WBEZ | Music http://www.wbez.org/tags/music Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Pokey LaFarge keeps American roots music fresh http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-01/morning-shift-pokey-lafarge-keeps-american-roots-music-fresh <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/pokey 2 joshua black wilkins.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/212809231&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: 22px;">Like the riverboats that used to come up the Mississippi, St. Louis-based Pokey LaFarge is floating upstream with a guitar case full of ragtime, blues, western swing, and trad jazz. But make no mistake-there&rsquo;s a difference between &ldquo;retro&rdquo; and &ldquo;classic&rdquo;. LaFarge banks in the latter, using sounds and elements from days gone by...not to trade in nostalgia, but to create a solid base for music that instantly becomes timeless. His latest album is Something in the Water, and he joins the Morning Shift before a gig at Fitzgerald&rsquo;s in Berwyn.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests: &nbsp;</strong><a href="https://twitter.com/pokeylafarge">Pokey LaFarge</a> is a musician</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><a href="https://twitter.com/chloejazz3">Chloe Feoranzo</a> is a musician</p></p> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-01/morning-shift-pokey-lafarge-keeps-american-roots-music-fresh Morning Shift: The sounds of Helado Negro http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-06-29/morning-shift-sounds-helado-negro-112278 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/pellaea.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/212508703&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">The sounds of Helado Negro</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">An upcoming headlining act for the weekly Monday night Downtown Sound Series at Millennium Park will be Colombian big band cumbia with Ondatropica and the opener will be Helado Negro or Black Ice Cream. That&rsquo;s the project of Roberto Carlos Lange. He was just in town last weekend and stopped by our studio to play and chat. Here he is backed by a violin trio along with a brand new release.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://asthmatickitty.com/artists/helado-negro/">Helado Negro</a> is a musicial group.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-06-29/morning-shift-sounds-helado-negro-112278 Screaming Females mature on 'Rose Mountain' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/screaming-females-mature-rose-mountain-111495 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/screamales.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>Over the course of a decade-long career that started when they were barely out of high school, force of nature guitarist-vocalist Marissa Paternoster and her formidable rhythm-section bandmates Jarrett Dougherty and King Mike progressed from playing punk-rock basements in and around New Brunswick, N.J., to opening huge shows for Garbage, the Dead Weather, and Arctic Monkeys.</p><p>Paternoster made a <em>Spin </em>list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time&mdash;albeit at No. 77&mdash;and after working with Steve Albini on their last studio album (2012&rsquo;s aptly named <em>Ugly</em>), she and the boys indulged in a move that often signals that a group is running out of steam, releasing a live album (albeit a cool one recorded by Albini at Chicago&rsquo;s Hideout).</p><p>Was it time for Screaming Females to grow up, get a day job, and maybe tone the caterwauling down to a gentle roar? Hardly.</p><p>Longtime fans may be surprised at first by the bigger, bolder, dare we say more polished sounds of <em>Rose Mountain, </em>which was produced by Matt Bayles, best known for working with hipster/n<em>ü</em>-metal bands like Mastodon and the Sword. But as Paternoster said <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/show/340/#screamingfemales">when the band appeared on <em>Sound Opinions </em>circa <em>Ugly</em></a><em>, </em>she&rsquo;s always admired more ambitious, arty groups like Radiohead and the Smashing Pumpkins, and big, bold melodies were always part of the mix, even if they were buried under layers of garage grunge and overpowered by the trio&rsquo;s trademark ferocity.</p><p>Well, Screamales are still raging&mdash;just listen to those barn-burning riffs in &ldquo;Triumph&rdquo; or &ldquo;Empty Head&rdquo;&mdash;but they&rsquo;re also making the daring move of slowing down some of the rhythms, emphasizing the hooks, and pushing the often more melodic vocals much higher in the mix. Songs such as &ldquo;Wishing Well,&rdquo; &ldquo;Broken Neck,&rdquo; &ldquo;Hopeless,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Rose Mountain&rdquo; are no less potent for the polishing; indeed, they rank with some of the band&rsquo;s best tunes ever.</p><p>More importantly, Paternoster remains a singular and very welcome presence. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m nothing like the others,&rdquo; she sings in the massive chorsus of the title track, and earnest and self-effacing as ever, you know she ain&rsquo;t kidding.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ECIURtpwRnk" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>Screaming Females, <em>Rose Mountain </em>(Don Giovanni)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: 4 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Thu, 05 Feb 2015 07:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/screaming-females-mature-rose-mountain-111495 Remembering 'Annoying Music Show' and 'Magnificent Obsession' host Jim Nayder http://www.wbez.org/sections/health/remembering-annoying-music-show-and-magnificent-obsession-host-jim-nayder-110595 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Nayder.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Last summer Chicago Public Radio listeners were shocked by the death of WBEZ radio personality Jim Nayder. As host of both The Annoying Music Show and the addiction-focused Magnificent Obsession, Nayder was a complex character.</p><p>To millions, he was was the master curator of annoying musical oddities that ventured so far into the land of bad, that they were almost good--almost.</p><p>They included Lorne Green singing &ldquo;As Time Goes By,&rdquo; Tiny Tim and Bob Dylan singing &ldquo;I Got You Babe&rdquo; and Sammy Davis Jr. singing the theme to Hawaii 5-0. Who knew it had words?</p><p>Nayder&rsquo;s 3-minute show appeared on more than 100 public radio stations across the country; and his regular appearances on NPR&rsquo;s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon expanded the wacky Annoying Music brand all over the country. The show would eventually spawn CDs, live concerts and more.</p><p>But to many early-morning listeners, Nayder was the voice of another very different show, one that focused on wrenching journeys from addiction to recovery.</p><p>Using nothing but hand-picked music and first-person narrative, Magnificent Obsession presented &nbsp;tales of desperation and hopelessness that were bearable only because you knew, that by the end the show, the speaker might make it to the other side.</p><p>In Chicago, most episodes aired in the predawn hours of the weekend. But longtime Nayder friend and former radio producer Craig Alton says the timing was by design.</p><p>&ldquo;To us in the radio business that might seem like dog time,&rdquo; Alton said. &ldquo;But God&rsquo;s honest truth was that&rsquo;s exactly when you want to hit that drinking audience people who are loaded sitting up all night, they listen to this, and right when they&rsquo;re most drunk you hit them with this guy&rsquo;s story.&rdquo;</p><p>Typical stories would feature confessions like &ldquo;And it suddenly dawned on me that I was sitting there shooting dope;&rdquo; or, &ldquo;I envied people that looked normal to me...and I wanted to feel that sense of peace. I wanted the turbulence to stop but I didn&rsquo;t want to give up drinking.&rdquo;</p><p>Nayder often scored these long first-person narratives with love songs whose themes of despair applied equally to heartbreak and addiction.</p><p>Even in the last few months of his life, Nayder was still delivering weekly shows to WBEZ. But what most people--including close friends--didn&rsquo;t know, was that Nayder was dying of the very disease his show was meant to help heal.</p><p>His daughter Blair Botti tried to explain.</p><p>&ldquo;Many people didn&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; Botti said. &ldquo;And I think his way of being public with it was through Magnificent Obsession. &nbsp;What we always said was that he would have loved to be a guest on his own show if he ever were able to recover; because that would have been the ultimate success.&rdquo;</p><p>Despite enrolling in multiple addiction programs, Nayder never did achieve recovery. And he&rsquo;d never get tell his story of finally making it to the other side.</p><p>But today his wife of three decades, Laurie Nayder, and Botti are working to digitally release the stories Nayder gathered from so many others. It&rsquo;s an effort, they say, to help all those struggling with the same demons that eventually took the man they loved.</p><p>And today we tell his story.</p><p>Jim Nayder was born in 1954 on the South Side of Chicago to a large Catholic family. The tall lanky teen played high school hockey for Quigley South. And he spent his summers on his grandfather&rsquo;s Wisconsin farm where he developed a love of ham radio and wild animals.</p><p>In 1974 Jim enrolled in the seminary at Chicago&rsquo;s Loyola University. But soon after arriving, things changed. The priest-in-training fell in love when he went to a party and met a self-identified, &ldquo;nice Jewish girl&rdquo; named Laurie Brown.</p><p>&ldquo;l had some friends that were in the seminary that took classes at Loyola,&rdquo; Laurie [Brown] Nayder remembered. &ldquo;They had really good parties and that&rsquo;s why I hung out with them. Jim came in his junior year to the seminary and he was next door to a really good friend of mine,--Father Wayne, now, but Wayne at the time--and that&rsquo;s how I met him&hellip;&rdquo; she recalled. &ldquo;He had a jukebox that played 78s in his room and I thought that was very cool. But I thought he was just a riot, extremely quirky and really funny.&rdquo;</p><p>Jim and Laurie married in 1977 and by 1980 they gave birth to a future Chicago Public School teacher named Blair. For her, Jim&rsquo;s sense of humor meant things like surprise chocolate sundaes that would magically appear from under her bed during storytime.