Printers Row: Kevin Powers Michener Fellow in Poetry Kevin Powers discusses his spare, lyrical war novel, The Yellow Birds, recently released in paperback. Tribune Tower. 7pm. $15.
Porn and Chicken Chicago loves throwing the word rage around when talking up rock-fueled DJ parties. It also likes throwing said parties on Mondays (see Rehab). Tatted-up residents Phives, Dan Dwyer and Orville Kline keep the raging Monday tradition alive, spinning banging electro and bass music while revelers gnaw on chicken wings and ogle skin flicks. Evil Olive. 10pm. $5.
ART & DESIGN
"Irving Penn: Underfoot." Photographer Penn (1917–2009) transformed the concrete, cigarette butts and gum he found on Manhattan's pavement into fascinating black-and-white abstractions. Art Institute of Chicago. 10:30am–Sun 5pm.
Mother's Day with "Mommie Dearest" Dir. Frank Perry. 1981. 129mins. Camp Midnight provides running commentary for this special Mother's Day showing of the outrageously bad, compulsively watchable biopic, based on the best-selling book by Joan Crawford's adopted daughter. The event includes a pre-screening brunch at Mystic Celt (11:30am–1:30pm, $30) and a mother-daughter matching outfit contest. The first 100 people seated get their very own wire hanger. Music Box. 2pm. $12
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. Woodson Regional Library. 11am–2pm.
The Late Live Show This culty, late-night gabfest winds down with one final season of talk-show tomfoolery starring comedian (and Impress These Apes winner) Joe Kwaczala and local guests ranging from musicians to stand-ups. iO Del Close Theater. 11:59pm. $5.
EBERSMOORE closing its door? Say no more, mon amour! (Pardon the inexplicable Empire Records reference. We have Friday brain.) The Near West Side contemporary art gallery, founded in 2009 by Sarah Ebers and Dominic Paul Moore, tweeted earlier this week that it will be closing, effective June 1. The gallery has its final opening reception tonight, 6–9pm, for an MFA painting show in conjunction with Illinois State University (through May 30).
While we're sad to see it go, we applaud the gallery's thoughtful programming over the past 4+ years, showcasing both emerging and established artists (and some emerging artists who've become more established in that time). From Heidi Norton's exquisite plant-embellished sculptures to Anne Toebbe's melancholic paintings of domestic interiors, a look back at just a few of the exhibitions we'll remember:
The Adler Planetarium's go-to composer, IDM artist Benn Jordan, discussed his five favorite space-y albums, from obscure '70s French disco to an hour-long Brian Eno piece. Check out the full list (with YouTube clips), and hear Jordan's score to the Adler's 30-minute summer visualization "Cosmic Wonder," which opens May 17 in the Grainger Sky Theater.
Last night, Thursday, May 9, Paramore brought its new self-titled album to the masses. Hayley Williams may be the most famouse redhead in emo, but she's been listening to a lot of Blondie. Before ripping into the new stuff, the Nashville band blasted hits from its breaktrough Riot!—"Misery Business" and "For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic." Check out our pictures from early in the set.
Tonight, URI-EICHEN Gallery in Pilsen kicks off "Eight Hours for Work, Eight Hours for Rest, Eight Hours for What We Will," a series of art shows, events and music commemorating those who fought and died for better working conditions.
The mouthful of a title refers to the demonstration held in Haymarket Square in 1886. Workers in Chicago—who at the time were clocking 10–16 hours, six days per week, on the job—went on strike for an eight-hour workday. (The nerve of some people!) Sadly, the site of the demonstration became known as the Haymarket massacre due to the deadly bombing that took place, resulting in the conviction of eight labor activists, despite the lack of evidence against them.
Look, we all know that when F. Scott Fitzgerald was penning The Great Gatsby, he turned to Zelda and said, "Gee, Bearcat, it'd sure be the cat's pajamas to see this in three dimensions with Will.i.am bumpin'." Funny, F. Scott, we all seem to just want to go back to your era.
