Archive for February, 2008

Hungry Z, NBC5 Street Team

Traditionally when two people get engaged, it’s the man that does the proposing, but there’s a little known tradition that on Leap Day, it’s the women who drop down on one knee. While in our modern times it’s acceptable for a woman to propose, that wasn’t always the case. When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to pop the question on one day every four years. That day was February 29th.

Well ladies, grab your man and head over to “David’s Bistro” in Des Plaines where this Friday and Saturday they’re having themselves a Leap Day event! Chef David Maish will serve a four course meal that will have your man screaming yes! Don’t let the word Bistro scare your man into thinking this is just some “chick” place to eat. Fear not my male friends, Chef David had you in mind when he came up with the menu.

First course: Hearty chicken Marsala with portabellas and garlic toast.
Second course: Martini layered chopped salad with blue cheese.
Third course: Kobe beef burgers with Parmesan pomme frites and two unique dipping sauces.
Fourth Course: Chocolate banana rum tower.

If you would like to attend this event call them at 847-803-3233. Reservations are still available. “David’s Bistro” is located at 623 N. Wolf Rd. in Des Plaines on the corner of Wolf and Central. I’ll be attending this Friday, so stop by and say hi if you see me and I will give a full report come Monday.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

“Chicago’s one of the most passionate cities in the country about music.” John Reese, co-founder Taste of Chaos

Ya’ just gotta love Chicago. Even when it’s cold enough for your hair to freeze if you leave the house while it’s still wet – not that I’ve ever done that, especially not this morning, because that would just be dumb, and I like to think I’m not stupid, still, if I HAD left the house with my hair wet it would most likely have frozen because it’s so darn cold…ANYWAY – even when it’s below freezing we still go bike riding, and running, and swimming in the lake. Like this Friday, for instance, there’ll be a few hundred Chicagoans cycling the winter streets as part of the monthly Critical Mass ride. By the way, if you’re driving and you get stuck in the middle, just go with it. Roll down your window, crank the music, and give those crazy fools a few high fives.

Runners are their own kind of crazy, but they know what they’re doing. Burn enough calories and you can eat whatever you want, and at the end of the Wacky 5K this Sunday they can gorge on a veritable buffet of snacks. To the participants in the Polar Plunge those joggers are taking the easy way out. Jumping into frozen Lake Michigan – now that’s a real Chicagoan.

Eating is nearly a sport in this city, and we’re nearing the end of the first ever Chicago Restaurant Week. If you haven’t had a chance to visit any of the participating restaurants yet, some of them are only serving this special through Thursday, so check the list today!

Thursday night my good friend Julie Cameron of Urban Shop Guide is hosting a special evening at NV Penthouse Lounge. The private event benefits the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation with cocktails provided by YES Vodka and gift bags for the first 75 people.

Now, this is outside of downtown, but Friday night Disonic is playing at Metro. This is one of my very very favorite bands. Seriously. I know every word to every song (except for the new stuff) and will be right in front of the stage like the rocker chick that I am. I have a few tickets that will get you into Metro before 8 for free, and after for only $5. Email me if you want some. They’re playing as part of the Chicago Metal Factory concert, but don’t let that scare ya’. They go on at 9 so you can get in, find out why I’m such a fan, then head over to Elbo Room to catch another of my favorites, Lucid Ground.

I could go on and on, because there are some really cool events this weekend, like Art Against AIDS and Return To Disco Mountain and The Best Of Everything In Chicago (now that’s an ambitious title!) and my personal favorite, 13 Dead Husbands: New Comedy About An Oft-Widowed Woman. But the more of your time I take here, the less time you have to actually go out and DO some of this fantastic stuff!

Have a great weekend!


p.s. Museum of Modern Ice ends Friday! It’s melting, it’s melting…

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Bunnies are known more for hopping than leaping, but on Leap Day 1960 the very first Playboy Club jumped into the Chicago scene. Hugh Hefner was actually inspired – right down to the bunny costumes – by another Chicago private club. What was the name of that club and who founded it?

Email your answer and address to trivia@thelocaltourist.com.

