Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings.
Whether this new Netflix show from director Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, Happy Christmas) is at all meaningful to anyone living outside of Chicago is debatable, but it's the perfect show for you, a person living in Chicago. It’s an eight-episode collection of vignettes about love in the Windy City, and more than anything, comes off as one of the great odes to Chicago ever put on screen, with recognizable on-screen locations at every turn. Appearances include Dave Franco, Orlando Bloom, Marc Maron, Emily Ratajkowski and more. It’s the show every Chicagoan is and will be talking about. (Out now)
DO: Ear Taxi Festival
Looking for some new ear candy? A first of its kind, this brand new music festival celebrates Chicago’s contemporary classical music scene. Co-curated by composer Augusta Read Thomas and conductor Stephen Burns, the six-day fest will feature nearly every local new-music ensemble, with 300 performers and more than 50 world premieres. Don your best dreamy pensive face and grab a date. This’ll be something completely different. (October 5-10)
IMPRESS: Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition
Speaking of classic music … this, let’s say “pathological” Mozart retrospective boasts 240 hours of classical genius (that’s 4,000 tracks, or 10 days straight of music), plus a new hardcover biography and several frame-worthy prints. He deserves the time: the guy wrote his first opera at 14; what have you done?
BINGE: Black Mirror
Netflix premieres 12 new episodes of this creepy anthology series (six now, six next spring). Expect a mix of horror, satire and technophobia. Details are tight, but some leaks suggest feral mutants, deadly video games and social media-inspired murders.
LISTEN: Joyce Manor
The California band’s fourth album Cody features 10 songs in 24 minutes — all concise, perfect indie-emo singalongs, with a first single (“Fake ID”) that details how a young man’s tryst ends when his paramour suggests Kanye West “is better than John Steinbeck.”
DO: Open House Chicago
One of our favorite annual events of the year, Open House Chicago returns with its behind-the-scene access to our city’s most profound architectural treasures. It’s bigger than ever this year, with 200 sites to explore, including gems in the newly added neighborhoods of Englewood and Oak Park. Grab your camera and give it a go. (October 15-16)
READ: Loose Lips: Fanfiction Parodies of Great (and Terrible) Literature
Former InsideHook editor Casey Childers and Amy Stephenson curated this anthology of satirical erotic fan fiction, as crafted by dozens of Hugo, Nebula and Rita award-winning authors. Says Childers: “Loose Lips answers pressing questions from history's favorite books, questions like, ‘I'm new to being rich ... Can I f*ck my yellow car?’ and ‘How come there's not one woman in Moby Dick who isn't a boat?’ It's gross AF, and there are so many laughs.” (Out now)
DO: Chicago Ideas Week
Now in its sixth year, Chicago Ideas Week — the city’s grass roots weeklong confab of big ideas — is for anyone looking to stoke their intellectual fire. This year’s highlights include a conversation with Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston, a panel on “unlocking genius” that includes producer Brian Grazer and a talk on building a successful business with Alinea co-owner Nick Kokonas, not to mention countless events and activations across the city. (October 17-23)
An arty, limited-edition NSFW photo journal focusing on the voluptous Alex Hanson. Yes. (Out now)
The Field Museum’s fall marquee exhibition is all about the history of tattoos, and will feature over 170 objects related to the ancient art of putting ink to skin. You’ll wanna go just to check out Thomas Edison’s patent for the “puncturing pen,” a nineteenth-century electric pen widely known now as the predecessor to the modern tattoo pen. (Opens October 21)
WATCH: The Accountant
A “forensic accountant” (Ben Affleck) who’s made his career working with money launderers, terrorists and assassins goes legit and uncovers financial chicanery at a robotics company. Math and gunplay ensue. The twist (Affleck’s character is autistic) and A-plus supporting cast (Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons) bode well for this unusual fall thriller. More picks in our fall movie guide. (10/14)
LISTEN: Our Spotify playlist
Over 90 minutes of hand-picked new music, including Solange, Royksopp, Dawes, Leonard Cohen, Zach de la Rocha and Justice.
PLAY: Battlefield 1
As Call of Duty heads to the future, its like-minded FPS cousin dives back into World War I. Meaning: Lots of mustard gas, bolt-action rifles and zeppelin attacks, along with 64-person multiplayer action. Take a dekko, watch for crump-holes. (10/21)
ALSO: Remember when video game box art was way better than the game itself? The Art of Atari will remind you (10/25) ... All the Mad Max movies and plenty of extras (including a black and white take on Fury Road) come together on the Mad Max High Octane Anthology Collection (10/25) ... Stashimi is a cool app for obsessively following your favorite musicians (out now) ... A telepathic, disfigured Backgammon champ roams the world in Jonathan Lethem’s eccentric new tome A Gambler’s Anatomy (10/18) ... Funnyman Joel McHale (Community, The Soup) gives “get rich gradually” tips in his autobiography Thanks For the Money (10/25), which has a rather insanely great promo trailer ... Werner Herzog + volcanoes = works for us. Catch his Netflix doc Into the Inferno (10/28) ... The true scares this Halloween arrive via the small screen: most notably, the “creepypasta”-inspired Channel Zero (10/11) and the Aussie serial killer drama Wolf Creek (10/14)