Editor’s note Mon 12/12/22: the St. Lucia events previously posted below are scheduled for Tuesday 12/13/22. The Reader regrets our error. Join Andersonville residents and celebrate the holidays the Swedish way, with St. Lucia and the Lucia Procession. Lucia girls, in white robes and candle crowns, will be crowned at noon at the temporary Nordic […]
Tag: Old Town School of Folk Music
Queer Art Party, Afrofuturist performance, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and Zine Not Dead
Palmer Square Art Fair and Queer Social Club are teaming up to debut Queer Art Party at Sleeping Village (3734 W. Belmont). From noon-5 PM, vibe out to queer art, music, food, and community. You’ll have a chance to get your makeup done or portrait taken. Herbivore Chicago will be on hand providing plant-based comfort […]
The Square Roots festival offers a diverse mix of music to replenish your soul
If you’re as allergic to crowds as I am, Chicago’s many neighborhood music festivals can be a mixed bag. But one event I unequivocally associate with a certain kind of chill is the Square Roots festival in Lincoln Square. And that low-stress atmosphere seems likely to be by design. Launched in 1998, the weekend-long festival, […]
Horsegirl and the dream of a teen rock scene
In July 2019, Chicago indie-rock trio Horsegirl played the eighth annual Square Roots Festival. At the time, live shows were the only way to hear the group’s taut but disarming dream pop, with its windswept-lakefront sound—and they’d only performed a few of them. They hadn’t released any music, not even to stream, and unsurprisingly they’d […]
International Women’s Day, Alvin Ailey, and meatballs
You can eat beef, watch movies, and learn about graffiti this week. No reason to be bored in Chicago! Check out these online and in-person events. FRI 3/4 Yesterday was International Sex Workers’ Rights Day, which began in 2001 to call attention to the unique labor risks and concerns of pleasure providers. In honor of […]
Mandingo Griot Society: a global exchange born in Chicago
Foday Musa Suso absorbed centuries of tradition growing up in Gambia. As part of the griot caste, his family had performed a centuries-long role in Gambian society, narrating historical epics and singing praise songs while playing the kora, a harplike 21-string instrument his distant ancestors invented. Suso dreamed of bringing his music to places far […]
Michael P. Smith deserves to be as widely remembered as his songs
The past 20 months have been such a whirlwind of sickness, grief, political madness, and worldwide protests for causes either righteous and necessary or selfish and deranged—it hasn’t been easy for music fans to do justice to the lives and memories of all the amazing artists who’ve passed away during this chaotic period. Famous folk […]
How live music looks during COVID
Live music is back, though it looks different today than when it went away in March 2020. For 16 months we carried on without the collaborative magic of artist and audience. We’ve watched musicians find creative ways to keep gigging and be safe, whether delivering livestreams from their homes or playing on porches. Our favorite […]
A new Zoom opera honors the health-care workers fighting COVID
A new Zoom opera honors the health-care workers fighting COVID, country cat Lawrence Peters leads a workshop for aspiring record collectors, and more.
In 1971 the Reader’s free classifieds hosted a future folk star
Music discovery has changed a lot in 50 years, but the Reader is still around—and so is Bonnie Koloc.
Disharmony at the Old Town School
The Old Town School’s new union fears the administration is treating teachers like commodities, not inspirations.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day and other upcoming celebrations
Upcoming events and recommendations from our listings coordinator
Let the bird take the wheel on the gig poster of the week
This week’s featured gig poster was created by Chicagoland graphic designer Mereya Lachel Goetzinger-Blanco, incorporating art by Frederick McDonald.
Spelunking in the Reader of 1971
The music ads in the Reader’s very first issues add context—and curiosities—that the stories alone can’t provide.
Readings, livestreams, and drunk farmers
Upcoming events and distractions from our listings coordinator