Oct. 31, 2013
I love The Walking Dead. I love “The Monster Mash,” that timeless 1962 novelty by Bobby “Boris” Pickett. And I love Sound Opinions’ Robin Linn for passing this mash-up along to me.
Here’s hoping everyone enjoys a Happy Halloween—always the most rock ‘n’ roll of holidays.
Oh, and don’t forget to podcast this year’s Halloween episode of Sound Opinions if you didn’t catch it on air. For your holiday thrills and chills: the best songs about murder.
Oct. 30, 2013
When designer Rick Owens decided to use members of American college step teams to model his latest collection, he set off a minor fashion storm.
Here were women that didn’t confirm to any of the standards of beauty set in high fashion stone. They were much bigger in size, and way more expressive looking (and sounding).
They were also far more diverse than typical runway models. Coming on the heels of other criticisms about the overall absence of models of color (especially black models) in the fashion world, Owen’s show was read not just as a bold and brilliant performance, but as confrontation with the fashion status quo.
Chicago designer Jamie Hayes is fomenting her own runway revolution in her newest venture, “The Uniform Project.”
The gallery/runway show is Nov.
Oct. 30, 2013
On March 1, 1893, the gates opened at the Chicago World's Fair: an entertainment wonderland attracting 26 million visitors over the course of six months with never before seen art, food, alcoholic beverages, and a newfangled bevy of technological gadgets.
120 years later, the Field Museum has unveiled Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair, a 10-month long exhibit of incredible artifacts and specimens from the fairgrounds to commemorate the occasion.
A recent post by WBEZ's Curious City also paid homage to the incomparable splendor of the World's Fair, and it got me thinking about the many Chicago "firsts" that the fair produced.
Which Chicago inventions debuted at the 1893 fair, and which came after? And which of these can our city really claim?
Oct. 29, 2013
Oct. 27, 2013
Oct. 25, 2013
October is LGBTQ History Month – a time to honor gay rights pioneers of the past and celebrate the monumental progress that has been made.
But prejudice against the "B" in LGBTQ, bisexuality, still holds a tremendous amount of power, as its legitimacy continues to be called into question in straight and queer communities alike.
People who identify as bisexual – that is, having an attraction to both genders, although not always simultaneously or equally – are often called liars, branded as promiscuous, or shamed into invisibility by those who don't understand how bisexuality could be anything more than a "phase" or a "coverup."
A groundbreaking report from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission has defined the bisexual “erasure” problem this way:
"Bisexuals experience high rates of being ignored, discriminated against, demonized, or rendered invisible by both the heterosexual world and the lesbian and gay communities.
Oct. 25, 2013
The above clip is of track-and-field hero Jesse Owens appearing as a mystery guest on an August 1960 episode of the game show What's My Line?
It's good to see this, particularly in light of the Chicago Public School's decision this week to reinstate Owens' name at a West Pullman neighborhood school. His daughters led the fight that forced the system to restore the school's name.
In a century of heroes, Owens was one of the top. Not only for his athletic powess, but for the meaning of those four gold medals he won at the 1936 Berlin Olympics—something What's My Line?'s exceedingly erudite host John Daly summed up nicely: "...he did it in 1936 and rammed each one of them down the throat of Adolf Hitler."
Owens is about 47 here. I got a kick out of seeing him speak and nailing the show's trademark post-game repartee with the panelists. And the suit is pretty sharp too. Almost a quarter century after his victories in Berlin, he was still a pretty big deal.
When Daly references Owens "back home" that, of course, would be Chicago. He moved here in 1949 and remained until his death in 1980. He's buried in a beautiful spot by one of the lakes at Oak Woods Cemetery on the city's South Side.