Tag Archives: Chicago

Otis Clay: Live at S.P.A.C.E.

otis clay
Otis Clay performs this Saturday night (January 5th, 2013) at S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston.

He’s a Chicago-bred deep soul artists I’ve profiled before on Darkjive. He’s recorded on a ton of labels (including Kayvette, Dakar, Hi, One-Der-Ful, and his own Echo imprint since his beginnings in the 1950s), but it’s his consistency that stands out.

This event is celebrating the release of his latest album, “Truth Is”.
for more info, and to buy tickets, click here


Chicago: Segregated City

ue-wells-1ue-wells-2

Kartemquin Films is collaborating with Black Cinema House to present “Chicago: Segregated City”, a screening and discussion of three of Kartemquin’s classic films about racial issues in Chicago, along with an exclusive sneak preview of 63 Boycott, their in-progress film about the 1963 boycott of Chicago Public Schools by thousands of African American parents and students.

Films featured will include:

UE/Wells (1975, 15 min.)[pictured]

Winnie Wright, Age 11 (1974, 26 min.)

Trick Bag (1974, 21 min.)
The films will screen on December 17th, 6pm at the Chicago Public Library’s Greater Grand Crossing branch at 73rd and Ellis. Filmmakers Gordon Quinn, Peter Kuttner, and other members of Kartemquin will be present for a discussion moderated by the Chicago Reader‘s Steve Bogira.

Monday, December 17 at 6pm
Chicago Public Library
Greater Grand Crossing Branch
1000 E. 73rd Street (73rd and Ellis), Chicago


Dreams in Jay-Z Minor: The Intersection of Visual Art + Excess + Lyrics

Krista Franklin, (Roc)oco, 2012

Visual Artists Amanda Williams + Krista Franklin have collaborated on “Dreams in Jay-Z Minor”, a new exhibition at Blanc Gallery in Bronzeville running October 5, 2012 – December 29, 2012.

Connected by dual recurring dreams of Jay-Z, Williams and Franklin explore the natures of upward mobility, excess, fantasy, and hip-hop luxury. In their works they utilize a variety of mediums including handformed paper, altered books, and collage.

Tonight on Reclaimed Soul, in anticipation of tomorrow’s opening, you can listen to the artists talk about their work and the Societal cravings for Fabulousness and Upward Mobility that inspired it.

We’ll also listen to loads of samples and feature other audio surprises.
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, October 5th, 2012, 6pm-9pm
Featuring Sounds by Jamal “JayToo” Jefferies

Blanc Gallery
4445 S. Martin L. King Dr.
Chicago, IL 60653
773-952-4394
www.blancchicago.com

Of course, this wouldn’t be Darkjive without a throwback Chicago hook, so without further ado:

One of Jay-Z’s most memorable collabos (that recently begat a wife and baby makes three) was his verse on Beyonce’s 2003 hit “Crazy In Love”. The song samples Chicago legends the Chi-Lites, and their single, “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)”.

Perhaps the lesson learned is that if you are “Crazy in Love” but unsure if she is “Your Woman”, maybe you ought to “Put a Ring On It”, lest she be a “Single Lady”. Jive on.

UPDATE: In case you missed the Reclaimed Soul broadcast mentioned above, below is the link to the podcast version. Also, there will be a Curator/Artist Coffee Talk on Saturday October 20th at Blanc Gallery from 2pm-4pm.


One Day I Was Walking: Soulful Gospel from the Swan Mellarks (Update!)

Just to give you some warning… Lynnell Harris (misspelled as Lindell Harris on the label) has an amazing tone and vocals that are SOOOOO bananas.  This record was recorded for tiny Valberst Records in the 70s here in Chicago at Pervis Staples’ (of the Staple Singers) Studio.

“One Day I Was Walking” has been in my head for at least two years.  Very basic track.  Very soulful delivery. Very dope guitar work. Jive on!

UPDATE: Here are the comments from the original post for more info on this record.


Sundown in K-Town: North Lawndale Documentary Festival

Sundown in K-Town Teaser from BetterBoys Foundation on Vimeo.

Better Boys Foundation (BBF) and Facets Multi-Media announce a film festival comprised of a series of social documentaries screened outside in the inner courtyard of the BBF Center at 1512 S. Pulaski Road . These groundbreaking documentaries such as The Murder of Fred Hampton (pictured at left), And This is Free, American Revolution 2, and others exemplify the role of independent, particularly documentary, filmmaking in reporting about and shaping Chicago. Discussion panels of film professionals, journalists and individuals relevant to the films will follow the screenings. Two of the films will be accompanied by shorts produced in house at BBF by FilmLAB@1512, BBF’s youth filmmaking apprenticeship. A local production company, Kartemquin Films, has generously donated two of the screenings.

I caught the first installment of this Film Festival, which is going on until July 27th. I really enjoyed the experience and the setup (a large projector screen and speakers set up outdoors inside the Better Boys Foundation’s Courtyard). Great for the community (the neighborhood that Martin Luther King, Jr. came to in 1966 to fight for open housing). Also notable is the Better Boys Foundation itself, which has been around for some 50 years and collaborated with the Black Panthers for Chicago’s edition of the Free Breakfast Program. The idea of the Program was later appropriated by the US Government for the Head Start program. Jive on.

