Archive for June, 2007

Janelle Rominski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Suburban Chicago metal band Lupara, is set to make their national television debut for their music video, “No Pity on the Ants”. The video features an un-masked Mick Thompson, the lead guitarist for the Grammy winning band, Slipknot. The video will be presented tonight on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball (TV-14) at 9 p.m. CT.

The band filmed their music video over a two day period with director, Frankie Nasso of FM Entertainment. Nasso has directed music videos for Mudvayne, Hatebreed and Sworn Enemy.

“No Pity on the Ants” is crafted to be a gruesome tale of a sadistic killer (Mick) who tortures his victims in his home and then kills them in the woods. The concept was collaborated by both Nasso and Lupara.

The first day’s shoot took place in Round Lake Park where Nasso, Lupara and Mick from Slipknot filmed the storyline of the video with the actors, extras, props as well as the indoor & outdoor footage. The second day was spent at a warehouse in Elk Grove Village for their performance scene.

Jeremy Wagner, the guitarist of Lupara, has been friends with Mick for years and they both have a mutual admiration for each other’s music. Once the music video treatment was confirmed and the perfect director was hired – they contacted Mick to see if he would be interested in appearing in the video. He agreed!

Mick made the drive from Slipknot’s hometown of Des Moines, Iowa to the Chicago ‘burbs to contribute to this video. Wagner says, “Mick is so intimidating and scary in the video… it’s great. He’s a perfect psychopath.” The band is grateful to have had Mick on board with this video.

Lupara has been together for over three years and got their name from the novels The Godfather and The Sicilian. In both novels the lupara is mentioned as being the primary weapon of the Mafioso soldiers in Sicily. The lupara is an extremely powerful and deadly weapon. “No Pity on the Ants” is an extremely powerful and deadly video.

Warning: Some might find this video to be offensive.

Watch Video: Lupara – No Pity on the Ants

Janelle’s Previous Blogs:

The Metal Of Marazene

Kama Sutra Comes To Chicago

Delicious Monkey Dish

Vince Neil Rocks Austin’s in Libertyville

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

I’m starting to notice a theme with the cheesemakers we’ve met today. Most of them are a little — shall we say — quirky?

Willi Lehner fits the bill, but certainly not in a negative way. When we first pulled up to Willi’s house in Blue Mounds, I thought our driver was lost and we were just turning around. On the outside, it doesn’t look like the type of place that produces fine cheese, but looks can be deceiving.

I thought I had seen every type of cheese-making operation today, but Willi is unique. He has his home set up with a solar operation that supplies his power — so much so that the power company pays him. But Willi doesn’t produce his own milk or make the cheese on his property. He makes the cheese elsewhere, and brings the wheels back to his home for curing.

As you can imagine, Willi isn’t producing a large volume of cheese. He compares his operation to the amount of beer that a brewery pub might produce in comparison to Budweiser. And about 95 percent of his cheese — mostly traditional cheddars — is sold directly to the consumer at Madison’s famous farmer’s market.

He has a small above-ground cave where he cures his cheese, but he’s currently building a larger below-ground cave with two rooms. The new caves will use the natural warmth and cooling of the earth to create the perfect atmosphere for curing cheese.

Willi, who spent his youth making cheese side-by-side with his father who immigrated from Switzerland, has traveled the world studying the art of cheesemaking. So far I’ve seen different methods of curing cheese, such as using a brine method or with plain salt, but you can consider Willi the king of experimentation. Right now he’s working on cheese that he’s wrapped in dirt to how it reacts using those natural elements in the soil. I know it sounds strange, but coming from Willi, it seems to make sense. Check out the video below and see for yourself!

Bleu Mont Dairy Co.
Blue Mounds, WI
(608) 767-2875

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

The cool thing about this tour is that I’m getting to see several aspects of the cheese-making process. In the town of Dodgeville, we visited the Uplands Cheese farm.

Cheesemaker Mike Gringrich makes the much-awarded Pleasant Ridge Reserve, which is the only cheese they make at the farm. It’s also unique because instead of bringing in the milk from elsewhere, they use milk from the 160 cows raised right on the farm — milk that isn’t heat-treated or pasteurized during the process.

