Old city, new year
winter music festivals, LGBTQ Art collectives, Valentines, megabus south, and more
winter culture guide
editors’ letters atypical art megabusing south for the winter lgbtq art collectives local bands old and nu roger’s park social valentine’s date spots dinner is served valentine’s day gift ideas winter music festival
editor in Elizabeth
managing editor Aliza Abarbanel
in chief Johnson
Nick Fistanic Jenna Lee
Abby Schubert Sarah Rense
When it comes to exploring Chicago, some destinations never change. Millenium Park, the Art Institute and deep dish pizza are basically the holy trinity of touristy activities. Sure, those were fine for Fall Quarter, but it’s time to start experiencing Chicago like a local. This culture guide is about diving into the city from a different perspective, visiting art collectives and restaurants on the cutting edge. Take a roommate, classmate or go solo. Really, just get out of bed—Netflix is overrated. Aliza Managing Editor Whether you’re boarding the L, trudging to class, or copping an Uber (no judgment), it can be difficult to stay active during winter quarter. Here at Scene+Heard, remaining active in the culture of Evanston and Chicago is a preeminent way to combat the blues and seize the New Year. We dare you to hop the Megabus and spend a long Mardi Gras weekend, or take the L and sip a pressed juice cocktail in Rogers Park. In this guide, we have the tips and tools to spend a lively winter quarter; we even think it will compel you to get out of bed and craft your bucket list now. Katherine Editorial Director After its founding in 1837, Chicago quickly became the fastest-growing city, an accolade it boasted for decades. As it developed, it became a cultural and commercial mecca for people who wanted to establish Midwestern roots. This history has not only pervaded the city ever since, but it has defined it-in its antiquated buildings, annual traditions and iconic Midwestern charm. Yet today, Chicago faces a paradox: the desire to preserve its traditionalism while integrating the innovations its coastal competitors—like New York and San Francisco--have achieved. Accordingly, the city is becoming greener (it hosts the world’s largest sustainable convention center), but also more trendy: cult corporations like Shake Shack and SoulCycle are making their ways to Michigan Ave. This dichotomy between Chicago’s comfort and cutting edge is something we wanted to highlight when brainstorming our Winter Culture Guide. As we embrace the annual change of a new year, we wanted to highlight the city’s new feats in art, music, food and fun—all while praising Chicago as America’s forever favorite Second City. Lizzey Editor-in-Chief
Photo courtesy of The Vertical Gallery
As winter approaches and the campus grows colder, the thought of leaving your dorm becomes even more daunting. Yet, for the art lovers among us, there are plenty of reasons to get out and explore, no matter how bad the weather, since just a train ride away Chicago holds a sparkling array of enticing alternatives. Sure, we all know about the Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art, but what about the cityâ€™s other artistic venues? From the Loop to its surrounding neighborhoods, you can find museums and exhibits of upand-coming practitioners. Here are some options for the Wildcat art zealots:
Perhaps the most adventuresome quality of these exhibits is the location: University of Chicago. Ignore the fact that you’re in enemy territory and explore the campus’ contemporary art museum. Currently, Los Angeles-based artist Mathias Poldena hosts an exhibit of film installations. He explores frame of vision, iconoclasm, and paradoxes of history and modernism through film. It’s free to the public, so take a chance and explore the art that the University of Chicago has to offer.
Highland Park University of Chicago, 5811 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, illinois 60637
THE RENAiSSANCE SOCiETY
Photo courtesy of The Renaissance Society
THE VERTical gallery The gallery won’t reopen until February 6th, but when it does you will find a wide spectrum of fresh new artists. The urban street art gallery opened in April 2013, and it offers a forum for unique and refreshing visions. Who knows, maybe on your visit you will discover the city’s latest new “it” artist.
Photo courtesy of The Vertical Gallery
ukrainian village 1016 N. Western Ave, Chicago, illinois 60622
Still open in January, Corbett vs. Dempsey is one of my favorite off the beaten path museums and features regional art centered on film, jazz and modernism. The current exhibitions are “Floaters & Fins 1973 - 1979” by Ed Flood and “Some” by Lui Shtini. Both contrast brighter primary colors against the backdrop of the gallery’s white walls. The result is a certain peaceful ambiance through the means of calming contemporary sculptures and paintings.
CORBETT VS. DEMPSEY 1120 North Ashland Ave, Chicago, illinois
Photo courtesy of Corbett vs. Dempsey
THE PEGGY NOTEBAERT NATURE MUSEUM
Take a breather from the confines of more conventional offerings and visit The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, which displays artwork you wonâ€™t see anywhere else. The museum offers hands-on displays that investigate topics of nature, conservation and ecosystems. Whether you are more science-centric or an artist searching for a new tune, make the trip to Lincoln Park and have a blast in the Butterfly Haven, where hundreds of butterflies freely float through the room.
2430 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago, il. 60614
ASPECT RATiO Located in the West Loop, Aspect Ratio is Chicago’s only commercial gallery that focuses exclusively on contemporary video art. The videos are created by emerging artists from all over the world, giving everything a decidedly global spin. The current exhibition is “Limited Speech Holds Endless Misunderstandings,” a solo show with Israeli artist Orr Menirom. The next exhibit, beginning January 30th, is a solo show by Californian Desiree Holman.
