One of the weirdest weeks of weather we’ve had in quite a while in Chicago comes to an end with some high-quality entertainment. 65 yesterday (something that’s happened in January three times in ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY THREE YEARS IN CHICAGO) and down in the low single-digits by tomorrow? Our climate seems well on its way to being damaged irreparably because of a lack of earnestness when it comes to taking action, so we all might as well enjoy ourselves before the massive floods, droughts and heat waves wreak serious havoc on our ability to go out and have a good time. Sorry for starting this piece off on such a downer note, but someone needs to say something other than, “Oh, it’s really nice to not be cold in January.” OK, now that I’ve sounded off a bit, let’s get to the good times!
Yo La Tengo @ The Vic Theater, Friday, February 1
YLT are indie rock veterans. “Indie” is a term thrown around nowadays to describe a certain sound or style of music, but this band is one of the reasons the term “indie rock” exists in the first place. They’ve been chugging along since the mid ’80s, cranking out quality record after quality record (thirteen albums in all), and they’ll always receive bonus points from yours truly for the title of their 2006 album, “I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.” Tickets here.
C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band @ FitzGerald’s, Friday & Saturday, February 1 & 2
FitzGerald’s is always an awesome hang on a Friday or Saturday night and when you add the “crown prince of Zydeco,” then you really have a party going on. Clifton Chenier passed away in 1987 and his son carries on the Zydeco tradition with hints of “modern funk, healthy doses of blues, R&B, swamp pop and even country.” Tix here.
The “Big Game” Viewing Party @ The Globe Pub, Sunday, February 3
Yeah, the Bears have been off for quite a while and I know it’s hard for some people to get as excited for football, but hey, the Super Bowl is this country’s largest sporting event so you’re going to watch. Some people just want to watch for the commercials. It’s also the “Super Bowl” of marketing, I guess. No matter what, gazillions of Americans will be glued to the TV on Sunday evening and for many people the question is where do you watch? At home? This is never a bad option. You can focus on the game, the commentary, follow on Twitter, you have the pause and rewind buttons at your disposal, and you don’t have to worry about casual fans that couldn’t care less yakking in your ear about the food being served, the cute commercials, and which squares they have. But, if you’re in the right place, at the right party, with the right people, the entire experience can become unforgettable. Choose wisely. I’ll be watching at The Globe Pub on W. Irving Park because they have a 49ers flag that flies outside, and this Northern CA native enjoys watching the game amongst countless Patrick Willis jerseys and people decked out in red & gold. I’m not superstitious, but watching in the same place that I did for the thrashing of the Packers two and a half weeks ago can’t be a bad thing, right?