I’m starting to learn how the smallest things can factor into the eventual taste of the final product. The cows are rotated among the 300 acres of pasture so that they’re always grazing new grass, herbs and wildflowers. If it’s not raining and they have to start feeding the cows hay because the grass isn’t growing — they don’t make any cheese. That’s also why they only make cheese in the summer months.

The milk Uplands produces is organic, but the cheese they churn out is not. Why not? Our guide, Joe Milinovich, told us they would only need to make some changes in the cleaning process to obtain that distinction, but the resultant price increase that would be passed on to the cheese isn’t worth it at this point.

We were also given access to the caves where the cheese is cured a minimum of four months. While we were there, one of the workers, Dora, was busy “washing” each cheese wheel, which is essentially coating each wheel with a liquid solution unique to each cheesemaker. During the curing process, each wheel will be handled a minimum of 50 times. Check out the video below to see this labor-intensive work in action.

Uplands can certainly make a case that smaller is better. A small percentage of the 2.2 billion pounds of cheese produced in Wisconsin comes from here, but Pleasant Ridge pulled off the rare honor of winning Best of Show twice (2001 and 2005) from the American Cheese Society.

4540 County Road Zz

Dodgeville, WI 53533

(608) 935-2502

Uplands Cheese Inc

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

My first stop on our Wisconsin cheese tour Friday took us to the Carr Valley Cheese factory in LaValle.

Sid Cook — a fourth-generation cheesemaker — bought the operation in 1986, and he’s one of only a handful of Master Cheesemakers in the country.

Carr Valley makes more than 60 types of cheeses, including blends of sheep, goats and cows milk, and has won an astounding amount of awards over the years. We tasted a wide variety of cheddars, and learned the distinction between a cheddar aged only a few months, to a year, and all the way up to 10 years. A 10-year-old cheddar crumbles fairly easily and jumps out at you as soon as you put it in your mouth. Sid also makes several flavored cheeses, including an chipotle cranberry cheddar and a goats milk cheese covered in cocoa that he called a truffle.

After a mere 5 minutes with Sid, you start to pick up on his sincere passion for the craft of cheesemaking. As closely as possible, he sticks to an Old World style, particularly with the milling process for the curd. They use steam heat instead of a wood fire to heat the milk, and a metal agitator instead of human might, but the overall approach is unquestionably old school.

During our visit, workers were busy churning out cheese curds, and I finally had a chance to try this local delicacy. It doesn’t have a lot of flavor, mainly because it’s young cheese that hasn’t been aged, and it makes a squeaky sound when you bite into a spongy morsel. Doesn’t sound appetizing? Well, plenty of people around here like it. The workers were busily shoveling curds into labeled bags and preparing to ship them out to local stores who make up the largest customer base for curds.

But word has obviously spread beyond the locals. On our visit alone, cars with license plates from as far away as Kentucky and Minnesota were in the parking lot. In the Chicago area, look for Sid’s Carr Valley cheeses at stores such as Pastoral and Binny’s and restaurants such as Bin 36, Pop’s For Champagne and of course, ENO. In other words, it’s not difficult to find out for yourself what Sid’s cooking up.

Carr Valley Cheese Company

S3797 County G

La Valle, WI 53941


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Tony Lossano & Amy Zanglin, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Tony from NUDE HIPPO here! Last week I got to see Michael Moore‘s latest documentary “SICKO” which is about the HMO’s!

I’m not a fan of the medical world…No, not because of the great people who work in the medical field, heck my best friend in grammar school became a doctor, (which scared me, since I remembered him being that kid I did goofy stuff with and now he’s seriously saving lives and I’m still doing goofy stuff), then there is the nurse named Janet that I had a major crush on when I was in the hospital for an extended stay at the age of 9… plus all of those people in that ran around in those fashionable scrubs who have tended to my health issues over the years…so yeah, they I don not have a problem with…it is the individuals who don’t practice medicine but somehow decide what type of treatment that I receive, regardless of what my own doctor professionally thinks.

So, when I saw “SICKO” I wasn’t surprised by how this countries HMO is screwing up the health industry by turning a profit at the expense of individuals. What blew me away was how other countries health care is not only better but darn right amazing. Sure, some may argue that Michael Moore gives a slant on how he covers his subjects and knows how to get the message that he wants to convey out there…but there is a point where you have to admit that he is onto something here.