119 N Peoria, Unit 3D, Chicago, il. 60607 Photo
ONE STRANGE BiRD 2124 W. Division St. Chicago, il. 60622 If you need a break from walking around museums and galleries altogether, try taking a class or having an art party at this unique crafts store. Express your inner artist! Create holiday cards, prints, painting, jewelry making, and more â€“ perfect for Valentines Day or that holiday present you just couldnâ€™t get to. A true Etsy and Pinterest dream, you will be sure to make something Instagram worthy. Photo courtesy of One Strange Bird
for the Winter
APPROXIMATE TRAVEL TIME: 6.5 Hours BEST TIME TO VISIT: March, when the Waverly Hills Sanatorium begins offering tours through the halls of one of the most haunted places on earth. Trying to one-up your friends that were invited to Arlington Park? Check out Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville (pronounced Loo-uh-vull). Although horseracing season doesn’t start until late spring, the racetrack is the site of the Kentucky Derby Museum and is available for touring. Try the Derby Cafe for mint juleps and Derby pie.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST:
The Louisville Mega Cavern — When winter quarter’s got you looking troglodytic, the 17-mile-long cave system under the city, complete with zip lines, high ropes courses and tram tours is the perfect hideaway. Cave Hill Cemetery — Burial site of the homie Colonel Sanders from KFC, the manicured graveyard is adjacent to the open meadows of Cherokee Park.
The Louisville Slugger Museum — This is Kentucky: it was bound to have the world’s largest something or other, and this factory is the site of the world’s largest baseball bat. Old Louisville — Stroll around the country’s third largest Victorian neighborhood. A stop by the Caldwell House will provide it all with context.
L ouisville, Kentucky
N a s h v i l l e , Te n n e s s e e APPROXIMATE TRAVEL TIME: 9.5 Hours BEST TIME TO VISIT: Whenever Kellie Pickler is performing, honestly
Nashville is dubbed the Country Music Capital of the World, and for good reason: “Music City” is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and an overwhelming number of live music options. For “country stars” (washed-up “American Idol” contestants), try the Grand Ole Opry concert venue. For local music, head over to the Lower Broadway district for its honky-tonk bar scene.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST:
Belle Meade Plantation or Andrew Jackson’s plantation, The Hermitage—the Northwestern student’s Sophie’s Choice. Gaylord Opryland Resort gardens—A sight for teary, bloodshot eyes, this sprawling labyrinth of gardens, waterways, spas, shops and 17 acclaimed restaurants sits beneath an enormous glass canopy. The Parthenon — Described by TripAdvisor member Bill M. as “parthawow,” the replica of its Greek counterpart is located in the 132-acre Centennial Park. Radnor Lake — Over 1,000 acres of nature preserve in the heart of Nashville, unusual for a major American city.
Named for the ancient Egyptian capital, the American answer to this now ruinous city was clearly going to incorporate some kind of bastardized pyramidal structure into its skyline. News just broke that the empty 32-story Memphis Pyramid is going to be converted into a Bass Pro Shops superstore, true to Tennessee form. According to the New York Times, the hunting and fishing mecca will feature “shooting and archery ranges, a bowling alley built to seem as though it is underwater, a 100-room hotel with lodging designed to look like cabins in a cypress swamp and an observation deck patterned after the Grand Canyon Skywalk. There will be aquariums stocked with 1,800 fish, a conservation-themed ‘waterfowling heritage center’ and pools slithering with live alligators.” OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST: Mississippi River — While its Egyptian namesake was situated on the Nile River, Memphis is situated on America’s Nile: the Mississippi. Best experienced by Paddlewheeler, an evening dinner and music cruise on the authentic Memphis Queen III riverboat makes for a great outing. Graceland — Elvis Presley wasn’t buried in a tomb like King Tut. No, The King of Rock and Roll was buried at Graceland, his estate, now a major attraction in the town that knew him when the town that knew him before the peanut butter and banana sandwiches? Check out Sun Studio, where he often recorded, and Beale Street, where many blues and soul artists got their start. Peabody Ducks — Every day at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., the Peabody Hotel’s resident Duckmaster leads a flock of ducks from the “Duck Palace” on the hotel roof, down the elevator to the marble fountain in the lobby. They walk upon a red carpet to the tune of John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton” march.
APPROXIMATE TRAVEL TIME: 11 Hours BEST TIME TO VISIT: Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend in January (Convenient that NU takes the holiday off!) MLK was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, which now houses the National Civil Rights Museum.
Atlanta, Georgia Why not megabus to Atlanta and completely bypass all the nonsense at the worldâ€™s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson? Atlanta has bigger and better things to offer, like the Georgia Aquarium, which was the largest in the world before Spring 2014 when it was bypassed by Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China. The aquarium is home to 100,000 sea creatures, and with its 6.3 million gallons of water, it is one of the only places in the world capable of housing whale sharks in captivity. Atlanta is also home to the largest stone relief, the beautiful Stone Mountain, and some of the people living the largest. Buckhead, the cityâ€™s most affluent district, is a neighborhood of beautiful mansions, fine dining and luxury shopping.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST: World of Coca-Cola — Coca-Cola was created by an Atlanta pharmacist in 1886, and today its history can be explored at the World of Coca-Cola. It’s not a factory, but over 100 flavors of Coke from around the world are available to sample. CNN Center — Take a studio tour of the world headquarters and you’ll want to transfer to Medill. And then you’ll want to join us at Scene+Heard. Some life-changing shit. High Museum of Art — Did someone just say “high” and “museum of art?” Hmmm…
APPROXIMATE TRAVEL TIME: 14.5 hours BEST TIME TO VISIT: February-March, when the Orchid Daze exhibition showcases thousands of orchids at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, adjacent to Piedmont Park.
Atlanta can talk, but y’all know EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas—and that goes for cowboy culture. Western heritage is beautifully preserved in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square and the Stockyards National Historic District, where horses, wagons and the Fort Worth Herd of Texas Longhorn steers are paraded down the saloon-lined streets in a twice-daily cattle drive. The Old Western stables, restaurants, shops, performances and honky-tonk all capitalize on the city’s “Cowtown” sobriquet. Ebola has subsided and DFW is back on the map, but with all the BBQ beef you’ll be eating, it’s Mad Cow you may want to watch.