</p><p>&ldquo;Which, I&rsquo;m sure my mom was pleased about, because it was right before bed,&rdquo; she remembered. &ldquo;But that&rsquo;s just how he was. He would make up all these crazy bedtime stories with elaborate ways my bunny blanket would save the day and he was just a really funny, great, kind dad.&rdquo;</p><p>That sense of wacky spontaneity would also end up birthing the now legendary Annoying Music Show one Saturday morning in 1996. Laurie Nayder, WBEZ engineer Mike Gilmore and Craig Alton shared their collective memories on how it all started.</p><p>&ldquo;He used to do the breaks for WBEZ on the weekends...&rdquo; Laurie started</p><p>&ldquo;As I remember it, there was a band that was delayed. The producer asked me if I needed more time. I asked her to tell Jim Nayder, who was in another room, if he could kill 3 minutes,&rdquo; Gilmore added. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We had nothing to put on, so he grabs a record and the only thing next to him was Slim Whitman. He puts it on,&rdquo; Alton added. &nbsp;</p><p>Laurie remembered Slim Whitman singing &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a Small World,&rdquo; too. &ldquo;And oh my goodness! Anyway, he put it on and said &lsquo;that was the Annoying Music Show,&rdquo; Laurie recalled.</p><p>&ldquo;The people answering the phone said the people calling want to know what&rsquo;s on The Annoying Music Show next week and that&rsquo;s when Jim told us that he&rsquo;d played Slim Whitman&rsquo;s &lsquo;It&rsquo;s a Small World,&rsquo;&rdquo; Gilmore added.</p><p>Alton said it was the largest response the radio station received for anything. &ldquo;And we all agreed that whatever it was it was big and it really got people&rsquo;s response going,&rdquo; Alton remarked.</p><p>Laurie said she thought it lit a fire under him--and the rest, was history. &nbsp;</p><p>The show was quickly, picked up all over the country and drove sales on at least four Annoying Music CDs, including a Christmas CD,The Annoying Music Show Presents Songs for People and You Can&rsquo;t Handle This Annoying Music Show. But, as Nayder explained to Simon, the featured music couldn&rsquo;t just be bad music...it had to be seriously wrong.</p><p>&ldquo;He took a particular delight in finding music that people really recorded earnestly,&rdquo; Simon said. &ldquo;I mean they really wanted to put themselves across; and on the other hand there was something elemental about it that just misfired and didn&rsquo;t serve the best purposes. And that&rsquo;s where the humor was.&rdquo;</p><p>While much of the music came from scouring garage sales and wary friends&rsquo; record collections, eventually Laurie says the public started to help.</p><p>&ldquo;People would say &lsquo;Oh, I have something&rsquo; and they&rsquo;d send him things,&rdquo; she recalled. &ldquo;I know he was always upset that he gave Scott Simon his Leonard Nimoy album and I don&rsquo;t think he ever got it back. So he had to find a new one to play.&rdquo;</p><p>For nearly two decades--even as he took on other jobs--Nayder would spend his week&rsquo;s producing two different shows--collecting stacks of quirky songs for one and stacks of heartbreaking recovery tales for another. &nbsp;</p><p>And while Jim accepted, and even enjoyed the wild popularity of The Annoying Music Show, he told This American Life in 1998, his heart belonged to Magnificent Obsession. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;The experience of Magnificent Obsession in a week, to me, is much more moving on a bunch of levels,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Someone will make contact with me to be on the show. And, in the course of a couple of hours, they told me their deepest, darkest, funniest, most-uplifting experience. And I&#39;ve never met this person before.&rdquo;</p><p>As Laurie and Blair listen to the old episodes of Magnificent Obsession in preparation for launching them as a podcast later this year, they says it&rsquo;s some of Jim&rsquo;s musical choices that touch them most. He used a lot of Leonard Cohen and Lucy Kaplansky but also Aerosmith and Madonna.</p><p>&ldquo;I think the first song he used on the show was Pink Floyd&rsquo;s &lsquo;Comfortably Numb,&rsquo;&rdquo; Blair recalled.</p><p>&ldquo;Also, he would take a lot of songs that you would think were love songs and if you in the right place in your head you realize the love was the love of your addiction,&rdquo; Laurie said. &ldquo;And the song was even more powerful than a love song.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, whose has engaged in a very public struggle with alcoholism himself, was featured as one of the few fully-named guests on Magnificent Obsession. Most remained anonymous or only offered their first names.</p><p>That taping session Steinberg did with Jim was his first and last encounter with the radio host. Still, he says the news of Jim&rsquo;s death last year shook him.</p><p>&ldquo;It gave me a chill,&rdquo; Steinberg said, &ldquo;because I&rsquo;m writing another recovery book and I am very attuned to the idea that here Jim was trying to help by sharing these stories while the thing was coming back. And that&rsquo;s the insidious part of addiction. I call it the beast in the basement. Some days it&rsquo;s very quiet and some days you can just hear that door crack as it&rsquo;s throwing itself against it.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Although Steinberg never heard a predawn airing of the episode others clearly had. He said he heard from friends and readers every time it aired.</p><p>&ldquo;Someone must be listening at 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday, or whenever it played, because I would hear from people that it would move them every time,&rdquo; Steinberg said.</p><p>Although he was very private about it, Nayder also heard from many listeners who had been helped and moved by the program, according to his friend Craig Alton.</p><p>&quot;There were many cases where people would call him a year later and say you know if it wasn&rsquo;t for that show I wouldn&rsquo;t have cleaned myself up,&rdquo; Alton said.</p><p>In retrospect, friends also wonder how much Jim used the shows as a way to preserve his own sobriety--almost forcing himself to attend weekly meetings as part of his job. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve thought about that a lot in the year that&rsquo;s gone by,&rdquo; Simon said .&rdquo;I do think that he thought he might be able to find something that would help him by doing the show. And, by the way, all of us can. You don&rsquo;t have to be fighting a particular substance abuse problem to find something in that show that&rsquo;s filled with wisdom and insight and helps you live a better life.</p><p>&quot;But I think he also thought it was a way of giving something to others whose struggle he understood in a personal and important way--giving something to them even if he couldn&rsquo;t always accept those lessons himself. And I think he wound up accomplishing something very important with that.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Simon, like most friends, learned of Jim&rsquo;s alcoholism very late. And even his closest friend, Alton, said he discovered Jim&rsquo;s problem only after a decade of friendship.</p><p>It was Christmas Day. Jim had been taking medication designed to stop alcohol use. But he drank anyway and ended up the hospital.</p><p>&ldquo;He wasn&rsquo;t an ugly drunk,&rdquo; Alton said. &ldquo;He was a happy guy but he drank in a different way than I have seen anybody drink. He would go 10 years without taking a drink and then down a small bottle of vodka in a single gulp. His goal was to drink and pass out; drink and pass out.&rdquo;</p><p>This struggle would go on for decades Laurie said.</p><p>&ldquo;But he maintained a life for years and years with the struggle,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;He was still Jim. He was still able to function pretty much fully. His show went on. His life went on. And until the very end he was the nicest man in the world. He was a nice man with a horrible, horrible problem.&rdquo;</p><p>In his final months Jim and Laurie divorced and he ceased contact with almost everyone he knew. &nbsp;Laurie, Blair, Simon and Alton shared the accounts.</p><p>&ldquo;I left; and that&rsquo;s hard because I had to leave,&rdquo; Laurie said. &ldquo;And then when he died, well, I wasn&rsquo;t with him--so I feel guilty.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;There were indications I got in that final year that he was on and off the wagon,&rdquo; Simon said. &ldquo;There were times when you&rsquo;d talk to him and he seemed upbeat even chipper and &nbsp;then there would be times when he would text you in the middle of the night and you knew something was wrong.</p><p>&ldquo;He made it to Blair&rsquo;s wedding which was huge,&rdquo; Laurie said. &ldquo;He was fine at the wedding and you got the father-daughter dance, and then I think that was kind of the peak, but that was it.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It certainly was beyond him to surrender,&rdquo; Alton said. &ldquo;I think he really was just sucked into it. I came out of the apartment one day and I sat in my car and I just cried because you knew it was the end. You knew, this was the last time I&rsquo;d ever see Jim. I thought I should&rsquo;ve taken a picture with him because maybe this was the last time I&rsquo;d see Jim. And, in fact, it was the last time I&rsquo;d ever see or hear from him again.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;He would text a lot to say &lsquo;I&rsquo;m sorry&rsquo; and &lsquo;I love you&rsquo;&rdquo; Laurie said.</p><p>&ldquo;He got to meet Freddy, his grandson, twice--and that was great,&rdquo; Blair remembered. &ldquo;But he just struggled so much for years and, as you put it, he was like a 95-year-old man in a 59-year-old body.&rdquo;</p><p>But family and friends say that Jim would like to be remembered differently.</p><p>&ldquo;I think he&rsquo;d like to be remembered as a loving husband and father,&rdquo; Blair said. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m sure it would be in a funny way,&rdquo; Alton said. &ldquo;He&rsquo;d probably want people to put records on his gravestone. He&rsquo;d want photos of him and kids coloring all over them and making a coloring book of Jim Nayder&rsquo;s life--good and bad all included. Just something bizarre and eccentric. He would want people to hold hands around his grave and sing &#39;kumbaya.&#39; Just something really off-the-wall. He would love it.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I hope he knew we thought of him as a good man,&rdquo; Laurie said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think he maybe thought that sometimes. But I&rsquo;ve always thought of him as a good man.