Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival
The second annual performance art festival, presented by Defibrillator Gallery and taking place in different venues throughout the city, showcases an impressive range of talent, style and method. It features international artists hailing from Turkey, Mexico, Iraq and elsewhere, and is the most provocative performance series you’ll see this month—maybe even this year. Visit rapidpulse.org for a complete schedule of performances, panel discussions and more. Defibrillator Gallery, Electrodes, HUB, the Nightingale Theater and public spaces. Jun 1–10. Times vary. $10 for gallery performances, free for panel discussions and public performances.
2013 Dance Improvisation Fest
Columbia College assistant professor Lisa Gonzales curates this five-day improvisation fest in collaboration with Links Hall. It’s one of the more comprehensive improv festivals you’ll see this summer—a combo of showcases, classes, workshops and guest appearances from improv virtuosos. Dance enthusiasts can take in a panel discussion from the likes of former Bill Young dancer Amy Chavasse and Columbia’s everywoman Suzy Grant. The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago; Links Hall at Constellation. Jun 3–8. Times vary. $5–$60.
A decade ago, Devendra Banhart kicked off the freak-folk movement, paving the way for Joanna Newsom and perhaps eventually Mumford & Sons and others of their ilk. But his music was always closer to T. Rex than Pete Seeger. It seemed inevitable that he'd move on from hippiedom. With relatively little hype, the 32-year-old released his best album earlier this year, Mala, a subtle South American pop album that recalls the playful Tropicalia of the late '60s, though it was recorded on vintage '80s hip-hop equipment. With Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes and producer Noah Georgeson backing him, Banhart played Park West in Lincoln Park on Friday, May 31, drawing songs from his Warner Bros. and XL albums.
Mud Queens Be careful how widely you open your mouth when cheering on these female mud wrestlers—El Baño, Harlot O'Scara, Lady Danger and the rest of the campy lot—you never know what might fly in. Before the competition, rock out to Meat Wave and Caveat Empire. Reggie's Rock Club. 8pm. $12, advance $10.
ART & DESIGN
"Animal Kingdom." Popular Chicago artists including Kathleen Judge, Dan Grzeca, the Bird Machine, Diana Sudyka and Delicious Design League put a bird (and other animals) on their prints and gig posters. City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower. 10am–6:30pm.
Queen! Smart Bar maintains its hold on Sunday-night polysexual dancing with Queen! Gathering residents Michael Serafini, Donovan DJ and Garrett David, Queen! also spices things up with guest DJs from a spectrum of sounds and scenes weekly. Smart Bar. 10pm. $5.
Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape 15th Anniversary Performance Japanese native Ayako Kato and dancers celebrate their 15th anniversary with an improvised set in the grand setting of the Cultural Center, featuring designs by video artist Edyta Stepien and music by Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), Hamid Drake (drums) and Jason Roebke (double bass). Be ready for a strong Butoh influence, which means lots of subtleties and engaging (that’s right) stillness. RSVP recommended at letbeayakoauh.eventbrite.com. Chicago Cultural Center, Dance Studio. 2pm.
Maifest It's once again time for Maypole dancing and lederhosen as Lincoln Square celebrates the arrival of spring in Germany. Other highlights include a ceremonial keg tapping, the May Queen crowning ceremony and a set by the always lively trio in the matching vests and bowties, the Polkaholics. Lincoln Square, May 31, 5–11pm; Jun 1, noon–11pm; Jun 2, noon–10pm.
Chicago Turkish Festival If all you know is that it's Istanbul and not Constantinople, head on over to this event to sip Turkish coffee, eat baklava and orchid ice cream, and learn about Turkish and Turkish-American culture. See the whirling dervishes and browse grocery stands, handmade ceramics and jewelry. Pioneer Court. Jun 1, 10am–9pm.
Millennium Art Festival In the shadow of Millennium Park, the fest's fifth year includes dozens of lesser-known artists showing off paintings, photography and jewelry. If the hordes of tourists overwhelm, there's live easy-listening tunes and eats from local restaurants. Unimpressed by the art? Just blocks away, the Modern Wing's masterworks beckon. Michigan Ave and Lake St. Jun 1, 10am– 5pm; Jun 2 10am–5pm.