From all reports, the most dazzling segments of Baz Luhrmann's chintzy spectacle are the parties. Even Diddy is likely thinking while watching, "Damn, I gotta up my game." (Also: Why am I not on this soundtrack?)
So we thought we'd help you get a taste of '20s:
Four local nights for swing and giggle water
Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra Of course, the Green Mill is the hub for Prohibition nostalgia. While big-band music has evolved little since the pre-War era, Gresik and his team have a knack for making it fresh. Green Mill. Thursdays at 9pm. $6.
Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan In another Green Mill weekly, gypsy-jazz maestro Alfonso Ponticelli summons the ghost of Django Reinhardt. If you need jazz but also need to rest your eardrums, you could do far worse: no drums, two guitars, violin and bass. Green Mill. Wednesdays at 9pm. $6.
Jazz Consortium Big Band Berwyn is a nostalic hot spot for those with pangs for many past decades. The suburb still has a Tastee Freez. It's also the home to the great club FitzGerald's, which caters to the early-dinners set with the Jazz Conrtium Big Band. Party like your grandparents to the sounds of Basie, Ellington, Goodman and Miller. FitzGerald's. May 15 at 7:30pm. $10, students $5.
Speakeasy Sunday For those who need a little more titillation: Mixing cool jazz and steamy burlesque, Michelle L'amour and her Chicago starlets tease away your Sunday night in between swinging sets from Ben Tatar and his L'amourchestra. The next event is in a month. Maybe Gatsby will still be in theaters. Maybe. Everleigh Social Club. Jun 9 at 7pm. $5.
Where to get '20s-style tipsy
Get the speakeasy history of the Green Mill, plus find out how 26 other Chicago bars, from the Rainbo to Edgewater Lounge, fared during Prohibition (Southport Lanes was a bordello!).
We've given you a list of Mother's Day movies. It only seemed fitting to deliver a similar (and similarly somewhat inappropriate) compilation of mom art in another medium. Some of our favorites were not on Spotify, so we've started with YouTube clips for those gems.
1. Annette Poindexter & Pipes of Peace - "Mama" Originally released on Chicago's Twinight label and unearthed by the Numero Group, this soul slayer with sawing strings brings us to our knees. Poindexter pleads to her mother for relationship advice. She dates a dirtbag and can't help but love him. That's what Mom's there for.
2. Kate Bush - "Mother Stands for Comfort" Despite the loving title, this is a dark ode. Kate Bush seems like she'd be a pretty rad Mom. Should be the closing credits to that batshit Bates Motel show.
3. The Beatles - "Your Mother Should Know" Perhaps the first nostalgic rock song. Figures that Paul is a Mama's boy (who won't allow music on residuals-light Spotify).
4. Roy Orbison - "Mama" Make Mom melt. Works like a bouquet of flowers hand crafted out of chocolate by Andrea Bocelli.
ART & DESIGN
Labor History Walking Tour of Pilsen with Paul Durica This summer, URI-EICHEN Gallery, in partnership with the Illinois Labor History Society, is hosting a summer-long series about work, featuring art shows, neighborhood events and music. Titled "Eight Hours for Work, Eight Hours for Rest, Eight Hours for What We Will," it kicks off in May with a labor history walking tour of Pilsen led by Chicago historian Paul Durica (7–8:30pm). The evening's festivities also include a group printing and postcard campaign demanding action from the Mayor, live music by Bucky Halker, a silent auction to raise funds for organizing the archive of Illinois Labor History Society collection and more. Don't miss this chance to learn about the fascinating labor history of "The City That Works." URI-EICHEN Gallery. 6pm–10pm.
Joe Hill Let's just get this out of the way: Hill's the son of Stephen King and managed to keep that fact a secret for more than a decade. During that time, he developed a reputation for being a masterful writer of horror and suspense in his own right. (Joe's his own guy like that.) Tonight, he reads from and signs his third poised-to-be-a-blockbuster novel, NOS4A2. Anderson's Bookshop. 7pm.