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;He gave so much more into this world than those of us who loved him,&rdquo; Simon said. &ldquo;And I think of that that love and humor...He makes me laugh every week, even today, and he&rsquo;s been gone a year. I &nbsp;think that is going to happen for the rest of my life. I think our children are going to grow up laughing at what he did; and that puts a lot of laughter into this world.&rdquo;</p><p>You can still hear Jim on archived shows of <a href="http://www.npr.org/programs/weekend-edition-saturday/archive">Weekend Edition </a>and Laurie and Blair hope to have select episodes of Magnificent Obsession available in podcast by the end of the year.</p><p>&ldquo;It may not have been the more popular of the two shows but it was definitely the show he was most proud of, and obviously it hit close to home,&rdquo; Blair says. &ldquo;But I think he would have been really happy that even in his death, if he was able to help people with their life now he could still do that.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of WBEZ&rsquo;s Chewing the Fat podcast. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a></em></p></p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/health/remembering-annoying-music-show-and-magnificent-obsession-host-jim-nayder-110595 Iraqi musicians continue to play, despite conflict http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-18/iraqi-musicians-continue-play-despite-conflict-110371 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP817556148506.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Iraqi musicians have been the target of attacks by extremists who have bombed music shops and forced many concert halls to close, but they have continued to play.On this week&#39;s Global Notes we&#39;ll listen to Iraqi folk and pop.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iraqi-musicians-continue-to-play-despite/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iraqi-musicians-continue-to-play-despite.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iraqi-musicians-continue-to-play-despite" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Iraqi musicians continue to play, despite conflict" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-18/iraqi-musicians-continue-play-despite-conflict-110371 Love and lyrics http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-12/love-and-lyrics-109327 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Flickr%3AGreen%20Watermelon.png" title="(Flickr/greenwatermelon)" /></div></div><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">When reflecting on a past relationship, one song can bring back a tidal wave of memories.</p><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">You go to a party with someone new; and just as his hand reaches for yours, the turntable clicks to a song that your first love used to play for you on lazy Sundays.</p><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">You have a record that you used to enjoy, but now resent; every chord reminds you of her.</p><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">You&#39;re picking up milk at the grocery store when you hear a song that you danced to at a wedding once, and that stab of recognition is enough to make your lungs gasp for air.&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;"><em>&quot;You&#39;re the reason why I&#39;ll move to the city/You&#39;re why I&#39;ll need to leave.&quot; - Sharon Van Etten</em></p></blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">When I met you, I was all of 18. I liked Coldplay and Damien Rice. You introduced me to Bob Dylan, Spoon, and Nick Drake. To the tune and timbre of your records, I fell in love.</p><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">We cooked pasta to Andrew Bird. We fell asleep to Iron &amp; Wine. We sang in the car to The Avett Brothers. We dissected the lyrics of Wilco and Arcade Fire. We made memories to Neutral Milk Hotel, St. Vincent, The Decemberists, and Radiohead. We were happy. And then we weren&#39;t.</p><blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;"><em>&nbsp;&quot;Now I&#39;m weaker than the palest blue/Oh so weak in this need for you&quot; - Nick Drake</em></p></blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">Life without him was an apple that I needed to eat, eat, eat, but I couldn&#39;t. Without his worldly guidance and protection, his superior knowledge of seemingly everything that mattered, I was convinced that biting into the forbidden fruit would destroy me. My own demons were already too much to bear; I needed relief. I needed him to save me.</p><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">Little did I know that attaching myself to him was the real poison, already pulsing its sweet nectar through my veins.</p><blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;"><em>&quot;Come on, skinny love, just last the year/Pour a little salt we were never here/My my my, my my my, my my/staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer&quot; - Bon Iver</em></p></blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">I tore away from him eventually, and life went on somehow. I found fleeting comfort in the arms of others, busying myself to forget his face, his voice, and the way his kiss felt like nothing I had ever known before, and never would again.</p><blockquote><p><em>&nbsp; &nbsp; &quot;And this is the room, one afternoon/I knew I could love you&quot; - Neutral Milk Hotel</em></p></blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">I made the mistake of seeing him through many a Thanksgiving and Christmas in my abandoned hometown, stealing nights and promises that didn&#39;t belong to me anymore.</p><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">Now, he was just an idea of a person. He was a shell of what I needed him to be; a dream that kept me warm at night. I willed his declarations to mean something. I pretended that he cared.</p><blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;"><em>&quot;I&#39;ve got reservations/about so many things/but not about you&quot; - Wilco </em></p></blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">I didn&#39;t understand why he kept hurting me, as if breaking me was a bad habit that he just couldn&#39;t shake. I kept entertaining the notion that he would change, that he would turn back into the person whom I used to know so well and now missed so terribly.</p><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;">He never did.</p><blockquote><p style="margin-left:13.5pt;"><em>&quot;I spent the summer on my back/Another attack/Steal you just to get along, get along, get along/Turn off the TV, wait in bed/Blue and red/A little something to get along, get along, get along/Best, finest surgeon/Come cut me open&quot; - St. Vincent</em></p></blockquote><p style="margin-left:.25in;">I wish that I could write a letter to myself, ages 21-24:</p><p style="margin-left:.25in;">If you&#39;re feeling sad and lonely, don&#39;t tell him. If you are happy and successful, don&#39;t tell him. When your health is failing, when the doctor tells you in no uncertain terms that your death is imminent, don&#39;t even think about telling him.</p><p style="margin-left:.25in;">I had to learn this the hard way.</p><blockquote><p><em>&quot;Don&#39;t dismiss it like it&#39;s easy/&#39;Cause tell me what&#39;s so easy/&#39;Bout comin&#39; to say goodbye/You&#39;re gonna miss her in the evening/You know all you need is/somebody when you come to die&quot; - Andrew Bird</em></p></blockquote><p style="margin-left:.25in;">I&#39;m stronger now, physically better. A small ache still lingers, like a tiny, hot needle that stings ever so furtively, but the heaviest burden is gone. The most exquisite, excruciating pain has been lifted. I&#39;m no longer in love with a ghost.</p><blockquote><p><em>&quot;Tied to my bed/I was younger then/I had nothing to spend but time on you/but it made me love/it made me love/it made me love more&quot; - Sharon Van Etten</em></p></blockquote><p style="margin-left:.25in;">I&#39;ve made peace with my past; I&#39;ve learned to let go. I fumbled through relationships with others, finding myself along the way. I found love again, this time with someone who is equally capable of loving me back.</p><p style="margin-left:.25in;">I&#39;ve realized that this is what true happiness feels like.</p><p style="margin-left:.25in;">I still listen to your records; I only think of you sometimes.</p><blockquote><p style="margin-left:.25in;"><em>&quot;Don&#39;t think twice, it&#39;s alright&quot; - Bob Dylan</em></p></blockquote><p style="margin-left:.25in;">I bit into the apple. I&#39;m still here.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left:.25in;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lp8mXk4UvXM" width="420"></iframe></p><p style="margin-left:.25in;"><em>Leah Pickett writes about art and popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-12/love-and-lyrics-109327 For indie bands, 'selling out' is buying in http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-12/indie-bands-selling-out-buying-109305 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Scott%20Montaya-%20The%20Coathangers.jpg" style="height: 543px; width: 620px;" title="The Coathangers. (Scott Montaya/Courtesy of The Coathangers) " /></div><p>In an October interview&nbsp;with Spin Magazine, the indie pop duo Cults <a href="http://www.spin.com/articles/cults-static-interview-2013/">expressed gratitude</a> for their cushy deal at Columbia Records, and guitarist Brian Oblivion said that indie labels were bad for bands.</p><p>According to Oblivian, his premier label is full of &quot;smart people...really cool and professional, not druggy party people like so many people in the industry.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;A lot of smaller indie labels are giving bands really bad deals and robbing them,&quot; he said, but either considerately or elusively, he does not name names.&nbsp;</p><p>Oblivion also criticizes today&#39;s pop radio as a &quot;crazy pipe dream&quot; and a &quot;seedy business,&quot; longing for the pre-Internet days of payola, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payola" target="_blank">now illegal</a> practice of record companies paying radio stations and DJs to play their bands&#39; songs on constant rotation.</p><p>&quot;The radio was way better when people where paying to get stuff on there,&quot; Oblivion said.</p><p>Tensions in the music industry spiked again a couple of weeks ago when <a href="http://www.goldieblox.com/">GoldieBlox</a>, a San Francisco-area startup that makes toys and games designed to encourage girls to learn about science and technology, <a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/25/the-beastie-boys-fight-online-video-parody-of-girls/?