Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kid Sister Mania!

I was lucky enough to interview Kid Sister for UR Chicago's upcoming September issue. Her bubbly personality was infectious and I hung up the phone feeling star struck and envious of her lemons into lemonade point of view.

It seems like this weekend is all about Chicago's favorite Kid Sister! Tonight, she'll be hosting a pre-Lollapalooza Black Kids, The Foals, and the Kills performance—with DJs Flosstradamus mixing as well—at the Apple Store downtown (679 N. Michigan Ave.) at 7. I'm sure the place will be packed so get there early!

Also, Kid Sister posted this bulletin on Myspace. I can't go (work, pout) but if you're interested, you should definitely show up with your dancing shoes on:

Soooooo, have you ever wanted to be a part of one of my crazy, fun shows? Well yall, guess what? Today is ya lucky mf day! I'm looking for GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS and more girls... Reowr, haha! Yes my Chicago mamacitas if you wanna take part in my show happening this Sunday at Lollapalooza (and score FREE lolla tickets) just come on by to the open call happening tomorrow! There's some very liiiiight, light choreography involved so those with dance/theatre backgrounds are encouraged to audition.

Come by n' say chello to yer girl tomorrow, Friday, August 1st at NOON at the Revere Park Field house at 2501 West Irving Park Rd (one block west of Western av). We'll be set up outside, snackin, sippin and yappin about boyyyyys (what else, haha).
See you there ma babes!!!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chic Tanishq

Schaumburg has been mecca for many a college student or Nordic-design enthusiasts; it's the home of Ikea and, in the eyes of the uninformed, not much else. Despite its seemingly unglamorous location, Schaumburg has just received another dose of cool from across the ocean: India.

Titan Industries Ltd., India's leading producer and retailer of jewelry and watches, has set its eyes on Schaumburg to be the site of its first foray into the United States market. Located in Woodfield Mall, Tanishq is sure to impress even the most suburb weary Chicagoan. The line carries gorgeous rings, necklaces, pendants, and other pieces made of 18k and 22k gold. Tanishq features both permanent and revolving collections; the inaugural collections--Yoga, Spring, and Lotus--are inspired by nature and philosophy.

"The Yoga collection features fluid shapes which incorporate diamonds in each piece."

"The Lotus collection, which uses pink sapphire, keshi pearls, carved rock crystal and diamonds, is inspired by the resilience of the beautiful lotus blossom."

"The Spring collection is influenced by the cycle of life, and encompasses delicate floral shapes with colorful stones such as garnet, rose quartz and amethyst."

C'est Chic, Tanishq. Fine jewelry is just the thing to make the trek to Schaumberg worthwhile.

Tanishq, K 108 of Woodfield Mall, 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumberg, IL 60173. Open Monday-Saturday 10am - 9pm, Sunday 10am - 6pm.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Obviously on a Gnarls Barkley Kick

Why is it that I'm just now seeing the Gnarls Barkley video for "Going On" ? And why can't more music videos and music in general be this good? Ok. Last post of the day... I just really needed to share this video.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

(Warning: Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach)

Gnarls Barkley's newest music video for the haunting song, "Who's Going to Save My Soul?" from their latest studio album, The Odd Couple. Is it weird that I felt like I would cry at the end of the video? Maybe because I'm getting out of a similar place, or afraid of being in that place again...

Talib Kweli: The Rapper's Rapper

One of the most exciting things I've ever done as a writer was cover the Zune BBQ at Union Park in Chicago a year ago. Microsoft's MP3 offering to a world obsessed with all things Apple had been embraced largely by the hip-hop community and to thank them, Zune created a concert tour across the US. The Chicago leg featured performances by Qualo (Shala Esquire's rap group), Little Brother, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli. It was a night of quality conscientious music mixed with the feel of a neighborhood block party--Robinson's BBQ was on hand and people played basketball in between sets.

Standing in the VIP section with my plus one, we noticed a man standing in front of us, wearing a light-weight sweater despite the Chicago mid-June heat.

Adam, my plus one: That guy's sweater is really nice.
Me: Yeah, it is.
On-stage announcer: Put your hands together for.... TALIB KWELI!!!!!
(man in light weight sweater runs on stage and begins rapping)
Adam and Me: OH! MY! GOD!

