12 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 7, 2017 5:10PM

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Image via The Rum Lab's Facebook page.

That was a long week. Blow off some steam with some of these fun weekend events.

FRIDAY APRIL 7

CINEMA SLAPDOWN: White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is quite possibly the most hated man in America right now. This Friday, Columbia College gives us the opportunity to witness a “Cinema Slapdown” centering on his 2012 film District of Corruption. The film screening begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a debate between Dan Rybicky, filmmaker and faculty at Columbia College, and William J. Kelly, senior media strategist and TV critic and producer of Emmy award-winning television. Free.

GLAM-PACKED ROCK: Austin's Sweet Spirit is an eight-piece band that is laser focused on building up big rock anthems and channeling the spirit of a rowdy good time. Singer Sabrina Ellis also fronts A Giant Dog. While Sweet Spirit carries more of a flag for glam than her other band's tilt towards punk, both groups benefit from her magnetic stage presence and penchant for giving every song of every show her absolute all. With Sweet Spirit you're never sure if you should be strutting or slam-dancing, so feel free to do both. The band's new album St. Mojo's release just happens to coincide with their Friday night appearance at The Empty Bottle, so expect an additional burst of manic energy from the group since we're sure they're excited the LP will finally find its way into the wild.

LITE SOUL FUNK: Chicano Batman's sublime take on psychedelic soul makes Freedom Is Free a breezy but satisfying listen. The album is steeped in nostalgia, but where it could have been cheesy, the music instead drives you to float on a raft of sound blending together various genres including funk, tropicalia, and polyrhythmic elements that leave you swirling in its wake. Chicano Batman plays Friday at Lincoln Hall.


SATURDAY APRIL 8

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Image via World Sport's website.

SPIN TO BREAK THE CYCLE: Turn your spin class into a humanitarian effort at the fourth annual Spin to Break the Cycle event at House of Blues. They’ll squeeze 100 bikes into the concert hall’s three floors, all to benefit World Sport Chicago, the non-profit legacy organization of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sessions begin every hour between 8 a.m. and noon. A Spin Participant Spot is a $25 registration fee with a $250 fundraising minimum or it can be outright purchased for $275.

CHIRP RECORD FAIR + VINTAGE GARAGE: CHIRP (Chicago independent Radio Project) Record Fair takes over Plumbers Hall this weekend with “all things vinyl” plus CDs, DVDs, posters, and music-related accessories from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They’re also joined by a special “preseason” Vintage Garage with a mini retro marketplace on the lower level. Beer, food and entertainment round out the event’s offerings. Tickets are $7.

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"Red Scare." Image courtesy of Chicago History Museum.

SPIES + TRAITORS + SABOTEURS: The Chicago History Museum opens a new exhibition about threats inside our US borders this weekend. “Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America,” will focus on nine major events and periods in U.S. history including one of the first Cold War Attacks. Included with museum admission.

ROBOTICS WEEK: If you’re at the Museum of Science and Industry this weekend, you might notice a few more ‘bots than usual. National Robotics Week kicks off this Saturday, and there will be drone racing and other robotics activities from the pros and some super smart student robotics teams. All demonstrations are included in museum entry.

HIDDEN FIGURES: See the Hidden Figures with some real-life female physicists and astrophysicists at the University of Chicago at 7 p.m. The Academy Award nominated film depicts three little known (until now) African-American female mathematicians that that helped launch a huge NASA mission. A discussion of the contributions and challenges of women of color in science will follow the screening. Admission is $5.

RUM FEST: Yo ho, the 3rd Annual Rum Fest returns to Chicago with two sessions at Logan Square Auditorium. The first session for industry professionals begins at noon, and the The Rum Aficionado Grand Tasting Session begins at 1:30 p.m. The four hour program will offer tastings, brand seminars and mixology demos. Tickets for the Spirit Industry Session are $35 and tickets for the Rum Aficionado Session are $90.


SUNDAY APRIL 9

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Photo courtesy of Old Style.

PIZZA SUMMIT: Last year’s Old Style Chicago Pizza Summit was such a hit that they’re returning to Chop Shop for a “Second Helping” on April 9th. Local rapper Show You Suck will be this year’s official MC as pizza lovers enjoy slices and other iterations of pie from some of the city’s best. The pop-up U.S. Pizza Museum exhibit will be back, and they’re adding the first ever multi-event Pizza Olympics. Two sessions to choose from: 2 to 5 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $35.

WOMEN OF COLOR IN COMEDY: Simmer Brown's Sameena Mustafa, and the kates host a panel discussion of women of color in comedy at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts in Hyde Park at 11 a.m. This “Hand Her the Mic” event marks the first discussion in what will be a quarterly series. Kellye Howard (Last Comic Standing), Shantira Jackson (Second City), Ana Velazquez (Southside Ignoramus Quartet), and Lily Be (The Stoop) all appear on the panel. Admission is free, but advance registration is required.

INSTRUMENTAL INDIE: There is nothing particularly delicate about Steve Marion, despite the fact he performs under the moniker Delicate Steve. In fact, Marion is so adept at making strong statements, his album This Is Steve manages to come across as a forceful exploration into hook-filled rock and/or roll without ever uttering a single word. Marion's short instrumentals carry the weight of fully formed mini-epics and manage to cram unexpected depths of emption and nuance into their short bursts of life. Delicate Steve plays Sunday night at Lincoln Hall.