_r=0" target="_blank">preemptively sued</a>&nbsp;the famed alternative hip-hop group Beastie Boys for the right to use a parody version of the 1986 song &quot;Girls&quot; in a commercial.&nbsp;</p><p>GoldieBlox had released a video advertisement that <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaThYJtWMKE" target="_blank">went viral</a>, based both on the creativity of its Rube Goldberg-style concept and its clever twist on the song&#39;s originally misogynistic lyrics (for which the Beastie Boys would eventually atone through their <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/167768/mcas-feminist-legacy#">shift to feminism</a> in the mid-90s) to comment on gender stereotypes.</p><p>When the members of Beastie Boys found out about the video, they released a firmly-worded <a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/25/the-beastie-boys-fight-online-video-parody-of-girls/?smid=tw-share&amp;_r=2">open letter</a> to the company. Goldieblox agreed to <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2013/11/28/goldieblox-ends-lawsuit-over-beastie-boys-parody/3775385/" target="_blank">drop the lawsuit</a>&nbsp;shortly thereafter.&nbsp;</p><p>A portion of that letter, which also congratulates GoldieBlox on the video&#39;s innovation and empowering message to young girls, reads:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>All of this bruhaha got me thinking about the suspect morality (or perhaps, pretension) surrounding the refusal to &quot;sell out&quot; in the music industry, and whether that code is now of a bygone era&mdash;outdated, at times regressive, and very rarely upheld today.&nbsp;</p><p>Do other millennial indie bands agree with Oblivion&#39;s sentiments, that payola is good and indie labels are damaging? I can no longer erase the memory of Bob Dylan in a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBq7SyGtG8Y" target="_blank">Victoria Secret commercial</a>&nbsp;from my brain (in 1965, Dylan told a reporter that if he ever sold out to commercial interest, it would be for &quot;ladies garments&quot;&mdash;ugh) and so I wonder further still: is money&nbsp;always the bottom line?</p><p>Do some bands still fight for artistic integrity over commercialism, or have more of them simply come to understand that realism (hey, a band&#39;s gotta eat) can also be a more clearly-paved pathway to their own kind of success?&nbsp;</p><p>I asked a few rising artists from Chicago and beyond to weigh in and to share what &quot;success&quot; in the music business means to them. Here&rsquo;s what they had to say.</p><h3><strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheCoathangersATL" target="_blank">The Coathangers</a> (Atlanta)</strong></h3><p><strong>On goals and success:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;The ultimate goal for our band and our music is to simply create original and meaningful art, to create a sound that is our own that will stand the test of time. We would love to be the band that in 20 years someone at a party or wherever picks up our album and freaks out, to create music that people can connect with and relate to and go crazy to, etc.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Success to us is, again, creating a form of music that means something. We feel we have already been successful, simply because we have been able to share our music all over the world and have experienced so many amazing people, places, and things. Our fans really appreciate what we do and support us in boundless ways. If we make a little moolah or get on Conan; that&#39;s just an added bonus, really. There is no grand finish line to us when it comes to being &#39;successful.&#39;&quot;</p><p><strong>On indie labels:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;As far as indie labels are concerned, we love ours! Suicide Squeeze Records has taken us to the next plateau, pushing our band to its fullest. As far as other indie labels, we think they can be similar in aiding bands to take it to the next level, like helping with scoring a great booking agency, publicity, etc. Labels like Burger Records, Goner, Sub Pop, etc. seem to be helpful to the indie scene to us... but hey, what do we know? Ha.&quot;</p><p><strong>On selling out:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;Selling out? More like buying in! We think if our music was used in a certain commercial, it would be fine. I mean, why the hell not? We don&#39;t make music to whore it out to corporate America or anything, but we think people can be a bit too serious when it comes to the whole &#39;selling out&#39; idea. I mean, just do what makes you happy and enjoy the ride.&quot;</p><h3><strong><a href="http://www.petlions.com" target="_blank">Pet Lions</a>&nbsp;(Chicago)&nbsp;</strong><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/David%20Elliot.jpg" style="height: 320px; width: 320px; float: right;" title="Pet Lions. (David Elliot/Courtesy of Pet Lions)" /></h3><p><strong>On indie labels:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;Indie labels give exposure and funding to artists that major labels might never pay attention to. More often than not, I think indie labels are putting out more interesting music, because they like that music and they&rsquo;re willing to take a chance on it. Of course, they still want to sell records; but I think there&rsquo;s less concern about everyone and anyone liking their releases.&quot;</p><p><strong>On selling out:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;We&rsquo;ve had our music used in a commercial and definitely would again. For an unsigned band like us, the money from licensing our music is what has allowed us to record without paying out of our pockets. We don&rsquo;t have a record deal, and we&rsquo;re not making much money elsewhere. If someone wants to pay us to use a song we would have made anyway, I see it more as them &#39;buying in&#39; rather than us &#39;selling out.&#39; If a band is making music specifically with car commercials in mind, then that&rsquo;s a little different. And I&rsquo;d never rule out signing to a major. I&rsquo;d just be wary of what we might be compromising.&quot;</p><p>&quot;If this had been a standing rule for us (never allowing our music to be used to sell a product), then yeah, I&rsquo;d probably stick to it. In this instance [with GoldieBlox], it sounds like the Beastie Boys song was used and edited without their permission, which I wouldn&rsquo;t be okay with either.</p><p>&quot;The landscape is very different from when Beastie Boys probably put that rule in place for themselves. They&rsquo;ve also made tons of money already, so it&rsquo;s a bit easier for them to stick to it. I get that it provides perspective for how much the industry has changed, but I&rsquo;m not sure how fair it is to compare the approach of current bands to that of bands that existed profitably before the Internet.&quot;</p><h3><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Japanther%20new-1.jpg" style="width: 320px; float: left;" title="Japanther. (Courtesy of Japanther)" /><strong>Ian Vanek of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/JAPANTHER/22378113409?ref=br_tf" target="_blank">Japanther</a> (Brooklyn)</strong></h3><p><strong>On the Cults interview and payola:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;I think Oblivian&#39;s&nbsp;blanket statements makes him sound jaded, privileged and ignorant.&nbsp;Payola still exists in 2014; it just changed its costume. Just ask Macklemore.&nbsp;It all comes down to your definition of success. He wanted his message on the radio; and guess what, now it is. If you want to spend months in an expensive studio making bland songs, go ahead. If you want to reminisce about back in the day and make slick disco tracks, go ahead. To me, that&#39;s not success.&nbsp;Japanther strives to connect with our audience, through independent zines, DIY shows, and small labels.</p><p>&quot;Conversely, we also hang our work in some of the most prestigious museums in the world. Pop radio isn&#39;t my dream, because I feel what we already have is much greater than that. We fought to own our publishing rights, but we are hawks about where the synchs end up. For example, we are proud to be a part of Grand Theft Auto, but turned down a lucrative alcohol commercial.&quot;</p><p><strong>On GoldieBlox vs. Beastie Boys:</strong></p><p>&quot;Funny how we highlight the stands we want and ignore the sexism at the core of early Beastie Boys. So, f*ck their moral high ground. Like I said, as long as the artist owns the publishing, and actually works it, it&#39;s none of my business.&quot;</p><h3><strong><a href="http://pandariot.bandcamp.com">Panda Riot </a>(Chicago)&nbsp;</strong><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Kerri%20Hacker-%20Panda%20Riot.jpg" style="height: 229px; width: 320px; float: right;" title="Panda Riot. (Kerri Hacker/Courtesy of Panda Riot)" /></h3><p><strong>On the Cults interview and payola:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;The Cults interview is interesting. I think they are right that, as counterintuitive as it sounds, payola might be a more fair system than what we currently have, which is a much more insidious and expensive pay to play scheme. It&#39;s definitely true that there are a lot of sleazy companies out there whose sole purpose is to make money off of people&#39;s dreams.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Everyone knows that you have to spend money to get a lot of exposure. So, bands will pay someone who promises to promote them and book shows for them; but then if the band doesn&#39;t &#39;make it,&#39; the company can attribute it to the music not being popular enough, and not to the fact that they didn&#39;t do their job. At least with payola, you know where the money is going. If the reason for dismantling payola was to level the playing field and take money out of the equation, why are the only bands on the radio major label bands with a lot of money?&quot;</p><p><strong>On goals and success:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;We definitely don&rsquo;t think of success as making money or being famous. But for us, success has two components: creating exactly the music that we want without compromise, and having our music reach lots of people. As for making the music that we want, an integral part of what we do involves taking money out of the equation as much as possible.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We don&rsquo;t want to have to worry about owing money to a label or the cost of studio time, so we push our DIY aesthetic as far as we can and do everything ourselves: write, record, mix, master, make videos, design the album art, etc. The only thing that we can&#39;t do ourselves without money is promotion. You can make the best music in the world; but if nobody knows about it, they can&#39;t listen to it and [can&#39;t] buy it.