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The Chicago Underground Film Festival kicks off tonight with Usama Alshaibi's Nice Bombs, a personal documentary about a trip to his Iraqi homeland following the U.S. invasion. But things really get started Friday, and there's a lot of musical content among the offerings--a superb Monks documentary as well as works on techno, Sympathy for the Record Industry honcho Long Gone John, and the Danielson Famile. (Check out the Reader's complete guide to the fest.) On Sunday there's a screening of Weird Paul: A Lo-Fidelity Documentary about the nerdy Pittsburgh indie rocker; he's coming to town for the event and then playing a show later than night at the Empty Bottle with M.O.T.O. and Gary Burger of the Monks, who'll be backed by the Goblins.
Saturday's program, called "From the Mountains to the Prairies," includes a music video by Magnolia Electric Co., while Monday's "Odd Balls" program will feature the world premiere of Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players: Off & On Broadway--a doc about the goofy family troupe that writes fantastical songs about slides they find in thrift stores. Saturday's program, "We Are Not Laughing With You, We're Laughing At You," includes a short video made by Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc, Make Believe) called A Lover's Discourse.