In the 60s Darlene Love was a ubiquitous backup singer for the likes of Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, and Aretha Franklin, working extensively with infamous producer Phil Spector. She would eventually become a star in her own right, and she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011; last year she appeared in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. Tonight she reflects on her five-decade career (and possibly sings a few songs). $20http://chicagohumanities.org
Seven long years ago, staffers at the Shedd planted a hops garden at the facility. Tonight you can taste the fruits of their labor by sipping on Penguin Hops, the third round of a collaborative beer project with Revolution Brewing. Along with tastings of the limited-release pale ale, guests go behind the scenes of the aquarium's penguin training program with the Shedd's Lana Vanagasem. $18
The 20-year-old rockers in Twin Peaks may not be old enough to drink, but they certainly know how to party. Tonight they celebrate the release of their latest, Wild Onion, with some help from NE-HI and Flesh Panthers. sold out
The starting point of Paul Metzger’s music is usually an instrument that he’s customized (his sitarlike 23-string banjo) or invented (his “spontaneous composition generator,” which is basically a painter’s box full of 37 altered music-box cylinders). Their novelty isn’t an end in itself, but rather an avenue to opportunity; the native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, wants to be surprised by his own music, and by including unfamiliar or random elements, he helps that happen. Metzger’s music is far from chaotic, though: even when he’s playing another composer’s melody, such as the treatment of Erik Satie’s “Beau Soir” on his most recent LP, Tombeaux (Nero’s Neptune), he improvises along ragalike structures that can yield stirring grandeur and thrilling abandon. Tonight’s concert, his first in Chicago since 2011, kicks off a 17-date tour with fellow north-woods instrument inventor Tim Kaiser. —Bill Meyer
If you soaked up Slowdive’s set at this year’s Pitchfork festival, or at least got close enough to the stage to wade in the fringes of its delay-heavy fog, it probably occurred to you that the band’s melting, droning shoegaze hit a little harder in that weekend’s mild weather than it would have if it’d been forced to compete with oppressive heat. But even a perfectly pleasant outdoor festival isn’t the best way to see this recently reunited English outfit, which morphed into Mojave 3 in ’95 after moving in a more experimental, ambient direction—a show in a theater, like this one, allows the music to blanket the audience instead of just breezing past them. Slowdive’s masterpiece, Souvlaki, still sounds as distant and hazy as it did in 1993. Even as you feel like you’re getting a grip on Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell’s nonchalant, dragging guitars and shaggy-haired vocals, they withdraw deeper into la-la land—an aesthetic reflected in the spectacularly aloof lyrics of “40 Days,” which includes the lines, “If I saw something good, I guess I wouldn’t worry / If I saw something good, I guess I wouldn’t care.” —Kevin Warwick
You've probably never heard of any of the artists whose work appears in "Forbidden Art," a traveling exhibit that just arrived at the Polish Museum of America, but given the circumstances under which their work was created, it's close to miraculous that anyone knows their names at all. The 20 paintings, drawings, and sculptures were created by prisoners—both Jewish and Christian—in Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, and Buchenwald concentration camps during World War II. The exhibit was conceived by Piotr Cywiński, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and Marcin Chumiecki, director of the Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools in Michigan, and executed by Elżbieta Cajzer, head of the Auschwitz-Birkenau collections department. For the past three years, it's been touring the U.S.—it came to Northeastern Illinois University in 2012—and will most likely move on to the United Nations in New York after it leaves the PMA in January. (The drawings and paintings on tour are reproductions; the three-dimensional works are original.) Continue reading >>
On opening night, in recognition of Jump Rhythm Dance Project's 25th anniversary, founder Billy Siegenfeld was presented with a small carved basket made from the branch of an olive tree—an apt gift for a basket case. That's not necessarily a criticism; Siegenfeld has always embraced his zaniness and reputation for being bad. He lovingly refers to his patented Jump Rhythm® technique as "the art of misbehavior." The style is a combination of tap, jazz, and swing dance, supplemented with percussive vocals—syncopated shouts and aspirant whispers, nonverbal murmurs and grunts that break the music down to its smallest rhythmic units and impressively replicate its ridges and contours. All that's endearing, and Siegenfeld's dancers have exemplary training. But this retrospective program is riddled with disappointments. No Way Out, a revival of the first piece Siegenfeld devised for JRJP, is a satirical portrait of Broadway, land of tourists and creeps. Two hardened criminals with permanent sneers do a striking tap-comedy routine poking fun at the visitors' silly compulsion to photograph everything. That could be the end; instead comes a band of roustabouts in biker gear who lope around pugnaciously in an endless slog of footwork. It's a cautionary tale: Siegenfeld might break songs into their smallest rhythmic parts, but how about building back up to a captivating whole? Siegenfeld's new 40-minute meditation When Little Enough Is Good Enough might be seen as a portrait of the artist as an unpromising young man. In it, the nutty professor looks back and marvels at his youthful efforts to develop new techniques—a quest he admits to starting by ripping off Isadora Duncan. But he can't quite pull off channeling her. Instead, an encounter with a dragonfly, the story's leading "Zen" metaphor, prompts a partnered sequence that's slow, generic, and fatally inhibited by a back alignment that cuts down on lifts and bends. Oddly, this deep-seated physical grounding seems to have prompted a belief that the dancers are going deep psychologically, an idea reinforced by all the primal noises. Yet the piece ends without a definitive demonstration of the results of Siegenfeld's soul searching, so we have to assume we've been looking at them. Hopefully nobody's still accusing him of being a rebel. —Jena Cutie $30
The Chicago Loop Alliance turns the city's dark alleys into transient creative spaces for the pop-up gallery series Activate. Tonight's festivities are Halloween-themed and feature interactive board games and artwork inspired by the seven deadly sins.http://loopchicago.com
The Zone of Interest author talks with Booklist senior editor Donna Seaman. $12http://chicagohumanities.org
Benvenuti discusses her book Spirit Unleashed: Reimagining Human-Animal Relations.
Cook shares her debut short story collection, Man V. Nature.
Take in a double feature of The Big Lebowski and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas while sipping White Russians and schmoozing the judges tasked with picking the best-costumed moviegoer. $10-$15
Prepare for cosmic panic at Curse of the Blood Moon, a sort of haunted house inside the Grainger Sky Theater followed by a flashlight tour of the planetarium and a session on slime science. $10