Chicago Dine Around - Progressive Dining TourOne of the best things about Chicago is the food, and this week’s prize lets you try three of Chicago’s top restaurants in style. Chicago Dine Around is a progressive dining tour that takes you in style from one location to the next. The winner can choose to take a public tour (minimum reservation of 2), or elect to take $300 off a private tour (minimum reservation of 10).

Congratulations to Jim Bryan! He knew that George “Cap” Streeter was the enterprising rapscallion whose shanty sat in the spot underneath the Hancock Building.

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Buried At The Underground

The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

The night started off well enough. I had been told media check-in was at 8:30pm and I arrived right on time. The bouncer confirmed my name on the list and I headed into the bowels of the club. My guest, Marq Withers of Disonic, arrived shortly after, dropped my name at the door, and was ushered inside.

Ashlee Simpson VIP Media Pass at The UndergroundWe were at the Rockit Ranch Winter V.I.P. Party with a private performance by Ashlee Simpson at The Underground. I had received a personal heads-up from my contact at Rockit, and also a media “Invitation to Cover” and was looking forward to talking with her. She loves Chicago and dates Fall Out Boy‘s Pete Wentz, a Chicago boy, and I wanted to get her take on the city and her favorite spots. Josh Kelley‘s appearance a few weeks before at Rockit Bar & Grill had been hosted by the same company and my quick chat with him had gone so well the opportunity to have another nationally recognized artist extol the virtues of this city was exciting. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.

Marq Withers of Disonic with Master Sommelier Alpana SinghMarq and I talked while I waited for instructions. And waited. And waited. The room began to fill up and Alpana Singh walked by us. Marq’s an enormous fan of the Master Sommelier, so he introduced himself. Meeting her was to be the only positive aspect of the whole fiasco.

We kept waiting. I approached a person also wearing a media badge and he told me we were supposed to wait by the stairs. So we waited. And waited. I confirmed with another media wrangler where I was supposed to be and she pointed me up the stairs to the raised section by the stage and said that’s where Ashlee would be and I could wait there. So we moved. And waited.

People kept piling into the club and we were jostled and pushed and shoved. I was almost thrown off balance a few times by enormous purses large enough to hide a Volkswagen. The cocktail servers were polite. The bouncers, in their mock-commando attire, were aggressive. The poor guys sweeping up were just trying to do their jobs in a place where they were deemed nearly invisible by the moneyed clientèle, but they still had to maneuver in the over-capacity crowd.

Finally, after 2 1/2 hours of waiting and jostling and mind-numbing insipid music droned out by the DJ, Marq had to leave. He had promised Section 4 that he would catch their show at The Note. They were going on at 11:45, and it was already 11. They’re a fantastic band (they’ve been featured on TLT) and I wanted to go with him, but I had been invited and I needed to stay.

He quickly came back to get me. Ashlee was finally there and was by the entrance/exit. Which was blocked off by security. I flashed my media badge – that’s why I was there, after all – but they wouldn’t let me through. OK, I got it. She was there late and there was limited time to talk to the media and TLT has a smaller audience. Since I obviously wasn’t going to get a chance to talk to her it was time for me to go as well. The only problem was they wouldn’t let anybody leave. They had set her up by the coat check and the exit and completely blocked everyone in. For almost half an hour we stood there as Billy Dec and crew milled about nonchalantly. We could see the coat check and the stairs and our escape to freedom. A young lady next to me was almost in tears because someone was waiting for her. Marq and I were growing more and more angry and frustrated, knowing that if we didn’t get out of there soon we were going to miss some of Section 4. A woman with a coiled cord sticking out of her ear while keeping us herded like cattle suggested I get a cocktail and relax. I thought about the irony of being trapped in a fire hazard across the street from a fire station. They finally ushered Miss Simpson past and we exploded towards the coat check, followed by a line of similarly angry and frustrated people. One of whom happened to be from Geffen Records – Ashlee Simpson’s label.

Section 4 performing at The NoteBy the time Marq and I arrived at The Note Section 4 was already playing, and someone handed us both PBRs. We immediately felt a transformation. Dive bar, great music, cheap beer. Ahhh, now that was more like it. I’ll take a head-banging vibraphonist over piped-in synthesized notes, and a singer whose voice responds to her almost whimsical demands over engineered industry creations any day. After they finished a DJ took over, and his abstract hip-hop helped to drown out the memory of the banal, lifeless tripe that had harangued our senses for three agonizing hours.

