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Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 1/26 – 1/29

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Has the past week of grey skies, odd temperatures, “alternate facts”, and baffling executive orders got you in a weird mood? Well, let the sunny visage of Drake’s goofy face guide into a stacked weekend to help relax you an momentarily forget (because we really shouldn’t ignore) that a needy self-interested person is running our country.

So get yourself reay an get on with your curate weekend!

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26th

UMBRA Exhibition Opening Reception @ Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 Michigan Avenue, 5:00PM – 7:00PM

WHAT: The first exhibition of the year at the Museum of Contemporary Photography

SO WHAT: An exhibition featuring the photographic and multimedia works of renowned fashion photographer, Viviane Sassen (Dutch, b. 1972). “UMBRA”, which means “shadow” in Latin, features Sassen’s explorations of shadow and light.

NOW WHAT: Enjoy the wonderful work of Viviane Sassen at this free opening reception of this exhibition

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First Bites Bash @ Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier, 840 E Grand Ave., 5:30PM

WHAT: The official kick-off event for the 10th annual Chicago Restaurant Week

SO WHAT: Chef/Partner Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio will host this year’s First Bites Bash event inside the magnificent Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. Savory and sweet food tastings from over 60 of Chicago’s most celebrated chefs and restaurants and there will be plenty of beer, wine and spirits to celebrate the start of Chicago Restaurant Week.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $125, from which a portion of the proceeds will benefit Greater Chicago Food Depository. You can check out the full list of participating restaurants here. Tickets go off sale at noon today so get your tickets quickly!

Drunk TED Talks @ The Whistler, 2421 N Milwaukee Ave, 8:00PM – 11:00PM

WHAT: Booze + TED Talks + Local Writers – Actual TED Talks =  Drunk TED Talks

SO WHAT: Drunk TED Talks is the world’s premiere source of drunk knowledge. Writers, artists, comedians, and other performers make PowerPoints on subjects they’re passionate about then get drunk and deliver their talking points to an audience. It is not affiliated with TED, thankfully, just a play on the presentation. Drunk TED Talks makes a triumphant return to Chicago with talks on subjects including Billy Corgan, Mike Ditka, and the Reaganesque mysteries of EPCOT. The speakers are TV Editor at The A.V. Club Erik Adams, Staff Writer at MTV News Sasha Geffen, Britt Julious of Chicago Tribune, and Josh Terry from Redeye.

NOW WHAT: This Drunk TED Talks is free and 21+.

The Lemon Twigs / Savoy Motel / Glyders @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., 9:00PM

WHAT: A lineup of throwback glam to liven up your night

SO WHAT: Sometime band come along and reginte the most deserving of genres. The Lemon Twigs‘ sound is entrenched in sounds of lovely 70s era glam an have even caught the ear of Elton John. How can you say no to that? Joining the The Lemon Twigs will be the equally glammy Savoy Motel and the gritty local rockers Glyders. You can check out Colin Smith’s preview of the night here.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10 to see these rising stars at Chicago’s loudest rock venue.

FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY  (AND BEYOND), JANUARY 27th – 29th

Chicago Restaurant Week @ Various Restaurants Throughout the City and Suburbs

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WHAT: A week (well, actually 2 weeks) of dining deals,

SO WHAT: Over 350 restaurants take part in this celebration of food and food culture. You’ll have a chance to taste a variety of foods from Chicago’s restaurant scene from neighborhood favorites and downtown hotspots. It’s an ideal way to get to know Chicago’s true flavor!

NOW WHAT: Check out the list of restaurants offering special prix fixe menus starting at $22 for brunch (NEW for 2017!) and lunch, and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27th

Bill T. Jones Presents “Return” @ DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E 56th Pl., 7:00PM – 9:ooPM
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WHAT: A rare appearance of an award winning artist

SO WHAT: Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones will take part in a free presentation entitled Return, hosted by the Art AIDS America exhibition. Jones is a passionate HIV+ artist and will offer his one-night-only multidisciplinary presentation which will include video, readings and photographs to creat a dynamic and intimate program.

NOW WHAT: This program is free and open to the public. There will be a suggested donation of $10 which will benefit the DuSable Museum. Advance registration is required and can be made online or by calling (773) 947-0600.

Esme Patterson / Pool Holograph @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave., 10:00PM

WHAT: Gripping songs for your Friday night

SO WHAT: Esmé Patterson has a sound that demands to be heard live, whether she’s giving life to the women sung about in classic songs on her album Woman to Woman or adding more rock to the core of her music with We Were Wild. Patterson’s shows are always a welcome surprise and a sure fire way to have a fantastic night. Opening up for Patterson will be local rockers Pool Holograph.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $12 in advance or $14 at the door for this exciting night of great music

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, JANUARY 27th – 28th

chicago psych festChicago Psych Fest VIII: Frozen Mind @ The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave., Friday at 9:00PM and Saturday at 8:30PM 

WHAT: Longest-running festival of psychedelia in Chicago!

