Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) provides plenty of opportunities for "Adult Night Out Fun", but if you have kids in tow, there are some fabulous family friendly picks out there too. Of course it depends greatly on the ages, taste, and maturity levels of your littles. Mine are now 12 & 15, so they can handle more complex subject matter. Still, we're huge advocates of the "parents know best" philosophy over a one size fits all age rating. Some older kids are plagued with nightmares from one scary movie while some younger kids can handle and even enjoy the same film. That said, we have some rockin' giveaways and top picks for families below.

First, we have some amazing CIMMfest related giveaways going on including 2 pairs of adult concert tickets/blow out/no chip manicure salon packages ($125 value each) AND the last 2 tickets in town to Lisa Loeb's SOLD OUT kids show along with her latest kids CD ($43 value). ENTER HERE FOR EITHER OR BOTH THROUGH MIDNIGHT THURSDAY 4/14.

ChiIL Mama's Fam Friendly ChiIL Picks List:

Facets Kids Program:

Saturday 4/16 11am at Logan Theatre $5

I volunteered at Facets for 25 years and can vouch for their incredible annual International Children's Film Festival. I'm thrilled to see them including fam friendly fare at CIMMfest 2016. **DO NOTE: This showing is at Logan Theatre NOT at Facets!

Join in a musical adventure of animated and live-action short films from around the world–sock puppet back-up singers serenading BB King; an unlikely group of buddies make a perfect Rumba rhythm section for a sleepy bandleader. From R&B, jazz, blues, tango to Scottish jigs and more–these films will have your toes tapping.

Ormie / Canada / 4min.

Big Box Singsong John / Canada / 1min.

Electric Car / USA / 4min.

Log Jam: KFG No. 5 / Hungary / 2min.

Peter Pix - The Violin / Denmark / 1min.

The Squeakiest Roar / England / 4min.

The Music Box / USA / 3min.

One Shoe Blues / USA / 5min.

Donald / Germany / 6min.

Hopfrog / Russia / 5min.

Mobile / Germany / 7min.

The Ant and the Grasshopper / USA / 8min.

Adventures of Pim and Pom: "Dance Party" / Netherlands / 5min.

Tintico's Afternoons / Mexico / 9min.

Here's The CIMMfest Scoop:

The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest)  is one of our annual favorites that we've been covering for years. It merges two of our passions, music and film. The 5 day fest can be a bit daunting, but the full schedule is on line by event type, date, and venue, so it's easy to make a plan and follow your bliss. Short on time or eager to branch out and see something new? ChiIL out with ChiIL Live Shows (adult) and ChiIL Mama (family friendly) before, during and after CIMMfest and we'll tell you what peaked our interest. Hope to see you out there.

The five-day multimedia city-wide festival features over 150 films including three World Premieres, one North American Premiere, five U.S. Premieres, and 19 Chicago Premieres; over 130 bands live in concert representing a wide range of genres; multiple events featuring Live Scored Films – musicians performing live to films, music videos, and a video game; and CIMMcon, a dynamic professional and entrepreneurial industry conference. International films and artists come from nearly twenty different countries including Canada, Cuba, Iceland, India, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Scotland, Spain, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) announces its movie and music lineup for the eighth edition, running April 13-17, 2016 across twenty different venues in many of Chicago’s culturally-diverse neighborhoods including Logan Square, Wicker Park, Hyde Park, Lakeview, and Pilsen. Individual event tickets start at $8 for concerts and $12 for films; passes start at $79 with VIP passes at $149. Festival passes and a la carte tickets are currently available at CIMMfest.org.

Our top adult picks are in bold below. Here's where I'll be Wednesday night. My husband's a location sound engineer who's interviewed Butch Vig and the frontwoman for the band Garbage, and filmed at Smart Studios for a French documentary a few years back. So this CIMMfest screening and Q&A is of particular interest to me since he's been there/done that and it's a relative unknown to me, aside from adoring many of the bands who recorded or did post production at Smart Studios.

Opening Night kicks off with the Midwest Premiere of the documentary film The Smart Studios Story (Official Film of Record Store Day 2016) on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00pm at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave, followed by a Q&A with Director Wendy Schneider and Smart Studios Founders Butch Vig & Steve Marker. The celebration continues with the official Opening Night After-Party at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St, featuring ‘90s rockers Catherine and Negative Example (members of Tar Babies).