I’ll admit I’m not a club-goer. I have no desire to wait in line, pay $20 to get in, pay another $11 per cocktail (minimum), and then pay $300 for bottle service if I’d actually like to sit down, but the complete disrespect The Underground showed its V.I.P. patrons that night was over and above the normal entitled atmosphere the club culture exhibits.

If I’m invited to cover similar events in the future (which is doubtful, after this review!), I’ll have a decision to make. Do I go for the quick quote about Chicago from the visiting artist? If I can, I probably will, but my focus is and will remain on the hard-working, talented, under-appreciated musicians this city produces and attracts at an overwhelming rate. Next time there’s a conflict between a nationally recognized act that already has media clamoring to get their sound-bytes and a local band that’s struggling just to be heard, I’ll choose the latter.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

CanastaThis week’s band has received a wealth of great press, ranging from The Reader to The Onion to NPR. They’ve headlined Metro and Double Door. They played SXSW and sold out shows at Schuba’s. They recently performed at the Obama fundraiser with Wilco, Macy Gray, and 3rd Eye Blind. And you’ve probably never heard of them.

Canasta’s a sextet that plays “ultra-melodic, orchestral pop music,” according to singer Matt Priest. Their sound goes beyond “it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.” It’s fun and light, yet layered and varied. I prefer to let the music speak for itself, so listen to Microphone Song from their “We Were Set Up” CD below.

Like it? So do a lot of Chicago’s other artists, who have remixed songs from the CD for the just released “We Were Mixed Up”. The whole thing’s available for download, and the release show is this Saturday at Beat Kitchen.

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LaShonda Matlock, NBC5 Street Team

According to an interview with Johnny Gill on V103 last week, Johnny is not gay, nor is Eddie Murphy. But I STILL have my “doubts”……

Snoop Dogg is doing a private listening party for industry insiders before his concert on Wed. at The House of Blues. Let’s see if he shows up….

Beyonce is rumored to stay at The Peninsula hotel when she visits Chi-town over the next few months for her new big-screen movie role.

My spies tell me that New Chicago Bulls players Shannon Brown and Larry Hughes are definitely living up the high life with “groupies” at NBA FAVORITE nightspot Club 720.

Hotspot Enclave nightclub hosted the VIP fundraiser The LuxGiv and Pursuit of Passion on Saturday night.

R&B singers Trey Songz and J. Holiday are in town for their performance tonight at House of Blues. Now, if only J. Holiday would make a statement about his recent arrest…..

The Foo Fighters will be performing at Allstate Arena tonight and the fans will probably pack the place!

Tickets for Kanye West’s ‘Glow In The Dark Tour’ Chicago date are completely sold-out! I know big shock there!!

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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

The big news for spring in a store near you is going to be COLOR. And just in case you were inclined to miss the point, the women at this year’s Oscars won’t let you forget. They brought out every color of the Crayola box, which was refreshing to see. What wasn’t so refreshing, was that the designers and the stars seemed to forget that the color of the fabric alone does not make for a beautiful dress. You still need good design. We saw many awkward interpretations of dresses but very few beautifully designed and flattering dresses.

Slideshow: Oscars Red Carpet

Did none of the Hollywood stylists see the Versace couture show? It was a master class in dressmaking, or more appropriately, gown making, and quite frankly none of the dresses last nite were of that superb caliber.Do yourself a favor and go to style.com and see for yourself what you should have seen last nite.

Okay, enough complaining. Here’s the good news:

1. Katherine Heigl. She wore the red dress the best. It had just enough detail to make her shine with out overpowering her — note to Anne Hathaway and Heidi Klum.
2. Jessica Alba. OH, momma!.
3. Hilary Swank. Yes it was black, but it was the best black dress — by far.
4. Cameron Diaz. She spent all of last year on my worst dressed list. What an improvement!
5. Keisha Whitaker. WHO? That would be Forest Whitaker’s wife, who put the major stars to shame (as I thought she did last year as well)

1. George Clooney. In a category all his own. Guys, pay attention.
2. Josh Brolin
3. Patrick Dempsey

There were sooo many to choose from, it made my head spin.

