Eat to the Beat: The Seldoms At this popular series, you can BYOL (lunch) to enjoy during the performance. Choreographed by Carrie Hanson, today's performance is a humorous and insightful dance theater work showcasing the various responses people have to climate change—ranging from indifference to denial to panic. Harris Theater. Noon. Free.
RUI: Reading Under the Influence At this rowdy monthly series, readers take shots before reading their own stories and offer up trivia about the work of famous authors. Tonight, the series celebrates its eighth anniversary, so eight gr8 current and former staff members read under the influence: Julia Borcherts, Rob Duffer, Amy Guth, Carly Huegelmann, Jesse Jordan, Bronwyn Mead, Jon Natzke and Erin Nederbo. Frankie Migacz and Behnam Riahi host. Bottoms up! Sheffield's. 7:30pm. $3.
Sound Opinions at the Movies: Wattstax Dir. Mel Stuart. 1973. 103mins. Documentary. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, the hosts of NPR's rock talk show Sound Opinions, present this seminal concert film, shot at the titular 1972 music festival in Los Angeles, which mixes performance clips from artists like Isaac Hayes and Albert King with stand-up from Richard Pryor. The legacy of the 1965 Watts riots looms large over the celebratory proceedings. Music Box. 7:30pm. $10, advance $9.
Big Boi + Killer Mike Playing the Pitchfork Music Festival messed with his steez. Big Boi, who has been setting hip-hop trends for ages with Outkast, suddenly got the notion to inject indie flavors-of-the-month into his clever Southern bounce. Last year's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors stuffed its guest list with middle-tier festival acts like Phantogram, Wavves and Little Dragon to varying degrees of success. Still, he remains one of the great voices in the game and his live show is on point thanks to those big festival stages. Add fellow ATLien "Killer" Mike Render and his Ice Cube–like flow and you have a must-see rap gig. Park West. 8pm. $27.
Ivywild: The True Tall Tales of Bathhouse John Jay Torrence's new show for the Hypocrites whimsically explores the true story of early-20th-century First Ward Ald. "Bathhouse John" Coughlin and "Hinky Dink" Kenna and their graft-fueled quest to build an amusement park in Colorado. Chopin Theatre. Wed–Sat 7:30pm; Sun 3pm. $28.
Get your hashtags ready: Following long runs of its Jersey Shore: The Musical and It's a Wonderful Pro-Life, 4 Days Late Productions mounts an expanded version of the tech-obsessed sketch show it debuted at January's Sketchfest. Studio BE. Sat 10pm. $15.
2. The Tomkat Project
Seven actors dazzle in the role of more than 50 characters in Brandon Ogborn's exhilarating new comedy about celebrity culture where fact and fiction blur seamlessly together. It continues Wednesdays through May. Playground Theater. Wed 8pm. $15.
3. The Lincoln Lodge
The country's longest continuously operating home for alt comedy continues to be a fine place to see emerging stand-ups in a vintage banquet room with servers old enough to call you honey and get away with it. This week's lineup features Matt Riggs, Derek Smith, Candy Lawrence, Joe Kwaczala and TV Screams. The Lincoln Lodge. Fri 9pm. $10.
4. Let Them Eat Chaos
In the Second City's 101st Mainstage revue, an ensemble consisting of veteran performers Edgar Blackmon, Holly Laurent, Katie Rich and Steve Waltien and Mainstage newcomers Ross Bryant and Tawny Newsome leaves Chicago behind in favor of a space- and time-bending revue that loops in Vienna circa 1819, the opening of the Panama Canal, the distant future and more. Let Them Eat Chaos crackles with new ideas and spirited risks, if not necessarily the anarchy and disruption suggested by the title. The Second City. Tue–Thu 8pm; Fri, Sat 8, 11pm; Sun 7pm. $23–$28.
5. Bye Bye Liver: The Chicago Drinking Play
Drinking games and boozy high jinks rule at this night of interactive comedy, now in its new home. The Public House Theater. Fri, Sat 8, 10pm. $20.
The producers behind RAIN—A Tribute to the Beatles and other such tribute-concert spectacles (Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, PFX—The Pink Floyd Experience) are ready to offer you another "experience." The Australian Bee Gees Show, which has been running in Las Vegas (natch) for over two years, will bring its impressions of the Brothers Gibb to the Broadway Playhouse for a four-week summer run, July 9–August 4. See broadwayinchicago.com for ticket info.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, first seen here in 2010, received five Tony Award nominations this morning for its Broadway transfer. Three of the four cast members were nominated, including Amy Morton for lead actress in a play, Tracy Letts for lead actor, and Carrie Coon for featured actress. The show also received nominations for best revival of a play and for director Pam McKinnon. Steppenwolf ensemble member Laurie Metcalf was also nominated in the same category as Morton, for her work in The Other Place.
