Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 5/12-15

What a time to be alive in the city of Chicago. The following are the two best teams in Major League Baseball:

  • Chicago Cubs (25-7)
  • Chicago White Sox (23-12)

You know the last time this city has had the best two teams in the MLB? 1973. That season didn’t end as well for either team (both missed the playoffs). But given the incredible pitching staffs and the Cubs’ sheer dominance in every facet of the game, hope springs eternal. We’re still a long way from this happening—and given history, it would be foolish to expect this—but we can’t help but wonder what would happen if there were a Crosstown World Series.

Besides baseball, here’s what’s going on in the city this weekend.


Divino Niño @ The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., 9:00 PM

WHAT: Local four-piece rock outfit Divino Niño takes to The Hideout for a rollicking show. The Rubs open for them.

SO WHAT: I reviewed Divino Niño for our predecessor Gapers Block in July. Here’s what I had to say about them back then:

The dominant feature was the ocean of reverb in which the vocals were drowning, which lent a pleasant psychedelic, strung-out feel to Divino Niño’s music that was emphasized in the Floyd-esque jam that began the set and the hypnotic drums and thudding bass that underlaid the noodling guitars. Uma Thurman’s character in Pulp Fiction would have had a field day getting stoned to these songs.

And the band has started to garner some attention outside of Chicago. Catch them now, before they blow up.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $8; get ’em here.


Ben Folds @ Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine Ave., 8:00 PM

WHAT: One of the greatest everyman singer-songwriters of the past two decades comes to the Riv for a show that will leave you not the same afterward.

SO WHAT: If you’ve never seen Ben Folds live, it’s very much worth the experience. The man knows how to entertain, whether he’s solo on a piano or performing with a band, and he’s especially adept at engendering fan participation in his music. Check out this amazing video of him teaching the crowd the horn parts for “Army.”

NOW WHAT: Tickets are still available for $35: get them here.


BookCon @ McCormick Place, 10:00 AM

WHAT: For the first time, BookCon comes to Chicago—it’s been in New York each of the past two years. Come for a day of panels, signings, and the rest of the stuff people do at conventions.

SO WHAT: The guest list is pretty impressive—Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series; Michael DiMartino, the co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender; Kate DiCamillo, who wrote Because of Winn-Dixie; and actor Chris O’Dowd, among others. We’re usually pretty indie with our literature around 3CR, but there’s a lot of nostalgia factor for us here. Avatar and Because of Winn-Dixie are timeless classics.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are still on sale for $30. Get ’em here.

Al Scorch’s Record Store Bicycle Tour @ Permanent Records, 1914 W. Chicago Ave., 12:00 PM

WHAT: Chicago’s favorite DIY banjoist is celebrating the release of his new album “Circle Round the Signs” by playing at five record stores in five neighborhoods in one day.

SO WHAT: Al Scorch builds bridges. The folksier sound of his music isn’t one that’s common to Chicago’s underground scene, but he’s built a strong local and even international following. His new release on Bloodshot Records promises to be a milestone, and this creative idea for a release show is perfect for the ideas behind Scorch and company’s music.

NOW WHAT: Check the schedule on Facebook, enjoy the tunes, and ride safe!

Wasted Pages Writing Workshop & RHINO Poetry Present “Dominate Your Submissions” @ Chicago Publishers Resource Center, 858 N. Ashland Ave., 2:00 PM

WHAT: Are you an aspiring writer? Wasted Pages and RHINO Poetry, two local writers’ workshops, are hosting this one-time event to teach you how to effectively submit your work to publications. You’ll learn about how to prepare your work, how to reach out to editors, and how to write a cover letter.

SO WHAT: Not only is this a cool opportunity to learn about publishing your creative writing; it’s also a great opportunity to do some networking within the city’s creative community and meet some editors. RHINO editor Virginia Bell will be leading the workshop, and CHIPRC’s Literary Coordinator Elizabeth O’Connell Thompson is hosting the event.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $30—not cheap, but they include an issue of RHINO and entrance into a raffle with literary prizes. Pre-register by emailing


Our Cities Festival @ Venue SIX10, 610 S. Michigan Ave., 12:00 PM

WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival launches its first ever one-day festival, Our Cities, an exploration of the economic, social, and personal issues facing residents of the cities in our region. A number of writers, journalists, social scientists and other esteemed figures will spend the day discussing their work and its relevance to Chicago and the world.

SO WHAT: A number of the speakers at Our Cities are MacArthur Fellows—that is to say, certified geniuses. For perspective, the great Lin-Manuel Miranda was named a MacArthur Fellow last year. Our Cities isn’t an award-winning musical, but it’s crucial to be discussing issues like urban development, poverty, immigration and housing, and that’s what will be happening here.

NOW WHAT: You can buy tickets to all three events for a total of $30, or buy tickets to each individual speech for $5-$15, here.

Zach Blumenfeld
Zach Blumenfeld

Zach graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2015 and, seeking to put off law school, began writing about music and pop culture. Now he's hooked on concert reviews and the Chicago music scene and thinks he could be doing this for a while. Follow his random thoughts on Twitter @zachblumy