Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dope Tunes

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 05:58 PM

I generally like my iPods when they're freshly loaded from scratch, which means I don't have all those podcasts I won't ever get around to listening to, all those promo records I've listened to once and haven't remembered to delete, and all those safety-net albums that tend to accumulate in a "Steve Martin at the end of The Jerk" fashion. ("All I need is Either/Or. Either/Or and So Jealous and a couple of Cure records and a Cat Stevens greatest-hits collection and Figure 8.") The dozen gigabytes' worth of tunes that I tend to throw onto a new PMP in one fell swoop can usually double as a sort of snapshot of my current mood and musical obsessions, and often they follow a loose theme. For the iPod Nano I got for Xmas, that theme is something like "Krautrock and Also Songs That Sound Like the Results of an Experiment to Determine How High You Can Be and Still Make Beats."

So far that theme is treating me really well. Some examples after the jump:

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You're Invited to Ian's Party!

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 05:18 PM

In case you're still not sure what to do on New Year's Eve (and the weekend after), my friends over at Cassette Deck are throwing their annual Ian's Party in Elgin. Now in its third year, it's a four-day festival of midwest (mostly punk) bands, with shows split between Mad Maggie's and the Gasthaus. Sets at the two venues overlap slightly, which will mean a lot of running back and forth to catch the maximum amount of music—but luckily they're on the same street, just a few blocks apart. The party begins New Year's Eve and runs through Sunday, January 3; tickets are $15 per day, $10 per show, or $30 for a weekend pass (which also gets you a copy of the new Vicelords record and a silk-screened Ian's Party 2010 poster). The full schedule and all the details are here. There are more than 70 bands to choose from, but after the jump I've listed a few especially worth checking out.

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Dinner & a Show: Wednesday 12/30

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 03:43 PM

Fiery Furnaces
  • Fiery Furnaces

Show: Fiery Furnaces "I'm Going Away might be my favorite Fiery Furnaces album yet," writes Miles Raymer. "The Friedberger sibs have located the perfect balance point between their passion for noodly complication and their love for smooth-edged AOR pop, creating a strange synergy from a combination that might seem antithetical on its surface."

9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $15, 18+.

Dinner: Yoshi's Cafe "Long before the name Yoshi was inextricably linked in the public mind with Nintendo, Yoshi’s restaurant was ground zero during Chicago’s early forays into fusion cuisine, merging culinary traditions from all over the planet," writes David Hammond. "Now expanded and reportedly more 'casual,' it remains a friendly place that gets points for superb ingredients, imaginative presentation, and attentive, unobtrusive service."

3257 N. Halsted, 773-248-6160

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Village Voice Jazz Poll Winners Announced

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 02:58 PM

Vijay Iyer Trio: Historicity
  • Vijay Iyer Trio: Historicity
Historicity (ACT), the ruggedly inventive yet historically plugged-in album by the Vijay Iyer Trio, tops this year’s Village Voice Jazz Critics’ Poll. As poll marshal and writer Francis Davis writes in this week’s Voice, this year’s results shift away from the veterans who usually dominate the survey and toward younger players. You can find the top 50 albums along with winners in several subcategories (reissue, Latin jazz, debut album, and vocal) here.

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12/31 — Free Bus Rides

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 02:50 PM

To help holiday revelers greet 2010 in DWI-free style, Miller Lite is offering free double-decker bus rides on New Year's Eve from 9 PM to 1 AM. Two buses will travel through the Loop, River North, Old Town, Lincoln Park, and Wrigleyville, making the following stops:

Loop and River North: the Clark and Lake El, Merchandise Mart, Mother Hubbard's (5 W. Hubbard), and O'Callaghan's (29 W. Hubbard).
Old Town: Corcoran's Grill (1615 N. Wells).
Lincoln Park: Kincade's (950 W. Armitage), McGee's Tavern (950 W. Webster), Kendall's Pub (2263 N. Lincoln), and Victory Liquors (2610 N. Halsted).
Wrigleyville: Harry Caray's Tavern (3551 N. Sheffield), Murphy's Bleachers (3653 N. Sheffield), the Cubby Bear (1059 W. Addison), Houndstooth Saloon (3438 N. Clark), and Rebel Bar & Grill (3462 N. Clark).

More information is available at 1-800-FREE-RIDES or by texting "RIDE" to 44636.

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The Fame Monster and Feminism

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 02:29 PM

The Sexist is dyspeptic about a recent Gallup poll that determined which women Americans admire the most. I guess I am too, but I'm also sort of cynical, so I'm not especially upset. Let's break it down:

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One Percent of People Think Elin Nordegren Woods Is America's Most Admired Woman

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 02:00 PM

According to a new Gallup poll, Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in America—barely. Clinton’s runner-up, Sarah Palin, almost knocked the Secretary of State from the most-admired perch (one she’s assumed 14 times). If you think that’s sad, check out the also-rans:

The third-most-admired woman in America is Oprah Winfrey, with 8 percent; fourth on the list is Michelle Obama, with 7 percent. Makes sense so far. Next up are Condoleezza Rice and Queen Elizabeth II—each with 2 percent. (Oddly, British royalty counts: the poll is actually meant to determine the woman most admired by Americans). Then we have the one-percent group: a four-way tie between Margaret Thatcher, Maya Angelou, Angela Merkel and . . . Elin Nordegren Woods.

Let’s see: We’ve got heads of state, cultural ambassadors, high-ranking government officials, and a lady who married a douchebag. One of these things is not like the other!

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Tavi in the Trib

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 01:07 PM

Tavi Gevinson shot at the Rodarte studio during New York Fashion Week
  • Autumn de Wilde/Style Rookie
  • Tavi Gevinson shot at the Rodarte studio during New York Fashion Week
Fashion insiders have been onto local 13-year-old fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson long enough for the backlash to have started. Today the Tribune takes a look at the petite online phenom, who says she's declined offers to be on reality shows and write a book.

Are other fashion scribes jealous? Hell yeah—and count me among them. But it's clear that Gevinson iis an extraordinarily mature and talented young person who's simply following her interests in a way that happens to inspire and engage a lot of other people. If it weren't for that, her success would be truly insufferable.

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New Movie Theater Opens (Yeah, You Heard Me)

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 11:14 AM

Kerasotes Theatres, the chain that operates City North 14, Webster Place, and various north suburban venues, has opened a new, upscale multiplex at Clark and Roosevelt, the first commercial movie theater in the area since Burnham Plaza closed in 2005.

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Best of the Best-of Lists

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 10:10 AM

Fashion mags and blogs are busy churning out their best-dressed lists and polls—not just of 2009 but of the decade. Here's a quick roundup of some of the more interesting ones:

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