Let your hair down for some hoedown-ing, upbeat listening, and Kanye West-influenced art at this week’s events:
Through 9/24: Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has collaborated with Kanye West and Louis Vuitton, and now his anime-inspired paintings are on display in Chicago for the first time in “The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago).
Mon 6/5: Folk band Polka Pants (who got their name from a slang phrase meaning, well, pants for polka) will be rocking the Irish American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox) like it’s A Prairie Home Companion. Chicago Barn Dance Company hosts the event, and provides patrons the right to refuse a dance without providing a reason. Ah, middle school memories! 7 PM
Tue 6/6: Join local self-publishers at Two Cookie Minimum for a selection of summer-friendly readings and free cookies at the Chicago Publishers Resource Center (858 N. Ashland). The series is celebrating its seventh season—which is the same season when The West Wing became good again. Featured readers include Yewon Kwon, Alenka Figa, Rebecca Mir Grady, and Amy Giacalone. 8 PM
Tue 6/6: Chris Gethard records a live episode of his podcast, Beautiful/Anonymous, at Lincoln Hall (2424 N. Lincoln). He calls a stranger and asks them to tell their life story up to the moment when the comedian randomly called them asking for a pithy life overview. 6 PM
Wed 6/7: Rather than build from a script, the masterful improvisers of Felt at iO Theater (1501 N. Kingsbury) perform a Harold, seamlessly weaving relatable tales of friendship and heartache utilizing, well, the seams of the puppets. The show certainly can get raunchy (to wit: Avenue Q), but utilizes the puppets’s smooth movements and blank expressions to heighten jokes with physical humor. 8:30 PM
Wed 6/7: Guitarist Alan Licht plays the Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western). “For this rare local appearance,” the Reader‘s Peter Margasak writes, “Licht will play music from his first solo acoustic album, 2015’s Currents (VDSQ), which defiantly eschews fingerstyle playing in favor of unabashedly sweet melodic instrumentals that meld propulsive strumming with piquant arpeggios—the tender, melodic pieces feel decidedly like songs rather than mere vehicles for polyphonic techniques.” Slow Planes and Michael Vallera open. 9 PM
Through 6/17: “Six nameless barefoot women lugging beat-up suitcases are trapped in a minelike purgatory with nothing to comfort them but their memories,” Dmitry Samarov writes of Into the Empty Sky, a dramatization of Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska’s poems at Trap Door Theatre (1655 W. Cortland). 8 PM
For more stuff to do this week—and every day—check out our Agenda page.