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Archive for the ‘Live Music’ Category

Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Wow.  I can’t believe it’s been literally decades that I’ve known John Schenk and often hosted charity concerts that he’s put together for his Rainbow Foundation.  From UFO’s Pete Way to Jim Peterik to Randy Jackson to Dennis DeYoung to Shooting Star to Kevin Chalfant to Rik Emmett…the list goes on and on.  His many charity shows benefited sick children and their families.  Their stories were tragic yet somehow these events were so fun!  His giving spirit always impressed me, and his ability to put on a great rock concert that helped so many heartbreaking situations really amazes me.

This Saturday, May 13 it’s time to celebrate two decades of concerts/charity events…by having another concert!  Swing by The Penny Road Pub  to catch a great show from Firehouse and UFO’s Paul Chapman while celebrating 20 years of The Rainbow Foundation helping children and families in crisis.

Ticket’s are only $13 in advance (get them through ticketweb) or $16 at the door.

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Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

It will be a somber St. Patrick’s Day for those of us slowly coming to terms with the absence of our beloved South Side Irish Parade. On March 25th of 2009, the South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee announced that the event would be cancelled, indefinitely. The decision was welcomed by some, but widely regarded as the end of a cherished era by most.

For many, the parade was as much a staple for their neighborhood as any event; so much so, that it grew in popularity every year and eventually became too large to manage. Or so the explanation goes.

South Side Irish Parade Route

While there were many legitimate factors that influenced the cancellation, (namely public intoxication, trampled property, unruly behavior) none represent what gave the parade its heart and soul: the families. It was about gathering to celebrate our Irish heritage, but you always got the sense there was more to it than that. Droves of families and friends poured faithfully each year into Western Avenue like a green human river; walking distances from as short as their front lawns to neighborhoods miles away.

Some of my earliest and fondest memories can be attributed to that parade. I watched it with my family and relatives as a child; marched in it as a boy scout; attended it with dear friends as a teenager; played in it as part of the Marist High School Marching Band and returned to it as a spectator, and an adult. It was an event to share with your children, and your children’s children. A gathering of proud people surrounded by the buildings and streets they love. It was the celebration of the neighborhoods the event represented, and the stores you rode your bike to as a kid. It was the South Side Irish Parade, and it was ours.

(Replacing the event will be the South Side Irish Parade Family Fest, held on Saturday, March 13th, hosted by the Beverly Arts Center. The daylong festival features family-friendly activities including: bag pipers, an Irish soda bread contest, a small children’s parade, dancers, a best dressed “Irish dog” contest and an array of Irish-themed arts.)

TICKETS
Admission (from 11am-4pm): $10 Adults,
$7 Seniors, Free for children under 12
Admission (after 4pm): All tickets $25

http://www.beverlyartcenter.org

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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

 On location at Binny’s Beverage Depot with Bianca Berger of TY KU-a premium Asian Wine and Spirits Company.

How did you become State Manager for TY KU?

Bianca Berger(c) TY KU-State Manager

Well, I have worked in the Adult Beverage Industry for over 7 years here in the Chicago area.  About a year ago I was approached by representatives of the brand and then came on board to use my expertise to help launch the beverage in Illinois.  It has been a lot of fun working for this new company and breaking it in this market.  TY KU has given us the freedom and flexibility to try new things in order to build the brand.

What are the most popular types of TY KU in this market?

TY KU LIQUEUR is the most popular type selling in the Chicago area.  It comes in a very uniquely shaped bottle with a bright green citrus tasting liquor inside-that people like.  TY KU LIQUEUR is made up of super fruits found only in Asia-including a combination of mangosteen and gogi berri-natural ingredients packed high in antioxidants and vitamins.

How does the brand differentiate itself?

The New Skin of TY KU

Currently, there is no clear leader in Asian Spirits in this market and this is where we’ve found our niche.  In addition, we are bringing to market a healthier alternative to most adult beverages due to the natural super fruit ingredients.   The TY KU LIQUEUR is packaged in a unique bottle that lights up at the bottom and this is another great selling point.  And our TY KU SAKE is poised for huge growth with it’s unique flavor-offering the same health benefits as wine.

Does TY KU have a target demographic?

