#Chicago blog

The ultimate Chicago events, restaurants, bars and nightlife blog

 Rising British star John Newman made his Chicago debut for the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival 2014 at Lincoln Hall, January 18, 2014.

Rising British star John Newman made his Chicago debut for the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival 2014 at Lincoln Hall, January 18, 2014. Photograph: Hallie Duesenberg

Tomorrow Never Knows 2015 early bird passes go on sale

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 20, 2014 at 3:38pm

The winter months usually serve as a respite from the busy summer music festival season, but that hasn't stopped the folks at Lincoln Hall and Schubas from organizing the Tomorrow Never Knows festival in January for the past 11 years. Taking place at multiple venues across the city, the festival makes a point of showcasing rising acts in intimate settings, including artists like Jessie Ware and Sharon Van Etten who now draw much larger crowds. The 2015 edition will take place January 14–18

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An e.a.t. spots stand at Madison St and  Wacker Dr

An e.a.t. spots stand at Madison St and Wacker Dr Photograph: Alan Shortall

Vacant newsstands in the Loop are being converted into food kiosks

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:51pm

The continued decline of print has left several downtown newsstands vacant for the past several years, but a local business is bringing new life to these shuttered structures. The first of four planned e.a.t. spots opened in a repurposed newsstand at 368 West Madison Street on Monday, offering a menu filled with healthy, local foods, including a selection of wraps designed by former Frontera Grill chef Shaw Lash. The bright yellow kiosks are open Monday through Friday from 7am to 6:30pm.

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James Foley

James Foley Photograph: Jessica Scranton

Remembering the sacrifice and bravery of James Foley

Posted by Rod O'Connor on Aug 20, 2014 at 8:13am

When I interviewed journalist James Foley three years ago, I sensed a struggle inside him. This was just a few months after his 44-day captivity in Libya during that country’s rebel uprising, and he was truly thankful he had made it out alive. He was easy to talk to. I recall him laughing often. He seemed to appreciate the fact that he had dodged a bullet. But two things tore him up: One was the fact that Anton Hammerl wasn’t so lucky.

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Halsted St pylon

Halsted St pylon Photograph: Jason A. Heidemann

Three Illinois schools make list of top 50 LGBT-friendly colleges and universities

Posted by Kris Vire on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:56pm

On Friday, nonprofit group Campus Pride released its sixth annual list of the nation's top 50 LGBT-friendly colleges and universities. Three Illinois schools made the unranked list: The University of Chicago, University of Illinois–Chicago and Southern Illinois University–Carbondale. It may be surprising not to see more Chicago-area schools make this list—Roosevelt University, for one, has a strong reputation for gay inclusiveness and advocacy as part of its social justice–oriented mission.

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Krewella hits the stage in Grant Park to play a sold-out Lollapalooza Music Festival 2014.

Krewella hits the stage in Grant Park to play a sold-out Lollapalooza Music Festival 2014. Photographer: cousindaniel.com

The City of Chicago defines what "EDM" means

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 18, 2014 at 12:18pm

Late last week, as reported by DNAinfo Chicago, the City of Chicago local liquor commissioner Gregory Steadman and Congress Theater owner Eddie Carranza signed a six-page plan of operation that will allow the concert hall to obtain a liquor license and reopen. Now, there's one funny condition in that lengthy, freshly inked document. The Congress "shall not allow any EDM shows/events at the premises." Which means the City of Chicago had to define what the hell "EDM" means.

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The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Firebirds Delta Team and more perform aerial stunts at the Chicago Air and Water Show, August 16, 2014.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Firebirds Delta Team and more perform aerial stunts at the Chicago Air and Water Show, August 16, 2014. Photograph: Anthony Soave

Air and Water Show photos

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:45am

After a few days of practice flybys, planes took the sky above the city this weekend as the annual Air and Water Show returned to the lakefront. The Navy's Blue Angels zipped through tight, breathtaking maneuvers, and the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team drifted down to the beach. It was hard to escape the pulse-pounding stunts—you could hear the formations zooming by from Logan Square. We captured photos of the August 16 crowds and action.

