Winter doesn't start until December 21. And yet it's going to snow tonight. Yes, SNOW. The only way to fight back against this total BS is to look good while bundled up, so we're resurrecting this handy tutorial on how to tie a winter scarf. There's also the option of tying the scarf around your eyes so you can pretend this shit weather is not happening.
Mazzy Star Twenty years since "Fade into You," 17 since its last album, Mazzy Star returned in 2013 with Seasons of Your Day. The sparse, folky dream of a record uses little more than Hope Sandoval's lounge-singer-exiled-to-the-desert voice, Dave Roback's sadsack acoustic guitar and enough reverb to fill a Kansas sky. It's an epically quiet comeback. But were you expecting noise? Vic Theatre. Nov 13 at 8pm. $35.
Albert Hammond, Jr. Julian has the voice, Nick and Fab the bone structure, but Strokes fans should adore Albert the most. The distinctive rhythm guitarist cut together the feel-good video for "All the Time," the only piece of promotional material for the Strokes' 2013 album, Comedown Machine. Now, as the band sits idle away from the touring circuit, Hammond hits the road with an EP of jittery rock & roll shakes. Recorded for Casablancas's Cult Records, it's a throwback to the taut strumming and manic garage energy of his early days, like Tom Petty stuck in a vintage arcade game. So, like more Strokes, basically. Double Door. Nov 13 at 9pm. $20.
James Blake James Blake once led two musical lives—as a tender piano crooner and as a heady dubstep technician. His breathtaking sophomore album, Overgrown, melds his split personality, laying choppy, throbbing bass work in delicate organic elements. Also, RZA shows up to weep-rap about losing a boo. It all slots nicely next to the '90s work of Björk and Massive Attack. Riviera Theatre. Nov 13 at 8pm. $28.50.
Nick Höppner Slightly under the radar but well regarded Nick Höppner holds down residencies at Berghain and Panoramabar in Berlin, where maintaining the party and momentum beyond 7am is a given. He produces tightly wound but insistent techno that’s part utility but subtly stylish, too. Tonight, he pays a rare visit to Chicago with Chicago’s own Mantas Steles spinning as well. Smart Bar. Nov 15 at 9pm. $15, advance $13, with password $10, before midnight with Facebook R.S.V.P. or student I.D. $7; 18 and older.
The Second City's Improv All-Stars It's the same old improv games we've seen a hundred times before, but played to perfection by a whip-smart team of pros who manage to create laughs out of thin air and aren't afraid to go off-color when appropriate. The legendary Mick Napier directs (and it shows). UP Comedy Club. 8pm. $16.
collision_theory Collision_theory, a part of Link Hall's Artistic Associates program, is a series of improvised performances where musicians and dancers—with little collaborative experience—are paired to create an impromptu show. The series was created in 2009 by Rachel Damon and Dan Mohr and has showcased artists from across the U.S. in more than 20 shows and workshops throughout Chicago. Links Hall at Constellation. 7:30pm. $10.
Chicago Bears at Soldier Field Smokin' Jay Cutler and company bear down to take on the competition at Soldier Field. Soldier Field. Noon. $104-$420.
GAY & LESBIAN
Brunch Gone Wild We have to hand it to mini, it has got one of the better brunch buffets on Halsted. Nothing wrong with bottomless glasses of Champagne to celebrate the Sabbath! minibar. 11am–3pm. $20.
ART & DESIGN
"Rusty Shackleford: Dream Feeder" and "Katie Torn: Dream House" Two new exhibitions at Root & Culture are the stuff dreams are made of. For his scanner-based experiments with "color, light, paint and discard," Shackleford uses pages sourced from books and magazines for background. The artist, who has cited dumpster diving as part of his process, favors a nostalgic aesthetic. For "Dream House," a series of hyperrealistic digital prints and video work, Torn used 3D computer software to create virtual sculptures. Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center. Noon–6pm.
Pretty Lights Pretty Lights, a.k.a. Derek Smith, makes music as his name would suggest: boom-bap beats, groovy soul samples and pot-hazy atmospherics. The Colorado disciple of DJ Shadow proves that EDM is not a lazy person's game on A Color Map of the Sun. Smith first assembled a throwback funk combo to compose and record original 12"s from which he could pull samples and breaks. The results are not far off from what an instrumental Beastie Boys album might sound like in 2013. For his "Analog Future Tour," Smith is bringing the live band on the road. Aragon. 7:30pm. $36.50.