No not really.  But we find that we are developing a customer base that is 21-30 looking to experience new flavors-willing to try something different.  And it is very popular among women.  (And this couldn’t be more true-new TY KU Fan-Alicia Tiffany stated, “Personally I liked the fruity sweet taste of the green one…the colors of the drink and the shape of the bottle really stood out.”)

What’s next for TY KU?

At the top of the year we introduced the new TY KU SOJU and have a major push behind this campaign.  And we have just launched the TY KU NINJAGETAWAY Sweepstakes because even Ninjas need a vacation! We are offering TY KU fans a chance to win a kick a$$ vacation to Paradise Island, Bahamas or Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The prize includes 4 days & 3 nights at the luxurious Riu Hotel & Resort, round trip airfare, spa treatments, water sports, beachwear, skincare products & much more! Enter daily to increase your chances of winning. Sweepstakes ends on April 30th, 2010

TY KU NinjaGetaway

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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

On Location at  The Shrine with Soul Songstress Aniba Hotep.

Who is Aniba Hotep-please explain for the world to know.

I am a Messenger of Peace-the person who sees the happy ending to the path of life.  Consider me a combination my unique life’s experience and applied knowledge-from mentors who have gone before me.  Living through these experiences-this is who I am.  Where it all began was in my hometown, performing in talent shows and composing my own music in an academic honors programs, which lead to a chance to perform at the famed Apollo theater as a young child.

Aniba Hotep

How do you define your style…is it Soul Music or is it R&B?

My style is absolutely Soul Music.  Originally from small town in Virginia, my musical roots were being established in the Church from age 11.  My sound is influenced by my religious upbringing-infused with the blues.  Listening to me perform-you can hear Southern based Soul a kind of Soul Blues-akin to many of the greats like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Johnny Taylor, Al Green and Billie Holiday.

When I first heard you play you reminded me of some of the great disco classics from the days of Salsoul Records.  How do you feel about disco and house music?

Where I’m from-house is GoGo music.  And when I first moved here-I fell in love with the older stuff like First Choice and Loleatta Holloway-and you can hear some of these songs incorporated in my live sets.  However, I would not have labeled what I heard and listened to at that time as house music.

How does fashion play a role in your music?

Fashion is very much intertwined with my music.  When first arriving in Chicago-I started first expressing myself on the poetry scene and then transitioned into the music.  Even then, I wanted to leave a mark in all facets of this are.  When people see a show they deserve a visual-and fashion would never not be a factor.

What do you enjoy most about your art and performing?

Aniba Hotep-Live

I enjoy the songwriting aspect of my art.  I write most of my material and music.  Building a song that people appreciate-pleases me.  Once an audience is engaged in my art-that’s when I am most comfortable and closer to finding a love for the stage.

What about the city of Chicago influences you?

I became an adult in the city of Chicago.  It has always influenced me musically.  Before arriving I was always in record stores listening to and looking for records from Chaka Khan, Ramsey Lewis and Booker-T-the Chicago taste in music was similar to what I was listening to and what I like to give in my shows.

What’s in store for your fans in 2010?

I plan to continue with the“All Souled Out” concert series-we already have a growing fan base.  The next time you can come to see me play will be at The Morseland-Friday, February 26 at 9pm. We plan to perform at the upcoming Chicago Soul Music Festival and will look to book an overseas tour.

Come on out an see the most soulful band out of Chicago since Earth, Wind and Fire-Aniba Hotep and The Sol Collective!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Fold will play at The Bottom Lounge in Chicago tomorrow (Friday, February 12) night.  They The Foldwill be also at the Apple Store in Michigan Avenue  on March 21, 2010.  Bring your iPhone and be part of their new video!  Hear more about that during my conversation with Dan Castady, lead singer of The Fold in Cara’s Basement.

Listen here:

The video they made for “Every Band In The U.S.A.” is amazing and is burning up on youtube:
Get more from The Fold here:

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Or even better, WATCH all about it! The weekend starts early with a performance and celebration this Thursday at The Joynt. Cellist Ian Maksin will be performing, with special guests, songs from his new CD, Solo Flight. The night is also the launch of the newly released CD, so expect plenty of celebrating to go along with the unique and soulful music of Ian Maskin. No cover. Doors at 8.

Want a little taste? Watch below as I host a “Gimme 5!” interview with “The Cello Man”, himself!

