Who the fuck is Bibi Merhdad? Last of My Species II: The Perilous Songs of Bibi Merhdad is the nightly culmination of the Joyous Outdoor Event, the multiday spectacle/festival spearheaded by Redmoon Theater this weekend at South Belmont Harbor. Like most Redmoon productions, this promises to be a doozy: puppetry, whacked-out costumes, inflatable architecture, etc, plus bands programmed by Metro, including Ssion, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, My Gold Mask, and more. But what about Bibi, the "aggressively poetic songstress" at the heart of it all? A quick look at the photos on her Facebook page has Gossip Wolf convinced that she is none other than enigmatic, ivory-tickling Chicago pop chanteuse Azita. See Performing Arts for more details on the event.
Dennis Dread was probably just like the hesher kid you knew in high school who drew Iron Maiden album art on his Trapper Keeper all day instead of paying attention in class. Based in Portland, Oregon, he's best known for the wicked ballpoint-pen album art he's drawn for metal bands like Darkthrone, Autopsy, and Abscess. Since 1998, Dread has also helmed Destroying Angels, a zine dedicated to exposing underground artists inclined toward gore, sci-fi, comics, and other metal-friendly art avenues; the newest issue includes articles about the late Frank Frazetta and underground 60s and 70s comix artist Jim Osborne. To celebrate its release, Dread is hosting a contest on his blog (dennisdread.blogspot.com, deadline September 30) for artists to reimagine the cover art of the Subhumans' anarcho-punk classic The Day the Country Died. The winner gets a back issue of Destroying Angels signed by Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman of Slayer.
Neko Case and My Gold Mask manager/publicist Neko Case/Kelly Hogan/My Gold Mask manager Amy Lombardi is leaving town this month, decamping for the warmer climes of Austin, Texas.
Nick Butcher and former Reader staffer Nadine Nakanishi are the Roscoe Village screen-printing team Sonnenzimmer, and they're behind some of the most eye-catching gig posters in town. Online music retailers Insound recently asked the duo to whip up a series of posters and T-shirts celebrating ten stalwart indie bands, including Liars, Beach House, and Girls. While Insound is selling the posters and shirts individually, Sonnenzimmer is offering just the posters in a fancy-pants super-limited-edition box set. Each of ten available includes a unique test print, a carrier box, and every poster signed and numbered by both artists. A set will run you $375 at sonnenzimmer.com.
Local Cable Access Channel 19 program Chic-a-Go-Go is the only dance show on earth cohosted by a rat puppet. Ratso is like Don Cornelius . . . except for the lame jokes, fondness for Dumpster diving, and skinhead fashion sense. Seeing him, his eternally sunny cohost Miss Mia, and their idiosyncratic mix of costumed adult weirdos and small children shamelessly boogieing away can be a life-changing experience for the most jaded of TV viewers; attending a taping is even better. This Friday, the gang will be filming near Randolph and Michigan at the Target Family Fun Tent at Millennium Park from 1-2 PM. Miss Mia's rock band Tiny Bones will perform live. For more information about this and future tapings, see roctober.com/chicagogo.
In the October issue of metal magazine Decibel, Chris Connelly (most recently of semilocal all-star band The High Confessions) was given an unlabeled CD and asked to review the tracks. One of them was by Chicago sax-metallers Yakuza, and Connelly was bluntly unimpressed, though he went on to (dis)qualify his opinion: "In all fairness, it's for someone 30 years my junior. My midlife crisis has already been claimed by Bay City Rollers albums and posters of Little Jimmy Osmond on my bedroom wall."