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Archive for the ‘Live Music’ Category

Fayth a.k.a. Relaxocat, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chicago’s very own Grape Juice Records celebrates it’s 5 year anniversary with a big bash on Thursday, September 3 at Double Door!  How big of a bash?  Well, they’ll have a 6 band line-up including The Lower 48 and Phillip Morris.  Also look forward to a special appearance by Duff Goldman, Food Network’s “Ace Of Cakes”,  not only performing in his band, …soihadto…, but also bringing along a very special custom cake.  So if you ever wondered what those fancy cakes taste like, now is your chance to find out.Grape Juice

Grape Juice Records is one of Chicago’s growing labels with a grassroots philosophy and a full roster of some great indie and folk inspired bands.  “We like people. And the environment. And a lot of other things, too. That’s why we have each band choose an organization, to which we’ll donate a portion of our revenue from that band’s album sales. The band can match our contribution, for twice the giving.”

Tickets are $6.  Double Door is located at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.  Doors open at 7 p.m., shows begin at 8 p.m.  Show up early and receive a free CD compilation, “Grape Juice Family & Friends Vol. 1″, a splendid sampling of their bands’ music.  And don’t forget to have your cake and eat it too!

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Fayth a.k.a. Relaxocat, NBC Chicago Street Team

Join your fellow music lovers at Beat Kitchen on Friday, August 28th for the Stimulus Music Show, an eclectic show featuring live music from bands Stimulus-Flyersuch as the underground, Brit influenced Blah, Blah, Blah and Chicago’s own indie/psychedelic, Loyal Divide.   This is the first show of its kind bringing forth not only some up-and-coming indie bands, but also everyone who attends will receive a discount card good for promotional discounts at some of the city’s favorite places.

Among the many businesses offering Stimulus discounts – Threadless Tees and ICream plus free stuff from Time Out, Wow Bao, and 312UNES (312 Beer).   Discounts are valid for a month, so you’ll be able to reap the rewards of the Stimulus Music Show until summer’s end.

This is first in a series of upcoming Stimulus shows.  Keep an eye out for future shows with new music and even more discounted offerings from local businesses.  For more information and a free music sampler download, click here.

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

My jaw hit the floor when I heard that Jordin Sparks was touring with Britney Spears on the second leg of her “Circus” tour (coming to the Allstate Arena September 9).  C’mon…Jordan is a sweet innocent 19 year old that proudly wears a purity ring and just spent the summer on the road with super-sweet-goodie-guys The Jonas Brothers (also known for their purity rings)…if I was Jordin‘s mother I’d be very nervous knowing she’ll be on the same bill as Britney.  They’ll be spending a lot of time together on the road.  Do I really need to list the reasons why it’s worrisome?  OMG.  Heck, maybe Jordin‘s behavior (ie, morals) will rub off on Britney…wouldn’t that be special!

I just spoke to Jordin Sparks for WTMX and she is thrilled about all of the things going on in her Jordin Sparkscareer.  She’ll be part of “VH1 Diva’s” airing live on September 17 hosted by Paula Abdul, and Jordin is very blatant about her opinion regarding Paula no longer being a judge on American Idol.  Listen here:


Catch Jordin Sparks at “Skate For The Heart” September 19 at the Sears Centre Arena.

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Fayth a.k.a. Relaxocat, NBC Chicago Street Team

Go see The Livers tonight, August 22nd  at Quenchers Saloon.  When you do, don’t make the mistake of trying to have a conversation during their set because you might just miss something.  Let your curiosity guide your view to their big screen as a four piece band reveals itself as two live guys, Scot and Luke, the same two guys projected life sized and providing the rhythm.  The LiversSounds gimmicky?  Not in the slightest.  Scot and Luke, two indie musicians, sought a way to be a two-man, 4 piece band without compromising a live show.  “We started talking about pre-recording the rhythm and playing over it.  But that didn’t seem like a band to us.  Part of a seeing a band is seeing them play their instruments.  If only there was a way that we could show us playing…all…the…instruments.”  Video production was initially the guys. “Our limited knowledge of video production was born out of necessity really.  Someone would have to do it.  They’d have to be patient, unpaid, barely acknowledged, and get along with Scot and myself.  That narrowed it down to Scot and myself.”  Soon they were joined by a talented counterpart, Andrew, who brought with him a background and experience in production.  Together they all created a very polished show.