Even if you question the messenger here, this is one message that should be heard and considered. My point that I will push here from “SICKO” is simply, if the fire department, public schools, police, libraries, military all can be run by the government in the interest for the people and NOT with the agenda to turn a profit, why can’t the health system follow the same concept?

Go see “SICKO” and be a part of the conversation that may make a difference.

Let me know hat you think. E-mail me at NudeHippo@nbc5.com

Be sure to watch our videos and read the NUDE HIPPO Blog at NBC5.com/nudehippo

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

I’m not sure I’ve ever given much thought to the production of cheese, but over the years my palate has expanded beyond Kraft singles and Velveeta (yuck!) to more exotic choices like Muenster and Gouda. American culinary tastes as a whole have undergone the same slow transformation, allowing cheese producers like Roth Käse USA to thrive.

Roth Käse USA is located in Greene County Wisconsin and produces several varieties of cheese, including the only American-made Gruyere.

The first thing that struck me while touring this facility is the attention to detail. In one sense it reminds you of the wine-making process, but when making cheese, there’s not as much room for improvisation. Everything has to be exact. Every day, 400,000 pounds of milk are brought into the plant daily to produce the cheese at a 10 percent ratio, meaning it takes 10 pounds of milk to produce 1 pound of cheese. The milk itself undergoes stringent testing from a simple smell test to temperature controls.

I didn’t get to see the actual production of the cheese, but I was privy to the huge rooms where the cheese is stored and cured, a process that can take up to six months. This is where the human touch comes in, or what’s referred to as the artisanal method. While a wheel of cheese is being cured, it must consistently undergo a process called a smear — brushing it with a liquid concoction that keeps it moist. In one storage room we were shown, it takes two guys three days to smear each wheel of cheese individually!

There is a mechanical process involved when it comes to the production of the Gruyere. The Gruyere is smeared by a $500,000 European-made machine called Uncle Sam, the only machine of it’s kind in the country.

After the tour it was time to eat some cheese! I can honestly say I enjoyed every type of cheese I sampled, but I was particularly blown away by the Gran Queso, Reserve, the Gruyere and a cheddar that was much different than anything I’ve experienced on a burger.

So where can you find this cheese in the Chicago area? Kirsten Jaeckle, the director of marketing, lamented that the local distribution is not what it should be, but you can find the products in Whole Foods, Fox & Obel or ENO. You also won’t find it under the Roth Käse name, so check out the Web site to see the specific brands.

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

As I write, I’m headed toward Wisconsin to take part in a specialty cheese tour. Could it have been that long ago that taking vacation time meant a weekend of revelry in a place like Las Vegas or South Beach? Oh well, cheese is cool.

I really should get out of the city more. I’m a couple of miles outside Rockford, and just realizing how long it’s been since I’ve seen cows, corn and silos.

There’s actually a group of us going on this tour, mostly freelance Chicago food writers, a couple of PR types and the wine director and operator of ENO, located inside the InterContinental Hotel on Michigan Ave. As you can imagine, food has been the main topic of conversation.

Over the next couple of days we’ll learn firsthand why Wisconsin is the cheese capital of the country. Our first stop before we hit Madison will be Roth Käse USA, in Green County. Roth Käse USA is a renowned cheese manufacturer — but more about that later.

Why have I had two conversations today about poutine? As a Canadian, I’m very familiar with this delicacy. In case you didn’t know, poutine is french fries with gravy and cheese curds. Personally, I’m a fan of french fries and brown gravy (try it!), but the addition of cheese curds is definitely an acquired taste. And before you start making judgments about that crazy Canadian cuisine, y’all got your ghetto fries. And rocky mountain oysters. Not to mention the Bob Evans $7.99 all-you-can eat lamb fries in Lexington, Ky. Yup, been there — didn’t try it. I draw the line at sheep testicles. But I like cheese!

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Susan Noble

Tasting wine in Chicago is an any day event. No matter where you live, there are great places to enjoy a wine tasting and at a modest price.

If you are near the Loop, try Bin 36. Select a flight of whites, reds, or — my favorite — champagnes, while relaxing in a bright, contemporary atmosphere. Wines always taste better with food and Bin 36 has a nice bar menu from which to choose some tasty morsels.

