Nothing makes you cooler than getting to hear a record as soon it drops, right? Saki hosts a listening party for JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound's spanking-new album, Howl, out on Bloodshot. Not only will the record be spun, but the soul dudes will play some of the album's cuts live. Festivities include a Q&A with WXRT's Marty Lennartz and DJing by Brooks himself.
A little literary playfulness goes a long way for vocalist-musicians Emmy Bean, T-Roy Martin, and Chris Schoen, who, in their rapid-fire program of folksy musical arrangements, take on roles ranging from the pathetic oysters in Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter" to Carl Sandburg reading his poem "Loam." Some songs indulge kitsch—like one that sets to music a Thomas Campion poem in which a single word ("love") has been replaced each time it appears by another ("Batman"). And though I'm generally inclined to dismiss offhand anything based on writings of the great poet Craigslist, "Past Saturday Night, Northerly Island," which adapts a missed connection into rondo form, struck me as weirdly hypnotic and catchy. The afternoon's shining ditty was "Riled Geese," inspired by Mary Oliver's poem of the same name, in which Bean does an absolutely bewitching scat-singing impression of a goose (a style susceptible to the very amusing coinage "goose scat"). —Jena Cutie
For the past few years Mavado has been in the same predicament that’s afflicted so many other dancehall superstars: he’s practically a demigod in Jamaica, but barely anyone in the U.S. knows who he is. This is despite the fact that his American fan base consists not just of dancehall geeks but also of massive rap stars. Jay-Z and Drake are fans, Snoop and French Montana have both featured him as a guest on songs, and hip-hop kingmaker DJ Khaled has signed him to a record deal. But even given his lack of crossover in the States so far, Mavado could still break out here: his signature style is supersmooth, highly melodic, and unlikely to strike an audience already acclimated to Sean Paul as too exotic to handle. Then again, he seems to be doing just fine without us. —Miles Raymer DJ Ringo and One Blood open. $35, $49.95 VIP
Everybody's into Gatsby these days, including the Randolph Street Market, the city's best source for fabulous antiques, which reopens for the season with an old-school garden party. There will be carnival games, a fashion show, and a beer garden. The games and threads are vintage; the beer, fortunately, is not.
Few things go together as well as drinking and writing. That, at least, is the guiding principle of Drinking & Writing Theater. In celebration of Craft Beer Week, they've decided to expand to other arts. In the Beerfly Alleyfight, home-brewed beers will be matched with homemade food, and then each pair will be interpreted by a homegrown artist. $40
Phil Pospychala guides a walking architecture and culture tour that promises stops at "a dozen joints planned into the early evening—no trendy spots or places on the beaten path." $5
Enjoy local music, food, and arts vendors. Raffle prizes include gift certificates to Fleur, Chicago Diner, and New Wave Coffee.
It might make you feel pretty bad to think about all the teenagers running around having a sexy prom season, meanwhile you're old. Buck up! The (Best) Prom You Never Had is way cooler than any of the dumb dances for the kids. Proof: Girl Group, a 20-piece orchestra made up of local ladies in mod dresses, is performing, along with the Pretty Flowers; Chances Dances DJs spin. $12
Dust off your glow sticks and plastic baby pacifier 'cause we've got ourselves a rave to hit up at the Electric Daisy Carnival, a three-day EDM extravaganza in Joliet (note: campsites are available for day-sleeping). Big names like David Guetta, Nadastrom, Tiesto, and Empire of the Sun perform while you dance like a spaz and kiss a bunch of strangers. $175 three-day regular admission, $295 three-day regular + camping
Playwright Rajiv Joseph is best known for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which was introduced to Chicago last winter by the Lookingglass Theatre Company. A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2010, the play offers a dreamlike, absurd, yet morally and politically serious evocation of Dubya's Iraq war—narrated by the title cat, who's killed for biting off an American soldier's hand only to find himself walking the ruined streets of Baghdad as a ghost. Don't expect the same sort of experience from The Lake Effect, the Joseph script getting an uneven but involving world-premiere production now at Silk Road Rising. This one is a totally different animal. Continue reading >> $35