Redmoon's latest extravaganza, Spectacle '09, runs through Sunday at Belmont Harbor.
PUBLIC NOTICE Monday’s screening of the Sundance Grand Jury prizewinner We Live in Public (above) includes DJs, a Q&A, and a healthy critique of our social networking obsession—all free.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 02.24.10 through Tue 03.02.10: We’re not sure what’s in the water (er, slush), but this week offers an unparalleled lineup of concerts, screenings, and more—your best bets yet for conquering the winter blahs. Bonus: five freebies we would have paid for (but don’t have to)



film We Live in Public
Don’t miss it: Filmmaker Ondi Timoner screens the second of her two Sundance Grand Jury prizewinners Monday, and it’s a doozy. We Live in Public, which took the top U.S. documentary nod in 2009 (Timoner’s Dig! won in 2004), follows Josh Harris, a Warholian Internet pioneer of the dot com era whose projects—streaming 24-hour surveillance of life with his girlfriend on the web; squatting with 100 people for 30 days in an underground New York bunker, filming nonstop until feds broke up the party—predated our current Twitter society by a full decade. A Q&A with Timoner and Harris follows the screening, with high-wattage supporters of the film Adrian Grenier (of Entourage) and Eliza Dushku (of Dollhouse) patched in live. While the event technically falls under “freebies” (find five more below), we thought the night—also featuring DJs and a cash bar—sounded so cool, it deserved a little more, well, publicity.
GO: Mar 1 at 7. Free. RSVP recommended: Cobra Lounge, 235 N Ashland.


concerts Carolina Chocolate Drops
This young string-band trio just won a 2010 Joyce Award—sort of like a “genius” grant, specifically for artists of color working in the Midwest—which will fund a commissioned concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music in fall 2011. If, like us, you can’t wait a year and a half to hear this fleet-fingered fiddle-banjo-jug band, show your support when they play two local gigs this week.
GO: Feb 27 at 9. $15. Fitzgerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn. Feb 28 at 8. $20. Schubas, 3159 N Southport.


theatre The Cabinet
Per the request of Rahm Emanuel, who cornered Redmoon’s Frank Maugeri after a Halloween gig at the White House to ask if the local performance troupe was “ever going to remount that wild show in the cabinet”: a thriller-chiller of murder, somnambulism, and insanity, as told by puppets. An all-out DJ dance party with a cash bar follows the Feb 27 show, which means leave the kids at home—if not for the scary subject matter, then for the thought of seeing Mom bust a move.
GO: Feb 27. Play at 9 ($25); party at 10:15 ($5, or free with play ticket). The Cabinet continues through Mar 7, with another afterparty on Mar 6. Redmoon Central, 1463 W Hubbard.


film Prisoner of Her Past
A boon for film buffs and history buffs alike: Chicago’s Kartemquin Films presents a sneak peek of its latest documentary. Prisoner follows the story of the Holocaust survivor Sonia Reich—mother of the Trib’s jazz critic, Howard—who was forced to face a long-dormant trauma some sixty years after the war. A Q&A and book signing with Howard, who wrote the memoir on which the film was based, follows the screening.
GO: Feb 28 at 1:30. $20. Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods, Skokie.


dance Off the Wall and Onto the Stage
Chicago’s own South Side Community Art Center—the very last WPA-founded art institution in the nation—gets a 70th birthday toast from another discipline this weekend, and it’s a corker. Columbia City Ballet brings the artist Jonathan Green’s Technicolor paintings of the Gullah people—Southern blacks who’ve preserved cultural and linguistic traces of their African heritage—to life.
GO: Feb 27 at 7:30. $35-$125. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph.


galleries NOWS: Recent Work by Nathaniel Russell
Maybe you’ve seen his album covers for Sub Pop or his illustrations in Dwell. Russell, an artist recently relocated to nearby Indy from California, makes charming paintings, drawings, prints, and collages with ample doses of humor. It’s art that’s lively on its own, but goes even better with a mimosa and a side of bacon: His current show—at the newish Home Gallery, located in Laura Schaeffer and Andrew Nord’s Hyde Park residence—wraps Sunday but not before a closing-reception-slash-brunch-potluck. The public is invited to show up with a dish or a drink; Russell will be onsite, too, with a few new works.
GO: Feb 28: noon-3. Home Gallery, 1407 E 54th Pl.

opera South Shore Opera Company
When the Chicago native Marvin Lynn noted the lack of opera in his South Side community, he set out to remove the number one barrier: cost. This performance, by his now-year-old company, spotlights songs and arias from African American composers including William Grant Still, James Weldon Johnson, and Scott Joplin. Bonus: Check out our opera guide for more local high notes.
GO: Feb 27 at 5:30. South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S South Shore.

concerts Laura Veirs
She’s opened for The Decemberists and Tegan and Sara—concerts that didn’t come cheap—but this weekend you can hear this musician’s musician, a darling of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Decemberist-in-Chief Colin Meloy, sing songs from her new album, July Flame, for free. (She also plays Schubas later the same night.)
GO: Feb 27 at 5:30. Corbett vs. Dempsey, 1120 N Ashland, 2nd floor.

film Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
If it’s good enough for the Tribeca Film Festival, it’s good enough for you—especially if it’s free. See the only authorized biopic of the folk music legend when it screens at a real-life rock ’n’ roll den.
GO: Feb 28 at 7. Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western.

museums William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs, and Video, 1961-2008
Saturated scenes, found bits of rusted-out detritus, anxious peeks at an evolving society: With a knack for capturing both color and decisive moments, Eggleston set the tone for generations of American photographers. Taking a page from Eggleston’s democratic playbook, the Art Institute waives admission for the entire month of February.
GO: Feb 27–May 23. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan.

Photography: Courtesy of IndiePix Films