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Show: Marnie Stern On her self-titled third album, guitarist Marnie Stern finds the emotional center that has often felt missing from her appealingly hyperactive music. The opening track, "For Ash," is a moving response to the suicide of a former lover, and "Female Guitar Players Are the New Black" pushes past the irony in its title to Stern's real frustration with being treated as a mere novelty because she's a woman who plays hammer-ons.
Dinner: Sabor Saveur "This Ukie Village restaurant is going for the kind of Mexican-French fusion you may have enjoyed at Mexique, though with knockout Italian-influenced dishes like tortellini stuffed with soft chicharron, sprinkled with cracklings in a poblano sauce, it might just as well be called Sabor Saveur Sapore," writes David Hammond.
2013 W. Division St., 773-235-7310, saborsaveur.com
Show: Moondoggies "On its second album, Tidelands, this shaggy Seattle quartet wears its heart on its sleeve: the Moondoggies' strummy, organ-stoked rock is clearly inspired by earnest 70s songwriters like Neil Young and John Fogerty," writes Peter Margasak. "What makes these guys memorable (aside from their unfortunate name) are the sweet, precisely arranged vocal harmonies, which turn their music into more than just mildly rootsy, meat-and-potatoes retro rock—they've got more in common with contemporaries like Animal Collective or Fleet Foxes."
Dinner: Cooper's changed ownership a few years ago, but the menu of fresh, seasonal fare remains unchanged. For many the real draw of Cooper’s will be the selection of about 130 beers from around the world.
1232 W. Belmont Ave., 773-929-2667, cooperschicago.com
Show: Barry Lyndon All of Stanley Kubrick's features look better now than when they were first released, but Barry Lyndon, which fared poorly at the box office in 1975, remains his most underrated. It may also be his greatest.
Dinner: Maravillas Maravillas may have been displaced from Harper Court, but the food at its new location remains authentic—there's posole, chicken mole poblano, and menudo—and still attracts a regular clientele.
5506 S. Lake Park, 773-643-3155, maravillasres.com
Show: Fair Game You'd have to go back to All the President's Men (1976) for a better example of fresh American political scandal being turned into slam-bang, star-powered drama. See J.R. Jones's in-depth review for more.
1:40 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:40 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:20 pm, 10 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