1. Marion Cotillard. Given that she wore a stunning Nina Ricci gown to the SAG awards, I was expecting great things from her.
This hyper designed Gaultier mermaid body stocking wasn’t it. She looked silly. Compare her to Cameron Diaz, and the point is easily made.
2. Tilda Swinton. Morticia Adams was having a garage sale? Apparently so.
3. Nicole Kidman. I thought it was her husband who had the substance abuse problem not her stylist.
4. Ellen Paige. “Sweetie, you’re young and pretty, so why are you dressing for the biggest nite of your life as if you were a middle aged doctor’s wife at Lutheran General Hospital’s gala in Park Ridge?”
5. Cate Blanchett. BCBG was having a sale at its factory outlet? Apparently so.

1. Javier Bardem. “Sweetie, you’re young………”
2. Ryan Seacrest. And you thought Johnny Cash was dead……
3. Johnny Depp. Doctors in Park Ridge are now apparently very fashionable…..

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Irit SilvermanIrit Silverman NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Lincoln Park has a new hot spot: Soiree Bar and Bistro (located at 2438 N. Lincoln Avenue). I recently attended their grand opening celebration and was treated to an exclusive look inside. As soon as you walk in, Soiree’s Parisian-inspired ambiance sets the tone for an elegant experience. Soiree offers a French-inspired menu including sauteed frog legs with porcini cream sauce and grilled salmon with beurre blanc.

Slideshow: More Pics From Soiree

Martinis seemed to be the drink of choice, so I ordered a signature Soiree martini from the bar (tres magnifique!) and headed back to the Cointreau VIP room. Circular red velvet couches and a private entrance give VIPs the ultimate luxury and privacy. The grand finale was a performance by an amazing French singer. Whether you are looking for a bite to eat, a night out with friends or just a cool new place to chill, Soiree is a unique and cool new destination. Check out the video to see what I’m talking about!

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Kaylee King, NBC5 Street Team

Three nights deep into Wilco’s five night Winter Residency at The Riviera Theatre, I was fortunate enough to jump in the crowd and hear what everyone was buzzing about.

The audience was an artsy 30-something group dominated by males who quietly knew every word to every song.

The goal of the five shows was to play every song out of their stunning six album repertoire, resurrecting songs like Blue-Eyed Soul and Monday.

Lead singer, Jeff Tweedy admitted several times that he forgot how to play some songs, for example Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’s Kamera. Along with admitting his faults that no one would have noticed if he didn’t, Tweedy frequently talked with the crowd and even answered when one fan told him not to play Theologians, with, “Oh now you’re in for it.” Soon after they played it.

With wife Sue in the crowd Tweedy made frequent glances her way and sent a dedication of I’m the Man Who Loves You to her.

The audience was heated for the entirety of the three hour show, packed with two sets and an encore. Andrew Bird, violinist, also from Chicago, joined Wilco on numerous songs throughout the night as well as a horn troupe Tweedy named the Super Pros.

It’s obvious the band knows how to put on a show with intricate lighting and a new guitar for nearly every song.

To learn more about Wilco, check out their website at www.wilcoworld.net or to hear 93XRT’s The Eclectic Company with Jeff Tweedy go to www.93xrt.com

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Janelle Rominski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

The “Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors” convention returns this weekend to Chicago – and I’ve got your tickets! Please look at the bottom of this blog on how to win tickets.

It will be held at the Wyndham Chicago O’Hare Hotel on February 22 – 24, 2008.

I’ll be at Fangoria all weekend bringing you the highlights of each day right here on NBC 5’s Street Team.

Fangoria has tons of events happening daily and below are some things to look forward to.

There will be many exciting guests at Fangoria Chicago this year including Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger in the flesh!) Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th films: Kane Hodder and Sid Haig from The Devils Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, Halloween, etc. and many more guests.

Englund will speak about his new directorial effort, Killer Pad, along with his recent acting roles in Red and Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer.

