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Inklings about the demise of venerable indie label Touch and Go have been floating around the blogosphere for the past few days, and today the situation became clearer: Time Out Chicago is reporting the record label, which has been operating out of Chicago since 1983, will fold its manufacturing and distribution wing, and carry on as a free-standing indie label.
Touch and Go released two albums yesterday: Mi Ami’s Watersports and Sholi’s debut self-titled LP.
According to a statement from label owner Corey Rusk, T&G will “be busy for a few months working closely with the departing labels and scaling our company to an appropriate smaller size after their departure. It is the end of a grand chapter in Touch and Go’s history, but we also know that good things can come from new beginnings.”
Oh no oh no, it’s Valentine’s Day! Date tonight? OK, did you get chocolates? Go get ‘em! And flowers? Are they fair trade flowers? OK, ready?
Now you need some music. We’re going to lay it on a little thick here. It’s Valentine’s Day; if you’re going to celebrate, just go for it, right? Resist the urge to get ironic with CocoRosie’s “By Your Side” or Love Is All’s “Last Choice”.
First, some classics:
So In Love – Cole Porter. I particularly like KD Lang‘s version.
That Old Black Magic – Johnny Mercer. Try Shirley Horn‘s version.
La Vie En Rose – Edith Piaf or try Grace Jones‘s cover
Wild Is the Wind – Nina Simone and David Bowie both have great versions of this one.
I Only Have Eyes for You – The Flamingos
At Last – Etta James
I’ll Be Your Mirror – The Velvet Underground & Nico
Everyday Clothes – Jonathan Richman
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green (OK, maybe you should leave this songs out if your relationship is just starting out… don’t push it too hard.)
Now, some newer tracks:
Sweet Lovin’ Man – The Magnetic Fields
Love Endeavor – Alice Smith
Inside and Out – Feist
Amy – Mark Ronson featuring Kenna
I Melt with You – Modern English did it originally, but you might prefer Nouvelle Vague‘s bossa nova cover.
Baby – Rufus Wainwright
And if you can take little drama, you might throw in:
We Both Go Down Together – The Decemberists
Your Arms around Me – Jens Lekman
OK, ready? GO.
Wait, what? No date tonight? OK, that’s OK. There’s lots of things you can do tonight instead. Go have some fun. Whatever you do, do not sit at home with a bottle of whiskey and listen to the Mountain Goats on repeat.
When I was in college I went through something of a Cole Porter phase. I had a few albums of his songs, and so I could compare different singers’ interpretations of the same songs.
One that stood out in particular was Blossom Dearie’s version of “Always True to You in My Fashion”. Dearie’s clear, high, kittenish voice gave a touch of innocence to Porter’s ribald lyrics — a perfect counterpoint, really, just right for the song. And so I filed her name away in my mind as something to remember.
A few years later a friend gave me the Blossom Dearie Jazz Masters album from Verve. I hadn’t really listened to her since college, and only knew the one song, but the album quickly became a favorite. Her haunting version of “Once Upon a Summertime”, sweet but tinged with regret, is my favorite version of that song. There are also sweet love songs (“Let Me Love You”, “Someone to Watch Over Me”), funny songs (“Give Him the Ooh-La-La”, “I Won’t Dance”), and cool jazz (“Dearie’s Blues”). Though her voice is very distinctive, she brings something different to every song.
Later I found out that I (like most Americans my age) had known Dearie’s voice as a child, as part of the Schoolhouse Rock! series, where she sang “Figure Eight” and “Unpack Your Adjectives”.
Dearie had a long career, and I know I have only begun to scratch the surface in discovering her work. I regret missing her cabaret residency just a few years ago in New York. Why didn’t I go? Perhaps I thought there would always be another opportunity to hear this timeless voice.
Blossom Dearie died this past Saturday at the age of 82, of natural causes, in her Greenwich Village apartment.
Now that we’ve had a little over a month to try and make habits of our New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself: are you utilizing your gym membership? No? Maybe that’s because the repetitive treadmill thing just isn’t happening for you. Check out some of these alternative fitness options, guaranteed to inspire you in a way that 45:33 on the elliptical no longer can.
Punk Rope at Discovery Center
Feb 25 – April 1
Discovery Center (2940 N. Lincoln)
Get fit in this “rock’n‘roll-fueled cross between recess and boot camp” that mixes traditional jump rope with themed drills and school yard games. (Beginner.)
Breakdancing 1 at the Old Town School of Folk Music
March 4 – April 22
Wednesdays at 7:20pm
Old Town School (909 W. Armitage Ave.)
Not only will you learn the fundamentals of street dance and hip-hop culture, by the end you’ll be improvising and competing with your classmates “just like the b-boys and b-girls.” Word. (Beginner.)
20s Charleston – Girl Power! at The Galaxie Chicago
Feb. 11 – March 3
Wednesdays at 7pm
$40 ($25 students)
The Galaxie Chicago (2603 W. Barry)
Free your inner flapper and get a great workout while studying basic Charleston and other 1920s and 30s rhythms. (Beginner.)
Trapeze at The Aloft Loft
Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 6-7:30pm
$125 for 4 classes, $275 for 10 ($35 a la carte — there is a free class on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 10:30am-12pm, reservations required)
The Aloft Loft (2041 W. Carroll #306)
Develop upper body strength and aerial awareness while learning the fundamentals of trapeze — “the ballet of the air.” (Beginner.)
Chair Striptease at Flirty Girl Fitness
Flirty Girl Fitness (1325 W. Randolph)
$25 per class (or included with $110 monthly membership)
Get an abdominal workout as you learn the art of the sexy chair dance. (That’s an art, right?) Plus, you get to say “my Chair Striptease class.” (Beginner.)
Core Conditioning Class at Breakbone Dance Co.
Feb. 15 – April 5
Hamlin Park Studio (3035 N. Hoyne)
$50 (or $8 a la carte)
Strengthen core muscles and excavate new movement concepts with the Breakbone company members who founded the troupe’s extreme movement and bodyslam techniques. (Advanced.)
Not the “fitness class” type? You can always try out for roller derby.
As the sad news spread around the Net last week of Charlie Cooper’s passing, many of us here at CHIRP were shocked. Whether you only knew Charlie through the music of Telefon Tel Aviv or you knew him as a friend, he will surely be missed. Here at CHIRP we want to send our best to Josh and to Charlie’s family during this hard time.
There will be a memorial service at Sonotheque, Sunday Feb 8th, from 5-8PM, for friends to remember Charlie. A message on Facebook said this:
The foyer at Sonotheque will be a room to remember Charlie in photos. If you have printed images of Charlie, please bring them with you. You can retrieve them after the memorial.
If you have digital images of Charlie, upload them to the flickr pool. There will be a slideshow at the memorial with all of the photos, so please upload them by Saturday evening.
Please pass along this information to other friends of Charlie who may not already know about the memorial service.