The 30 best Halloween songs of all time
Along with a great costume and a queue loaded with solid horror movies, a playlist of the best Halloween songs is essential to the success of any Halloween celebration. As such, we've scoured the catacombs of our favorite streamers and blown the cobwebs off our Jewel cases to compile the ultimate Halloween music soundtrack. These songs are guaranteed to get you moving, whether you're braving the horrors of an indoor gathering or perfectly content to gorge on fun-sized candy in the comfort of your own home. We promise, the list is all ‘Thriller’, no filler (not really… we didn't just put ‘Thriller’ on the list 30 times, though you'd be forgiven for doing just that). And for younger crowds, check out our list of Halloween songs for kids. Written by Brent DiCrescenzo, Christopher Tarantino, Andy Kryza, Adam Feldman, Kate Wertheimer, Andrew Frisicano, Sophie Harris, Carla Sosenko and Nick Leftley. Listen to these songs on Amazon Music RECOMMENDED:🎶 The best ’80s songs🎉 The best party songs ever made🎸 The best classic rock songs🎤 The best karaoke songs🕺 The best pop songs of all time
The 55 best workout songs to play at the gym
Alright: time to get physical and also musical. Contrary to what the very ripped personal trainer at the gym keeps screaming at you, sometimes the best motivation for working up a sweat isn’t the grunting encouragement of a stranger clutching a protein shake. Often, you just need the right song to get your blood pumping, your body moving and you mind in the zone. The perfect workout song is, to some extent, an elusive beast that heavily depends on what type of music you’re into: presumably there are people out there who work out to showtunes, and good for them. The unifying factor is enough energy to power the national grid, and a decently fast beat to help you keep the pace up. Beyond that, all bets are off, To help you on your fitness journey, we tapped our stable of music geeks – some of which are in much better shape than others – to scour their knowledge of hip-hop, pop, classic rock and for 55 high-energy motivators. Some may seem like pretty leftfield choices, but all of them should get your pulse racing. Strap on the sweatband and get ready to move. Written by Kristen Zwicker, Marley Lynch, Hank Shteamer, Gabrielle Bruney, Brent DiCrescenzo, Sophie Harris, Andy Kryza, Andrew Frisicano, Nick Leftley, Tim Lowery, Carla Sosenko, Kate Wertheimer, Steve Smith and Andrzej Łukowski. RECOMMENDED:🏃 The best running songs💪 The best motivational songs🤩 The best inspirational songs🎸 The best classic rock songs⚡️ The best songs about power
The 50 best drinking songs
Alcohol and music go together like Jack Daniels and Coca-Cola. Is there any better shared experience than when the right song hits the jukebox at the peak of the night in a crowded bar, and everyone stops to raise a glass and sing along? In all honesty, any song can be a drinking song if it plays at the right moment, with the correct level of intoxication. But true drinking songs are something else entirely – they speak to the experience of getting buzzed in a way even teetotalers can understand and appreciate. They also transcend genre: the best drinking songs can be Irish folk tunes, shout-along punk anthems, chest-rattling hip hop party jams or sombre reflections about the morning after. And, of course, not all of them actually celebrate drunkenness – think ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’ by Kendrick Lamar. But for our purposes here, we’re mostly ignoring the songs about the dark side of booze, and focusing on those that recognise that making bad decisions is an important part of life. Written by Michael Chen, Brent DiCrescenzo, Sophie Harris, Oliver Keens, Andy Kryza, Hank Shteamer, Kate Wertheimer, Zach Long and Matthew Singer. RECOMMENDED:🎉 The best party songs🎤 The best karaoke songs🕺 The best pop songs of all time😃 The best happy songs🍆 The best sexy songs
The 30 best running songs
To help peel you off the couch and get you moving, we’ve found the very best running songs to keep you going mile after mile in the gym or on the hiking trail. These tracks are ideal whether you run for pleasure, hit the street to begrudgingly fulfil a resolution, or incorporate running as the cardio portion of an energetic workout. Regardless of what’s driving you to pound the pavement, a propulsive playlist is a must. From thumping hip-hop beats to high-energy guitar jams (and even a little tough love from Britney), here’s your new favorite running mix. Written by Sara Fay, Kate Wertheimer, Andy Kryza, Andrew Frisciano, Brent DiCrescenzo and Sophie Harris. Listen to these songs on Amazon Music RECOMMENDED:🏋 The best workout songs🎸 The best classic rock songs🤩 The best inspirational songs of all time🎶 The best ’80s songs🎵 The best ’90s songs
The 11 best Kendrick Lamar lyrics
Who said songwriting was dead? This has been a golden week for lyrics. Courtney Barnett's latest is chockablock with fantastic couplets, and then of course there is Kendrick Lamar. The LA rapper buries any debate over who is the greatest living MC with his sprawling third album. From its title down to words to like 'beady beads' and 'ReBloodlicans', To Pimp a Butterfly is a testament to the power of lyrical hip-hop. After swimming in Kendrick's prose for days, we settled on these as our 11 favorite lyrics from the best album of 2015 so far. Yes, the first line comes from a guest verse by Rapsody, but it is too good to omit. Everyone is on their A-game here.