More Info: facets.org/sundown


Listen to Streaming Archives of my Radio Show: Reclaimed Soul.

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Here in Chicago, Reclaimed Soul airs Thursdays 8-10PM (CST) on Vocalo.org 89.5fm. You can stream live at http://vocalo.org/player.

Now folks can listen anytime to radio featuring sound rich interviews and an all-vinyl playlist (courtesy of host Ayana Contreras). Reclaimed Soul is about taking old materials (records, buildings, ideas, et al) to push us all forward.

http://vocaloreclaimedsoul.tumblr.com/

click here to access the archives now!


Waxing Poetic at Dorchester Projects.

Above, a bit of video from my Artistic Residency last year with Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects, in which I wax poetic about Chicago’s own Mercury Records, Jerry Butler, and the Impressions.

I love sharing the stories behind the music I love with the general public; and was reminded of that as I embark on Hosting and Producing “Reclaimed Soul” (a weekly radio show on Vocalo.org) which premieres tomorrow night at 8pm CST. The show, of course, will feature stories as well as music. For more about Reclaimed Soul, click here.


Donald Jenkins and the Delighters (and their Basement Music Revolution)

I’m not sure what exactly is revolutionary about this record, titled “Music Revolution” and released by Donald Jenkins and the Delighters in 1975, but it sure is lovely. It’s what I like to call Basement Soul. It also reminds me of how much I miss skin tight harmonies.

A local Chicago record through and through released on tiny Black Beauty Records (64th and Maryland is the address listed on the label) this record is one of a couple that Donald and the Gang put out in the mid-seventies.

Having released a smouldering, haunting cut called “Elephant Walk” in 1962, the group never had another such hit, but did put out a smattering of quality singles. In fact, the group had roots back to the mid-1950s.

By the time “Music Revolution” came out, I imagine the group had their share of wives, babies, and day jobs. That sort of backstory behind such loveliness commands even more respect.donald jenkins

Below, for comparison’s sake, “Elephant Walk”. It’s the story of a self-proclaimed “American Boy from the South Side of Chicago” who meets and falls in love with a “Native Girl from darkest Africa”. Interesting theme, and really interesting use of echos and animal sounds. Jive on.


Early Warning: David Boykin Expanse, DJ Ayana, and the Photography of Wilbur Holmes

Surplus of Options presents another night of sounds and sights.

HEAR:

David Boykin’s Expanse
David Boykin (reeds, v)
Jim Baker (p)
Josh Abrams (b)
Marcus Evans (d)

&
DJ Ayana Contreras
laying down solid tracks throughout the night.

SEE:

The found photography of Wilbur P. Holmes. These are the personal works of an artist who freelanced for Jet Magazine. Photos are circa 1960’s-70’s.

$10 suggested donation
20% off all antiques & art
free snacks & drinks

Saturday April 21st, 8pm til 1am

Surplus of Options

3644 North Lincoln Ave.

Chicago

for more on Wilbur Holmes, click here.


Stony Island (the movie) returns to Chicago!

from siskelfilmcenter.org:

STONY ISLAND
(aka MY MAIN MAN FROM STONY ISLAND)
1978, Andrew Davis, USA, 97 min.
With Richard Davis, Edward Stoney Robinson

At the Siskel Center, 164 North State Street, Chicago

Wednesday April 4th (8pm-9:30pm), Thursday April 5th  (8:15pm-9:45pm)
“Stony Island has been the birthplace of great American music and amazing musical talent, nurturing the likes of my fifty year brother, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Kahn, Curtis Mayfield and Maurice White. I’m also a kid from the South side of Chicago . MUSIC MAKES US ALL ONE AND “STONY ISLAND ” IS A TESTAMENT TO MUSIC BEING THE WORLD’S COMMON LANGUAGE. THIS TIMELESS MOVIE IS FILLED WITH BIG-TIME HEART AND SOUL. From the Gene Barge tenor sax version of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”, a favorite of Dr. Martin Luther King, to the guitarist’s guitarist Phil Upchurch, one of my all time favorites – this flick is kicking!”
—Quincy Jones

For his first feature, Chicago native Andrew Davis (THE FUGITIVE) made the most of atmospheric neighborhood locations on Chicago’s South Side in this lively, funky, bluesy story of two dreamers pulling together a band from nothing. Multicultural before it was in fashion, and independent before there was a movement, STONY ISLAND became a breakout phenomenon. Richie, a Stony Island guitar player, and his best friend Kevin, recruit their undiscovered talent in Chicago’s dives and alleyways. A venal alderman, an insurance scam, and the state funeral of Da’ Boss are the icing on the cake, but the cake is music, with Gene “Daddy G” Barge, Larry Ball, Ronnie Barron, and more. Also includes appearances by Rae Dawn Chong and Dennis Franz, and the cinematography of Tak Fujimoto (FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF). 35mm. (BS)

Director Andrew Davis will be present at both screenings for audience discussion. He will be joined by Tamar Hoffs, Gene Barge and Susanna Hoffs on Wednesday and by Richie Davis, Tamar Hoffs and Susanna Hoffs on Thursday.

Stony Island comes to DVD April 24th, 2012.