FRIDAY, JULY 15
Watch me jumpstart my nostalgia
I'm pretty sure I first witnessed Bob Pollard's age- and gravity-defying leg kicks back in '97 at Atlanta's now-defunct Cotton Club. (Admittedly, that era of my life is rather hazy.) Having seen Guided by Voices countless times since—and having grown weary of the Dayton boys' (er, old men's) ensuing string of lackluster albums—I wasn't exactly distraught when Pollard broke up the band in 2004. Now that I'm older and wiser, I'm psyched about reliving those glory days with a recently reunited, classic GBV lineup (Tobin Sprout!) that's performing songs from their '93-'96 heyday at some festival called Pitchfork. I'm thinking this one is better than ever. (Flip this paper over to check out the Reader's Pitchfork coverage on the B side.) 6:25 PM, 1501 W. Randolph, green stage, pitchforkmusicfestival.com, $45 for Friday-only pass.
BYO brewer's feast
Put your beer-nerdiness on full display at Logan Square Kitchen's Brewer's BYO. Guests are encouraged to bring an exotic beer or show off their own impressive home brew. The price of admission gets you a three-beer tasting flight of Half Acre Daisy Cutter, Gossamer, and Over Ale; food pairings including beer-battered trout, mussels with crawfish sausage, and smoked pork shoulder served up by Gaztro Wagon; and innumerable references to dry hopping, Brussels lace, and degrees Plato. 7 PM, 2333 N. Milwaukee, 773-942-1100, logansquarekitchen.com, $30.
SATURDAY, JULY 16
- Tour de Fat
If you go to any festival this summer . . .
. . . go to New Belgium Brewing's Tour de Fat cycling fest. A five-mile costumed bike ride along closed-off streets in Logan Square and Humboldt Park, followed by $5 pints and sets from the Doveskins, Mucca Pazza, and others—set against the backdrop of idyllic Palmer Square. Proceeds benefit West Town Bikes. 9 AM registration, followed by 10 AM ride and entertainment from 11 AM-4 PM, Palmer between Kedzie and Sacramento, facebook.com/tourdefat, free (but you should make a $5 donation).
Chef-guided Green City Market tour
Two-time James Beard Award-winning chef and Green City Market cofounder Sarah Stegner will lead foodies on a personal tour of the market, followed by a family-style brunch at Prairie Fire with special guest Heather Lalley, author of The Chicago Homegrown Cookbook. Lalley spent a year interviewing Chicago chefs and farmers for the book. If you're sick of hearing about farm-to-table this and sustainable that, lighten up—the book and the brunch menu (composed of a polenta cake with poached egg, lamb sausage, and French toast with local syrup) look delectable. 9:30 AM, Green City Market, 1750 N. Clark, chicagogreencitymarket.org; 11:30 AM, Prairie Fire, 215 N. Clinton, 312-382-8300, prairiefirechicago.com, $18.50.
SUNDAY, JULY 17
Chicago's yeast side
Bill Savage, brother of Dan (see Savage Love, duh) leads a beer-themed boat tour that highlights "the city's golden age of beer, brewing and drinking culture" (wait, is that era over?) accompanied by tastings from Two Brothers Brewing. Yes, this is the third beer-related recommendation of the weekend. Have you seen the cover of this week's paper? 6 PM, 465 N. McClurg, 312-527-1977, chicagohistory.org, $55.
Venerable author, venerable bar
Michael Harvey, who received the high honor of being named "best Chicago writer who also owns a bar" in our recent Best of Chicago issue, is celebrating the release of his fourth Chicago-set thriller, We All Fall Down, at—you guessed it—his bar. Harvey will read from the book and discuss his research and writing process. Bonus: A sneak-peek screening of the trailer from Harvey's forthcoming documentary with John Grisham. (Don't worry—the shindig ends in plenty of time to get you home for the season premier of Breaking Bad.) 7 PM, the Hidden Shamrock, 2723 N. Halsted, 773-883-0304, chicagowayseries.com, free.
MONDAY, JULY 18
Today is day one of nationally syndicated cartoonist Nicole Hollander's five-day Graphic Novel Workshop, and we can think of worse ways to spend the week than learning to "master the art of the graphic novel . . . to capture your short non-fiction remembrance of a first kiss, a last kiss, your best retort or the saddest story ever told." Awww. 2-5 PM, 7/18-7/22, Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N. Ravenswood, lillstreet.com, $225.
TUESDAY, JULY 19
Kayaks and skyscrapers
Why lose yourself in the grandeur of Mother Nature when you can be dwarfed by Willis, Trump, and Hancock? This round-trip kayak outing guided by Chicago River Canoe and Kayak passes through Chinatown, Pagoda in the Park, and River City. Trees are for the birds. 6:30 PM (the same trip launches various days and times through September 15), Lawrence's Fisheries, 2120 S. Canal, 773-704-2663, chicagoriverpaddle.com, $50 for a single kayak or $35 per person for tandem.
Pedestrian, in a good way
The experimental, cell phone-guided, MP3-soundtracked, live-art event En Route aims to blur the line between pedestrian life and a format-busting gallery space. Details on the artsy jaunt through downtown—the creation of Australian company One Step at a Time and presented by Chicago Shakespeare Theater World's Stage Series—are a little vague, but organizers promise to "shift perceptions" for participants and "remake the city they inhabit." I, for one, am intrigued. 11 AM, 2 PM, and 5 PM, every Tue-Sat through 8/13. Starting point: somewhere in the northeast Loop; actual address sent via text 24 hours in advance, 312-595-5600, $35.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20
One night in Paris
With a four-course menu that highlights "the refined flavors of several regions of France," the Center on Halsted's Une Nuit a Paris dinner is more than a mere meal with a view. The BYO rooftop dining series showcases the work of the 16 participants in the Silver Fork initiative, a 12-week vocational training program for unemployed or underemployed LGBT (and allied) adults and young adults. 6 PM, 3656 N. Halsted, 773-472-6469 ext. 437, centeronhalsted.org, $25.