tonight

Posted By on 07.30.10 at 04:14 PM

Travis Bird and Dan Burke
  • Travis Bird and Dan Burke
Dan Burke, best known as the sole constant member of the group Illusion of Safety, has been a fixture on Chicago's experimental music scene for decades, and along the way he's worked to support fellow musicians, both by drafting young, inexperienced players like Jim O'Rourke into his band and by releasing other folks' material through his Complacency label—he was the first guy with the foresight and good taste to put out records by Cheer-Accident.

His curatorial side gets another airing via an excellent new vinyl-only release called Offstrings. Burke is one of four guitarists on the collection, and all of them will be performing tonight at the Hideout in celebration of the release.

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7/31 — Free Beerfest at Whole Foods

Posted By on 07.30.10 at 04:04 PM

Lakeview's Whole Foods Market (3300 N. Ashland) hosts Beerfest 2010 tomorrow from 3 to 5 PM, offering free samples of brews both old and new, a nacho bar, and a paired tasting event with Lagunitas's "A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale."

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The Best of the Rest

Posted By on 07.30.10 at 03:40 PM

Cotton Jones
  • Todd Roeth
  • Cotton Jones
Before the Lollapalooza train rolls through town next weekend and commandeers the collective attention span of the city's concertgoers, try to get out of the house and support the local clubs and venues that are here year-round. I swear you'll feel better about yourself.

This week's List of course has its fair share of recommendations, and there's also the great lineup at Wicker Park Fest to keep in mind. But in a city this big, you can always find more shows that warrant attention. Check out my day-by-day breakdown of the week's other notable happenings after the jump:

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Mick Dumke: New Job, Same Great Aldermanic Quotes

Posted By on 07.30.10 at 02:43 PM

Much as I already miss Mick Dumke, at least I still get to read him:

Sixth Ward alderman Freddrenna Lyle wondered if food would be sold in the wee hours of the night “so people can have something to eat to absorb that liquor.”

Dinner & a Show: Friday 7/30

Posted By on 07.30.10 at 02:38 PM

Spike & Mike Present New Generation Animation
  • Spike & Mike Present New Generation Animation

Show: Spike & Mike Present New Generation Animation "These 19 short animations place a lower premium on grotesquery than the usual "Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation" package—most of them would be rated PG—but the artistic quality is as high as I remember from the Spike & Mike imprimatur in its heyday," writes Cliff Doerksen.

Midnight, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport Ave., 773-871-6604,

Dinner: Cafe Orchid "When Kurt Serpin says he’s cooking Ottoman cuisine, he doesn’t mean the extravagant feasts of the sultans, but he is talking about the traditional Turkish cuisine that evolved from the sultans’ expansive palace kitchens," writes Mike Sula.

1746 W. Addison St., 773-327-3808,

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The Gray Lady Gets Into the Gutters

Posted By on 07.30.10 at 01:53 PM

By far the classiest thing that's ever happened to the Fireside Bowl is being profiled in the New York Times. The punk landmark has cleaned up its act considerably since owner Jim Lapinski committed the blasphemy of renovating it in 2004, turning it back into an actual functional bowling alley, but House Call talent buyer and all-around great guy John Benetti has brought music back to the Fireside—albeit not for the first time and still on a much smaller scale than during the place's glory days. Benetti booked the current summer series, which so far is just Tuesday nights.

Speaking for Chicago music journalists, I have to say it's nice to see that Brian Peterson of MP Productions—who booked God knows how many shows at the Fireside during its heyday—is just as unwilling to talk to the Times as he is to humble local rags.

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When the Budget Is Blighted...

Posted By on 07.30.10 at 01:19 PM

...even the mayor's budget director starts floating the idea of tapping TIFs. It's a question Progress Illinois has been analyzing.

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