&quot;</p><p><strong>On GoldieBlox vs. Beastie Boys:</strong></p><p>&quot;We are split. We think it is important for artists to get paid for their work, and we worry that with services like Pandora and Spotify, artists are getting paid less and less for what they create. But the way that the GoldieBlox ad subverts the sexism of the Beastie Boys song is hard not to like.&quot;</p><h3><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blackstone%20Rangers.jpg" style="height: 214px; width: 320px; float: left;" title="Blackstone Rangers. (Courtesy of Blackstone Rangers)" /><strong>Derek Kutzer of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/blackstonerangers" target="_blank">Blackstone Rangers</a> (Dallas)</strong></h3><p><strong>On indie labels:</strong></p><p>&quot;I think there are plenty of independent labels that are still functioning under the old ethical parameters of what it means to be indie. They have a direct love of the music they put out and forge personal relationships with the bands they sign. Captured Tracks and Slumberland seem to be good examples of this, as is our label, Saint Marie Records.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We deal directly with the owner of our label in all matters. He is a huge fan of our music, and is in the industry as much out of a desire for good, honest art as he is a desire to make a profit. It seems that the indie labels that Cults mentioned exist on a larger plane than what we have dealt with. We feel that in our case, the relationship between label and band is solid and meaningful. Cults has probably seen a world that we have not seen, so I&rsquo;m not doubting their experience. We just haven&rsquo;t shared it.&quot;</p><p><strong>On selling out:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;Ultimately, I think the perception of a band &#39;selling-out&#39; is largely in the mind of music fans and consumers, and it actually says more about those fans and consumers than it does about the band itself. This is not to say that a band can never make a stupid, greedy decision. They do it all the time. But, in the end, a band knows what it needs and what it wants more than a fan.&quot;</p><p>&quot;As musicians, we&rsquo;d all love to quit our day jobs, and make money doing what we love. If an artist &#39;sells out,&#39; per say, it&rsquo;s more likely that they have always wanted to get to that level than it is that they pulled a fast one on everybody. Fans should be a little more careful not to hold artists up on such a high pedestal. We are humans, too, with human needs, and human wants. And we live in a capitalist, consumerist world where music competes in a fierce market place, and it doesn&rsquo;t always benefit the basic needs of the musician. We are all trying to get ahead and climb to that next step. There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with that.</p><p>But I do think that ethics should be involved. If you go around railing against air pollution and environmental destruction, while you license your music to be used in a gas guzzling SUV commercial or to an oil company known to pollute the ocean or something, there&rsquo;s really a lot wrong about that. But, still, it&rsquo;s likely that that band has always been wishy-washy about what they really stand for. I would have no problem licensing my music out to promote something that I could stand by, but I&rsquo;d draw a line. In the case of Beastie Boys, they chose to never license their music for commercial purposes. I respect that. But, as a financially poor musician, I could use a little break.&quot;</p><p><strong>On goals and success:&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&quot;Honestly, we&rsquo;d just like to do music as a profession; to not have to have a day job to support our artistic endeavors. We hope that one day soon, we&rsquo;ll be able to live off of our craft.</p><p>We find success in little things: a fan coming up after a show saying how amazing the experience was for him or her, selling a T-shirt to a glowing kid, being asked by a band we really like to play a show with them, and things like that. We don&rsquo;t think about playing stadiums or anything grand. We take it one step at a time. One show at a time. One record at a time. One good review at a time. And so on. We&rsquo;d just like to make a living off of our music.&quot;</p><p><strong>Mish Way of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/whitelung" target="_blank">White Lung</a> (Vancouver)&nbsp;</strong><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Kate%20Brown-%20White%20Lung.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 320px; float: right;" title="White Lung. (Kate Brown/Courtesy of White Lung)" /></p><p><strong>On defining success:</strong></p><p>&ldquo;This is a really interesting question; because, depending on when you asks an artist this, the answer will never be the same. I was speaking to my friend Steve McBean [of Black Mountain] about this. He pointed out how when you start playing in a punk band your goals are simple: write a bunch of songs, play with bands you like, and maybe make a 7-inch or do a small tour. That was always kind of my goal when White Lung started; I just wanted to play because it is the best feeling. It&#39;s just so fun. I can&#39;t not play. Then, when people start to care, you have expectations; so your goals change. But its not calculated or anything, no chalk board bullet points. You just keep trying, chugging along, pushing yourself. I think competition between peers and friends is ugly. I only compete with myself. My definition of &lsquo;success&rsquo; changes as things evolve around me; but ultimately, getting by doing a job I love doing more than anything else (writing and music) is pretty good. But I&#39;m always hungry. I naturally want to out-do myself.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about art and pop culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett">@leahkpickett.</a></em></p></p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-12/indie-bands-selling-out-buying-109305 How to have the best Friendsgiving ever http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/how-have-best-friendsgiving-ever-109233 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Friends, S10, The One with the Late Thanksgiving.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gC11LBLgecc" width="560"></iframe></p><p>With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, many Chicagoans are already preparing to travel home and spend time with their respective families, whether they be tucked away in the suburbs or scattered across the United States.</p><p>But for the significant number of college students and transplants who may not be able to afford a plane ticket home this year, or for those who have no family to go to, the holiday most commonly associated with food, football, and family can certainly extend to friends as well.&nbsp;</p><p>As a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-05/10-misconceptions-about-chicago-107424" target="_blank">Texas transplant</a> who has spent many holidays away from home while pursuing a film degree at Columbia College Chicago, I have had the pleasure of attending and hosting many &quot;Friendsgivings&quot; with similarily displaced twenty-somethings.</p><p>Some of my fondest memories have taken place around those makeshift holiday tables, as we laughed over the smorgasbord of dishes we had miraculously cooked without the use of a microwave and realized, perhaps for the first time, that adulthood wouldn&#39;t be so scary after all. As long as we had each other, we would be alright.&nbsp;</p><p>Friendsgiving has become something of a rite of passage for urban millennials; I know few young city-dwellers who have not attended at least one. And yet, an occasion to give thanks and celebrate with friends (because for many people, their friends are their family) amounts to much more than a passing trend or a buzzword for the <a href="http://www.hollywood.com/news/tv/44636122/we-rank-the-best-friends-thanksgiving-episodes" target="_blank">fab five</a>&nbsp;generation.</p><p>Ready to have the best Friendsgiving ever?</p><p>First, some universal ground rules:</p><p><strong>Offer to arrive early and help the host. </strong></p><p>As soon as the official announcement goes out, ask the host if you can lend a hand with cooking, cleaning, or dessert-frosting before the majority of guests are scheduled to arrive. Hopeless in the kitchen? Help set the table, string lights, or put up decorations instead.</p><p><strong>Do not show up empty-handed.</strong></p><p>Be a gracious guest. This applies to any party to which one is invited; but the whole point of Friendsgiving is to share what you have with others, so providing at least one token of gratitude is essential. A homemade casserole or a six-pack of locally-brewed beer is always welcome, but thinking outside the box helps too. Arriving with extra napkins, plates, cups, silverware, serving spoons, records, or a perfect playlist could save the day!</p><p><b>Negotiate the potluck beforehand.</b></p><p>When making a Facebook event or sending e-vites, also make sure to coordinate who will be bringing what. Otherwise, you might end up with more PBR than food, or three pumpkin pies and no pecan. Accomodate for guests who are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, and make sure that all food groups (turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, cornbread, pie, booze) are properly covered.&nbsp;</p><p>Next, a few pro-tips:</p><p><strong>Get crafty.</strong></p><p>On an inherently creative holiday like Friendsgiving, arts and crafts aren&#39;t just reserved for the kids&#39; table. Keep guests entertained with <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/23-clever-crafts-to-keep-the-kids-busy-on-thanksgiving" target="_blank">clever crafts</a>&nbsp;they can take home as souveneirs, like hand-painted Plymouth rocks or thankful jars. Look to design blogs like <a href="http://www.decoist.com/2013-11-13/stylish-friendsgiving-feast-decor/" target="_blank">Decoist</a>&nbsp;for direction on&nbsp;festive table-settings and other whimsical decor.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Drink and be merry.</strong></p><p>Without the usual bevy of impressionable young children and strait-laced older relatives to accomodate, the typical Friendsgiving has become an ideal occasion for drinking games, post food coma bar outings, and endless rounds of <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-18/business/ct-biz-0818-confidential-cards-20130818_1_josh-dillon-facebook-page-co-creators" target="_blank">Cards Against Humanity</a>. If you don&#39;t drink, body-warming beverages like virgin egg nog or crisp apple cider will also hit the spot.