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Show: Ty Segall "In a little more than two years, across three full-length albums and a smattering of singles and such, San Francisco troubadour Ty Segall has established himself as a consistent source of smart, punchy garage pop," writes Miles Raymer. Segall also plays a free in-store at 5 PM at Permanent Records (1914 W. Chicago, 773-278-1744).
Dinner: Small Bar This unassuming soccer bar is decorated with lava lamps and classic rock photography as well as rally scarves and framed jerseys. The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable, and good thing, too, since Small Bar has a massive beer selection—120 to 150 varieties in total.
2049 W. Division St., 773-772-2727, thesmallbar.com/division
Show: Bomber Comparisons to Little Miss Sunshine are all but inevitable, but this trenchant and truthful indie comedy masterpiece about a dysfunctional family on a road trip blows that funny little picture out of the water.
Dinner: Bijan's Bistro This reincarnation of the venerable late-night hangout Bijan is amazingly unsullied by tourists. Regulars crowd around the gleaming mahogany bar, and Ralf, the courtly host, seems to know half the tables in the joint.
663 N. State St., 312-202-1904, bijansbistro.com
Show: He Ran All the Way Shortly before he was driven into exile by the Hollywood blacklist, the talented and neglected John Berry made this 1951 film, the last of John Garfield, who died of a heart attack at 39 (many believe in part because of pressures related to his own blacklisting). It's a fitting and powerful testament to the actor's poignancy and power as a working-class punk. It screens as part of the Noir City festival.
Dinner: Sushi Mura Proximity to the Music Box helps keep this traditional Japanese restaurant full, and the clean, attractive room doesn’t hurt either. Sitting at the sushi bar is a fun way to study the art of maki rolling — the skillful chefs make a broad variety, from salmon skin with cucumber to more elaborate dragon and rainbow rolls.
3647 N. Southport Ave., 773-281-9155, sushimura.com
Show: The Absolute Best Friggin' Time of Your Life "Putting up one of the best Second City sketch revues in recent memory takes a perfect storm. First off, you need a cast that can hop easily from deep satire to lighter fare, and from there to rich scenework. And you need a point of view. In the case of the new E.T.C. show, The Absolute Best Friggin' Time of Your Life, it's an overwhelming frustration with the state of our country that's got ensemble members making like Glenn Beck and reflecting on better days," writes Steve Heisler. "The crucial last piece is the right director—and Billy Bungeroth's rock 'n' roll sensibility is what gives this show its killer groove."
Dinner: Perennial Seasonally oriented contemporary American restaurant from the team behind Boka and chefs Giuseppe Tentori and Ryan Poli. "This is one of the most boring restaurant neighborhoods in the city, so Perennial ought to be valued by locals as well as hotel guests," writes Mike Sula.
1800 N. Lincoln Ave., 312-981-7070, perennialchicago.com