Friday, July 26, 2013


First, a big Thank You to everyone who sent me birthday wishes yesterday on Facebook. It was quite a thrill to see all those posts.

This is definitely going to be one of those Summer weekends when it will be impossible to take in all the worthwhile festivals and performances being held. I’d like to claim that all this fun is in honor of my birth, but it just happens to be a coincidence. The next action-packed weekend on the horizon is August 9 -11, when Chicago Comic-Con, Fest For Beatles Fans-Chicago, the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins theatre festival, and The Northalsted Market Days all happen simultaneously.

The Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival in Palatine wraps up this weekend with a flurry of showcases. There will be two on Friday. The first features Tu Seras Un Homme, French director Benoit Cohen’s feature-length story of a 20-year old man who finally embraces maturity through the help of a 10-year old boy; along with three short films. The second has Willow Creek, director/comedian Bobcat Goldthwait’s feature length tale of an ill-fated search for Bigfoot; preceded by two short horror films.

On Saturday, there will be two documentary showcases in the afternoon, and in the evening, BWIFF presents the Midwest Premiere of Mother Of George, director Andrew Dosunmu’s feature-length drama about a Nigerian husband and wife coping with their new life in New York. On Sunday, the BWIFF will have two Chaser presentations: director Todd Berger’s darkly comedic murder mystery, The Scenesters, and a Work-In-Progress screening of a new sci-fi based comedy from director Patrick Read Johnson

Dave Davies of The Kinks is the headline act for the Taste Of Lincoln Avenue on Saturday. Loverboy and Company Of Thieves will also be performing.

The Bad Examples, featuring vocalist-guitarist Ralph Cover of Ralph’s World, have a 5:30 PM gig at the Landshark Beer Garden on Navy Pier this Saturday. The band reunited a while back, and its impressive CD, Smash Record, was easily one of the year’s best. Their catchy tales of romantic entanglements are often reminiscent of Squeeze.

Shoes, another Chicago-based power pop band that wowed critics and fans with a comeback  release, will be bringing their extensive repertoire of power pop gems to SPACE in Evanston on Saturday night. The band’s Ignition CD made several blog Top 10 Releases of 2012 lists (including Broken Hearted Toy). Be sure to arrive on time for the opening act, The Valley Downs. Led by vocalist Marianne Galassini and bassist-backup vocalist Mike Galassini (also a member of the power pop trio 92 Degrees), The Valley Downs create catchy pop songs with thought-provoking lyrics. They’ve released two EPs.

Michael Franti, whose most recent work with his band Spearhead marries exotic arrangements with a refreshing optimism, will be performing a Jammin’ At The Zoo concert at Lincoln Park Zoo on Friday.  Fort Frances, an indie rock band from Chicago that plays acoustic-based songs, will be the opening act.

Other outdoor festivals going on this weekend include Jeff Fest in Chicago’s northwest side Jefferson Park neighborhood. There will be craft beers and music by singer-songwriter Michael McDermott, Urban Folk Circuit, Dot Dot Dot, and others. Palatine is holding its second annual Rockin’ The Blocks festival this weekend, and Roky Erickson, Mucca Pazza, Secret Colours, Meat Puppets, and Ted Leo And The Pharmacists are among the acts performing at Wicker Park Fest on Saturday and Sunday.


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