For more info, check out this week’s Time Out Chicago! See ya there!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Lady Gaga will invade Chicago next weekend, but now it’s at a new location. Turns out the production of her show just won’t work at the Chicago Theatre so now her shows on January 8-10 will happen at The Rosemont Theatre.Lady Gaga

Here’s the kicker: if you were fortunate enough to land tickets to any of her sold out Chicago Theatre shows those tickets are not automatically good for the The Rosemont Theatre. YOU MUST TAKE ACTION TO KEEP YOUR TICKETS VALID….AND YOU ONLY HAVE 48 HOURS TO DO SO, beginning at 5pm today!

If you have Lady Gaga tickets here’s what you need to do: return your Chicago Theatre tickets for a full refund at your point of purchase – then you will be given the information on an exclusive presale for The Rosemont Theatre shows at that time.  So, in essence, you have to buy your tickets all over again.  But rest assured, ticket holders for the Chicago Theatre show(s) are guaranteed the same amount of tickets to the Rosemont Theatre show(s) on the same night they bought originally. This guarantee is only valid during the 48 hour presale time.

Confused? For any ticket holder questions, go to www.ticketmaster.com or call ticketmaster customer service at 800-653-8000.

All of this is good news if you didn’t score Lady Gaga tickets the first time around. Since The Rosemont Theatre is a bigger venue that means more tickets will go on sale this Monday morning, January 4, at 10am via www.ticketmaster.com or at any ticketmaster outlet. Get more information HERE.  And…even better…you can win FREE tickets for Lady Gaga next week with Eric & Kathy on 101.9 The MIX!

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chicago is an amazing city for many shows to shine. Whether it is a pre-Broadway production, post-Broadway tour or a one night only concert – this city has many wonderful options to choose from.

With Guy Laliberté, Founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel: A New Twist on Vaudeville is previewing at the Chicago Theatre until January 3, 2010 before it embarks on a new journey to Broadway in early February. The show has mixed reviews. It’s heavy on comedy and choreography, blending slapstick with tap and hip-hop dance forms. The show’s plot revolves around a producer named Schmelky who is trying to put together a variety show. This production is very different than other Cirque du Soleil shows. There aren’t as many aerialists, contortionists, etc. Come in with an open mind.

Another show that’s set to appear on Broadway is The Addams Family Musical, currently playing at the Ford Center/Oriental Theatre until January 10, 2010. Veteran actors Nathan Lane (Gomez) and Bebe Neuwirth (Morticia) star in this unique musical. The Addams Family musical takes place as Wednesday Addams is older and the show’s two hot topics were love and sex. Lane was amazing portraying Gomez and Neuwirth did a decent job as Morticia.

With Zachary James who plays Lurch and Kevin Chamberlin who plays Uncle Fester in The Addams Family Musical

In an interview, The Addams Family musical actors Zachary James (Lurch) and Kevin Chamberlin (Uncle Fester) noted the show has been cut down 30-minutes from the original time. It will be interesting to see what the show is like once it graces the Broadway stage.

The New Mel Brooks Musical, Young Frankenstein, just wrapped up their tour in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre last night. The production began on Broadway where 484 shows were performed. The musical features Desperate Housewives guest actor, Roger Bart, as Dr. Frankenstein. The actors in Young Frankenstein were brilliant and notable songs included “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, “Transylvania Mania” and “He Vas My Boyfriend”.

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

The Guy Fieri Road Show stopped for an evening of fun at the Rosemont Theatre. Fieri is known for hosting Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. He says the show “is food, rock n’ roll and everything they won’t let me do on TV!”

The opener for Fieri was Australian native and World Champion Flair Bartender, Hayden “Woody” Wood. Wood was dancing, clapping and twirling bottles during his presentation. He made apple spice martinis, pear margaritas and eggnog.

Once Fieri took the stage, he got the audience dancing to good ol’ rock music. A DJ was supplying all the tunes while Fieri shared his cooking stories, Thanksgiving turkey mishaps and answering questions from the crowd. Fieri also had a karaoke contest and pulled members of the audience up on stage to sing for prizes.

Coming soon to Chicago theatres near you are the following shows: In The Heights (which opens tomorrow), The 101 Dalmations Musical, Mama Mia!, Annie, Dreamgirls, Billy Elliot The Musical and more!

