Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Norwegian reedist Frode Gjerstad returns to Chicago tonight

Posted By on 08.31.11 at 02:52 PM

Paal Nilssen-Love and Frode Gjerstad
  • Paal Nilssen-Love and Frode Gjerstad
Veteran Norwegian free-jazz reedist Frode Gjerstad returns to Chicago with a gig this evening at the Hideout. As usual he's joined by explosive drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, an even more frequent visitor to our city. Rounding out the lineup is young bassist Jon Rune, a recent addition to the band (who replaced ten-year vet Øyvind Stursund back in April) who's reportedly a monster on his instrument.

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Tribune dropping tabloid edition

Posted By on 08.31.11 at 01:30 PM

This is the last week the Tribune will be sold on newsstands as a tabloid. An experiment begun in January 2009 — the assumption of this blogger being that the Tribune was testing the waters and eventually would go all in as a tab — ends Friday.

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Chicago media owns the New Yorker caption contest

Posted By on 08.31.11 at 12:42 PM

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  • mecredis
Earlier this spring it was Roger Ebert, fulfilling a long-held dream by winning the New Yorker caption contest. (Ebert, who submitted 107 captions before winning, had written two years earlier, "I have done more writing for free for the New Yorker in the last five years than for anybody in the previous 40 years.") Now another Chicago scribe is a contender—Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal, whose submission (a good one!) can be seen here. If this is going to become another contest between local media institutions, I hope it goes better for us than the softball league.

Related: think it's hard getting a caption in the New Yorker? Try a cartoon.

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Creatures of the Wind continues to turn heads

Posted By on 08.31.11 at 10:37 AM

A fall/winter 2011 look from Creatures of the Wind
  • creaturesofthewind.com
  • A fall/winter 2011 look from Creatures of the Wind
Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters, the duo behind local women's clothing line Creatures of the Wind, have stated they don't like calling themselves "Chicago designers," and it appears they have a point: In a short feature the September issue of Vogue on their ascent to fame and success (they are also finalists for the prestigious and extremely high-profile 2011 Council of Fashion Designers America (CFDA)/Vogue Fashion Fund award), they quote a buyer who told them, "When I heard you were from Chicago I almost walked out." Luckily the award panel didn't have such prejudices.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Foreclosure plan passes council committee—but where's the money for it?

Posted By on 08.30.11 at 07:39 PM

The city took another small step in its attempt to tackle the ongoing foreclosure crisis today.

The City Council's housing committee signed off on the latest city plan to implement the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, but not before aldermen voiced a few frustrations about the dwindling amount of federal funds coming the city's way—less than $16 million this year to deal with thousands of foreclosed properties.

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New City Council, just about the same as the old City Council

Posted By on 08.30.11 at 06:43 PM

Anyone wanting a glimpse of how the Chicago City Council works should have taken in this morning’s meeting of its Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs, and Recreation—all two minutes of it.

Twenty-five items were on the meeting agenda, all of them involving permits, licenses, and fee waivers for events such as the Taste of North Lawndale Back to School Family Peace Fest, the Eckhart Park Run to Fun 5k, and the St. Jerome’s Croatian Fest.

Under current city law, each of these matters requires a separate ordinance that the City Council must pass before it goes into effect. Aldermen of the wards hosting the events typically introduce the legislation and their colleagues sign off.

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Books I won't review, part two

Posted By on 08.30.11 at 06:19 PM

"A brutal and refreshingly honest look at friendship . . . "

Gary Bloze, owner, Illinois Pet Cemetery

Posted By on 08.30.11 at 05:21 PM

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First-person accounts from off the beaten track, as told to Anne Ford

"Illinois Pet Cemetery is the oldest pet cemetery. It's a family-run business, started in 1926 by my grandfather. He got the idea during the first world war, when he saw one in France. He got killed in a car accident in 1930, two weeks before my father was born, while he was out selling a headstone. The steering wheel went through his chest. At the time of his death, he had a pet ambulance service and a pet newspaper, the Pet Lover's Review. He also sold pet insurance.

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Nice parking job

Posted By on 08.30.11 at 04:36 PM

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Spotted this afternoon on Randolph just east of Michigan Avenue. I'm sure the cop had his reasons for parking his bike directly across the right-turn lane, but they weren't apparent—either to me or to the line of cars backed up on Randolph, trying to get around the blocked lane. That's one benefit of wearing a police uniform, I guess. If anyone else put a bike there it would have been run over in ten seconds flat, but I didn't hear so much as a peep from any of the drivers.

Maybe he misinterpreted the news that Chicago recently launched on-street bike parking.

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New puzzles from Reader crossword maven Ben Tausig

Posted By on 08.30.11 at 04:33 PM

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When it turned 60, the honchos behind the Penguin Classics literary series celebrated the occasion with some high-concept art thing: five noted designers were invited to remake the covers of their favorite volumes (Manolo Blahnik on Gustave Flaubert!), which each received a limited printing of 1,000. This year, as the series turns 65, the party favor is more plebeian: Penguin persuaded crossword constructor Ben Tausig, who writes the Reader's (and other alt weeklies') excellent Inkwell puzzle, to edit The Penguin Classics Crossword Puzzles, which went on sale today. The 75 puzzles it contains are themed according to books that have appeared in the series—so expect references to Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Greek mythology, and a lot of William Shakespeare, whose work Penguin has reprinted most often. Will Shortz—the other crossword guy—calls it ""fresh, sharp, and modern—an all-round joy." Huzzah!

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