In the Lakeview neighborhood, try 404 Wine Bar. Tucked in the back of Jack’s is a dark and cozy room filled with intimate seating clusters. A delicious cheese sampler pairs well with their wine tasting flights. Currently, they are featuring wines from Spain.

Those of you who live north and west can enjoy the new tasting room extension of The Wine Cellar. Grab a seat at the bar any Thursday through Sunday evening and enjoy tastings from their extensive wine and cheese selections.

My Blog Archive Related to This Entry

Wine 101

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Style Fusion

Amanda Hunt, NBC5 Street Team

Fashion with passion took place at the Kit Kat Club last evening as eager viewers and supporters buzzed ’round and about at Sine Qua Non’s third annual hair and fashion show.

Slideshow: Fashion Show Pics

Laura Boton, owner of Sine Qua Non Salon, and crew provided a fusion of creativity and charity by delivering an evening of memorable visuals and financial benefit to the Howard Brown Health Center. Four distinct themes- fairy tales, baby dolls, break dancing, and fairies- were presented by Chicago fashion designers Harrison Cheairs, Jeff Millbern, Trisha Star, and Ross Vargas.

Dance choreography and complimentary cosmos made a great combo at this affair. Check out the photos and donate at http://www.sinequanonsalon.com/.

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Erik SorensenErik Sorensen (Video)

Every once in a while, a band comes along that separates you from your conversation, seizes the attention of the room from beginning to end, and leaves you saying “Wow”. That moment came as soon as “Company of Thieves” set foot on-stage at The Beat Kitchen (Chicago) for their full-length CD debut.

In an era when many mainstream acts rely heavily on pyrotechnics, dancers and costume changes to entertain; how refreshing to see a band capture you with raw talent. Laced with traces of Funk and Jazz, Company of Thieves‘ unique Indie Rock sound makes it hard to peg them into any one category. Believe me, I tried. (I’ve never used the backspace key that much in my life). But while I lack the category to describe them, this much is certain: These guys, (and girl) can play.

From front to back, there’s not a chink in their melodic armor. Marc Walloch’s guitar work beams with originality and innovative style, while Dorian Duffy (Bass) and Mike Ortiz (Percussion) combine forces to form the Thieve’s driving rhythm section. At the front of the band, is Genevieve Schatz, who’s combination of sultry singing and hypnotic stage presence push the band into a spectrum all their own. And it’s easy to see how, after only a short while, they’ve managed to acquire such a loyal fan base.

The band’s first full-length album, “Ordinary Riches,” is well on its way toward propelling Company of Thieves into local favorites status. (Quite a feat, considering they had only been together for 4 months before teaming up with accomplished producer, Sean O’Keefe to create the album). “Putting in the time, effort and money to get a solid foundation and representation of the band was necessary for us to come out strong,” explains bassist, Dorian Duffy. “…No sense in wasting time.” That, they are not.

On July 14th, C.O.T. will take the stage at Metro (Chicago) for the second time in as many months. Joining them on the bill will be established Chicago rock band, Wax On Radio. “We really want to focus on touring and getting this album out to as many people as possible,” adds Duffy. So far, it’s working. One by one, C.O.T. continues to earn their way into the hearts and ears of Chicago fans. The only thing these thieves are stealing – is the show.

To listen to Company of Thieves, and for additional show info, visit:

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

You have a few days left to check out some independent films at the Gen Art Chicago Film Festival.

Tuesday night was the first of five premieres and five parties in five nights.

I missed last night’s party, but I did hit the Music Box Theater for an appearance by Heather Graham, who was premiering her new movie, “Broken.”

Slideshow: “Broken” Premiere

Graham plays a character who leaves her Midwestern roots to pursue a music career in Los Angeles, however some skeletons in her closet start to catch up with her.

Graham is mainly known for her role as Roller Girl in “Boogie Nights” and in one of the Austin Powers movies, however she told me she enjoys doing smaller independent films like “Broken.”

You have until Saturday to check out the movies — and the parties. Log on to www.genart.org for more information.

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Big Music Weekend

Ben Soldinger, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Friday night you have a choice between seeing Ben Folds and John Mayer at the Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island (which has become my favorite Chicago venue) or The Psychedelic Furs at The House of Blues.

