Show: Little Al Thomas "Blues vocalist Al Thomas has been a mainstay on Chicago's south and west sides for decades, but his recorded legacy is somewhat slim," writes David Whiteis. "On his most recent album, Not My Warden (Music Avenue), he gets what he needs from his band the Deep Down Fools, who crunch out an agreeably tough barroom blues with a tinge of metallic funk."
Dinner: Oysy The menu at Oysy (pronounced oh-EE-she and meaning "delicious") is distinctly value conscious, with most nigiri priced under $6 for two pieces and most maki under $7. Ten grilled dishes come in at $10 and under, among them toro steak with ponzu sauce and spicy radish, Chilean sea bass in garlic-black bean sauce, teriyaki eel, and octopus with miso sauce.
888 S. Michigan Ave., 312-922-1127, oysysushi.com
Show: Enthroned Belgium isn't the most black metal of countries, possibly because it's hard to develop strong feelings about Satan with so much great beer around. The members of Enthroned, a black-metal group based in Brussels, apparently feel driven to compensate: their sound is a stinging maelstrom fit to scour the corpsepaint right off your face, and they seem to have come up with their stage names using a Black Speech of Mordor Demoniker Generator.
Dinner: Tasty City bears kinship with neighbors Chi Cafe and Sweet Station, three Hong Kong-ish places that are somewhat flashy and hip by Chinatown standards, offering menus with hundreds of items (most under $10), some of which might challenge even extreme eaters.
2022 S. Archer Ave., 312-225-8282
Show: Leila Josefowicz and John Novacek Violinist Leila Josefowicz is a fearless advocate of new music. Much of her program with longtime collaborator pianist John Novacek isn't new, but it probably will be to many listeners. Their recital begins with Brahms's driving Scherzo in C Minor ("Sonatensatz"), a remnant from his joint effort with Robert Schumann and Albert Dietrich. Next comes the real meat, albeit brutally lean: Shostakovich's Sonata, op. 134. The second half opens with Stravinsky's inventive and vibrant Duo Concertant—a favorite of Balanchine's that he eventually choreographed—followed by the imploding minimalism of Erkki-Sven Tuur's "Conversio." Last is Schubert's unruly but gripping Rondo in B Minor ("Rondo Brillant").
Dinner: Charlie Beinlich's Suburbanites treasure this venerable North Shore burger "king;" more bar than restaurant.
290 Skokie Blvd., 847-564-9328, charliebeinlichs.com
Show: Cairo Time In this superior indie drama, Canadian director Ruba Nadda steers clear of the Harlequin romance ditch to deliver a grown-up romance that's smart, subtle, poignant, and psychologically acute.
4:20 pm, 7:40 pm, 9:50 pm Landmark's Century Centre, 2828 N. Clark St., 773-509-4949
Dinner: Half Shell It’s not easy to find a true dive in Lincoln Park, but this cash-only seafood restaurant fills the bill with a low ceiling, a long, crowded bar, and an entrance eight steps below street level. It seems like it’s been there forever, serving consistently tasty crab legs, decent shrimp, and raw oysters on the you-know-what.
676 W. Diversey Ave., 773-549-1773, halfshellchicago.com
Show: Behind the Burly Q "Though frustratingly superficial and shot through a nostalgic, rose-colored lens, this enthralling 2010 doc opens a wider window on forgotten world of burlesque shows than anything I've previously seen," writes Cliff Doerksen.
449 N. Clark St., 312-334-3688, rickbayless.com/restaurants/xoco.html