There he was: the Leader of the Free World, right before my very eyes, the size of a Tic-Tac. I, along with tens of thousands of other fortunate folks, was sharing a space inside McCormick Place with President Barack Obama, and at this particular point of view, I could squash him between by index finger and thumb. While I had the convenience of a projection screen easily within view of my peripheral, there was something more meaningful behind straining my neck and standing on my tip toes just to catch a glimpse of this man who I had supported these last eight years as it would be perhaps the only time I would have the chance to see him in person.
It was a bittersweet night of course, but not as bitter as the negative degree temperatures I endured in the wee hours of Saturday morning to stand in line for a free ticket. After what seemed to be just a four hour power nap, I awoke at 4:30 AM with little effort in cleanliness and was picked up by a friend at 5 AM. After a short detour of picking up a few other friends, we rode off to Lakeshore Drive in a caravan of hope--hoping to find a parking space, hoping to beat an onslaught of other Obama fans, and hoping to survive a most miserably freezing forecast (if anything, we were hoping the weather would deter a few hundred people from even attempting to show up!).
At 5:45, we were lucky enough to find a parking space on the street, walk our shivering selves into the coziness of McCormick Place's warmish hallways and line up behind what appeared to be a line of 1,000+ eager hopefuls. Props to the team who had to organize the line formations, as the expansiveness of McCormick Place's perimeters had everyone up against the venue's extended walls, forming a pulsing blueprint made up of human beings. My group felt overwhelmed by the massive crowd that already lay ahead of us, but it was nothing compared to the ever growing line behind us!
Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs is conducting its 2011 Creative Chicago Survey, which invites creative practitioners who live and work in Chicago to describe who they are and what they need to thrive, including specific space and business assistance information.
This information will help the City determine policies and programs to support its Creative Sector, and be shared with interested organizations, research and advocacy efforts. The Creative Chicago Survey is unique because it invites the creative community to opt-in and define itself, rather than working from a pre-determined list.
To have the greatest impact, their goal is to hear from all creative people who live and/or work in Chicago. Who is a creative? An artist or an architect, a chef or DJ, a member of a church choir or a fashion designer, a teaching artist or playwright, an arts administrator or a filmmaker, a knitter or an industrial designer. Not just professional artists, but every person who engages in a creative practice as their job or their hobby is considered “a creative.”
Click here to take the survey, in Spanish or English, from Friday, February 4th to Friday, February 25th.
Tonight’s the night! CHIRP Radio is pleased to be part of Beats & Blogs: A Musical Hotspot happening tonight at Subterranean! It’s going to be a great night of music from local faves White Mystery, Hollows, Rabble Rabble and Radar Eyes! Be sure to say hi to the CHIRP Radio reps who’ll be there handing out some great CHIRP Radio swag!
On Saturday, December 18th, Betta Promotions, with featured presenter Loud Loop Press, presents a very special showcase at Chicago’s one and only Subterranean. Four exceptionally talented acts will be on display - White Mystery, Hollows, Rabble Rabble and Radar Eyes!
Named a "Top Ten Trend-Setting Band" by the Chicago Sun-Times, White Mystery is Chicago’s raucous low-fi sound punk sound propelled by the brother and sister duo of Miss Alex White and Francis White. The tag team plays Chicago and tours the USA in support of a full-length vinyl record, which was recently featured on WBEZ Sound Opinions and Daytrotter. White Mystery demands your attention with a high energy stage show! Listen to the album and watch video at whitemysteryband.com.
Hollows, from Chicago, are an interesting band of what seems like a dying breed, all-girl rock. A band with several years under their belts that has made a solid fan base in Chicago with the support of a few indie record labels, Hollows has a sound very reminiscent of the 1960’s and it shines through on some of the tracks that can be heard by checking out Hallows' Myspace page.
Flower punk rockers Rabble Rabble mix punk, blues and psychedelic rock that can get any crowd dancing, moshing and tripping out in just half an hour. Hailed by Loud Loop Press for their “manic psychedelic freak-outs” and being” all kinetic energy” the quartet bring these same elements to their debut release, Bangover and are prepared to do the same at Subterranean on the 18th.