It’s not just a show of two guys and their filmed images either.  The Livers are a band that delivers not only a solid, tight set (they play remarkably well with themselves), but also fully entertain their audience with a clever, witty show that has some hysterical surprises.  Surprises like a guest appearance of their cat, Fruitbat,  and quick mid-set break for whiskey shots.  It’s just too entertaining to properly explain  – this show is a must-see.  The Livers are truly one of the most entertaining bands to visit Chicago this summer.

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adrienenAdrienne Irmer, NBC Chicago Street Team

Actually, my birthday was last weekend, August 15th, but I was waiting on some pictures from the event photographer to include. As you can well tell, it was quite an affair, but believe me the planning involved would not have been so easy if it weren’t for the venue’s staff and event promoters that evening. If you have ever tried to plan a birthday, bachelorette or new promotion party at a night club, it’s not as easy as one thinks. The considerations that come into play are numerous, and the pricing, well, in a recession, is quite important.

After scouring the South Loop for a pre-existing, club-like party with moderately priced bottles of my favorite (Ketel One) and seating befitting a princess, I found Exposure, jointly known as Utopia, located at 1315 S. Wabash Avenue. On further investigation of the menu and venue, I was certainly drawn to the mood lighting, plush seating in my would-be [VIP] party area and the newly refurbished menu with Island cuisine—formerly this was a tapas restaurant. And whilst I am a huge fan of Ketel One-induced karaoke, I could not muster the courage to celebrate, that ambitiously, on a Wednesday evening… I just couldn’t, BUT on Saturdays they rotate (and boast) DJs such as Vince Adams, Malik Shabazz, Mustafah Rocks and Jay Illa, just to name a few. So with the sound, ambiance and accommodations in order, it was time to get down to business—cost. Bottles of Ketel One ran $200 and Absolut ran $175, pricey, but not exorbitant. Other venues I perused were asking closer to $300 (and up) for Ketel One. The plus side, too, is that, like CostCo, ordering in bulk pays off.

Lastly, without friendly service and helpful promoters, your night could be a big ole mess with laps to and from the door querying list issues, untimely replenishing of the Ketel One and, worst of all, a disappointed birthday girl with the ability to produce a rancorous blog… luckily I am not the vengeful type (or wasn’t made to go there *wink*) and had a great time—witness accounts the next day and photo documentation are the proof in the pudding, folks. On working with the Black Alumni Network, Urban Upscale, InterTwine Chicago in conjunction with BYP Chicago and A-Squared Marketing, I must say that my first experience with planning an elaborate celebration was enjoyable and I highly recommend them, or using a promotions company of your choosing to help with the process, because counting RSVPs by yourself is not was I was looking forward to. For more information on Exposure/Utopia call (312)662-1082 as the site is under new construction or for FREE entry before 11:30pm on Saturdays visit: http://ourkindofpeople.rsvphub.com. Cheers!

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 Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

If you dig what I call straight ahead real rock with a tinge of blues…like The Black Crowes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Allman Brothers, etc…you absolutely will love The Steepwater Band.  The hail from Chicago and frankly I’m surprised they aren’t more of a national presence yet.  But they are certainly on their way.  Check out their new video for their song Lord Knows.  I’m sure you’ll sense a bit of a Black Crowes influence – that’s probably because Marc Ford (ex-Black Crowes guitarist and currently playing with Booker T) produced their Grace And Melody album.

More on The Steepwater Band in Cara’s Basement:


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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Three long days of great music and fun at Lollapalooza along with 2 nights of latenight Lollapalooza parties absolutely wore me out.  It literally took me three days to recover.

WTMX's Cara Carriveau & The Local Tourist's Theresa Carter

WTMX's Cara Carriveau & The Local Tourist's Theresa Carter

The latenight parties were insane.  And I do mean that in a good way.  My party buddy all day and night all weekend was Theresa Carter from The Local Tourist.  On Friday night we hit the exclusive Rock the Vote Late Night after-party in the Music Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago.  In fact, Lindsay Lohan was spotted there with her sister Ali so you know it was a major blow-out.  The Virgins among other artists performed and I don’t think we ever stopped dancing until at least 3am.

