Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings. Let's get to it.
DO: Ferris Fest
A touchstone for anyone who grew up in the ‘80s, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off turns 30 this year, and the only way to celebrate is having a hooky-day of your own by getting tickets to Ferris Fest. The three-day celebration includes screenings at the John & Nancy Hughes Theater in Lake Forest followed by a Q&A with the cast members, a bus tour of the film’s locations and a full-size replica of Ferris Bueller’s bedroom at the Virgin Hotel. Plus: a live recreation of the Twist and Shout parade. Life moves pretty fast. Best grab your tickets today. (May 20-22)
LISTEN: The Virginmarys
Remember guitars? This U.K. trio does. Divides, the band’s second record, offers a beguilingly retro mix of Southern-tinged classic rock, anthemic Brit-rock and ‘90s alternative — hat tip here to producer Gil Norton (The Pixies, Foo Fighters), who keeps all the disparate elements codified. It’s the rare band that could play nice with Buckcherry, Queens of the Stone Age or Ash … and they have. (May 6)
READ: The City Of Mirrors
This is your can’t-put-down summer beach read. Mirrors is the third and final book in Justin Cronin’s The Passage series, a post-apocalyptic “vampire” epic that plays like a mix of The Stand, 28 Days Later or even Colson Whitehead’s Zone One. Basically, a more literary take on a genre tale. (May 24)
DRINK: Chicago Craft Beer Week
One of Chicago’s most important annual traditions, Chicago Craft Beer Week returns this May with a stellar lineup of events and all the beer a beer lover can drink. Get tickets to the kick-off party at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Also the finale event: the Welles Park Craft Beer Fest. Then download the CCBW app (iOS or Android), for all the events, tastings and more you’ll find in between. (May 19-28)
Sometimes, you just want to grab a rocket launcher and kill some demons. A continuation/reimagining/sequel to the popular old-school FPS, this version of Doom features a more advanced melee system (crows gamemaker Bethesda: “Knock-down, slash, stomp, crush and blow apart demons in creative, violent ways!”). Creepy as ever in single-player campaign mode, more Unreal-like shoot ‘em-up fun in the multiplayer deathmatch. (May 13)
DO: Chicago House Party
Frankie Knuckles. Forever remembered, forever missed. And come the end of this month, the whole city is celebrating the life and times of the godfather of house music with a massive outdoor “house party”. With 14K people slated to attend, could this be the largest dance party Chicago’s ever seen? Probably. Either way, it’s a clutch way to kick off summer. (May 28)
Seth Rogen helped develop this AMC adaptation of the acclaimed ‘90s comic book, a violent supernatural tale of a possessed preacher, an Irish vampire and an ex-girlfriend who attempt to find God ... but instead run into a rogues’ gallery of supernatural weirdos. Including a guy named Arseface. (May 22)
SEE: Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979
Meanwhile, in Elmhurst, an exhibit on how Playboy Magazine saw architecture and design as essential touch points in shaping the identity of the new American man. Fittingly housed in the Mies van der Rohe-designed Elmhurst Art Museum, the show explores the nexus of architecture and sex, through a collection of film, never-before-exhibited memorabilia and architectural models. Bachelor pad inspiration? Trust there will be a lot. (Opens May 7)
SEE: The Chicago Critics Film Festival
Now in its fourth year, the Chicago Critics Film Festival is five days' worth of festival circuit favorites and under-the-radar flicks chosen by the members of the Chicago Film Critics Association. Our picks: My Blind Brother, an indie comedy about a sibling rivalry starring Adam Scott, Nick Kroll and Jenny Slate, and Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, an exploration of the connected world by Werner Herzog. (May 22-26)
PERUSE: A Whole Lot of NSFW Videos
Rihanna’s “Needed Me” isn’t really a happy summer jam, but it does make for a rather seedy, NC-17 strip club tale, as portrayed by Spring Breakers auteur Harmony Korine. For even creepier vibes: a bootleg of a never-seen “snuff” film meant to accompany Nine Inch Nails’ 1993 release Broken just popped up on the Interwebs. And finally, on a peppier note: model Zippora Seven goes streaking over a French indie pop number in a video celebrating lifestyle mag Monster Children’s 50th issue.
LISTEN: The Best Songs of May
Take a listen to our monthly Spotify playlist of the month's best new music, featuring Gold Panda, Barns Courtney, the return of DJ Shadow (with Run the Jewels), The Avett Brothers and over an hour of good tunes.
Plus: Chelsea Handler begins her new thrice-weekly, thankfully uncensored talk show on Netflix (5/11) ... M. Night Shyamalan’s surprisingly decent mind-twist Wayward Pines returns for a second season (5/25) ... The Lobster is sort of like a rom-com without the com, but with a lot of Logan’s Run and Dr. Doolittle (5/13) ... Anthony Weiner gets exposed (more) in the doc barring his last name (5/20) ... Hey, it’s got Wolverine and Olivia Munn. All hail X-Men: Apocalypse (5/27) ... Don DeLillo’s explores tech, death and dystopia with Zero K (5/3).
Nota bene: Watch for our comprehensive Summer Movie Guide next Monday.