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Pitchfork rose from nothing in the mid-1990s to become one of the primary ways 21st-century indie music fans hear about new artists and tunes. Based in a loft in Logan Square, PitchforkMedia.com is considered a leading tastemaker online or off.
Fourteen Chicago music organizations pool their resources for concert listings and blogging at ChicagoClassicalMusic.org. Clicking on dates on the calendar leads to concert information and, occasionally, sound samples.
Need an iPod update? Check out the blog of DJ Bill Valenta, a.k.a. D.J. B.V.: Theft Liable to Prosecution, at djbv.net. The indie rock and electronica lover is plugged into the Chicago music scene and writes compellingly about it and the wider music world. An extensive sidebar tells what shows he's planning to attend and links to good music sites.
With an online selection that can only be described as awesome, DustyGroove.com lets anyone, anywhere thumb through the eponymous East Ukrainian Village brick-and-mortar store's extensive collection of funk, blues, jazz, Latin, and other groovy genres on vinyl and CD. Selection is updated daily, so whatever is on the site can be shipped out to you right away.
Marc Geelhoed, the classical music and opera writer for Time Out Chicago, blogs about the local and global art-music scenes on his sparely designed site, DeceptivelySimple.Typepad.com. The ease of Geelhoed's writing will make regular readers experts by assimilation.
The 45-year-old Logan Square Neighborhood Association's site, LSNA.net, offers newsletters, a calendar of local events, job and volunteer listings, and policy papers to keep abreast of this diverse and still changing community.
ChicagoJournal.com offers stories from its print editions, which cover the West Town area and near-Loop neighborhoods. Owned by the Oak Park- based Wednesday Journal, you'll also find links for that, Chicago Parent magazine, and its other local weeklies in Austin, Forest Park, and Riverside.
Blogger Lyletta Robinson started ranting in 2005 about shabby workmanship in her Woodlawn condo. Now, IHateMyDeveloper.blogspot.com contains screeds on Woodlawn, city politics, and unscrupulous real-estate types.
News about North Side neighborhoods from the Loop to Peterson and from the lake to Sacramento is published at InsideOnline.com every Wednesday, with police updates, neighborhood notes, real-estate news, home-improvement suggestions, the occasional travel story, and classified ads.
Many suburbs, including Oak Park and Arlington Heights, get local news coverage from the Pioneer Press newspapers, which also publish online at PioneerLocal.com. High-school sports coverage and feel-good human-interest stories merit a visit.
MarshfieldTattler.blogspot.com narrates the life of a Back of the Yards woman who cares deeply about the community. While it's not updated as often as this list's other blogs, every post is worth reading.
Tom Mannis opines on Rogers Park and the 49th Ward in his fiery blog, RogersParkBench.Blogspot.com. His mix of cynicism and skepticism targets public figures such as Mayor Daley and Alderman Joe Moore.
The anonymous author of UptownUpdate.Blogspot.com, bristling at the lack of mainstream press coverage of Uptown, created the site in May as a community forum and home for photos and short squibs about community news.
Chicago's oldest community newspaper, the Hyde Park Herald (HPHerald.com) reports on its intellectual, stubborn, vocal eponymous neighborhood. Editorials, the police blotter, and local profiles spur angry dissent—but what else would you expect from Hyde Park?
Michael Miner, who started working at the Chicago Reader in 1979, inimitably covers Chicago media through his column "Hot Type" (archived at ChicagoReader.com/features/stories/hottype) and News Bites blog (Blogs.Chicago Reader.com/news-bites) with a gritty mix of criticism and commentary.
A vibrant and playful e-zine on local and national politics, media, and culture, BeachwoodReporter.com is the brainchild of former Chicago magazine staffer Steve Rhodes and friends.
The movies have Ebert and Roeper, and law and economics has Gary S. Becker, a Nobel-winning University of Chicago professor, and Richard A. Posner, a federal appeals court judge and polymath. Becker-Posner-Blog.com produces an impossible number of high-quality essays on heady topics such as whether a bond market is the best predictor of the outcome of a war.
Chicago Public Radio's new Vocalo.org service mixes on-air (on 89.5 FM) and Web-streamed user-submitted content. Vocalo holds free radio production training (schedules online) and allows users to submit audio stories, to blog, and to record messages or commentary by phone for airing.
The Chicago Tribune's metro columnist Eric Zorn blogs to discuss the issues of the day, explore stories that didn't make it into the print edition, and launch off—or disagree with—Tribune editorials. He also plumbs nostalgia for old TV shows and gripes about his Mac. (blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn)
The lively independent e-zine GapersBlock.com tells you what's happening in Chicago every weekday, providing eight or so links daily to quirky happenings, places, and news stories alongside opinionated commentary and columns on local news and entertainment.
Reporters on MethodsReporter.com, a one-year-old site created by students at Northwestern's Medill journalism school, do something unheard of in the blogosphere: reporting. In an innovative arrangement, their writers don't get paid for stories but share in the revenue generated by ads that run alongside their articles.
Hyperlocal news site outside.in aggregates blogs and news stories based on ZIP Code (or for an entire town). Includes searchable maps, graphs that show how popular news items have been, and e-mail alerts for new content.
At Chicagoist.com, a gaggle of local writers opine on everything from CTA and Metra budgets and fare hikes to the goings-on about town, including art shows, music, new restaurants, and weekend plans. A competitor to GapersBlock and part of a worldwide network of -ist sites.
The combined output of news sites, blogs, and think tanks appears on the Chicago Daily Observer's engrossing news aggregator CDObs.com.