D a l l as/For t
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST: Sixth Floor Museum — One of Dallas’ “most eligible” attractions, this was the site where President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was positioned when he fired the shot. The museum chronicles JFK’s presidency.
APPROXIMATE TRAVEL TIME: 21.5 hours BEST TIME TO VISIT: January-February, for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
Reunion Tower — This 561-foot observation tower’s GeO-Deck facility offers 360˚ panoramic views of the city with interactive information on what you see. Eat at the Cloud Nine café or dine like a true GCB with a reservation at Five-Sixty, Wolfgang Puck’s award-winning Asian fusion restaurant. Six Flags Over Texas — If you’re over how Great America only operates from May to October, then you should be Over Texas.
Wor t h, Texas
My favorite city in the U.S. (both pre- and post-Katrina) heauxsts one of the world’s most beloved Carniv celebrations: Mardi Gras. While t rade trails through Uptown and M most of the colorful carousing is fo on Bourbon Street in the French Q Neaux trip to New Orleans is com without a visit to the French Qua highlights include Royal Street, Jackson Square and Café du APPROXIMATE TRAVEL TIME: 21.5 hours Monde for café au lait BEST TIME TO VISIT: February, for Mardi Gras. The parade falls on and beignets.
Feb. 17, but if you can’t geaux that Tuesday then take a behind-the-scenes look at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World.
New Orleans, Louisiana
— Accessible by the St. Charles Streetcar, the Garden District is considered one of the best-preserved collections of historic southern mansions in the U.S. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is the No. 1 of beaucoup “cities of the dead” in New Orleans, and Magazine Street, a six-mile-long thoreauxfare at the district’s southern border, has the best shopping in the city. Note: more opportunities for beignets at Coquette on Magazine and Washington.
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OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST: City Park — Hidden among the canopies of Spanish moss and centuries-old oak greauxves are amusement parks, the New Orleans Museum of Art and Botanical Gardens, larger-thanlife storybook sculptures and a train track modeled after the city of New Orleans. Note: more opportunities for beignets at Morning Call Coffee Stand. Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve — Who dat? This bayou was named to commemorate a goddamn pirate, and it’s not even a diss. This enchanting Mississippi Delta swampland is easily accessible by boardwalks and waterways, and is situated just outside the city. Note: no beignets guaranteed.
lgbtq art co Sarah Rense
About Face Theatre recognizes that social change can come from any outlet, and they embrace the theater as a means of sparking that necessary change. About Face Theatre reaches out to Chicago with its unique performances, urging audiences to connect the arts to the larger national movement advocating for gender and sexual equality. This season, the Out Front Series will return with its workshops and readings of innovative pieces delving into LGBTQ topics. In January, Out Front will present â€œThe Loneliness Project,â€? a look into the intergenerational divides within the LGBTQ community through the eyes of more than 40 individuals.
is an outlet for LGBTQ Chicago writers and musicians to perform their spoken word and music in a small, intimate setting. It focuses on queer words and music, and it is performed on a bi-monthly basis at Uptown’s Big Chicks (connected to cafe Tweet) for an audience of all ages. Homolatte is the longest-running queer performance series in the country, now proudly in its thirteenth year. Each show is new and traditionally features two acts: one spoken word and one musical. Each artist gets the opportunity to put words, lyrics and music to their personal experiences, guaranteeing a different show—and a different perspective—each night.
Photo courtesy of Big Chicks The Uptown Bar
Home Page: http://www.chancesdances.org/; Events: http://www.chanc
is an LGBTQ collective that hosts monthly dance parties for queer Chicagoans. The collective focuses on creating safe spaces for expression, whether it is as simple as dancing with reckless abandon or as complex as creat-
ing queer art, which Chances Dances encourages and supports with its Critical Fierceness Grant. Chances Dances also ensures access to gender neutral bathrooms and strongly believes in the power of consent at its parties. Rave on.
Home Page: http://www.urbanartretreat.com/home.aspx; Peace Art Studio: http://www.urbanartretreat.com/peace_art_studio.aspx; The Liz Long Gallery: http://www.urbanartretreat.com/gallery.aspx
Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center (CUARC) The arts call for participation, not simply viewing. The Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center (CUARC) is open to anyone “different,” offering a safe place for artistic expression and positive dialogue on any and all social justice issues. The practice of creating art is lauded as a way to foster personal and societal growth, and CUARC’s Peace Art Studio is the perfect outlet for those who aren’t naturally talented with a paintbrush or sketching pencil. Free classes with an experienced instructor are held on Saturdays and cover everything from drawing to collage. They’re certain to get any yet-undiscovered creative juices flowing. CUARC also curates an art gallery that features exhibits highlighting under-represented Chicagoans whose works, often unseen by the public eye, have a beauty and a message that deserve to be noticed.
Home page: http://pridefilmsandplays.com/ ; Book of Merman: http://pridefilmsandplays.com/th_event/the-book-of-merman-4/
Pride Films and Plays
Started in 2010, Pride Films and Plays is relatively new to the Chicago LGBTQ arts scene. Its goal is talent discovery: contests are held to challenge unknown writers, and the contest winners are granted the opportunity to have their works produced for the stage or the screen. Scripts range from long to short, and they envelop any themes related to LGBTQ life. Last year, Pride Films and Plays presented the Women’s Words Film Fest, a festival of short movies about women, by women. This winter, Pride Films and Plays will put on “The Book of Merman,” a never-performed musical comedy that will transport you “to places you didn’t know you wanted to.” Intriguing indeed.
