We know you must be feeling health conscious when you head to your nearest Burger King for a Whopper and a milkshake. So the fast-food chain has a new item for all you yoga nuts. BK introduced its new "Satisfries" today, a crinkle-cut french fry that boasts 30% less fat and 20% less calories than the usual fry option. The fries are reportedly cooked in the exact fashion as the originals (which must be true, we found some straight-cut stragglers in the mix), but simply have a "re-configuration of ingredients." Spooky. We set out to try these new fries and see how they faired when put to the Time Out taste test.
Brioni master tailor event Those custom suit websites are great and all, but the best fitting suits are the result of being measured by a tailor. Gianni Serpentini, a master tailor for Brioni, stops by the Gold Coast boutique to help you get the best fitting suit of your life. And you don't have to make a purchase right away: Your measurements will be kept on file for future Brioni orders. Just call the store to make an appointment. Brioni. Sept 26 at 10am.
Design Harvest Festival Thanks to shops like Modern Times and the Painted Lady, Grand Avenue has become a veritable design district in the past few years. Celebrate the local goodness by attending the second annual Design Harvest Festival presented by West Town Chamber of Commerce and featuring fantastic vendors selling vintage, antique, and new locally crafted furniture and home accessories. Enjoy live music and sip on your choice of wine, craft beer or fresh coffee. Grand Avenue between Damen and Wood Street. Sept 28 & 29 at 11am. Free.
While most networks like to introduce their new fall shows by pairing them with old favorites, ABC is going all in tonight as they premiere a full evening of new programming with the launch of five new series. At 7pm, the much-anticipated Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres. The network is keeping a tight lid on this new addition to the Marvel universe, as no screener was provided for review. An hour of new comedy begins at 8pm with The Goldbergs, followed by Trophy Wife, created by Chicago-native Sarah Haskins. Then at 9pm, Lucky 7 premieres, a drama about a group of gas station employees who win the lottery together.
RECOMMENDED: 10 new TV shows to watch this fall
Overnight, Bastille has become a mainstay on the iTunes charts, a bit of Coldplay meets Passion Pit. The formula is a winning one. Largely the project of Dan Smith, the London act crafts anthemic electro-pop for those who imagine dragons and soundtrack television commercials. If you've shopped in an H&M lately, you've probably heard the programmed toms and EY-OH-EY-OH of "Pompeii." A full house was on hand to see the Brits play tracks from a debut, Bad Blood, including the most upbeat song you'll ever hear based on a David Lynch film.
I know what you're thinking: Who's that rockabilly band?
Arctic Monkeys have been slowly turning American over its last few albums. The Sheffield band rides choppers around L.A. and grills hunted meat in the desert with Josh Homme. As their hair has has grown slicker and their denim tighter, the Brits have beefed up their sound. The recently released fifth album, AM, is a mammoth, where the group's ambitions of muscling up to an arena act have been properly realized through gloriously dumb Queen beats and glam stomps. Alex Turner is singing about sex in more direct terms. It's a blast.
The Monkeys hit the Riv in Chicago a week after the record's release. We were there to shoot the pictures.
Carolina Comfort Food at Telegraph We're used to pairing our shrimp and grits and hush puppies with bourbon cocktails, but now Telegraph sommelier Jeremy Quinn and Carolina-trained chef de cuisine Aaron Mooney are matching Southern flavors with wine. The walk-around tasting features 12 wines, including Riesling, and autumn-inspired Southern bites. Telegraph. 2601 N Milwaukee Ave. Sept 24 at 7pm. $40.
Truffle Preview Party Pumpkin spice gets all the attention, but Katherine Anne Confections creates other fall flavors, like grapefruit coriander and cherry rosemary. Pop in to try 15 new truffles, caramels and marshmallows. Plus there will also be small bites from FIG catering. Katherine Anne Confections. 2745 Armitage Ave. Sept 25, 5:30–8:30pm. $25.
ART & DESIGN
"Julie Blackmon: Homegrown" Blackmon's photographs remind us of those "Spot the Difference" images (in a good way), so crammed are they with everyday objects, odd juxtapositions and domestic chaos. Her third solo exhibition at Edelman Gallery features fantastical new work that continues to showcase her children, nieces, nephews and friends at home and at play. Catherine Edelman Gallery. 10am–5:30pm.
StoryCorps@ Your Library StoryCorps teams up with the Chicago Public Library and One Book, One Chicago to further explore OBOC's year-long theme of migration. Know someone with a great migration story to tell? Chicagoans can stop by 14 library locations from May through October and interview a friend, family member or neighbor. The interview will be recorded by StoryCorps and archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Chicago Public Library, Jefferson Park Branch. 4:30pm–7:30pm.
