Chi-town Blues Festival and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend | Bleader

Friday, April 6, 2018

Chi-town Blues Festival and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 04.06.18 at 06:00 AM

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click to enlarge Nellie "Tiger" Travis performs at the Chi-town Blues Festival Sat 4/7. - COURTESY THE ARTIST
  • Courtesy the artist
  • Nellie "Tiger" Travis performs at the Chi-town Blues Festival Sat 4/7.


There are plenty of shows, films, and other events happening this weekend. Here's what our critics say about what we recommend:


Fri 4/6: "Lifted Bells couldn’t have picked a better time to release their first EP than 2013, when “emo revival” had become an indie-rock buzzword. Now the local underground supergroup—made up of exacting musicians from spritely fourth-wave emo acts (including Options, Stay Ahead of the Weather, and Their/They’re/There) and second-wave heartthrob Bob Nanna (of Braid and Hey Mercedes)—have finally polished off their debut album, Minor Tantrums (Run For Cover), which they celebrate tonight." —Leor Galil 9 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, $10, 17+

Fri 4/6: "Actors of Asian descent have long been underrepresented in mainstream American movies, but indies help pick up the slack, as evidenced by the Gene Siskel Film Center's long-running Asian American Showcase. Opening the festival, the formally ambitious Fish Bones stars model Joony Kim as a lovely but vacant Korean student who tends her family's New York restaurant when she's not landing fashion photo shoots and attracts the romantic attentions of a Latina music producer." —J.R. Jones 8 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2800 siskelfilmcenter.org, $11

Sat 4/7: "Chicagoan Nellie “Tiger” Travis’s 2013 song “Mr. Sexy Man” has become a modern-day soul-blues classic with its earworm guitar pattern, propulsive beat, and vernacular chorus (“What yo’ name is? What yo’ name is?”), but despite its good-timey vibe, Travis shouldn’t be typecast as merely a party girl. As evidenced by outings like the searing “Don’t Talk to Me” from 2008’s I’m a Woman (CDS) and the soul-baring “Walking in the Rain in Memphis” on last year’s independently released, she’s also a spellbinding storyteller—the same voice that can kick your ass on a dance floor can break your heart with a ballad." —David Whiteis Chi-town Blues Festival, 7 PM, Arie Crown Theater, 2301 S. Lake Shore, $62-$102, all-ages

click to enlarge Game Night
  • Game Night

Sat 4/7: "I've always found Jason Bateman's comedies to be a pretty good bet; he’s never doubled me over, but the movies he's produced (Identity Thief, Bad Words, The Family Fang) are abundantly clever, with dialogue that manages to be hilariously mean but essentially harmless. In the energetic farce [Game Night], he and Rachel McAdams (in a sparkling comic performance) are spouses who live for their social evenings playing board games and other contests with friends; one night the husband's brother offers to host and hires one of those mystery-staging companies to come over, but real criminals arrive instead." —J.R. Jones Various times, various locations

Sun 4/8: "LA rocker Ty Segall has made a name for himself partly through his prolificacy; over the last decade he’s churned out records in a slew of different contexts. He’s actually slowed down a bit, releasing only one album annually over the last few years (not counting his work as a drummer in Fuzz), and while recently there’s been some backlash about his need to self-edit his output, I don’t buy any of it. When one takes in the glorious sprawl of this latest album, Freedom’s Goblin (Drag City), it’s clear that his sweeping vision is as integral to his work as one of his perfect songs." —Peter Margasak 8 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, $27.50, 18+

Sun 4/8: "For [Anna Karenina's] stage adaptation, getting its world premiere production now at Lifeline Theatre, Jessica Wright Buha turns the tale into a meditation on the nature of love. Certainly, the title character uses that word often enough. A young aristocrat stuck in a frosty marriage to an older man, Anna (Ilse Zacharias) compulsively plies her six-year-old son with I-love-yous. Then she and the sexy Count Vronsky (Eric Gerard) toss the phrase back and forth between them during their affair, using it like a magical spell capable of making every difficulty disappear." —Tony Adler 4 PM, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood, 773-761-4477, lifelinetheatre.com, $20-$40



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