Archive for October, 2007

The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

“Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.” Nelson Algren, Newsweek, August 13, 1984

If next spring is like this October was, Nelson’s insult turns into a compliment. Yes, I said was, since it’s now pretty much over.

If you didn’t get enough “boo”ze at Halloween parties, there are plenty of wine tastings coming up, including a dinner hosted by Lorraine Bracco featuring her wines. The Lincoln Park Young Professionals are having their inaugural “All New Chicago Wine Party“. Held at Lux Bar, there will be all-you-can-drink wines & martinis, and mini-burgers galore for only $30. Binny’s, the popular purveyor of all things alcoholic, is breaking out the “Best of the Best,” a sampling of over 30 new releases paired with items from their gourmet grocery. Foodlife, the fancy-schmancy don’t-call-it-a-food-court food court in Water Tower Place has its monthly $10 tasting.

When somebody asks “what’s cookin'”, you can tell them you are. Learn to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner from an expert at Marche on Saturday, and on Sunday cook up some Mediterranean delights at Macy’s Culinary Studio. The studio will also teach you to make martinis and light appetizers so you and your date can get an early start on Friday.

Also on Friday, the Auditorium Theatre will be lit by chandeliers as it’s transformed into a ballroom Friday evening and the City Lights orchestra will be performing at “An Intimate Evening with Christine Ebersole.” Another gala event that evening is at Spiaggia, reputed to be the best Italian restaurant in the city, to benefit One Acre Fund.

Feel like shopping? Get off the couch and head to SOFA at Navy Pier. The annual art fair offers sculptural objects and functional art. For something a little more affordable, head to the Merchandise Mart for their Luxury Sample Sale. Items that are normally only available to designers are on sale to the general public.

Have a great weekend!


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LeeAnn Trotter, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

When was the last time you went to the Museum of Contemporary Art? If it’s been awhile, I highly encourage you to GO CHECK IT OUT! I was there Saturday….and had such a great time. Plus–you can do so for FREE! The museum is celebrating its’ 40th anniversary, so they’re offering FREE admission through November 14th. Not only can you see some cool exhibitions like Sympathy for the Devil, but they also have lots of performances and interesting programs. Here are my top picks for the week.

5. Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll since 1967
You might be surprised at all the connections between art and music. Plus…musicians can go and record a song in a mini recording studio, and there’s a room with wall-to-wall records (I kept thinking I was going to break one)

4. Workshop: Screens, Doug and Rock and Roll
In conjunction with Sympathy for the Devil, every Wednesday from 6p – 9p, you can screen print your favorite band on either a t-shirt or poster.

3. Tuesday Evenings in the CaféThis is an offshoot from the ever- popular Tuesdays on the Terrace, which runs through September. Each week, there is a different theme: Magical Music Showcase, Bingo/Tango, Literary Gangs of Chicago, Stitch ‘N’ Bitch. Hilarious!!

2. First Fridays
On the first Friday of every month….the MCA essentially holds a theme party! You can enjoy a cocktail while checking out art. It’s a great way to hang out with friends without having to go to a bar.

1. Complaints Choir of Chicago
OK… doesn’t this sound wild! People send in complaints and a choir creates the complaints into lyrics. The Complaints Choir will perform on Saturday November 3rd at 1pm and 3pm.

Audio: Listen To Interview With Angelique Power

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

MindsightYep, that’s me with this week’s featured band! Mindsight joined Michael Teach and me at the studios of Chicago Acoustic Underground to chat with us and play a few songs. It was my first effort at cohosting a podcast with Michael. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous, but they were a lot of fun and I quickly forgot that I was also being recorded. They’re one of my favorite bands, locally and nationally, and they’re playing an acoustic set at The Abbey (3420 W Grace) this Friday. You can bet I’ll be there!

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MaureenVana, NBC5 Street Team

The Weakerthans have returned to the road supporting their first studio album since 2003, “Reunion Tour” (Epitaph Records). Fans packed the Metro to a bursting point to see the return of their long awaited Canadian heroes take the stage. Jim Bryson and The Last Town Chorus joined The Weakerthans for an evening of punk/folk rock to tell your friends about.

Jim Bryson opened up with a quirky presence, genuine smile, and a good sense of humor that won over the Chicago audience. His voice carried through the Metro filling it with warmth and captivating the crowd into silence. Between songs the silence broke into wild applause showing approval for Jim’s musical styling and on stage persona. A backwards harmonica, a crashed computer, and a little case of nervousness might normally cause disaster in a set, but Bryson turned the hiccups into hilarity. When his computer failed Bryson called upon the crowd to take its place and assist him in a “70’s vinyl style fade out” that was executed perfectly by the Metro group. Bryson ended the night with some audience participation from 3 members of the crowd. He brought them on stage to shake mini maracas made from plastic Easter eggs in rhythm to his final tune. Jim thanked Chicago for their overwhelming welcome and would return later in the night to play along with The Weakerthans.

See Pictures From Concert

The Last Town Chorus, composed of Megan Hickey and a variety of back up artists, followed up next. Problems continued with with a broken acoustic and Megan’s guitar overpowering the vocals at times. Like Jim, The Last Town Chorus turned lemons into lemonade and pumped out an exhilarating set. Megan invited the crowd back for some non alcoholic beer after the show and asked for some suggestions on what to name her new aqua colored guitar. The group played their David Bowie cover of “Modern Love”, which has been featured on Grey’s Anatomy, and later had the guys from The Weakerthans come out and join them for their closing number.