We went back to the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago the next night for an even more exclusive party and an even crazier, later nite.  Thank goodness for the unlimited supply of redbull.

Oh yeah, we also caught some great acts at Lollapalooza last weekend.  Even chatted with some artists.  Here’s a few conversations you can check out…I’ll have more soon:

The Airborn Toxic Event with Cara CarriveauThe Airborne Toxic Event


Brandon Flowers of The Killers and Cara CarriveauBrandon Flowers of The Killers:


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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

On location at the Millennium Hotel, Thursday August 6.

So what brings you to the Windy City?
What brings me to the city is that I’m promoting my new album called “Imperial Blaze”…comes out August 18th.

I see you’ve sold over 10 millions records. Let’s talk about that journey and how you got started from there to Imperial Blaze.

In Stores August 18th.

In Stores August 18th.

For sure…my career started with me just lovin’ music. A friend of mine got into music at the end of high school and it came to pass that I got introduced to studios and people started to like the voice and like the flow. Like the first thing was being on a big stage in Jamaica called “Sting” back in 1998, it featured people like Busta Rhymes from the hip hop world. After that I was able to do a song with DMX who was one of the biggest artists in Jamaica at that time. Then there was a song called “Here Comes The Boom” from the movie “Belly” that Hype Williams produced and what not. And then the song “Deport Dem” really got big in New York City and got a lot of play.

And then about a year after that in 2001 my second album was coming out “Dutty Rock” was comin’ out. The song called “Gimme the Light” got a very big spread. Since I’ve had a couple of songs rank as high as #1 on the Billboard Charts such as “Get Busy”, “Temperature”, a song featuring myself and Beyonce which is a song called “Baby Boy”. A song with Keyshia Cole went to #3 on the BillBoard charts, a song called “Like Glue” went to #7…”I’m still in Love” featuring Sasha went to number 12. So we have a lot of repertoire coming up to this day, man. And those are all different steps, help me to pave the way to be sittin’ here in front of you, ya know what I mean…tellin’ my story of what’s up next in Imperial Blaze.

Now I got started producing festivals with Super Cat. The first time I heard you I was like, “That’s Super Cat!” And they were like…no, no that’s Sean Paul.
The Superdor, Superdor he’s still the Super. Cause you know, he’s my pops in the business! He helped pave the way…I got to give respect to him.

Let’s talk about “So Fine” which is the rockin’ new single out now. Talk about that single and when you know a song is hot and going to blow up.

Well I mean…I try and put feeling into my songs, to my artwork. Feeling is what artwork is about…I think it is about that feeling deep down in your and soul channeling it and bringing it to the rest of world. In “So Fine”, I loved the melody, I loved the chords that was being played in the riddim, so it just took off from there… it’s a club banger cause da riddim is so hot.

So you got any upcoming shows in Chicago?
I’m gonna be here tonight and tomorrow night, so I’m probably just going to go into to clubs and sing and DJ a couple verses, couple line to let people know what’s up. However you can stay in touch with me on allseanpaul.com. It got blogs about reggae and dancehall. It’s got what I been doing lately on it, shows. It’s got a tour schedule dat should be printed up, probably by November this year. People can order my album out August 18th or pre-order it to. Also, like every now and then there’s competitions that run on the site. Like I had an “Ultimate Fan” competition running for about 3 to 4 weeks now, which just ended like this week. So I designed two chains…white gold and diamonds then I gave it to two of my favorite fans who won. Things like that gone happening every now and then on the site.

And one last thing…Sean Paul is it Henriques…? You have a Latin back ground…?
So I got a lot of different blood in me from Black, Portuguese, White from England and Chinese. My father’s family has Portuguese and Black blood. My Chinese and England bloodline comes from my mother’s family.

Well you know, me and my peeps are considering putting together another festival “Metropolatino” and you know we are interested in having you headline to get that moving.

For sure I got that blood there so let’s do it…you can’t keep me out!

Download the audio to hear the entire the Sean Paul “Imperial Blaze” interview!

