Archive for November, 2004

I would SO marry Wes Anderson

…And I am apparently not alone. While stumbling around trying to see if I could get tickets to a screening of The Life Aquatic, I landed dead in the center of Metromix hyping “Wes Anderson Rocks!“, a concept so genius I can’t believe someone just decided to do it.

Wes Anderson Rocks! is an evening of bands performing songs from all 4 of Anderson’s movies, which should be a rocking good time. Anderson’s movies all have IMPECCABLY selected soundtracks. Feed your fix a full 10 days prior to the national release of The Life Aquatic at The Metro, Dec. 15th. You can sign up for RedEye Rewards and score yourself a free pair of tickets. And free stuff is just all kinds of good.

Spend Thanksgiving with Billy Jack

So when you’ve had enough of your family, or you’ve had enough of moping around crying about how you don’t have a family or whatever, come over to Darkroom for a screening of Billy Jack, followed by a calorie-burning dance party DJed by Ky Henderson (NYC), Yves St. Le Roc, and myself.

Thanksgiving night, 8pm-2am
(movie at 9)

Darkroom
2210 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, USA

Ruined for Hotels FOREVER

I am going to disclose straight from the get-go: I could never ever EVER afford to stay at any of Chicago’s top rated hotels, and certainly not the hotel that Zagat rated #3 in the country. But one of the great perks of having a significant other that works in the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton (which is owned by the Four Seasons) is being able to stay free of charge at any Four Seasons globally. Sure, I might only get to see him a total of 15 hours a week (and we live together), but I found out that my patience and understanding paid back with interest.

Because Matt’s yearly anniversary at the Ritz was coming up, he had to use his rooms since they don’t rollover. So we stayed at the Four Seasons this weekend on a mini vacation. I know all about the superior service and courtesy and blah blah blah. You hear about crap like that all the time. But staying there really is other-worldly. We were upgraded to an executive suite, which was so over-the-top crazy that it prompted me to freak out like a 5 year old for a good 30 minutes. The attention to detail is amazing. We ordered room service, and the smallest things did not pass them. I got a smoked salmon plate, which had the traditional accompaniments in tiny little wee bowls that were ALL INDIVIDUALLY CHILLED. Stuff like that just blew my mind.

Their pool is ridiculously amazing. Ridiculously. The dome in the middle of the pool is a domed skylight that looks straight up with a magnificent view, and there are floor to ceiling windows looking out onto Michigan Ave.

I could go on for days like a giddy schoolgirl, but will just stop myself by saying that the Zagat rating is totally and utterly warranted. If you ever EVER have a chance to go there, if just for dinner in the cafe or for drinks, I highly highly highly recommend it. You will be treated like royalty for the entire evening.

Again, I might be biased. And I know normal people could never do this. It is insane and ridiculously decadent. But let’s say you win $1,000 on a scratchy ticket and are wondering how to spend it…. Yeah, something like that. I would recommend moving this experience straight to the top of your list. You won’t regret it.

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” for big kids

If you were like me growing up, you so totally hearted Shel Silverstein, and bought and read all of his books. You snickered at the clever rhymes and word plays. As an adult, you still love Shel Silverstein. Maybe you have a tape version of “Where the Sidewalk Ends” in your car (I don’t know if I should be more embarrased by owning the tape, or the simple fact that I have cassettes in my car). Maybe you still read his books when it is cold out and you are sick; curled up in bed like a kid. Regardless, there is no shame. Because Shel Silverstein is totally and absolutely awesome. And now available in new adult flavor!

An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein” opens tonight at the Theatre Builiding Chicago. Detail from the press release:

Slip into the mindset of Shel Silverstein and see an absurd world filled with discombobulating darkness, laughter, pain and joy. From the writer of such classic children

Illinois – Still not as liberal as California

The Illinois Senate shot down a measure that would have endorsed stem cell research by a very very narrow margin, missing just 2 of the votes needed to make it official (28 yays to 29 nays). Had this bill passed, it would have been part of official state policy.

California is still the only state to have approved stem cell research at the state level, and Wisonsin has a similar proposal in the pipeline. If Wisconsin’s gets approved, that would just be embarrassing for us. Wisconsin, people! Our red-headed step-child!

On a good note, Carol Ronen will be back with her fighting gloves on in January to help push through an amendment to the state’s human rights law that would make discrimination against gays and lesbians just as illegal as regular discrimination. No shit? Maybe we aren’t all barbarians. Is anyone else totally surprised that a measure like this is just coming up? It seems to me that such a right is already in place. Maybe in the Bill of Rights? I guess we just need further reinforcement at the state level.

Blood, Sweat & Tears

So I was going to name this post “Concert Faux Pas # Whatever,” but I didn’t want to steal that series from Lauren. In fact, this just might be the same guy from her post.

Said about the moshing at last night’s Pixies show: “It’s just one guy.”
My reply: “Didn’t he read his ticket?

