We found it! A kids’ album that won’t bug parents; a Sundance hit comes home; freaky marathon outfits; and more for October


Catch this: Tim Rogers is a 42-year-old Brit who enjoys running long distances costumed as an igloo, a rhinoceros, or a sunflower. For the La Salle Bank Chicago Marathon on Oct. 22nd, Rogers plans to dress like a beefeater , one of the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London. Intrigued, Chicago got him on the line. Chicago: Is it harder to run in costume? Rogers: Much. It requires more upper-body strength, shorter stride pattern, and very little use of the arms. The giant superhero costume that I wore in London this year featured bolts of lightning, which worked their way into my head and caused a lot of bleeding. Even now I suffer tingling sensations in my hands from the position that I had to hold it in. Chicago:How bad does the costume smell afterwards? Rogers: You can’t even imagine!

This month’s complex analysis of a kids’ song:

“It is really about how fickle audiences can be-whether you’re a musician or a politician,” says one adult reviewer of “Cyril the Karaoke Squirrel,” a song on the quirky but lovable new kids’ album Animal Crackers by the Wee Hairy Beasties (Bloodshot Records), out this month. The “Beasties” are actually popular local musicians Jon Langford (the squirrel), Kelly Hogan (the bee), and Sally Timms (the monkey), singing to bluegrass by Devil in a Woodpile. At our reviewer’s household, the album was an immediate hit: “My daughter starts dancing like crazy when you put it on.”

A new meaning for the term “re-gifting”: The broken circuit board’s usual fate is the landfill. Now a Northbrook company called Motherboard Gifts is turning the tech bygone into sleek gift items like clocks, picture frames, and key rings. They appear this month in the Museum of Contemporary Art’s gift shop (220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-280-2660) beside other recycled gifts from Midwest artisans (think handbags made from old tires and cork bracelets). Mark Millmore, MCA’s director of retail operations, anticipates a big demand: “ Green design is a really in-the-know kind of thing.”

Past its prime:
“Mystery dinner” went out with polyester-but someone apparently forgot to tell Lawry’s The Prime Rib. On Mondays, starting Sept. 18th, the creaky Gold Coast stalwart offers diners a role in a murder mystery (through Nov. 20th; call 773-267-6400). Dishes have been given god-awful monikers (“Who Dun-nit Spinning Salad”? “Fess-Up Sour Dough Bread”?). We feel sorriest for the strawberry trifle, which suffers the indignity of being dubbed “Final Verdict.”

Midwest at the film fest:


“I was a typical out-of-film-school guy looking to make a difference,” says Collinsville native Brian Jun , who left Illinois to make it big and ended up going right back to his birthplace, Alton, to shoot his first feature-length film. Filmed on a $350,000 budget in 20 days with a Chicago crew, Steel City tells the fictional story of two middle-class brothers who spend a winter coping with their father’s incarceration. After garnering buzz at Sundance , the film debuts here at the Chicago International Film Festival. The fest runs Oct. 5th to 19th; for info, call 312-683-0121.


A clock by Motherboard Gifts

Illustration: Christoph Hitz | Photography: Jun Duffy-Marie Arnoult/Wireimage.Com