We were 5 feet away from one of the most renowned rappers for hip-hop heads and all we noticed was his impeccable taste in sweaters.

Long story aside, I was excited to read on the Black gossip website that Talib Kweli is working on a documentary about himself. I wonder when and where it will be coming out...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Store Opening in Wicker Park/Bucktown

Before papers and government officials were uttering the "R" word, people in Chicago were grumbling about the "G" word: gentrification. We saw it in the droves of hipsters and artists who took haven in the historically Mexican neighborhood of Pilsen. And the more fashion savvy of us saw it when small, high-end boutiques in Wicker Park/Bucktown began shuttering up their windows and putting up for rent signs in spaces that once carried Geren Ford, Missoni, and other labels.

Out went the smaller boutiques (no longer able to afford the high price of rent and moving to internet based sales), and in came the bigger name retail purveyors. Marc Jacobs (not that I'm hating on this newest addition...drool), Cynthia Rowley, and BCBG have all moved on the fashionable strip of Damen and tomorrow night, people in the know will gather for the opening of Club Monaco.

Will this sound the death knoll for the once hipster-friendly Wicker Park/Bucktown?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Say It Ain't So!

I am not a coffee drinker myself, but I can imagine the waves of panic that spread through the nation upon word that 600 Starbucks locations will be closing. You know we're in hard times when Starbucks is one of the first highly publicized chains to start closures.

Here's a list of the locations closing down in Chicago, found on the Huffington Post. If one of these locations is yours, pull yourself up by the bootstraps and bravely march forward. Make yourself a recession latte and store it in your "green" friendly, biodegradeable coffee mug.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pitchfork Festival Preview

Pitchfork Music Festival, second only to Lollapalooza in its size and music scope, is happening this weekend. Somewhat sadly, I'm missing it to go back home this weekend. Luckily, a pre-Pitchfork event is being held at Grant Park with a musical sampling jumping from the Balkan inspired to American rock.

As part of the "Music Without Borders" concert series at Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Pitchfork Music Festival Preview Night is definitely something to check out. It's free and nothing beats a concert at the Pritzker Pavilion either; the summer heat and breezes, always good (or at the very least, interesting) music, tons of people dancing, and the skyline looming and sparkling above's, as Kanye would say, "so astounding."

For more information--and to hear the music of those performing tomorrow night--click here and press 7.17.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not Only For the Saditty and Pretty

Musically, Andre 3000's verse is by far the only thing good about the song, but these men are all about presentation, which makes this video a-mazing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tyler Perry's Newest

(I think this movie looks great, no matter what some may say of Tyler Perry and his movies. At least he's creating good and smart roles for black actors and actresses outside of niche CW/UPN short lived TV shows. And I love me some Rockmond Dunbar.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chicago Memory #2

Last night, I was on the 22 Clark bus heading towards the Gold Coast to meet some friends for a going away gathering at the Hunt Club. My iPod headphones were snug in my ears, blaring the newest Brazilian Girls CD, "New York City." I went into commuting mode; my eyes glazed over and neighborhoods began to melt into each other as the bus hurtled down Clark Street. The drunken frattish antics of Wrigleyville gave way to the easygoing feel of Belmont, people passed by, stumbling, laughing, walking, waiting.

A woman got on at the Clark and Belmont stop, wearing a large, red men's coat too heavy for the muggy weather outside. The words "Phila" were printed in various fonts and sizes all over it. She staggered and swayed as the bus lurched forward, standing beside the bus driver and rummaging for change.

She plopped down next to me, her bare legs splayed in the aisle. Foam was gathering in the corners of her mouth as she spoke to herself. She bent over in her seat and began feeling around under her seat for something.

"Did you drop something?" I ventured.

I bent over in my seat as well and after feeling around for a bit, produced a quarter and a metallic red and gold curlicue bow, the kind you put on presents. I offered both to her outstretched hand. The bow matched the jacket she was wearing.

"Thank you, girl," she said. She leaned back in her seat. She reached inside the jacket, the tops of her barely covered breasts visible, and produced crumbled bills. A twenty. A five.

"Hey!" the bus driver yelled over her shoulder. "The woman that just got on. This is as far as I'm going to go if you can't find any change."

