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Show: Canasta "The orchestrated pop on this local sextet's new full-length, The Fakeout, the Tease and the Breather (RWIM Chicago), is so perfect—every note falling into place with deeply satisfying craftsmanship—that you'll swear you've heard it before," writes Monica Kendrick.
7 and 10:30 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $14, early show 18+.
Dinner: Bolat African Cuisine Berber rack of lamb, the most expensive item, is a terrific value at $24: eight perfectly prepared chops, pink inside and crusty outside, lightly dressed with a complex sauce of chiles, cumin, and cardamom that balances the richness of the lamb. In addition to sweet-and-sour plum wine and African beers like Star, there are now mixed drinks, including a Dark and Stormy with house-made ginger beer.
3346 N. Clark St., 773-665-1100
Show: Josephine Foster "has changed direction restlessly in her music: she's adapted German lieder, devised a sort of self-styled Appalachian folk in the duo Born Heller, and played scorching psychedelia with the short-lived band the Supposed, among other things. One thing that's been consistent is her singing—both its disciplined precision and its peculiar melodic shapes—and in the past couple of years she seems to have figured out what she wants to do with her extraordinary vocal instrument," writes Peter Margasak.
9 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401, $10
Dinner: Jane's inhabits a cozy converted house in Bucktown. The reasonably priced Cal-American fare is innovative, eclectic, and especially friendly to vegetarians.
1653 W. Cortland St., 773-862-5263
Show: The Vandermark 5 reconvenes in support of its latest album, Annular Gift (Not Two)—the first live recording of its long career, cut in Krakow, Poland, at the Alchemia Club in March 2009.
9:30 p.m., Velvet Lounge, 67 E. Cermak Rd., 312-791-9050
Dinner: Double Li is named for chef-owners owners Ben Li and Wan Cai Li, but for fans of Szechuan cuisine it also signifies that we've doubled our options for mouth-tingling, authentically aggressive specialties from the region.
228 W. Cermak Rd., 312- 842-7818
Show: The Good, the Bad, the Weird With a nod and a wink to Sergio Leone, South Korean filmmaker Kim Jee-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters) delivers a slam-bang western set in Manchuria after the Japanese invasion in 1931.
4:20 pm, 7 pm, midnight, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport Ave., 773-871-6604
Dinner: Cafe Orchid When Kurt Serpin says he’s cooking Ottoman cuisine, he doesn’t mean the extravagant feasts of the sultans, but he is talking about the traditional Turkish cuisine that evolved from the sultans’ expansive palace kitchens.
1746 W. Addison St., 773-327-3808
Show: The Absolute Best Friggin' Time of Your Life One of the best Second City sketch revues in recent memory.
8 and 11 PM, Second City E.T.C., Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells, 312-337-3992, $22-$27.
Dinner: Adobo Grill leans heavily toward Oaxacan cuisine, and there are many moles to be had, starting with the sopes surtidos, masa boats carrying cargo like mashed plantain in a rich mole negro.
1610 N. Wells St., 312-266-7999
Show: Avenue Q Think of it as Sesame Street for grownups, complete with angst-ridden muppets that swear and screw and bouncy, satirical tunes teaching viewers that "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" and "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love)."
8pm, Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., 312-902-1400, $25-$100
Dinner: Xoco There is nothing like Xoco’s jamon torta, griddled flat and layered with La Quercia prosciutto, seasonally variable organic Wisconsin cheddar, black beans, avocado, and chipotle mustard. The prices are justified by a singular dedication to superior products. One of the best new restaurants of 2009.
449 N. Clark St., 312-334-3688
Show: Banners & Cranks Festival of Cantastoria Touted as the first festival of its kind in the U.S., Banners & Cranks celebrates cantastoria, a way-low-tech ancestor of moving pictures. The form dates back 14 centuries, to India, and basically consists of a performer telling or singing stories keyed to a set of illustrations.
8pm, Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 773-281-0824, $8-$15
Dinner: Cesar's Tacos This Clark Street staple is distinguished by its attention to quality and freshness.
3166 N. Clark St., 773-248-2835