Chi, IL On Screen:

Films with strong Chicago ties include The Night Smokers of Chicago, The Terry Kath Experience: A Daughter’s Journey, 1001 Afternoons in Chicago, Horn to the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story, Savage Beliefs: The Movie, and 147 Pianos, featuring 200 Chicagoans. Local artists on the CIMMfest lineup include Daniel Knox, Avery R. Young, the sibling rock’n’roll duo White Mystery, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

Official Fest Highlights:

Additional musical highlights at CIMMfest No. 8 include a kid-friendly concert with Lisa Loeb followed by a performance of her classics later that same evening, sound artist Tim Hecker, Moonface, Hip Hop artist David Banner, indie rock band California Wives, alternative band Poliça, and a tribute to J Dilla by Slum Village and Black Milk.

CIMMfest’s Classical program, curated by George Lepauw of International Beethoven Project, includes films featuring Yehudi Menuhin with live performances to celebrate his 100th birthday from Dawn Gingrich, Consuelo Lepauw and others; and Ton Koopman. A nine-piece ensemble will perform a live score for a video game with music by François-Xavier Dupas of Vibeavenue, Montreal. Returning to CIMMfest this year is Sound of Silent Films, a CIMMfest highlight featuring newly-composed scores performed live to modern silent films by Composer/Radio Host Seth Bousted’s Access Contemporary Music (ACM).

The movie Desire Will Set You Free, which anchors the LGBTQ programming, follows Ezra, an American writer of Palestinian and Israeli parentage, through Berlin’s queer and punk scenes. Additional programming highlights include a selection of TV documentary series such as PBS’ American Epic and family-friendly programming such as a sampling of short films co-produced with Facets Multi-Media.

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the classic Beach Boys album Pet Sounds, CIMMfest will present a Brian Wilson retrospective. Films to be shown include Pet Stories and Pet Sounds: Live From London a short doc and concert film directed by Chicago filmmaker and frequent Brian Wilson collaborator John Anderson; Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of SMiLE, about the great lost album of the 1960s; Brian Wilson presents SMiLE, a concert film that captures Brian Wilson and his band's first live US performance of SMiLE in 2004; and the acclaimed 2015 biopic Love & Mercy, starring Paul Dano and John Cusack as the young and middle-aged Wilson.

CIMMfest will pay tribute to David Bowie with a retrospective of his film work. Films to be shown include Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars which marked the “death” of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona; vampire thriller The Hunger; and Jazzin’ for Blue Jean, a short by Julien Temple, last year's CIMMfest Baadasssss Award winner, will play before the rarely-screened BBC documentary Cracked Actor.

Gordon Quinn will be the fourth recipient of the CIMMfest BAADASSSSS Award to honor his amazing career on Friday, April 15 at 7:00pm at 1st Ward Chop Shop. Quinn, Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films, celebrating its 50th Anniversary, will be interviewed by Bob Hercules, a veteran television producer/director and a co-founder of Media Process Group. In addition to receiving this year’s BAADASSSSS Award, a retrospective of films with which Quinn has been involved will be shown, including Festival, the first music documentary to be nominated for an Academy Award; And This Is Free, about the legendary Maxwell Street Market; A Good Man, a documentary about choreographer Bill T. Jones; and Prisoner Of Her Past, which follows Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich as he journeys across the U.S. and Europe to uncover why his mother, Holocaust survivor Sonia Reich, believes the world is conspiring to kill her. Quinn will also present clips of his music documentary work with artists such as Bob Dylan and Phish.

A full list of CIMMfest’s movie and music events are at CIMMfest.org. Additional highlights of confirmed films and musical acts at CIMMfest No. 8 are below:



The Lure (Corki Dancingu) (Poland)

Thursday, April 14, 7:00pm

Society For Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee Ave

Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska

When a family of Polish musicians encounter two winsome mermaid sisters named Silver and Golden, they do what anyone else would–recruit them to join their band. After performing at a neon-lit Warsaw club, Silver becomes entangled with the bass player. Golden, who cannot escape her bloodthirsty nature, worries that her sister’s relationship will doom their shared dream of swimming to a new life in America. First time director Agnieszka Smoczyńska unleashes an absurdly wild, 1980s-set musical horror film that grabs you by the tail and refuses to let go. 92 min


Thursday, April 14, 7:15pm

The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave

Directed by Michael Curtis Johnson

A bisexual, glam rock dilettante with lofty dreams of becoming a musician takes the stage at seedy dive bars, but his hedonistic lifestyle is put on hold when his ex-girlfriend drops their son off at his high-heeled feet and skips town. Struggling to let go of his musical aspirations, Sidney’s life goes into a tailspin as the reality of fatherhood slaps him in the face. Director Michael Curtis Johnson paints a bittersweet portrait of love, sacrifice, and rock ‘n’ roll, showing us that life isn’t always hunky dory. 85 min

