Patti Smith | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Sun., Nov. 2, 4 & 8 p.m. 2014
Price: sold out
All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, Samhain, Dia de los Muertos—for all their differences, lots of cultures agree that the end of October or the beginning of November is a time for remembering and honoring the beloved dead, a tradition that coexists with the relatively light and silly party of Halloween (which has its origins in the belief that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest then). There’s no one in all rock ’n’ roll better at the art of the elegy than Patti Smith, with her chanting poet’s voice and her shamanic charisma and her own history of personal loss. She’s eloquently mourned her husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith; her brother, Todd Smith; and her best friend Robert Mapplethorpe—and she’s thrown out a wider net of memoralizing that’s touched Arthur Rimbaud, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jeff Buckley, and Amy Winehouse, among a long list of contemporary characters and historical figures. Smith is still touring her latest album, 2012’s Banga (Columbia), and this year she wrote her first song for a film (“Mercy Is,” for Noah). In September she delivered a short but powerful set at Riot Fest, but these two shows will be longer and more intimate; Smith will be accompanied only by two guitarists (Tony Shanahan and her son, Jackson Smith), in performances that include spoken-word material as well as music. She’s in town to receive the 2014 Chicago Tribune Literary Award, which will be presented Sat 11/1 at Symphony Center as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival; at that event she’ll be interviewed by Greg Kot about her life and work, and she’ll sign books. —Monica Kendrick Late show sold out. Read Patti Smith's interview about her stops and performances in town for the Chicago Humanities Festival.
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