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The Top Five Things to Do This Week in Chicago

Pop Art Design, Dark Noise Collective, Robert Glasper Trio, Tatsu Aoki/Tsukasa Taiko: Reduction, and Ryley Walker

TIGHT TAIKO Catch the MCA’s taiko performances this weekend.   Photo: Ken Carl

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, December 16 through December 22, 2015

1 Pop Art Design

Art The pop art movement of the ’60s also flourished in the field of industrial design, giving an ironic, colorful slant to furniture, lamps, and architecture. See work by some of that era’s most forward-thinking designers, such as Charles Eames and Ettore Sottsass.
12/19–3/27. $12. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. mcachicago.org

2 Dark Noise Collective

Readings Comprised of six young poets, including local standouts Nate Marshall and Jamila Woods, this group recites pieces from their award-winning individual collections.
12/18 at 7. Free. Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior. poetryfoundation.org

3 Robert Glasper Trio

Jazz Though he rose through the ranks playing pure jazz and revisits the genre on his most recent album, ‘Covered,’ Glasper’s midcareer Black Radio albums found him delving into R&B and hip-hop with the likes of Erykah Badu and Lupe Fiasco. Given the venue, expect the pianist’s traditional side.
12/16–19. $30–$55. Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth. jazzshowcase.com

4 Tatsu Aoki/Tsukasa Taiko: Reduction

Dance Local percussionists Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang are among the musicians slated to perform works choreographed by the local Japanese dance phenom Ayako Kato at this celebration of taiko, a Japanese form of ensemble drumming.
12/19–12/20. $10–$20. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. mcachicago.org

5 Ryley Walker

Rock The local psych-folk guitarist spent the better part of 2015 touring behind his stellar March LP ‘Primrose Green’ and made his fest debut at Pitchfork in July. But his improvisational live show (backed by a band of local avant-jazz players) is best seen in small spaces like this one.
12/18 at 9. $5. Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western. ticketweb.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Lauren Ash
Lauren Ash Photo: RJ Eldridge

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Lauren Ash, founder of Black Girl in Om and co-founder of Party Noire.

“Friday, I’m going to the Robert Glasper Trio performance at 10 p.m. at Jazz Showcase. He’s an amazingly talented modern-day jazz musician, who experiments with technology. He puts on a good pre-show too. I’ll probably grab drinks before or afterwards at Soho House’s Fox Bar; it’s really cute and cozy; the perfect place to hang out in this weather.

“Saturday, I’ll probably do brunch at the Promontory. It’s the hot spot in Hyde Park. I recommend the eggs sardou. Then, I’m throwing the fourth iteration of Party Noire, also at the Promontory. Back in September, I joined forces with friends Nick Adler and DJ Rae Chardonnay to throw a party that is focused on black girl magic basically. We knew we wanted to throw a party that we would want to go to, making a space for black men and women to celebrate. This is our holiday edition so some people might come wearing holiday sweaters, a red lip, or red dress.

“Sunday, I’m putting together a Black Girl in Om event. It’s the first in our series ‘…and chill.’ It’s a play off the phrase ‘Netflix and chill’; we’re focusing on the ‘chill’ and the idea of self care. I like to get clear and reflective towards the end of the year and so I wanted to create a space for others to join me. It’ll be pretty intimate—I’ll be teaching a brief yoga practice, alongside meditation and some dialogue and intention setting. To come, you have to give towards our Kickstarter campaign and then we’ll send details about where the event will be held. We’ll have good music and tea too.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week


Jacob Hashimoto

Art This weekend is your last chance to see the internationally-known sculptor who adapts traditional kite-making techniques, with rice paper and bamboo, unleashing hundreds of his abstract forms in the gallery, often to wondrous effect.
Through 12/19. Free. Rhona Hoffman Gallery, 118 N. Peoria. rhoffmangallery.com

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