Saturday night is going to be an even tougher choice between seeing the mighty Def Leppard with special guests Styx and Foreigner at the 1st Midwest Bank Ampitheater in Tinley Park or Chicago and America at the Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island.

If you want to keep the party rollin’ until 4am or if you are just in the mood to be casual and see some great blues, the incomparable Vance ‘Guitar’ Kelly and his Backstreet Blues Band (bookmark this page) will be playing at Kingston Mines both FRIDAY AND SATURDAY! Support the Blues!

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Sarah Vargo, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a unique event at my very own hair salon! My superstar stylist Jessie Boi just got a new job at Strange Beauty Show in the heart of Bucktown and invited me to an art showcase at the salon on June 7th featuring the work of local artist Ned Robertson.

The showcase also featured free makeup applications by makeup artist and owner Audrey Olenick, and a raffle for a free haircut. Ned’s work was on sale and is also available throughout the month of June. They also provided beverages and it was great to socialize with Jessie Boi and some of the stylists, owners and friends.

I was intrigued when I first entered the salon as the venue was decorated with original art and has a rock n’ roll theme. The vinyl collection is pretty amazing. The music selection playing was unique and I definitely added some new artists to my iPod. It was fun getting my hair done there and the party made my experience even more enjoyable.

The salon is spearheaded by two young sisters named Virginia and Audrey Olenick. I got a chance to ask them about their backgrounds and what motivated them to create such an artistic and original concept. Virginia told me her and Audrey came up with the concept last April of 2006 because they wanted to combine their creative backgrounds to create a business that would offer something different to the salon and art communities. They started working on the space last May, and basically gutted the place and designed and built it from scratch with some help from friends. They can truly say that their space is a work of art itself. Virginia went to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she studied photography, before attending cosmetology school in Chicago. For a few years post-college, she did design work and operational work for their father’s company which gave her the resources necessary for starting and operating their own small business. Audrey attended the Aveda Institute, and became more interested in makeup than hair, which adds versatility to the salon. She is the crafty sister and is responsible for the unique décor of the salon and contributed the killer vinyl collection. I think it’s amazing that two sisters could combine their talents and make the dream a reality.

The next event is Thursday, July 12th from 7-10 pm in the salon and featuring the art of Lindsay Banks, beverages, hair styling and makeup application. If you are looking for a new salon or wanting to expand your mind, I highly suggest stopping by Strange Beauty Show. You will surely meet some new and exciting people, hear some great tunes and walk out looking better than ever!

Strange Beauty Show
1261 N. Paulina Ave. Chicago, IL 60622

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)
I love potato chips. I can polish off a whole bag of these salty friends in a matter of hours without blinking. Michael and I have a running joke – if I have chips in the house and OPEN them, it’s all over. When I go to the grocery store, I need two buy two bags of chips – one for him and one for me. My chip obsession is so bad that I may even add the following phrase to my wedding vows, “I promise to leave you at least six chips at the bottom of the bag.”

With so many Jewel trips to replenish my cupboard (and multiple gym excursions to burn off what I ate), you’d think my chip budget would be pretty extreme. Not at all, when you live in Chicago and have access to a homegrown tater snack, costs are pretty low. The next time you go to Jewel or Dominicks and see the bottom of the chip isle, you’ll see Jays. Tucked away from the Doritos, Tostitos (Hint of Lime are my fav’) and Ruffles (I miss those ‘Ruffles have rrrridges commercials’), you’ll see a collection of Jays chips, complete with the trusty blue logo.

Since 1927, the Japp family’s (they changed the company named to Jays after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, no joke) been peppering Chicago with not only potato chips, but O-Ke-Doke popcorn and Kruncher’s Original chips. The cost of the snacks are lower because distribution costs are low, I’d imagine. Another fun tidbit, I read the ingredients in most of Jays chips and for the most part, it’s natural. For the Sour Cream and Cheddar flavor I crave, there are other ‘scientific’ ingredients, but none of them include partially hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup.

Now, the next time you bulk up your snacks for that football game, TV viewing or game night, pay homage to your hometown, pick up some Jays and save some pennies.

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The Metal Of Marazene

Janelle Rominski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Chicago-based metal band Marazene headlined at the Metro last weekend for a Chicago Metal United show with The Plague, Digital Mindy, Withering Soul and Kastasyde.

