Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour This bike tour makes lots of best-of lists and with good reason: It showcases some of Chicago's hidden (at least to tourists) gems: the charming, tree-lined streets of the North Side, Gold Coast mansions, the Playboy Mansion, Oprah's digs, the Old Town Historic District and more (including, of course, the lakefront). See Chicago as the locals see it. Bobby's Bike Hike, River East Docks at Ogden Slip. 9am, 1pm. $35, students/seniors (65+), kids under 12 $20, kids under 4 $10.
Nathan Rabin The former head writer of the A.V. Club delved into two very specific music fan cultures for his latest memoir, You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me: Juggalos and Phishheads (fans of Phish). Spoiler alert: While exploring these oft-maligned communities, Rabin learns things about himself. Anderson's Bookshop. 7pm.
Chief Keef has more arrests on his record than he has proper records.
Before we could digest the infamous Chicago rapper's appearance on "Hold My Liquor" from Kanye West's new Yeezus, the 17-year-old, whose legal name is Keith Cozart, pled guilty today to a speeding violation. The authorities took the opportunity to slap Cozart with his second paternity suit and to arrest him on a misdemeanor trespassing charge just minutes after the emcee exited the Skokie courthouse. These are the latest additions to the growing rap sheet of a teen who's had way more run-ins with the law than run-ins with the singles chart.
We know a lot of about Double Door's history. Example: The famed Wicker Park music venue has hosted everyone from the Rolling Stones to Liz Phair and Smashing Pumpkins to Wilco, and had a nice cameo in the movie High Fidelity. And here's a fun fact that dates back even further than the '90s: During the Prohibition days, the space was a speakeasy. Current co-owner Sean Mulroney tells me it housed a furniture store in the front and a speakeasy in the back...and possibly a brothel upstairs. And now Mulroney is taking the space back to its roots. (Well, minus the furniture store and brothel.)
In about three weeks, Double Door's basement will reopen as Door No. 3, a speakeasy-type lounge with its own secret entrance under the El tracks near Damen Avenue. Mulroney says the space will be DJ-driven (think ambient music) and, unlike upstairs, cocktails will be served in glassware (as opposed to plastic cups) from servers. "Ten years ago, our most loyal customer was the hip bike messenger type who would come in with $20 and get a bunch of PBRs," Mulroney says. "Now those guys are a little more grown up, have better jobs, but are still cool. This will be the place for them."
A drink menu is still being mapped out, but Mulroney says Door No. 3 will have a large beer selection (just like the concert venue upstairs) and he's working with a cocktail expert to create a stellar drink list.
"A Sight Unlike Any Other: The Civil War and the Colored Soldier" Marking the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, the DuSable hosts a pair of battle reenactments. Not just rad historical sights to behold, these pieces of military theater serve to show that African Americans certainly were anything but passive observers in what's often seen as a white man's war. The afternoon also includes Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln impersonators, a Civil War costume booth and horse rides for kids. DuSable Museum of African American History. Jun 23, noon–5pm. Free.
"Caleb Charland: Fathom and Fray" In his captivating images, Charland brings to light the unseen and manipulates the seen via multiple and long exposures, as well as exploiting certain malfunctions in typical photographic processes. The results are often fantastical and poetic, with titles that emphasize the science-experiment vibe of his practice: e.g., Apple Trees and LEDs and Black Dots on My Palms Anywhere Lines Cross, Scanned and Inverted to Look Like Stars. Schneider Gallery. Jun 18–21, 10:30am–5pm. Jun 22, 11am–5pm. Through Jun 29.
The final and hottest day of Spring Awakening brought out more EDM superstars and water hoses. Calvin Harris and Krewella rocked the masses from the main stage. We were there to capture more colorful pictures of festivalgoers dancing their asses off and huge international DJs shooting lasers. Read recaps and check out dozens of dazzling images from all three days of the weekend festival at our Spring Awakening hub. Let's do this again next month on the beach at Wavefront, shall we?
There have been many events lately, say the Just for Laughs event David Cross and His Super Duper Pals, where we've thought, This is a total sausagefest. But Sausagefest is quite literal. It is a festival of sausages—encased meats in their grilled, tubular glory. The two-day street fair, in its third year, also delivered some polka and many patrons in Blackhawks gear. This is a good primer for National Hot Dog Month in July, which we will be covering deeply. How deeply? Did you see our doughnuts coverage?
A street fest offers two things: food and music. Taste of Randolph scores the highest marks in both categories, being situated in the heart of the hippest restaurant district and annually booking killer bands. This year brought Divine Fits and the Joy Formidable as headliners, two of the best new live rock acts I've seen in the past few years. The Joy Formidable blew us away at Lollapalooza, so we sent a photographer to snap pictures of the Welsh trio on the second day of the festival.
The Peter Pan prequel Peter and the Starcatcher, winner of five 2012 Tony Awards, will make a two-week Chicago stop on its first national tour next spring.
The prequel, penned by Jersey Boys co-writer Rick Elice and directed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, will play the Bank of America Theatre April 2–13, 2014. The Broadway production closed in January, re-opening in an Off Broadway version in March.
The play is based on the 2004 novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, which was published by Disney imprint Hyperion Books; the stage adaptation was commissioned by Disney Theatrical Productions, whose producing heft likely plays a part in the unusual decision to tour a non-musical play. Peter and the Starcatcher will be part of Broadway in Chicago's spring subscription season, with individual tickets going on sale at a later date; visit broadwayinchicago.com for ticket information.
1. The Luyas Montreal’s enjoyably loopy the Luyas embrace exotic quirk and whimsy—i.e., toy pianos and zithers—without sacrificing atmosphere. Last year's entrancing Animator found middle group between Blonde Redhead and Arcade Fire (whose Sarah Neufeld contributed strings), which is some feat. Julian Lynch opens with sun-drenched psych. Empty Bottle. Jun 20 at 9pm. $10, advance $8.
2. AM & Shawn Lee The Kansas-born, London-based Shawn Lee has made a career flitting from project to project, with L.A.'s AM his latest collaborator. The duo's recent sophomore album La Musique Numérique follows a Beck-ish formula on songs like "Suffer Like Me" and "Automatic": dreamy vocals over synthetic funk. To finish up the sunny batch, the two slip into cool kitsch with a cover of Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out," busy with cut-and-paste percussion and disco glimmer. Hanging out on the back porch? Here's your jam. Schubas. Jun 21 at 10pm. $15.
1. James Holden Once a DJ prodigy, now a major force in dance music, British techno wunderkind James Holden sets a high bar for what a modern DJ can be. His Border Community label culls the finest cuts from young European producers, his production and remixes are unparalleled, and his DJ sets are epic. We see him in Chicago too rarely, but we've danced to him enough to know he won't disappoint—oh, and it will be loud. Spy Bar. Jun 20 at 10pm. $10.
2. Giraffage Like pop radio heard through a thick fog or a neighbor's wall, the chopped and diced tracks of Giraffage spread a schmear of relaxing synthesizer over warped vocals, trap beats and slow R&B grooves. It's the kind of fodder that's been stuffing the Pitchfork main page for a few years, but it's done to great effect. Perhaps that is because 23-year-old Charlie Yin, the brains behind the project, keeps his dream-pop out of the haze and close enough to the legit slow-jams you hear on Sirius's Heart & Soul station. "Undress U" could pass for Keith Sweat, if not for a singer being slowed down into a druggy syrup. The downtempo evening is a perfect cool down coming off Spring Awakening weekend. Schubas. Jun 18 at 9pm. $20, advance $15.