Floatie performs at Sleeping Village on Saturday. Credit: Ash Dye

Summer’s in full swing . . . get out there and enjoy our city!

FRI 7/1

Want to book shows at clubs? Get your band booked for more shows at clubs? Maybe open a club that hosts shows? No matter your goal, if you’ve got music on your mind and you’re new to the Chicago scene, Donnie Biggins has you covered. Every Friday from 10 AM-1 PM, the Golden Dagger owner, Shams Band veteran, and rock promoter extraordinaire holds office hours at the Golden Dagger (2447 N. Halsted) where people can get free career advice on playing and promoting music for money. Click “buy tickets” to sign up for a half-hour meeting today or next week. Otherwise, check the Golden Dagger’s website weekly. Note you must be 21 or older to participate, and proof of vaccination is required. (MC)

It wouldn’t be Independence Day weekend in Berwyn without the American Music Festival setting up shop on Roosevelt, and FitzGerald’s did not disappoint this year with their healthy list of Americana, rock, roots, blues, and country acts performing both outside and inside the club tonight through Monday. Contributor Mark Guarino singled out the Chicago Soul Jazz Collective in his preview this week. They perform tomorrow night with singer Dee Alexander at 10:30 PM. Tonight’s music starts at 5 PM, and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday’s shows start at 1 PM. You can catch the entire schedule including set times at FitzGerald’s website; tickets are still available ($50 for a single day; $175 for a four-day pass) and all ages are welcome. (SCJ) 

Moonwater Dance Project presents Moonwater IV, tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 PM, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts (1016 N. Dearborn). The company, which focuses entirely on female artists, presents seven new works this weekend. Last year, company founder and artistic director Mackenzie King told Reader contributor Nora Paul, “Very rarely do you see two women dancing together . . . and we try and change that. We take pride in the fact that we can lift each other, and we can partner with each other, and there is not a limit to what we can do because we are women.” Tickets for Moonwater IV begin at $35, and are available at moonwaterdanceproject.com. (KR)

The organizations Pride South Side and Chicago Windy City Black Pride have combined forces this year to present Chicago Black Pride, a series of seven events spanning over this weekend starting with tonight’s kickoff party hosted by party promoters Deviant (who call tonight “an intentionally sexy party curated for and by Black and Brown queer people”). That starts tonight at 9 at Bronzeville’s Haven Entertainment Center (932 E. 43rd). Tomorrow features an afternoon-long festival at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center with entertainment provided by Jamila Woods, Mister Wallace, and host The Vixen, along with vendors and a cash bar. That happens from noon-5 PM at the museum (740 E. 56th Pl., free to attend but reservations are required). A full list of weekend including ticketing links is available at pridesouthside.org. (SCJ)

SAT 7/2

Chosen Few Picnic & Festival is back for an IRL celebration this year, and takes over Jackson Park today (63rd and Hayes) with house music, DJs, special guests, and happy people dancing and enjoying outdoor grilling (weather permitting). Check out Reader senior writer Leor Galil’s preview here. Tickets are available for all ages, and while you might not be keen to actually show up for the 8 AM start time, other people are totally doing that, so get there on the early side to find a good spot. The festival continues through 10 PM. There’s also a closing party and meet and greet opportunity scheduled for tomorrow at Epiphany Center for the Arts (201 S. Ashland); special guests include Glenn Underground, Deejay Alicia, and the Chosen Few DJs themselves. That starts at 3 PM in the outdoor patio space at Epiphany, and the party shifts indoors at 8 PM. It’s 21+ and advance tickets are available here. (SCJ)

From 2-6 PM, Compound Yellow (244 Lake, Oak Park, IL) is hosting its opening for “Side Yard(s),” a month-long exhibition where design trio i/thee (Compound Yellow’s summer artists-in-residence) will generate speculative drawings and models emphasizing “co-sentience” within the community organization’s Side Yard space. As i/thee explains on Compound Yellow’s website, “Where some wish to draw distinctions, we wish to shed light on what we all have in common: to demonstrate that the appearance of difference is an illusion.” Not only is this a chance to commune with creatives, but it’s also an opportunity to provide input on growing Side Yard’s potential as a site for performance and community engagement. (MC)

Tonight marks the return of DOPENESS: Black by Popular Demand at the Annoyance (851 W. Belmont). A sketch and improv troupe featuring Black performers with long résumés onstage and onscreen (including The Chi, Shameless, and various Dick Wolf Chicago Professionals franchises), Black by Popular Demand says that they’re offering “a cultural movement in the making performed by Chicago comedy’s best.” You can catch them Saturdays at 7 PM through 8/27; tickets are $10 at theannoyance.com. (KR)