All of the Oreo flavors, ranked
On March 6, 1912, the first Oreo cookie was sold to a grocer in Hoboken, New Jersey. Believe it or not, the chocolate creme cookie was a knockoff of the Hydrox, not the other way around. But every year since its introduction, the Oreo has been the best-selling cookie in the United States. Hooray, America! (Sorry, local bakeries!) In its history, the Oreo has gone through some major changes. In the early '90s, the lard in the recipe was replaced with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. In 2006, fear over trans fats forced an ingredient change to non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. That might be why our favorite cookie tastes a little different from what we remember as kids—I mean, we love lard and trans fats in our desserts. In July 2016, believe it or not, the last Oreos were made in Chicago—in the same place where at least some Oreos have been made since 1953. To salute this delicious miracle of chemistry, we hunted down all of the Oreo flavors we could find to see which one was truly the best. Before you head to the candy store, see how they ranked. For a guided dessert tour of Chicago's sweetest spots, click here.
The 11 best comic book heroes from Chicago
Chicago is a major player in the superhero movie universe. The Loop has been repeatedly ravaged by Transformers, Zod fighting the Man of Steel, and The Dark Knight's Joker on movie theater screens. And our C2E2 has become one of the biggest comic book conventions in the country. But in the comic book shops, Chicago takes a backseat to New York City, where most of the Marvel heroes live, and fictional metropolises like Gotham and, er, Metropolis. Still, some major vigilantes, caped crusaders and X-Men carry Illinois licenses and birth certificates. These 11 local heroes would make for an awesome super team.
The 17 most notorious mobsters from Chicago
Chicago mobsters of the 1920s have become a sort of "Pirates of the Caribbean" for our city. There are gangster tours, a Tommy Gun's dinner theater, speakeasies that are no longer speakeasies, and we once had a sports team called the Chicago Hitmen. So it's easy to gloss over the fact that these murderous lawbreakers introduced the world to concepts like the drive-by shooting. The Prohibition-era criminal is romanticized in gangster movies and pop music. And, yeah, some of them in hindsight seem particularly silly and curious, despite being evil, with their goofy hats and names like "Willie Potatoes" and "Cockeyed Louie." The Irish North Side Gang and South Side Italian Chicago Outfit waged bloody war on what is now our doorsteps and doughnut shops. Here, we rank the 17 most notorious killers, thieves, bootleggers and, yes, politicians that continue to fascinate us.RECOMMENDED: The 50 best gangster movies of all time
The 40 best album covers of the '90s
The advent of Photoshop, the rise of indie labels and massive influxes of cash meant that records in the 1990s started to come with more creative art and packaging. Unfortunately, with the CD being the dominant format, most of saw these great albums covers at palm-sized five inches wide, unlike the wide vinyl sleeves of the 1970s and those 12-inch '80s song singles. Still, graphic design in the '90s was the new rock & roll, with art collectives like Stylorouge, the Designers Republic, and Pen & Pixel considered as cool and popular as music acts. These best album covers of the '90s paid homage to classic rock and jazz, pushed hip-hop music into high art, and looked to the future.
Your 24-hour itinerary: The Wallet Watcher
Sure, Chicago's no New York or San Francisco, but it ain't exactly Des Moines, either. Our outstanding culinary scene isn't without a hefty price tag; Michelin-starred restaurants and mind-blowing boozy concoctions don't come cheap. But just because you're strapped for cash doesn't mean you can't soak up the best of the city. From cheap eats to inexpensive shows and free museum days, Chicago’s an incredibly easy city to explore on a budget. You won’t have to go dumpster-diving to survive in Chicago—unless that’s what you’re into.
