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Coda

August 2007

9 years
ago

 

Good Stuff Part 1

Nifty stuff has been landing on my desk and in my inbox. Thought I’d share.

1. Two great sites for quirky stuff: Swap Meat, a funny little designophile project by local Web company Coudal Partners. You send something cool in—you know, something that you made yourself. They assess its value and send something equally cool back. Get it? It’s a swap! There are great prints, handmade books, T-shirts, etc. I don’t make things by hand, so I have nothing to send. But if I did make things by hand, and if they didn’t suck, well, you know…

9 years
ago

 

Q & A with Gretchen Wilson

Here I was, trying to understand “country couture” with a veritable expert: Grammy winner Gretchen Wilson, who was performing at the fashion event Glamorama. Note: If you ever get a chance to interview Gretchen Wilson, she is much happier talking about baseball than style.

Coda: You grew up in Pocahontas, Illinois. Do you have a fondness for performing in Chicago?
GW: It’s always great to be back. I have a few relatives around here still. But you know, I grew up closer to St. Louis than Chicago…

9 years
ago

 

Glamorama Yee-Haw

My Glamorama experience, in a nutshell: Lots of cowboy hats and sparkly shirts—and a midget zooming by on a scooter.

(Actually, he might have been a dwarf. I’m sure someone will write in and correct me, so I’ll just say right now that I’m not sure which category he falls into. He was small. That much I know. He is part of the MusikMafia, the country supergroup fronted by Gretchen Wilson, Big and Rich, and the rappin’ Cowboy Troy, who all played at the main runway event. Who knew that Chicago people would lose their cool during the song “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy?”)

9 years
ago

 

Drinking at Work

How do you perk up a dull Tuesday? Drink at work!

Luckily, I have a new acquaintance: Gabriel Magliaro, who, with some friends, has started a new Chicago beer company, Half Acre. Their first beer—a tomcat-colored lager that is brewed in Black River Falls, Wisconsin—just landed at Pint, Rodan, Jerry’s 2, and several other bars in Wicker Park. I was intrigued when Gabriel called me about it; I mean, how many local beers are there? For a city this size, there is a dearth of homegrown ale. Business idea, people!

9 years
ago

 

Dance Fest

Last week, I was surprised to hear some grumbles in Time Out Chicago—and from some dancers I know—about the Chicago Dancing Festival.

If you don’t know what this is, it’s the free dance night on Wednesday at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Dancers from Alvin Ailey, the Joffrey, American Ballet Theatre, and the experimental, New York-based Complexions Contemporary Dance Co., are among those performing.

9 years
ago

 

Good Gwyneth Hunting

Gwyneth Paltrow has a lovely light pink pedicure. This is all I can see. I’ve crowded into the press “pit,” which is kind of like a cattle corral. The reporters and photographers in front of me have mostly blocked my view. So after a few minutes, I squat down, and peek between Bill Zwecker’s legs. Finally, an unobstructed view of Gwyneth—her feet…

9 years
ago

 

Six Questions For Bike Film Fest Guy

Starting Wednesday, the Bicycle Film Fest hits Chicago for four days of parties, races, scavenger hunts, and films galore. It’s a huge event in New York, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities, but in Chicago it hasn’t quite caught on. Coda talked to founder Brendt Barbur, who lives in Manhattan, about registering higher on the city’s culture meter this time around.

9 years
ago

 

Dinner Party with Kara Mann

This post could just as easily be called “How to Have a Dinner Party.” Earlier this week, Kara Mann, Chicago’s fast rising interior designer, who’s in her 30s, invited two dozen or so interiors people, architects, and design types into her new showroom on Hubbard Street. The party had a look—that look—that we all try to achieve when we throw parties: classy, but with the idea that things could easily get slightly off-kilter. I guess it just looked fun. I took notes.

9 years
ago

 

Lolla: Trend Recap

It wasn’t as stylish a crowd as Pitchfork, but the young ‘uns did do a few trends well. Here were some of the highlights.

9 years
ago

 

Lolla: Sunday’s Best/Worst

Before I lose my wireless signal, I’m shooting off the best and worst of Sunday at Lollapalooza.

BEST

1. Eddie Vedder pulling Ben Harper up on stage for “Body of War.” Vedder did a lot of politicizing—taking on the war in Iraq and BP Amoco. “Think of it as a boyfriend or girlfriend who never brushes their teeth,” he said, of BP Amoco, and its potential dumping in Lake Michigan. “You wouldn’t kiss them. Don’t show BP any love until they clean up their act.”

2. My Morning Jacket pairing with a local children’s chorus…

9 years
ago

 

Lolla: Saturday’s Best/Worst

Keeping with yesterday’s theme, here’s the good, the bad, and the occasionally unfashionable from Saturday. While we’re at it, write in with your bests and from Lolla in the comments box.

THE BEST

1. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs! Finally, I got to see them live.

2. Finally finding all the 30-somethings. They ARE here! They’re all at Roky Erikson! …

9 years
ago

 

Lolla: Friday’s Best/Worst

THE BEST

1. The Black Keys, an Akron, Ohio, duo that’s been touched—no, gifted—with a sound reminiscent of dirty Mississippi blues I heard growing up and unprocessed rock ‘n roll.

2. Daft Punk! My generation’s Peter Frampton

3. The sign language volunteer for the Polyphonic Spree; most of the interpreters just sign and kind of sway, but this lady rocked out, particularly during the “yeah, yeah, yeah” part of the Spree’s cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

4. The hipster T-shirts. My favorite: A purple one with a picture of Kurt Vonnegut. It said, “Vonnegut With This?” If you have a shirt like that, then yes. Yes, I do…

9 years
ago

 

Paste Pre-Lolla Jam

With an event the size of Lollapalooza (120 bands; 200,000 attendance expected), there’s sure to be a wealth of pre-parties, after-parties and after-after-parties. After jamming to Dave Specter Thursday night at Millennium Park, good Southern girl that I am, I headed over to Subterranean for Paste magazine’s pre-Lolla party…

9 years
ago

 

Lollapalooza Smackdown!

I love a good smackdown. Except when it comes to bands.

Every year of Lollapalooza, I’ve lost my friends during the pivotal afternoon time slots. Last year, I stood alone at Andrew Bird when my friends headed over Matisyahu. I didn’t find them again until several hours later (thanks, text messaging!)

If you’ve ever been to Lollapalooza, you know that the planners have ESP. They somehow can sense which bands are on your must-see list. They then manage to put them at the same time slot at stages umpteen miles apart. This means that you must either (a) sacrifice Cold War Kids to Rhymefest or (b) run like hell to cross the great divide between the two fields. It is the concert world’s cruelest joke.

9 years
ago

 

Scenes from Summerdance

Here we are, the best no-brainer date night I’d had in a while.

First, the no-brainer date night, defined: Easy, not too pricey. Does not require reservations. Entertaining, but not a time sucker.

The no-brainer date night, handed to you on a platter: Summerdance, followed by sushi outside at Bob San on Division Street (or gelato at Caffe Gelato at Division and Damen), followed by some romantic action of the “Oh, he’s so cute, he took me to an outdoor dance festival” kind.

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