For ticket information, visit www.Ticketmaster.com or www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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Eric Smith, NBC5 Street Team

On location at La Fonda Del Gusto in Wicker Park with Cesar Rolon.

Tell us about your background…how did you get to where you are?

My professional background started in Radio and TV where I worked as a PR Executive for radio stations covering a great portion of the Chicago market.  I also have served as Executive Director of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce-revitalizing it’s commercial business district and the Puerto Rican Chamber of  Commerce which ultimately led to me working to establish the Hispanic Woman’s Business Conference.

Cesar, Eric and James

What motivates you?

I absolutely love what I do.  I am a workaholic. I come from a family of 5  originally from Puerto Rico and history ignites my fire.  I feel a sense of obligation to payback and return the favor of those who came before me.

What inspired you to create Latino Fashion Week Chicago?

Years ago, while attending the parade of sculptures along Michigan Avenue produced by the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, I discovered they didn’t have one figure created by a Latino.  Then visiting stores along the Mag Mile I asked if anyone carried a Latino designer to find there were none.  This became my motivation to create a platform for and to promote Latin fashion designers.  As a result,

Sonya Galaviz

I have helped launch the careers of several prominent Latino fashionistas including designers James De Colon and Sonya Galaviz and Sin Cosmetic’s Hernan Rivera.

What else have you done?

I created Chicago R.E.A.C.H.-Reaching Elderlies Across Chicagos Horizons-the only all inclusive adult care center for seniors 65 hrs and older.  The mission of the center is to serve those who are most devastated by life’s circumstances-we provide the necessities including covering medical prescriptions.

Currently, I am partnering with American Family Insurance and Ikea to create DreamRoomGiveaway-a 6month campaign accross 7 cities where the  5 most needy families in each city can apply to win $5000 in furniture for their own Dream Room.

So what’s next?

Runway Samba

2010 will be quite busy.  I’ve got Latino Fashion Week Chicago whose theme will be “The Passport”.  We are looking to establish Chicago’s first Cuban Music Festival.  And I’m contemplating a collaboration on the Festival Metropolatino on the grounds of Soldiers Field in July.

Looks like Mr. Colon will be quite busy in the new year-can’t wait to see what comes next so stay tuned!

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chicago’s hit rock ‘n’ roll musical, Million Dollar Quartet celebrated its one-year anniversary this month.  Having rocked Chicago at the Apollo Theater for a year, this inspiring show has been extended through March 28, 2010.  In the springtime, Million Dollar Quartet is set to rock Broadway.

mdq_keyArt_horiz_copyMillion Dollar Quartet is inspired by an actual event that occurred on December 4, 1956, when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins came together at the Sun Records’ studio in Memphis.  Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” discovered the four musicians and brought them together for the only time in their careers for one of the greatest rock jam sessions of all time.

You walk into the theater as if you’re in Sun Records’ studio where a drum set sits, an upright bass is rested on its side, a piano stands still, guitars are propped up ready to be strummed and four shiny, classic, chrome microphones lay resting on mic stands waiting for soulful vocals to be sung into them.

Picture 004The performers walk out and embrace the stage singing an unbelievable collection of featured songs including “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Who Do You Love”, “Great Balls of Fire” and many more hits.

The stars of the show have an uncanny resemblance to the star recording artists they’re portraying.

Their musical talent and acting abilities work very well together.

The production stars Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley; Lance Guest as Johnny Cash; Levi Kreis as Jerry Lee Lewis and Rob Lyons as Carl Perkins.  Chicago’s very own Tim Decker plays the “Father of Rock ’n’ Roll” Sam Phillips, and Chicago-based actress Kelly Lamont plays Elvis’ girlfriend Dyanne.

Throughout the performance, audience members were tapping their feet, rocking their bodies, shaking their heads and singing along to the tunes.  This musical journey to the past is a “must-see”!

For more information visit www.MillionDollarQuartetLive.com

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Who knew just $35 could do so much?  That’s the incredibly affordable pricGavin Rossdalee of a ticket to Dare 2 Dream this Thursday at the House Of Blues.  The most important aspect of this event is that a portion of the proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Illinois.  But it’s going to be a great show, too – you’ll see Gavin Rossdale (formerly of Bush) with Lovehammers and Relief opening.

