When: Fri., July 27, 10 p.m. 2012
JUKE FEST Chicago's black dance-music scene did just fine for years with practically nobody paying attention to it outside of the city's south and west sides, and it probably would've kept on just fine even if juke and footwork music had never caught on anywhere else. But lately they've exploded globally, and I imagine that in a fair number of European cities, a show like Juke Fest—which brings together several innovators in both genres—would have to happen in a venue much larger than Smart Bar. DJ Gant-Man is among the principal architects of the juke sound, as well as one of its most charismatic purveyors. DJs Rashad and Spinn occupy a similar position in the footwork scene, and together they wowed a huge, voracious crowd at Barcelona's Sonar festival in June. Traxman is perhaps the most pop-minded yet sonically ambitious producer in footwork—his recent album Da Mind of Traxman (Planet Mu), which the Reader's Tal Rosenberg declared the Best Footwork Album of All Time in last month's Best of Chicago issue, turns bits of Prince and AC/DC into manic rippers at 160 bpm. DJ Nehpets, on the other hand, underlines the Chicago sound's relationship to hip-hop, giving juke-style makeovers to rap club bangers. —Miles Raymer DJ Gant-Man headlines; DJ Spinn, DJ Rashad, Traxman, DJ Nephets, DJ Deenon, Bobby Skillz, and DJ Janna Rush open.
Price: $15, $10 before midnight