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

Whether or not you’re a music junkie, the opportunity to see Grant Park transformed into a playground for party-goers is entertainment in itself. The third annual GALApalooza event is only one week away, giving guests an exclusive sneak preview of the Lollapalooza event grounds in a VIP fashion. NBC-galapush2

Outdoor lounge seating, cocktails and creative nibbles – you just might forget there’s actually a concert to watch. Lollapalooza artist Vampire Weekend and Chicago sensation Hey Champ will take the stage, in addition to performances by Park District Kids and DJ White Shadow.

Friends coming in to town for the music filled extravaganza? The James Hotel is offering a special overnight package on August 6 which includes two general admission tickets to GALApalooza, overnight accommodations in a king guestroom, and valet parking at The James. Rates start at $579. For more info or to book a room, visit www.jameshotels.com.

GALApalooza takes place on Thursday August 6th at 6 p.m. at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park. Lounge experiences are available at the $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 level and single tickets are available for $150. For more information or to make reservations, call Alison Krzys, Director of Communications for Parkways Foundation at 312.742.4807 or visit www.parkways.org.

Since 2005, Lollapalooza and GALApalooza have raised over $4 million dollars for Parkways, which directly impacted Chicago’s neighborhood parks.

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Chasity Chaos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Since this weekend is destined to be blissfully chaotic, I thought I drop you a line to let you know what’s on my agenda for the next 72 hours…

Khari B., the Discopoet, is holding a CD release party for his long awaited sophomore album, I’MMA BAD MUTHA: The Rockstar Poetry Project, 7 p.m. today at the Dusable Museum of African American History, located at 740 East 56th Place.

The CD has been described as a live instrument experiment and studio album that brings together a ferocious 12-piece Funk/Rock ensemble of some of Chicago’s undisputed music champions.

Tickets for the event are $25 and include a CD. For more info, visit http://discopoetry-rss.eventbrite.com/.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but I’m back in Chicago! I wouldn’t be Chaos if I snuck back into the city all quiet and low-key like… So I, in conjunction with BlackWater Marketing Group, am organizing a massive event called The Flavor Mosaic to celebrate my arrival back to Chicago and my birthday.

The event begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday and will end at 3 a.m. on Sunday. It will be held at Galleria Unico located at 44 E Superior. Come indulge in zesty beats from over 10 deejays, an open bar filled with exotic drinks, ethnic delights and grilled goodies, and enjoy tarot card readings, massages, trunk shows, live musical performances and art shows… But most importantly, come kick it with me! I’ve missed you Chi-Town!

Entry for my shindig is $35 for women and $45 for men. The entry fee includes access to all of the events for the evening and access to the open bar and food. For more info visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=121844361512&ref=ts. To RSVP email BlackWaterMarketing@gmail.com.

To wrap up my weekend, I will be spending Sunday night at Bytch Fest 2009. Bytch Fest is a feminist punk event that’s goal is to create an environment where women can freely express themselves without the judgment of a critical society which seeks to wipe out creativity. The event will be held 9 p.m. Saturday at Fizz, 3220 N Lincoln Ave. The affair will include burlesque performances, performances by feminist bands and more.

Entry for this event is $20. For more info visit http://www.myspace.com/bytchfest2009

As you can see this is going to be a busy, but a kick ass weekend! I hope to see you guys out!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

This weather has me confused – has summer begun yet, or is it over?

Okay, it must be summer.  Feels like it today.  And, Party In The Park with Cara Carriveaubecause every Thursday afternoon, 4-6:30pm, Party In The Park is rockin’ at The Park Grill…outside on the plaza at Millenium Park, right below the infamous bean.  101.9 WTMX puts on these free shows every week all summer.  Yep…FREE!  Two or three bands jam live while you relax outside sipping Bud Select.  In fact this year The Park Grill even put couches out in front of the stage…so you couldn’t possibly be any more relaxed.

Skip out of work a bit early today and join me for live music from State Of Man and Tom Butwin.

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Chasity Chaos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Wearing dark black glasses and a red leather coat, reminiscent of the famed “Thriller” jacket, he grasped his signature rhinestone covered microphone and belted out a soulful version of Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana as two flexible dancers in Lady Gaga-esque attire surrounded him with the sensual movements of their bodies.

Saturday, The Dream performed to a jam-packed audience at Alhambra Palace Restaurant, located at 1240 W Randolph, as a part of The Rising Star Tour.