Other actors slated to appear include Richard Kiel (Happy Gilmore, Twilight Zone, and the voice of “Jaws” from James Bond 007: All or Nothing) and Tony Todd (Night of the Living Dead, Candyman and Final Destination).

There will be a reunion for the 1980’s classic, Friday the 13th featuring actors Ari Lehman, Adrienne King and Betsy Palmer along with the film’s composer Harry Manfredini.

Hosts from the SCI FI Channel’s Ghost Hunters, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango, will hit the stage talking about their hit television series.

There will also be a plethora of people from behind the scenes of horror films, such as Neil Marshall, director of The Descent.

This convention will offer photo opportunities with your favorite characters, autographs and a costume contest.

General admission tickets are available in advance or at the door for $20 on Friday and $25 on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for children 6-12 are $15 at the door only and children under 6 are free. Show hours are Friday 2 – 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 7 pm.

For more information visit online at http://www.FangoCon.com


E-mail me (before 2/21/2008 at 2 pm) at: chicago.fangoria.tickets@gmail.com with the following information:

– First Name
– Last Name
– Day you want to attend (Saturday or Sunday only)
– City/Town on your ID

I’ll e-mail you back to confirm your win.

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AlphaWomen Unite!

Kaylee King, NBC5 Street Team

AlphaWomen, a worldwide community that supports women who are continuously striving to be the best they can be, welcomes you to have hors d’oeuvres and cocktails with them.

Tomorrow, the group will meet to network and talk about real-life women’s issues like careers, romance, money, shoes, handbags and more. Sponsors for the event include, Sephora, Equinox, Penisula Spa, H20+, Bare Essentials, MORE Cupcakes, Pratesi Linens and many more. Partial proceeds from the sponsors’ products will go to the Lung Cancer Alliance Organization.

When: Thursday, February 21
6-9 p.m.
Where: Sofitel Hotel’s Paris Foyer
20 E. Chestnut
Tickets: $20 in advance/$30 at the door

To learn more about AlphaWomen and to purchase tickets for tomorrow’s event go to www.alphawomen.com

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

“Nor is it out of character that Chicago’s grandest achievement- a largely manmade arc of lakefront parks and beaches – began as a mistake, from waste thrown into Lake Michigan – a 75-year-old dump.” Pat Colander

It is a great time to be in Chicago. OK, so maybe it’s so cold you can buy ice cream at the grocery store half a mile away and it’ll have freezer burn by the time you get home, and 40 degrees seems like an invitation to don a bathing suit and jump in the lake, and you’re beginning to think that bears have the right idea. Really, right now is a great time to be in Chicago.

First of all, the Art Institute and the Field Museum are fre*e all month, and the Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium through Friday. Then starting Friday through the 29th is Chicago Restaurant Week. Dine at some of the city’s top restaurants for $21.95 for lunch and $31.95 for dinner. Just the word “ice” makes me shiver at this point, but that isn’t going to stop me from checking out the Museum of Modern Ice. It’s only here through next Friday, and then Millennium Park gets to thaw out.

Speaking of thawing out, remember that really crazy warm day we had back in January? Besides being an almost cruel tease, it was also the inspiration behind this evening’s E-Coustic Chicago event at Joe’s. Chris Steinmetz worried about global warming, and faster than you can say “ozone” pulled together an extravaganza of artists and music to benefit the environment. You can hear my chat with host Marty Casey about the event, and then join me this evening. (It’s only $10!)

Have a great weekend!


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Danielle Barrera NBC5 Street Team

Kiki’s Bistro, 900 N. Franklin, will salute the Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired with a France versus USA wine tasting dinner on Thursday, February 28. Tasting will begin at 6:30 pm.

Patrons will enjoy a four-course prefixed menu, with a French and an American wine accompanying each course. Special guest wine expert Craig Goldwyn will guide the tasting. Craig Goldwyn is the Manager of Schaefers.com, author of AmazingRibs.com and the former wine critic for the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post.

Tickets are $75.00 per person. Reservations are recommended. This event is open to the public. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Chicago Lighthouse. Street parking is available, and Valet Parking is Complimentary. Kiki’s is located off the Chicago Avenue Brown line.

