Side Street Studio Arts, founded seven years ago by Tanner Melvin and Erin Rehberg, celebrates its place as a major core for Elgin’s art community this weekend. The studios, home to art classes and workshops, rotating exhibits, live music and theatrical performances, are throwing open the doors to all creative spaces Friday, March 6, for a night of creativity and camaraderie and cake. Explore the adjudicated exhibit of local artists (complete with judging, voting and prizes!); visit the Lab for art-making demonstrations (at 11 S. Spring St., Elgin); check into MADE, SSSA’s new retail storefront (13 S. Spring St., Elgin); and groove to musical performances from Camera Kids, Our Century In Pictures, Rushmore and Sunday Cruise. Oh yeah, there’ll be cake donated by Herb’s Bakery. Whatever your creative outlet is, visit Side Street Studios to celebrate and get inspired. 6 p.m. Friday, March 6, at Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin. $5 suggested donation. (847) 429-2276 or sidestreetstudioarts.org.
Williams & Watson
Aaron Williams has been keeping his hands out of the band game for a few years, focusing mostly on solo gigs and his annual Homegrown Arts & Music Festival. But if you caught his Homegrown set last July with Hannah Watson, you saw the seeds of a new project being planted. While the new full band is still in the works, Williams and Watson have been writing away, and they’re sharing the new material (followed by a set of classic covers) at a free duo show at Two Brothers Barrel House this weekend. 8 p.m. Friday, March 6, at Two Brothers Barrel House, 16 W. Jefferson Ave., Chicago. (630) 615-7100 or twobrothersbrewing.com.
Dark Heart at BrauerHouse
BrauerHouse hosts a solid night of Chicago-area rock when Dark Heart News headlines a night on the bar stage. The bill, which sets up DHN with a supporting lineup including Primal Moon, Eugeine Grey and the Bad Habits, and Ego Mechanics, is a face-melting blend of searing guitarwork and soaring vocals. If you’re one of the naysayers saying “rock is dead,” get to this show to have your faith in music restored. 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, at BrauerHouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. (630) 495-2141 or brauerhouse.com.
Grab your buds and get a hit of Afroman when the rapper comes to Lombard with “Because I Got High: A Green Affair,” a night of music and celebration at BrauerHouse Live this weekend. Afroman, best known for his smash hits “Because I Got High,” “Colt 45” and “Crazy Rap,” will be joined by musical support from TrulyDewy, DNA, 44Kingz and DjWRCKSiT. Vendors, including Yabba Daba Doobie, Flora Hemp Spirits, LlamaEdibles, Funky Bean Smoke Shop, Toasty Treats and others, will be on hand with a wide array of wares to share. 7 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at BrauerHouse Live, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. (630) 495-2141 or brauerhouse.com.
Chicago’s punk scene is strong, and Flatfoot 56 has been spreading that message nationally for nearly two decades. Playing a hometown show with all the rough edges in all the right places, the Celtic punk rockers headline Chicago’s Chop Shop along with punk-influenced rock from AM Taxi, ska from The Crombies and Boston-bred singer-songwriter Bryan McPherson. 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave., Chicago. (773) 537-4440 or chopshopchi.com.
Are you caught up on “Schitt’s Creek?” If you were smitten by Noah Reid’s (Patrick) acoustic cover of Tina Turner’s “The Best” at an open mic in the show’s fourth season — many were, as the song propelled him to No. 3 on the iTunes Canada charts — you can catch him live when he plays a midweek show at Chicago’s Park West. Bringing a set of originals dripping with sincerity reminiscent of late-’90s singer-songwriters, and likely including songs from his upcoming album “Gemini,” the stage and screen actor will also be joined by his musical partner Matthew Barber. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, at Park West, 322 W. Arbitrage Ave., Chicago. (773) 929-1322 or parkwestchicago.com.
Hey, remember when I mentioned the Homegrown Arts & Music Festival maybe three minutes ago? Submissions opened this weekend for Chicago-area bands wanting to play the 8th annual festival, set for Saturday, July 25, in Lisle. Visit homegrownartsandmusicfestival.com for qualifications and submission information.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).