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Best Band T-Shirt 

Loose Dudes

The punks in Loose Dudes are heirs to a proud brainlessness that goes all the way back to the Ramones, the original aggressive troglodytes in a scene overrun with art-school twerps. My roommate, Gossip Wolf scribe J.R. Nelson, recently returned to our place after a Loose Dudes gig with a fierce newfound love for the group, their Permanent Sex Vacation cassette, and one of the most perfectly ugly T-shirts I have ever seen. On the front is a line drawing of a lady in a thong bathing suit who might be considered 80s sexy if her face wasn’t rendered in such a jacked-up fashion. Next to that are the words “Loose Dudes,” spelled out vertically so that they run right over over the shirt’s original graphic: the logo of the bar beloved of every jock who’s ever been on spring break, Señor Frog’s. On the back: Señor Frog himself offering the viewer a beer with his own picture on the label. The effect—a truce between two warring social groups based on nosediving to the lowest of lowbrow aesthetics—is stunning, and pretty much eliminates the need to ask whether it’s genius disguised as idiocy or the other way around.

Critics' Picks

Best Dance Party

Chances Dances continue

Best Fashion Watching

School of the Art Institute, Columbia College continue

Best New Musical Group

Bin Laden Blowin' Up continue

Best Michael Jackson Cover

"Billie Jean" by Robbie Fulks continue

Best Mustache in a Local Band

Stavros "Steve" Giannopoulos of the Atlas Moth continue

Best Lawn Seat at Ravinia

Green Bay & Lake Cook 847-266-5100
The little hill that faces the main entrance to the Ravinia pavilion, Highland Park, Illinois continue

Best Microscene

No Coast Collective continue

Best Free Movie Series

Cinema/Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center continue

Best Moonlighting Witch

Jackie Hoffman in Whining in the Windy City: Holiday Edition continue

Best Theatrical Hat Trick

Chris Sullivan in The Hairy Ape, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and The Illusion continue

Best New Play

Agon Trilogy continue

Best New Theatrical Form

One Thing, and Everything Else continue

Best Theater History Collection

Chicago Theater Collection at the Harold Washington Library Center continue

Best Puppeteer

Michael Montenegro continue

Best Place to See a Seven-Man Pyramid Cross the High Wire

Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale continue

Best Variety Show

Impress These Apes continue

Best Improv Group

Cook County Social Club continue

Best Stand-up Comedian

A tie between Beth Stelling and Junior Stopka continue

Best Sketch Show

The Best Church of God continue

Best Commentary on Modern Technology by a Choreographer

Julia Rhoads at Lucky Plush Productions continue

Best Under­appreciated Chicago Novel

Bertram Cope's Year by Henry Blake Fuller continue
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)