Robin Dluzen, editor in chief of Chicago Art Magazine is having nightmares about:
The White Feathered Octopus The cornerstone of Jason Robert Bell‘s “One Man Army Corpse” exhibition at Thomas Robertello Gallery is The White Feathered Octopus, a 300-page book written by the artist during a three-month, pharmaceutically laden, bedridden recovery from a medical injury, available for viewers to peruse on a shelf in the gallery.
Not since my adolescent discovery of William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch have I felt the same heavy, sinking feeling in my stomach from a work of art, visual, written, or otherwise. The artist is the author, protagonist, and narrator of this digitally composed, fragmented, stream-of-consciousness piece, fluctuating between seemingly autobiographical reality and fantastical nightmares.
Like Naked Lunch, The White Feathered Octopus is difficult to read in both structure and the nature of its content, and it is capable of giving a reader actual nightmares (as it did for me). But also like Burroughs’s masterpiece, it absolutely must be read for its courageous and frightening sincerity.
Jonas Friddle and the Majority Full disclosure: I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and there is a tiny, secret part of my heart that lights up at the sound of a mandolin.
Jonas Friddle and the Majority are a seven-piece “orchestral folk” band that started at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Their sound is at once huge (strings and horns and organs, oh my!) and intimate in the way only old-timey, bluegrassy folk music can be. Ladies playing fiddles dance and smile like they’re having the time of their lives. The cellist’s clear, earnest voice sings out joyful harmonies. The drummer plays with such abandon that he actually knocked part of his drum set to the ground the night I saw them. Their enthusiasm is infectious. I was grinning like an idiot and bouncing along before I realized what was happening to me. Once I realized, I bought their albums.
Curio Wednesday nights in Chicago are kind of a funny thing. It always ends up being that night that you say, “To go out or not to go out? That is the question.” I found a little nook that seems to entice me out of my house every Wednesday that I’m not working.
Curio—the bar in the basement of Gilt Bar—has, wait for it, live jazz. It’s truly a thing of beauty, really cozy and dark if you want to remain anonymous, awesome drinks, and amazing music. The candles and back bar make for a beautiful ambience, and it’s a bit romantic. It’s also where I got my start behind the bar in Chicago so it has a special place in my heart. I hate it when I have to miss it—it is always a wonderful way to spend an evening.