Archive for February, 2008

Chic-A-Go-Go: The Movie


I’m a long-time fan of Chic-A-Go-Go, the world’s best cable-access dance party hosted by a rat puppet and a hottie, so I’m looking forward to Chic-A-Go-Go: The Movie, which is world-premiering with a free showing this Sunday (March 2) at 3 pm. The plot (I’m guessing that word should be probably be in quotes) is ripped straight from schlocky rock band movies of the 1950s and features a slew of Chicago musicians. Kelly Hogan AND Sharkula? — awesome-pants.

Portage Theater
4050 N Milwaukee

How Many Drummers Does It Take To…

…supply the city of Chicago with drums? Apparently just one. Meet Dave Cohen: Dead-head, drummer, vintage drum dealer, and owner of the coolest collection of drums (and cymbals, and hardware, percussion stuff, and…) that I’ve ever seen.

Dave Cohen and a 24″ ride cymbal

It was a dark and stormy night (really, it was), and I was at the Celtic Knot to see Sexfist. I was looking to buy a couple of cymbals at the time, and I was talking to Gus about how there’s absolutely nowhere in the whole entire city of Chicago to buy drums (Guitar Center doesn’t count). Gus, of course, knows every musician and music-related person around here, and he told me about his friend Dave who has an amazing collection of drums and sells them out of his apartment right up the street. Gus proceeded to call him and tell him that we were coming over. So, at half-past midnight, I was on my way over to some guy’s apartment to bang on a bunch of cymbals.

And what an apartment it is–I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. If you get anything from this post, get Dave’s contact info, and get in touch with him for all of your drumming needs. Whether you’re looking for vintage stuff (read on to see and hear about some really cool vintage stuff), or just reasonably priced non-vintage stuff, he’s got it: 847-UNI-STIK or

But he also happens to be a really cool guy, and he was nice enough to talk to me about stuff like being a founding member of the Dark Star Orchestra, working in the legendary Frank’s Drum Shop downtown, and building this amazing collection. Read on to see the interview, more pictures, and my embarrassing lack of knowledge of Chicago music history.

Greek mythology on crack. In a good way.

Spotted at Northwestern Today…

Do you have stomach problems?

Many people have stomach discomfort, stomach pain, feel full after eating and other troubles with meals.

Because a girl can’t have too much vintage clothing….

I was walking down Lincoln Avenue yesterday and I stumbled upon Yellow Jacket. (2959 N Lincoln Ave ) I wasn’t going to go in at first – I’m addicted to a good vintage shop and it always ends poorly for my wallet- but alas, the amazing dress in the window swayed me. Jennifer, who I assumed was the owner, was super helpful and magically knew exactly what my style was. Probably because thats her job….

I spent an hour in the store trying on adorable and amazing tops and skirts and hats and glasses and even a couple wigs. Jennifer was super playful and didn’t seem to mind at all. I was like her life-sized dress-up doll. I informed her that she’s now my personal stylist. It works out well for everyone, really.

I walked out of there with some amazing new pieces to add to my not-so-amazing current wardrobe, and even a few accessories that I didn’t need. (Hello? Pink vintage hat with a ball on top?! Yes, please.). I panicked when I got home because I thought I had forgotten my very favorite new brown-with-little-white-polka-dots shirt. I called the store as my new buddy Jennifer was closing and she scoured the place – she was more upset than I was. Super sweet lady. Luckily, I found the shirt and all ended well, but I was pretty impressed by how helpful she was. She even offered to replace the shirt with any other shirt in the store if I had, in fact, lost it. Totally above and beyond.

I didn’t really browse the mens section (obviously), but there were plenty of men in there making a healthy dent in the merchandise. You should all go there and buy things from Jennifer. Now!

I almost didn’t share the knowledge of my new favorite vintage shop with you, readership, but then what kind of informative blogger would I be??? That would just be selfish. I guess there’s plenty of vintage awesomeness to go around – just promise not to take all of the cool stuff…..


