The Smokescreens are cursed with seeing through life’s bullshit (which, really, is the true definition of cool.) Whether envying happy-go-lucky fools who “never ever feel blue” or kicking around with “nothing to do,” they don’t allow themselves wishes because those “never come true.” Ah, but their cynicism is lushly enveloped in fuzzy layers of ear-bending descending guitar. Lest the listener gets too passive and comfy, a driving backbeat kicks in, forever opening eyes to the flawed, decaying world. Like the Velvet’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror,” but without sexual placation, Chris Rosi’s slightly flat vocals still manage to help stave off lonely blues. The Smokescreens’ blend of obscure kiwi pop and New York art rock offers an impassioned appeal to realists—the world might suck but we’ve all got to live here anyway. The LA-based New Zealand-born quartet wisely swerves from clever-clever land into a realm of jaded acceptance—these are the letdown musings of a bunch of romantics. With the Molochs on Tuesday, August 21. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. 8 p.m. Free. 21+. Details here.
Shaft (1971). “You see, this cat Shaft is a bad mother– Shut your mouth!” I mean, how do you not enjoy a movie with a theme song as good as that? All it’s missing is a badass New York detective beating up every bad guy in sight. Oh, this movie has that, too? Well then I guess we’re good to go. When you mix a leather jacket and funk, you get Shaft. 7:30 to 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21. 3233 East Speedway Blvd. Free admission. Details here.
Tuesday Bluesday at CeeDee's. Do you love blues music but have never figured out how to effectively dance to it? Well head over to CeeDee's Jamaican Kitchen Tuesday night for a half hour lesson and then open dancing for the rest of the night. Learn what you're doing and then dance the night away, no partner needed. People of all ages and dance abilities are welcome. Work up a sweat dancing and then grab some great Jamaican food to fill up afterwards. The dance lesson starts at 7 p.m. and then open dancing will be from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen
5305 E Speedway Blvd. Details here.
Events compiled by Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot, Ava Garcia and Jeff Gardner.