Chicago Culture Hound: April 2016

The best movies, TV, music and books of the month

By The Editors
April 4, 2016 9:00 am

Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings. Let’s get to it.

Do: Hump! Film Festival
Renowned sex columnist and Chicago-boy made-good Dan Savage returns to the Music Box with 22 new amateur porn-centric shorts that run the breadth of the kink spectrum. It’s racy! It might get awkward! It’s a celebration of sexuality with a side of artistic value! This year, Savage will be doing a live taping of his podcast, the Savage Lovecast, on the first night of the festival. If you are even remotely sexually curious, this is not to be missed. (April 7-9)

Listen: The Music of David Lynch
No Twin Peaks revival until 2017, but we can appreciate David Lynch’s oeuvre right now, at least sonically. First: a double live album of Lynch soundtrack covers, as performed by the Flaming Lips, Karen O, Lykke Li, Jim James and Moby.  Then, for Record Store Day, a double LP (2000 copies on red/blue vinyl) from indie artist Xiu Xiu that reimagines the Twin Peaks soundtrack as something both dreamier and creepier. (April 15 and 16)

Admire: Gisele Bündchen 
Dubbed “The Body” by Alexander McQueen, the beautiful Brazilian model is the (occasionally nude) subject of a breathtaking new photo retrospective. Originally available only as a $1,000+ limited edition, this new hardcover will only run you $70, and all proceeds, per Bündchen’s wishes, go to charity. You’re helping the world by looking at this. (Available this month)

J Dilla
Do: CIMM Fest
Spread across five days and multiple venues across the city, the Chicago International Movies & Music Fest lineup includes more than 150 film screenings, 130 concerts and panel discussions centered around all things audio-visual. Highlights include a look at David Bowie’s work in film and a tribute show to the late great Detroit beatmaker J Dilla by Slum Village and Black Milk and the Midwest premiere of The Smart Studios Story, a documentary on the studio in Madison, Wisconsin, where bands like Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins and Garbage recorded and mixed albums. (April 13-17)

Photo: Luftwerk
Do: Earth Day at Garfield Park Conservatory
Because spring. Because mother earth. And because the Garfield Park Conservatory is bringing you a lovely Earth Day celebration featuring food and drink by Land and Sea Dept. alongside environmental programming by the Natural Resource Defense Council, all set admist the artist duo Luftwerk’s critically acclaimed light installation. Expect food from Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe), drinks from Paul McGee (Lost Lake, Milk Bar) and music from Chicago natives Wild Belle. Tickets on sale here(April 22)

Read: The Arm
Subtitled “Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports,” Yahoo baseball columnist Jeff Passan’s book is a three-year investigation into Tommy John surgery and why a limb compels baseball teams to spend more than $1.5 billion per year. Happy Opening Day! (April 5)

Explore: Obscura Day
Conceived by oddball travel site Atlas Obscura, Obscura Day is the annual one-day global event celebrating all things strange, weird and awe-inspiring around the world. Here in Chicago, adventures include guided Pedway tours, learning the trade of 19th century grave robbers and more. (April 16)

Do: 2016 NFL Draft Town
Drawing over 200,000 football fans last year, the NFL draft returns to Downtown at the end of the month with more activities and at least 120-foot-tall ferris wheel, because why not? The three-day fest, held in and around Grant Park, is free and includes all kinds of pigksin-related fun for the young ones, and all 32 teams will be about hawking merch. (April 28-30)

Watch: High-Rise
Kill List was one of our favorite Netflix finds, a British indie movie about a contract killer that takes an abruptly scary-as-f*** turn. So director Ben Wheatley is the perfect choice to tackle the dystopian J.G. Ballard novel, where an upscale apartment complex turns deadly when things (and people) start breaking down. (April 28)

Last Chance: Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen
The creation of Dutch artist and engineer Theo Jansen, Strandbeests (Dutch for “beach animals”) are wind-powered kinetic sculptures that look the part of a fairy tale — large complex skeletal creatures designed to move on their own. Eight are on view at the Chicago Cultural Center, with demonstrations performed daily. You’ve got ’til the end of the month. (Until May 1)

Sturgill Simpson
Listen: April Spotify Playlist
Our curated new music soundtrack for April, featuring buzzy country newcomer Sturgill Simpson, instrumental gods Explosions in the Sky, the welcome return of the Dandy Warhols and Weezer. An hour well spent.

Plus: He’s got the hair for it: Patrick Stewart plays a Nazi punk leader in Green Room (Apr. 15) … Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits Blu-ray with several deleted scenes (Apr. 5) … Speaking of Blu-ray: How’s the bear look at home? See for yourself when The Revenant arrives (Apr. 19) … Good month for TV returns, including Orphan Black (Apr. 15), Kimmy Schmidt (Apr. 15), 12 Monkeys (Apr. 18), Inside Amy Schumer (Apr. 21), Game of Thrones (Apr. 24) and Silicon Valley (Apr. 24) … Key and Peele make a cat funny in Keanu (Apr. 29)

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