Their performance included the use of fog machines, bright, colorful lights and lots of energy. Having seen a couple of their shows, Marazene uses every stage to their full advantage to connect with their fans. I’m always impressed with the band’s image. They all have unique shirts with a Marazene “M” as well as dreadlocks and black eyeliner.
Janelle's Street Team Slideshows - Image From Janelle Rominski

Slideshow: Marazene At The Metro

Having just finished a national tour with Mushroomhead, Marazene is busy working on their sophomore album. The band is completely self-supporting and records their tracks in their own studio called “Decimation Studios”.

The band is preparing to co-headline the Resurrection of Rock in Iowa on June 30th. They have additional shows in the works and are constantly booking shows around the country.

This year is especially exciting for Marazene. They have stepped into the online digital world of performing by becoming the first real life band to be featured in an online 3D community called Second Life. Second Life is a mix between Myspace and the Simms. Currently, there are over 7.5 million users on this digital online community.

To see a virtual image of Marazene in Second Life click HERE

Janelle’s Previous Blogs:

Looptopia: Strings Of A Different Sort

Looptopia: Mind’s Eye Art

Kama Sutra Comes To Chicago

Delicious Monkey Dish

Vince Neil Rocks Austin’s in Libertyville

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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

This past Saturday nite my friend Peter invited me to
attend the Chiacgo Symphony Orchersta’s performance of
Bethoven’s Ninth Symphony. I’d never heard the
symphony performed live and it had been quite some
time since I had been to Orchestra Hall because the past
few years I’ve been a (very happy) season ticket
holder of the Grant Park Symphony summer series at
Millenium Park.

The performance was absolutely magnificent. Seventy
two minutes of uninterrupted, sheer bliss, ending with
the choral sensation “Ode to Joy.” Bethoven’s Ninth is
almost as exhausting (in a good way) to listen to as
it must be to perform it.

I was astounded to read in the concert notes that the
debut of the masterwork on May 7,1824 was less than a
resounding sucess and that for several years after
Bethoven’s death the Symphony was considered too
difficut to perform and too long to program easily.

This brings me to Ernst Gamperl.

On June 9th of this month, Luminaire, the indispensable
contemporary furniture retailer, sponsored a lecture by the German
sculptor. Both the lecture and the work were a sheer
revelation and, though I went to the lecture with
every intention of writing about it here, I was so
affected by the sheer beauty and sensuality of the
wooden vases and bowls that I found it difficult to
meaningfully condense the artistic process behind the
work in this limited space.

Well, this morning I decided that my having trouble
condensing is no reason why you shouldn’t go look at
the work for yourself. Heck, even buy the book. You
can thank me for sending you there later.

The vases and bowls, examples of which appear in the
collections of major museums around the world, will be on display
(and for purchase, if your pocketbook allows)
till the week of July 1st at the store on 301 W. Superior.


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Danielle Barrera, NBC5 Street Team (video)

More than 100 girls showed up at Lucky Strike Saturday trying to get — er — lucky.

The “Get Outside Tour” is sponsored by the athletic clothing brand Roxy. They’re holding auditions in search of “Roxy women” — females who embody the spirit of ‘getting outside,’ and being active.

The judges felt Chicago sophomore Lauren Fitze, 15, who plays on her high school soccer team, embodied those characteristics perfectly. She won a $300 Roxy shopping spree and her photo will appear in the September issue of Teen Vogue, plus, she’ll get a chance to appear in Roxy’s Fall ad campaign.

Slideshow: Roxy Fashion Show

On Saturday night, many of the girls who tried out were given the opportunity to walk alongside models from Ford Modeling Agency at Krem! nightclub.

Not a bad night out for a teenager I’d say!

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Shreyas Shah, NBC5 Street Team

What’s up Party People and fashionistas!

Check out a fashion-forward exhibition this Thursday at Lumen, and if you’re reading this, you’re invited. It’s a free event! All you have to do is RSVP to: rsvp@goodforparty.com. There’s a hosted cocktail reception from 8 – 9, courtesy of Effen Vodka, so get there early. The fashion show begins at 9 pm.

The show is with Gamma Player, a new boutique on Division the features emerging lines from South America, Europe, and East Asia.