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Make new traditions.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Perhaps the Thanksgiving traditions in your family include waking up early to watch the Macy&#39;s Thanksgiving Day Parade, turning the channel to college football, or playing a game of pigskin in your own backyard. The beauty of Friendsgiving is that you can either recreate these memories with your best buds or make some new ones.</p><p>Watch the Thanksgiving episodes of &quot;Friends&quot; and &quot;How I Met Your Mother.&quot; Run the Turkey Trot together. Bring a new dish (like<a href="http://www.austin360.com/weblogs/relish-austin/2013/nov/20/thanksgiving-2013-discovering-joys-friendsgiving/" target="_blank"> cheesy hashbrown casserole</a>)&nbsp;or drink (like<a href="http://food52.com/blog/8845-my-broke-friendsgiving" target="_blank"> apple rye punch</a>)&nbsp;to begin a new Friendsgiving staple.</p><p>Most importantly, let your friends know how much you care. Loved ones are the reason for the season, after all.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tqpPFT-F-bs" width="560"></iframe></p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 26 Nov 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/how-have-best-friendsgiving-ever-109233 Meet the women rocking Chicago's music scene http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/meet-women-rocking-chicagos-music-scene-109098 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1457592_10201231136837392_508211382_n.jpg" style="height: 513px; width: 620px;" title="Alex Fryer, co-founder of the cassette label Dumpster Tapes. (Photo courtesy of Alex Fryer)" /></div><p>Chicago has long been a bastion for local music, thanks in large part to the independent labels, record stores, and pop-up venues that have provided support to artists every step of the way.</p><p>But what may be surprising is the sheer number of women behind that scene. Many of the organizations powering the local industry today &mdash; including several record labels, stores, and other businesses &mdash; are female-owned and operated.</p><p>Melissa Oglesby is the outreach director of <a href="http://girlsrockchicago.org" target="_blank">Girls Rock! Chicago</a>, a music camp for girls ages 8 to 16 that aims to foster creative expression, self-esteem, and community awareness through rock music. She says that not only are girls in the program empowered to find their voices, but they also have the opportunity to gain inspiration from female volunteers and mentors.</p><p>&quot;It can be hard out there for girls,&quot; Oglesby adds, &quot;But at Girls Rock, the volunteers really support each other. The sense of community is great; you can always find someone here that you can relate to.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Alex Fryer, co-founder of the casette label <a href="https://www.facebook.com/dumpstertapes" target="_blank">Dumpster Tapes</a> with Ed McMenamin,&nbsp;says Chicago is an ideal place for musical creativity and collaboration.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;The energy is the best here,&quot; she said. &quot;I&#39;ve been to shows in other cities, and it never feels quite as good as it does in Chicago. Most of all, I think that the music rules. It&#39;s one thing to support music just because it&#39;s local and it&#39;s your friends that are making it. It&#39;s definitely another to believe that the music is good and worth not only your time, but other people&#39;s as well.&quot;</p><p>Now, your guide to the local women that fuel this community, and why they love doing it:</p><p><strong style="font-size: 16px;">NAN WARSHAW, </strong><span style="font-size: 16px;">co-owner of Bloodshot Records</span></p><p><strong>Background:&nbsp;</strong>Warshaw co-founded <a href="https://www.bloodshotrecords.com" target="_blank">Bloodshot Records</a> in 1994, and went&nbsp;on&nbsp;to launch the careers of Ryan Adams,&nbsp;Neko&nbsp;Case, and Justin Townes Earle.&nbsp;Almost two decades and more than 200 releases later, she is&nbsp;excited to be working on new releases including Lydia Loveless, Luke Winslow-King, Barrence Whitfield, Robbie Fulks, Scott Biram, and JC Brooks &amp; The Uptown Sound.</p><p><strong>On Chicago&#39;s music scene: &quot;</strong>Bloodshot could not have developed and grown into what it is today anywhere other than in Chicago. We have active top-notch music writers covering the local scene and publishing in a variety of sources.&nbsp;We have&nbsp;more than a half dozen strong independent record stores &ndash; there are cities and towns today that have none. Plus, we have dozens of great live music venues&nbsp;showcasing&nbsp;cutting-edge music, and owned by people who are in it for the right reasons and who treat the artists well.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;To help our community grow and flourish, I share information to educate and support musicians. I sit on music business panels and guest lecture college classes. I donate my time and resources to Rock&nbsp;For&nbsp;Kids and The Chicago Music Commission. I firmly believe Chicago has the best music scene of any city in the world.&quot;</p><p><strong style="font-size: 16px;">KELLY NOTHING,&nbsp;</strong><span style="font-size: 16px;">of Animal Kingdom&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;a&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">Logan Square&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">DIY house&nbsp;</span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Kelly%20Nothing.jpg" style="height: 236px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Animal Kingdom's 4th of July 'Summer Slammer.' (Matt Avignon/Animal Kingdom)" /></p><p><strong>Background:</strong>&nbsp;&quot;I graduated from North Park University with a degree in Business Economics, and I apply what I learned to successfully run this space. We host several shows a month and a few festivals a year. Our biggest show this year was the Summer Slammer on the 4th of July: about 20 bands played and attendance was just shy of 1,000 people.&quot;</p><p><strong>On the Chicago music scene:</strong> &quot;One of my favorite events is <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/338390302974282/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar" target="_blank">AK Night at the Owl</a>,&nbsp;which is on the first&nbsp;<span data-term="goog_990423586" tabindex="0">Wednesday</span>&nbsp;of every month. I DJ, spinning locals only, and premier my new monthly mix tape Tuff + Rumble. Active local bands and Chicago bands of years past will be included on the mix. [You can download it for free&nbsp;<a href="http://animalkingdom.bandcamp.com/" target="_blank">here</a>.] A cassette will be co-released with&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/parliamenttapes" target="_blank">Parliament Tapes</a>&nbsp;every two months that will be available for purchase from the bands and in the Owl&#39;s tape vending machine.&quot;</p><p>&quot;The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoundergroundmusicarchive.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Underground Music Archive</a>&nbsp;is another project I help out with. It is a community effort to record local bands at DIY spaces around town and make them available online for free.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>HEATHER WEST,</strong>&nbsp;owner of Western Publicity</span></p><p><strong>Background: &quot;</strong>I&#39;ve been in the business since I was 18, as a concert promoter, club talent buyer, record company manager, and publicist. I started my own <a href="http://I have a very large circle of women friends who work in music here in Chicago, I feel really blessed. We can vent, provide support, share resources from the community as well as nationally and share new bands with each other. I find myself connecting bands with journalists, agents, managers, club bookers without regard to whether they've hired me (as well as trying to find jobs for dedicated interns) and I know we all do the same. Its the sharing that helps keep things fresh and growing, not competition. The women I see around me understand this," target="_blank">music publicity company</a> in 2008, and I work with festivals, record labels, indie bands, and documentary projects.&quot;</p><p><strong>On the Chicago music scene:&nbsp;</strong>&quot;I love the generosity I see going on in the creative community. People truly look out for each other; there is no misfortune that will not cause other folks on the scene to throw a benefit, crowdsource, etc.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I have a very large circle of women friends who work in music here in Chicago; I feel really blessed. I find myself connecting bands with journalists, agents, managers, and club bookers without regard to whether they&#39;ve hired me (as well as trying to find jobs for dedicated interns), and I know we all do the same. It&#39;s the sharing that helps keep things fresh and growing, not competition. The women I see around me understand this.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>MELANIE MCCLAIN,</strong>&nbsp;artist manager for The GTW and JODY</span></p><p><strong>Background:</strong> &quot;In addition to moving to Nashville, 2011 began a new chapter of my life as I began to manage the rapper turned electronic&nbsp;R&amp;B crooner, <a href="http://www.greaterthanwealth.com" target="_blank">The GTW</a>. In 2012, The GTW teamed up with the Chicago-based electronic production duo The Drum and vocalists Khalee Standberry-Lois and David Robertson to form the supergroup, JODY. I also manage JODY, and in less than a year, they performed at <a href="http://www.spin.com/articles/lollapalooza-2013-kendrick-lamar-the-postal-service-ellie-goulding-eric-church/" target="_blank">Lollapalooza </a>and Converse&#39;s&nbsp;FADER FORT at CMJ.&quot;</p><p><strong>On the Chicago music scene: &quot;</strong>I&nbsp;am motivated to support Chicago&#39;s music scene because it inspires me to think outside the box and&nbsp;defy stereotypes.&nbsp;Chicago is a city that doesn&#39;t&nbsp;stifle a creative&#39;s vision or limit them to local mentality.&nbsp;Whenever I travel,&nbsp;people&nbsp;have a hard time identifying the city that I&#39;m from, but the pieces come together when I confidently say, &quot;Chicago,&quot; because my&nbsp;hometown represents a Mecca for dance music, soul, experimental rock music, and&nbsp;unclassifiable&nbsp;genres. I&nbsp;think Kanye West is&nbsp;perfect example of the&nbsp;misunderstood creative&nbsp;genius that Chicago can easily incubate.