Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, December 14 through December 20, 2016
1 Andrew Bird’s Gezelligheid Shows
Folk:The unwieldy “Gezelligheid” translates roughly to “coziness” in Dutch, and that’s exactly the mood at these annual Andrew Bird shows at Fourth Presbyterian Church. Here, the ex-Chicagoan’s signature violin loops are front and center—projected through a pair of old-school Victrola horn speakers that lend a uniquely warm timbre.
12/14–16. From $54 via resellers. Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut. stubhub.com
2 Aretha Franklin
Soul:The Queen of Soul told the Detroit Free Press last year that she would retire from touring in 2017—and save for three shows scheduled next year, she appears to be following through. Catch the bona fide legend at what could be her final show in Chicago—and her last show ever outside of Michigan.
12/17 at 8 p.m. $74. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. ticketmaster.com
3 Made in Chicago Holiday Market
Market:Need a few last-minute gifts? The Reader’s yuletide bazaar returns with an embarrassment of locally made riches. Take a break from the shopping spree to make your own terrarium ornament, courtesy of Chicago boutique One Strange Bird, and grab a drink and/or nosh from vendors like Goose Island, Glazed and Infused, and Billy Sunday.
12/18 at 11 a.m. Free. Plumbers Union Hall, 1340 W. Washington. chicagoreader.com
4 No Match for a Good Blaster
Party:In case you’ve forgotten, we’re due for our yearly dose of Star Wars mania (the newest film premieres this Friday). To celebrate the latest addition to the über-franchise, Headquarters Beercade dons all the trappings of a galactic cantina: expect costumes, professional lightsaber duels, and a slew of Star Wars–themed drinks and games. May the Force be with you.
12/14 at 7 p.m. Free. Headquarters Beercade River North, 213 W. Institute. hqbeercade.com
5 Shemekia Copeland
Blues:With unmatched vocal ferocity, Copeland leaps from blues-proper into every genre that overlaps with it—from rock and country to R&B, soul, and gospel. With a little help from guest guitarist Ronnie Baker Brooks, Copeland will tear through her Grammy-nominated catalogue at this holiday blues bash.
12/18 at 8 p.m. $28–$42. City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. citywinery.com
What I’m Doing This Weekend
Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know-locals: Kristen Kaza, creative director of event and production company No Small Plans. She co-hosts the Shop Sensual pop-up market starting Friday, December 16.
“Every third Thursday night is Slo ‘Mo, the DJ residency I co-host at the Whistler, which is sort of a regular haunt for me. We’re starting a little early—at 8 p.m.—because we want to get people inside and warmed up as early as possible. It’s a bittersweet time for Slo ‘Mo: my friend and co-founder, Tess Kisner (DJ Tess), will be moving on to new projects at the end of the month, after more than five years DJing with us. We’re really going to miss having her there every week, but she’ll still be around, and she’s leaving us in good hands by passing the baton to Erin Jackson (DJ Audio Jack).
“Most of the weekend, I’ll be booked up with Shop Sensual, but, as always, there are other things I’m hoping I can slip away to. Two that I just can’t miss: On Friday and Saturday nights, JRV Majesty is putting on their annual Queer, Ill + Okay performance series at Oracle Productions, about queer artists and their relationships with HIV and other illnesses. It’s an incredible show, and I think they’ve been doing it for like four years now. On Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m. at Tusk—one of the best shops in Logan Square—there’s a group show called Object Puzzles. The owner, Mary Eleanor Wallace, commissioned 20 different local artists to create a small, unique art object and a corresponding cardboard jigsaw piece. The puzzle pieces and objects are sold together as sets—I think they’ll make really great gifts.
“The rest of the time, I’ll be running around for Shop Sensual. We’re hosting it at Reunion, a co-working and event space I co-own. Aside from the night market on Friday, where we’ll have cocktails and performances by Kiara Lanier and Darling Shear, there are workshops on Saturday and Sunday that sort of play on the same themes. On Saturday at 6 p.m., sex therapist Rena McDaniel is doing a talk called “Unlocking the Erotic Mind,” and on Sunday, there’s a slow-jams-centric yoga class taught by Lauren Ash and an erotic art-making class with Leah Ball—who’s co-hosting Shop Sensual with me—and Tine DeFiore. And at some point, I’m sure, I’ll end up at Lula Cafe—or, as I like to call it, my cafeteria. I love what they’ve done for the arts community in Logan and being there feels like just being at home.” —As told to John Hardberger
Freebie of the Week
Market:More than a mere holiday pop-up, Shop Sensual brings together local vendors, artists, and performers for a night of pleasure-centric shopping and two days of inclusive workshops co-hosted by “Feminist as Fuck” creators Leah Ball and Chelsea Ross.
12/16–18. Free–$15. Reunion, 2557 W. North. shopsensualpopup.com