Katey Red, Darren Keen, Swaguerilla, Teen Witch Fan Club | Empty Bottle | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader
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Teen Witch

Teen Witch

Courtesy the artist

Katey Red, Darren Keen, Swaguerilla, Teen Witch Fan Club 

When: Fri., May 23, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $10
Logan Square's Zain Curtis, aka Teen Witch, is a party promoter, DJ, zine maker, and visual artist (both real-world and Internet), and somehow he's really good at all of it. He's had a guiding hand in two of Chicago's best club nights in recent years (first CULT and now Total Therapy, both at Berlin), and a T-shirt he designed depicting Bart Simpson making out with Milhouse became an instant Tumblr-culture classic (resulting in a cease-and-desist letter from the Simpsons people). More relevant to tonight's set, he's also an exceptionally good disc jockey and remixer. At first glance, his fashion-way-forward club-kid aesthetic might make it seem like he's being trollishly ironic with his track choices—dancey deconstructions of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and assorted pop-chart fodder—but the ecstatic, classically housey energy he coaxes out of them is too celebratory for sneering. Curtis's mixes and remixes underline modern pop's immense debt to dance music and recall the free-spirited approach to sourcing songs that house's first DJs embodied, but thinking about his stuff isn't nearly as fun as dancing to it. —Miles Raymer



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