June brought the theoretical start of summer, with some weirdly cool solstice weather, but the pit-drenching temps of actual summer have arrived, too. That means it’s finally time for perhaps the most fun, and certainly most sweaty, time in Chicago: three or so months of street fairs, music festivals and patio drinking, and you can now get to all of it via scooters that will infuriate your neighbors for some reason.
The aforementioned festivals, fairs and patio events hit hard in July, so here are our picks for the best things going on every week this month in Logan and nearby areas. Get out there and enjoy!
Monday, July 1: Canada Day @ Lost Lake, 5 p.m.
A few days before you wearily celebrate America in 2019, take the opportunity to honor a country whose leader can form a coherent sentence. The drinks, food and even the very people of Canada (in the form of guest Canadian bartenders and Canadian chef William Serre) will get things all maple-leafy for you at Lost Lake (3154 W. Diversey Ave.). Cocktails will feature Canadian brands like Lot 40 rye whiskey, and you can snack on poutine and a delicious-sounding maple-braised pork belly.
Playing off the current rage for “I’m moving to Canada jokes,” the event will raise funds for Organized Communities Against Deportations, to help those entering at our other border who are in actual need of asylum. Oops, that got heavy—but it gives me an opportunity for the most Canadian of activities: an apology. Sorry.
Wednesday, July 3: Cheesie’s Truck: @ Sleeping Village (Avondale), 5 p.m–9 p.m.
Lubricate your BBQ-swallowing tubes the day before the 4th with some healthy servings of molten cheese—just like George Washington did before crossing the Delaware (I’m pretty sure). Cheesie’s Truck comes to Sleeping Village’s (3734 W. Belmont Ave.) patio to sling tater tots and fancy grilled cheeses. Try out The Frenchie, to honor our Gallic allies in the Revolutionary War. This sandwich comes stuffed with American cheese, mozzarella, thick-cut bacon and more. From the folks behind The Whistler (2421 N. Milwaukee Ave.), Sleeping Village offers 56 drafts of beer and cider to wash down all the greasy goodness.
Thursday, Independence Day: July 4 Rocks @ Moe’s Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
You’re going to barbecue. You’re going to day drink. You’re going to worry about work responsibilities while smiling and pretending to listen to your neighbor talk about baseball or something. But after all the requisite July 4 activities, go check out a little, loud rock show at Moe’s (2937 N. Milwaukee Ave.). As the beloved, in-no-way-Simpsons-related dive says, “it’s nice to know that we can still keep on rockin’ in the semi-free world.”
Friday, July 5: New Wave Dance Party @ Beat Kitchen (Roscoe Village), 7 p.m.–11:30 p.m.
The ’80s did a lot of things wrong, but in New Wave music, the decade did a lot of things right. Make your way over to Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont Ave.) in Roscoe Village (just a short bus ride) to dance so hard people will think you’re still angry about Ronald Reagan getting elected president (and AREN’T you??). Full-band tributes to The Cure, The Smiths, and Echo & The Bunnymen will be present.
Sunday, July 7: Sunday Morning Coming Down @ Sleeping Village (Avondale), 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Stumble through a hard-earned, American hangover—or just struggle through the world weariness caused by *indicates everything going on*—with soothing country music and breakfast food. The Sunday Morning Coming Down band promises slow, lazy tunes that would make Kris Kristofferson proud. So find your cleanest dirty shirt, wash your face and comb your hair, and stumble down the street to Sleeping Village (3734 W. Belmont Ave.).
Wednesday, July 10: Do Not Submit @ Webster Wine Bar, 7:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
Everyone’s got at least one good story in ’em. So come on down to Webster’s (2601 N. Milwaukee Ave.) to share what happened at that terrible hostel in Paris or how your dad humiliated you at your bat mitzvah or even, like, a good memory or something—whatever you like! And even if you’re too shy to share, A) Webster’s has plenty of glorious red and white (and rosé) liquid courage and, B) You can always just listen to other people’s tales. Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., storytelling at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday , July 11: City Late Night @ City Lit Books, 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.
We’re all still mourning the loss (to Logan Square) of Uncharted Books, including its excellent events lineup, but City Lit (2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.) remains! The City Late Night event mixes the sensibilities of a late-night talk show with those of a book-store reading series, with a little “Twilight Zone” thrown in to weird things up a bit. This edition tackles fame.