Savage Beliefs: The Movie (USA) WORLD PREMIERE

Thursday, April 14, 8:00pm

Martyrs, 3385 N Lincoln Ave

Directed by Charlie Fink

Not many bands get to play themselves in their own movie–The Beatles, KISS … Savage Beliefs. The local hardcore heroes take on a serial killer in this unearthed gem of a slasher parody/slice of Chicago punk life that's been collecting dust since 1984. (As with a lot of no-budget indie films, the money dried up before it could be released.) How gemmy? The assistant director of photography was none other than Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kamiński (Schindler’s List). See what you've been missing all these years. 85 min

Hustlers Convention (UK) CHICAGO PREMIERE

Thursday, April 14, 9:00pm

The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave

Directed by Mike Todd

In 1973, Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, a member of the legendary poetry and music group The Last Poets, released an album that changed the face of music and would later cement Nuriddin’s status as “The Grandfather of Rap.” Released under the pseudonym of Lightnin’ Rod, Hustlers Convention gave a voice to the streets and resonated hard within inner cities across America. The album tells the gritty story of two young hustlers named Sport and Spoon who attend the eponymous convention and eventually find themselves in a police tangle. Blending historic archival footage with animated sequences set to the music, director Mike Todd dives deep into Nuriddin’s personal story as one of rap’s true pioneers. Featuring powerful interviews with key figures such as Chuck D, Ice-T, Fab 5 Freddy, and Melle Mel, Hustlers Convention is a journey into an album that is just as relevant today as it was then. 93 min

Taj Mahal Trio

Thursday, April 14, 7pm & 9:30pm

Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Deer Tick “Acoustic”

Wednesday, April 13, 7pm & 10pm

Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Peter Murphy "Stripped"

Thursday, April 14, 9:00pm

Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St

Peter Murphy "Stripped"


$25 / $30 / $35

A rare opportunity to see Peter Murphy in an intimate setting performing acoustic versions of his music from throughout his illustrious career.

David Banner

Thursday, April 14, 9:30pm

The Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park Ave

Eszter Balint

Live Film accompaniments by Daniel Knox, Eli Dixon of Smoking Popes, and Mendings' Josh Dumas and Kate Adams

Thursday, April 14, 8pm

Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave

The singer-songwriter, violinist, and actress from Hungary emerged from her eleven-year musical hiatus last year with critically-acclaimed Airless Midnight, an eerie yet artful Americana album. The New York Times said “Her songs are full of characters on the run… Miss Balint has her own film-noir sensibility as a songwriter.” She can also be seen as the violin-playing love interest on Louis C.K. this season.




Friday, April 15, 8:30pm

The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave

Directed by Fredrik Horn Akselsen, Christian Falch

A fresh look into Norway's notorious black metal scene from a striking new angle. While the genre's Norwegian pioneers settle into middle age, wiping off the corpse paint and embracing family life, three obsessive fans from vastly different religious and political backgrounds risk family ties, freedom, and even their souls to perform in the place where black metal became synonymous with Satanism, arson, and murder. Heartfelt and surprisingly funny, Blackhearts examines just how far people will go for the music they love. 83 min.

Fela Kuti: Music Is The Weapon (France)

Friday, April 15, 7pm

The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave

Directed by Jean-Jaques Flori, Stéphane Tchalgadjieff

Twenty-five years before Fela Kuti's life became the stuff of Broadway, this crackling French-made documentary captured the impossibly charismatic Afrobeat king and self-styled "Black President" at the peak of his musical, political, and spiritual powers. Railing against corruption and brutality in his native Nigeria, Kuti philosophizes on power and art wearing only his briefs and a cigarette, playing and preaching all night long at his iconic Lagos nightclub, the Shrine. As fresh and as relevant today as the day it was made.

We Are Kings

Friday, April 15, 7pm

The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave

Directed by Tony Hubner

Shot on location in El Paso, Ilinois, and points south of Rt. 61 from Chicago to Baton Rouge, We Are Kings is a road movie about a down and out bluesman saved by a "ghost"...and three young musicians. Original music composed and recorded on location and performed in the movie! A live performance by John “Boogie” Long, Sam Blue and Rita Graham live @ Rosa’s Lounge, 9:30pm follows the film.

