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Weekend Playlist: Free And Fun

By Sophie Day in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 5, 2014 6:15PM

Millennium Park is more than just a destination for any and all tourists who visit our beautiful city.

This summer, the park will also be the venue for tons of free weekly events, including concerts and movies.

Their calendar includes several different series that will keep you entertained all summer. Just in case that somehow isn’t enough to have you headed out the door to save yourself a seat, this week’s playlist will focus on the remaining Downtown Sound concerts as well as the remaining free movies from now until August.

Please check out the City of Chicago website for information on these and many more events!

Let’s start with a taste of some of the artists who will be performing in the park and then we’ll throw in some songs from movie soundtracks to whet your appetite.

Downtown Sound features free concerts every Monday evening (except July 28) at 6:30 p.m.

July 7: Joe Pug and Hurray for the Riff Raff, from Texas and New Orleans, respectively, both play within the American folk vein and promise to put on a great show. If you want to see some young faces put a new spin on the genre, this is your night.

July 14: Noura Mint Seymali is a Mauritanian vocalist whose music blends Arab and Sub-Saharan African tones to create really interesting new sounds. Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub is a reggae jam band from Chicago. This night promises to be unlike any show you’ve probably seen.

July 21: The Both may be an unfamiliar moniker, but the pair behind it are no strangers to the music scene. Aimee Mann and Ted Leo have both had prolific careers as solo artists and started performing together just a few years ago. Pillars and Tongues is a local band with a funky experimental sound that they describe as “cinematic art-rock”.

August 4: Maps & Atlases and Wooden Shjips are both experimental in their styles and local in their origin. These two groups, one of whom, Maps & Atlases, counts Chicago as home, boast pretty minimalist sounds, but definitely don’t lack for creativity and energy!

Summer Film Series will show a movie every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

July 8: 20 Feet from Stardom was the winner of this year's Academy Award for Best Documentary. It tells the story of career backup singers, if you are interested in the world of the music industry, this is a must watch.

July 15: O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a Coen’s Brother’s movie that chronicles the adventures of three escaped convicts in the 1930’s as they try to lay low in the American South.

July 22: Field of Dreams is a 1989 film starring Kevin Costner as an Iowa farmer who decides to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his field.

July 29: This is Spinal Tap is a satirical mockumentary about a British rock band in the 80’s. This film is being hosted by WBEZ’s Sound Opinions and a donation from the Music Box Theater.

August 5: The Birdcage is a film starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a same-sex couple who must out on a straight front to meet the parents of their son’s fiancee.

August 12: American Graffiti, nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director in 1973, is a film about a group of high school seniors on their last night together before college in the summer of 1962.

August 19: Dreamgirls, based on a Broadway musical, tells the story of three black soul singers in the 1960’s. Chicago-native Jennifer Hudson has a lead role.

August 26: Wizard of Oz. Need we say more?