American Blues Theater is planning on opening a brand-new space on North Lincoln in November 2023. But in the meantime, they’re celebrating an American master with their revival of Fences by August Wilson (the 1950s “chapter” in his acclaimed Century Cycle). Directed by Monty Cole, the production opens in previews tonight at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont) with a killer cast, including Kamal Angelo Bolden as Troy Maxson, the Pittsburgh sanitation worker and former Negro League star whose bitterness at lost opportunities takes a toll on his family; Shanésia Davis as his wife, Rose; and ABT ensemble member Manny Buckley as Gabriel, Troy’s brother who was left with mental disabilities as a result of a war injury. Although it’s been produced frequently in Chicago, Cole (who made his local directorial debut with an acclaimed 2016 production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape with now-defunct Oracle Productions) is bringing what he says will be a different take to the story. “I don’t see Wilson as realism at all,” he said in an interview earlier this week. “I would say the guts of his plays are spirituality. Almost every play that he writes, the thing that’s turning the gears of the play is some sense of spirituality.” Last night’s opening was sold out but seats are available for tonight at 7:30 PM as well as tomorrow at 2:30 PM. The play runs through 8/6; tickets are $25-$45 at 773-975-8150 or americanbluestheater.com. (KR)

Floatie, Chicago’s most famous frog rockers, are making a triumphant return from their first tour since the pandemic. They’ll be closing out their cross-country adventures from the Sleeping Village (3734 W. Belmont) stage with help from Options, the power-pop solo project of multi-instrumentalist Seth Engel, and Spirits Having Fun, a joyful indie-rock four piece. The show starts at 9 PM and costs $15. You must be 21 or older, and proof of vaccination is required. (MC)

SUN 7/3

On the first Sunday of every month, the Sage Gawd Collective hosts a donation-based online yoga class to benefit abortion funds in Chicago, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Collective founder DuShaun Branch Pollard explained on Instagram, “As a daughter of the Great Migration, I want to support funds in the states that my ancestors once called/still call home.” Class is held at 9 AM, and the recommended donation is $15. Sign up online, and direct questions to Dushaun@sagegawdcollective.com. (MC)

It’s always interesting to see what musicians in our favorite bands come up with when they release solo material, and Steve Von Till from beloved heavy metal band Neurosis came up with something very special with his 2021 release A Deep Voiceless Wilderness. Contributor Luca Cimarusti said that the album features “touches of primitive acoustic guitar” and “pensive, sweeping instrumental postrock.” You can read more about it in Cimarusti’s preview of Von Till’s concert tonight at the Empty Bottle. Helen Money opens, and the 21+ affair starts at 8:30 PM. Tickets are still available. (SCJ)

You might think Pride is “officially” over, but the energy’s still going strong at the Promontory (5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West). At 10 PM, they’re hosting “Re-Energized,” a celebration centering queer Black joy organized by the Small World Collective and Body By Mighty. DJs Khali Melon, Dapper, and Tori will bring the best in reggae, dancehall, and other Caribbean jams designed to get bodies writhing. The festivities will be punctuated by special performances from Mocha Mocha, Ms. Mighty, and Destiny. Promontory is ADA accessible, and accommodation requests can be made at info@smallworldcollective.org or calling Promontory directly at (312) 801-2100. This party is open to those 21 and older, and masks and proof of vaccination are required. Tickets are $15 ($10 in advance) but go up to $20 after midnight, so if you’re expecting to roll up late, buy ahead. (MC)

MON 7/4

As a painter himself, our contributor Dmitry Samarov has a complicated relationship with the work of French artist and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, and wrote about it in his review of “Cézanne,” an exhibition on view at the Art Institute of Chicago (111 S. Michigan) through 9/5. You have a chance to see the work of the innovative artist (who many consider a founding father of the 20th century art as his work was a bridge between eras) today as the Art Institute is open for business from 11 AM-5 PM. Regular admission fees apply, but go to the museum’s website to see information about discount opportunities. (SCJ) 

Feeling lucky? Head to Simone’s (960 W. 18th St.) tonight for Lotería Monday, an evening of craft drinks, Lotería cards, and giving back. At this monthly event, Lotería cards are available to purchase for $5 each, and this money is donated to a nonprofit in the Chicago area. This month’s game play benefits Taller de José, a Little Village social service organization. Simone’s is a 21+ venue and the event starts at 8 PM. (SCJ)

