By Jason Thomas

As I write this post on Wednesday, I see highs in the 70s this weekend.  Gorgeous.  Hey, summertime gets all the press, people say they love it, blah, blah, blah, but heat indices in the upper 90s and into triple digits suck.  Let’s be honest about it.  A nice blast of early fall-like temperatures has me excited for a weekend of outdoor activities.  Oh, and a bunch of people pretending to play guitar…

Wicker Park Fest, Milwaukee Ave. between North & Paulina, Saturday & Sunday, July 27 & 28

Tons of bands, lots of nice, good-looking people hanging out in the street with their dogs and/or kids while they drink beer and enjoy the beautifully mild summertime weather.  Walk in and out of some of Wicker Park’s finest watering holes while you listen to musical entertainment provided by Cults, Roky Erickson, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Leagues, Meat Puppets and many, many more.  As with most street festivals, they only ask for a few bucks at the gate.  More info here.


Randolph Street Market @ 1340 W. Randolph & 1340 W. Washington, Saturday & Sunday, July 27 & 28

One of the coolest antique and vintage markets you’ll ever come across.  I’d never been until a couple of months ago when my antique-loving mom was in town and asked if I’d take her over there.  Do they have stuff to keep your mom entertained?  Of course, but chances are that no matter how old you are, you’ll find objects that pique your interest.  Rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia and collectibles?  They have those.  Giant letters that you can hang up in your kitchen to spell out “BACON”?  They had those last time I was there.  Wolf and grizzly bear t-shirts?  Yes.  Old beer mirrors and neon signs?  Mmm-hmm….  Go have a look for yourself.  Just be sure to leave yourself enough time to kill.  More info here.

U.S. Air Guitar Semifinals @ Metro, Saturday, July 27

How many times over the years have you played air guitar along with one of your favorite face-melting guitar solos?  If your name is Lin Brehmer, the answer is, “a few times during every airshift.”  Maybe you don’t do it quite as much as Lin does, but even still, if you enjoy watching people (pretending to) rock out with a large enthusiastic crowd cheering them on, then U.S. Air Guitar has your name written all over it.  Whenever I bring this event up to my girlfriend, she  reminds me that this is an activity that’s, oh, about 97% male, but I think she’s wrong.  I think it’s more like 85% dudes.  There will be a few women at Metro on Saturday night.  Yes, this is actually a thing, and I think it’s fantastic.  Tickets can be found here.


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