The tour, sponsored by Grey Goose, is designed to spotlight a group of talented musicians who are climbing their way to icon status. Artists for future tour dates are to include Kid Cudi, Chrisette Michele, Ryan Leslie and Keri Hilson.

The event, which was facilitated by Kenny Johnson Jr. of the Richmond Group, boasted an open bar and attracted some of Chicago’s most influential people including respected music retail vet and innovator, George Daniels.

The Dream performed a number of his chart-topping hits for a crowd of enthusiastic concert-goers, including Fast Car, Shawty Is Da Shit and She Rockin’ That Shit.

Footage from the concert was recorded for future broadcast during a live performance from The Dream on BET.

Although the show was short, sweet and simple, the minimalism of the concert added value to the artistry of the performance and entertained the audience none-the-less.

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Reggie Brown, NBC Chicago Street Team

A successful playwright once said that an order to get people to come to the theater, you need to provide the audience with comedy, music or nudity. Well this is America, damnit, and thanks to The Great American Nudie Spectacular, you can have it all in one show.

Writer/composer/director Greg Silva was inspired more than a decade ago to create a show with a serious theme that could still appeal to a mass audience. He decided to challenge the accepted American censorship values that allow audiences unlimited access to scenes and images of violence on TV and in film, but will slap a film with an “R” rating when nudity makes its way on screen. In short, he seeks to answer why images of nudity are seen as more of a threat to “family values” than images of violence.

Click here to read the entire article on NBCChicago.com.

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Jeff_BarackaJeff Baraka, NBC Chicago Street Team

Tomorrow night (Thurs. 7/9, 8pm), Stonecutter Records (SCR) & Acoustic Chicago present a live music and visual arts showcase to support Chicago music & art, and build further awareness of the Green Star Movement (GSM). It’s all goin’ down at Lasalle Power Co., 500 N. LaSalle.

The concert will feature live performances by four of the best new musical talents in the city: Anna Soltys, Jen Porter, Whiskey Heartache and Taggart Transcontinental. Tickets are $8 at the door and $5 in advance from the SCR site. There’ll also be a raffle with proceeds going towards the current GSM project at Prescott Elementary School.

SCR4@LPC

Background:

Stonecutter Records is an independent record company, headed by Producer/Engineer Chris Steinmetz, who over the past 20 years has worked with such diverse artists as Kanye West, Ben Harper, Tori Amos, Jay Z, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, Mavis Staples, Common, Kiss and Feist. Acoustic Chicago is the fruition of a vision to expose some of Chicago’s finest indie singers and songwriters to a wider audience.

The Green Star Movement is a Chicago-based, non-profit organization, which has recently gained national attention. GSM works to raise awareness of the important role of the environment in daily life, through the creative collaboration of media, art, community and nature.

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Hungry Z, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Taste of Chicago was born July 4th in 1980, and is now the second largest tourist attraction in Illinois. For 10 days, this free admission festival is the place to be, injecting the city with a spirit of hunger and attracting a few news stories along the way. To add some spectacle to all the gluttony, there will be live performances by Ne-Yo, Counting Crows, Wallflowers, Barenaked Ladies and more.

In the midst of these hard economic times, Taste will offer a better value than ever this year. Each restaurant will offer a choice of two Taste portions instead of one. The taste portions are smaller and cheaper sample versions of the regular-sized portions.

Fifty different vendors will be vying for a spot in your belly, but not all of them deserve it. Must-try items include B.J’s Mustard fried catfish, O’Brien’s Celtic corn, Original Rainbow cones, and Garrett’s caramel and cheese popcorn.

Visit NBCChicago.com for a full list of Hungry Z’s Taste hits and misses.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

  Everyone has a Mama, but not everyone has a “Mama” like Fernando’s Tequila Bar and Restaurant.  That’s because Executive Chef Carmen Gonzalez is the matriarch of the twenty-five year old Mexican joint and has been in the industry for forty-five years.  Carmen, affectionately known as “Mama” by the regulars and her kitchen staff, is married to husband Fernando and together have made their restaurant a mainstay for authentic Mexican regional cuisine.Fernandos

Like most Mexican restaurants, Fernando’s menu consists of traditional items such as burritos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and fajitas.  Two dishes that are special to Fernando’s are the Chicken Oaxaca (a boneless chicken breast cooked in a paper bag) and Grilled Rainbow Trout (topped with garlic and cucumber).  The ceviche ixtapa appetizer stood out, but the queso fundido needs some work.  What really makes Fernando’s hop are their signature hand-blended margaritas specially prepared by Fernando himself.  Fresh fruits and their secret family recipe may have contributed to Fernando’s selling more than 3,400,000 margaritas over the past twenty-five years.  The atmosphere definitely feels like a friendly neighborhood spot and is great for families.

