Archive for March, 2007

Sex, Drugs, Rock’n’roll and… Bicycles?

Thanks to Jane McAteer for letting us know about B.I.K.E, a cool documentary showing at the Facets theater this weekend. From the website:

Driven by anti-materialism and a belief that the impending apocalypse will render cars useless and leave bicycles in power, Black Label Bike Club (BLBC) battles mainstream consumer culture and rival gangs for its vision of a better tomorrow. Pulling threads from Critical Mass and the wider bike counterculture, B.I.K.E. explores such themes as radical politics, personal artistic vision, global responsibility, relationships, group formation, and perhaps most prominently, pain and love.

Yea, but the fun part is seeing a bunch of crazy guys and girls setting themselves on fire, tall-bike jousting, fighting, drinking, partying, yelling, hanging out and causing trouble. From the parts of the film that I’ve seen, these guys sometimes seem like just a bunch of bums that happen to ride bikes, but most times they really do seem like part of some kind of loosely unified “subculture” that I don’t think a lot of people even know exists. In any case, they’re a hell of a lot of fun to watch, and the film is definitely worth checking out. Plus, even though these guys would probably beat me up instantly if they ever saw me, they definitely make riding my bike around the city feel just a little bit cooler.B.I.K.E.@ FacetsSat., Mar. 24 at 9 & 11 pmSun., Mar. 25 at 9 pmSat., Mar. 31 at 1 pm

Chicago at SXSW

The Chicago Reader tells us the Chicago scene was alive and well in Austin during last week’s SXSW Music Conference. I took the year off, but it’s pretty easy to tell by looking at the list of artists that Chicago was very well represented.


I’ll also agree with the writer that there does not seem to be a “Chicago sound” right now, but rather a bunch of sub-scenes that are making music fun throughout the city.

(photo from The Chicago Reader)

This American Life (finally) gets a new website!

After many years of clinching the “Dan Telfer’s Ugliest Bookmark” award, there’s a hot new makeover for This American Life’s site. Tonight the brand new television program premieres as well, meaning the site is a wee bit slammed with traffic at the moment.Be sure to stop by though- when combined with the revamped streaming audio and free podcast, it’s never been a better time to check the site out.

Kasper Hauser vs TAL

Kasper Hauser has a rather spot-on This American Life parody on their podcast. It’s on their front page right now, or you could subscribe to their podcast in iTunes or another RSS reader.

(thanks, Rod)

Further Adventures in Punctuation

Hash, Browns

Not really a get-up-and-go breakfast, eh?

A Hero In Our City

If you live on the north side you undoubtedly heard about the series of recent knife attacks, most taking place in the Edgewater neighborhood. Chicago Police arrested Luis Irizarry on Sunday with the help of Martha Ramos, who trailed him through alleys and side streets.

Other key players included a female victim that wrestled away a knife in an earlier attack, other victims that gave very detailed descriptions and dispatchers that helped to get officers to the scene quickly. Truly a team effort! One down, many more to go!

Hopefully your mail won’t be captured by Jawas

R2D2 mailbox

The geek and cynic in me are fighting it out for control of the keyboard right now.

Cynic: Wow, the Post Office has really sold out.

Geek: Wow, R2D2 mailboxes!

MC Frontalot

MC Frontalot

Say it loud, I’m a nerd and I’m proud.

I don’t think there’s been a better time to be a nerd — we’ve even got our own music, nerdcore. Rap, that is. There are two separate documentaries coming out about the phenomenon. And one of the pioneers of the genre is coming to Chicago next month — MC Frontalot, along with MC Lars (who’s kind of a tool) and Optimus Rhyme.

MC Frontalot built up the start of his fanbase by winning the weekly song competition Song Fight a bunch of times with songs about things like Star Wars conventions and floating bridges. Yeah, floating bridges. Since then he’s busted out of the guy-at-home-with-laptop mold and recorded an album (now two), gone on a national tour, and head-lined the PAX festival in front of a bunch of geeks.

The tunes are catchy, the lyrics are smart and funny. And you know you won’t be the geekiest one there. Guar-an-teed.

MC Frontalot, MC Lars, Optimus Rhyme
Abbey Pub (3420 W Grace)
Tuesday, April 10
Doors – 8 pm, show – 9 pm
Tickets $10 in advance, $12 at the door

(photo by Sean McPharlin)

America’s Dog

Baltimore Dog at America's Dog

I’d been hearing about this new hot dog place downtown (26 E Randolph – there are also locations in Lincoln Park and on Navy Pier) that has “all different kinds of hot dogs”. It’s no Hot Doug’sAmerica’s Dogs‘ “city dogs*” are all** plain Vienna Beef dogs with a variety of toppings. That said, the prices are reasonable and my Baltimore Dog (deep-fried dog, cheddar cheese sauce, grilled onions) was quite tasty, in a greasy kinda way.

* FYI, Louisiana is not a city.
** except the Maxwell Street Polish

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