A Song For You: The Story of Austin City Limits

Friday, April 15, 7pm

Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave

Directed by Keith Maitland

Quick: Which TV music show has won both a Peabody Award and the National Medal of Arts? Austin City Limits. A Song for You makes clear why. Featuring a bevy of pivotal performances by everybody from Willie Nelson and Jack White to Ray Charles and Radiohead, this is the ultimate backstage pass to the longest-running music show in television history, recounting ACL's 40-year evolution from local outlaw-country showcase to a required stopping point for superstars, cult bands, and up-and-comers from just about every corner of popular music. 93 min.


Friday, April 15, 10:30pm

The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave

Directed by Suki Hawley

Featuring members of Rodan, Lambchop, and the Grifters, this underground classic captures the highs, lows, and bored in-betweens of mid-90s indie rock-dom as a bunch of Louisville kids commandeer a van full of instruments and bluff their way across Kentucky and Tennessee, pretending to be a band. Screening with David Fair Is the King, acclaimed underground filmmaker Skizz Cyzyk's visit with the affable Half Japanese co-founder, and Half-Cocked producer Michael Galinsky's video for the St. Lenox track "I Still Dream of the '90s," composed of his photography from the era. 81 min.

Local H Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of “As Good as Dead”

Friday, April 15, 8pm

Metro, 3730 N Clark St

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble with JD’s Revenge & special guest GLC

Hosted by Drunken Monkee & M'Reld Green

Friday, April 15, 9pm

Martyrs', 3385 N Lincoln Ave

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a family band consisting of seven blood brothers who began their musical training at the tender ages of four and five by their father, jazz trumpeter/band leader Kelan Phil Cohran (Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, Sun Ra). The boys went on to form the Phil Cohran Youth Ensemble in 1990. By 1999, the brothers discontinued playing with dad in order to find their own sound, growing into the band now known as Hypnotic Brass Ensemble or HBE. The group’s sound was best put by Fader Magazine’s Edwin Stats, who called their music: “a huge brass bridge of hypnotic polyphony connecting the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra’s Arkestra with the urgency of hip hop, and the sweeping emotional scale of a Curtis Mayfield blaxploitation opus.” Their song, “War” was featured in the movie, The Hunger Games.

J Dilla Tribute with Slum Village and Black Milk

Friday, April 15, 9pm

The Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park Ave

J. Dilla may have died in 2006, but his legacy lives on through his creations with names like A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots and Erykah Badu. The Slum Village member is one of the most respected and powerful hip-hop producers of the last two decades and CIMMFest is honoring him through two tribute bands.

Founded by rappers–J Dilla (RIP), Baatin (RIP) and T3–in the early ‘90s while still in high school, Slum Village broadcasts a hard lyrical edge atop their jazzy and soulful beats. Existing now as a duo, T3 and producer Young RJ, released Yes in 2015 and contains posthumous Dilla beats.

Gifted emcee Black Milk was J Dilla's protege and initial replacement as the producer for Slum Village. Experimenting with dusty grooves, minimal electronics and live instrumentation, Black Milk balances street, personal and conscious topics. He has worked with Elzhi, Phat Kat, Frank-N-Dank, Lloyd Banks, Canibus, Pharoahe Monch.

Kap G w/ V!SUAL, Ray iLLa aka "iLLz", KID-RO, Presented by Hello Hip Hop and Right Now Tour

Friday, April 15, 10pm

1st Ward Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave

The Mexican-American rapper hails from the south side of College Park in Atlanta, Georgia and has collaborated with some of the biggest name in the rap game, like, Fabolous, Wiz Khalifa and Spenzo. Layering his Mexican heritage with African American culture, Kap G brings a unique perspective with some sick beats.

GGOOLLDD / Sc Mira / The Pact / Armitage

Friday, April 15, 11pm

Township, 2200 N. California Ave

GGOOLLDD's indie take on the electronic pop genre has earned the synthpop band from Milwaukee a strong following, and a reputation as "the Pringles of music" because of their addictive quality. Last year, they were listed as one of six Wisconsin bands to watch by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Pact gives the listener a clever blend of polished rock with an electrifying indie pop sound, and you can trust that oath is made in blood. Already creating a buzz in the media, the young Chicago-based group is bringing the festival their self-recorded debut album, “Reaching in the Dark.”

Armitage is a Chicago-based, alternative rock band whose members teamed up as Columbia College students quickly earned a solid reputation built on their powerful sound, catchy melodies, and thoughtful songwriting.

