"The city is missing a very important point about itself,” says Ed McDevitt, who studied literature way back when and now serves as the executive director of Public Art Chicago, a fledgling nonprofit with a lofty mission: to showcase the treasure trove of creative masterpieces scattered throughout Chicago. McDevitt and his team of ten volunteers have spent the past four years cataloguing pieces and developing the free Public Art Chicago app, which they plan to release next month.
Won't the developmental years she spent at Lyric Opera's Ryan Opera Center (2007-'10) allow us a few boasting rights?
It was clear from the first time Lyric put her on a Chicago stage that Wagner has that rarity, a voice that's not just excellent but—in its power and unique timbre—actually thrilling over most of its range.
Next week Closed Sessions will release A-Villa's debut, several years after the producer made the first beat for what would eventually become Carry on Tradition. A-Villa's been working steadily on it since the spring of 2010, which is when, among other things, he won his first beat battle—Fresh Produce, hosted by the aforementioned Halsted. A boatload of additional rappers jumped onboard A-Villa's project through the years—including Killer Mike, Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, Big K.R.I.T., Inspectah Deck, and AZ—and the producer crafted these songs while juggling his day job as a bank vice president and life as a new father. As the release of Carry on Tradition, the end result of A-Villa's lifelong dream, appeared on the horizon I spoke with the beat maker about his inspirations, collaborating with MCs over e-mail, and wearing several different hats (and, on some days, half a suit and a hoodie).
Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.
In last week's In Rotation Not Normal Tapes honcho Ralph Rivera threw out some high praise for Olympia punk band Vexx, calling them "one of my favorites currently going, hyperbole notwithstanding." No doubt such intense feelings deserve an additional nod, in the form of a 12 O'Clock Track. Today's is "Clairvoyant" from the band's self-titled LP that came out earlier this year. Reminiscent of an unhinged Wipers track, the blaring, dark ripper is led by the all-out screech of Maryjane Dunphe as the nonstop guitar squeals and licks swirl around her like machetes sucked up into a tornado funnel. It's raw to the bone and devoid of any low-end, exactly how it should sound.
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Mark Robertson co-owns the GLBT sports bar Crew Bar & Grill in Uptown, and SoFo Tap in Andersonville. But he grew up on a farm, and dreamed of having a place in the city that better reflected where food really comes from in the midwest. Chef Diana Davida-Boldin was part of a restaurant group in D.C. that included a hipster taqueria, but despite her Mexican-American heritage, she mainly made American and continental food. But when she saw Robertson's ad for a chef for a modern, farm-to-table Mexican restaurant, she thought, "I love Mexican food, I should totally cook it. This is what I was meant to do."
And that's why she'll be cooking a Day of the Dead-themed Mexican menu tonight in the last of a series of preview dinners for Cantina de la Granja, opening in Andersonville in March. (You can get more information and tickets here.) The dinners have utilized locally grown goods, and all proceeds have gone to food-focused nonprofits (the Green City Market in tonight's case), as Cantina de la Granja seeks to establish relationships with local suppliers and farmers.