Letter jackets apparently are the new leather jackets. Or so it seemed last night at Metro, where I spotted an inordinate number of fans of the French electro artist Kavinsky donning the coats once so closely associated with high-school sports. EDM kids and gamers (is there a difference?) are the latest demographic reclaiming the symbol of varsity jocks. One twentysomething, who looked like one of the sneering, letter-jacketed villains from Hobo with a Shotgun, was also wearing leather driving gloves. When I asked him about his fashion inspiration, he began gushing about a video game called Hotline Miami, a throwback 8-bit overhead shooter set (of course) in the 1980s. Hotline Miami was inspired by Drive—the game's trailer apes a scene from Nicolas Winding Refn's retro-gazing 2011 film—whose synth-fueled soundtrack features "Nightcall" by Kavinsky. Not for nothing were there at least three people sporting replicas of the scorpion satin jacket worn by Ryan Gosling's unnamed stuntman character in Drive.
Comedian Rob Delaney is Boston born and L.A. based but seems most at home on Twitter, where his raunchy, confessional, silly and visceral tweets have attracted nearly a million followers. Stuff like: "Is 'Wind Beneath My Wings' about Bette Midler farting through a maxi-pad?" and "I need to get my shit together. It's in little piles in my kitchen & then there's some more in my wife's closet." Given his mastery of the 140-character form, we weren't sure if we'd enjoy his new memoir, Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage (the title, a riff on self-important Twitter bios), on the same level. But we were pleasantly surprised. We spoke with Delaney about the book in advance of his November 14 appearance at the Music Box. Read our interview.
Here's what Time Out's film critics are saying about this week's new movies:
"Only 20 minutes in and you’re not going to think of another lead who could pull off this kind of reckoning—tangy, furious and about to become whip-smart."— on Dallas Buyers Club
"This is a grander, pacier film crammed with sprawling prog-rock landscapes, masked elf armies and giant spaceships over Greenwich."—Tom Huddleston on Thor: The Dark World
The party celebrating Tuesday's passing of the equal marriage rights bill in the Illinois House shows no signs of abating—nor should it. Last night, the Gay Liberation Network organized a community rally at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe Streets in Boystown to commemorate the momentous bill, and there was no shortage of rainbow flags. And one guy in a superhero costume. The next big bash: November 20, when Gov. Quinn signs the bill into law at UIC.
If you've been drinking at Three Dots and a Dash, Sable Kitchen + Bar and other cocktail bars lately, you may have noticed that your drink had a perfectly clear, beautiful ice cube. Sable's Mike Ryan started Just Ice in March to custom-make those ice cubes. We visited the Just Ice warehouse to investigate. Here's how they're made.
"You make my pee pee go da-doing doing doing."
That line comes from "Ass Like That," a song recorded by Eminem, a grown man, nearly a decade ago. Encore, the rapper's fourth major release and origin of that single, was certainly not his most acclaimed, but esteemed critics like Robert Christgau were still able to hear a grown man say "You make my pee pee go da-doing doing doing" and grant the album four stars (in Rolling Stone) and an A (in his own Record Guide).
To be fair, it wasn't just Christgau and Rolling Stone blowing so much smoke up the MC's poo poo. In 2005, VH1 ranked Eminem one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (two years after Rolling Stone did the same). Vibe named him the greatest rapper alive in 2008. For the life of me, in the 14 years since Slim Shady burst on to the scene, I have never understood this. Eminem has forever been a one-tool player with deep character flaws. To put it another way, Eminem has always been a Juggalo without the clown makeup.
This week's street style profile features Bonnie May, a model who sometimes lies about her profession.
Bonnie May, 25
What's your favorite thing you're wearing?
My hat because it was marketed by a close friend of mine.
What's the nicest or strangest thing anyone's ever said about your style?
The nicest thing would be that I'm tall and I know how to dress. The weirdest thing is when people say I'm dressed eclectically and I wasn't even trying to be eclectic.
Do people ever ask if you're a model?
I am a model. People also ask if I'm a tennis player. Sometimes I say yes. I lie.
How would you describe your style?
Military urban-chic. Or military urban-couture.
Skream Skream help put dubstep on the map, long before the bass-form was bastardized by American screamo kids. There's no argument the Brits do it better. It's an entirely different genre, really. The man from Croydon, U.K., the birthplace of dubstep, was even part of the first dubstep supergroup, Magnetic Man. That all being said, he's been shifting gears into house and disco. Gotta stay ahead of the curve. The Mid. 10pm. $15.