Early on, after the first wave of slamdancing started, the guy in front of me got a bloody nose. Everyone was all concerned, but after a couple minutes, he shrugged it off and ignored it in favor of the show. What a trooper. Really, I was all in admiration of him, his toughness and perseverance. Rock and roll, man! What’s best is, he didn’t get any blood on me. We have to know our priorities.

But he had to go further, didn’t he? Not tough enough for all the blood on his shirt, he removed it. I didn’t particularly care to see his sweaty back, but whatever. I tried my best just not to look, but he had other plans. Fully recovered now, he decided to rejoin the moshing, which of course involved jumping up, down, forward… and backward.

Into me.

With his sweaty, disgusting back.

Have you seen the movie “Along Came Polly,” or even just the trailers for it? Do you remember the part when Ben Stiller gets a face full of some guy’s beer belly gut while playing basketball? Yeah, it was kinda like that.

So to him and the rest of Chicago’s concertgoers, I say: Keep your shirts on. Please, for the love of God.

Chic-A-Go-Go… The Movie?

In my haste to get out this week’s music shows and my excitement over the Pixies (they were great, by the way), I forgot to mention Chic-A-Go-Go is taping some new shows this Sunday from 6-9 pm. Perhaps it’s good that I forgot, because this event really deserves its own post.

What’s especially exciting about this taping is that two really awesome bands, the Grackles and the Manhandlers, are playing on these shows. The Grackles are a little nervous and unsure about what kind of performance they’re going to do on the show, but based on a suggestion from yours truly, it may have “something to do with vegetables.” Intrigued? So am I. We’ll both have to go to the taping to find out what that means. (I did say it was only based on my suggestion.)

Want another reason to go? Well, you may not have many more chances to see Miss Mia host the show. In fact, her website reveals many exciting changes in Chic-A-Go-Go’s future. Not only is she planning a move to China in March, but also Chic-A-Go-Go is shooting a movie in December! That’s right – a movie. You heard it here first. Well, okay, you may have heard it from Miss Mia first, but you heard it here first if you haven’t been to her website yet.

I wonder if I could audition to be her replacement? I’ll have to ask. What do you think? “Hey kids! It’s Mister Tom!” Hm, doesn’t have the same ring… “Uncle -” … no.

The shows are taped at 322 S. Green St., one block west of Halsted. All are invited, and no tickets are needed. Dress casual or wear a costume; it’s up to you!

Pixies pics

Pixies at the Aragon
The Pixies at the Aragon, 17 November 2004
–photo by girl in black

My best friend took my girlfriend to see the Pixies last night and kept calling it a “date”? Should I be jealous?

Erica reports that they were checking for cameras, but didn’t see her lil’ Sony U20. That explains why the Pixies pictures I’ve seen are all camera-phoney, like these from my friend girl in black, or these on Flickr.

Here’s Erica’s review:

Having never been to the Aragon Ballroom, I found it to be much larger than I expected. Basically a large dome room, it made the acoustics of the band very muddled and noise-like. Since I only knew a few Pixies songs, it was interesting to hear their time signature changes and complex melodies in this venue–it was basically a giant wall of sound, both hard to distinguish and also very cool.

I loved seeing Kim Deal perform live again (having seen the Breeders at Lollapalooza 1994), who is one of the most distinctive voices in modern rock, in my opinion. By far, the highlight of the concert was towards the beginning, when Kim sang “In Heaven,” which may be a normal Pixies song to Pixies fans, but it is more importantly the song sung by The Radiator Lady in David Lynch‘s “Eraserhead” (one of my personal favorite moments of cinema.) The band rarely made any pauses or took any breaks, and they didn’t say much if anything to the audience. They had one of the most adorable bows I had ever seen in my years of going to concerts–all 4 members walking to different parts of the stage and waving goodbye to the audience before deciding to play an encore.

Overall, it was an awesome night of rocking out, and I will certainly be a Pixies fan from now on.

Ginsu should endorse this guy

This morning I was gifted this gem of a story by some gregarious tale-telling lawyers.

Apparently there is currently a murder case on the docket involving a gentleman who was performing surgery on his kitchen table using common utensils. One of the lawyers asked if he had the good sense to keep a nurse on hand. When his answer was “no”, he seemed genuinely shocked. Forget about the fact that this guy was hacking people open with a pizza wheel, he was just plain NUTS for not keeping a nurse on staff.

Where do you draw the line?

Aragon Parking: Yet another Pixies-themed post.

I saw the Pixies last night and, unlike the last time I saw them in the 80’s, I did not fall asleep. In fact, I thought they were fantastic. What was even more fantastic was taking the El to the show. My gal and I parked a few stops south, jumped on the train, and were kindly delivered directly to the Aragon’s doorstep! No parking hassles, no waiting in line to get out of a garage, no nothing. It was perfect.

Almost as perfect as the Pixies themselves.

Feel free to use this helpful hint whenever attending a show at the Aragon or The Riv…nothin’ says sucka more than being stuck in post-concert traffic. Word.

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