Posted inCity Life

Art, records, and the great outdoors

Looking for stuff to do this weekend and beyond? Read on! FRI 6/3 Do-Division Street Fest (Division between Damen and Leavitt) benefits from handing over its music programming to outside local venues, and this year’s lineup (booked by Empty Bottle and Subterranean) doesn’t disappoint. Tonight you can catch several acts that we’ve written about including […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Skateboarding as social practice

An average spectator might observe a skateboarder as nothing but a person on wheels; they see an athlete—or a delinquent, maybe—pushing and coasting and jumping (“How does the board stick to the bottom of their feet?”), there one minute and gone the next. But from the rider’s perspective, the world is transforming around them. Minute […]

Posted inCity Life

Your heart is an empty storage unit

There’s a mannequin staring down from the second-floor window of the Lock Up Self Storage on Lincoln. She has a blonde wig and a stoic demeanor—the sort of world-weariness that comes from being frozen in one spot against your will. When I moved the bulk of my earthly possessions into an eight-by-ten-foot storage unit in […]

Posted inMusic

Rapper-producer Namir Blade rockets into an Afrofuturist haze

Nashville rapper, multi-instrumentalist, and part-time extraterrestrial Namir Blade follows in the space wake of his beloved Sun Ra less through style than through vibes. His new self-produced album, Metropolis (Mello Music), gestures toward Afrofuturism in its woozy synths and hyper-modernistic cover art, but Blade is way too laid-back and into his own loopiness to construct […]

Posted inMusic

Jonn Wallen of Oui Ennui made a torrent of genre-hopping albums while battling long COVID

In the past year or so, whenever a friend has asked me to recommend music, I’ve pointed them at Chicago multi-instrumentalist Jonn Wallen, who creates omnidirectional experimental electronic albums under the name Oui Ennui. A self-described hermit, he’d already spent decades making music largely in private and for his own satisfaction when COVID-19 hit. After […]

Posted inMusic

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 […]

Posted inMusic

Paul Natkin, concert photographer

Chicago native Paul Natkin is a prolific concert and portrait photographer who’s shot more than 4,300 musicians and celebrities since he started his career in 1975. He’s also worked as road manager for the likes of Brian Wilson and Alice Peacock and tour photographer for the Rolling Stones. His images have appeared in so many […]

Posted inCity Life

Hats off to the hats

At the end of April, The Curio and the Chicago Fashion Coalition joined forces to promote a networking event for the local fashion crowd at Chop Shop in Wicker Park. The turnout was truly impressive; so many recognizable names in the fashion scene were there: accessory designer and SAIC faculty member Gillion Carrara; luxury boutique […]