Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Party Time Excellent

Busy October had me busy, but much happened that will hopefully make it to the blog at some point. What could not wait though is our Chicagoist ten-year anniversary party! Tomorrow night at Emporium! This party has everything: hosted bar, raffle prizes that benefit a place to help kids write good, food trucks, live music, recorded music, and some of the best darn writer people in town.

Be there!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cultural Diversity

From a punk rock music festival to the ballet to a museum exhibit about a starman, it's been quite a week.

Kind of sucks. Would recommend. Appearing in Denver this weekend. Pictures to come.

The Joffrey Ballet's current program. Hurry and go though because this one only lasts through the weekend. Stick around for the last piece, it's a doozy. I wrote about it for Chicagoist.

And Finally: DAVID BOWIE IS...
I got to attend the press preview at the Museum of Contemporary Art this morning. There were Aladdin Sane cookies. The exhibit opens next Tuesday aka David Bowie Day. Also recommend.

Friday, September 5, 2014

"Can We Talk?"

Comedienne Joan Rivers passed away at the age of 81 yesterday. Oh what, you think 81 is old? Why should we be surprised? As Andy Cohen said on the Today Show this morning, "You don't hear people talking about how shocked they are about an 81-year-old passing away, but that's how much of a relevant life force she was to so many generations."

Over the last few years, I made her show Fashion Police a regular part of my week. As a girl who likes fashion but isn't wrapped up in the scene, I could devour the commentary of Joan, Giuliana, Kelly and George when I couldn't stand listening to other fashion "experts." Joan's jokes were crude and just wrong most of the time, but I was always laughing out loud. She could deliver a joke that no one else could get away with. (Heck, I've been saying for years that I would love to be a writer for the show, maybe I should take some comedy writing classes!)

Many Friday nights I stay in, mostly because there is an early Saturday morning yoga class that I like to go to, but also because Fashion Police was on, and since it wasn't on On Demand (no, we don't have DVR like the rest of you), I had to watch it in real time! And let's be honest, the events and jokes are timely, so you gotta stay current! And those awards show specials! In fact her last episode was an epic dual Emmys and MTV VMAs special last Tuesday, just two days before she went into cardiac arrest.

I remember liking Joan a lot when I was a kid, which I thought was really weird since her act was not exactly kid friendly. But there was just something about her, maybe I thought her voice was funny. I must have watched her daytime talk show when I was home from school over the summer. I think it was on before or after the Win, Lose or Draw game show because I associate them together... does anyone else remember that?! The more I learned about her over time, the more I liked her. Her act may have been cutting and nasty, but she seemed to be a really kind person in life.

Last night, instead of watching commentary of everyone crying, I decided that I wanted to laugh--her daughter, Melissa, even said, "My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."--so the fiance and I watched her stand-up special, Don't Start With Me instead.

I think I've gone on long enough, so let's salute one last time, Joan Rangers. To the lady herself--fabulous, confident, trailblazer--may you rest in peace, and where ever you are, make em laugh.

View image on Twitter

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Frequent Flyer Safety

Still in the Lollapalooza spirit, here's a video of Chromeo (who played on Sunday) lending their talents to an airline safety video.


Me in front of the good 'ol inflatable Lolla sign.

So...guess who ended up going to Lollapalooza last weekend. That's right, me. The ten year streak is alive! I just couldn't stay away. Is it FOMO? Maybe a little, but I really wanted to see live music in an environment that I feel comfortable in, and mentally let go for a couple of days. This year I realized that for a lot of people there, especially the young ones, Lollapalooza is something for them to experience, while for me, it's a place I can go to feel at home in my own city. I've spent most of my adult life in this city, and this festival has been an annual celebration for every year that I've been here.

I joined the Chicagoist-team on Lolla coverage and this year we did something a little different. It was a time-stamped write-up of band reviews and general festival experience. It ended up being a really cool post that provides different perspectives and let a little bit of each person's personality and approach to the festival come through. Nice job, team!

Read about Friday here, Saturday here and Sunday here. Oh yeah, I also got to see Spoon at Metro on Friday!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Missing Lolla?

Moving along and Lollapalooza is upon us. This is the first time in the ten years that the fest been in Chicago that I'm not going, and it feels kind of weird. I have mixed feelings about not going. The lineup isn't all that great, especially compared to past years (and it sold out before any bands were even announced!), and I'll be going to some parties and concerts in the Lolla vein anyway, but there's something about being in that atmosphere, watching a band's set outside... I'm going to miss it.

BUT, Riot Fest's lineup is much more amazing and it's just over a month away! I'll look forward to that!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fest Surprises

Grimes by Jessica Mlinaric
It was more play than work for me this weekend since I wasn't officially covering Pitchfork Music Festival, but that also meant getting to stumble onto some great bands. Usually when I cover a fest, I do my diligence and listen to and study up on every musical act. Sure I was adequately prepared and discovering new music, but I really missed the experience of stumbling on a band in a live setting. With the atmosphere and mood of an outdoor festival, it almost feels like you won something by walking by at the right time.

I was excited to have some of those experiences this weekend, especially since I wasn’t as familiar with the lineup as in years past. Here are some of the bands that caught my attention:

Schoolboy Q
Heavy hooks, melody and obviously rhythm had this hip-hop artist’s debut record at the top of the Billboard 200.

She’s a babe, and that was a high-energy dance party.

Wild Beasts
Rich sound that’s mellow enough for me to listen to at the office. 

Cloud Nothings
This one’s kind of old for me. I wrote about his debut back in 2010, but didn’t follow much after that. This was my first time seeing him live, and the kid’s got chops. Even after listening to all of their albums, I still got more of an impression of how wide his influences are in a live setting.

Even though I wasn’t officially covering the fest, I did sign up to review Jon Hopkins’ set for Chicagoist. Somebody told me a long time ago to check him out, and I was pleasantly surprised to see an electronic dance set that wasn’t one dumb bass drop after another.

Not a discovery, but a highlight: After releasing a super mellow Sea Change-esque album, a lot of us expected Beck’s set to be a snooze, but he proved us all wrong with one hit after another. I had seen him once before a few years ago at the Aragon, but this set was more memorable for me. Maybe it’s that outdoor, closing a festival feeling, but one thing is still for sure: I’m still kinda pissed at my parents for not letting me go see him at Pointfest back in ‘97.