Festivals in Chicago are good and plenty but not many are as unique and eye opening as the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, returning for its sixth year May 1-4. CIMMfest brings music and film makers from across the globe together to illustrate the two mediums' inseparable ties throughout history. It brings four days of concerts, screenings, panel discussions and interviews to Chicago's Logan Square and Wicker Park neighborhoods--99 events in 96 hours to be exact!
That's going to be a lot to manage. You can't go wrong with any of CIMMfest's programming this year but we thought we'd bring your attention to some extra special happenings.
The sprit of CIMMfest, the bond between music and film, will materialize in full on Thursday, May 1, when indie folk band Califone (originally from Chicago) live scores Pat O'Neill's Sundance-winning documentary Water and Power, which portrays the relationship between the city of Los Angeles and water. The screening takes place at 1st Ward. Tickets are $18 in advance.
With just one four-song EP under its belt, Tall Walker has become one of the most buzzed about bands in the city. They rock hard and write pop hooks that refuse to be forgettable. The Chicago three-piece headlines Subterranean on the opening night of CIMM Fest, May 1.Tickets are $12.
Disco never died and Brooklyn's Escort are the proof. Wherever this sprawling 10+ member band goes, the dancing is sure to follow so expect no less when they headline
Concord Music Hall on Friday, May 2. Tickets are $20.
Even the best documentaries are forced to cut griping footage. Grammy-nominated music documentary director John Anderson knows this all to well. CIMMfest attendees have the first chance to see some of those lost moments when Anderson opens up his vault on Friday, May 2, at the Logan Square Lounge. Anderson's subjects have included greats like Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Emmylou Harris and Elvis Costello so some great moments are sure to surface. This event is free to attend.
"Laptop DJs" have become something of a joke amongst electronic music enthusiasts but that doesn't mean there aren't still purists out there. I Dream of Wires focuses on modular synthesizes, the technology that first birthed house music and has recently had something of a resurgence in popularity, gaining interest from the likes of Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. The Chicago premiere of the documentary, May 2 at the Society for Arts, will include a Q&A with director Robert Fantinatto. Tickets for the screening are $10.
One of the best Chicago albums to come out last year was Tim Kinsella Sings The Songs Of Marvin Tate By LeRoy Bach Featuring Angel Olsen. That album consisted of exactly what you'd think: singer/songwriter Tim Kinsella (with the help of Angel Olsen) singing songs written by former Wilco member LeRoy Bach with lyrics taken from the poems of Marvin Tate. Kinsella and Tate will bring these songs to life on stage during a rare performance on Friday, May 2. Tickets are $12.
In case you haven't caught on, CIMM Fest is Chicago's attempt to recreate annual music and technology mecca South by Southwest. So its no surprise to see co-founder of the Austin, Texas, fest Louis Black honored as the keynote speaker at CIMM Fest this year. The CIMMfest Awards will take place on Saturday, May 3, at 1st Ward where Black will be the recipient of the annual BAADASSSSSS Award. This event is free to attend.
Bloodshot Records is a crucial part of Chicago's independent music scene and the label is turning 20 years old in 2014--a true accomplishment in the industry. Celebrate Bloodshot's landmark birthday on Saturday, May 3, with a slew of their own artists including Murder By Death, Andre Williams and Nora O'Conner. It's all going down at the Logan Square Auditorium. Tickets are $20.
Another event that embodies CIMMfest's mission perfectly, Rockin' Music, Rollin' Film is a panel discussion that will bring together filmmakers and musicians known for collaborating on film songs and score. The free panel event. will happen on May 4 at Collaboraction. Panelists include Chicago-based filmmaker John McNaughton, Sundance and American Film Institutute-award-winning short film director Wendy Jo Carlton, actor and producer Lisa Cordileone, film and theatre composer Andrew Edwards, motion graphics artist and director Ken Hale, and television and movie score composer Carlos Villalobos Jr.
Street performers are an overlooked classic element of urban living. Have you ever stopped to wonder about these musicians' stories though? The film makers behind The Sax Man did. Maurice Reedus Jr. might just be a longtime Cleveland busker to thousands of daily passersby but he's also the son of a Grammy-winning musician and that he just missed his shot at stardom during the the 1970s Motown era. Learn more about Reedus's surprising story at the Chicago premiere of the documentary on Sunday, May 4, at The Society for Arts. Director Joe Siebert and producer Todd Bemak will be on hand for a Q&A. Tickets are $10.
This one's for the ladies. CIMMfest panel discussion She's In The Band highlights some of Chicago's top female music industry figures including Editor-in-Chief of Boxx Magazine (dedicated to covering women in music) Selena Fragassi, co-founder of local label Bloodshot Records Nan Warshaw, entertainment attorney and artist management specialist Kate Battle and hip hop artist Psalm One. This free panel discussion takes place at Emporium on Sunday, May 2.
In what's sure to be a fascinating conversation soul music legend Booker T. Jones--famous for songs like "Green Onions" and "Melting Pot"--will sit down with author, film maker and regular NPR contributor Robert Gordon at the Logan Square Lounge on Sunday, May 4, at 3 p.m. Gordon's fascination with the American South combined with Jones's Memphis upbringing set the stage for this interview that is free to attend. Jones performs at City Winery later that evening.