Michael McBride sings during the 2009 WCGI Semi-Finals. (via michaelscottmcbride.com)
Windy City Gay Idol
8 p.m. (7 p.m. signup) at The Glenwood; $10 to sing, $5 for spectators
The popular singing competition kicks off its 8th year with the first of many preliminary events around town. At each event, the top vote-getter will take home $100 cash, and the top two will advance to the semi-finals (June 5 at Sidetrack) and a chance at the grand prize of $1,000 cash, a pair of airline tickets, Ravinia tickets and more. A then-unknown Lady Gaga made the Finals in 2008, so you never know who you might come across.
9 p.m. at The Shrine; $10
Lyrical practitioner Jean Grae is known primarily for two things: her turbulent career involving semi-retirement, and her ability to effortlessly shred a mic. The former was due to her being fed up with the business side of hip-hop (and her album being leaked preemptively), while the latter sustained her passion well past the initial retirement phase and into her 2008 album, "Jeanius" (produced by 9th Wonder). On that project, particularly on "My Story," Jean vented her frustrations in one motion; lyrically bobbing and weaving through 9th's beats and countering his soulful samples with her precise, multisyllabic jabs and poignant hooks. Two years later fans are still waiting for her new album, "Cake or Death," to drop. If you can't wait any longer, head over to the Shrine for a live showcase.
UPDATE: Jean Grae is apparently not happening tonight. Go see The xx at Lincoln Hall instead.
Pierre Thomas Homecoming Party
10 p.m. at The Fifty/50; no cover
Lansing native Thomas, fresh off a Super Bowl win as a member of the New Orleans Saints, comes to Wicker Park after tonight's White Sox game, at which he'll be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. He'll likely bring along a few of his sports pals at this party, which will feature $3 bottles of Stella Artois, $5 Ultimat vodka drinks and $4 Pama "Tossed Fruit Salad" shots.