Dare 2 Dream starts early, 5pm…so skip out of work and help out a much-deserving cause while rocking on a Thursday evening in Chicago!  Get ticket information HERE and listen to details about the concert here:

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

Joe Piscopo is flying in to Chicago this afternoon for meetings and promotion associated with his upcoming variety show, The Joynt After Dark.  Joe will host the show with comedian Don Novello, also known as Father Guido Sarducci and other guest hosts.  The guys have partnered up with long time friend and co-owner of The Joynt, Stan Wozniak to create the scripted-reality variety show, along with producers Jimmy “The Hat”, Ari Golan, Matt Gaven and Jen Knoedl.  The multi-talented Mr. Piscopo will host the show with audience and guests through music, song, skits, stand-up, interviews and whatever else pops up!  The show is set to shoot this month and the talent search for guests and audience has begun!

Come to audition or come for the party!  Tonight, Tuesday, November 3rd The Joynt will host open auditions downstairs in the Retro Room.  “Would-be” comics, magicians and other entertainment acts are encouraged to sign up for a time slot beginning at 8:30 in the Grand Bar.  In addition to searching for guest talent, The Joynt After Dark is auditioning for the casted audience.  Come tell the guys why they need YOUR energy in the room!  (Psst: I think they MAY be looking for enthusiasm!)

Auditions will be held from 9-11 pm.  First come, basis.  Tell your talented friends.

The Joynt

650 N Dearborn St (@Erie)

312.573.2233

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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

On location at TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center-676 N. LaSalle Street-with Founder, President and Wellness Coach-Amy Leffel.

Speak a little bit about your background-life before TEAMiFIT and how all this happened?

I received my undergraduate degree at Indiana University in Exercise Physiology and Public Health.  I worked as a personal trainer and exercise specialist-teaching fitness classes at gyms across the city.  Then I went back to school to get my masters degree in Education, where I worked with kids from 1st grade all the way up to 8th.  While as a school teacher, I was also teaching fitness classes and working as a personal trainer on the side.  So I have about seven years working in fitness.  This has been my passion, so doing this doesn’t feel like work.

TEAMiFIT at Chicago Soul Music Festival

Amy Got Soul

The initial concept was exercise on location at different outdoor venues across the city.  What gave you the idea to get started that way?

I’ve had this vision a long time.  April through September every year we hold outside classes.  So you’ll have classes happening all around the city…Lincoln Park, West Loop, West Town, River North, Gold Coast, Lake View and South Loop.  We also take these classes to the beach.  And as the weather cools we bring this more of this action to our space here.

So what makes TEAMiFIT different?

TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center

TurboKick

TEAMiFit is a one-stop shop promoting health and wellness!  You can come here and get fitness classes for adults and kids.  We have Strictly CORE, TurboKick, Zumba, Strength Boxing classes and more…we’ve got all kinds of flava flava-including Power Yoga and Power Pilates.  We’ve got specialized workshops like plyometric training focusing on high-intensity movements for high impact.  We also have small group personal training called ‘Armed and Dangerous’ for only six people, to work with a personal trainer at a discounted price.  And beginning in November we are going to have educational classes ‘Doing Life Together’, where our lifestyle coaches will educate based on personal experience using their expertise to focus on what our members want.  Topics will include like how to eat right when working out, how to balance life, how to spend smart over the holidays, educational self-massage, couples massage, etc.  The lifestyle coaches will be here to educate and build relationships with our clientele.  We’re basically doing life together.

TEAMiFIT

TEAMiFIT

Amy is definitely on the move in Chicago and wants to get your body moving.  For additional information and register for classes visit TEAMiFIT online and Facebook.  To hear the entire interview, download the audio casts below.

Part 1  Interview w/Amy ‘Body’

Part 2 Interview w/Amy ‘What You Waiting For?’

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Jeff BarakaJeff Baraka, NBC Chicago Street Team

jp shot2

Tomorrow night, singer/songwriter Jen Porter and Chicago inde label, Stonecutter Records are throwing a release party for her 4th original studio album, “Closer to the Surface”. She’ll perform the entire album with a 7-piece band.

Her style is expansive and universal, though best described within rock/folk rock and adult contem- porary genres. You can’t help but love her power house voice, rhythmic piano and mellow, acoustic guitar.

