WBEZ | Postal Service http://www.wbez.org/tags/postal-service Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Reunited and it feels so good http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-02/reunited-and-it-feels-so-good-105334 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/The%20Postal%20Service.jpg" title="Vocalist Ben Gibbard and producer Jimmy Tamborello will be joined by Jenny Lewis on The Postal Service 2013 reunion tour. (Brooklyn Vegan) " /></p><p>I often wish that certain bands would just put aside their differences and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gigwise.com/news/76745/morrissey-rep-the-smiths-will-never-ever-reunite" target="_blank">get back together</a>&nbsp;already. Since I was never able to see the flawless starting lineups of the Beatles, Queen and Nirvana (R.I.P Lennon, Harrison, Mercury and Cobain), I think that fractured groups with most members still alive and well should at least<em> try&nbsp;</em>bonding over some new jam sessions,&nbsp;at least for my own anxious 24-year-old peace of mind.</p><p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Mangum" target="_blank">Jeff Mangum</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Byrne" target="_blank">David Byrne</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrissey" target="_blank">Morrissey</a> have all launched successful solo careers after the dissolution of their respective bands, and they don&#39;t necessarily<em>&nbsp;need </em>their&nbsp;former groups&nbsp;to write great songs on their own. Still, I hold on to the hope that they will one day reconcile with their long-lost mates and make beautiful music together again. If the old geezers in the Rolling Stones can continue to play sold-out concerts after <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_rolling_stones">50 tumultuous years</a><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_stones" target="_blank"> </a>of drug abuse and backstabbing, then surely anything is possible.&nbsp;</p><p>Unfortunately, the chances of these aforementioned reunions actually happening are slim to none.&nbsp;Mangum has collaborated on&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_milk_hotel#Hiatus" target="_blank">other projects</a> with members of Neutral Milk Hotel&nbsp;in recent years, but the group hasn&#39;t released a full album of new material since 1998&#39;s magical&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Aeroplane_Over_the_Sea" target="_blank"><em>In the Aeroplane Over the Sea</em></a>. Byrne has flatly denied the possibility of a Talking Heads reunion since 2004, perhaps because former bandmate Tina Weymouth had just <a href="http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=41086_0_2_0_C" target="_blank">outed him</a> as an egotist &quot;incapable of returning friendship.&quot; And in 2006, Morrisey <a href="http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/15239/Morrissey-Id-Rather-Eat-My-Testicles-Than-Reform-The-Smiths" target="_blank">famously stated</a>: &quot;I would rather eat my own testicles than reform The Smiths, and that&#39;s saying something for a vegetarian.&quot; Ouch.&nbsp;</p><p>Luckily, two of my long-absent favorites have recently announced surprise reunion tours. Shoegaze phenomenon <strong>My Bloody Valentine</strong> and electropop darling <strong>The Postal Service</strong> will both be touring again in 2013, much to the delight of their unwaveringly loyal fans.&nbsp;</p><p>Before the release of their latest album <em>m b v</em>, which debuted to <a href="http://www.nme.com/news/my-bloody-valentine/68505" target="_blank">site-crashing pandemonium</a> on Saturday, the Irish alternative rockers of My Bloody Valentine (lead vocalist-guitarist Kevin Shields, drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig, singer-guitarist Bilinda Butcher and bassist Debbie Googe)&nbsp;hadn&#39;t released an album of original work since their 1991 masterpiece&nbsp;<em>Loveless</em>. Their <a href="http://www.underthegunreview.net/2013/02/04/my-bloody-valentine-announce-world-tour/" target="_blank">world tour</a>&nbsp;kicks off on February 6, traveling through Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom before finishing up in Spain. Details on a potential U.S. tour are still forthcoming &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The Postal Service released&nbsp;their debut <em>Give Up</em> in 2003 to chart-topping success, but the indie-pop duo of Death Cab for Cutie vocalist <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Gibbard" target="_blank">Ben Gibbard</a> and electronic artist <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Tamborello">Jimmy Tamborello</a> hasn&#39;t produced a follow-up since. Still, the decision to play a&nbsp;<a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/49411-the-postal-service-announce-tour/">handful of shows</a>&nbsp;this spring (peaking at <a href="http://www.coachella.com" target="_blank">Coachella</a> in mid-April) with former tourmate&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_Lewis">Jenny Lewis</a>&nbsp;already has tongues wagging about a possible new release.</p><p>And although both of these bands have neglected to include Chicago on their respective touring schedules thus far, another legendary rock reunion is certain to grace us with its presence soon.