Thursday, August 11
Prix fixes and fixies
We like birthdays around here (we're turning 40 next month!)—especially birthdays where you don't give presents, you get them. That's why we're excited about Heartland Cafe's 35th anniversary night. They're serving a prix fixe menu from their early days and, if you buy a Fat Tire, you get a chance to win a Fat Tire cruiser bike, which New Belgium Brewing donated for the occasion. 6-10 PM, 7000 N. Glenwood, 773-465-8005, heartlandcafe.com, $35 for a prix fixe dinner, $3 for a Fat Tire.
Friday, August 12
Elvis is back in the building
Oh mama, Delilah's is celebrating Elvis Disappearing Day (even though he "died" August 16). Break out your sequined leather jumpsuit and scream for the big hunk o' love at a screening of Aloha From Hawaii, the King's 1973 concert in Honolulu, then stay for DJ Mike Miller's Elvis set. 6 PM, 2771 N. Lincoln, 773-472-2771, delilahschicago.com. Free
A HARD act to follow
With everybody and their plastic Ray-Bans making drops on Garageband these days, it's understandable to want to revisit the roots of electronic music. Destructo's been spinning since the early 90s and worked with the likes of Basement Jaxx and David Holmes. He also started HARD music fest, which ran last Saturday in LA. Lucky for us, he's headlining the HARD summer tour with Digitalism and Jack Beats, which stops in Chicago tonight. 8 PM, Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee, hardfest.com, $20-$65.
Saturday, August 13
Try to contain your excitement
I'm too young to remember when Wicker Park was gritty, but I hear from the olds that it was rad. The area should regain some of its grungy glory this weekend with Built Festival, where an empty lot on Milwaukee has been filled with 12 shipping containers, inside of and around which more than 100 local artists will show their stuff. Just don't get distracted by all the bankers walking around, probably buying up all the art and taking it home in their SUVs. We'll see who's laughing in this double-dip recession! (Actually, the bankers will be.) 8/12-8/13, Fri 5-10:30 PM, Sat 11 AM-10:30 PM, 1767 N. Milwaukee, builtforart.com, $10.
Spicing up a home brew
New Chicago Brewing is going to have really intriguing beers when its new plant is built next year—it's supposedto be a closed ecosystem, so it'll produce no waste—but I'm a bit more skeptical about Extract Brewing for Beginners, a class that purports to get you on the road to making "pumpkin-jalapeno imperial porter." Lots of questions come to mind, like why would you ever want to know that, but on the other hand, can you afford not to? 2-5 PM, the Plant, 1400 W. 46th, RSVP to 773-340-2337, chicagoales.com, $5.
Sunday, August 7
Rush up your Shakespeare
Here's an interesting factoid: Shakespeare's plays were most likely performed nearly unrehearsed and with scripts in-hand. It comes courtesy of the Unrehearsed Shakespeare Company, who try to approximate that experience by relying on cues in the text for their emotions, rather than, you know, practice. 5 PM, Think Tank, 1770 W. Berteau, ste. 207, unrehearsedchicago.com, $10.
Notes from the underground
On a bill of badass, underground women writers at August's Uncalled-For reading, Mairead Case stands out. She's interviewed Patti Smith, edits the Neighborhood Writing Alliance's Journal for Ordinary Thought, and her year-old collab with artist David Lasky was just picked for Best American Comics 2011. 2 PM, Woman Made Gallery, 685 N. Milwaukee, uncalledforchicago.blogspot.com. F
Monday, August 8
A chill pill in Pilsen
Still got a Lollapalooza hangover? Me too, and I didn't even go downtown last weekend. Cure it with some calming jazz courtesy of saxophonists Tim Haldeman and Keefe Jackson, "tradition-minded explorers who bring a keen historical sensibility to even their most outward-bound playing," according to Peter Margasak. The only other thing you'll need is a cold can of cheap beer—you're trading one hangover for another—and the waiters at Skylark are always happy to oblige. 10 PM, 2149 S. Halsted, 312- 948-5275, $5 suggested donation.
Tuesday, August 9
We didn't spark the fire
Can you remember anything about Nikola Tesla besides his name? Tut-tut. He invented alternating current, so you can thank him for the electricity that gets delivered to your home and one half of the name "AC/DC." Learn more at The Genius Spark of Nikola Tesla, an exhibit on loan from the Tesla Museum in Belgrade that covers Tesla's life and work on display this month Navy Pier. Through 8/26, 10 AM-10 PM, 600 E. Grand, teslaexhibitchicago.com. F
Wednesday, August 10
Get your fill of Sam Fuller
You love Sam Fuller. Oh, you can't remember who he is either? All right, I'll tell you. Newspaper copyboy at 12, crime reporter at 17, pulp novelist, screenwriter, director, Purple Heart winner, integrationist, and influence on Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch. The guy is so cool there's a street in Finland named after him (no joke). So cool that two theaters booked movies of his independently of each other. Tonight you can see either 1949's I Shot Jesse James (7 PM, Doc Films, 1212 E. 59th, 773-702-8574, docfilms.uchicago.edu, $5) or 1951's The Steel Helmet (7:30 PM, Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee, 773-850-0141, northwestchicagofilmsociety.org, $5).