To make a reservation, or to obtain further information on the “Lighthouse French/American Wine Dinner” at Kiki’s, call 312/ 335-5454. http://www.thechicagolighthouse.org http://www.kikisbistro.com


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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Remember back in January when it was about 70 degrees outside? I do. And I remember thinking “so this is global warming”. Despite the unexpected pleasure of running on the lakefront path in shorts when Belmont Harbor was a sheet of ice, it concerned me, but like most people I didn’t do anything about it. Chris Steinmetz did.

Musicians are known as advocates of the environment, and as the executive producer of Acoustic Chicago, Steinmetz was able to quickly put together an amazing and eclectic collection of artists to benefit the environment. Tomorrow night they’ll take over Joe’s on Weed with music and painting and dancing and fashion and photography and more.

“E-coustic Chicago can be a springboard to raise awareness and expose a lot of the options to take ones participation to the next level, whatever that may be,” said Steinmetz. He hopes this event will “give beginners information and inspire them to step up their pro environment thought processes as well as engage the pro active members of the community.”

NBC5’s Ginger Zee is lending her talents, and Marty Casey will be hosting. I had the pleasure of talking with him about the event and he’s thrilled to be a part of it. I’m also looking forward to this environmental extravaganza and I hope you’ll join me!

E-Coustic Chicago Art & Environmental Celebration
February 20, 7pm
Joe’s, 940 W Weed St
$10 in advance, tickets: www.stonecutterrecords.com

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Hancock BuildingOn the last Sunday in February is Hustle Up The Hancock, an annual stairclimb race that ends at the 94th level observation deck. While the building is situated on some of Chicago’s most valuable real estate, the land beneath was originally a sandbar until one of the city’s most colorful characters crashed into it and decided to stay. Who was he?

Email your answer, and include your mailing address, to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by Facets Findsmidnight on February 24. This week’s prize is a $75 certificate to FacetsFinds, a Chicago based online boutique.

Amanda Gilmore knew that 2122 N Clark St, or the SMC Cartage Company, was the location of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Congratulations! She’ll receive 3 hours of personal or business concierge services from Chocolates On My Pillow!

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team

The walls were shaking at Reggie’s Sunday night with the voices of a unified crowd along side The Loved Ones. The Philadelphia punk rockers packed the place on the Chicago stop of their current headlining tour with The Gaslight Anthem, The Arrivals, and Hifi Handgrenades. Several of the bands have new material out which gave the evening a fresh flare and something to sing about.

Hifi Handgrenades and The Arrivals got things warmed up as the crowd filtered in and flushed out the club. Lead vocalist John Speck stole a seal of approval for Hifi from the crowd with his energetic stage presence. The band’s 20 minute taste test of a set got things rolling and grabbed the audience’s attention early on.

The Arrivals were greeted with a home town cheer from fans who have followed the band for many years. Complete with smiles and laughs, the band played a set that felt as welcome as if you were watching them in their own basement. The group played through their well stocked catalog of tunes including “Last Lullaby” and a brand new track that is currently untitled, but was cheerfully dubbed “Unicorn Horn” for the night. And yes…. someone did yell out “Zombie Raid!”.

See Photos From The Loved Ones, The Gaslight Anthem, and More…

With a new EP out…or on its way out… The Gaslight Anthem brought an extra fist full of nails to the stage. Their energy, raw vocals, and hint of a blues/folk mix shines through live bringing a tougher edge to their recorded material. After experiencing The Gaslight Anthem’s set, their album is now on repeat and I look forward to their next time through.

It is very possible that the majority of Sunday’s crowd sang every lyric to every song during The Loved Ones set. Even the tracks off “Build and Burn”, which is just barely 2 weeks old, were sung with a thunderous chorus from the depths of fan’s hearts. The set had old favorites like “Chicken”, “Jane”, “Arsenic”, and “Living Will” as well as tracks off the new release which included “The Bridge”, “Brittle Heart”, “Selfish Masquerade”, and a finale with “Louisiana”. The Loved Ones could have played for hours and we would still want more, so the only thing left to ask is, What about an encore? The group will be up in Milwaukee on March 21st at the Mirimar Theater and it is definitely worth the drive.

