Tonight, House of Blues is hosting an event called Extreme Midget Wrestling. Tomorrow, the same venue welcomes a Neil Diamond tribute band. From folding chair attacks to "Sweet Caroline" encores, Chicago's variability is unmatched. You can expect the same high level of unpredictable excitement while kicking it with us this weekend.
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've totally lost touch with the indie rock underground. If my angst-ridden past-self could see my hopelessly out of touch present, I'd kick the seat of my Club Monaco khakis with a size seven Airwalk. So, what now? I can wallow in self-pity. Maybe hum a Radiohead b-side that I sort of remember from high school. OR! I can pick up the shattered pieces, buy a ticket to TNK Fest and get a long overdue crash course in the scene. I hope my studded belt still fits.
Mummenschanz is famous for its surrealist performance art, crazy masks and unique props. Think The Muppets meets Blue Man Group with costume design by Lady Gaga. In the late ‘70s, the Swiss-based theatre troupe enjoyed a 1300+ performance, three-year run on Broadway. Since then, the show's become a benchmark for experimental art's potential for commercial success.
Offering a much needed rock reprieve from Linkin Park, Nickelback and other chart smashers with purposely misspelled names, The Walkmen caught some buzz with their sophomore release Bows + Arrows. Since 2004, comparable bands like The Strokes and Grizzly Bear have carved a more resonant niche in pop culture, but The Walkmen (in this writer's humble opinion) are more deserving of the attention.
Double Edge describes itself as a "laboratory theater." Appropriate for an act that's equal parts graceful stage show and test tube explosion. The Massachusetts-based ensemble specializes in abstract performance art (though they'd probably resent any sort of specification). If you're looking for a familiar story arch with a sing-a-long musical score, Chicago has plenty of those kinds of shows. But this ain't it.
Whether you're in Chicago this weekend or not, you should do something to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. I'll be making my way to Nichols Concert Hall for the Music Institute of Chicago's ninth annual tribute.
For a detailed and up-to-the-minute calendar of Chicago events, click here.