March 18, 2013 · Print This Article

MCA programming edgier than a basement party in Pilsen

In her recent AFC review, Robin Deluzen wrote that the MCA is “on a roll” and What’s the T? couldn’t agree more.

This Tuesday will mark the opening of Jason Lazurus’ much anticipated and hotly discussed 12×12 BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works Exhibition. The exhibition appears to actually be three in one and has more programming than Michigan Avenue has drunk people on St. Patricks Day. The schedule includes (but is not limited to) signs for strolling, piano performances, a gif film screening (April 18th at Gene Siskel Film Center/ Conversations the Edge), and sign-making tutorials. The exhibition(s) and performances will be on view through June 18th.

Next Tuesday, March 26th, Chicago’s White/Light will be performing with [freaking] Kim Gordon. The only thing more exciting would be a Sonic Youth secret reunion show, but WTT? isn’t complaining. Tickets are free (!), but space is limited. Get our your camping gear out, this will be one for the ages.

As if all that and a bag of chips wasn’t enough, Oak Park natives, Tavi Gevinson and Jonah Ansell will be at the museum on April 23rd to discuss their work on the animated short, Cadaver. No offense Jonah Ansell, but OMG TAVI! The event includes a screening of the short and a discussion with Gevinson and Ansell moderated by Heidi Reitmaier, the MCA’s Beatrice C. Mayer Director of Education.

Oak Park Suburbanites, Gevinson and Ansell

Reading is Fundamental

Local band Fish proves e-cigs still trending. Image courtesy of The Foundation for Jiggles.

Local bands play music at bar

If you’ve ever walked by The Mutiny, you’ve probably noticed the “Bands Wanted” notice prominently displayed in their front window. If you’ve ever actually been inside the Fullerton Ave bar, you probably know why.

Regardless, a consortium of artists from The Hills to The West Pilsen Sculpture Garden have somehow managed to further expand their practices and are now “with the band, man.” The innocuously named “Chicago Music CDs showcase / CD release party” promises to be a glorious happening of music and stuff.

The show will feature “emerging new chicago music and experimental performance talent” such as FREE THE UNIVERSE (members of Fish, New Capital, Auditor), Fish (members of FREE THE UNIVERSE, Auditor), Ghosts (members of My Bad) and My Bad (members of Ghosts), amongst other bands no one has ever heard of because they probably didn’t exist until this show.

At least it’s free.

Thursday, March 28th at 8PM. The Mutiny 2428 N Western Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60647.

Michelle Obama has bangs!

Brandon Alvendia’s Sofa King What?

Show was worth the trek to Bridgeport. His practice invigorates others and that’s what’s important.

Header image is a detail shot of Heather Mekkelson‘s recent installation at +medicine cabinet in Bridgeport, near Sofa King.

‘The Alley’


The Fireside Bowl

‘Over the line’ and ‘Hey motherfucker, we’re that Spic band’ aren’t two expressions you might simultaneously hear unless you like The Big Lebowski and Los Crudos. But you may have heard it at some point in the 1990s while bowling your mediocre 104, eating a pizza and watching an iconic hardcore punk show at Fireside Bowl. Seldom do you get the productive slippage between national slacker pastime and radical teenage angst that would have been a mainstay at Fireside. This modern gem modularly clad in red-and-white metal tile façade, symmetrically planned with bowling on one end and horizontal circulation on the other, activating corner spaces where the action happened – stage left and bar right – looks more like a Firestone than a punk bowling alley.

Los Crudos show, 1999

Beginning with its 40 ft signage that is part pop-advertising, part surrealist call-to-bowl, Fireside’s modernism plays out in typical plan, allowing basic front-to-back bowling to occur next to stage dives, dog piles and circle pits in a circulatory space no wider than 15 ft – folding slow-paced sport and high-energy hardcore into the same form. Sporting seedy bar décor and MS-DOS-like scoring machines, Fireside’s ability to transport you to a time you never experienced is uncanny. Built in the 1940s, no doubt typified by modernist aesthetic leanings, Fireside is a monument to simplicity of a pre-digital era, where you could’ve killed two birds – bowling and slamdancing – with one roll.

Night shot of Fireside facade

Fireside still has shows, although not as iconic or plentiful as this show list from the mid 90s. Take a gander, go to Logan Square and be a shitty bowler, while this building still exists between eras, pastimes and subcultures, easily annihilating any validity to cosmic bowling.

The Fireside is located at 2646 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647.

Alvendia and Sofa King proprietor Christopher Smith speaking with a visotor at the opening.