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Kelly O'Sullivan as Masha in the Goodman Theatre's 2010 production of The Seagull

Kelly O'Sullivan as Masha in the Goodman Theatre's 2010 production of The Seagull Photograph: Liz Lauren

Kelly O'Sullivan receives Princess Grace Award

Posted by Kris Vire on Aug 15, 2014 at 3:45pm

Actor Kelly O'Sullivan has been named the recipient of a Princess Grace Award theater fellowship. Awarded by the Princess Grace Foundation-USA in memory of the late Princess Grace of Monaco. O'Sullivan, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, becomes the third artist to receive a Princess Grace Award upon being nominated as an ensemble member of American Theater Company. This summer O'Sullivan shot the feature Henry Gamble's Birthday Party with Chicago filmmaker Stephen Cone; she also has a recurring role on the USA series Sirens.

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Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on Sunday September 15, 2013

Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on Sunday September 15, 2013 Photograph: cousindaniel.com

Riot Fest 2014 after-show tickets are on sale now

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 14, 2014 at 2:33pm

Riot Fest Chicago, the final three-day stop in our marathon of summer music festivals, announced its generous slate of after-shows and after-parties today. Once the fun in Humboldt Park is done (or if you just prefer your emo and punk in the dark), you can head to Cobra Lounge, Double Door, Bottom Lounge and Concord Music Hall to see the likes of Primus, the Get Up Kids, Television, Thurston Moore, the Hold Steady and more.

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Slippery Slope

Slippery Slope Photograph: Martha Williams

The Numero Group brings a monthly dance party to Slippery Slope

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 14, 2014 at 12:05pm

If the lines that form outside of Slippery Slope on most nights are any indication, the bar has become a destination for people who like to drink bottled cocktails while strutting their stuff on the dance floor. Now Chicago's premiere archival record label, the Numero Group, is joining the fray, debuting a monthly event dubbed The Chicago Party. The free party kicks off on August 20 and will occur regularly on the third Wednesday of each month.

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Lays Weird Chips

Lays Weird Chips Photo: Amy Cavanaugh

We ate the weird new Lay's chips

Posted by Samuel Israel on Aug 12, 2014 at 4:30pm

The food scientists at Frito Lay are just stoned and bored. As part of its "Do Us a Flavor" contest, Lay's has launched four new fan-submitted flavors of its chips. They range from the mundane (bacon and cheese) to the bonkers (coffee). It is up to us consumers to vote on the survivor. Our staff ripped open some bags to decide which variety should win. Turns out, you can eat just one.

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Patti Smith

Patti Smith

Chicago Humanities Festival complete schedule announced

Posted by Kris Vire on Aug 12, 2014 at 3:15pm

The Chicago Humanities Festival has posted the complete schedule for its fall program, "Journeys." In addition to previously announced presenters including Vijay Iyer, Marcus Samuelsson and Marjane Satrapi and the already sold-out Lena Dunham reading, highlights include appearances by Wallace Shawn, Renée Fleming, Darlene Love, Patti Smith, Roxane Gay and Sasha Frere-Jones. See the complete schedule at CHF's website.

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Danni Smith

Danni Smith

Bailiwick Chicago announces 2014-15 season

Posted by Kris Vire on Aug 12, 2014 at 3:15pm

Bailiwick Chicago today announced a three-show lineup for its upcoming season, to include two musicals and a world-premiere play. The season opens in October with a new production of Michael John LaChiusa's 2000 musical The Wild Party (October 2–November 1). Bailiwick opens 2015 with Princess Mary Demands Your Attention (January 15–February 21), a new play by resident playwright Aaron Holland that combines War and Peace with drag queens. Later in the spring comes the Chicago premiere of the 2012 Off Broadway rock musical Murder Ballad (April 2–May 9).

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Tricked-out rides cruise into Pilsen for the Slow and Low Community Lowrider Festival, August 10, 2014.