The five-year-old Route 66 Theatre Company, which has previously mounted productions on a one-by-one basis, has announced a two-show 2014 season, to be produced in residence at the Greenhouse Theater Center. The slate includes a new play by resident playwright Caitlin Montanye Parrish, whose A Twist of Water transferred to an Off Broadway production following an extended Route 66 run in 2011, as well as a Chicago premiere of a work by Memphis-based playwright Jerre Dye.
Dye's Southern gothic ghost story Cicada is up first, running April 9–May 11 with a cast that's set to include Annabel Armour, Amy Matheny, Steve Pringle, Melissa Riemer, Josh Salt, Elodie Tougne and Cecelia Wingate. Parrish's The Downpour follows, running September 11–October 12; it's a story of old childhood wounds opened up between two adult sisters (to be played by Brenda Barrie and Caroline Neff) when one of them announces she's pregnant. Peter Moore and Route 66 artistic director Stef Tovar will also star. Both shows will be helmed by the company's associate artistic director, Erica Weiss.
Lots of new shows are premiering on network TV this week, as well as plenty of old favorites. Tonight at 8:30pm, you can catch CBS's new sitcom Mom, starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney as an estranged mother and daughter working through substance abuse issues (yes, it's a comedy). At 9pm, CBS airs the limited series event Hostages, starring Toni Collette as a doctor who's family is put at risk when she's tasked with performing surgery on the President of the United States. Also airing at 9pm over on NBC is The Blacklist, starring James Spader as career criminal who makes a deal to help the FBI track down his personal list of bad guys. Read our reviews.
RECOMMENDED: 10 new shows to watch this fall
The cult-culture obsessives at New Millennium Theatre Company, the group behind late-night shows like The David Bowie Christmas Special 1977 and The Texas Chainsaw Musical, opened their newest show this weekend. Crazy for Swayze: A Swayzical is, as the title suggests, a musical mash-up of all things Patrick Swayze, from Red Dawn to Road House with a heaping helping of Dirty Dancing. We could think of no one better suited to take in this spectacle than certified Swayze expert Brooke Allen. The playwright, whose upcoming productions include The Life and Death of Madam Barker, beginning October 14 at Red Tape Theatre, and The Deer, being mounted by The Ruckus next spring at Collaboraction, has been crazy for Swayze for most of her life. We dispatched Allen to Studio BE Friday night; she filed this report.
There's an erudite quality to Julia Holter's meticulously arranged chamber-pop that extends to the subject matter that populates her songs. The CalArts composition program graduate based her first album, Tragedy, on the the ancient Greek play Hippolytus. Her latest record, Loud City Song, was partially inspired by Gigi, a French novella published in 1944. Luckily, Holter's serpentine art-pop remains accessible, even if you're not a Francophile with a penchant for Greek tragedies.
Touring behind her newest record—the first she has recorded in a studio with a group of collaborators—Holter was accompanied by a four-piece band that included a saxophonist and violinist. Smiling slyly from behind her keyboard, she lead the group through intricate compositions peppered with playful flourishes. At times, it seemed as if she was guiding the group with the rise and fall of her voice, allowing each syllable to dictate the staccato cadence of tracks like "Marienbed" and "In the Green Wind."
1) Arctic Monkeys This English quartet has managed to find the sweet spot between American area rock and classic British melodicism. It took some exploring to find the middle ground between the Kinks and Queens of the Stone Age, but Alex Turner and company have done it over their last few records. By its first bites, the new one, AM, seems to have a saltier, heavier taste, like 2009's Humbug. But Turner, one of the best young lyricists of today, is too deft with a turn of phrase to stick to riffs and chants. There's always a knee-weakening ballad and string of baroque vocabulary up his sleeve. Riviera Theatre. Sept 23 at 7:30pm. Sold out.
2) LAKE + Speck Mountain + Richard Album If you've ever sat through the colorful psychedelia of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, then you've probably heard LAKE frontwoman Ashley Erikson singing the show's closing theme. The band's singsong melodies lend it's output a childlike quality, while the lush, Rhodes-heavy instrumentation and intersecting harmonies evoke Steely Dan fronted by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The Burlington. Sept 25 at 9pm.
3) The xx + Nite Jewel The xx have managed to turn hushed, downtempo trip-hop into an arena act. That's like a winning NBA team that only shoots from between the legs. The London trio's sophomore album, Coexist, was kind of slept-on, because it was rather similar to the first. But the debut is a modern classic, so good for them. In a world of tarted-up pop singers and brash electro, it's refreshing that an act that works in subtlety can out-sexy the sexpots and rock the charts. Aragon Ballroom. Sept 26 at 7pm. $37.
4) Phoenix + The Vaccines A month after headlining Lollapalooza, the French kings of pop return to showcase material from its new Bankrupt!, a rich synthesizer album that is hardly short on new ideas. Opening are the lively and melodic Vaccines, a ripping Britpop band that add the Strokes' garage velocity to Blur's smart hooks. The only complaint we have with them really is their haircuts. Aragon Ballroom. Sept 28 at 7:30pm. $42.