Fernando’s, located at 3450 N. Lincoln Ave in the Lakeview area, will celebrate 25 years on July 22nd.  Food samplings, a mariachi band, and tequlia samplings will highlight some of the festivities.  For more information call (773) 477-6930.  Also check out www.efete.net for more dining options and watch Fete Select TV to get an inside look at the newest and hottes restaurants in Chicago.

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Jeff_BarackaJeff Baraka, NBC Chicago Street Team

“Yes, yes y’all!” This weekend, Chicago is the first stop for two major, national festivals featuring hometown hip-hop heroes:

First up, the Dew Tour, the first ever action sports tour (skateboarding/BMX/Motocross), now in its 5th season. It’s made up of 5 major events that take place in 5 different cities over the course of 5 months (June-Oct.). The Chicago event happens during the day in Grant Park, Friday (6/26) and Saturday (6/27), and features some of the top BMX athletes in the world.

lupedewThe Dew Tour Music Series concert takes place on that Friday at The Chicago Theatre (8pm). Lupe Fiasco is the headliner, Lady Sovereign is the opener, DJ Flipside (of B96) will be spinnin’ and yours truly is the host (yay!).

Also on Saturday (6/27), the 11-city Rock The Bells Festival rolls into town, so you may need to flip a coin or consult a psychic to decide which event to choose. It’s happening at The First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

RTBs is the nation’s premier hip-hop music & culture fest, featuring some of the biggestchalipic names in the game. Nas, The Roots, Busta Rhymes and Big Boi of OutKast are all on the bill. Common will represent for Chicago, as will Chali 2na, who rose to fame with LA acts Ozomatli and Jurassic 5, and is now embarking on a solo career. He’ll also rock the House Of Blues around 9pm.

Later that night (10pm), The Roots’ Questlove spins an afterparty at The Marmon Grand Loft, 2230 S. Michigan Ave (props to the homey Mark Fullaflava for puttin’ that together). With so much action-sports and hip-hop royalty in town, no tellin’ who might fall thru.

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

If I could have bottled up all of the sheer happiness at Chicago’s House Of Blues last Friday night and sold it, I’d be a millionaire. Many happy Hammerheads were immensely enjoying a moment they feared would never come.

photo courtesy of Christie LaMountain

Lovehammers at House Of Blues, photo courtesy of Christie LaMountain

Marty Casey shocked Lovehammers fans (and, in fact, the rest of the Lovehammers) about a year ago when seemingly out of blue he announced that he was leaving the band he had been the lead singer of for over a decade (more about that here) to front L.A. Guns. Thankfully, that lasted exactly a year and he has now returned to his fellow Lovehammers. A packed house at the House Of Blues got to experience one of Chicago’s premier rock bands put on one of their greatest shows ever. They performed songs off of every single one of their albums, including the soon-t0-be-released Heavy Crown.

I spoke to the band hours before they hit the stage Friday night. Heavy Crown won’t be out until July 21 but you can hear most of the songs from it and the truth about Marty leaving and then coming back to Lovehammers HERE:


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JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team
If you have been checking out my last few posts, you may notice a theme… Live music and The Joynt. I moved here a year ago from Austin, TX (also known as the live music capital of the world) and maybe that has a little something to do with my love for live music. And undoubtedly, my love for dance, draws me to The Joynt. Now, I can break it down with the rest of them to a hot DJ (like Tim Spinnin’ Schommer that is guest DJ-ing tonight) but there is just something about a live performance. You know what I’m talking about. That sizzle in the air. The energy.

Jacqui Horton is my friend. And we became friends from me hearing her sing, totally falling in love with her as a person, and then asking her if she would like to be my friend. (She said “yes”.) Jacqui loves people, loves life and has a beautiful heart! I feel it when I talk to her, and I DEFINITELY feel it when she sings! I tell people she gives me goosebumps… and she does.