9pm, Thursday, 10-22-09

Martyrs’ Pub, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

$7 cover

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

No doubt, Chicago is jam packed with incredible musicians.  We are so lucky.

Here’s a talented lady who I’ve been fortunate to see perform at several shows and she completely blew me away every time – her voice, her personality, her charisma – wow, she’s got the whole package going on!  Be sure to catch Jen Porter this Thursday at Martyr’s as she celebrates the release of her new CD “Closer To The Surface“, recorded right here in Chicago.  It might just be one of your last opportunities to catch her in such an intimate setting…with any luck it won’t be too long until she’s touring the world promoting this CD!Jen Porter Party

Stonecutter Records

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

There’s something funny going on in River North on Tuesday, October 20th. Sarah Vargo of Maven and Fred Farris of Key Management have teamed up with The Joynt to host Stand Up Against Cancer which benefits local charity Imerman Angels. The party and the awareness are going down at 650 N. Dearborn (@ Erie) and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate all the good things that are happening under Johnny Imerman’s inspiration!

The show starts at 6:30 and features a laundry list of talented comedians along with headliner Kira Soltanovich, from Girls Behaving Badly and The Phony Phone Booth on The Jay Leno Show. Have you seen this bit? It’s hilarious! What WON’T people do for a free picture?!?! You can find the clips here or check it out in this week’s edition of The SAUCE, hosted by Yours Truly, below. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door with limited seating.

*PRESS RELEASE*

**Hugs and Kisses from JenChicago.com!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

If you’re a fan of rock music then you must be very familiar with the legendary guitar riff’s of Rik Emmett.  He was part of the amazing power trio Triumph, providing killer licks in great songs like “Fight The Good Fight”, “Lay It On The Line”, etc.  Here’s an opportunity to catch him in an intimate environment and also help out a great cause, Pizza’s 4 Patriots:

Wow, what killer line-up.  As it turns out, several of those artists have appeared in my podcast Cara’s Basement:

Rik Emmett-

Ronnie Platt-

Kevin Chalfant-

See you at Durty Nellies on Saturday, October 24!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Michael Buble has sold 22,000,000 albums (so far) worldwide. His singing voice is impeccable.  His songs capture romance, heartache, love and every other emotion that goes along with any relationship you’ve ever been in. His song “Everything” is a very popular first-dance song at weddings. And his live performances are unreal. No wonder he’s got millions of fans worldwide chomping at the bit, anticipating the release of his third album “Crazy Love”. The album was initially supposed to be released on October 13, but due to fan demand the album will now be released 4 days prior (October 9). You can pre-order it now.

I had the priveledge of being the very first radio personality in the USA to speak to Michael Buble as he begins his mass promo for his new album.  An even bigger honor was having him serenade me…I still have the goosebumps!

Listen to our conversation in Cara’s Connection at the WTMX website:

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

On location at the Studio L’amour, West Loop. There is nothing better than an original, and Michelle L’amour is just that-dancer, choreographer, business woman, teacher, promoter and most of all Queen of Tease!

How did you become Michelle L’Amour?
My background training was in Classical Dance. But I didn’t get a chance to do Burlesque until after college when I was asked to choreograph and perform a Burlesque show. I didn’t really know what it was at the time but I said yes because I wanted to dance and perform. Then I heard the music and was completely hooked and knew that this is what I was meant to be doing.

So when you say you heard the music can you elaborate on that?
The music is the classic dirty jazz, bump and grind style music…it’s really great…great drums, horns…

Michelle L'amour

Michelle L'amour

What makes you different than most women in and outside of the business?
Well, one of my goals was to draw attention to the Chicago Burlesque scene and what I was doing here. I really wanted to pull attention to this city because I love this city and I think it’s great and deserves the attention. My first step in doing that was winning the Ms. Exotic World title in 2005, which is like the World Series of Burlesque. And then I did America’s Got Talent the first season so that definitely drew attention here. But I had also been teaching, because this was one of my goals, to educate the people in the city about Burlesque what it was and what it can be today. I’ve been teaching Burlesque for about 4 years now and have since opened my own dance school Studio L’Amour which has been open for about a year.