BANDS FEATURE BY TARYN NOBIL
After dissolving their band Tyler Jon Tyler in 2012, singer/guitarist Rebecca Flores and drummer Tom Cassling refused to let their creative spirits settle. Negative Scanner quickly rose from the rubble,
rounded out by guitarist Matt Revers and bassist Nick Beaudoin to play pummeling punk music influenced by late ‘70s and early ‘80s bands. The members’ mutual music taste was not by mistake, but by design: the band formed from a Craigslist ad reading, “Bands we like include Wire, The Fall, Siouxie and the Banshees, Video, Total Control. NO FLAKES, NO DRUNKS, PRO GEAR, PRO ATTITUDE.” Well, it worked. Flores’ voice drives the storytelling of brooding tracks and energetic anthems alike, delivered via agitated instrumentals that conjure the angst of daily life. I spoke with Matt Revers to learn more about the world of Negative Scanner and the upcoming debut album.
Photo courtesy of Negative Scanner
LIVE VIBE “There’s a sense of tension and aggression… Everyone has some sort of frustration or dissatisfaction in life. I hope that some of that comes across and that there’s a sense of solidarity, but also some sort of release involved. That’s one of my favorite things about playing shows. You can also expect to see a lot of musicians in the crowd because the scene is awesome about supporting other bands.” ON THE CHICAGO MUSIC SCENE “I don’t think we sound like a whole lot of the other bands that are around here, which is cool because we end up playing with a lot of bands that we don’t necessarily sound like. Sometimes we play shows with garage rock bands; sometimes we play with punk bands; sometimes we play with hardcore bands or noise bands. Chicago’s music scene right now is really great. There are a ton of bands that share members in bands that don’t necessarily sound similar. I think that it’s a really neat time for Chicago… the scene is expanding in a really cool way.” FAVORITE CITY SPOTS “We end up going to a lot of coffee shops around Logan Square, either just to get a cup of coffee in the morning or to hang out and read. Otherwise, I probably end up at Cole’s [Bar] once a week. We also play at the Burlington fairly often. We go to a lot of shows at the DIY venues around here… they’re really awesome.”
LOVE FOR THE LOCALS “The Sueves sound really good right now. Lil Tits are awesome. I like Nonnie Parry; they play noisy, jangly, dark pop. We just saw Oozing Wound… Their latest album is so good. The list goes on!” DREAM FESTIVAL LINEUP Total Control, The Wipers, Wire, Television, My Bloody Valentine, Video, Pharmakon, Puce Mary, Mystic Inane, Iceage (“for some European flavor”) and Chicago’s own Indian. “Let’s get some party bands! Those are all pretty serious. We’ll bring Mickey from Chicago. Maybe some hip-hop… I bet Nas would be cool. And Chief Keef.” ROCKING IN RANDOM PLACES “We’ve played all kinds of places. [We recently played] at a clothing store called Mildblend in Wicker Park. It has really nice, handmade stuff… expensive stuff. We looked like total slobs in there. That’s not typical, but it happens.” UP NEXT The band’s debut LP will drop this spring on Trouble in Mind Records. “This record is influenced by power dynamics. The ideas of control and power are really big themes.” “We’ll definitely get on the road sometime after the album is released. We’ll probably write a whole new album by the time this album comes out!” Catch Negative Scanner on Jan. 22 at the Empty Bottle with Soddy Daisy and Weird Science.
Landmarks are not afraid to share their influencesâ€”perhaps because
they recognize their ability to expertly fuse their influences into a sound soaring beyond comparison. Bathed in shoegaze and psychedelia, their music feels drenched in dreamy textures and otherworldly soundscapes. Since disbanding Color Radio in 2012, members Stephen Simko, Matt Thomas and Andrew Manktelow have developed their direction. When Simko (vocals/keyboard/guitar), Thomas (keyboards) and Manktelow (bass) added Lucas Mellang (drums) and Drew McBride (guitar), a new band was born: Landmarks. Here, McBride dishes on some milestones in the life of Landmarks and the inspirations that are defining their path.
Photo courtesy of Landmarks
BIGGEST INFLUENCES Real Estate, Deerhunter, Yo La Tengo and Broadcast. ON OPENING FOR MAJOR NAMES “We opened for Crystal Stilts [in Oct. 2013], and it led us to a nice opportunity opening for Real Estate at Lincoln Hall. It was one of the craziest nights of my life. It was a sold out show. Real Estate had just finished their new record, “Atlas,” so we were incredibly stoked to be in that place. And we played a sold out show with Courtney Barnett at the Empty Bottle. I’m a huge fan of her record, so getting to hang out with her when she was just starting to come into prominence…that was really awesome, too.” ON THE CHICAGO MUSIC SCENE “Overall, it’s pretty diverse. There are a lot of garage-sounding acts and… some more experimental acts. We don’t use much distortion. We try to use a lot of cleaner guitar tones and ambient soundscapes to not fall into anything. We’re definitely not garage-y, we’re pretty jangly. We’re staying apart from the super garage-y sound that’s pretty prevalent in Chicago, but we also want to stick out from the more ambient, weirder stuff. It kind of just
falls in the middle.” LOVE FOR THE LOCALS “I definitely know I’m speaking for the band when I say this—some of our really good buds are in the band Ne-Hi. They’re gonna really do some good stuff next year. They’re gonna really take off.” Other band favorites include The Hecks, Deeper, Clearance and Earring (an offshoot of NeHi). FAVORITE CITY SPOTS Lincoln Hall (“sounds the best”), the Empty Bottle (“less sterile…but still brings in really good acts”) and Schubas. “And we’ve played a bunch of different DIY spaces throughout the city. There’s a pretty cool space in Pilsen called Yards. DIY spaces are pretty great because, aside from playing bigger shows and playing with international bands, instead of playing venues to get in front of a lot of people locally, DIY shows are a great way to get in touch with more people.” ON THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THEIR RECENT SELF-TITLED EP “Our lead singer travels quite a bit, so… the record feels very transient. It seems lackadaisical, but…it’s about being indecisive. That’s what we’re trying to convey in all of the
guitar hooks and the feeling of things being awash and a little indeterminate in terms of the sounds—it’s just trying to figure out life.” UP NEXT “At the turn of the year, we’re going to be working on recording some new stuff. We’re just coming off of being absolutely jam-packed with shows. It’s been months of us playing these songs, tweaking them and trying to make them better…So I think we’re going to start trying to get some recordings together and start chipping away at redefining what we want to sound like and who we want to be. I think [the new material] is going to be a little darker. Some of the EP is really straightforward, poppy hooks. We don’t want to be as direct on the next batch of stuff. In terms of song structure, it’s going to be a little more ambitious. When you’re trying to establish yourselves in any music scene, it first goes to show what you’re capable of. It’s good to show you know how to write a song. Once you have some traction behind you, you take that and start exploring to see what you can do further.” ULTIMATE GOAL “It sounds so cheesy, but we just want to do what makes us happy. I think a lot of us are a
lot less concerned about being famous rock stars than playing shows and getting to meet people. More than anything, I love playing music so much because it’s a great vehicle for getting to know people in all walks of life. Not just people who [play] music; everyone likes some sort of music. Every music scene in the country is different. For us to be able to go on tour and play in front of different people and get to know what makes each city and each music culture unique…that’s what really makes us happy. The ultimate goal of the band is to continue to reach for the route to build relationships with people.” LIVE VIBE “From my perspective…well, since we played with Real Estate, I’ve kept my eyes shut for every show. It helps me calm my nerves so I can focus on playing. In terms of what it’s like as someone who’s watching us or listening to us… it’s a lot more dynamic [than the recordings]. We’re pretty loud. I don’t think you’re going to see many people moshing at one of our shows, but it’s still sonically dense…It’s more about listening to all of the elements of the soundscapes that swirl about.” HEADING FOR THE ROAD: “In the fall, we played a bunch
of colleges. I love playing colleges because students are still super engaged with music. I think probably in late winter or early spring we’ll play some more colleges, then we’ll go to SXSW. On the other side of that, who knows? I think we’ll probably do another tour to New York in the late spring or early summer. We’re just grinding away…trying to get in front of new people and see what else is out there. I would love to play Northwestern! We did an in-studio session with WNUR last month. All the people up there were really great. We’ve played University of Wisconsin, University of Iowa, Loyola University, University of Minnesota, Indiana University…so I’d like to finally get to Northwestern soon. Let’s make it happen!”
Photo courtesy of Landmarks
With so many bands struggling to stand out, Oshwa knows that big risks can lead to even bigger benefits. The avant-garde group never shies away from sound experiments that veer into the strange. Founder Alicia Walter sings acrobatically, pulling off tricks around sometimes math-y guitar work and major melodies. Walter (vocals/ guitar/piano), Michael Mac (vocals/guitar), Matt Noonan (bass) and Jordan Tate (drums) compose intricate arrangements in the vein of Dirty Projectors and ‘tUnE-yArDs.’ Though the band plans to mellow out a bit for its second album, Oshwa still aims to provoke deep thought and feeling through off-kilter pop music. Read on for Walter’s offerings of the inner workings of her mind. EARLY START “I started taking piano when I was seven and never really stopped. I was taking lessons all through high school. My high school had a great band program. I started college as a piano performance major. I got burnt out on [classical piano] from practicing so much. I got tired of not playing my own
music, so I started studying composition. [Music] has always been a part of my life.” PERSONAL INFLUENCES “When I was in fifth grade, I was super into U2. By eighth grade, I was super into Dashboard Confessional. Then it was Modest Mouse…it changes all the time. But I’ve definitely always had pop artists that…I’ve always kind of idolized. There’s an ongoing rotation of inspirational musicians for me. There’s this guy Nicholas Krgovich out of Vancouver. He just put out this album called ‘On Sunset’ that’s inspired by L.A., award shows and this grandiose drama—very Lynchian stuff that I love. I’ve been listening to that a lot recently.” LOVE FOR THE LOCALS “One of the most innovative bands is Paper Mice. It’s the smartest, craziest, tightest punk music…it doesn’t even make any sense. Their guitarist is a doctoral student in composition at Northwestern. Their stuff is just genius…I would say that is the most unique and talented band out of Chicago.” ON THE CHICAGO MUSIC SCENE “The Chicago music scene is tricky. I’m sure this is true of most cities, but…there are all these little pods of music friends. There are all these circles that overlap. They are their own niche worlds of music. There’s a lot of surfy, fuzzy, verbed-out garage rock. That’s awesome, but it’s not what we’re doing. We’re different enough with that…it’s been an
interesting process trying to find our own home. The thing that’s nice about Chicago is that there’s no false pretense. We’re not trying to be too lofty or too artsy for the sake of being artsy. We’re a really grounded group of people individually. I think our music speaks to that, too.” FAVORITE CITY SPOTS Pilsen bars (Punch House, Skylark) and the Empty Bottle. “We’re playing Subterranean for the first time next month. I feel like I’ll like playing there. I like playing at Schubas, too, but there’s nothing like the Empty Bottle. It feels very timeless and it’s just a welcoming environment. There’s a good mix of people there.” UP NEXT Oshwa’s sophomore album will drop later this year. “All of us are out of school, so it’s just dealing with the post-college life. I want to be in a band. That’s what I want to do, period. The fact that you have to work and do other things takes away from what you’re trying to do. I think that creates a lot of tension. It’s less crazy, whimsical and frenetic…it’s a bit more mellow. I’m mostly on keys now, so things are kind of chill versus how it used to be with crazy guitars all the time. It is more serious and draws from adult themes. ULTIMATE GOAL “So, about those inspirational people…I want to be that for someone else. There have been periods of time when I found an artist that I could stay up listening to all night...and it’s like, ‘Wow! This is totally it.’ And you didn’t
know that person was out there. You didn’t even know you were looking for that. And it’s this huge thing for you—individually, that’s such an inspirational thing to have. I want to be that to some kid in his sophomore dorm. And I want to be able to do this exclusively. I want to tour. I want to be able to play shows and support us doing it.” LIVE VIBE “I want our live show to be something that you feel like you know,
but you’ve never heard it this way before. We’re not out to shock anyone. It should be really welcoming and inviting. It’s a very genuine human experience. I want people to feel like it’s something they can take into their own experience and draw inspiration from.” Oshwa will play Subterranean on Feb. 6 with Naked Ally Records labelmates Lifted Bells, Monobody and Churchkey. Keep your eyes peeled for more upcoming Chicago dates and a big tour later this year.