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>JENN GREEN, </strong>radio personality at RWD.FM</span></p><p><strong>Background: </strong>&quot;Every Wednesday, I host a prime time two-hour radio show called &quot;Greenhaus Radio&quot; which features the latest electronic, house, techno, footwork and hip-hop tracks. Before joining&nbsp;<a href="http://rwd.fm/" target="_blank">RWD.FM</a>,&nbsp;I hosted a radio show with Party 934 Radio based out of Joliet, IL that broadcasted online, as well as on 94.9 FM in Hudson Valley, NY.&quot;</p><p><strong>On the Chicago music scene:</strong>&nbsp;&quot;The music scene in Chicago is truly a melting pot! I know many artists and other talented individuals from all over the world, and everyone seems to have Chicago heavy on their radar. I&#39;ve been in Chicago for almost six years now, and the music culture keeps growing &mdash; from the huge electronic boom to hip-hop artists becoming household names overnight.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I love dance and electronic music. I&#39;m from the suburbs of Detroit, the birthplace of techno, and then I move to Chicago, the birth place of house music&mdash; how could I not indulge? I find myself frequenting Smart Bar, Primary Night Club, Neo, Elbo Room, Rodan&#39;s, Lincoln Hall, Berlin, and the Empty Bottle. Let&#39;s face it: if you are a Chicago music fan, then you are indeed dedicated, because these venues are all over town! If the music is of quality, then your feet will guide you there (with the help of Uber, but of course).&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/jessie.jpg" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Jesse Rose Crane of The Funs plays on Cassette Store Day at Bric-A-Brac Records. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Nothing)" /><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>KARISSA TALANIAN,&nbsp;</strong>owner of&nbsp;Eye Vybe Records &amp; Tapes</span></p><p><strong>Background: &quot;</strong>I run a <a href="http://eyevyberecords.bigcartel.com" target="_blank">label</a> that specializes in releases for local groups. I&#39;m up to about 20 releases and have done 45&#39;s, cassettes, cassingles, and even a flexi disc. I&#39;ve got an LP coming in early 2014. I also drum in a handful of bands &mdash; including Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, The Cut Worms, Purple Pain, Eeeagles, and the now-defunct Strychnine &mdash; and do my fair share of booking and promoting shows for bands and venues.&quot;</p><p><strong>On the Chicago music scene:&nbsp;</strong>&quot;The thing that strikes me about the Chicago music community &mdash; at least the more garage/psych/rock and roll community that I find myself to be a part of &mdash; is how many people are genuinely interested in helping the scene develop and grow. For every casual show-goer there is, there&#39;s another person at that and every other show, and then there&#39;s another who&#39;s behind it all: working to book, record, release, play themselves, and spread the word.&quot;</p><div>&quot;And I don&#39;t mean this to sound like it&#39;s an insular group of people only helping each other! The enthusiasm of so many of the characters in this community is amazing, and it&#39;s great watching it blossom.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong style="font-size: 16px;">VERONICA MURTAGH,</strong><span style="font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;founder and editor of the music blog Cream Team</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p><strong>Background: &quot;</strong>I started&nbsp;<a href="http://www.creamteam.tv/" target="_blank">Cream Team</a>&nbsp;in 2008 as a way to promote events and share music with friends, and it quickly became a destination and a local resource. It opened the doors for me to contribute short and long-form writing to a variety of other outlets.&quot;</p><div><strong>On the Chicago music scene: &quot;</strong>There&#39;s never a dull moment, or an off day. Chicago has a vibrant scene for whatever sound you might be into, with something going on every night of the week. It makes getting outside your comfort zone easy. You can go to a club one night, a rock show the next, an all-ages DIY space&nbsp;<span data-term="goog_990423596" tabindex="0">on Thursday,</span>&nbsp;and an after-hours loft&nbsp;<span data-term="goog_990423597" tabindex="0">on Friday</span>. It&#39;s all close by and ready to explore.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Chicago is a big city filled with big hearts. No matter what genre of music you&#39;re a fan of, the people are the same &mdash; genuine. From the artists to the promoters to the crowds, there&#39;s a feeling of being amongst kindred spirits.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><p><strong>AND LET&#39;S NOT FORGET:</strong></p><ul><li>Christen Carter, owner of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.busybeaver.net" target="_blank">Busy Beaver Button Co.</a></li><li>Bettina Richards, owner of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thrilljockey.com/splash.html" target="_blank">Thrill Jockey Records</a>.</li><li>Katie Tuten, co-owner of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com" target="_blank">The Hideout</a>&nbsp;with husband Tim.</li><li>Alisa Baum, director of concert production at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.oldtownschool.org" target="_blank">Old Town School&nbsp;of Folk Music</a>.</li><li>Shawn Campbell, founder of&nbsp;<a href="http://chirpradio.org" target="_blank">ChIRP&nbsp;radio</a>.</li><li>Maria Mowbray, executive director of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rockforkids.org" target="_blank">Rock For Kids</a>.</li><li>Jen Lemasters, co-owner of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/bricabracrecords" target="_blank">Bric-A-Brac Records</a>&nbsp;with husband Nick.&nbsp;</li><li>Becca James, editor in chief of the music webzine&nbsp;<a href="http://popstache.com" target="_blank">Pop&#39;Stache</a>.</li><li>Jordan Young and Serena Fragassi, co-founders of&nbsp;<a href="http://boxxmagazine.com" target="_blank">Boxx Magazine</a>.</li><li>Lisa Roe, co-owner of the&nbsp;<a href="http://troubleinmindrecs.com/">Trouble in Mind</a>&nbsp;record label with husband Bill.&nbsp;</li><li>Mia Park, host of the kids&#39; dance and music show&nbsp;<a href="http://miapark.com/acting_chicagogo.php" target="_blank">Chic-a-Go-Go</a>.</li><li>Alex White, DIY trailblazer and one-half of the Chicago band&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/white-mystery-diy-music-heroes-107816" target="_blank">White Mystery</a>.</li></ul></div><div><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.&nbsp;</em></div></p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/meet-women-rocking-chicagos-music-scene-109098 Guide to Chicago Halloween 2013 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/guide-chicago-halloween-2013-108992 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicagogeek.jpg" title="Halloween decorations at the Meysenburg Mansion in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood. (Flickr/ChicagoGeek)" /></p><p>From Halloweekend to Día de los Muertos, Chicagoland is brimming with eerie events, spellbinding shows, and wickedly fun Halloween-themed parties that give a whole new meaning to the phrase &quot;ghost town.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>But first, a few protips:</p><p><strong>1. Explore the suburbs.</strong></p><p>If you have the means to embark on a mini-adventure before the 31st, take a daytrip outside of Chicago to visit a beautifically autumnal&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/wild-side-chicago/2013/10/the-top-five-chicago-pumpkin-farms-to-visit-in-2013/" target="_blank">pumpkin patch</a> or an orchard for&nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-apple-picking-near-chicago/" target="_blank">apple picking</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Embrace the power of the costume, but don&#39;t abuse it.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Halloween is the only time of year that you can walk around dressed like Wolverine or Obi-Wan Kenobi and receive little to no judgment from passersby, so why not seize the opportunity and geek out to your heart&#39;s content? Of course, an ignorant lapse in cultural sensitivity (or downright&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theroot.com/multimedia/racially-insensitive-halloween-costumes" target="_blank">racism</a>)&nbsp;does not count.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Enjoy the holiday while it lasts.</strong></p><p>Do the Monster Mash, bake ghost-shaped Pillsbury sugar cookies, and treat yourself to repeated viewings of &quot;Mom&#39;s Got a Date with a Vampire,&quot; &quot;Hocus Pocus,&quot; and &quot;Don&#39;t Look Under the Bed.&quot;</p><p>Also, make sure that you venture out into the city every once in a while, walk around in the brisk autumn air, and experience all of the Halloweentime joys that Chicago has to offer!</p><div><p><strong>Festivals:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/franken_plaza.html" target="_blank">Chicagoween</a>: Delight in spooky entertainment, hayrides, trick-or-treating, a costume contest, and a fall farmers&rsquo; market when&nbsp;Daley Plaza becomes Franken Plaza. Oct. 25-27.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/hallowfest" target="_blank">HallowFest:</a>&nbsp;Head to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe for fortune telling, face painting, a carved pumpkin gallery and more. Oct. 26-27.</li><li><a href="http://lincolnpark.patch.com/groups/events/p/clark-street-spooktacular-2013" target="_blank">Clark Street Spooktacular</a>: The annual Lincoln Park neighborhood event returns with family friendly games, trick-or-treating, street magicians, jugglers, balloon artists, and a costume contest. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://www.downtownbatavia.com/batfest" target="_blank">BatFest</a>: A parade, pumpkin roll, entertainment, trick-or-treating, hayrides, games, and farmers&rsquo; market along the Riverwalk in Batavia. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://www.parkfun.com/programs/special-events/halloween-boonanza" target="_blank">Halloween Boonanza</a>: Kids ages 14 and under can participate in hayrides, crafts, carnival games, and trick-or-treating&nbsp;at the community center in Schaumburg. Saturday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://www.lpzoo.org/events/calendar/spooky-zoo-spectacular">Spooky Zoo Spectacular</a>. Arrive in costume to enjoy the arts and crafts, trick-or-treating, and live outdoor music at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Thursday, Oct. 26.