Comfort Station regains will to comfort

The much-beloved Logan Square Comfort Station is much-missed during the winter months when the tiny art shelter is too cold to host their usually full schedule of exhibitions, screenings and musical performances. As a result of actual community effort, the 1915 structure is embarking on a much needed and environmentally friendly weatherproofing, funded in part by a Kickstarter and in-partnership with Logan Square business, Biofoam, a sustainable insulation company.

Limited Edition Print by Sonnenzimmer available through contribution to LSCS Kickstarter Campaign.

Not only will the Comfort Station get a physical makeover, their programming returns on Saturday, April 6th* with the exhibition “Sounds from the second floor: Isak Applin and Adam Ekberg”. What’s the T? has also heard rumors of a brand new website and more new programs for the Station’s 2013 Season.

Comfort Station Logan Square has impressively reached their Kickstarter goal with over a week to go, but if you donate now you still have a chance to get the most Logan of Squares tote bag possible and your name on a list alongside Chicago art luminaries and trendsetters (this reporter included).

* Which is, thankfully, not in conflict with the April 7th two-hour Mad Men Season 6 premiere.

Shit is REAL

January 21, 2013 · Print This Article

While the Chicago art scene may still be reeling from the AFC Midway coverage, divided opinions on EXPO and the domination of the Whitney Biennial by Chicago curators, it’s a new year and B@S is looking forward to a 2013 full of surprising exhibitions, breakout successes and hurt feelings. Here’s a recap of the most interesting Chi tidbits as far as I can tell.



#Seen on Instagram

Last week, Red Eye Chicago posted a list of 15 musicians to watch in Chicago. Though I’ve never even heard of most of them, there are a couple notables. A personal fav, Gel Set, made the list at #11. Also making the list at #4 is Supreme Cuts, a Chicago duo who apparently “will never move to Brooklyn under any circumstances.” SC’s Austin Keultjes was recently spotted on SAIC dropout and NY based performance artist Mykki Blanco’s instagram feed.

Mykki Blanco instgram

Keultjes seen on the #internet



Former Chicago artist turnt “mini-film” babe

In other superstar sightings, everyone is in the new SSION video for Luvvbazaar. It’s the best and gayest dance party you’ve ever virtually attended, featuring none other than 2012 SAIC grad and LA transplant, Marcel Alcalá, shirtless and werkin’ it. Before becoming a profesh video ho, Alcalá organized the Mega Mall Exhibition Series and moonlighted at Roots&Culture. Additional cameos include Colin Self, another long lost Chicago luminary, and House of Ladosha, who I fucking LOVE.

SSION - Luvvbazaar

Alcalá twerkin’ it in the SSION Luvvbaazar video.



Aunt Flo meets The Whistler

Since talking about your period is always prurient in my book, I’m particularly excited about the upcoming flow at CRIMSON GLOW at the Whistler this Thursday night (January 24th). Arrive at 10pm to catch Melina Ausikaitis, a story-telling musician who is not to be missed. Her performance last September at the recently concluded New Capital Projects was nothing short of a miracle.

Art Classifieds

If you’re looking for a job (like I am), forget about the Chicago Artist Resource. LVL3 is looking for an intern. Responsibilities include sweeping and mopping the gallery and updating their mailing list. If you’re looking for studio space on top of sweeping, I hear Peanut Gallery is also hiring, sort of. The gallery’s post advertises “valuable arts administration skills and networking opportunities in exchange for covering 25% of the rent.”

It’s not me, it’s you

In other non-essential news, it’s almost almost Valentines Day and Heaven Gallery in Wicker Park is commemorating this non-event by exhibiting collaborations by local art “power couples.” IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU will feature work from couples Culp/Foch, Gent/O’Brien, Chitty/Baird and Green/Mike(?).

Real Shit opens February 3rd

Speaking of openings in February, the award for best exhibition title next month goes to Shit is Real at Devening Projects. Not only does the title rule, the artists featured in the show are pretty rad, too.

Cody Hudson (2012) letterpress print, 24 x 18 inches (deveningprojects.com)



Performance Art continues to confound

Also coming up (wait, already happening?) is the IN>TIME city-wide and winter-long performance festival. I’m not quite sure whats up with this, all I know is “performance festival” screams nudity and controversial boredom. What is performance art? What isn’t it.

Thankfully, some things never change: This is still the most entertaining Facebook feed in 2013.

Muti Flu-ti

Finally, in “real” news, I am seriously horrified about the mega-flu going around this season. As we say in this column, shit is real, and none other than the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s own music director, Riccardo Muti, had to drop out of the company’s upcoming Asia tour due to a particularly virulent case.

Clogging up my inbox

Oh yeah, one more thing: What’s up with this Michelle Grabner tat pic? And why can’t Shane Campbell send out one email listing all his space’s openings instead of one email for each of his three spaces?

Michelle Grabner’s biggest fan? (shanecampbellgallery.com)




Got any T? email me!