Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 8/18 – 8/21

Well, what do we have here? Another curated list of amazing weekend events to help you enjoy this wonderful city?

This weekend is pretty jam packed with some interesting events, including the Air and Water Show and sold out Pearl Jam and Wilco/Twin Peaks concerts. Instead of focusing on these larger than life events, I want to particularly recommend Pilsen Fest. I was raised around a plethora of Spanish language music, I found it to be too much and not necessarily that great. As I grew older I began to search for my own Spanish music and discovered it wasn’t all banda and generic rock. I found groups that catered to my musical tastes, including locals Divino Niño and The Avantist, and began to appreciate the music my first language could create. Pilsen Fest is the perfect place for the well versed and those wanting to expand their sonic horizons to just lay back and enjoy some good tunes.

Alright, enough gushing over Pilsen Fest. Let’s get on with your curated weekend.


Festa Italiana @ Taylor Street between Ashland and Racine, Thursday 5:00PM – 10:00PM, Friday and Saturday Noon – 11:00PM, Sunday Noon – 10:00PM

WHAT: A festival celebrating Italian culture

SO WHAT: Festa Italiana aims to let la dolce vita of Italy over take you. The 10th annual Festa Italiana stretches along Taylor Street between Ashland Avenue and Racine Street, allowing longtime family-owned restaurants and neighborhood newcomers serve up some of the best food in the city. In addition to all the amazing food, Italian and Italian-American singers will perform American and Italian classics. An Italian dance ensemble will perform and teach the tarantella, a well-loved Italian folk dance performed at Italian weddings.There will also be opportunities to play Italian card games, compete in contests to see who can consume the most meatballs and cannoli, and many vendors with Italian-themed art, Christmas ornaments and other merchandise.

NOW WHAT: Check out the full schedule of musicians and activities at their website.


LitCrawl Chicago @ Andersonville, 7:00PM

WHAT: An evening over flowing with good drinks and great stories

SO WHAT: This mash up of a bar crawl and a literary festival is hosted by LitQuake, a non-profit organization that has brought LitCrawls to cities like San Francisco, Austin, Iowa City, London, L.A., NYC, and Seattle. This is the inaugural Chicago LitCrawl. The crawl, sponsored by Women and Children First Bookstore and the Neo-Futurists, will let attendees partake in beer and readings at various bars, restaurants, and venues in the Andersonville neighborhood.

NOW WHAT: Head over and check out Emma Terhaar’s full rundown of all the events. Most of the events are 21+ and there are over a dozen readings going on with plenty of talented authors at the helm. Everything is free and open to the public!

Psychic Temple @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave., 8:00PM

WHAT: Psychedelic musical styling for your Wednesday evening

SO WHAT: Chris Schlarb makes some of the most necessary and strange music today as he takes on solo projects like his wacked out score for the clown video game Dropsy and deciding to record a cover Brian Eno’s album Music For Airports in single afternoon. Schlarb describes himself as a composer, truck driver, and cult leader, with Psychic Temple being that cult. Also here’s his pancake recipe. He is the musical madman you need. Schlarb will be joined by two Chicago bands, Fuzz and Tuff Slang, and New York’s Eamon Fogerty.

NOW WHAT:  Get weird and freaky with this $10 show.


Monsieur Perine with Dos Santos @ 1st Ward at Chop Shop, 2033 W North Ave., 9:00PM

WHAT: An evening a unique and complex Spanish language music

SO WHAT: Before hitting the stage at Pilsen Fest,  Monsieur Periné will be making a stop at 1st ward for a more intimate show. Monsieur Periné let their Colombian roots clash with a guitar driven jazz sound with great success. They will be joined by local musical masters Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta, whose raw mixture of genres dig deep into Latin American culture.Both of these unique bands will be sure to have you dancing all night long.

NOW WHAT: This is an 18+ shoe and tickets are $20. expand your musical horizons with a little Latin flavor.

Let’s Play Live @ Chicago Theatre, 175 N State St., 7:30PM

WHAT: Video games, improv, and pandemonium

SO WHAT: The Let’s Play collective of well known Youtube videogamers are putting on a live show filled with their frantic game play, music, improv, and plenty of surprises. The live show takes all the lunacy of their videos, a mixture of typical gameplay frenzy and off the cuff conversations, and adds the grandness of an elaborate stage production to create a must see spectacle. This third edition of Let’s Play live will feature Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, The Creatures, and Kinda Funny throwing all their comedic talents into this behemoth of a show.

NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $53.50 and are still available for this unique videogame event.


Abbie Fest XVIII @ Den Theatre,1333 N. Milwaukee Ave.

WHAT: Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s last Abbie Fest

SO WHAT: Mary-Arrchie, one of the best of Chicago’s many great storefront theaters, is shutting its doors after 30 years. Its final production was David Mamet’s American Buffalo last winter. Its Abbie Fest schedule features almost 60 theater and performance companies in all kinds of madness over 72 continuous hours from 7pm Friday through just before midnight Sunday. See our preview for the schedule and all the details.

NOW WHAT: General admission tickets for the full weekend are $25. Stop in some time over the weekend or come and stay for 72 hours. Bring your own caffeine.


Daylight Disco: Twin Shadow DJ set @ Cerise Rooftop at Virgin Hotel, 203 N Wabash Ave., 2:00PM – 8:00PM

WHAT: Party in the middle of the day with Twin Shadow

SO WHAT: If you looking for intimate groves and amazing views, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday than basking in the sun while Twin Shadow curates your musical experience. George Lewis Jr. has been cranking out phenomenal albums as Twin Shadow for the past six years, taking his poetic lyrics and setting them atop fresh synth pop vibes with fantastic results. His DJ set will likely cull from some appropriately rhythmic and alluring jams that will keep you dancing through the afternoon.

NOW WHAT: Get your party on as well as some responsible day drinking to Twin Shadow amidst the Chicago skyline at Cerise. Tickets for this 21+ rooftop set are currently $15 dollars, but will go up to $20 before they sell out.

Dosh and Ghostband @ Reckless Records Wicker Park, 1379 N Milwaukee Ave., 4:00pm

WHAT: Two Minneapoltans join forces and bring their brand of spacey tunes to Reckless Records.

SO WHAT: Dosh and Ghostband have been making cerebral electronic music separately for over a decade, but in 2014 they came together to craft IDM and techno riddled Def Kith EP. They don’t succumb to the over the top and boisterous sounds of the currently popular electronic monstrosities, opting to look back to a simpler time were down tempo dance music reigned supreme and bring it to the present in a unique and interesting way.

NOW WHAT: This is free event, so just bring yourself and a few friends and lose yourself to these fantastic musicians.


Pilsen Fest 2016 @ 18th and Blue Island, Noon – 10:00PM

WHAT: A festival celebrating the culture of the Latino Community

SO WHAT: Pilsen Fest focuses its sights on deep pool of cultural talent that exists in the Latino Community of the Pilsen neighborhood and the rest of the Chicago metropolitan area. Culinary arts, musicians, mixologists, poets, muralists, painters, writers, documentarians, and photographers are represented in the festivities all weekend. Pilsen Fest partners with El BeiSMan whose mission is to promote cultural literacy within the diverse Latino/Mexican community. There will be plenty of live music including

NOW WHAT: Check out this refresher on Pilsen Fest here and see a more detailed lineup of offerings at their Facebook page and their event page.

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez