Your Chicago Curated Weekend, 6/16-6/19


You know, I originally picked the Drake/Teletubbies sun photo hybrid to head up this column because I thought it was funny. I figured others, too, would delight at the introspective, glowering King of the 6 juxtaposed against the most obnoxious symbol of happiness television has ever witnessed. Chance the Rapper on the Teletubby sun makes some perverse sense; Drake, none at all.

And yet with ANOTHER FUCKING TRAGEDY happening in this country over the past weekend, maybe it’s a good thing that we get to witness Drizzy’s glowing visage.

The Democratic senators are doing what they need to do to ensure that there’s an actual response besides love and thoughts and prayers, which are all nice but don’t accomplish anything in a world where the people who are perpetrating these crimes are damn near impossible to reach via any positive vibes. People finally seem pissed enough at the mass shooting epidemic that maybe, FINALLY, this country will take some concrete steps to slow, and eventually halt, its progress.

That’s why Drake is smiling in the Teletubby sun today: there’s hope beyond mere kum-ba-yah. You can get all the kum-ba-yah you want at the Pride Festival this weekend.

Speaking of:


Jessy Lanza @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., 9:00 PM

WHAT: Up-and-coming R&B/electro-popper Jessy Lanza takes the stage at the Bottle, with support from DJ Taye and Jeremiah Meece.

SO WHAT: You’ve already heard us extol the Bottle’s many virtues, but here’s another reason: you’re not often going to see R&B or electro-pop performed on its stage. The atmosphere alone will be fascinating.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $12 if you buy in advance on the Bottle’s website. $15 at the door.


Taste of Randolph @ Randolph St., All Weekend

WHAT: A dope food and music festival on Chicago’s hottest (figuratively, not literally—that would be hell) street.

SO WHAT: The West Loop food festival is one of the best in the city. Restaurant vendors include Alhambra, Bar Siena, belly Q, Cone Gourmet, Forno Rosso, Nando’s Peri Peri, Cemitas Puebla, Clandestina and many more. Musical performances include Peter Bjorn & John, Ms Mr, Eryn Allen Kane, and others.

NOW WHAT: There’s a $10 suggested donation. That’s far less than you’d pay ordinarily at any of these restaurants.

Broncho with Winter and The Symposium @ Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., 8:00 PM

WHAT: The indie-rock band Broncho plays the Beat Kitchen in support of their newly released third album entitled Double Vanity.
SO WHAT: Broncho sounds quintessentially indie. They’re from Norman, Oklahoma but they sound like they could come from New York City. They write songs that fit perfectly well for HBO shows and fashion commercials — which they have. Their knack for hooks will reel you in and their garage rock roots will keep you thumping along to their songs.
NOW WHAT: The Beat Kitchen is opening their doors at 8:00 pm and the show starts at 9:00 pm. LA dream pop outfit Winter and local indie group The Symposium open. Tickets cost $12.50 in advance and $15.00 at the door, and they can be purchased here.
Chicago Pride Festival @ Northalsted, ALL DAY
WHAT: Chicago’s annual Pride Festival, celebrating LGBTQ culture in the heart of Boystown. The music is going to be headlined by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and indie-poppers Dumblonde, not to mention all the other great festival-y stuff that will be happening.

SO WHAT: In the wake of the awful hate crime committed in Orlando on Sunday, there’s never been a more important time to show support for the LGBTQ community. Things were already going to be fun; now, they’ll be highly emotionally charged.

NOW WHAT: There’s a $10 suggested donation.

Poetry and Chill (with ladies who write) @ Uncharted Books, 2620 N. Milwaukee Ave., 5:00 PM

WHAT: Uncharted Books hosts Annmarie O’Connell, Kallie Falandays, and G. Douple reading their own poetic works.

SO WHAT: There’s probably no more Logan Square way to spend your Saturday afternoon than by going to listen to local poets strut their stuff at a local bookstore. Also, poetry is way more powerful when it’s read aloud by the person from whose heart it poured.

NOW WHAT: This ish is free. Doooo itttttt.


Yojimbo @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., 11:30 AM

WHAT: Akira Kurosawa’s classic story of a masterless samurai in early Meiji-era Japan hits the Music Box screen in 35mm.

SO WHAT: Kurosawa is, quite simply, a legend of cinema, and Yojimbo is a consensus top-three work in his vast and prolific filmography (though I personally prefer Sanjuro, the more comedic sequel). Toshiro Mifune dominates the screen in a way that evokes Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name—indeed, Kurosawa might be considered the great link between John Ford and all the Westerns that followed him. If you haven’t seen any of his films, this is a must.

Plus, you can stay for the De Palma retrospective, which will bring such films as ScarfaceCarrie and the new De Palma doc.

NOW WHAT: Nab your tickets at the Music Box’s website.

Follow Drizzy into the light…you know it’s calling.

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