The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Ken Vandermark on the Job in Musician

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 21, 2007 2:55PM

Back in January we told you a little about Chicago filmmaker Daniel Kraus' ambitious documentary series, WORK. The first film in the series, Sheriff, will be released on DVD by Facets in October; and Musician has its premier this Friday night at the Siskel. It profiles Ken Vandermark, who, now that James Brown is dead, is certainly in the running for the title of Hardest Working Man in Show Business. The awesomely dedicated reed man played at Pitchfork this summer and just wrapped up a week-long "Vander-fest" at the Velvet Lounge.

2007_8musician.jpg So how was Kraus able to snag Vandermark for a rare solo set for Friday's premier?

"It was a one in a million chance," Kraus told us. "The only week KV had free this fall was the same week the premiere was set ... I guess I'm charmed."

We've been to many film lectures at the Siskel (and a wonderful appearance by 'Tippi' Hedren) but it's pretty darn unusual to have a film along with a mini-concert. For that reason alone we recommend that if you're interested you splurge for advanced tickets (which you can buy online or in person at the box office anytime before the show).

Musician moves on to New York for a week-long run at the Pioneer Theatre in early September and will also be released on DVD next year. Kraus is already working on the next film in the series, Truck Driver. Although it would probably violate his strict, Wiseman-influenced aesthetic, we're holding out hopes that it'll include "Convoy" on the soundtrack.

Image by Juan-Carlos Hernandez