It was an extra busy weekend for Team ZimmerGreen starting with a Friday night viewing of 21 Jump Street. We’ve been wanting to see this since it was released because we were both fans of the original TV series and were interested in seeing if we agreed with all of the positive reviews of the film adaptation. The movie stars the skinny version of Jonah Hill and an extremely likeable Channing Tatum. It also features an excellent supporting cast that includes Ice Cube, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper, Chris Parnell, Nick Offerman, and the guy who plays Nick on New Girl. And the movie is often hilarious. Keep an eye out for a couple of terrific cameos too.
After the movie we headed down to Lincoln Park to try out a new restaurant called Forza. The restaurant is nice with exposed brick, tables on one side and a long bar on the other side. The bar has large TV’s that were all tuned to sports until 9pm when the lights dimmed and for some reason all the TV’s switched over to a Karl Lagerfeld fashion show featuring Florence minus The Machine. We started off with a couple of cocktails (Manhattan, Martini) that were decent and competitively priced. We shared the Sicilian Rice Balls which were really good and the Mascarpone Polenta which we thought was a little too runny. We also shared the Campagna di Campofelice (mushrooms, artichokes, olives, truffle oil, topped with an organic egg) pizza which was very good and a bargain at 10 dollars. Overall, the drinks were average, the food was good and fairly priced, and the service was exceptional.
After dinner we walked down the block to Lincoln Hall to see Swedish duo First Aid Kit. We arrived early enough to see the openers Peggy Sue and I really liked their A cappella version of Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack” and their cover of “Heatwave” by Martha & The Vandellas. First Aid Kit took the stage and played an inspired set of music featuring songs from their excellent new record The Lion’s Roar. Highlights included the sweet “Emmylou,” the lovely “Blue,” and a great version of the Patti Smith classic, “Dancing Barefoot.”
On Saturday morning we woke up early for our weekly visit with SocialBulls, a local dog walking group. Stickers led the pack with two other white pitties, Questifer P. Doggins and Lacy. It was a beautiful sunny morning to spend with cute dogs and other dog lovers.
Saturday night we ventured down to the Ukranian Village for the Outer Minds record release party at the Empty Bottle. Before heading to the show we decided to check back in with the recently renovated Bite Cafe. The good news is that the space is still great and the food is even better. Mollie had the Falafel which she didn’t share but it looked really good. I had the fish fry dinner which I didn’t share and was also really good. We shared a lovely chocolate brownie with pretzel ice cream, pretzel crunch, and peanut butter caramel drizzle.We washed it all down with a couple of cans of Shiner Bock. It doesn’t get too much better. After dinner we headed to the show. I was excited to see Summer Girlfriends, which features the amazing Kristin Marks, an excellent CHIRP DJ who precedes my show on Wednesday afternoons. Summer Girlfriends played a nice set of catchy guitar rock that had me anticipating a proper release. Next up was Radar Eyes who really impressed me with their combination of garage rock fire power and punk rock energy. We wanted to stay to see Mannequin Men, who put out one of the best local records of 2011, but we were tired and had to be up early for Easter services so we left having already seen Outer Minds a few weeks ago at the The Hideout for the SXSW send off party. With Mannequin Men scheduled to play Do-Division and Outer Minds playing Pitchfork, we hope to catch both of those bands in the very near future. The show was recorded and you can watch the archive here.
On Sunday morning we woke up early to attend Easter services at Holy Covenant Methodist Church. Having been to Catholic School most of my life I wasn’t sure what to expect at this service. But within the first 10 minutes I was singing Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising” along with a smiling choir. If I went to mass at St. Patricia in 1985 and had to sing along with something from Born in the U.S.A., my Catholic career might not be as stalled as it is today.
After church we headed down to Pilsen to Nightwood, one of our favorite restaurants in the city. I had an amazing bagel sandwich while Mollie had a grilled asparagus and cheddar omelet.
The next few hours were spent either napping or watching Chicago sports teams until our Pete’s Pizza arrived in time for Mad Men.
This week we are scheduled to see Perfume Genius at Schubas, Expo ’76 at Simon’s, while also checking out the CIMM Festival and the awesome CHIRP Record Fair this weekend. Stay tuned for updates.