</p><p>In celebration of the 45th anniversary of their first album release, the core living members of&nbsp;<strong>Fleetwood Mac</strong>&nbsp;(Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie) are reuniting for a highly-anticipated <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/fleetwood-mac-to-launch-world-tour-in-april-20121203" target="_blank">U.S. tour</a>&nbsp;that will stretch across 35 cities from April to July.</p><p>The iconic British-American rock band plays Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.unitedcenter.com">United Center</a> on April 13 and Rosemont&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.allstatearena.com">Allstate Arena</a> on June 14. But until then, enjoy the seminal album that was <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumours">recorded mid-breakup</a><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumours" target="_blank"> </a>and still made music history with over 40 million copies sold to date, 1977&#39;s <em>Rumours</em>:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gQbtxVyj36s" width="620"></iframe></p><p>What other bands are you excited to see reuniting this year? Did you attend the surprise <a href="http://do312.com/event/2013/02/04/fall-out-boy-surprise-show" target="_blank">Fall Out Boy reunion show</a> at Subterranean last night? Sound off in the comment section below or send me a tweet&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>&nbsp;with your favorites.</p></p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-02/reunited-and-it-feels-so-good-105334 How the U.S. Postal Service can make up the $5.1 billion it lost this year http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-11-17/how-us-postal-service-can-make-51-billion-it-lost-year-94137 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-17/3371759372_d1c7a23b0d.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-17/3371759372_d1c7a23b0d.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 254px;" title="U.S. Post Office 62536 in Glenarm, IL (Flickr/Randy von Liski)"><i>"The U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday that it lost $5.1 billion in the past year." — <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hv9pbUPEvHMIYp9HeTwptUJqX1Rw?docId=f23e5c50acda4a2ba6456d1a3c04c467">Associated Press</a></i></p><p>How the U.S. Postal Service can make up the $5.1 billion it lost this year:&nbsp;</p><p>•&nbsp;Raise price of stamps to $5.1 billion for one year. Get one extremely wealthy person in America to send just one letter.</p><p>•&nbsp;Sell&nbsp;<em>The Definitive Map to the Stars’ Homes</em>&nbsp;on street corners in Beverly Hills.</p><p>• Drive efficiency by giving all postal workers e-mail addresses instead of stubbornly making them use U.S. mail to coordinate meetings, exchange files, etc.</p><p>• Cancel mail on Saturdays. Also remove “sleet” from that poem about conditions mail carriers will work in.</p><p>•&nbsp;Don’t let people get away with that "writing DON’T BEND on envelopes" crap. (Note: This won’t save money but may boost morale.)</p><p>•&nbsp;Somehow convince Bed, Bath &amp; Beyond to mail out more 20%-off coupons.</p><p>• Compete with airlines by letting people put themselves in boxes with holes on top and then mail themselves to their destination.</p><p>•&nbsp;Cancel this year’s Postal Service holiday party featuring Led Zeppelin reunion.</p><p>•&nbsp;Set up a meeting with AOL to discuss working together again.</p><p>• Promise same-day delivery. Apologize later.</p><p>•&nbsp;Replace rude woman behind counter at my local post office with rude robot.</p><p>• Eliminate mail carriers. Drop off mail at one person’s house on every block, let people pass mail down the street until everyone gets theirs.&nbsp;</p><p>•&nbsp;Do a better job getting the word out about Sweetest Day.</p><p>•&nbsp;Let people mail weed.</p><p>———</p><p>More ideas to recoup the $5.1 billion? Let me know in the comments.</p></p> Thu, 17 Nov 2011 15:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-11-17/how-us-postal-service-can-make-51-billion-it-lost-year-94137 Could postal service woes threaten architecture delivered by FDR's New Deal? http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-09-12/could-postal-service-woes-threaten-architecture-delivered-fdrs-new-deal-9183 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-12/usps.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-11/untitled shoot-037.jpg" style="margin-right: 15px; width: 300px; height: 400px; float: left;" title="">The U.S. Postal Service is in well-documented dire straits these days.</p><p>Postal officials are discussing closing locations and downsizing services across the country. In the Chicago area, <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-27/news/ct-met-post-offices-close-20110727_1_closings-village-post-office-usps">14 sites</a> are being contemplated for closure. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay the postman from his or her rounds, sure. But the writer of the motto had no way of seeing the other threats to the 236-year-old institution such as online bill paying, email and private package delivery services. The agency could <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/postal-service-warns-it-could-lose-10-billion-this-year/2011/09/05/gIQAQWEw4J_story.html">lose $10 billion</a> this year.