Fred Anderson (photo: Jazz Institute of Chicago)
Fred Anderson's Birthday Benefit Festival
Friday-Sunday at Velvet Lounge; $25-$30
This four-show celebration of the tenor sax legend includes an Asian Improv Records Tribute to the man on Friday, a Blackout Festival tribute on Saturday and a birthday party on Sunday featuring a two-set jam with the man and his quartet (with Jeff Parker, Hamid Drake and Harrison Bankhead).
8 p.m. Thursday at Bottom Lounge;
With a fanbase that's been steadily growing for the past couple years, P.O.S. has been dubbed by many critics as the savior of hip-hop. It's a tremendous title to bestow on a guy whose humble attitude is his most endearing quality, but it isn't totally off-point especially when considering his huge crossover appeal. P.O.S.'s hybrid of punk and rap is stylistically comparable to two trains colliding head-on at 100 MPH, which in this case isn't a bad thing at all. In fact his no-nonsense, aggressive style is exactly what rap needs right now and it's nice to know that Rhymesayers has allowed this guy to grow without restriction. Dessa of Doomtree will open along with Astronautalis.
East European Folk Festival of Music and Dance
Friday-Sunday at International House of Chicago; $8-$12
One of the largest festivals in the U.S. showcasing the folk music, dance, and culture of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, the 45th annual festival hosted by the University of Chicago attracts enthusiasts from all over the country. Expect a Friday night workshop and dance party, followed by a Saturday night dinner, concert, and more dancing. Saturday and Sunday also offer workshops in dance and singing by well-known Balkan musicians.
Maple Syrup Festival
Saturday-Sunday at North Park Village Nature Center; free
It's not just a pancake topping anymore. Celebrate two days of music, storytelling, guided nature walks and syrup-related activities (tree-tapping, watching sap boil, etc.) which should be good times for the whole fam.
Point Break Live
9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday at New Rock Theater, 3931 N. Elston; $20-$25
"If you want the ultimate, you gotta be willing to pay the ultimate price." If you know that line, this is the show for you. New Rock Theater presents the absurdist stage adaptation of the 1991 Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze extreme-sports blockbuster, opening this weekend. This high-action, punk-rock-style theatrical experience comes complete with excessive gunfire, swearing, chase scenes, fight choreography, football tackles, fake blood, explosions, and of course an indoor monsoon.