I shot this video at The Joynt last Saturday to give you a little taste of what you may not even know you are missing in your life! I make no apologies about the video, save this… There WERE a lot of people dancing around me… AND I was in heels. So cut me some slack on the shooting, eh?

This group of musicians work incredibly well together and as you can see, the crowd loves every second of it! Like any live performance, a recording isn’t quit the same as actually feeling the energy of the room. Luckily for you, you can check out the real deal on Saturday nights at The Joynt! You will have a good time because “We’re gonna boogie-oogie-oogie ’til we just can’t boogie NO MORE!

For more boogie-licious videos, check out JenChicago.com!
Find me on Facebook! (Search: JenChicago)

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Chicago Botanic Garden has many spectacular events happening all summer long to suit people of all ages.

The Garden, that is located in Glencoe, recently held a wine festival and have begun several special events. Those events include Hot Summer Nights, Music on the Esplanade, Garden Chef Series, Dancin’ Sprouts and more!

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Alma de Tango

Each Thursday from 6 pm – 8 pm, the Hot Summer Nights music series features live music and dancing to a specified genre of the evening. Dance instructors are available and will teach mini-lessons relating to the musical style of the night.

Last Thursday, Garden guests were treated to an Argentinian and Uruguayan musical performance by Alma de Tango.  Professional dancers were also on hand to teach the tango.  This evening the Garden hosted Hawaiian music and coming soon are nights filled with Cajun, Brazilian and Celtic music.

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Professional Dancers

Music on the Esplanade takes place Tuesdays from 6 pm – 8 pm where local musicians showcase genres of music including Big Band/Swing, Calypso, Blues and Jazz.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the Garden Chef Series are hosted by distinguished chefs from restaurants in and around Chicago.   These chefs prepare dishes made from garden fresh ingredients.

For the children, Dancin’ Sprouts takes place on select Wednesdays and offers musical entertainment for the little ones.

The Chicago Botanic Garden events are free to attend and regular parking fees apply to nonmembers.

For more great events and information, visit the Chicago Botanic Garden online at www.ChicagoBotanic.org.

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team

Father’s Day is right around the corner and this year, try something different with the father figure in your life.  How about getting him to try something old, something new, something borrowed or something blue?
 
Something Old:   Real Men Cook” is a time-honored Chicago Father’s Day tradition, and this year, it’s more impressive than ever!  On Sunday, June 21, Real Men Cook moves to an expansive (and technologically and architecturally impressive) venue – Kennedy King College.  The Washburne Culinary Institute provides fantastic cooking facilities and there are ample grounds to allow fathers, foodies and more to spread out at this indoor/outdoor To-Do.  You’ll be amazed by the wonderful variety of food, prepared with love, that you’ll be able to savor!
 
Health and Wellness is an important component at Real Men Cook and at events leading up to the main event.  On Saturday, you can join Real Men Cook’s Father’s Day Wellness Weekend Walk & Health Experience and start your morning off right at the beautiful 63rd Street Beach!
 
Just the Two of Us - Al Hawkins

Just the Two of Us - Al Hawkins

Something New:   How about an new exhibit at one of many art galleries on the South Side?  Yes – many!  On Thursday, June 18, check out eta’s opening reception for “Through My Eyes,” an art exhibition by Al Hawkins, before taking in the play Pill Hill, opening this week at eta.  Or, at Gallery Guichard, both the novice and experienced collector would enjoy the Collector’s Champagne Preview.   On Friday, June 19, the Bronzeville Art District Third Friday Trolley Tour resumes just in time for this Father Day weekend.  Hop on board and enjoy the ride as you meander through opening receptions at FaiE African Art, Gallery Guichard and South Side Community Art Center. 

Something Borrowed:  Pappa’s gonna be livin’ on borrowed time if he doesn’t take care of himself!  So, on Saturday, June 20, get him (or yourself!) on over to the the Thapelo Institute’s Health & Fitness Experience for African and African American Men.  With a variety of programs offered during a seven hour period – learning opportunities are abundant!  The Thapelo Institute is a taking a holistic approach to dealing with the health issues of African and African-American men.  Free testing for a variety of common issues will be available, and you’ll also find workshops that address body, mind and spirit.  And – it’s Free!
 