London Souls / We Are The Asteroid

Friday, April 15

London Souls’ Guitarist Tash Neal and drummer Chris St. Hilaire formed in NYC (not London!) in 2008. Their newest album, Here Come The Girls, is a smart and savory blend of ‘60s mod rock, classic soul, and modern New York grit. The glue? Funky chops and, above all, mighty songs.

From the ashes of a torched compost shack in Austin, Texas emerge We Are The Asteroid. They create just the sort of aural dogpile you'd expect from ex-members of Butthole Surfers, Pain Teens and Ed Hall – rock, mental illness and roll for everyone.

Rami, Alex, Casey and Scott / Nick Dittmeier / The Trews / Lonesome Still

Friday, April 15, 9pm

Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave

RACS, Rami Gabriel, Alex Hall, The Fat Babies, Casey McDonough (NRBQ, Western Elstons, Flat five), Scott Ligon (NRBQ, Western Elstons, Flat five) RACS present new original songs in the great American traditions of Soul and Country music. All veteran rock, jazz, and blues musicians, their live show is a blazing dangerous rock n’ roll conflagration.

There is nothing that captures the spirit of the Midwest and the South than great Americana music that effortlessly compels its audience to toe tap and bop along. Singer-songwriter Nick Dittmeier has mastered the upbeat and cheerful music that dances along perfectly with the American lifestyle.

Having started their career known as One I'd Trouser (taken from a Monty Python song), the Toronto-based band from Nova Scotia rock it out hard. Their last album eponymously titled The Trews was the band's highest charting debut to date reaching #1 on the Rock, Alternative and Independent Album Charts in Canada.

Chicago may not be the city that first comes to mind when one thinks of country music, but Lonesome Still just might be the band to change that. Lonesome Still’s retro-country sound has blues, folk, and rock tones that shape their hearty music. The eight-member group is packed full of the true soul of country music.

White Mystery / Dirty Fences / Lifestyles / Archie & The Bunkers

Friday, April 15, 9pm

Emporium, 2363 N. Milwaukee Ave

This sister-brother duo, Alex and Francis White, have been rocking it out non-stop since 2008, and have five albums to their credit. It’s no mystery that their ferocity has a following worldwide. Last year, their movie That Was Awesome premiered at CIMMfest.

Known for their frenzied live sets, Brooklyn's Dirty Fences throw down a particularly sweaty form of rock ‘n’ roll. Their newest, Full Tramp, reeks alternately of an early ‘70s basement bong party and CBGB’s bathroom after a long night. A lovely bouquet.

The vocal bile and fast/slow-flowing guitar ooze of Hanna Hazard is efficiently pumped through the sewer pipes by Alex and Adam, the rhythm section of Chicago's own Lifestyles. Filth and anger never sounded so good…

Somewhere in the wilds of Cleveland, the O'Connor brothers, a.k.a. Archie and The Bunkers, back their van into the garage and unload not the usual beat-up guitars, but a classic vintage organ and a four-piece drum kit. With these tools they unleash what they dub HI-FI Punk, as apt a name as any for such beautiful noise.

Made To Break / Brian Case / Kurzmann Daisy Duo

Friday, April 15, doors open at 8pm

Burlington, 3425 W Fullerton Ave

Chicago reedman Ken Vandermark is one of the world's most prolific purveyors of improvised music. One of his many ongoing projects, Made To Break, combines saxes/drums/bass trio with the warped electronic genius of Austria's Christof Kurzmann, whose loops and keyboard flavors keep things bubbling and unpredictable.

Pausing from ripping on the guitar, Brian Case of Disappears will bring his synth-pop experimental sound to the festival. Playing solo, Case will use guitar loops and sequencing to craft minimal soundscapes that are, as he calls “imperfect” and aren’t driven by the momentum generated from the sound tools.

One half of Ken Vandermark’s quartet Made To Break, Christof Kurzmann (keys/electronics) and Tim Daisy (drums/percussion) take you on an uncharted voyage to WHO KNOWS WHERE…



Sigur Ros: Heima (Iceland)

Saturday, April 16, 4pm

Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave

Directed by Dean DeBlois

Returning to Iceland after a world tour in 2006, Sigur Rós did a series of what would now be called pop-up shows, playing for free at village halls, in open fields, at an abandoned fishery, and an environmental protest camp. That unusual jaunt yielded a tour film unlike any other. Heima juxtaposes Sigur Rós’ soaring, otherworldly sound with Iceland's soaring, otherworldly landscape to create a visually stunning record of the band, and its sonic palette of serene contemplation and ecstatic release, as very much a product of its homeland’s wild vistas and close-knit culture. 97 min.


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