Thursday, July 11: Ladies of Logan Pop-Up Networking @ Ampersand, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
A pair of female business owners in Logan Square—Kelly Marie Thompson of Fleur (2651 N. Milwaukee Ave.) and Mary Nisi of Ampersand co-work (3317 W. Fullerton Ave.)—recently launched an event series to showcase women-owned Logan businesses. The series, beginning with this event, also aims to help those businesswomen network and learn from one another. Thursday’s event will work a lot like a craft show, with women vendors sharing their wares.
Thompson and Nisi aim to “create a community of ‘badass’ women” with the series, they said in a Block Club article about the project. Check it out, and if you’d like to participate, email Thompson at [email protected] or Nisi at [email protected] And if you want to attend the free event and support local artists, RSVP.
Wednesday July 10: Moon Landing/Cosmos @ Comfort Station, 8:30 p.m.–10 p.m.
This month marks 50 years since humanity got so sick of each other that three of us just packed up and went to the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin bounced around on that big wheel of cheese in the sky while Michael Collins orbited, weighing whether or not he wanted to bring those two show-offs back home with him. The 50th anniversary of that Apollo 11 mission arrives July 20, to be precise, but Comfort Station (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) has some early fun for all you eager lunatics: The venue’s film series will air 16mm NASA films from the moon-landing era out of Craig Baldwin’s personal collection. Famed space nut (the preferred term is cosmologist) Carl Sagan will also make an appearance, in a half-episode of the beloved pop-sci series “Cosmos.” Screening happens, weather permitting, on the Comfort Station lawn.
Friday, July 19: Scary Story Time @ Bucket O’ Blood (Avondale), 9 p.m.–MIDNIGHT (ooOOOoohhh!!).
They scared the crap right out of you in middle school, probably (or earlier, or later, I don’t know how old you are): The “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” book series, with its creepy retellings of folk tales and urban legends, also produced some of the most banned books of all time. The violent stories and the ghoulish black and white and red illustrations got the titles on lame church ladies’ shit lists but also made the books beloved among pre-goth little readers. A documentary about the series, “Scary Stories,” comes to DVD July 16, and Bucket o’ Blood Books and Records (3182 N. Elston Ave.) is hosting a free screening, complete with dim lights, campfire refreshments and a “pass the flashlight story hour.” Don’t walk home alone.
Friday, July 19: Ninth Anniversary @ Cafe Mustache, 7 a.m.–2 a.m.
For just one year shy of a decade, Cafe Mustache (92313 N. Milwaukee Ave.) has satisfied your need for a late-morning latte (I’ve seen when clientele starts stumbling in Sunday “mornings”), tempted you with the delicious aroma of vegan chili and helped you make the transition from working-day caffeine to happy-hour Old Style. Celebrate nine years of success in the incredibly tough industry of small cafe ownership by dropping some change on coffee, eats or alcohol—or all three at once, if you can handle it.
Saturday, July 20: Silent Party ’90s Edition @ The Native, 10 p.m.–1 a.m.
At The Native’s (2417 N. Milwaukee Ave.) Silent Parties, you get the fun of a DJ dance party without the inescapable noise. Just rent a set of headphones, and you can pick from among three live DJs competing for your favor. Just pop off the headphones if and when you’d actually like to talk to your friends. Even better: This one’s all about the indisputably greatest era in popular music history. Native’s vinyl spinners will treat you to Bill Clinton-era alternative, hip-hop and top 40.
Saturday, July 20: Pitchfork Aftershow @ Sleeping Village (Avondale), 10 p.m.–1 a.m.
The Pitchfork Music Festival arrives this weekend, and just maybe you have the energy to spend all day in the hot sun at Union Park, then hit some aftershows. Or maybe you’d rather skip the festival itself and just stay close to home with some Logan-area follow-ups. The first one in the neighborhood happens July 20 at Sleeping Village (3734 W. Belmont Ave.), featuring Amen Dunes, the solo/side project of singer-songwriter Damon McMahon. If you can’t make that one, check out Khruangbin the next night at the same venue. The Texas trio with eclectic influences and musical interests will host a DJ set.