Band Pick of the Night: The Loved Ones

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Shlomi Rabi NBC5 Street Team

Unless you’re the unfortunate fella I forgot to untie before falling asleep last week, you have no excuse for not knowing that the Gay Superbowl, aka the Oscars, are coming up this weekend. While some of my homosapien brethren will argue that the best part of the night is the fashion, I firmly beg to differ. For me, it’s about the sound technicians. They are the true unsung heroes of the film industry, sacrificing their days and nights to make crashing cars sound really real, and bitchslaps heartfelt. If it wasn’t for them, I would never know what noise Daniel Craig’s skull makes when hit with a leaded rock, or what the cracking of skin sounds like until Nicole Kidman smiles. So I propose a toast to all the guys and gays in the industry who never get their due- cheers!

A fantabulous (did I just say “fantabulous”? I think I may have just outgayed myself) venue to watch the Academy Awards (well, three, if you count my dungeon but that’s by invitation only) is the Kit Kat Lounge in Lakeview. Four gaynormous (the wit never stops) projector screens will be displaying the event. There will be no cover charge, and in fact, their legendary and absurdly delicious martinis will be half-off. A $1000 in prizes will be given away, and the eye candy patrons will keep you busy when the boring awards (like Lead Extra In A Short Drama Documentary) come up.

Another fanperfulous (I could go on all night) option is the Autism Speaks fundraiser “Evening with the Stars”. Tickets are going for $100, which is a drop in the No. 5 bottle given the fact that included are dinner, drinks and the chance to walk down a red carpet- paparazzi and all! The best part is knowing that the money will be used for an amazing humanitarian cause that will advance the research for autism. While this year’s Honorary Chairperson is Richard Roeper, previous holders of the prestigious title include NBC5’s very own Larry Wert.

So whether you’re waiting for Best Adapted Short Live Animation or Outstanding Achievement in Catering, make sure it’s someplace fun, important, and yes- fantastisuperocious. ( I warned you.)

My buddy Jake and I, upon learning of our nomination in “Best Imaginary Protagonists In a Non-Foreign Long-Feature Dramedy”, our fifth in a row.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

The SparesThese two play comfortable music that makes you want to tap your foot and maybe even do a little two-step.

From the band: “The Spares make twangy, bluesy, roots music — call it alt-country or Americana. The Chicago duo writes and sings about characters in hard places whose stories hint at love and truth in ways that the characters themselves don’t always recognize. Their lyrics are thoughtful and honest, just as their acoustic music is raw, beautiful, and compelling.”

Next Chicago shows:

Saturday, Feb. 23: Martyrs (3855 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-404-9494, $7, 7 pm, 21+.)
Sunday, March 9: Old Town School of Folk Music (4544 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-728-6000, $20, 7 pm, all ages. They open for Carrie Newcomer.)

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Danielle Barrera NBC5 Street Team

The Wedding Chicago Bridal Brunch & Fashion Show will take place on Sunday, February 24th from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Chicago’s River East Art Center.

On the day of the event, brides will arrive and meet with vendors from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Stylists from Mira Couture and the Jenny Yoo Collection will present a half hour fashion show at 12:30 p.m., featuring designs from their exclusive bridal collection. Makeup artists from MAC Cosmetics will provide makeovers, while guests sip champagne, mimosas & bellinis from LUSH Wine and Spirits. Mini-massages by Escape 2 Fitness are also available, as well as a fitness demonstration by Unicus Fitness.

Guests will receive goody bags and opportunities to win raffle prizes from a variety of sponsors. A Mega-Raffle Prize for a chance to win a 7-night Honeymoon at the award-winning Anse Chastanet on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean – is sponsored by the St. Lucia Tourism Board and Personalized Honeymoons of Personalized Travel Service in Chicago. In order to qualify for the Mega-Raffle Prize, guests must meet with every vendor. The raffle winners will be drawn at 1 p.m. Winners must be present.

The event is produced by Wedding Chicago, Inc. and presented by:
Catering & Special Events by Phil Stefani, Personalized Honeymoons, Lush Wine and Spirits, BBJ Linen.com, Jenny Yoo Collection, Le Royal Icing, Mira Couture, Wedding Chicago Favors. Photography is provided by Imaginative Studios.