For those of us who don’t know can you describe what Burlesque is?
Burlesque is all about the tease. Exaggerating your femininity, showcasing the curves and really playing up the fact that you are a woman.

So would you define what you do more as art or entertainment?
I think art can be entertainment. And I think I do both.

How did you take something like this(Burlesque) and do it in Chicago visa vis New York or LA?
I really think that teaching women helped break the ice a bit. If you can get women on your side you are in good shape, we are harder to please. Women learn in class what it takes to do Burlesque, that it is not as easy as it looks and it is my job to make it look easy. So when they come to class using muscles they didn’t know they had, and let things jiggle that they didn’t think they were supposed to let jiggle one gains a large amount of appreciation for the art form. It’s something fun you can bring your boyfriend to-it brings sexuality in a great light.

Well enough read…to hear the entire interview click to download now.

Stay tuned for upcoming events at Studio L’Amour including:

StripTease Classes/Dr. Sketchys-Figure Drawing Class/LipShtick

Naked Girls Reading/Sex Body Fashion Show/The Tassel and Twirl Workshop

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

Starting out as an invitation to a great party on Chicago’s hot music scene at the EnVent West Loop venue turned into an opportunity to take a closer look at the new KIA Soul vehicle and The Soul Collective.

The KIA Soul urban passenger vehicle was designed by Mike Torpey, who found inspiration for the vehicle while on assignment in Korea after watching a television show on wild boars. Believe it or not, the vehicle’s shape is derived from his sketch of a wild boar with a back pack, and as he states it is… “tough, rugged…with a cool stance and is ready to go places…”

The New KIA Soul

The New KIA Soul

After having test-driven the vehicle it is all that and then some. KIA Soul is a cool urban vehicle perfect for city living. Its design is sleek, tight and compact with out being too small, rugged in posture-yet smooth around the bends. Definitely holding it’s own against other similar vehicles in it’s class like the Honday Civic, Scion xD and Sukuki SX4, this vehicle will surely stand out with many options for personalization and with the upcoming signature releases-Denim Soul, Ignition Soul, Light-Up Soul and more.

KIA Soul defines “a new way to roll” by partnering with Collective members Janelle Monae, Jonas and Francois, Jeff Stape, Jeffery Kalmikoff and Major Nelson. As stated by Katherine Cima, Manager of Sponsorships and Promotion for KMA, “Soul is a state of mind. The Soul Collective members have their own unique style and personality, they don’t roll the way the rest of us do. And as part of this campaign, these tastemakers are articulating how they roll, with KIA Soul-connecting with Gen Y at their passion points which are music, fashion design and art.”

Stating further, “The Soul Collective 10 city tour events are a fun place for people to come mingle, hear great music and test drive KIA Soul. Taking place over the course of three days and culminating on the last day in each market, a free concert only for those who take a test drive.” And she was right on point, I had the opportunity to see Chicago’s own Moneypenny

Money Penny Headlines Opening Night

moneypenny

do her thing opening night, those in attendance were more than ready to mingle and I got tix to the closing ceremony with The Walkmen because I test drove the new KIA Soul!

For additional information and tour dates visit KIASoulCollective.com.

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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

This Labor Day Weekend, the African Festival of the Arts celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Washington Park!  It is always a favorite and highly-anticipated way to end the summer and this year will be no exception!  Enjoy vendors with a variety of fabulous merchandise:  art, photography, clothing, accessories, body products, jewelry and so much more; delicious food; and, fantastic musical acts, including The Ohio Players, Booker T. Jones, Ahmad Jamal, George Clinton and many more national and local artists, fashion shows and dance.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and spend the whole day with plenty to keep you occupied and plenty of room to spread out, relax and regroup, and then continue to check out the vendors in the African Marketplace! 

Theres Something for All Ages!

There's Something for All Ages!

And don’t forget about the Pavilions where you will find activities to suit every taste!  At the Children’s Pavilion youth of all ages can learn and enjoy games, music, dance, storytelling, theater, arts and crafts all day long! Contributors include: Hyde Park Arts Center, the Field Museum and other family-focused institutions that offer fun, educational and interactive programs. Many social service agencies will be represented in the pavilion to provide answers to family, parental and children’s questions.

