Have you ever ended up somewhere totally unexpected and out of your comfort zone, but then it turns out to be the greatest experience of your young, impressionable life? For me, that somewhere was East Room in Logan Square on Soft Leather night, which is a monthly pansexual “dress to sweat” (their words, not mine, though I wish I could take credit for it) dance party of sorts. Going to the event was unintentional; seeing a guy being walked up to the bar on a leash was just a bonus.
All the photos in this post are from the Soft Leather Facebook page. Click it. Like it. Meet me there next month. You won’t regret it.
The night started innocently enough: A friend’s Saturday night going-away party – more like a bar crawl, if we’re being honest – at some fine PBR-laden establishments. I was dressed in standard six-months-pregnant gal attire, meaning I rocked Old Navy maternity head to toe, save for some fake leather pants I thought would be hip enough for the Logan Square crew and, fittingly enough, ended up being suitable for an event called Soft Leather.
So, OK. Back to the good stuff. East Room. I’ve got to admit, I was skeptical of this place at first, especially considering the directions included turning down a dark side street at the restaurant-turned-tattoo-shop, where a guy with a skull and crossbones tattooed on his forehead will check IDs under a red lightbulb. But when it came down to it, I much preferred checking out whatever lurked behind East Room’s door than standing in the miles-long line at Slippery Slope (fun fact: you can see SS’s one-in-one-out action from inside East Room and feel really good about your decision).
Upon passing beneath the red light and entering East Room, we walked upstairs and were immediately confronted with a way chill haunted house vibe and an empty dance floor calling out our names. The back hallway and bathrooms were outfitted with more red lights, which made it nice and creepy in the best way possible. I Snapchatted at least five photos in the bathroom mirror, obviously.
The scantily-clad DJs were spinning these tracks that none of us knew and there was this jumpy animated video projected on the wall, and the whole thing was just pure gold. I was out of my mind with happiness, and the night was still young.
Naturally, we took over the dance floor. So did some girls wearing mesh dresses with nothing underneath. A DANCE-OFF! It was like Step Up, but with fewer clothes.
I noticed men wearing waist-cinchers and a woman wrapped head to toe in duct tape, and didn’t think much of it … UNTIL EAST ROOM SUDDENLY GOT SUPER CROWDED. Before I knew it, the cash-only bar was four fabulously dressed people deep and the dance floor was bouncing with stomping platform shoes and jumping people wearing mesh outfits that had me second-guessing my denim jacket and maternity attire.
And such is Soft Leather, but it was NOT a mistake. It was the most fun. My only regret is leaving to go to The Owl and being bored because it could never compare to the things we’d just seen and the dance moves we’d just invented. We already can’t wait to go back … sans denim jacket and hopefully drinking something other than water.
What fetish-themed dance parties have YOU frequented lately? Accident or not … there’s no judgment here, friends.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am SO THANKFUL this week is over. I don’t know if it was the return of the cold weather or what, but weekend seemed to take three times as long to get here.
But enough of the small talk. Are YOU ready for a Friday Five? Let’s go LEGGO.
When James and I were on Oahu, we saw ramen shop lines that wrapped around the block. But having never had ramen (other than microwavable variety, of course), we didn’t see what the big deal was. Noodles and broth? Gimme a break. And gimme a burger.
Enter Furious Spoon, one of Milwaukee Avenue’s newest establishments, which prides itself on serving traditional ramen at affordable prices. Wanting to keep up with the trends, James and I decided to wait in line and give it a whirl, and we’ve yet to stop thinking about HOW FREAKING GOOD IT WAS.
Furious Spoon location and hours:
1571 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park
- Monday-Thursday, Sunday: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
- No reservations, no carry-out. Big-ass soup spoons.
Have you guys heard about Jimmy Whispers? Nah? It’s cool, I hadn’t either until my friend told me he was the NEXT BIG THING (her emphasis, not mine) and informed me of his free record release at Empty Bottle next Tuesday. Jimmy Whispers is also playing at Pitchfork this year, and you guys know what kind of nutcase I am about that shit.
