Hard techno legend The Advent is coming to town in a performance at the Metro on Saturday, May 3. The latest in a series of Gramaphone showcases will also feature Rino Cerrone, Steve Rachmad, Mike Dearborn, Josh Werner & Marko Katic, and Mani. John Acquaviva will be downstairs at Smartbar, playing a 6-hour set. The goal of the showcase is to provide a growing yet divided audience with diverse, innovative performances that focus on the love of the music, not what's fashionable at the moment. For more information, see the listing on Slowdown, and the OBS Productions site.
Wigfield, the performance-piece-slash-book-tour by Strangers With Candy and Second City alumnae Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, and Paul Dinello, kicks off its tour in Chicago this weekend. All four shows at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts are sold out, so start praying to the scalping gods now. If you miss it, you can always catch the Roadworks production of The Book of Liz, written by Amy and her brother David Sedaris. It opens next week at the Chopin.
Chicago fashion house XNX Designs has been getting more and more press lately. Yesterday they were Boing Boing'd. Their fashions run the gamut from h4x0r/retro hybrids like an 18th Century Borg Queen Gown to the more understated military school girl kilt with strap. Their fashions will be on display May 10th at SOFTwear, a technologically-inclined runway show put on by Modsquare. I just want to know where I can meet the model in the latex android gasket shirt.
If you ask nicely, you might still be able to get a set of This American Life paint-by-numbers kits depicting the classic Squirrel Cop story and 24 Hours At The Golden Apple, for a pledge of $150 or more to WBEZ. Hurry!
Evanston teachers have been barred from wearing "No war" and other peace buttons in classrooms, and a student was recently given detention for not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance (the detention was later rescinded). [Trib reg. req'd: gapers/gapers]
Harold Washington was sworn in as Chicago's first black mayor 20 years ago today.
Keep your eye out for the Pinhole Van, a cargo van turned into a pinhole camera. Created by Generation Art, the van travels around town to give children an opportunity to learn more about the science and process of photography and to take photos themselves.
The site is as lo-fi 1993 styling as it gets, but the information is essential. mP Shows (no typo there) is run by the people who bring you the Fireside Bowl and other indie rock venues around the city. Lo-fi equals to quick load time but rifling through for the info you need can at times be a bit of a eye blur.
Chicago Uber-Blogarista Mimi Smartypants includes a scathingly brilliant review of Boss Bar in her latest blog entry. As usual the inimitable Smartypants stylings are in full effect. We should get her on The Block.
Art Chicago 2003, at Navy Pier's Festival Hall, will run May 9 through the 12. This international art fair (we're not talking arts & crafts here, folks) features contemporary work from prominent galleries all over the world, including Chicago's Perimeter Gallery. Boasting over 3,000 artists, each year the fair gets better and better -- which brings hope that the future state of artworld isn't at a loss.
Chicago's 100 year old ban on public swearing has been dropped.
As of April 2003, Police officers will no longer uphold the the ordinance which is now seen as a violation of the First Amendment. Go out and celebrate by pretending to be a sailor on shore leave!
As always, working with new writers and promoting local talent Tia Chucha Press is now accepting submissions of chapbooks from Illinois poets. Full details are available at their website. The deadline, June 30, is rapidly approaching so apply today.
Speakeasy Magazine is hosting a forum to discuss the relationship between readers and writers, how politics does and should affect how readers read, and how writers write. Women & Children First will be sponsoring the discussion on Wednesday, May 7 at 7:30 in the store. The panelists, Sara Paretsky, Carol Anshaw, Rosellen Brown, and Aleksandar Hemon., will discuss whether writing should address political realities, how politics affect what people read, and what it means to be a literary citizen.
The bi-monthly Speakeasy Magazine was launched in September 2002 by the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.
The New York Times mentioned in passing on Friday that Gary Griffin is attached to direct a musical adaptation of The Color Purple for a planned 2005 Broadway opening. Griffin is associate artistic director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (not artistic director, as the Times reports). The show's book will be written by playwright Regina Taylor, artistic associate at the Goodman. This will be Griffin's first Broadway show, though not his New York debut; his Famous Door production of Beautiful Thing transferred off-Broadway in 1999, and last month he staged The New Moon for the City Center Encores! series. His production of Sondheim's Pacific Overtures, which first played at Chicago Shakes in 2001, will open at London's Donmar Warehouse in June.
Have you been to City Gallery? In 1999, Chicago's Historic Water Tower was converted into the city's "official photography gallery." City Gallery is curated by the Chicago Public Art Program and features Chicago-themed exhibitions by local photographers.
The current exhibition, "Made in Chicago," features the work of seven photographers whose task was to bring awareness to the continuing importance of manufacturing in Chicago. The photos pay tribute to corned beef, Radio Flyer wagons, harps, hand tools, and Mr. Bubbles toys. Read the write-up in the Sun-Times, and, if you can brave the throngs on North Michigan Avenue, check out City Gallery.
The Chicago Presents is wrapping up their Early Music series on May 2 with a performance by The Tallis Scholars. The Tallis Scholars are quite simply one of the most famous and most superb classical musical groups working today, having blazed a trail of heart-rendingly beautiful albums that have literally won every award that could be won and helped turn people on to this unbelievably beautiful form of music. And what better place to hear them but in Rockefeller Chapel's glorious acoustics? Definitely not to be missed. If you can still find a ticket - buy it.
The Guild Complex is now accepting submissions for their 10th annual "Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards." All entries must be received by May 30th. Sadly though, if accepted you'll have to leave your rubber chickens and kazoos at home -- no musical accompaniment or props allowed.
Today is the last Friday of the month, which means it's Critical Mass Friday. I'm going to be there and if you ride a bike at all, you should try to be there. Support alternative means of transport! Daley Plaza, 5:30pm
University of Chicago's Lost Treasures of Iraq website is live. It's pretty much the only way to see just how devastating the looting of the Iraq Museum really is.
It'd be pretty easy to miss Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival (April 23-27), since it's running down in Champaign-Urbana instead of Chicago. Why? Ebert went to U of I.
Another tradition falls: After more than 100 years, you may now sit at the Bergoff stand-up bar.
Today, Chicago is overcast, while the gardeners outside of my window are mowing and clearing the grass and greenery around the courtyard. While Spring flirts with Chicago, the temps will be in the 50's this week and all is good for now. This is more like a Chicago spring. Oh and those April showers too!