The new musical Kinky Boots, which had its out-of-town tryout here last fall (read my review), led the nominations with 13, including best musical, best book of a musical for Harvey Fierstein and best score for Cyndi Lauper. A Christmas Story, The Musical, which played the Chicago Theatre in the 2011 holiday season before going on to its Broadway opening last Christmas, picked up three nominations, including best musical and best score for Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
I’m a music critic. I’m white. And I like funk.
The first 45 I can remember spinning is M’s “Pop Muzik,” a fluke novelty single of the disco era by a kooky British guy. I imaged it was music made by the cute robots of The Black Hole and Buck Rogers. It sounded like the future.
Flash to my elementary school lunchroom. The tables have been collapsed and pushed to the walls. At our third grade talent show in rural Indiana, every girl twirls and hops to “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” Or “Beat It.” Anything off Thriller. At the end of the ’80s, my best friend and I wore out a blue cassette of Paul’s Boutique. MCA in the afro wig, throwing the keys to his Coupe Deville at an oil pumpjack, Roger’s “So Ruff, So Tuff” bumping away. Or was that the Commodores’ “Machine Gun”? Or Cameo’s “Shake Your Pants”? Zapp? “Jungle Boogie”? It was all in there, that history lesson of a song and video. Meanwhile, my older sister, always playing Prince, popping open beers in flared pants for tips at a club called Bellbottoms.
OPERA & CLASSICAL
Eighth Blackbird with Shara Worden, Bryce Dessner and Nico Muhly Save that tax refund, because May is going to be lousy with brilliant live music. Bridging the April-May divide are local heroes Eighth Blackbird alongside My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden, the National's Bryce Dessner and composition/piano paragon Nico Muhly. Other than Philip Glass's Two Pages (1968), the program is comprised entirely of music written in the past five years, including works by Tristan Perich, Steve Mackey, David Lang, Muhly, Dessner and Worden. We are especially curious to hear a world-premiere original by 8bb pianist Lisa Kaplan, scored for piano four hands. Museum of Contemporary Art. 7:30pm. $28, members $22.
ART & DESIGN
"The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India Since 1989" This exuberant exhibition chronicles Sahmat’s fight for freedom of expression in India and against the religious extremism that has caused numerous deaths there since 1989. Works by famous artists such as Vivan Sundaram and Zarina are outnumbered by pieces that reflect Sahmat’s commitment to recruiting non-artists, especially children, and its eagerness to take its projects to the streets. While it’s impossible to convey the vibrancy of most Sahmat actions in a museum setting, the collective’s courage and creativity still inspire. Through June 9. Smart Museum of Art. 10am–5pm.
"Spectator Sports" Fans' identification with athletes, the experience of watching games live, and the issues of nationality and gender are among the concerns shaping works by Jack Goldstein, Michelle Grabner and nine other artists. Museum of Contemporary Photography. 10am–5pm.
The Last Waltz Dir. Martin Scorsese. 1978. 117mins. Documentary. The first and probably still the best of Scorsese's music docs is a model for the modern concert film. Here, Marty captures the farewell performance of the Band, splicing in interview footage of the '70s rock giants and onetime Bob Dylan–backing band. Logan Theatre. 11:15pm.
Joel Paterson & The Modern Sounds Paterson kinda defines who the ideal session guy should be: selfless, musical (i.e., not a technique monger) and born with impeccably good taste. The Madison-born guitarist plays in a variety of settings around town, and each time his sympathetic hollowbody makes the rock, jazz, country, rockabilly or swing he's backing come alive. Andy's. 7:30pm. $5–$10.
I know what you're thinking: Man, I wish Chicago had more music festivals. Fret not! Radio station Q87.7, in the mold of KROQ's Weenie Roast, is launching its first PIQNIQ at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre on June 29.
And there's good reason to head out to Tinley Park: It's the only local appearance of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as the trio tours its wonderful new album, Mosquito. Well, unless you count Summerfest in Milwaukee.
Also on tap: Bush (Remember them? If you watch a lot of Blackhawks games, of course you do) and AWOLNATION (You've heard that one song in a commercial, promise. A Marine-like dude shouting "SAIL!" over a dubstep beat). Silversun Pickups, Cold War Kids, Atlas Genius and more fill out the bill.
Oh, and, kids, Q87.7 is a radio station on the FM dial. Ask your parents what that means.
Fans of comics and science fiction headed down to C2E2—the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo—this weekend to rub elbows with celebrities, nab exclusive collectibles and show off their costumes. While fan-favorite performers like Hellboy's Ron Perlman, and comics Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn may draw crowds, it's the stunning superhero cosplay that is always the highlight of this convention.
