Bonafide legends on the New York music scene, Village Voice music writer Greg Tate and monster bassist Jared Michael Nickerson came together in 1999 to form Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, a sprawling and ever-changing group of musicians who cut a unique path through soul, jazz, hip-hop, rock, and avant-garde sounds. As Arkestra conductor Tate puts it, “Burnt Sugar got the nerve to claim Sly Stone, Morton Feldman, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix and Jean Luc Ponty as progenitors.”
A must-see if the enesemble is playing when you visit the Big Apple, Chicago is lucky to be hosting some of its key members (including Nickerson, drummer Matsu, and TV on the Radio and Nick Waterhouse sax player Paula Henderson) on Thursday, May 1 via the “eight-piece-renegade-funk-&-roll splinter-cell pop group” Rebellum, which is celebrating a new release called The Darknuss. The band will play two sets at 9 and 11 p.m. at Constellation, 3111 N. Western. The cover is $12, and more info can be found here.
Also kicking off on May Day and running through Sunday: the sixth annual, more-ambitious-every-year Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, a.k.a. CIMMFest, which has a long (long) list of scheduled activities here (the PDF runs to 48 pages). A quick look at some of the musical highlights:
- Venerable Chicago art-rockers Califone will live score the world premier of the film Water and Power at 1st Ward (2033 W. North) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
- The film A Life in the Death of Joe Meek will tell the story of the mysterious British producer when it screens at 9:15 p.m. at Logan Theatre 1 (2646 N. Milwaukee), while the instrumental duo Gaspra celebrates his music at 8 p.m. in the theater’s lounge.
- Escort, which proclaims itself “Brooklyn’s finest disco orchestra,” will play the Concord Music Hall (2047 N. Milwaukee) at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
- Christmas music junkie Mitchell Kezin explores the strange world of esoteric holiday music fans in his film Jingle Bell Rocks!, with Sound Opinions Xmas music guru Andy Cirzan stealing the show. The movie screens at 3 p.m. Saturday at Logan Theatre 1.
- Gorman Bechard follows up his 2011 love letter to the Replacements, Color Me Obsessed, with Every Everything: The Life, Music, & Times of Grant Hart, chronicling the ups and downs of the great Hüsker Dü drummer, singer, and songwriter. It screens at 4:45 p.m. Saturday at Logan Theatre 3.
- Timeless Italian psychedelic/progressive rockers Golbim take the stage once more at Metro, 3730 N. Clark, to provide the live score to Dario Argento’s cult-favorite horror film Suspiria at 8 p.m. Saturday.
- And Chicago’s beloved Bloodshot Records holds its 20th Anniversary Showcase on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Logan Square Auditorium (2359 N. Kedzie) with performances by Murder By Death, Andre Williams, and Danny Black and Nora O'Connor.