The Wedding Chicago Bridal Brunch & Fashion Show is set against the backdrop of the magnificent River East Art Center located near Navy Pier at 435 E. Illinois Street, Chicago. There is easy access from Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue, via the CTA and City of Chicago free trolley systems. Parking is available at numerous lots adjacent to the Center. Tickets are $45.00 each or 2 for $70.00. Reservations are recommended. Brides can order tickets to this event by calling (773) 456-8233. For more information, go to http://www.WeddingChicago.com.


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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Jeff Brown Extra Large TrioThe Chicago Acoustic Underground studio was packed for this show! Jeff’s a great singer/songwriter, and he brought in his “extra-large trio” of Eric Stafford, Greg Combs (with The Apartments), and Vinni Allen. Sima Cunninham of The Audians also helped out. I also had my own entourage of my son and two of his friends. You can tell we had a little bit of fun!

You can catch Jeff Brown at Whiskey Road on March 11, and at Sylvie’s Lounge on May 26 and June 30.

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Jim Grillo, NBC5 Street Team Pssssst, do you know “da passwoid”? Chicago’s longest running Roaring 20’s dinner show is celebrating Valentine’s Day with sold out shows featuring an actual re-enactment of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre! Ironically, just yesterday, the History Channel filmed an episode of “True Stories”, a documentary about Elliot Ness and some of the cast of Tommy Guns Garage re-enacted the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre for the documentary to be shown in the episode. And, YES, yours truly was asked to be in scenes in the episode including doing the voice over for “Elliot Ness”. It was a blast and keep a “look out” for this to air on the History Channel in the coming months. I put together a very short video slide show to share a few photos I took to give you a “behind the scenes” look of yesterday’s long day of filming. Happy Valentines day to you and yours!

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

A few weeks ago, Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce Burlesque Show rolled through Chicago, making a three-night stop at Le Passage nightclub.

I’ve been holding on to this piece for awhile, waiting for the launch of our new Better Sex and Relationships section to launch on the Web site. How fitting that we got it together today, Valentine’s Day!

Images: Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce

Nightlife impresario Ivan Kane started the show as a salute to America’s burlesque show pop culture, and the name, Forty Deuce, is an homage to his days growing up in NYC and the infamous stretch of 42nd Street known for its — shall we say, seedy qualities.

The racy show typically attracts a lot of celebrities, especially when it first started in L.A. And agreement to have Britney Spears perform with the dancers was struck at one point, but she’s had a few other things to worry about these days. Besides, judging by her last appearance on stage, that was probably a great decision.

The first thing you’ll notice at one of these shows is how many women are in the audience, actually outnumbering the men. It seems like women have a strong appreciation for the female form and the talent that these dancers — often professionally trained in classical dance forms — possess.

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out the video below.

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Cheap Date: Rossini’s

Hungry Z, NBC5 Street Team

Probably the single most popular date is dinner and a movie. The question is where to go to dinner? You want to choose a place that has good food, comfortable atmosphere, and won’t set you back a fortune. It’s no wonder then, that one of the most commonly asked questions of me is to recommend a good date restaurant. This weeks “Cheap Date” restaurant is “Rossini’s“, located at 8808 N. Milwaukee Ave in Niles.

“Rossini’s” is a small restaurant with a warm comfy feel to it. During the summer the outside is adorned with flowers and the hand painted mural on its walls help to convey a welcoming atmosohere. The dining room is adorned with brick walls, dim lighting, and some Italian meats prominently displayed. Service here is friendly and slow enough to let you have a conversation, so if you’re in a hurry let them know, otherwise they let you relax and enjoy your meal and conversation.
The menu covers everything from beef, chicken, veal, and fish. For an appetizer you must try the bruscetta topped with fresh mozzarella. Top choice entres are the veal or chicken marsala, parmesan, and limone. All deserts are home made and I especially like the creamy spumoni gelato.
How much for all this goodness? An appetizer, 2 entres, 2 glasses of wine, and dessert will run you about $50. That’s a bargain for a date! And if you end up not digging your date, at least you had a great meal that didn’t leave you broke!

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