This year’s official poster, designed by Johnny Sampson, takes the It’s Alive! theme into horror-flick territory, featuring the likes of Frankenstein, the Mummy, and Chicago’s own beloved Svengoolie having a read. The first 150 people to pre-register receive a limited-edition poster — just one more piece of great swag at an event brimming with it. (See Sampson’s gig-poster work here — some of the best in a city that’s never been a slouch in that department.)
David Berman (ex-Silver Jews) released his first collection of poetry, Actual Air (Open City Books), back in 1999. Ten years later, shortly after Berman officially retired from music, Poetry magazine writer Cathy Park Hong rightfully called the former Drag City artist “a good gateway drug for that stubborn student who hates poetry.” Berman is scheduled to read Friday at 8pm.
Okay, so we admit that any link between print and White Mystery seems pretty tenuous. When Alex White is involved, who cares? The first lady of Chicago garage rock, White released a couple of memorable soul-punk albums mid-decade for In the Red. She then recruited brother Francis on drums and formed the even rougher, stripped down duo White Mystery. The pair gigs around Chicago often; but the mix of Keith Moon-style pummeling and Exene-worthy, blastoff-engine pipes (tossed around wildly as their curly red mops) only gets better with more face time. They’re scheduled to play at 9pm on Friday night.
The participants and goings-on at Printers’ Ball run deeper still. Check out the Poetry Foundation for a full list of features, contributors, and pre- and post-event happenings.