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Archive for October, 2006


Heidi Barker, NBC5 Street Team

In case you’ve been in a cave for the last 6 weeks- here’s a news flash:

THE CHICAGO BEARS ARE UNDEFEATED!!

So, if you’re looking for a new cool joint to watch the Bears or your favorite sports team, hit Junior’s Sports Lounge. (www.juniorschicago.com) This upscale sports bar is in the University Village area, which is booming with trendy new shops, restaurants, and boutiques. I stumbled upon Junior’s while driving through this ‘hood, and really liked the vibe of the place. It’s funky-modern with cooled-out lighting. They have plasmas everywhere for your sports viewing pleasure, plus each individual booth has its own private screen… you just ask your server to turn it to the game you want to watch.

Junior’s has the typical sports bar fare, plus a few salads and entrees you wouldn’t expect to find. But when I’m watching sports, it’s all about greasy grub, so I go for the spicy buffalo wings and fries. (Hey- you’re watching football- eat healthy during the week- but I say, get ya grub on during the game!) Sundays they have brunch, which I haven’t tried yet. They also have daily specials, like $2 brews on Tuesday and $5 martinis on Wednesdays. After the game, stick around for music- there’s a DJ spinning most weekend nights at Junior’s and live band karaoke on Sunday nights.

Junior’s is located at 724 W. Maxwell (at Halsted). Street parking can be challenging, but there’s a cheap parking garage on Maxwell one block east of Halsted.

So here’s a question for all of your out there — where’s the best place to watch the game?

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LeAnn Trotter NBC5 Street Team

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater is the bomb!! If you haven’t had a chance to catch one of their shows….you are MISSING OUT!

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Danielle Barrera, NBC5 Street Team

NBC has a show called “America’s Got Talent.” Recently, I attended the Chicago auditions, not as a potential contestant, but instead, I covered the event in my role as an intern for NBC5.com. I learned a few things about talent — unfortunately, not many people have it. Most people I met were either just okay or completely terrible. Check out some of the video that we took from the auditions.

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Brian Battle NBC5 Street Team

They could’ve named this show “The Bands With Unnecessary Names” Tour ’06. New York-cum-Philly “indie” success story Clap Your Hands Say Yeah headlined, along with Australia’s Architecture in Helsinki and Brooklyn-based Takka Takka.

Sandwiched between the two NY rock bands were the delightful Architecture in Helsinki. The eclectic group dressed the part–six members (an abridged touring lineup) took the stage looking like a mishmash of high school sterotypes… spaz, jock, hippie, Cure fan, etc, etc. Shirking the deliberately childish sounds of their first release, Fingers Crossed, AiH’s entire set was blissful, endearing and downright danceable.

Swapping vocal duties and instruments between nearly every song, the band bounced through newer material and brand-new stuff, smooshing genres and song structures as they went. The abrupt endings and mid-song tempo changes which make their albums a peculiar experience created an exhilarating live show — keeping the audience guessing… and clapping… and jumping around a bit.

The extended segue into a funk-friendly “Do the Whirlwind” got people bouncing, while the delightfully quirky Jamie Mildren (right) stole the show belting out her vocals on “Wishbone” – the hap-hap-happiest pop gem you may ever hear.

Clad in a well-loved Ryne Sandberg jersey (a move Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch has pulled in Chicago before), singer Cameron Bird delivered his so-called Love Ballad From The Outback, “Maybe You Can Owe Me” with the equal parts whimsy and sincerity.

Before it could get too cute though, Bird got back to groovin’ — hitting the drum machine and rocking out with such abandon that the instrument was knocked hard to the floor. Overall, the new stuff sounds great, one sounding an awful lot like Rusted Root (ha, in a good way) and the whole set giving off a exuberant twee-meets-Stop Making Sense rumpus. *Full Review Here*

Architecture in Helsinki – “Do The Whirlwind (Metronomy Mix)”

(Photos by Pegs. Thanks Pegs.)

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team

The South Shore Cultural Center was the place to see and be seen Saturday night. I always enjoy the chance to put on the penguin suit, so I thought it would be fun to rub shoulders with some movers and shakers, plus take some pics at the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 65th birthday party.

There was a lot of political power in the room — Jesse, Al, Blago, Daley — plus, I got to see experience the rock star aura that is . But this wasn’t about politics. It was kind of nice to see the good Reverend obviously enjoying the evening with his wife, Jacqueline.

Jackson usually provokes a strong reaction from people, either one way or the other. But walking through the various rooms that they had set up at the party with pictures detailing his decades of civil and human rights activism, you couldn’t help but be reminded of the impact he’s had. It was one night where politics and strong rhetoric took a back seat. Happy birthday Jesse.

View Party Pics

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Halloween Freak Fest

Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team

New Rule: Women must admit that Halloween is just another excuse to dress like a whore. — Bill Maher

I had planned to go to Reserve Thursday night for a fashion show and event with Kimora Lee Simmons, but after she canceled, my boy Jonesy suggested we go to Level on Rush Street. Rush Street isn’t typically my scene, but I’ve never been to this club before, so I was game. As it turns out Thursday was the Lingerie Ball at Level (I swear, I had no idea), and coupled with Halloween festivities, it didn’t take long for things to get — festive.

I guess the owners thought it would be a good idea to bring in a group of dancers from PoleKatz strip club to heat things up a bit. They succeeded. I had planned on just chilling out with friends tonight, but after taking in the scene for a bit, I went back to the car and grabbed my camera. I guess it’s true what they say — the freaks DO come out at night.

I did take some constructive Halloween costume pics, but I’ll share the outtakes exclusively here on the Street Team blog. Hide the kids and enjoy the pics.

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LeAnn Trotter, NBC5 Street Team

So, Will Smith is in town…to pub his new movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness”. There’s a screening at AMC River East. Usually you only get 5 minutes with the stars when they blow through town…..but in this case…we were only allowed two questions. What’s Up With That?

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