Things to do off the 606 at Churchill Park
The Churchill Park is bound to be one of the more heavily trafficked entrances to the Bloomingdale Trail. For one, the park has long been a popular spot for area canines and humans looking to play. Secondly, this gateway to the 606 is the closest to the heart of Wicker Park, one of the major culture hubs on the North Side. The neighborhood is loaded with rock venues, taco restaurants, nightclubs, boutiques and galleries. Oh, in case you're wondering, the park is not named for Winston Churchill, but rather the Churchill Cabinet Company, which owned the lot up until 1973. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to the 606
Things to do off the 606 at Milwaukee Leavitt (Park 567)
The rather robotically named Park 567 is the first of the finished ground-level access parks to the 606. The greenery of the Bloomingdale Trail spills over from the elevated track into grassy recreation area with large boulders for a rest. It sits at the intersection of Milwaukee and Leavitt, on the western edge of Wicker Park and Bucktown. Hungry hikers can hop off the 606 for a slice of pizza or pop into a wine-centric liquor store for a picnic bottle. Here's what to do around this major entrance and exit to the 606. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to the 606
27 Chicago hacks to make your life easier
From the booze to the blues, city life in Chicago has its perks, but to live here like a boss, it helps to know some shortcuts and tricks. After moving to Chicago, your first year is full of learning and experiencing. You know: sitting in mysteriously wet CTA seats, arguing about ketchup, watching umbrellas crumple in the wind. After a few more years, you're able to tick off most Chicago rites of passage. Then it's time to get 50 Shades of Grey on this town. Become a master of Chicago with these tips accumulated over decades of living here. Sorry, we still can't do anything about the cold. Getting around 1) Want to get north-south quickly, or vice versa? Take Larrabee Street. Fastest way east and west? Grand Ave.Grand Avenue is a wide-open, low-traffic diagonal line from 400 N Western to Narragansset and Fullerton, making it a superhighway for Humboldt Park and southwestern Logan Square residents. Heading vertically on the map? The lesser-used Larrabee is sandwiched between the more trafficked Halsted and Clark Streets. 2) Take the Water Taxi to Chinatown.Riding a boat up to Ping Tom Park is a quick and lovely way to Chinatown, especially if you're coming in to the city via Metra. 3) Use the Pedway system.When slush blankets the sidewalks, temperatures begin to drop or rain starts to fall, the Pedway is the route of choice for savvy downtown pedestrians. The underground system of tunnels stretches across the city, allowing you to move between CTA stations, City Hall, Macy's,
12 ways to be an a-hole in Chicago
Last month, we gave you 27 life hacks to make living in Chicago a little bit easier. The article set off an ongoing stream of other shortcut suggestions. If we learned one thing, it's that everyone wants to save a little time and money—and everyone has a tip on how to do so. That being said, some of this behavior makes you a complete asshole. There's garden-variety bastard behavior, like placing dibs on a parking spot, but it takes a certain level of entitled assholeishness to pull off an act like the ones listed below. Mind you, these are all things that we have observed being done… and, okay, fine, have perhaps done ourselves in moments of foggy morality. So, if you're fine with being despised by waiters and baristas (trust us, we have been waiters and baristas and we loathed this behavior), consider these Do's. But in civilized society, these are Don'ts. 1. Upstream to get a taxiYou know the move. Especially if you go out in River North. You stand on the corner and watch someone in the middle of the block flag for taxi. When the fish is about to bite the hook, you jump out and snag the cab first. Okay, so this is a more a move to save time than money, but it is despicable. 2. Complain at a movie theater to get free passesHaving worked for a large multiplex chain, we can attest that employees are trained to just throw free passes at anyone who complains. So, after a show, head to manager and bitch about the sound, or a baby, or the power of the projector bulb, whatever. Thi
15 Chicago stereotypes that aren't true (and 3 that totally are)
We all do it. Someone says "New Yorker," and you might picture Carrie Bradshaw or Andrew Dice Clay. Or mention "typical LA," and an image of a movie producer with a ponytail doing hot yoga in his car while drinking cold-pressed juice springs into the mind. It's silly and it irks the people who live in these giant, diverse cities. Likewise, the rest of America thinks of us as sports bumpkins content to eat pork products while our criminal leaders suck money from our wallets. If you're looking for ways to piss us off, assuming these following misconceptions to be universally true is a start. That being said, sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason. So we've included three facts that are hard to argue with. We are not as ambitious or as smart as East Coasters. Chicago is not the safety school of life. We have no fashion sense. I have yet to see someone stroll into the office in sweatpants, nor do black Crocs count as formal footwear here, as I often witness when I visit my parents in Florida. We are all in the mob or a gang. When you call your grandparents, it's always, "I knitted you a bulletproof vest" and "Don't get shot!" It's called “The Windy City” is because of the wind. No, and it's not because of our politicians, either. It actually traces back to a baseball rivalry with Cincinnati and had more to do with our inflated sense of self. No wonder Kanye is from here. We all wish we lived in New York or Los Angeles. Believe it or not, we would not all jump at the first cha
Who cares more: Chicago or Downstate Illinois?