The music is provided by JEFF MILLS for duration of the show.

8PM – 2AM
Lumen 845 W. Fulton Market Chicago 312.733.2222

Sponsored by Effen and Elite Models.
Check out: http://www.lumen-chicago.com http://www.gammaplayer.com http://www.effenvodka.com http://www.elitechicago.com

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Wow. How many more things can be regulated? On Tuesday, June 26th, the majority of Internet radio stations will be silent. No radio, no James Brown playlist on Pandora, nada. Why?

Well, the Copyright Royalty Board is saying that ALL broadcasters of radio thru the Internet must a)back pay royalty fees for all music and b) begin paying triple the rates moving forward.
This means, in a nuthsell, that all of these broadcasters will go out of business. The group, Save Net Radio, is protesting the change, which is set to go into effect on July 15th (and are retroactive to January 2006). The national Day of Silence is a way to tell the CRB, ‘Enough’.

There are 50 million folks that listen to some form of Internet radio and in the end, we will lose. I am an avid user of iTunes and actually find alot of great music THROUGH services like Pandora and Rhapsody. Hence, the CRB is getting my dime at the end of the day – thru an indirect means.

What can you do? Easy, contact your Congressman. If you don’t know who they are, I made it easy for you. Also, Save Net Radio has a great sheet of talking points for you to use when contacting our fearless leaders!

Back in the day, the catch phrase was ‘I Want My MTV’. Change that up with, ‘I Want My Net Radio!’

Sheesh! What’s next? Backpayments on the amount of times I wrote ‘LOL’ in my AOL chat window?

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Crystal Hilliard, University of Missouri

Crystal Hilliard is an NBC5 summer intern. Some of her postings from the NBC5 Next blog will be posted here as well.

As my friend and I drove up to the Riv on Wednesday night, I saw the hundreds of people rounding the block and I knew it was gonna be a night to remember….

Hip Hop heads came from every side of town, the loops, & the burbs as early as 5 o clock to get in line for the free myspace.com show. The tickets were free but because it was general admission, and people knew they had to get to the show early to secure their standing spot (the Riv is a pretty intimate setting). People poured in the doors around 7 o clock and ran to the stage, their VIP seats or the balcony. I went outside until about 745 to take pics of the outdoor crowd & by the time I got back in, the house was packed and it was at least 120 degrees!

The thing that pissed me off the most was all the red tape and the disorganization of the stage hands… they had no idea what was going on! I got a VIP pass, the lady was like, “you’re good… you don’t need a photo pass”. But of course, when I tried to get back in, they were like, “You don’t have a press pass! You can’t come in!” and that man, who I’m assuming was in charge of the building, had no idea who Latrice (the lady that let me in and gave me the pass) was. And my “go-to” guy really wasn’t doin anything for me. With my quick thinking and and troublemaker tendencies, I slid back through security and returned to VIP… whew! Close call. But since I wasn’t given the right passes, I wasn’t able to meet or get up close to Nick Cannon & Aubrey up by the balcony, T.I., Twista or Lupe. All the other photographers were practically on stage but me? I was up in the balcony.

Slideshow: Riviera Concert

Regardless of the ridiculous mis communications and bouncer egos, I had a good time. I was a little disapointed that Lupe did only 4 songs but I realized it was a free show and we probably weren’t going to get nearly as much out of the artists as they were gonna get from the girls waiting backstage. Also, I had to keep in mind there were 3 major acts and Lupe (as of right now) is the smallest fish.
When Twista took the stage, the crowd was extra hype. I always think it’s funny to see rappers in person because they never look quite how they do in their videos. If I just saw Twista walkin down 51st street or something, I would just be thinking he was another chubby dude with too much gold in his mouth. Don’t get me wrong, the man has skills but I think people forget that these dudes are just ordinary dudes who were in the right place at the right time & got their lucky break.

When T.I. came on, all the girls went crazy. I must admit, he’s one of the sexiest rappers of my day…. Maybe THE sexiest. But as I was just saying, I saw him in person and it was a little awkward. Do you know T.I. is no taller than 5’7″? Well, I’m 5’6″ and when I wear heels, it’s not acceptable for me to be taller than my man (Sorry T.I., it would never work out between us :). T.I. put on a good show and since he was headlining, he took up the most time; totaling an aproximate 30 minute T.I. show. For all of the signs posted around the venue and for all of the girls marching around out front with “I wanna give it up” shirts, I think T.I. lived up to his hype. Even though he was only on stage for a hot second, he did put on a show and kept the crowd extra crunk. Of course YOU KNOW he had to close out his show w/ his newest hit, “Big Things Poppin”.