Step 1: Listen to his new album in its entirety on Spin.com.
Step 2: If you like what you hear, RSVP for the free show at Empty Bottle next Tuesday.
Step 3: Go to Leghorn Chicken before the show and OMG SO GOOD. DROOL.
In the mood for music? Head to Mother’s tonight at 9 p.m. to see Saved by the Belvedere, a TV THEME COVER BAND. I KNOW. Totally worth having to venture out to the Viagra Triangle, honestly.
Or, are you in the mood for hair braids and tarot cards? Get ‘yer booty over to Lost Girls Vintage in Pilsen this Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. for a braid bar, tarot card readings, Moroccan-Inspired cocktails, and the launch of the Lost Girls Vintage Moroccan Collection.
There are some bloggers you just want to hug when you (finally!) meet them in real life, and I did just that to Lauren and Claire of Foxtail + Moss at an event last night. They were total peaches, and I’m probably going to try and force them to be my IRL friends outside the blogosphere. Weird?
Also, they feature really, really amazing projects on their blog, including a series of astrology stitch posters. I’m partial to Pisces for obvious reasons.
Seriously, check these gals out!
POTPOURRI (AKA THE RANDOM-ASS CATEGORY, NOT THE DRIED FLOWER VARIETY)
My beloved cat, Cha Cha, is starting her diet next week – she just doesn’t know it yet.
Here she is snoozin’ in the kitchen, her squishy body hanging off the cart. Also yes, this is a post spoiler, because I’m going to tell you all how to make a plate wall without spending a billion dollars on those hideous plate-hangers. GET YOUR VINTAGE CHINA READY.
What are you guys doing this weekend, in Chicago and beyond? Any good weather to look forward to?
The Pitchfork Music Festival holds a very special place in my heart, which you guys already know because I’ve yammered on about it a billion times. But. BUT. I have to dedicate another post to it because three-day passes are finally on sale!
The Pitchfork Music Festival will celebrate 10 years this summer, returning to Chicago’s Union Park on July 17-19.
Three-day passes are available now for $150 while supplies last. This year, we’re offering the first initial batch of fans who purchase three-day passes a complimentary one year’s subscription to The Pitchfork Review (a $49.99 value). Pitchfork Music Festival three-day passes always sell out very quickly, so act fast and get yours here!
Single-day tickets for Friday, July 17, Saturday, July 18, and Sunday, July 19 are available now as well, for $65 per day.
The lineup will be announced soon. Stay tuned!
I. CANNOT. WAIT. There are a lot of acts I’d love to see – Run the Jewels, D’Angelo, Sufjan Stevens (he announced his tour yesterday!), Florence + the Machine, anyone from the A$AP Mob, Vince Staples, the list goes on – so I’m on pins and needles waiting for the lineup announcement.
So in the meantime, here’s a video of Run the Jewels going so, so hard in Paris on their Run the Jewels 2 tour. Just a warning, this is rap. There is drinking. There is swearing. There is dancing and incredible banter that makes my heart swell for these guys. If you are offended by words or happiness, maybe don’t click play.
(I know I talk about these guys a lot – probably too much, really – but they are so deserving. You might have seen Killer Mike talk about Ferguson on CNN, the duo give teenage girls really important advice for Rookie, or heard about their goofy “Meow the Jewels” charity project feat. Lil Bub, but let it also be known that “Run the Jewels 2″ was named No. 1 album of 2014 by Pitchfork and the No. 1 hip-hop album of 2014 by Rolling Stone. Killer Mike and El-P are everything right now.)
(And yes, despite not having a visible play button, this is a video. Just click on it somewhere in the middle.)
Annnnd it’s Tuesday. We got enough snow to make it entirely too easy to hibernate and only leave the house when absolutely necessary, so that’s exactly what I’m doing. Anybody have productive days ahead of them?