TUE 7/5

You may have heard there’s a bit of a lifeguard shortage happening in Chicago. (Actually, it’s nationwide!) While the city owns 49 outdoor and 28 indoor pools, lifeguards have been diverted from beaches so more neighborhood pools can open, bringing the total for the season up to 37 as of today. Pools are usually open 11 AM-7 PM five days a week, though some hours may vary individually. Check the Park District website for the nearest place to take a dip. (MC)

Every Tuesday until October 11, the Low-Line Market is set up just outside the Southport stop on the Brown line at 1409 W. Addison. From 3-7 PM, browse a small but carefully curated selection of local farmers, bakers, and other makers that will include produce, meat, cheeses, canned goods, local honey, tamales, vegan popsicles, beet (yes, BEET) jerky, candles, clothing, and more. Personally, I’m curious about Vergo’s spicy pineapple chips and Elsie Mae’s strawberry jalapeño margarita mix, but there’s lots to be excited about here—including that SNAP and LINK cards are welcome! (MC)

WED 7/6

Chicago SummerDance is back in swing, and free opportunities to learn new dances and listen to music of many genres are some of the benefits of this annual free program from the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Tonight the fun visits Welles Park (2333 W. Sunnyside) with Haki Kino, an evening of Hawaiian fitness exercises and dance. At 4:30 PM, join in for creative activities including a workshop in Lei making and Hula demonstrations. At 5:30 PM, Aloha Center Chicago leads the dancing with Lanialoha Lee, a Kuma Hula (master Hula teacher) and music by Pacific Soundz & Friends of Aloha. Check out the city’s website for more information about future events. (SCJ)

Curtis Mayfield fans, take note: multi-instrumentalist and producer Sam Thousand is teaming up with Verzatile for a night of tributes at Untitled Supper Club (111 W. Kinzie). Before becoming a renowned soul performer—perhaps best known for his incendiary soundtrack to Blaxploitation classic Super Fly—Mayfield was a humble Chicagoan. Born in 1942, he cut his chops in local gospel choirs before joining the Impressions, then going solo and forever changing the landscape of rock history. The event starts at 7:30 PM. It is free to come and appreciate the entertainment, but reservations at Untitled are highly encouraged—especially if you want to catch a view of the band. (MC)

At 8 PM, Comfort Station (2579 N. Milwaukee) hosts an evening of films from native Chicagoan and current New Yorker James Fotopoulos, an artist who works with moving image, sculpture, and drawing. A selection of Fotopoulos’s short films will be screened, along with his 52-minute feature Timon—created in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown and centered around the story of Timon of Athens. It’s free to attend and masks will be required for entry. More information is available at Comfort Station’s website. (SCJ)

THU 7/7

Looking for more free summer family fun? Check out the skating rink at the Garfield Park Community Plaza (4008 W. Madison). From now until August 15, the roller rink is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 AM-7 PM. Skating and skate rentals are free, and there are picnic benches and other eating-and-seating options as well as a tented cool-down area. (MC)

Contributor Nina Li Coomes explored the art exhibition “Remaking the Exceptional: Tea, Torture, and Reparations” (on view at DePaul Art Museum through 8/7) for our Summer Theater and Arts Preview issue in June. Tonight, the museum is hosting a book talk and tour of the exhibit starting at 5:30 PM, with Dr. Maha Hilal, founder and executive director of Muslim Counterpublics Lab, and author of Innocent Until Proven Muslim, and artist, organizer, anti-war activist, and Iraq War veteran Aaron Hughes, one of the curators of “Remaking the Exceptional.” It’s free to attend, and more information is available at the museum’s Facebook page. (SCJ)

Legendary artist, music fan, and writer Cynthia Albritton (aka Cynthia Plaster Caster) passed away in April, and tonight there’s a tribute to her life and work at Metro (3730 N. Clark). More than a dozen artists will perform, including the Mekons’s Jon Langford and Sally Timms, and Suzi Gardner of L7. This week’s Gossip Wolf has more information and tickets for the 8 PM event are available to those 18+. Proceeds from the night will benefit Girls Rock! Chicago. (SCJ) 

PRFBBQ, the festival borne from an Internet messaging forum and the networks of musicians and fans that were formed from years of late-night posts, is back in person this year. The weekend’s festivities kick off tonight at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) with a concert featuring Stomatopod, Prichard, Hungry Man, and Sewingneedle. It’s 21 to enter and starts at 9:30 PM. Other events in the festival will take place on the Comfort Station’s lawn (2579 N. Milwaukee) and at Workshop 4200 (4200 W. Diversey); for ticketing and information about PRF, check out their website. (SCJ)