Well, this week is definitely an improvement over last week, with a lot of great concerts, in addition to some interesting theater and films.
Friday, April 30
Envy. This oft-delayed movie with Ben Stiller and Jack Black finally opens. Both actors are funny, normally. However, this sounds like it's going to be one of those exceptions to the rule. I hope I'm wrong.
Art Ensemble of Chicago at Mandel Hall, 8 p.m., $11 for students ($25 otherwise). This avant-garde group spans a wide range of music, from free jazz to African drumming. Their return to Mandel Hall after 32 years is definitely something not to be missed.
Middle East Music Ensemble at the Oriental Institute, 6 p.m., free.
Laurent Garnier at Sound Bar, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., $20, 21+. One of France's best-known DJs comes stateside. We may not see eye to eye with the French on war, but how about on the dance floor?
Mauricio Aviles at Smart Bar, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., $10, 21+. If you're into San Francisco deep house, Aviles should be just what you want. He compiled one of Naked Music's great compilations. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, just know that I'm a fan.
George Benson at the Ford Center Theater for the Performing Arts, 8 p.m. (also on Saturday at the same time), $30-$75. This Grammy Award-winning guitarist is in town. People into jazz or R&B should definitely check him out.
Los Lobos at Park West, 7:30 p.m., 21+.
Nelly Furtado at the Vic, 7:30 p.m., $37.50.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Third Floor Theatre, 8 p.m. (same time on Saturday), $5. Support University Theater and I will give you a cookie.
Off-Off Campus' Pants Pants Revolution!, University Church, 9 p.m., $4. Ditto.
Saturday, May 1
Pictures and Sounds at Doc, 4 p.m. ($8, $5 w/ U of C ID, and $3 w/ Doc membership). The band Blue Dahelia performs to the 1926 silent film Seven Chances.
Mary J. Blige, Arie Crown Theater, McCormick Place, 7:30 p.m., $55-$75.
Festival of Erotic Love and Spring at Katerina's, music performances at 10 p.m. OK, I have no clue what this is like, but I have to mention it. I mean, what a great reason for a festival! And the performances are "with poetry and flowers." Flowers are nice...
University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mandel Hall, 8 p.m. (see above). Here's a chance to see a 100-strong orchestra of students and locals perform in one of their five programs this year.
Sunday, May 2
Blondie at the House of Blues, doors open at 7:30 p.m., $37.50.
Joan Jones exhibition at the Renaissance Society opens. OK, so the description of her work was way over my head. But, needless to say, the Renaissance Society has a long history of displaying leading contemporary art, so it couldn't hurt to check it out. Besides, it's a better reason to go to Cobb than class. And it's free.
Monday, May 3
Kanye West w/ Dilated Peoples at the House of Blues, Monday (sold out), Tuesday, and Wednesday (doors open at 7:30 p.m., except 5:30 p.m. on Monday), $33.50, 18+.
Tuesday, May 4
Yes at Allstate Arena, 7:30 p.m., $45-$59.50. The progressive rock group is on tour, celebrating 35 years together.
Wednesday, May 5
Last Tango in Paris at Doc, 7 p.m. Come see Marlon Brando in what many consider one of his best performances, in one of Bertolucci's best known films. Oh, and it's probably rated NC-17 for a reason.
Thursday, May 6
Crave and The Man Who Turned into a Stick, First Floor Theater, 8 p.m., $5. The weekly onslaught of UT productions continues. As they appear to be shown back-to-back, these two plays should be shorter than some. Good for people with short attention spans.