Tricked-out rides cruise into Pilsen for the Slow and Low Community Lowrider Festival, August 10, 2014. Photograph: Kaitlin Hetterscheidt

Slow and Low Community Lowrider Festival 2014

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 11, 2014 at 1:32pm

Tricked-out cars and colorful costumes filled the streets of Pilsen this weekend during the annual Slow and Low Community Lowrider Festival. Bringing together car and bike clubs from across the Midwest, the festival featured more than 200 vehicles as well as local performers and vendors. Take a look at photographs of the bouncing cars and graceful dancers at this souped-up street festival.

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Hunter is our Single of the Week.

Hunter is our Single of the Week.

Single of the Week: Hunter, 23

Posted by Laura Baginski on Aug 11, 2014 at 11:50am

Hunter, 23
Interested in Men
My idea of a perfect first date As a wise man once said, give me a patio or give me death. Let's share a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and discuss political theory a.k.a. House of Cards, Scandal, and Homeland, while quoting Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. After all, if you can't handle me at my Brandi Glanville, you don't deserve me at my Lisa Vanderpump.

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Foo Fighters' 'Sonic Highways' features John Hancock Center on its cover.

Foo Fighters' 'Sonic Highways' features John Hancock Center on its cover.

John Hancock Center makes cover of new Foo Fighters album

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 11, 2014 at 11:45am

Dave Grohl has long shown love for Chicago. Nirvana released a split single with the Jesus Lizard and recorded a record with Steve Albini. Foo Fighters headlined Lollapalooza in 2011. Now, the Foo Fighters are giving Wilco a run for its money in the Album Covers with Chicago Architecture sweepstakes. Sonic Highways, the inevitably titled eighth Foo Fighters album, sports a collage painting of eight American cities on its cover. It kind of looks like a New Yorker magazine.

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Damen Blue Line

Damen Blue Line Photograph: Erik Olesund

CTA announces closure dates for California and Damen Blue Line stations

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 11, 2014 at 11:35am

If you're a Logan Square, Bucktown or Wicker Park resident who relies on the Blue Line, you can expect your daily commute to get a little longer this fall. The Chicago Transit Authority has announced new dates for the planned closures of the Damen and California Blue Line stations this year as part of the $492 million "Your New Blue'' project. The California station will close on September 4 and reopen on October 16, while the Damen station will close on October 20 and reopen on December 22. 

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Northalsted Market Days brings LGBT-friendly pop acts like Belinda Carlisle, Karmin, and Neon Trees to Boystown for the Midwest's biggest two-day street festival, August 9 and 10, 2014.

Northalsted Market Days brings LGBT-friendly pop acts like Belinda Carlisle, Karmin, and Neon Trees to Boystown for the Midwest's biggest two-day street festival, August 9 and 10, 2014. Photograph: Kaitlin Hetterscheidt

Northalsted Market Days: Saturday

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Aug 10, 2014 at 10am

Northalsted Market Days is the largest two-day street festival in the Midwest and features lots of booze, phallic junk food (think corn dogs and chocolate-dipped bananas), performances by the likes of Belinda Carlisle and terrific street fashion. Today, the pop quotient is amped up when Nevada hotties Neon Trees (5pm) and cinnamon roll haircut pioneer Karmin (8pm) hit the North Stage on Halsted.

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Rap fans and club kids gather in Union Park for North Coast Music Festival 2013 on Saturday August 31, 2013.

Rap fans and club kids gather in Union Park for North Coast Music Festival 2013 on Saturday August 31, 2013. Photo: Chandler West

North Coast Music Festival announces day by day lineup

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 6, 2014 at 4:45pm

I know, I know, the blisters on your feet from Lollapalooza are just starting to heal, but it's time to starting thinking about the next three-day summer music festival. Specifically, North Coast, which brings headliners Snoop Dogg, Kid Cudi and Bassnectar to Union Park on August 29–31. See when Future Islands, Little Dragon, Riff Raff and more hit the stage.

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Time to grow up, breweries

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Aug 4, 2014 at 1:04pm

Last week I saw a tweet from Guys Drinking Beer (one of the guys, Karl Klockars, writes for TOC) about the latest beer labels to hit the market. The beer, made by Pig Minds Brewing in Machesney Park, is called PD California Style Ale and features an image of a woman’s legs with underwear around her ankles. Shocked?  You should be, but labels like this are becoming more and more commonplace on beers made around the country.

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