</p><p>It wasn't always this way. The postal system was once as much of a sign of a modern America as were paved roads and electric power. And from 1933 to 1943, the old federal Public Works Administration, under FDR's "New Deal", built more than 400 new post offices across the country. The PWA post offices were real beauties, too: attractive, well-designed, modern. There were often beautiful murals and modern light fixtures on the inside. Stylistically, the buildings landed somewhere between Art Deco and Art Moderne--as streamlined and efficient as the service postal officials wanted customers to find inside.</p><p>Chicago landed a fair number of these new post office facilities. in 1934 alone, the PWA set aside enough cash to build 18 of them, including Stockyard Station at 41st and Halsted, seen in the photo here. And while the only potentially-endangered Chicago post office of this vintage is the Englewood Station at 63rd and Peoria (more on that later), one can't help but wonder what the future holds for some of these 70 to 80-year-old buildings here and across the country. How long can they survive with a landlord that loses $10 billion a year?</p><p>Let's take another look the Stockyards post office completed in 1936 and designed by Howard L. Cheney. It was built when the Union Stockyards stood across the street, and the entrance features well-done reliefs of an eagle on one side of the door and a steer's head on the other:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-021.jpg" style="width: 219px; height: 326px; margin: 0px;" title=""><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-031.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 326px; margin: 0px;" title=""></p><p>Here is the Englewood post office at 63rd and Wallace that postal officials are the thinking about closing. Serial killer H.H. Holmes' <em>Devil in the White City</em> house of horrors previously stood on the site:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-019.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 312px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The Roseland post office at 110th and State is well-preserved, right down to its louvered window and that Buck Rogers-looking flagpole above the main entrance. It was built for $122,000:</p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-009.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 358px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The Roseland post office has a few fraternal twins around town, including this one at California and Medill in Logan Square. The entrance alone is worth the price of postage:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-055.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 414px;" title=""></p></p> Mon, 12 Sep 2011 13:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-09-12/could-postal-service-woes-threaten-architecture-delivered-fdrs-new-deal-9183 Illinoisans worry over possible postal closings http://www.wbez.org/story/illinoisans-worry-over-possible-postal-closings-89703 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-27/3928098266_6f15a70f3f.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some Illinois residents are worried about the&nbsp;potential closure of hundreds of postal offices in the state.</p><p>The financially-troubled Postal Service announced Tuesday that&nbsp;it's considering closing more than 1 in 10 of its retail outlets.&nbsp;It will study 3,653 local offices and branches for possible&nbsp;closing.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>More than 200 offices in Illinois are on the list, including 14&nbsp;around the Chicago area.&nbsp;</p><p>Gloria Mallett lives in the city's Englewood neighborhood and&nbsp;relies on the postal office several times a month to mail bills.&nbsp;She tells The Chicago Tribune that a closure would leave her with&nbsp;no options.</p><p>The post office in the central Illinois community of Bartonville&nbsp;is on the list. Village Board member Leon Ricca tells the (Peoria)&nbsp;Journal Star that a closing would affect the local economy.</p></p> Wed, 27 Jul 2011 14:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinoisans-worry-over-possible-postal-closings-89703 Postal Service looking to close offices, but not likely in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/mail/postal-service-looking-close-offices-not-likely-chicago <p><p>Post offices around Chicago are bracing for major cutbacks. The United States Postal Service is planning to close more than 2,000 post offices around the country.</p><p>Mark Reynolds is a spokesman for the U-S Postal Service in Chicago. He said there isn&rsquo;t a list of specific post offices closing their doors yet- but there is a small finance office on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side that will be folding into a larger office.</p><p>&quot;We are, obviously, in a situation where we've got to make some serious changes and some business decisions just like any other company has had to do in the face of this economy, plus all of the other business factors that have affected the postal service over the last few years,&quot;&nbsp;Reynolds said.</p><p>Reynolds said rural post offices are in more danger of closing than urban locations.</p><p>He said legislators in Washington, D.C. are still in discussions about ending mail service on Saturdays.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 24 Jan 2011 20:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/mail/postal-service-looking-close-offices-not-likely-chicago