The ICE Theaters Film Pavilion presents daily screenings of short and full-length films that interpret the culture and experiences of peoples living in all parts of the African Diaspora.  They’ll also feature a showcase of films produced mainly by black filmmakers from around the world, including a section of works produced for and/or by black youth. Enjoy free popcorn, get free movie posters and learn more about Black World Cinema, an independent film series available only at your neighborhood ICE Theaters.

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

The Festival is world renowned for its assembly of artists from around the Diaspora featuring original paintings, sculptures limited editions, prints, photographs, and ceramics. This year, the Fine Arts Pavilion will include artists such as Stacey Brown (festival artist of the year), Emerson Williams, Uwa Hunwick, Bayo Iribhogbe, Frank Frasier, Melvin King, Rondell, Nii-Oti, Akosuah Bandele, Marvin Sims, Ousmane Gueye, Dana Easter, Dimali, Isodor Howard, Samuel Akainyah, and Dayo Layoe.

Visit the AFA Pavilion Page for more on the Chrysler Financial Pavilion, Author and Book Pavilion, Meet the Artists Media Tent, The Drum Village, Spirituality Pavilion, Health and Wellness Village, Cyberspace Pavilion, Quilting Pavilion and the HipHop Stage and Pavilion!  Visit the Festival Schedule Page for the full entertainment schedule, created by Soleil’s To-Dos and featuring the wonderful, interactive calendar features that you’ve grown to rely on!

Just Chillin

Just Chillin'

But wait – there’s more To-Do!!!  That’s right – be sure to visit the “All Chill Zone” at the Soleil’s To-Dos booth.  (You’ll find the booth number and location at www.so-LAZE.com, on the Facebook Page, through our Twitter Feed or by calling (773) 268 To-Do (8636).)  We’ll be stone cold chillin’ and giving you the perfect spot to catch up with friends, sit and eat, slap a few cards, wax poetic and groove to the beats – including live music!  Yes, thanks to Sam Martin, the Idea Doctor, you can expect some special guests to stop through and grace us with some mini-performances.  BYOChair, or cop a squat in one of ours, if available, and chill for a while!  We’ll also be doing some special giveaways including theater; concert tickets; dinners; and, for one lucky woman, a one-hour photo shoot with Lee Bey Photography!

So, whatever your plans this weekend, be sure to make a visit to the African Festival of the Arts!  The Festival runs from Friday through Monday, from 10am-10pm.  General Daily Admission, $10 in advance; $15 at the gate; Seniors and Children (Under 12 – over 65), $5; Daily Family Pass (2 adults and 4 children under 12), $30; Adult (4-day) Weekend Pass, $30.

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

“Pizza’s 4 Patriots” is such a cool concept.  Literally, giving those who serve our country a slice of home.  Go here to find out more about what they do – and go to Durty Nellie’s on October 24th to see a great show while supporting the cause.  Details below:

Pizzas 4 Patriots Celebration Concert at Durty Nellies Oct 24 2009

Here’s a blast-from-the-past interview with Rik Emmett:

Here’s a blast-from-the-past interview with Kevin Chalfant:

Here’s a blast-from-the-past interview with Ronnie Platt:

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Wow, this is a way cool bang-for-the-buck concert experience. Don’t miss your chance to see The Plain White T’s in a very intimate setting tonite (8/28/09). Only 1500 tickets are being sold for Lake Effect, a charity show they are headlining tonight at The Palmer House.

$75 includes three bands performing (Plain White T’s, Chicago blues artist Melvin TaylorPWTs Dave Tirio, Cara Carriveau and Tom Higgenson plus the Gentlemen Of Leisure Band which happens to be one of President Obama’s favorite Chicago bands)…it also includes an open premium bar, an amazing array of food stations created by the Palmer House’s Executive Chef Stephen Henry and Pastry Chef Fabrice Bouet…and, as an added bonus, a limited number of behind-the-scenes tours of Palmer House will be conducted by docents from the Chicago Architecture Foundation.  Most importantly…100% of the proceeds benefit the Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care’s Good Mourning Program (providing support for families and children of all ages in overcoming the loss of a loved one).

Don’t pass up this opportunity to help out a wonderful organization while enjoying a phenomenal experience.  Got o www.LakeEffectParty.com or call 847-692-8897 to purchase tickets.

Tom Higgins from The Plain White T’s just spoke to me about this show – listen here:

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