Photo courtesy of Oshwa
Do you remember the time towards the end of seventh grade when you thought that the night before Picture Day was the perfect time to stage a bedroom makeover and switch up your hair, adopt a punk wardrobe and adopt your best brooding glare? And now your phase is immortalized in print even though you dropped the facade a day later? (If you didnâ€™t, kudos. Youâ€™re one of the better ones.)
Well, your beloved campus too is slowly evolving before your very eyes. Kresge is gone. Norris now runs on Dunkin! Laundry is free and we couldnâ€™t be happier. Munch Money is now the equally alliterative Cat Cash. UCS is now NCA, as the signs on dining hall tables never cease to remind us. Wildcat Points are now only for food items. #Canvasishere, leaving Blackboard behind in the dust. Sometimes a little rebranding can be a good thing. But as you admire the renovations to SPAC, catch up on American Horror Story on xfinity, and swagger around the campus in that rad ugly Christmas sweatshirt you bagged for free at the basketball game, take some time off to hop into our time machine and revisit our campus as it was many moons ago. Behold some of the prime spots on campus that have borne witness to finals, football matches and Fusion routines for years and years. Oh, if only The Rock could talkâ€Ś
ROGERS PARK SOCiAL Abbey schubert
Searching for weekend plans that don’t involve downing cheap alcohol in some sweaty, musty basement while listening to Lil’ Jon? Well trade your jungle juice for a Oaxacan Old Fashioned, “Turn Down for What” for “La Vie en Rose” and a frat party for Rogers Park Social: a cocktail bar and lounge located just a minute off the Morse L stop. Opened in May of 2014, this cozy, new hangout incorporates seasonal drinks, fresh-squeezed juice, live music and dogs. Yes — real dogs. Rogers Park Social offers customers a unique drink menu, consisting of several beverages that are unavailable at most other bars in the area. By rotating its menu seasonally, the bar is able to specialize its drinks. This winter’s standout item is the Sloe Gin Fizz, which includes egg whites — an ingredient uncommon in mixed drinks. Other recommended drinks for the winter months include the Sassy Ginge, the Winter Espresse and the Ginger Hot Toddy. Plus, at an average of $8 a cocktail, the price tag isn’t too shabby. In addition to its seasonal menu, Rogers Park Social stands out among the rest by crafting its cocktails with freshly squeezed juice, rather than the typical pre-packaged junk. Partners and co-owners of the bar Erik Archambeault and William Meek, along with the bar’s manager, come in around 10 a.m. each morning to begin squeezing juice for the drinks. “You can go from one restaurant to another and find the same bag-in-a-box type of juices,” Archambeault said. “This gives our cocktails a whole different element. They’re just much more natural tasting, and people love it.”
However, the bar’s unique drink menu isn’t the only thing that sets it apart. The rustic, warm vibe is completely unlike any of the neighborhood’s surrounding sports bars. The walls, woven together with strips of old magazines, reflect the eclectic menagerie of twenty-somethings the bar attracts on the weekends. Garnish and holiday lights festively climb the walls and add ambience to the dimly lit, intimate space. Aside from the bar, a cozy sitting area — which Archambeault refers to as “grandma’s living room” — features vintage couches, chairs and coffee tables where customers can play various board games or just chat. “Grandma’s living room” is transformed into a miniature concert venue every Monday night, when the bar’s in-house band, Fumée Gypsy Project, takes over. The band sings acoustic songs in both French and English, and these shows have become a weekly tradition at the bar. Other events Rogers Park Social has hosted in the past include food drives, vintage clothing markets and whiskey tastings. Inarguably my favorite part about the bar? It’s dog friendly. This means that absolutely anyone and everyone can bring in their dog just to hang out. After 10 p.m., the owners ask that dogs are on a leash, but before that, there are no limits as to where they may roam. Rogers Park Social is a convenient, inexpensive new hangout spot for of age Northwestern students to chill on the weekends, being just a $3 Ventra ticket and a 20-minute train ride away. And hey, it’s worth it for the pressed juice.
All photos courtesy of Rogers Park Social
Valentine’s Day is upon us, and whether that sends you counting down the days or hunting for the nearest carton of ice cream, Scene+Heard has your back. Even Northwestern students, with their widespread reputation for romance, might need a little help when it comes to impressing that special someone this year. So for all you lovebirds out there, we have put together a list of five unusual Valentine’s Day date spots that’ll be sure to charm the pants off your beau-thang (or best friend — we don’t judge).
2. Music Box Theater
We know how easy it is to forget that there are places in this world that don’t take Cat Cash (the horror!), but the indie and foreign film screenings going down at Music Box Theater are worth What’s even better than showing off the trip into Chicago. Spice up the old your inner Picasso to your valentine? dinner-and-a-movie night by catching Doing it wine-drunk! Couples’ painting one of their midnight showings.
