18 free events this week | September 19–25, 2011
9pm-12am, EB Games
If you’ve played the Rated M military sci-fi video game, you’re aware that bug spray won’t help destroy the enemy Locust Horde. Partner up for a chance to win a retro Lancer replica gun and Gears 3 Xbox 360 wireless controllers. Pixels and Popcorn and all-female online review crew Sugar Gamers organize the drop. R.S.V.P. via Facebook required.
9:30pm, Empty Bottle
If you haven’t dropped by Ukie Village–based Permanent Records sometime in the last five years, don’t be afraid. The impeccably curated store from Liz Tooley and Lance Barresi introduced the neighborhood to the notion of weirdo psych, sludge and punk served with a smile, quashing the judgmental-record-clerk stereotype to which collector nerds and novices had grown so accustomed. To honor its five years of life, the little shop that could has thrown a three-day freak-out. On Monday, hit the Bottle, where noise locals Bad Drugs and Mayor Daley and Oakland-based High Castle bust heads, gratis.
Eiko & Koma: Film Screening and Artists Talk
6pm, MCA Stage
Watch short films made during the last quarter-century by Eiko & Koma, their son Shin Otake, Joanna Arnow, James Byrne and Shoko Letton; some are for-camera dance films while others explore the artists' process and the career retrospective of which this screening is a part. A discussion with Eiko & Koma follows the screenings.
6pm-8pm, Barnes & Noble (Jackson and State)
The South Side hip-hop artist signs copies of his new memoir, One Day It'll All Make Sense.
8pm, Comfort Station
Dir. Roman Polanski. 2002. 150mins. Polanski's Oscar-winning survival picture is in some respects a corrective to Hollywood's regular insistance on turning the Holocaust into cathartic dramatic fodder. There's no sweeping uplift here, just a starkly rendered chronicle of one man's will to live.
10am-5:30pm, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery
Though Spector's recent large-format Polaroids seem unrelated to the text- or image-based pieces on handmade paper that appear alongside them, both bodies of work consider how embodied writing and reading are.
12pm-2pm, Claudia Cassidy Theater at Chicago Cultural Center
WNUR's Continental Drift broadcast welcomes Congolese street band Staff Benda Bilili, a Congolese street band centered around four polio victims using tricked-out tricycles. Importing soulful rumba grooves from the Kinshasa Zoo where it holds court, the fascinating group makes its Chicago debut with sturdy harmonies, bustling percussion and whiny leads supplied by a customized one-string lute fashioned from a tin can. This would be novelty if it weren’t so charming. Swedish hip-hoppers Movits! and Pacific fusionist Te Vaka will also perform. Visit wnur.org to be an audience member.
7:30pm, Apostolic Church of God
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra opens its season with a free concert in Woodlawn. Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony is the highlight in a program that includes Verdi and Ibert. Commentary about the pieces on the program is integrated into the performance, to keep concertgoers in the loop.
9pm, The Whistler
Reader marketing guru and culture vulture Kristen Kaza presents this night of slow jams (Sade, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, etc.) for homos and their friends.
5pm-7pm, Polonia Triangle area of Wicker Park
Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson continue Wicker Park/Bucktown's performance-art festival with a roving project that we're sure will be up to their usual clever standards.
7pm, Block Cinema at Northwestern University
Dir. Sergei Eisenstein. 1925. 75mins. In Russian with subtitles. If all you've seen of Eisenstein's grand propaganda film is its Odessa Stairs sequence, it's time to put that film-school staple into context. The whole movie's a rousing marvel—not just for its editing choices, but for the sheer scope and scale of the thing.
Your 2012 IML fix begins tonight as Illinois Leather weekend kicks off with a welcome party and continues Saturday with Bootblack, Sir/boy, Ms. Leather Pride and Master & Slave contests. Stick around for Sunday's victory party.
The devious minds behind Zombies vs Skeletons and White Horse have gone all out with a freaky blacklight decor, UV (i.e. glowing) body paint, glowsticks, a piñata, giveaways and DJ Phenom spinning all manner of bass music with residents Josh Delacroix dropping house beats; Knife Fight getting dirty on the Dutch and moombahton tip; Annihilist raging with techno, juke and drum 'n' bass; and Mr. Bobby, who specializes in electro and industrial.
9:30am-10:30am, Native Foods Cafe
Food Network celeb cook Paula Deen loves her some butter. But can her recipes satisfy taste buds sans the cream? Find out at this cooking demo and tasting. Native Foods Café executive chef Kendall Huff prepares wild mushroom soup, roasted cauliflower, sautéed beet tops and apple cobbler.
1pm-8pm, Midway Plaisance
The annual jazz marathon expands to two days in its fifth year. Saturday's lineup is scattered across 13 Hyde Park venues, and includes sets from the Don Byron New Gospel Quintet and the Orbert Davis Quintet with Terisa Griffin, plus turns from Fareed Haque, Geof Bradfield and Paulinho Garcia among other scene fixtures. For the complete schedule, visit hydeparkjazzfestival.org.
10pm-3am, Lucky Number Grill
Brainy bombshells from Nerd Girl Burlesque and Gorilla Tango Theatre wriggle it for an audience of geeks. Online reviewer The Nostalgia Critic and parody rapper Luke Ski help get this dweeb fest cracking with nerdy remarks. DJs Aaron Ackerson and Jeffito spin video game music, nerdcore hip-hop and chiptune.
11am-2pm, Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater
Get friendly and pick brains during this meet-and-greet with Chicago-based contemporary and experimental dance artists. Space is limited and R.S.V.P. is requested, via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7pm, Oracle Theatre
A number of couples meet for a bizarrely structured group marriage-counseling session in Sean Farrell’s 2002 play. Director Bill Ryan keeps the pace swift and dynamic, emphasizing the complicated way couples navigate the minefield of marriage. The banter lacks the artfulness of Albee, but Farrell’s rendering of therapy-culture edges pleasingly toward, if not quite so far as, the absurdity of Christopher Durang or Nicky Silver. Farrell’s script raises questions of faith, family and fidelity that, ten years later, still reflect something of the national mood.