Many ways to celebrate and honor Juneteenth this week, as well as other outdoor and indoor gatherings and events—check it out!
Editor’s note: Coco Picard spoke to Chicago artist and School of the Art Institute of Chicago assistant professor Anna Martine Whitehead in early June. The comic above captures moments of their conversation. Text from the comic is transcribed here to ease readability. Performance maker Anna Martine Whitehead has been writing and developing FORCE! An Opera […]
Given the myriad horrors American society faces, desensitization can be a survival mechanism as well as part of the problem. Numbness can easily turn to apathy when we’re bombarded unrelentingly with mass shootings, climate-change-induced natural disasters, stealthy new COVID-19 variants (plus monkeypox), a 24-7 news cycle broadcasting the horrors of the invasion of Ukraine, and […]
In this issue, you’ll find stories about trans creatives, LGBTQ+ community spaces, and drag performers; but you’ll also find an investigation and interview about electronic monitoring in policing. (Remember, the first Pride marches celebrated the Stonewall riots, a response to a violent police raid.) I want the colors on the cover of this Pride Issue to inspire people as they move through this month of June and promote true liberation.
Celebrate how far we’ve come and brace yourself for the work to be done by enjoying libations and liberation at some of these Chicago gems: Berlin 954 W. Belmont berlinchicago.com Welcoming everyone since 1983, Berlin is an inclusive venue for dancing, drinking, and drag. Big Chicks 5024 N. Sheridan bigchicks.com Visit Big Chicks for Sunday […]
Los Bitchos are an LSD-laced sugar cube melting in your mouth. The London-based four-piece make tripped-out 70s-inspired cumbia that sounds like it belongs in the 1966 Czech film Daisies—Věra Chytilová’s new-wave masterpiece, banned in part for a scene where two teenage girls have a food fight. “Wasting food,” the authorities said, which was really a […]
In 2015, when Chicago R&B wunderkind Ravyn Lenae was just 16, she self-released a sophisticated, vigorous EP called Moon Shoes, singing about romance and longing with the grace and lucidity of an artist who understood herself. Now 23, Lenae has grown considerably from that already auspicious start. On her new debut full-length, Hypnos (Atlantic), her […]
Are rainbow-festooned events full of glitter, sequins, and boas signs of progress? Strides made by LGBTQ+ people are increasingly under fire in the forms of violence, rhetoric, and quasi-legal attacks on the rights of the community. Has the LGBTQ+ community unwittingly played a role in this by seeking assimilation? Some might say that the idea […]
Our contributor Isa Giallorenzo attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s fashion show in May. The annual event returned to an in-person format this year (the theme: “Humanature”) after a two-year hiatus to address safety concerns around COVID-19. Here are some images Giallorenzo shot of some of the over 100 pieces of student-designed work that […]
Chicago group Meth are known for their big and burly scorched-earth mash-up of mathcore, noise rock, and ambient music, which they execute with surgical precision. At the center of their dissonant sprawl is vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Seb Alvarez, who started Meth as a solo project before developing the current six-piece iteration. The band put out […]
The long-awaited School of the Art Institute of Chicago fashion show was back in May after a two-year hiatus brought on by COVID-19. In the previous pandemic years students presented their work in beautiful highly-produced videos, but nothing substitutes the experience of seeing their garments IRL—especially so up close and personal. And this year’s show […]
Saxophonist Isaiah Collier and his celebrated quartet, the Chosen Few, are among our city’s mightiest conduits of spiritual jazz. So when Collier and Chosen Few percussionist Michael Shekwoaga Ode shared a wildfire studio improvisation while recording last year’s Cosmic Transitions, they knew immediately they wanted to keep that heat blazing. Thus their duo project, I […]
So many outdoor events to share with you this week, so make sure you wear sunscreen (everyone needs a little at least, even you) and stay hydrated (you’ll feel better, seriously). And treat others with compassion especially when it’s hot and sticky out. We’re all feeling it, and your fresh attitude will make everyone around you melt like a Rainbow Cone in the hands of a slow-eating toddler. (And note—if you see one of us Reader people in the wild, it’s always appropriate to offer us free ice cream.)
For the first time since a pandemic hiatus, The Fly Honey Show is live for three days only of sparkle, sweat, and shimmy. Begun in 2010 with about 30 performers in the living room of the DIY venue The Inconvenience, The Fly Honey Show has since manifested through the bodies of hundreds of dancers, musicians, […]
Despite its experimental environment, Chicago’s drag world entered the pandemic with a lack of labor protections. COVID-19 exacerbated economic hardships, especially for queer performers of color who have dealt with the discriminatory practices of club culture. With Asian drag performers often left out of conversations about representation, forming a labor union may improve the city’s […]