1. Bottle and Bottega Evanston
lessons become way more fun when they’re BYOB.
1016 Davis Street Evanston, IL 60201 847-905-9177 http://bottleandbottega.com/ evanston/how-it-works/
3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613 | (773) 871-6607
3. Chicago Botanic Gardens
Nothing says “I love you” like a room full of flowers. Thankfully, there are less expensive ways to impress your valentine than ordering hundreds of dollars in vegetation to their dorm. The Regenstein Center at Chicago’s Botanic Gardens is home to over 10,000 in-bloom orchids starting this Valentine’s Day. 1000 Lake-Cook Rd Glencoe, IL 60022 847-835-5440 http://www.chicagobotanic.org
4. Gorilla Tango Theater
As it turns out, even Star Wars fanatics have figured out a way to make datenight interesting: burlesque. Check out the Gorilla Tango Theater for Boobs on Endor: A Return of the Jedi Burlesque. If sexy Bruce Wayne is more of your thing, don’t miss their midnight showing of HOLY BOUNCING BOOBIES! A Batman Burlesque. 1919 N Milwaukee Ave. West Side, Chicago, IL 60647 | 773-598-4549
5. Koi Fine Asian Cuisine and Lounge
We know there are few places more romantic than the corner table in Norris, but we’re urging you not to pass up the chance for complimentary couple’s champagne at Koi this Valentines Day. Their V-Day package includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert and adds up to $39.95 for both you and your sweetheart. 624 Davis Street Evanston, IL 60201 847.866.6969 http://www.koievanston.com
DINNER IS SERVED NEW CHICAGO RESTAURANTS Eish Sumra
Photo courtesy of junosushi.com
Over the winter months, the braver among you might want to venture out into Chicago. And for those wishing to try something new to warm up those freezing cold days, here are five new Chicago restaurants that serve up delicious offerings you have to try!
Umami Burger (Wicker Park) 1480 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Accessed by North/Clybourn Red Line stop, followed by Route 72 bus The Los Angeles born burger restaurant was founded on the goal of encapsulating “Umami,” the fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, sour and bitter. The Wicker Park location is fairly new, and boasts an array of burgers with eccentric toppings and fillings. From Pumpkin Spice Latte Burgers to their infamous Pizza Burger, Umami is not an experience to miss. For the most delectable meal, check out their truffle fries and the Manly Burger, complete with beer-cheddar cheese and bacon lardons. But don’t be fooled by such menu items— this place isn’t exclusively for meat lovers. They also have a selection of other weird and wonderful pescaterian and vegetarian creations. For example, their sushi-themed Ahi Tuna burger will have you wondering why Japanese restaurants up and down the country haven’t started this before. Set in the fourth hippest neighborhood in the country (as decided by Forbes), Umami Burger fits right in, and provides an experience not to be missed. So next time you’re out on a search for a vinyl record, stop by Umami for lunch. Photo courtesy of www.umamiburger.com/
Bar Takito (West Loop) 201 N. Morgan Street.
Transfer from Red Line to Green Line, stopping at Morgan-Lake Opened in August 2014, Bar Takito is the coolest and most stylish place around. Despite its relatively small menu, it is a family-style sharing place, making it a great spot to hit up with friends. Their tacos are the specialty—I recommend the pork belly. One of their desserts, Popcorn Butterscotch Mousse, is a big pull for the restaurant, being a surprisingly good—albeit odd—dish. Wash it down with some of their tequila or choice of cocktail, spanning from playful titles like ‘That is What They Called Me in High School’ to ‘How Do You Like Them Apples?’ The drink names encapsulate what this restaurant is about: good food and drinks with a playful side. Set in a funky, colorful location with a vibrant atmosphere, Bar Takito is a surefire way to brighten any damp and dreary Chicago day. Photo courtesy of bartakito.com
Juno (Lincoln Park) 2638 N. Lincoln Ave. Accessed by Red Line Fullerton stop
Juno has been around for a year now, but has only recently taken off as one of the best sushi restaurants around. It can get a bit pricey, but is the perfect place to take your friends, especially if you donâ€™t want to trek all the way downtown for a fancy meal. Juno keeps its cuisine traditional and simple--with the exception of their fantastic Signature Maki, which is their unique spin on the classics. With an extensive list of fish, you are spoiled for choice between sashimi and nigiri. For a bizarrely brilliant dessert try the Koji, Miso and Brownie which, despite the slightly unappetizing name, is amazing. The restaurant itself keeps with the traditional Japanese style of being simple and modern; it is less showy than other good Japanese restaurants, but the atmosphere is always buzzing. The bar is exceptional too, with the Tokyo Rose and Murakami cocktails standing out as crowd favorites. They also have an array of different sakes to try, adding to the restaurant-goersâ€™ authentic experience. Next time your parents are in town, this is the place to go!. Photo courtesy of junosushi.com
Charlatan (West Town) 1329 W. Chicago Ave.
Accessed by Chicago/State Red Line stop, followed by Route 66 bus This vintage restaurant serves up dishes from across Europe. A meal here will surprise you as it did me: the place looks fairly regular, but the food is not. For example, ordering whipped Mortadella with sweet potato bread, sounds…bizarre, to say the least, but indeed the risk paid off. A must-have specialty here, however, is the steak with olive oil mashed potatoes. This place is perfect for a date night or a pre-show dinner with friends, or any occasion for that matter. Prepare for a different dining experience.