Pulling from influences such as The Velvet Underground and Joy Division, Radar Eyes infuse sleepy, droning vocals with a garage-rock grind, occasional warm harmonies, and bouts of serious jamming soaked in a very Brit-rock sort of melancholy.
The 18th won’t just be the typical Betta Promotions event, though. Betta has joined forces with Loud Loop Press to showcase 17 of Chicago’s local independent Web-focused music blogs to showcase what they do best: find great music and share it with the world.
Taking part in this special event are Chicago’s very own:
BABY, YOU GOT A STEW GOIN'!: A collection of upcoming shows, events, best of lists, mp3’s, and concert photos, babystew.com features the demands and sayings of Steve Rogovin as he delivers commentary and all around goodness to the unsuspecting people of the web.
CHIRP RADIO: The Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP) is dedicated to providing a community radio station that focuses on the goings on of Chicago’s people, events, issues and independent music. In addition to being an Internet radio presence and blog, CHIRP maintains the CHIRPlog in which playlists, news, and staff commentaries are published daily. CHIRP is also working hard at convincing Congress and the FCC to remove the blockade on granting low power FM radio licenses in urban areas.
COACH HOUSE SOUNDS: Bringing unique and personable analog recordings by various local, as well as touring acts to music lovers everywhere, Coach House Sounds also dabbles in hosting events across Chicago. Recording on ¼” analog tape, mixing live, and using no overdubs allows Coach House to embody the true organic quality of live music, something all parties involved feel is important. No money is exchanged and all recordings are available to be heard for free online.
COUNT ME OUT: Run by Chicagoan singer/songwriter Brendan Losch, Count Me Out shares music news, MP3’s, videos and tour dates, as well as reviews for bands Brendan digs, hoping to spread the musical word and bring joy to readers ears.
THE DEAD HUB: Starting out as a hobby for a pair of Columbia College grads, Deadhub has grown to be the online middleman connecting fans to musicians. Offering music news, live reviews, photos and videos from both artists they love and love to hate, Deadhub sees themselves as the unsung heroes of the pit, risking life and limb to deliver the best live coverage possible for Chicago music fans.
DEDICATED EARS: Local Chicago reviews, interviews and concert footage on Indie/Alterntive acts fill the pages of Dedicated Ears, a music blog run by Tony Rusniak, who also maintains a sister site of free, and (more importantly) legal download links, posting 10-12 links a week.
<a href="http://chicago.thedelimagazine.com >THE DELI CHICAGO</a>: A Midwestern version of website/publication <em>The Deli</em>, The Deli Chicago is an independent website that focuses on local musicians within an emerging music scene. Covering everything from rock to folk, punk to indie pop, and a smattering of hip-hop, The Deli Chicago features upcoming shows, an open blog for readers to contribute to, musician resources, and a running tally of the top 300 bands in the area.<br><br> <a data-cke-saved-href=" http:="" http://www.fearlessradio.com"="">FEARLESS RADIO: Based out of Chicago but broadcasting world-wide thanks to the Internet, Fearless has been bringing new music to new ears since 2004, growing to broadcast over 70 hours of live programming a week. In addition to live D.J, comedian and pundit hosted shows, Fearless Radio provides an archive of podcasts for all their shows and invite listener participation through studio phone lines, instant messaging, forums and commentary online.
GIANT SYSTEM: A video based site run by Kyle Obriot and Justin Schmitz, Giant System visits bands in their practice spaces in hopes of capturing the spontaneity of live performance and combining it with the control of a music video.
HEAVE MEDIA: HEAVEmedia.com covers everything from the biggest names in the music scene to up and coming acts. Posting multiple times a day, the folks at HEAVEmedia share their finds on the best interviews, album reviews, and indie music news. Additionally, the site features a streaming MP3 player and weekly HD vodcasts. Outside the Internet HEAVEmedia also provides live concerts featuring both local and national acts.
LOST IN CONCERT: A unique music site in that it is centered around not words, but images, Lost in Concert focuses its content on live music photography from a variety of photographers with the goal to capture the experience of a concert with a single shot.