RECOMMENDED: Visit the Summer Festivals page for more upcoming Chicago fests.
I know, we missed it, too. That's why we're bringing back the crazy shit we, and our eavesdropping readers, overhear around town. Find it on the blog every Thursday (yeah, we're a little late this week, but you heard about the bombshell news, right?). Send Jake Malooley (email@example.com) the hilarious quotes you overhear and he'll decide if they're bizarre enough to make the cut. So without further ado, here's this week's Heard on the Street.
Our senior digital marketing manager, Erin Delahanty, has many skills, and one of them is finding crazy stuff you can buy on the Interwebs. In honor of the Blackhawks vs. L.A. Kings series, she's unearthed some fan-paraphernalia gems. Like dog sweaters. And adult footie pajamas that remove any trace of sexuality you might have. Enjoy!
It's a bittersweet day at Time Out Chicago as we announce that Restaurants and Bars editor Julia Kramer is leaving the site to become associate editor at Bon Appetit magazine. I've had the privilege of watching Julia over the past five years transform from a part-time writer (covering TV, of all things) to associate Food & Drink editor to Restaurants & Bars editor, and in so doing, establish herself as one of the most respected and essential food critics in Chicago. The Time Out staff could not be happier for her; a position at the best food magazine in the country (in my opinion) is something she deserves and has earned. That said, we'll miss the hell out of her, and her wall-shaking laugh. You'll be hearing from Julia over the next 10 days or so until she leaves, including a farewell of sorts highlighting the best, worst and most bewildering of times as a Chicago food critic.
So who's going to replace Julia? The search is on, so if you're confident you can fill her big, fashionable shoes, send a cover letter, resume and food writing clips to me, firstname.lastname@example.org, asap.
The city's first diagonal crosswalk opened today at State Street and Jackson Boulevard as part of a pedestrian safety pilot program by the Chicago Department of Transportation. The altered intersection, also known as a pedestrian scramble, stops all vehicles every other light cycle, allowing peds 14 seconds to cross in every direction. CDOT hopes the experiment, one facet of its Chicago Pedestrian Plan, helps reduce the number of conflicts between walkers and turning automobiles, which contribute to some 3,000 vehicle crashes involving pedestrians in Chicago every year.
Pedestrian- and bike-friendly CDOT commish Gabe Klein, formerly Washington D.C.'s transportation chief, talked about pedestrian scrambles with TOC back in 2011:
You’ve discussed creating diagonal crossings, which you pilot tested in D.C., here in Chicago. Which intersections?
One of the five- or six-way intersections, like Milwaukee, North and Damen. I’ve been yelled at by taxi drivers while I’m crossing in the crosswalk with the walk signal and told to get out of the intersection. The thing that surprised me the most about Chicago is how friendly people are and how mean they get behind the wheel. [Laughs] People think their speed dictates how fast they get somewhere, and that’s something we’re going to have to change through education, enforcement and redesigning our streets so that they’re inherently safer and more efficient.
Pedestrians of five- or six-way intersections like Lincoln Avenue, Irving Park Road and Damen Avenue might be better served by the all-way, crosswise crossing pattern, but the city tends to test in the Loop. Expect a rollout to the neighborhoods to follow if the experiment at Jackson and State is deemed a success.
And what is success? As one study noted, the onus is on pedestrians, to some extent, to make the plan a good investment; if the amount of people crossing—diagonal or otherwise—against red lights and don't-walk signals is high, accidents will probably be high. Crosswalks have only so much power. They can't save you from yourself.
Did you know Jacksonville, Florida, was once the largest city in the United States by area (even if a lot of that is just swamp water and trees)? Did you know that both Lynyrd Skynyrd and Limp Bizkit are from Jacksonville? Did you know that when you arrive in Jacksonville International Airport they sell Tim Tebow T-shirts in gift shops unironically? Did you know that Southwest Airlines is starting direct service from Chicago-Midway to Jacksonville this weekend?
My parents live in Jacksonville, my sister just north on Amelia Island. I visit often. It's not the most exciting city in the country (see that skyline above? That's just about it), but the hub of northern Florida (and southern Georgia, really) has been catching up on the culinary front over the last decade and the beaches are far less crowded than downstate.
Here are five reasons to book a ticket.