Thursday, August 18
Artists and gastronomes celebrate the new West Loop digs of the Chicago Artists' Coalition. At Starving Artist, chefs and visual artists (including Girl & the Goat's Stephanie Izard and Avec's Koren Grieveson with painters Richard Hull and Tim Anderson, respectively) swap tools and inspiration, with dual results: art for auction and really good snacks. 7-10 PM, Chicago Artists' Coalition, 217 N. Carpenter, 312-491-8888, $125-$150.
The Chicago Ice Cream and Gelato Festival hits Little Italy this weekend with tastings, demos, and a marketplace. Vendors include Black Dog Gelato, Oberweis, Nice Cream, and Zingerman's, and the chefs participating are pedigreed: Tim Dahl used to be pastry chef at Blackbird, Ben Roche is the mad scientist behind the desserts at Moto, and Malika Ameen, a former owner of bygone River North restaurant Aigre Doux, was a contestant on Top Chef: Just Desserts. Thu-Fri 8/18-8/19, 6-9 PM, the Grand Piazza, 1431 W. Taylor, $25.
No homo—it's Slo'Mo
- Sheri DiPietro
If this weekend was any gayer, it would have a pencil-thin mustache and be named John Waters (see also Friday and Saturday). Things kick off tonight with a new monthly dance party—"slow jams for homos (and their fans)"—hosted by Reader staffer Kristen Kaza. Slo'Mo, DJed by Tess, features soul, funk, and more by artists like Sade, Prince, and Marvin Gaye. 9 PM, the Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, 773-227-3530, free.
Friday, August 19
Ten years of Ladyfest
Ladyfest Midwest, an annual blowout that benefits the Chicago Women's Health Center, features art, dancing, and music. Tonight: DJs spin postpunk, riot grrl, girl groups, and more at Late Bar (10 PM-4 AM, 3534 W. Belmont, $5 suggested donation). Tomorrow night: the Empty Bottle hosts a musical showcase with the Wanton Looks, the Cathy Santonies, Hollows, and DJ Reagonomix (9 PM, 1035 N. Western $15). Also this weekend: a free exhibit at Living Room Gallery displays video, photos, and archival ephemera from the first Ladyfest Midwest, way back in 2001 (Sat noon-5 PM, Sun 2-5 PM, 1530 W. Superior).
Jai Ho! hits the beach
The theme of tonight's Jai Ho!, the gathering that Reader critic Jessica Hopper once called the best sporadic queer dance party in town, is Bollywood Beach Party—so dress appropriately. Erik Roldan DJs, and there are performances at midnight. 10 PM-2 AM, Big Chicks, 5024 N. Sheridan, $5 suggested donation.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Gilt City, and yours truly teamed up to corral local artists and designers—including Golden Age and Sonnenzimmer—in the task of redesigning a few Chicago Reader street boxes. At tonight's Reader Street Box Party, the results of that project, which have been spread across the city, are on display; admission also includes beer, hors d'oeuvres, dancing, and an "edible street box cake" from Alliance Bakery. 7-10 PM, MCA Warehouse, 1747 W. Hubbard, $25.
Saturday, August 20
Meet your maker
- Heather Mulligan
Sure, he likes to make predictions about homosexuals bringing about the end of the world, but this probably isn't what Pat Robertston has in mind: Queerpocalypse, an evening of drag, burlesque, music, comedy, and circus performance that organizers are billing as an "epic battle against gender conformity." Stand-up comic Cameron Esposito hosts, and a dance party follows the performance. 10 PM, the Abbey, 3420 W. Grace, $20.
Sunday, August 21
Big time block party
The final day of the annual Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest features music from ska band Deals Gone Bad, ten-piece music collective the Opposition Party, bluesman Mississippi Gabe Carter, and Tom Waits tribute outfit B1g T1me, but that's just a snapshot of what's on offer at the three-day fest: there's also a ton more music, a neighborhood-wide storefront art exhibition, and more. 8/19-8/21, Fri 6-10 PM, Sat-Sun noon-9 PM, Glenwood and Morse, free.
Friends in High Places
There are three more installments in the Logan Square Summer Music in the Park series, though it's a stretch to imagine the Chicago "summer" lasting through October, when the final show is scheduled. Anyway, this one, which may yet feature decent weather: indie band High Places, which features multi-instrumentalist Rob Barber and vocalist Mary Pearson, plays a free show in the park. Enjoy it while it lasts! 4 PM, Kedzie, Logan, and Milwaukee, free
Monday, August 22
Black Harvest on history
Part of the Siskel's monthlong Black Harvest Film Festival, Black History—Lost and Found is a screening of shorts that tell stories that are often overlooked: among them, Kwesi Davis's 2010 animation Take Too Long, which focuses on a young couple in post-Katrina New Orleans, and two shorts on the topic of hair: "Good Hair" and Other Dubious Distinctions is about African-American attitudes toward hair, and A Creation Story uses live action and claymation to dissect the origins of African hair. Two filmmakers—Camille S. DeBose, director of Good Hair, and Hassan Said, producer of the film Alambamento, also on the bill tonight—will attend the screening. 8 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164. N. State, 312-846-2800, $11.
Tuesday, August 23
Back to '66
A benefit for venerable old Kartemquin Films, the nonprofit documentary producer who recently released The Interrupters, a profile of the Chicago violence prevention org CeaseFire. In honor of its 45th anniversary, Naomi Walker, Zak Piper, Joe Wroblewski, and folks from the Numero Group spin tunes from the year that Kartemquin started: 1966. 9 PM, the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, $10. 21+.
Wednesday, August 24
Hardcore hump day
Stockholm-based Victims have been around for 14 years—an eternity for a hardcore band—but Reader critic Kevin Warwick says that time hasn't slowed them down. "Victims have compiled a tortured, angsty catalog," Warwick writes, "rocking Discharge-style thrash filled with driving, pummeling rhythms worthy of the sincerest fist pumps and head bangs. And they don't sound worn out on their newest full-length, A Dissident." 7 PM, Pancho's, 2200 N. California, 772-772-7811, $7.