5) Jenny Hval + Acteurs Norwegian singer-songwriter Jenny Hval makes sexually-charged art-pop that doesn't shy away from conventionally touchy subjects like masturbation and gender identity. In fact, Hval's latest record—aptly titled Innocence is Kinky—embraces and celebrates taboo subject matter, guided by producer John Parish. She will be making her live debut in Chicago at the Empty Bottle with a performance that promises be intimate in every sense of the word. Empty Bottle. Sept 29 at 7pm. $10.
City Lights at Night Tour Unlike vampires, Chicago doesn't suck at night. In fact, from certain vantage points, it looks pretty damn good. On the City Lights at Night tour, you'll pedal to various hotspots, including Millennium Park, the Museum Campus and Buckingham Fountain, with its world-famous light show. Ticket price includes bike, helmet and guide. Reservations are recommended. Bobby's Bike Hike, River East Docks at Ogden Slip. 7pm. $35, students/seniors (65+) $30, kids under 4 $10.
ART & DESIGN
"Amanda Gentry: Expanding" The Chicago-based artist focused on functional clayware before turning to non-functional pieces, such as the minimal modular relief sculptures exhibited here. Her first major solo show, "Expanding" features pillows as a metaphor for the mental and physical weight of the human experience. Hyde Park Art Center. 9am–8pm.
Goose Island once again marked summer's end with a block party outside its Fulton Street brewery on Saturday, September 21. Festgoers sipped on classic and limited-edition local brews while taking in musical acts including Tokyo Police Club, Low and Disappears. Check out all of our photos from the event.
ART & DESIGN
EDITION Chicago In the past few years, the newly refreshed and improved Chicago Artists Coalition has proven its value to the city's arts community. What was once viewed as a somewhat out-of-touch arts group for hobbyists is now, under new leadership, an innovative, multipronged organization dedicated to building a sustainable marketplace for Chicago artists. To further its mission, CAC hosts the inaugural EDITION Chicago, a satellite art fair occurring the last official weekend of summer. Its aim is to cultivate a new audience of collectors in Chicago by offering contemporary art at affordable prices (in other words, pieces you don't have to be Jay Z to buy). Exhibiting galleries include dealers from Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto and Bloomington, Indiana. Chicago-based artist Cody Hudson will produce a limited-edition print available on-site. Chicago Artists Coalition. 11am–6pm. $10 suggested donation.
World Music Festival 2013: Debo Band Boston ensemeble Debo Band headlines the World Music Festival's closing night party, reinterpreting traditional Ethiopian music from the late '60s and early '70s. The group recently issued its debut full-length record via Seattle label Sub Pop. Martyrs'. 8:30pm. Free.
VeganMania If the thought of fermented soybeans makes your mouth to water, stop by this daylong veg celebration. Local restaurants, businesses, artists and guest speakers showcase animal-free food, fashion, music, presentations and workshops. Broadway Armory Park. 10am–5pm.
Bob Odenkirk, David Cross and Brian Poeshn Break out the Mustardayonnaise and ready yourself for a thrilling miracle! The creators of Mr. Show are coming to town to present their new book, Hollywood Said NO!: Orphaned Film Scripts, And Bastard Scenes: Abandoned Darlings from the Creators of Mr. Show. The collection features never-before-seen scripts for Bob and David Make a Movie and Hooray For America!, plus orphaned sketch ideas from the Mr Show days. And since F.F. Woodycooks' "Take Back the Streets" made it on air—the Paul F. Tompkins' sketch about a mustachioed crime show host who also owns an ice cream parlor (fun fact: inspired by a real Chicago crime expert)—we imagine these unrealized sketch ideas are kinda out there. And prob hilarious. Doors open at noon. UP Comedy Club. 1pm. $22, includes copy of the book.
RECOMMENDED: September concert calendar
"If Netflix is so popular, how come they haven't they expanded?" comedian Brent Weinbach asks in one of his older bits. "How come they don't have Netflix for kids? Who's with me? Netflix for kids!" [Audience cheers obligingly.]
"Because imagine how wonderful it would be," he continues, "if you could go online and order a child. You could play with them as long as you want and, when you're finished, trade them in for another kid. No late fees; no child left behind. You could choose from thousands of hot titles: Trevor…Demetrious…Lisa…Black Trevor…"
Weinbach delivers this deadpan, in a booming baritone. There's none of the "So how's everybody feelin' tonight?" segues or typical onstage banter intended to loosen up the crowd. Instead, he favors a nerdy, professorial persona—stiff and staid and providing a hilarious contrast to his self-described "stupid" jokes. Whether barking his invented Russian alphabet or demonstrating how everything is sexier with smooth jazz, he jokes in a way that's refreshingly unique and deceptively smart. In advance of his September 23 appearance at the Beat Kitchen, we asked the L.A.-based comedian about his distincitve approach. Read the interview here.