Photo courtesy of charlatanchgo (Instagram)
The Marq (The Loop) 60 W. Adams Street. Accessed by Monroe Red Line stop
Having opened recently, The Marq may look and seem fancy, but the prices are not. The place is an accumulation of feasts from around the world. Order a couple of starters and share; I recommend the Edamame Hummus (yes, you heard me) and the Ahi Avocado Tartare. The restaurant does a great salad and even better burgers, but the surprise comes when you read the main course menu. Alongside the steaks and chicken are sticky ribs and mac-n-cheese, done gourmet. Want to eat chilled food but feel classy? Dine at The Marqâ€”it will make you feel grown up but young at the same time, and chances are youâ€™ll love it. Photo courtesy of ohmyveggies.com
Winter Music Scenes NEAR YOU Jenna J. Y. Lee
The merry days of the Christmas season are over, and returning to campus means anticipating the haunting snowstorms of a Chicago winter. You have packed enough instant mac & cheese and ramen noodles to survive the quarter without making a single trip to the dining hall. After kissing good-bye to family members who are most likely to spend their winter months at a warmer place than yours, you feel like you are on your own to defend yourself against the Polar-I-am-going-to-freeze-you-allVortex (or whatever it’s called). This is true for most of us – yet, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to look forward to! If you are a fan of music or the dazzling Chicago night lights, then I can assure you that you are in a good shape. These amazing events in town will make you and your beloved fellow Wildcats forget about the horrid winter temperatures and rejoice in some truly fascinating music.
M U SIC I N C H Jan.14–18 @Lincoln Hall
Chicago is well know mas blues and jazz to indi you. An
Order tickets online: http://tnkfest.com Price: $15~$100 (five-day pass) *You can either get the five-day pass for $100 or buy individual tickets for artists you want to see.
Lincoln Hall’s Tomorrow Never Knows festival is hosting local and national indie artists. This year’s lineup includes Cloud Nothings, Kishi Bashi String Quartet, Generationals, and The Family Crest – and many, many others.
Ticket information on h jazzf Price: Weekend General Admission
Jazz is always good, but w yet to enjoy the rich tune College, located near dow its 48th annual College Ja best college bands in the perform. The Festival is a class performers, such as and Sean Jones. Chicago Elmhurst College Jazz Fe buys for your jazz dollars splurge on these tickets?
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wn for its vibrant music scenes. This winter, you can enjoy music ranging from post-Christie acts. Check out these one-of-a-kind Chicago events that are only an Uber ride away from nd if you do, be sure to check for student discounts with your Wildcard!
http://public.elmhurst.edu/ festival d Package $75~$85 n for each session $10
winter is the best season es of golden brass. Elmhurst wntown Chicago, is hosting azz Festival, where the e country are gathering to also featuring some worlds Jimmy Heath, Bill Holman, magazine applauded the estival as “one of the best s” – so why not go and
NTIN Feb.14 E’S <3 @The Hideout 1354 West Chicago If you are tired of Evanston dining places for celebratory dinners on Valentine’s Day and are seeking a unique experience, then The Hideout is just the right place for you. St. Valentine’s Day Massacree at The Hideout is another testament to the free and wild nature of the Chicago music scene. Featuring Weepin’ Willows, Grit & the Double Knit, and Burlesco, St. Valentine’s Day Massacree is welcoming “all sweethearts and lonely hearts alike.” Dance the night away with your lover, friends, beer … anyone and anything would do. Weepin’ Willows, formed in late 2009, is a Swedish indie rock group that started in 1995. The band features allstar line-up: drummer Jamie Gallgher, lead guitarist Dave Gallagher, pianist Dan Ingenthron, and other amazing musicians. Grit and the Double Knit is another gem; a Chicagobased quartet, it produces Chicago roots music with a taste of blues and jazz. Coupled with live band burlesque, the performance of the Grit and the Double Knit is a unforgettable entertainment experience for all.
MusIC @ N U If you haven’t made a single leap to the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on our very own Northwestern campus, then you’re not livin’ it up yet. There is music almost daily in the Concert Hall, which is right by Norris Student Center. This winter, explore what the members of the community have to offer musically. Check for schedule on: http://www.pickstaiger.org/calendar
WINTER chamber MUSIC FESTIVAL
Jan. 9 ~ 25 @ Pick-Staiger Concert Hall All single tickets are $10 for students
JAN.18 7:30 PM Simone Lamsma and Guests Simone Lamsma is currently one of the world’s leading violinists, as described by Conductor Jaap van Zwede, whom she regularly collaborates with. Well-known for her distinct voice, mature technique, and sincere musicianship, Simone has launched her 2014/15 season on a bright note. During the performance on Northwestern campus, Simone, her guests, and the orchestra are performing: Beethoven’s String Trio in C Minor, Mendelssohn’s Violin Sonata in F Major Brahm’s String Sextet No. 2 in G Major.
Jan.23 7:30pm Winter
Bienen School faculty and guests Enjoy some classics performed by our very own Bienen School Faculty and guests! Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat Major Mikhail Glinka, Trio pathétique in D Minor for clarinet, bassoon, and piano Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Violin Sonata Ludwig van Beethoven, Septet in E-flat Major
jAN.25 7:30pm Dover Quartet Known for their musical maturity and fine ensemble, the Dover quartet is on the rise to international stardom. Comprised of four members, Joel Link (violin), Bryan Lee (violin), Milena Pajarovan de Stadt (viola), and Camden Shaw (cello), the Quartet is the winner of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. During their performance at Northwestern, they will play prominent pieces, such as Mozart’s String Quartet No. 20 in D Major, Saariaho’s Terra Memoria, and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 9 in C Major (“Razumovsky”).
In this quarterly Culture Guide from Scene+Heard, Northwestern's arts and culture publication, discover the best of Chicago's new food, art...
Published on Jan 23, 2015
In this quarterly Culture Guide from Scene+Heard, Northwestern's arts and culture publication, discover the best of Chicago's new food, art...