</li></ul><p><strong>Parties:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/201503493365565" target="_blank">Nocturna All Hallow&#39;s Eve Ball at Metro</a>: The annual music hall extravaganza will feature a costume contest with cash prizes, a photo booth, vendors, and Halloween-themed performances. DJ Scary Lady Sarah spins. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://chicagohistory.org/boo/#sthash.j8mHEd8L.dpbs" target="_blank">Boo: A Halloween Ball at the Chicago History Museum</a>: A night of terrifying tales, dancing, and craft cocktails. Thursday, Oct. 31.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://hauntedyacht.eventbrite.com/" target="_blank">Haunted Yacht Party at Navy Pier</a>: Hop on board! Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://scofflawchicago.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-ghost-of-bonnys-returns-again.html" target="_blank">Scofflaw&#39;s 2nd Annual Bonny&#39;s Halloween Party</a>: The Ghost of Bonny&#39;s returns! Scofflaw opens the shuttered Logan Square bar for a late-night dance party. Thursday, Oct. 31.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.royalesociety.com/" target="_blank">Dead Celebrities at Enclave</a>: Expect Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, and Marilyn Monroe to make appearances. Also, bring your A-game in the costume department: the winner gets $3,000. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://www.oldtownpourhouse.com/2nd-annual-costume-party-event-222.php" target="_blank">Costume Party at The Boundary and Old Town Pour House</a>: $100, $50 and $25 gift cards will be awarded to the best dressed. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://thenumbereddays.com/buy-tickets-for-upcoming-events/" target="_blank">The Numbered Days Halloween Loft Party</a>: Head to Logan Square Auditorium for a dance party, trick-or-treat collaborative art, a costume contest, and DJ sets from Clash Gordon, Kyle Garner, and Matt Roan. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/626465874071032/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming" target="_blank">Pumpkin Carving Party at Cafe Mustache</a>: BYOP (Bring your own pumpkin) to the annual night of jack-o-lantern carving, beer drinking, and DJ mix jamming. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://community-bar.com/" target="_blank">Noche De Muertos: I Put A Spell on You Halloween Party</a>: Celebrate Halloween and the Day of the Dead at Maria&#39;s Packaged Goods &amp; Community Bar. Friday, Nov 1.&nbsp;</li></ul></div><p><strong>Haunted Houses:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.thefearhauntedhouse.com" target="_blank">The Fear Haunted House at Navy Pier</a>:&nbsp;This award-winning attraction features both an agressive adult-themed haunted house at night and a low scare, lights-on attraction during the day. Open now through Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://statesvillehauntedprison.com" target="_blank">Statesville Haunted Prison &amp; City of the Dead</a>: Located just outside of Chicago, this terrifying institution of horror has been voted Best Haunted House in Chicago, Scariest Haunted House in Illinois, and one of the Top 25 Haunted Houses in America. Open now through Nov. 2.&nbsp;</li><li>More haunted houses in the Chicago suburbs:&nbsp;<a href="http://fearcitychicago.com" target="_blank">Fear City</a>&nbsp;in Morton Grove, <a href="http://www.asylumxperiment.com" target="_blank">The Asylum Xperiment</a>&nbsp;in Villa Park, and&nbsp;<a href="http://42fear.com" target="_blank">Basement of the Dead</a> in Aurora.&nbsp;</li></ul><p><b>Music:</b></p><ul><li><a href="http://cso.org/TicketsAndEvents/EventDetails.aspx?eid=5842" target="_blank">Hallowed Haunts</a>: Come in costume for spooky music and pre-concert activities at the Symphony Center. For all ages 5 and up. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://www.martyrslive.com/thu-oct-31-8pm-10" target="_blank">Halloween at Martyrs</a>: A Halloween blowout featuring music from Terrible Spaceship, Diana and the Dishes, and The Lincoln Squares. Thursday, Oct. 31</li><li><a href="http://www.brooklynvegan.com/chicago/2013/10/pictureplane_pl.html" target="_blank">Pictureplane at Berlin</a>: Berlin&#39;s Total Therapy event on last Thursdays happens to fall on Halloween this year, and witch house musician Pictureplane is headlining. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://do312.com/event/2013/10/31/halloween-spectacular-featuring-terrifyingly-amazing-performers" target="_blank">Halloween Spectacular at Emporium Arcade Bar</a>: Advertised as the &quot;Best Halloween Party in Town!&quot; (and it very well might be) the barcade spectacular will include music from Mucca Pazza, Mack the Knife, and DJ Risky Bizness/Sean Doe. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://www.wickerparkbucktown.info/events-1/annual-double-door-halloween-party-wickerpark-bucktown" target="_blank">Halloween at Double Door</a>: The Wicker Park music venue&#39;s 17th annual bash will take place over the course of two spooky nights this year, featuring Slutter as KISS, Sex Therapy as Janis Joplin, and The Dead On as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Oct 31-Nov 1.</li></ul><p><b>Theatre</b>:</p><ul><li><a href="http://events.chicago.cbslocal.com/chicago_il/events/all-hallows-eve-eve-variety-show-/E0-001-062194977-8" target="_blank">All Hallow&#39;s Eve Eve Variety Show at California Clipper</a>:&nbsp;Get Halloween started early with some shadow puppetry, literary readings, and a raffle to benefit Chicago&#39;s newest literary institution, ChiPRC (Chicago Publisher&#39;s Resource Center). Multimedia performers include Audrey Niffenegger, Chris Hefner, Chris Bower, and Fred Sasaki. Wednesday, Oct. 30.</li><li><a href="http://www.theatreinchicago.com/newswire.php?newsID=917" target="_blank">Musical of the Living Dead at Stage 773</a>: This musical journey about a zombie apocalypse was named Best Musical in 2012 and Best New Play in 2012 by the Chicago Reader. Playing now through Nov. 9.</li><li><a href="http://www.chicagoburlesque.org/belmont-burlesque-revue-halloween-2013" target="_blank">The Belmont Burlesque Revue at Theater Wit</a>: The annual Halloween show will feature the Belmont Bombshells, the Amazing Tomas, and several special guests. Thursday, Oct. 26</li><li><a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/events/mmxchi-nightmares-on-lincoln-ave-5-b-is-for-blood-event">Nightmare on Lincoln Ave 5: B is for Blood</a> and <a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/events/mmxchi-death-toll-a-drinking-game-performance-1-event">Death Toll: A Drinking Game Performance</a>: 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday through Oct. 31 (&quot;Nightmares&quot;) and 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday through Oct. 31 (&quot;Death Toll&quot;) at <a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/venues/mmxchi-the-cornservatory-venue">The Cornservatory</a>.</li></ul><p><strong>Movies:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/events/mmxchi-horror-movie-night-2-event" target="_blank">Horror Movie Night at Delish</a>: Indulge in&nbsp;a three course prix fixe meal while watching a&nbsp;horror movie&nbsp;classic in the days leading up to Halloween. Film selections include &quot;The Shining,&quot; &quot;Carrie,&quot; &quot;Night&nbsp;of the Living Dead&quot; and more. Oct 24-31.</li><li><a href="http://www.thelogantheatre.com" target="_blank">Horror Movie Madness at The Logan Theatre</a>: Watch &quot;Rosemary&#39;s Baby,&quot; Trick &#39;r Treat,&quot; &quot;The Shining,&quot; and John Carpenter&#39;s &quot;Halloween&quot; on the titular night. Oct 24-31. &nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.classiccinemas.com/location.aspx?house=2263" target="_blank">&quot;Shaun of the Dead&quot; at Woodstock Theatre</a>: The cult British zombie comedy screens at midnight. Friday, Oct. 25.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.musicboxtheatre.com" target="_blank">Horror Movies at the Music Box Theatre</a>: The lineup includes a &quot;Halloween: Treats and Tricksters&quot; program as part of the 2013 Chicago International Children&#39;s Film Festival, in addition to scary films like &quot;The Wicker Man,&quot; &quot;Rosemary&#39;s Baby,&quot; &quot;Escape from Tomorrow,&quot; and two midnight screenings of &quot;The Rocky Horror Picture Show.&quot; Oct. 24-31.</li><li><a href="http://wickerpark.org/partners/chicago-park-district" target="_blank">Haunted Indoor Drive-In at Wicker Park Fieldhouse</a>: Hate-watch a different film from the &quot;Twilight&quot; series each night at the annual film festival. Oct 24-27.</li></ul><div><p><strong>Other Events:</strong></p></div><ul><li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1425653127658100/" target="_blank">Paranormal Brunch at the Empty Bottle</a>: In addition to delicious food and storytelling from the Chicago Paranormal Investigator team, there will be craft-making, Tarot readings, and vintage flicks projected on the big screen. Dress up in costume for extra EB street cred. 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="https://hubbardinn.projectparties.com" target="_blank">The Haunted Inn at Hubbard Inn</a>: The popular River North bar and restaurant has transformed into a haunted hotel. Stop by for a specialty themed cocktail or three-course harvest menu, if you dare. Now through Nov. 1.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://nowyouknowevents.com/ai1ec_event/chicago-halloween-trolley-crawl-2013-2/" target="_blank">Halloween Trolley Crawl</a>: Halloween Pub Crawls are kind of a big deal in Chicago, but the &quot;Trolley of Terror&quot; may beat them all. Saturday, Oct. 26.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://garfield-conservatory.org/" target="_blank">Creatures of the Night at the Garfield Park Conservatory</a>: Spooky spiders, owls, and bats are showcased in this Halloween-themed program. Wednesday, Oct. 30.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.northalsted.com/pages/17th_annual_northalsted_halloween_parade/114.php">Northalsted Halloween Parade</a>:&nbsp;Twisted Circus is this year&#39;s theme. Costume categories are drag, group, original, pet, and scariest. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://www.navypier.com/things2do/entertainment/halloween.html">Halloween at Navy Pier</a>: The seasonal celebration includes costume contests on&nbsp;Saturday, fireworks Saturday at 9:30 p.m., and trick-or-treating for children ages 12 and under on Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday. Oct. 26-31.</li></ul><p>What are your favorite Chicago Halloween traditions and haunts?</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/guide-chicago-halloween-2013-108992