Todd Barry Bone-dry Barry rocks our world. The incredibly wry, observant and funny comic puts in a two-night, four-show stint at UP. UP Comedy Club. 8pm, 10:30pm. $22.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office says he will sign the marriage equality bill that passed in the legislature on Tuesday on Wednesday, November 20. And as he did when signing the civil unions bill in 2011 (seen above, at the Chicago Cultural Center), Quinn will make a public celebration of it. The signing ceremony will take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum at 3:30pm. Those who wish to attend the free event should visit equality.illinois.gov ASAP and enter their name and e-mail address; further details will follow from the governor's office.
We'd be lying if we said we didn't think about animals a lot—especially local baby animals and cute, newly discovered species (in other words, THAT WHICH LENDS THE INTERNET, AND LIFE, ITS MAGIC). The 2013 Chicago Humanities Fest, which started last Friday and continues through Sunday, November 10, offers various forums for considering animals from different angles, via different disciplines: our relationships to; our status as. Some events tackle the subject more directly than others, but the variety and impressive roster of presenters are what lend the CHF its magic. Hit up one of these events during the final weekend. Tickets will be available at the door (a $5 surcharge applies; cash only.) Some highlights:
Martina Navratilova: Match Point Hear from the most successful female tennis player in history—winner of 59 Grand Slam titles!—discuss the human athletic animal and its ability to change and adapt. Nov 9. UIC Forum, Main Hall AB. $20, teachers and students $10.
Eduardo Kac: Transgenic Artist As part of the Richard Gray Visual Art Series, curator Hamza Walker talks to bio art pioneer Eduardo Kac about his "transgenic" art, which brings together natural and created elements in surprising ways. Art Institute of Chicago, Fullerton Auditorium. Nov 9, 1:30–2:30pm. $10, students $5.
Ron and Russell Mael have always seemed an odd couple. When the L.A. siblings broke through as Sparks in the mid- to late-'70s with the intricately composed chamber-glam of Kimono My House and Propaganda, and the propulsive Giorgio Moroder–produced electro disco on No. 1 in Heaven, they appeared to be a study in contrasts. With his toothbrush moustache and perpetual scowl, Ron, the dominant songwriter, cut an imposing figure, like that of a Nazi general. His younger brother, meanwhile, was a NME posterboy in the mode of Marc Bolan: teased hair, jailbait-baiting falsetto and onstage swagger. But despite Russell's teen-idol looks, Sparks was always too uncompromisingly artsy, a little too determinedly strange to sustain mass appeal or chart sucess.
Steadily releasing albums over the last three decades, the Maels today remain an ostensibly dichotomous, dynamic duo. Last night at Lincoln Hall, where Sparks plays again tonight at 8pm, Russell was pleased to announce that their latest album, the group's twenty-second, 2009's The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman, was picked up at Cannes by Canadian director Guy Maddin (Brand Upon the Brain, My Winnipeg) and being made into a film, as Sparks had always intended. Midway through their 90-minute performance, Ron and Russell played selections from the pop opera. Ron, still looking like a nightmarish chemistry teacher or some lesser surrealist, with his slicked-back hair, pencil-thin moustache and starched, short-sleeve dress shirt tucked into tightly-cinched pants, plunked at the keys of his Roland. Russell joined in, dressed in all black to match the inky dye in his angular hair, to lay out their vision of a fictional visit by the legendary Swedish film director to Hollywood in the '50s.
Gene's Sausage Shop (4750 N Lincoln Ave) celebrates its fourth anniversary in its Lincoln Square space this week (the institution is 41 overall) and they're holding daily tastings. Here's what's on tap at the delicatessen so far:
Tuesday From 3–6pm today, there's a vodka tasting with Spud Vodka, Alaska Distillery Salmon Vodka and Pennsylvania Eggnog. For a taste of something fruitier, stick around for the wine tasting from 4–8pm, which includes Gruet Sparkling Wine, Burgans Albarino and Casal Garcia Vinho Verde.
Wednesday Head into work a little late for a taste of Italy and Ireland with samples of Asturi Bruschetta, Gia Russa Balsamic Glaze and Belgioioso Mozzarella at 11am. If you're working, no worries, you can still make it in time for their wine and liqueur tasting from 3–7pm. The tasting includes Quince Brandy, Honey Brandy, Flower and Bee Souson and Treixadura wines and Vinarja Dingac 2010 Plavac Wine.