SO WHAT: Chicago Psych Fest VIII: Frozen Mind is a two day festival of all the psychedelia you could want. The Friday night performances will include Post Animal, Spectralina, Diagonal, TALsounds, and DJ Psychedalex. Saturday’s evening of out their sounds will feature Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta, Magic Carpet, Metal Tongues, DJ Andrew James Shelp.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $12 for each day of the fest. Friday tickets are available here and Saturday tickets are available here.

Lost Highway Midnight Showing @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave., 11:59PM

WHAT: A midnight showing of complete and utter weirdness, or more commonly referred to as a David Lynch movie

SO WHAT: Murder, memory, and a Möbius strip infect this wonderful Lynchian dreamscape. The film abandons any sense of logic for and ever flowing decent into madness. This may not be the best introduction to Lynch, but I honestly doubt there is any film that will ease one into Lynch’s oeuvre. This 35mm screening of Lynch’s bizarre and frightening film is not to be missed.

NOW WHAT: Tickets for these mind bending midnight showings are $11 ($9 for seniors)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28th

CWA’s Literary Bus Tour @ Various Locations, pickup at 3300 N Campbell Ave., 9:30AM – 2:30PM

WHAT: Trip through Chicago’s North Side literary history

SO WHAT: Chicago Writer’s Association will be hosting its first literary bus tour of Chicago’s North Side with stops at locales where legendary writers gathered like Cliff Dwellers Club, the Billy Goat Tavern, Oz Park and Nelson Algren’s apartment.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10 for CWA members and $20 for non members. All tickets include lunch at Billy Goat Tavern. The bus tour will leave from the parking lot at DeVry University.

The Chicago Ale Fest @ Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave., first session Noon – 4:00PM and second session 6:00PM – 10:00PM

WHAT: A beer festival to warm you up during this Chicago Winter

SO WHAT: The Chicago Ale Fest is a celebration of American Craft Beer in the heart of Chicago. The 2017 Chicago Ale Fest – Winter Edition will take place in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. The fest will feature more then 150 American Craft Beers, some of Chicago’s favorite food trucks and a DJ spinning an all-vinyl playlist.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $50 ($60 for an hour early entry) per session and feature a special commemorative festival glass. Designated driver tickets are $20 ($25 for an hour early entry) per session. Regular entry for the first session is at 1:00pm and 7:00pm for the second session.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29th

Chinese New Year Celebration Concert: Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto @ Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., 1:45 PM

image003WHAT: A way to celebrate the coming Chinese New Year

SO WHAT: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform its 3rd annual Chinese New Year Celebration Concert: Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, with a family friendly program. The concert will highlight the rich history of Chinese music, from the familiar and traditional to contemporary soundscapes. The program will feature China’s Shaanxi Province Song and Dance Theatre National Orchestra performing on traditional instruments. There will also be a pre-concert performance in Buntrock Hall at 1:45pm featuring traditional vocal and instrumental works performed by soloists and ensembles from Dong Fang Performing Arts and Yellow River Performing Arts.

NOW WHAT: Tickets range from $20 to $75 for this celebration of the Chinese New Year

Sunday Salon @ Riverview Tavern, 1958 W Roscoe St., 7:00PM

WHAT: The Sunday Salon for your prose pleasures

SO WHAT: Sunday Salon puts on a reading  Aleksander Hemon is a member of the Chicago literati, if there is such a thing. His books are great, but this silly listicle endeared him in my heart forever. This is a chance to hear him read with other Chicago authors including Renée Rosen, James Tadd Adcox, and Abby Geni at a beloved neighborhood bar.

NOW WHAT: This event is free so enjoy some great readings from these fantastic writers.

unnamedCharles Busch; That Girl, That Boy @ Pride Arts Center, 4147 N Broadway St., 7:30PM

WHAT: A two-night event launching the “Pride Arts Center Presents” series

SO WHAT: Charles Busch, two-time MAC Award winner, Tony nominee, and drag legend, will bring an eclectic program of songs both contemporary and from the past for Charles Busch; That Girl, That Boy. This is the first time this theatrical legend will play his solo show in Chicago. And this is the first of what will be quarterly Pride Arts Center Presents events featuring prominent performers from the world of theater, music, film and more in the newly opened Pride Arts Center.

NOW WHAT: Tickets for this benefit performance are $75 for reserved seats, and $40 for general admission. Tickets for the Sunday show are sold out, but you can still catch the performance on Monday!

Advance Base / Waldemar / Lisa/Liza @ The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave., 8:30PM

WHAT: A night to zone out to some great music

SO WHAT: Advance Base, formally Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, is the project of local musician Owen Ashworth. His songs are the minimal yearnings that will fill the hearts of nostalgia seeking music fans everywhere. Ashworth creates his looping beats and lo-fi sound with great tenderness that is underlined but his deep baritone voice. Joining Advance Base will be Waldemar with his ethereal art pop and Liza Victoria with her lo-fi psych-folk sound of her project Lisa/Liza.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are only $10 for this fun and chill lineup .

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