I've always been a fan of pie of the month clubs because...pie...AT YOUR DOOR, but getting a scheduled delivery of more run-of-the-mill needs like nail polish, socks, underwear and razors could eliminate weekend Target runs forever. Other subscription services, like the local men's-only Trunk Club, have style experts picking out clothes for you and sending them to your house. No more dressing rooms! Here's a round-up of our favorite subscription delivery services.
1. The Polish Ambassador + Project Aspect + PHNM
On Polish Constitution Day (May 3), the Polish Ambassador and sidekick video artist Liminus perform their road-tested audio-visual show (spacey dub, new school reggae, oddball hip-hop) for the herbalized euroclubbers. Project Aspect, Raj Mahal and PHNM are on the bill, too. The Mid. May 3 at 10pm. $20.
2. Nü: Tiffany Roth
Guest Tiffany Roth of NYC cosmic disco act Midnight Magic drops in for the Nü: The Outer Space Disco Dancing Society of Chicago's anniversary party. Residents Mörk, Alinka, Trancid, Ryan Paradise and Chris Grant toast numero uno with mid-tempo boogie and spacey dance. Neo. May 3 at 10pm. $10, before midnight $5.
3. Stardust presents: Twirl
Scott Cramer's freaky party goes late and features nightlife superstars from the past and present. It's a bit like Warhol's Factory resurrected. Cheap drinks abound, and the regulars come to dance and schmooze with host Trannika Rex. On May 9, guest New Yorkers Avan Lava and the Carry Nation (DJ Nita and DJ Will Automagic) drop in for a special edition of the Thursday hipster party. Shaun J. Wright of Hercules & Love Affair fame, Mr. White and Alinka complete the well-rounded get-down. Berlin. May 9 at 10pm. $5, with R.S.V.P. free.
4. Richard 23 & Patrick Codenys of Front 242
Those who long for the days when industrial music ruled underground clubs will delight in hearing two men from legendary Belgian outfit Front 242 take over the decks for some hard-edged "electronic body music." Chicago industrial lifer Greg Haus gets some beats in, too. Smart Bar. May 10 at 10pm. $15, before midnight $12, advance $10.
5. Imran Khan
Legend of Punjabi hip-hop, Desi music and pop, Dutch-born singer Imran Khan (his "Ni Nachleh" is a monster jam) headlines tonight with support from DJ Kamran and Naveen Kumar. Definitely dress to impress at this international event or you won't get in. Nikki. May 16 at 10pm. $20.
6. Loco Dice + Robert Dietz + Chuck Flask
German techno slinger Loco Dice (formerly a hip-hop DJ) was on the leading edge of the minimal techno wave a few years ago with residencies in Ibiza and Düsseldorf. We're confident he can show us what's new and classic in techno without breaking a sweat. Spybar. May 16 at 10pm. $20.
7. Vito & Druzzi (The Rapture DJs)
Dance punk insurgents the Rapture might have slowed down in recent years, but we haven't forgotten how good their DJ sets in Chicago have been over the years. Tonight, Vito and Druzzi spin with help from Studio Casual and Adam Rowe of the Stripped & Chewed label. Beauty Bar. May 17 at 9pm. $5, limited advance tickets available for guaranteed entry.
Among his many non-rock pursuits, former wrestling script writer Bob Mould (Sugar, Hüsker Dü) formed DJ outfit Blowoff with Richard Morel while living in Washington, D.C. They've issued an album and various remixes, but Blowoff is best known as the polysexual dance party they popularized in Chocolate City. As per tradition, Mould hits town for International Mr. Leather weekend. Metro. May 25 at 11pm. $16.
9. Kastle + XXXY
Barrett Richards has dabbled in dead ends like happy hardcore and breaks. Now, as Kastle, he's mining gems of every ilk. An eponymous new album, released in April, drifts through shadowy mist of R&B, trap, dubstep (of the preferred U.K. sort), bass, house and garage. Sirens Ayah Marar and Reva DeVito and bedroom crooner JMSN lure you into soulful, crushing grooves. In other words, it's what Burial might sound like if he hung out in strip clubs. Manchester's mesmerizing XXXY is both nostalgic for '90s divas and looking to push house into the future. Lincoln Hall. May 22 at 9pm. $20, advance $15.
10. Four Tet
Since the late '90s, Four Tet has set himself apart as one of electronic music's architectural bad boys. Defying conventions and even marrying his abstract beats with jazz, post-rock and an array of disparate sounds, he's challenged ears and rocked dance floors with equal aplomb. It's the tenth anniversary of his landmark Rounds LP. Smart Bar. May 16 at 10pm. $13, before midnight $10.