LOUD LOOP PRESS: Catering specifically to Chicagoans with music news that impacts their fair city, Loud Loop Press keeps things as hyper-local as possible with their collection of album reviews, live show reviews, commentaries, and music news.
REVIEWSIC: With the intention of uniting new music with new listeners, Reviewsic is a Chicago based blog that writes album, show, and artist reviews, with daily posts delivering music news and exclusive interviews. Run by Samantha Gordon, former host to 98.3FM’s Jstreet Radio and WRBC’s The Mixtape, Reviewsic has a focus on up and coming Chicago locals, as well as not-so-local international burgeoning bands.
SECRET NOTE: A concert -goers blog that also includes band interviews, weekly show listings and a monthly playlist, Secret note’s meat and potatoes is providing live show reviews for the Chicago music lover.
WINDY CITY ROCK: Showing its namesake lots of love, Windy City Rock focus on the Chicago music scene with local reviews, band profiles, event information, and relevant articles about Chicago music past and present.
YOU ME AND EVERYBODY: A podcast that focuses on Chicago culture, Esmeralda Leon and Brendan Wetherbee are live Monday nights at the Hungry Brain, located at 2319 W Belmont. You, Me, Them, Everybody also features new and old songs from the Windy City on the You, Me, Them, Everybody Chicago Music Podcast, which is available for free on iTunes.
(The above PR was brought you by Betta staff and Sam Gordon of Reviewsic.com. More information about Betta Promotions and this special event can be found at bettapromotions.com.)
Mark your calendars now: on Saturday, December 18th, Betta Promotions and Loud Loop Press present a very special showcase of music, as well as a spotlight on 17 of Chicago’s local independent web focused music blogs, inclduing your’s truly, CHIRP Radio!
It all goes down at Subterranean (2011 North Avenue), where White Mystery, Hollows, Rabble Rabble and Radar Eyes will be rocking the house. More info will be posted shortly, but be sure to clear your schedules for what will be a great evening of music and community!
Urban Punk is the newest street wear line created by husband and wife team, Fred and Fallon Jones. Since the launch in March 2009, they have become a hit in the Chicagoland area.
Urban Punk was established after the two creative personas formed the idea because they were fed up with the stereotypes and violent acts that were happening in Englewood. Finding unique apparel to wear to house parties was also an issue in which Fred encountered.
The raw and edgy types of clothes in the Urban Punk collection evoke a different way of expressing oneself opposed to guns and drugs. The logos consist of multi-colored lettering, with the initials U and P intermingling. “It is what it is,” says Fallon of Urban Punk. It can be different for each person who wears it, with the meaning of their clothing subjective to one’s own thoughts.
Their latest designs show a baby holding up the middle finger. Fallon adds this expression can mean many things, including “F” society right now especially since the nation is under so much stress. “If the message offends you then, Urban Punk is not for you,” says Fallon.
Who are they? Fred, a tall overwhelming friendly individual and his beautiful wife Fallon are the owners of this urban movement and are both native southsiders. Fred and Fallon wanted to create something that helps and has ties to the Southside of Chicago. Stereotypically, people envision the Southside full of gang bangers and drug lords. How ever this is not the case with these two individuals who do not fit this stereotype. They are extremely intelligent and eloquent.
They embodied, “the get fresh attitude and straight forward bluntness of the clothing,” as Fallon likes to describe the concept of Urban Punk.
While speaking with them you could not help but notice their attire, Fallon dressed in hot pink leopard leggings, black bangles and a black Urban Punk T-Shirt. Fred rocked an inspired theme “Kid & Play” high top fade, high top sneakers coupled with a black Urban Punk hoodie to complete the ensemble.
Throughout their hard work and creative vision, UP has grown from a local grassroots movement to now catching the eye of some very influential people within the music industry. The patriarch of the funk music genre, George Clinton is a fan of their designs and fashion forward clothing line. In addition, famous Chicagoans are beginning to take notice like Phil G and Rhymefest.
“We are not your cookie cutter line,” says Fred. Urban Punk has a fall look book coming out and they are making efforts to remain timeless. The Jones’ say they are willing to work hard despite the fact money is tight, all efforts are going into what they believe is a great opportunity.