I shaved my beard. Why would I part with something that I have described as “my sideburns giving my face a hug”? I did so because now I am growing a mustache for charity.

826CHI is a non-profit org that gives free tutoring and writing classes to students from 6-18. As a teacher and lover of writing, I have to lend all my support to this organization. In this case, all of my support involves growing a mustache till March 29th. I’m aiming for a Sheriff Bullock from the TV show Deadwood look. If it goes really well I could end up looking like the historical Sheriff Bullock. If it goes real bad, I could end up looking like Sandra Bullock.

If you want to support writing classes for Chicago’s youth or you want to support my hirsute march toward uber-masculinity, then click on this link to take you to the Mustache-a-thon’s page. Then click on the link under Bryan Bowden’s loverly visage. BAM! You just donated.

Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell your employer (who might match your donation), tell everyone to donate to this wonderful organization and the creation of a more mustached world.

Chomped Moon

Eclipse of the Moon

It was a wonderfully clear night tonight, perfect for standing out on the lakefront watching the moon get swallowed by the great wolf Fenris eclipsed by the Earth. Perfect except for the fact that it was about -100°. I came in after an hour when I started to lose feeling in my fingers. So I only have photos of the first half of the eclipse (and a nice little hacking cough). Science!

"Life’s Too Short Not To Play Music"

Irish Session @ The Celtic Knot 2008-01-22

Folk music isn’t just about some hot hippie chick on a coffee shop stage somewhere singing about candy and flowers and incompetently strumming a guitar.* Sort of like “country”, or “punk” or “I’ll call you”, “folk” means a lot of different things to different people. To me, folk music is about… well, folks. A bunch of folks getting together to play music for some reason other than to perform it.

You may be asking: what’s the point? It’s 2008, and this is Chicago. Am I supposed to go watch this stuff? Do these guys care if I watch it? Why not just stay home and do this instead of making a ruckus at <insert your favorite bar here>? And inevitably: How do I join in? Maybe that last one’s just me…

I’ll be going around and, as long as I can get away with it, talking to the guys and gals that organize this stuff, play it and listen to it. First is Gus Friedlander, a friend of mine who runs the Irish session every Tuesday night at the Celtic Knot pub in Evanston. Gus is a really cool guy who’s been playing music of all kinds for many years around Chicago. He’s got many a great story about many a Chicago musician, past and present, that I can’t print here. But stop by the session some Tuesday, I’m sure he’d be happy to tell you a few. Read on to see what he and some other guys at the Celtic Knot have to say about the session, and some of the questions above.

My favorite part about winter….

Perhaps the only thing I like about winter….are the chunks of car-snow. You know, the snow that builds up on the wheel wells and under the door frame of the car. Call me crazy (go ahead, do it), but the 9-year-old girl in me loves car-snow. I like to kick it off. And the bigger the chunk, the better.

As I drive to work each morning, I check out other cars and the amount of car-snow that they’ve accumulated. I’m amazed that other people don’t kick this stuff off as soon as they walk to their cars. Often times, kicking the snow chunks off of my car is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning.

This morning I had to physically stop myself from getting out of the car at a red light and kicking off what I considered to be a real nugget of a snow-chunk on the Honda Civic next to me in traffic. But I managed to stop myself. People generally frown upon strangers getting out of their cars in traffic and kicking their wheel well. Plus, he was bigger than me. Next time….


Puppet Bike 5th Anniversary

Puppet Bike

As big of a fan of the Puppet Bike as I am, I certainly don’t want to stand around in this kind of weather watching happy dancing cats. So it’s fortunate that the Puppet Bike’s Fifth Anniversary is being celebrated inside with 5 days of activities — art work from the puppeteers, bands, speeches, and puppet performances.

Wednesday, Feb 20 – Sunday, Feb 24 at the Peter Jones Gallery, 1806 West Cuyler, 2nd floor, Chicago.

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