The club had filled up and fans were cheering for The Weakerthans to take the stage. John K. Samson didn’t bother much with small talk allowing the group to fit in as many tunes as possible in their allotted time. The group was all smiles as they played tracks “Sun in an Empty Room”, “Aside”, and “Relative Surplus Value”. The warm and inviting atmosphere continued with a decor of yellow lights shining through drum heads that lined the back of the stage. The crowd sang along to every tune as if they were pouring their hearts on the floor, but in that good cathartic kind of way. “The Reasons”, “Times Arrows”, “History to the Defeated”, and a room shaking version of “Left and Leaving” were also among the list of songs played. The Weakerthans left Chicago fans revived and ready for the next reunion tour.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

I’m Laura in the NUDE HIPPO Newsroom with these top stories! The first depressing weekend of cold is upon us. Luckily, there’s still Halloween and various pumpkin-y fall festivities to distract you from impending winter.

Desperately vying for your attention are things such as the 13th Annual Gourdzilla Celebration at Foodlife (featuring the carving of an 1,000 pound pumpkin!), the tasty pumpkin specials at the Four Seasons Hotel (Moroccan pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie martinis!), and the Halloween Art Exhibit at the Mars Gallery (psychic and necromancer Neil Tobin for one night only!). There’s even random, made-up stuff like National Chocolate Day Celebration, which just means that you get a free chocolate-covered strawberry after your meal at several Morton’s Steakhouse locations.

The point is: everyone’s trying very hard to get you out of your house before winter descends, on a weekend with weather you won’t truly appreciate until you look back on it fondly (come February.) And Halloween hasn’t even happened yet!

There’s still time for Adobo Grill’s Dia de Los Muertes event, where artist Miguel Angel Quintana will demonstrate how to make sugar skulls as you kick back the margaritas… Be sure to check out Amy Zanglin’s happy hour tips to prepare for all the drinking you plan to do.

Fresh off your tequila buzz, take in all the gore, fright, and weirdness you can,
because come Christmas it’ll be all reindeer and elves and “It’s a Wonderful
Life.” And won’t you be sad that you missed Splatter Theatre, a production that opens on a white stage that “doesn’t
stay white for long”? I’m also intrigued by Oracle Production’s Disturbed II, which claims to illustrate definitively for its audience the “difference between startle and SCARE.” And the Rocky Horror Show at the Mercury Theatre is well-worth the trip—an amazing musical even aside from the fact that it’s just always fun to watch a bare-cheeked man in fishnets dance.

E-mail me at NudeHippo@nbc5.com and let me know about any upcoming events and be sure to watch some of the fun locations and events that NUDE HIPPO has covered at NBC5.com/nudehippo

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Trotter’s Top 5

LeeAnn Trotter, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

There are always so many great things going on around town. In fact, if you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard to pick and choose where to go. So…each week, I’ll tell you about some really cool events that either I’ve personally seen, or ones that people are raving about. So here goes:

5.Chicago Humanities Festival: At first glance, this may look like a bunch of intellectual babble and talking heads. But…take a moment and really look at the schedule. You will find tons of exhibits, film screenings, concerts, and dance performances…and yes, if you’re in the mood for brain food, there are plenty of events to satisfy that hunger. By the way…this year the festival has a “going green” theme: The Climate of Concern. **There is also a Children’s Festival**

4.Niki in the Garden: OK…this is your last chance to see those colorful, larger than life statues amid the greenery at Garfield Park Conservatory. It closes on October 31st.

3. Six Corners Monster Movie Festival: This is one of my favorite ways to celebrate Halloween. And the Portage Theatre is a must see in and of itself. It’s a perfect backdrop for ghouls and goblins kick back and catch a flick or two.

2.Pacifica Quartet: If you love classical music (which I do) you will love the young and vibrant Pacifica Quartet. The are in the middle of a Beethoven Festival.

1.Jersey Boys: My number 1 pick this week is Jersey Boys. What an incredible show!!! Even if you don’t like musicals, chances are you will enjoy it. It’s the first time the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons has ever been told. Call now and get tickets. It’s completely worth the money! Trust me!

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

“But when I go to Chicago, I know I’m home.” Hank Sauer

Mr. Sauer, I couldn’t agree more. Last Saturday was my 6th anniversary in Chicago, and it’s felt like home since day one. Chicago and I go together like wine and art. That’s a timely analogy, since this weekend there’s a wine tasting at Big City Swing accompanied by the art of Erik Sosa. Wine and Catholicism also go together – ever been to a Catholic wedding? Since the Old St. Pat’s Block Party is known for bringing together future mates, an Italian wine tasting hosted by Old St. Pat’s Connections is just a logical event.

Stars In My Crown“, a film that tells a tale reminiscent of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and called “one of the most neglected films in the history of cinema” by Chicago Reader critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, is showing at the Gene Siskel Film Center Friday evening. Also that evening, friend to the stars Billy Dec has his “Body Parts” on display at the Victor Skrebneski photography reception at Carrie Secrist Gallery. You’ll be seeing stars after a visit to La Pomme Rouge’s Dusk ‘Til Dawn. They’re serving cocktails from Rubi Rey Rum, which is encased in a red bottle (get it?).

It’s the final sign that fall is here and summer’s over. The Farmers Markets are done. This is the last week to head outside and choose local produce from the people who produce it. It’s also the last weekend for the Chicago Antique Market. That doesn’t mean we’re all supposed to head indoors for the next six months, though. There are still events in Daley Plaza, including Chicagoween, and Millennium Park is hosting scary storytellers and next month opens the ice skating rink.

Now get out there and have a great weekend!


p.s. This week’s featured band is competing in a Battle of the Bands tonight at Elbo Room. I’ll be there to cheer them on. Come join me!

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