The crowd was for sure fazed, but me? Just another night in Chi town baby….

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Cait Higgins, Sox Superfan

(Cait Higgins is a contributor to the Sox Superfan blog. Occasional postings from that blog will be posted here.)

This weekend has left me physically and emotionally drained. I know we did not play quality baseball, but that was the least of my problems this weekend. What other problems could I face trying to have an enjoyable time at my home away from home with my family and my friends- other White Sox fans? CUBS FANS of course! I never wanted to say it, but I can tell you that I hate the Cubs 100%. I thought I hated them after some of the things that were pulled last year, but let me tell you: that was Sesame Street gestures and language compared to what I had to endure these last two days. I wasn’t going to write because I am so upset, but I really feel that I need to voice my opinion.

The fans that were around me for the last two days acted like absolute animals. What good does it do you to constantly antagonize people? Because of how the ignorant fans around me were handled, or rather, MISHANDLED, makes me say for the first time in my entire life that I would rather stay at home and watch a game so I would not be constantly harassed by people who either don’t watch the game or know less about their team than I do. Every four letter word was used against me because of a sign that I made. Maybe later or some other time I could give some further explanation. However, it was deemed “offensive” by the people around me. So, they decided to verbally threaten me and threaten me with physical violence and call me a “bitch.” I think that’s a little more offensive than making fun of the part of the city in which the Cubs play. I would give all the rough details, but I’m not sure I could provide a good enough explanation in the blog. ANYWAY, I am not embarassed to be a White Sox fan. I love my team and I will love my team whether they are repeating the World Series or in last place in the league. I would be embarassed if I was a Cubs fan and had to witness the verbal abuse that was going on the entire game. I’ve been to other parks, and I can tell you first hand that NO other baseball fans act the way Cubs fans do. I just figured it was good manners to not bombard fans of the home team with obscenities and verbal abuse. Whatever. I hope you’re all happy with yourselves. You don’t offend me, you just make me never want to associate with you. I feel embarassed FOR you.

All I could say was that I went to Game 2 of the World Series, my team has a ring and a trophy, and you can never take that away from me… also, none of you remember ever seeing a World Series.

I’ll blog about the games themselves soon. I am also praying we get back on track.
PLEASE KENNY, DON’T TRADE BUEHRLE. Don’t stop believin’, Sox Fans.

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Kim Peterson, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Hey parents of the 8-and-under set!

The trip to Six Flags Illinois new Wiggles venue is totally worth the drive from
Chicagoland. We are regulars at the park and the new play area was beyond
our expectations.

They have five rides plus a perfect tot theatre next to big, clean bathrooms and a snack bar — what more could a parent want?

Plus, there’s a giant pirate ship the kids can climb through next to a squirting
floor! I thought we’d be there an hour before heading over to the other two
toddler areas, but three hours later my kids were still loving it! My 15 month old
and 4 year old were so wiped out, they slept the whole way back to Roscoe
Village. Bonus!

Check it out and bring a camera — all the bright colors make for great kid pics!

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Close Up 2 jazz club, one of the newest additions to the South Loop party scene, is holding the first ever Close Up 2 Smooth Jazz Festival today Saturday and Sunday.

The festival begins at Pritzker Park, located at State Street and Van Buren Street. The best part of is that it’s absolutely FREE!

Chicago native Nick Colionne is featured on the opening night, and more talent will be featured throughout the weekend including New York saxophonist Mike Phillips on Saturday and saxophonist Steve Cole on Sunday. Other performers include Deborah Cox, Marqueal Jordan and Corey Wilkes, Harlan Jefferson, Steve Flowers and Skinny Williams, Carlos Cannon, Detour and Ray Silkman.

Whether you’re smooth jazz fan or not, it sounds like a good time. Check out a “Taste” story I did on Close Up 2 a few months back.

Slideshow: Close Up 2 Jazz Club

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