Sunday, July 21: Alcoholics Synonymous reads “The Rum Diary” @ Paladar, 9 p.m.–11 p.m.
Brought to you by the folks at Bucket o’ Blood (3182 N. Elston Ave.), the punkish book club Alcoholics Synonymous comes to Logan’s Paladar (2252 N. Western Ave.) to discuss Hunter S. Thompson’s “The Rum Diary.” A near-perfect pairing with the rum-centric Cuban restaurant Paladar, “The Rum Diary” explores a wild, rum-fueled love triangle in Puerto Rico. Paladar offers “authentic Cuban cuisine” based on family recipes and “earns high marks for its extensive rum selection and cocktail list,” according to Chicago Eater.
Sunday, July 21: Play/Paws with The Age of Bronze and Donna Diane @ Native, 2 p.m.–5 p.m.
The Native’s (2417 N. Milwaukee Ave.) weekly summer patio series treats you to stripped-down versions of local acts’ tunes, all to benefit local animal shelters. This Sunday, Saves the Day bassist Rodrigo Palma headlines, with his solo project The Age of Bronze. And make sure you check out the impressive wail of Donna Diane, lead singer for local, heavy-hitting two-piece Djunah.
Friday, July 26-Sunday, July 28: Wicker Park Fest @ Milwaukee Avenue (Wicker Park).
Logan Square partisan that I am, I’ll admit that our neighbor down the Blue Line, Wicker Park, has some things to offer, one of them being the massive Wicker Park Fest. The fest touts its title as “Chicago’s Best Street Festival of the Summer,” granted by the Tribune, which is saying something in a city packed with almost too many summer street fests. For me, this year’s worth it just for the Screaming Females set Friday at 9 p.m., a band equal parts shreddy, screamy and groovy. Other big names include Wavves and Murder by Death. New this year, you can join a silent party, with live DJs beaming tunes to your headphones, and a live printing demo and give-away from Transit Tees (1371 N. Milwaukee Ave.). There’s also an Arts Area and a Kids Fest, along with all the food and shopping options you’ve come to expect from a street fair.
Wednesday, July 31:Lollapalooza Aftershow GothBoiClique @ Logan Square Auditorium, 6 p.m.–10 p.m.
You’ve barely caught your breath from Pitchfork (or from going to one Pitchfork aftershow), and it’s already time for Lollapalooza (or one Lollapalooza aftershow)! This one brings the emo/hip-hop hybrid of GothBoiClique to the Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie Blvd.) I’m not making up that genre, btw. Here’s Skullcandy on the group: “They are the intersection of retro emo … and ’90s Memphis-goth-rap-revivalism.” You should be able to spot those influences pretty easily, too. “Samples aren’t restricted to soul loops; in this world, you’ll find chops of The Postal Service, The Microphones or American Football,” Skullcandy writes. You can check out more Lolla aftershows at the Logan Auditorium, as well as Sleeping Village, Aug. 1 and 2.
Wednesday, July 31: Harry Potter Game Night @ Volumes Bookcafe (Wicker Park), 7 p.m.–9 p.m.
Another thing Wicker Park has going for it? Volumes Bookcafe (1474 N. Milwaukee Ave.), and the gem of a bookstore/cafe/event space has something special for all you Potterheads for the bespectacled wizard’s birthday. Come play Potter-themed trivia and games for prizes, including Hogwarts-appropriate swag, gift cards and books from Volumes. Sign-up is old-fashioned: Send an owl. Just kidding, but it will be a paper sign-up sheet that you can join by stopping by the store or calling at (773) 697-8066. Teams of four to six can participate.
Wednesday, July 31: Fan Films Before YouTube @ Comfort Station, 8 p.m.–10 p.m.
Ready to see some awkward Spider-Man costumes and some equally awkward (if not more so) acting? Of course you are! These fan-made superhero and sci-fi films from the pre-internet days pair infectious enthusiasm with endearingly clunky special effects. Enjoy titles you’re sure to adore, like “The Incredible Hulk vs. the Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing” (1982) and “The Two Doctors and the Anti-Matter Menace” (1984). Screenings happen on the Comfort Station (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) lawn, weather permitting.
Featured photo: Steve Weishampel