Something Blu(e):  So, its Thursday evening, you’ve spent a couple of hours at the Collector’s Champagne Preview, you’ve enjoyed some wine and hors d’ouevres and now you want a little more.  Well, plan ahead and make reservations for dinner at Blu 47 and enjoy a one-set performance by Yaw at Illuminata – A Father’s Day Celebration. If you’ve been to the Events by Eve Summer Breeze Jazz Concert Series, you know that you can expect a mature set of predominately African-Americans, who dress appropriately without being told!  Come in your favorite jeans or come in some sparkles and feel completely comfortable either way!  If that’s not enough blue for you, douse yourself in cool, blue vibe and and energetic sounds at the Close Up 2 Indoor Smooth Jazz Festival.  From Thursday, June 18 through Saturday, June 20, enjoy live entertainment by Detour JazFunk, Corey Wilkes, Marqueal Jordan Project – and more.

Still want a little more To-Do?  Visit www.so-LAZE.com for tons of options!

 
Happy Father’s Day!
Stephanie!

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video) In this day and age of ringtone rappers, one-hit wonders, and soft-core sex-laden R&B, it’s like a breath of fresh air when a hidden gem can shine through all the filler. With a small selection of songs in commercial radio’s playlist, consumers sometimes are force-fed a daily dose of “microwave music” where the supply often overshadows the demand. Quality soul music is more abundant than one may think…you just have to “listen”. Julie Dexter is here to fulfill that demand. The world-renowned, Birmingham, England-bred, singer/songwriter displayed her dynamic range at a rare showcase this past weekend at the new “it” spot, julie dThe Shrine (located at 2109 S. Wabash). Julie Dexter’s vibrant style and jazzy vocals exude soul and her followers came out to support her. The showcase presented by IGM Entertainment had a record crowd turn out to hear the UK songstress perform favorites such as “Ketch A Vibe” and “Faith” off her 2002 album, “Dexterity”. The very popular jazz group, Zzaje, backed the intimate performance at The Shrine. Dexter, who has shared the stage with soulful legends such as Sade and modern heavy-hitters like Jill Scott, Eric Roberson, and Amel Larrieux kicked off her set with a tribute to another legend that inspired her by the name of Michael Jackson. She later transitioned to a jazzy bebop version of Beyonce’s “Déjà vu” that would have made the best “scatters” proud. After paying homage to other greats, Julie Dexter gave the crowd what they came to see…a one-hour set spanning her decade plus career from her first EP, 2000’s “Peace of Mind” to 2005’s “Conscious”. It’s not too late to get familiar with this classically trained musician who writes, arranges, composes and produces her own music. “The Julie Dexter Collection” drops this fall. Do yourself a favor and “Ketch the Vibe”. www.juliedexter.com

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Glenn Murray, NBC Chicago Street Team

While I sit here in Orlando (ready to go cheer for the Lakers to beat the Magic) my mind is actually on the busy weekend coming up in Chicago. So here are a few of my prime choices ranging from cultural, to culinary and even comical, for this coming weekend.

Friday, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli visits Allstate Arena to date, the international star has recorded over twenty pop and classical albums as well as seven complete operas. He has sold over 65 million albums worldwide. Tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster Outlets

Saturday, Studabaker Classic Cookieswill hold its official launch party. The event is free and open to the public The Launch event will be held at Kitchen Chicago located at 324 N. Leavitt from 7 to 10pm , enjoy lots of samples of their all natural cookies as well as an opportunity for more information. To find our more visit http://www.classiccookies.net

Also Saturday Night, visit Second City and catch “Rod Blagojevich Superstar,” Second City’s musical parody of the former Governor’s rise and fall. The improv company announced the real Gov will show up during the show to help announce the extension of the satirical spoof through Aug. 9. Blagojevich will also take part in the improv set that follows the show.
Tickets: http://www.secondcity.com

If you’re not too tired on Sunday, visit the Chicago Blues Fest and catch the finale at the Petrillo Music Shell featuring Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

That should fill up your dance card for this wonderful June weekend. I Can’t wait, I’ll be rooting my heart our at the Amway Arena tonight, but I’ll be on the first plane back to Chicago Friday morning…

See you this weekend.

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