Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 2/1 – 2/4

You've made it past the first month of the year and now you can start your February off with a weekend full of amazing events! Concerts, art shows, video games, and so much more is waiting for you in the rest of the calendar! So don't waste any time, go out and enjoy everything Chicago has to offer! Let's get on with your curated weekend! THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1st Diet Cig / Great Grandpa / The Spook School @ Bottom Lounge, 1375 W Lake St., 8:00PM, 17+ WHAT: Good tunes from energetic bands SO WHAT: Diet Cig take fun punk aesthetics and infuses them into fun pop songs that are made even better by Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman's frenetic stage presence. Joining them will be the grunge tinted rock of  Great Grandpa and exuberant pop punk of The Spook School. NOW WHAT: Tickets are $13 for this excellent night of music Artists Connect: Bit Bash Interactive Influence @ Art Institute, 111 S Michigan Ave., 6:00PM - 7:00PM, All Ages WHAT: Artists Connect,  a new series of in-gallery programs that highlight the creative process. SO WHAT: Bit Bash, Chicago's alternative video game festival, presents Interactive Influence, a program highlighting digital work by emerging game designers and digital artists that respond to artworks on display from the Art Institute's collection, starting at Griffin Court. Check out Marielle Shaw's full preview of the night! NOW WHAT: It's free for Illinois residents (museum admission is free for Illinois residents every Thursday, 5:00pm–8:00pm) or with museum admission FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd No Trend + Lumpen Radio presents: Cell Phones / Absolutely Not / Ganser / Avantist @ Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan St., 8:00PM, 18+ WHAT: Intense punk sounds SO WHAT: No Trend Records will be showcasing four radical bands that will be releasing records on the label in 2018! This is the perfect chance to catch up on some amazing music and prepare yourself for an amazing year of music from The Cellphones, Absolutely Not, Ganser, and Avantist! NOW WHAT: Tickets $5 at the door, so don't miss this show! The Bad Plus @ Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave., 7:30PM, All Ages WHAT: Jazz covers and originals by some of the best performers around SO WHAT: The Bad Plus have had a long history (18 years!) of recreating amazing covers of popular songs in their avant garde jazz style. They've been adding in their own compositions to their catalog and 2018's Never Stop II will be the first with new pianist Orrin Evans joining original members Reid Anderson and David King. NOW WHAT: Tickets are $38 for the general public, $36 for members of Old Town School of Folk Music FRIDAY & SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd & 3rd Chicago Psych Fest 9: Icicle Star Tree @ The Hideout, 1474 N Milwaukee Ave. 8:00PM, 21+ WHAT: Trippy music to expand your mind SO WHAT: The ninth installment of the psychedelic focused fest, organized by Plastic Crimewave and artist Matt Ginsberg, is back with an impressive and intense lineup over two night at the Hideout. Some of the best local bands will be on hand to astound you with their unique sounds. Friday's lineup will include a hypnotic collaboration between TALsounds and Matchess, the unmatched fuzzy atmosphere of Glyders, Hair's untameable flowing psych, Los Black Dogs' intense swagger, and the ethereal soundscapes of Spiral Galaxy! Karissa Talanian of Eye Vibe Records will be DJing between sets! Saturday's lineup will include Bitchin Bajas' mesmerizing synths, the hallucinogenic ambience of Brett Naucke's modular synths, Courtesy's eerie experimentation,  and the wonderful freakiness of Names Divine! Sister Golden Haze will be DJing between sets! NOW WHAT: Tickets are only $12 per night. Go and experience the oddest and most enjoyable sounds Chicago has to offer! Check out second night's lineup here! SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd Villains: New Works by Shawn Finley @ Rotofugi Designer Toy Store & Gallery, 2780 N Lincoln Ave., 7:00PM - 10:00PM, All Ages WHAT: Shawn Finley's first solo show at Rotofugi Gallery SO WHAT: Shawn Finley's exhibit will feature a group of new paintings under the theme of "Villains". You see huge portraits of "bad guys" you love to hate like scowling pirates, creeping ninjas, smoking-hot assassins and evil kings from movies and graphic novels. It'll be a little pop art with a dash of abstract expressionism. Finley will be in attendance plus there will be snacks and sodas available (BYOB if you want to have alcohol) and music by the continually entertaining DJ Sean Doe. NOW WHAT: Free, as always! Go out there and enjoy some amazing art! New Shapes @ All Star Press, 2775 N Milwaukee Ave., 6:00PM - 9:00PM, All Ages WHAT: Three artists coming together for one exhibit at All Star Press! SO WHAT: New Shapes will feature works by Michelle Miller, Jayes Caitlin, and Chad Kouri. Michelle Miller is a printmaker and painter who challenges composition and color in a continuing series of large scale vibrant and abstract prints. Jayes Caitlin creates abstract projects utilize screen printing, collage, painting, fibers, and publishing. Chad Kouri's projects range in from one of a kind and limited edition artwork to self-publishing, interactive displays, large-scale installations, design direction and consulting, book design and painting. NOW WHAT: The opening reception is completely free! CLLAW XXIX: CLLAWentine's Day Brawl @ Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N Kedzie Blvd, 9:00PM, 21+ WHAT: The Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW) are back for CLLAW XXIX: CLLAWentine's Day Brawl. SO WHAT: CLLAW’s 29th benefit match will feature some of Chicago’s biggest, baddest lady arm wrestlers .There will also be musical entertainment and a cash bar to enjoy while you watch these intense competitors battling to be at the top of the CLLAW tower! NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $20 online and there are packages that give you a discount on CLLAWBux for the cash only bar! Tickets are $25 at the door. All proceeds from CLLAW XXVIII will benefit Sideshow Theatre Company and Chicago Women’s Health Center. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4th Winter Slumber to Benefit PRIMA & Puerto Rico No Se Vende @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave., 2:00PM, 21+ WHAT: The second installment of Empty Bottle's annual Winter Slumber featuring Chicago singer-songwriter, guitarist and banjoist Al Scorch SO WHAT: Chicago singer-songwriter, guitarist, and banjoist Al Scorch has been delighting the Bottle with his special Sunday residency for six years! Each shows features Scorch and a variety of guests stretching their musical legs with new tunes and arrangements. This time around Scorch will be joined by MICHA, the music project of evocative vocalist, songwriter, musical theater composer and actor Michelle J. Rodriguez. NOW WHAT: It's free! This year, Winter Slumber will be accepting donations for various charities. For this show, donations will be given to Puerto Rico Independent Musicians & Artists (PRIMA) and Puerto Rico No Se Vende  
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Julian Ramirez