Oh how I love my city. Even though we've had a strange week when it comes to weather, overall it's been quite spiffy. Last night, in all of its bittersweet moments, was a perfect combination of sunny and cool.
In case you weren't aware, last night also included the Afro-beat-Funk-Experimental band, Antibalas, playing a free show in Pritzker Pavilion at Grant Park. Aha. What a show, what a show! And free? Yes. Outdoors? Yes. With the best sound system ever? Yes!
Things got started around 7 with African music project The Very Best. Their last album, Warm Heart of Africa (2009), includes guest appearances from M.I.A. and Vampire Weekend. How quirky is that? Quirky enough for me to go take a listen, eh! After their set and a short break later, Antibalas took over the stage and the dancing began. What was really lovely to see among the crowd was the peaceful way in which everyone gathered in front of the stage. It seemed like the night was all about love, peace and music harmony. (This includes my darling friends Charly and Stephanie who were in celebration mode as an Antibalas performance years prior was one of their first dates ever. Sweetness oozed all around.)
Unfortunately, during the band's set I was informed that a friend of ours, a passionate music lover, had passed away. Rainer Tobon left our world last night. It almost seemed the love, peace and music harmony around us was meant especially for him. I'll keep you all posted on any fundraising events that will take place to help alleviate the costs associated with this tragedy.
After the energizing set from Antibalas, we headed over to Bernice's in Bridgeport. Have you been there? Woah! It is one crack-addicting hole-in-the-wall dive bar with oh-so-cheesy-but-awesome music and I love it! You have to ring a bell and get buzzed in. And if you look shady, like our resident photog JoseFO, you may just not be able to get in. Hee! The place is tiny, in comparison to my fave Skylark, but what it lacks in size it provides in kitsch and amazing reception from the bartender and Ms. Bernice herself who pops out now and again from the back of the bar. Delight! Bernice's is located at 3238 S. Halsted and if you Yelp it you'll find nothing but raves for this tiny gem. I also brought up Bernice's because the surf-instro band WrayGun is playing tonight. If you get a chance, do yourself a huge favor and go check them out.
It's Friday and tonight we're heading over to Junior's (after a quick stop at Bernice's, hello!) for Eskucha's DiskoRuido event, Automaton.
DJ Nando, the man behind it all, assures us "It's going to be like an electronic music surge that will make any robot dance. We're all Automatons after all." Great quote, Nando! Junior's is located in Pilsen at 2058 W. Cermak. No cover before 11PM and only $5 after. Among the featured DJs is Miss Cedeño and Tony Macias. Yeah!
Saturday, we'll be heading over to Caoba for our gal pal Vero's fundraiser for the Sandoval Family. She will be shaving her head! Wha!? Yes, you read it correctly. Vero explains it: "Ignacio "Nacho" Sandoval was a good friend of mine growing up in the same neighborhood in the Back of the Yards. His sister Lety is like my little sister. His mom, a stay at home mom, taking care of her family which consists of 3 children now (one with cerebral palsy) and her husband (a self employed mechanic). Prior to 2007 Nacho was diagnosed with cancer. He had grown his hair out finally, when he started chemotherapy, as all patients of chemo, it started falling out, so he shaved it off! I had promised him all throughout that one day I would shave my head. I feel like it's only fair to know what a person feels if you walk in their shoes. So, in honor of all those affected with cancer, Nacho, this one's for you. Donations will be accepted at the door and a raffle ticket will be given for a special prize. All who want to participate come on out and shave your heads with me if you’d like. I'm a little nervous about it, but it's for a great cause." Things get going at 9PM and Caoba is located at 1619 N. Damen in Wicker Park. Please support this amazing effort.
That's it for now, kiddies. As you know Sunday is Cobra time so we'll catch you out there. 9PM, no cover, great music all night.