The woman ignored her and stared at me. The bus continued down Clark. I avoided her gaze.

I think she said something about how nice I was, and reached out to tuck my braids behind one ear.

"You should do your hair like that. Behind one ear," she smiled, her eyes unfocused. More foam bubbled around her lips. "It's sexier."

"Oh, ok," I smile back.

She continued on, slurring. "I do hair like the Africans, but I don't charge as much. I do that," motioning at my curly braids, "for $30!"

"$30!" I say. "Wow, that's cheap."

"Give me your number, I'll call you and you can let me do your hair."


The bus driver stops the bus again. She's exasperated. She probably has to do this more than she would like. "Excuse me! The woman who just got on. There's another bus 2 blocks behind me! You can get off on this stop, find your change and get on that one."

The woman ignores her again, and pulls out a slip of paper and a broken eyebrow pencil. She attempts writing on it, then tries to bite off the pencil to produce some lead.

"Just give me your number," she pleads, her eyes looking over my face frantically.


The bus driver has now stood up. As the woman stands I notice all she's wearing underneath the jacket is a tank top and underwear.

"God told me to treat women the way they treat me." She smiles at me but glares at the bus driver as she stumbles off the bus. The doors close as she attempts to offer me one last piece of advice.

"Don't let men treat you..."

The bus moves down Clark and I smile ruefully at the people sitting next to me. Ashamed that I'm ashamed of my kindness, ashamed of the woman's state, ashamed of what the people were probably thinking of her and of me, and ashamed that I was ashamed of their thoughts, real or imagined.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jean Therapy

(photo credit:

Finding the perfect pair of jeans is like the Holy Grail for women everywhere. A dress girl through and through, I still hold out for the perfect dark wash skinny jeans that will absolve my body of any flaws, imagined and real. Once a month, women in Chicago get the chance to search for that perfect pair (or two) at The Warehouse Sale.

A room in McCormick Place (2301 S. Dr. Martin L. King Dr., South Building - S105) is packed with high end designer jeans up to (gasp!) 80% off. We're talking True Religion, Seven for All Mankind, Rock & Republics...every wash, cut, and style to fit your denim needs. The Warehouse Sale is free for Saturday if you RSVP here or $5 at the door.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dear Penn Badgley


I think you are a stone cold fox, as do many women between the ages of 9-35 who watch "Gossip Girl." But now, after reading your Proust Profile in the new Vanity Fair, I think we should make it official. Ahem. Penn Badgley, you have officially joined my pantheon of celebrity crushes; John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Boris Kudjo, and other dreamy leading men will be there to keep you company.

Until our paths cross, I'll just have to make do with "Gossip Girl" reruns.


Monday, July 7, 2008

"And You Make Me Smile By Really Getting Into the Swing"

I heard this song on Fred Flare's website and immediately downloaded it a few years ago. It's so peppy and automatically brings a smile to my face. This fourth of July, my boyfriend's cousin told me to go on YouTube and watch the video. Song and image have united perfectly in this music video.

(Kings of Convenience, I'd Rather Dance With You)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

This [Explitive] Is Bananas...

(photo credit: The Village Voice)

At last year's Pitchfork Festival, the second biggest summer music festival in Chicago after Lollapalooza, everyone was a buzz about Girl Talk's performance. I had no clue who this Girl Talk (born Greg Gillis) was, but he was on the lips of every musically inclined hipster, editor, and friend I encountered a week after the performance.

Now I can see why. His latest album, Feed the Animals, is available for download here (jumping on the online pay-as-you-wish bandwagon Radiohead spearheaded). I can imagine dancing in Union Park to Girl Talk's furious mash of hip-hop, rap, R&B, juke, 70s and 80s rock/pop just from listening to one of the singles. Mixing Cool Kids, "Gold and Pager," Sinead O'Conner, Avril Lavigne's "Boyfriend," and Rod Stewart's "Young Turks" may sound strange on paper, but believe me, once you hear Girl Talk's mash ups, you wonder why no one has done it before. More divergent in style and genre than your average party DJ, Girl Talk is... bananas.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Changing the Face of Chicago's Skyline

The Chicago Spire.

(photo courtesy of Country Living)