As those who live here know, Illinois is two states—Chicago and the rest of it. Once you get past Kankakee, you can feel like you're in the South, as the suburbs give way to farmland and country music takes over the airwaves. Also, looking at any election result will tell you Chicago is a blue island in a red sea. But how different are we, really? Using Google Trends, we looked up some popular topics and compared their search volume for 2015 in Chicago vis-à-vis Downstate Illinois (well, the cities of Champaign, Springfield and Decatur, specifically). The results are amusing, if not surprising. In these "interest over time" graphs, Chicago is blue, and downstate is red, naturally. Who cares more about… Obama Downstate cares more about Obama. Fox News Downstate cares more about Fox News. "Uptown Funk" Downstate cared more about the Mark Ronson hit, but now Chicago does. One Direction Downstate cared a little more about 1D, but interest dropped off once Zayn left. Chicago still holds out hope the boys can keep the magic going. Ammunition Downstate cares more about ammunition, though interest dropped off about the same time as apathy toward One Direction sunk in. Coincidence? Pizza Chicago cares more about pizza. Weed Downstate cares slightly more about weed. They must go for different munchies than pizza. The Bible Downstate cares a little more about the Bible. Bears Chicago cares a little more about the Bears. Cubs Downstate cares a little more about the Cubs. Porn
The 7 worst conflicts on the Lollapalooza schedule
Today, Lollapalooza released the complete schedule for its 2015 festival in Grant Park. We already knew that Friday, July 31, was overstuffed with great acts, culminating in Sir Paul McCartney shaking his 73-year-old mop top on the main stage. Now we know just what difficult decisions we'll have to make as we jog back and forth down a crowded Columbus Avenue on Day One. Saturday and Sunday seemed weaker, lineup-wise, but the weekend presents some tough choices, as well. These are the worst conflicts on this year's Lollapalooza schedule. 7. Saturday: Sturgill Simpson, 2:45pm vs. Charli XCX, 3pm Okay, an outlaw country revivalist and candy Britpop princess have little in common, but we love 'em both. Complicating matters is the great Django Django, who hit the south field just before Charli at 2:15pm. This is why we wear running shoes. 6. Friday: Flying Lotus, 9pm vs. The Weeknd, 8:30pm First, it sucks that both of these LA avant-soul acts are going up against a Beatle. It's smart to counter-program against McCartney, for those kids who don't give a damn about their parents' heroes, but why slot two acts that probably appeal to the same crowd against each other? 5. Friday: Alt-J, 6:30pm vs. First Aid Kit, 6:30pm We dug both 2014 albums from these progressive (sorta) folk acts, pushing bucolic pop in fresh directions. Alt-J's weird new shapes always draw us in, but those Swedish harmonies are sweet as well. 4. Saturday: Toro Y Moi, 3:45pm vs. Death from Above 1979, 4pm It's
The 12 biggest music reunions and comebacks that still haven't happened
Music festivals are running out of worthy headliners. How else do you explain Sam Smith? As these massive concert events balloon in size, they must justify their hefty ticket prices by nabbing Hall of Famers and household names. Booking at least one long-awaited reunion has become an unspoken requirement for summer fests. In recent years, critical darlings like the Stone Roses and the Replacements have returned to larger audiences. Lollapalooza dusted off Black Sabbath. Ride, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine have led the shoegazer revival. Dolly Parton dazzled Glasto with a headlining set—and smokin' "Yakety Sax" solo. Problem is, the biz is running out of these big names. The Ramones are all dead, and the Beastie Boys can never come back (it totally sucks typing that sentence). Pink Floyd is full of such miserable, grudge-fucking bastards, it will never happen. But there are some big gets out there, however unlikely they might seem. We call them the White Whales. Here are the 12 biggest Moby Dicks of the music industry, and the odds of their returns. The Eccentric Geniuses David Bowie The Thin White Duke has been active lately. His comeback album, The Next Day, was brilliant. He popped up on an Arcade Fire album. The MCA exhibit "David Bowie Is…" floored us. Despite his age and that lollipop incident, Bowie's return to the stage seems more a matter of when, not if. One last time for Millennials. Please? Odds: 4:1 Kate Bush There's never been anything quite like Bush. Last fa
You need a picture of this awesome new Chicago mural
Yesterday, a roving art collective dubbed Greetings From put the finishing touches on a fresh mural in Logan Square, and it's postcard perfect. Or, well, pure Instagram porn, to put it in modern terms—though the design is a straight-up homage to those vacation postcards from the mid-20th century. If Bruce Springsteen hadn't done it already with Asbury Park, this would be a great Wilco album cover. If you're looking to snap a photo standing before it, here's how to find it: The painting was applied to an old plumbing supply building along the Blue Line tracks, off the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Prindiville Street. Greetings From, a collaboration between graffiti artist Victor Ving and photographer Lisa Beggs, has just started its trek across the country, with a mission to create these murals in American towns for a year. We're lucky to be an early stop. So far, they've hit the New York City area and Canton, Ohio. Breaking down the image, we spot deep dish pizza, a hot dog dragged through the garden, the Gold Coast, the Illinois Centennial Monument in Logan Square, Muddy Waters, every major pro sports team logo aside from the Fire (poor Fire), Millennium Park and the "Save Ferris" water tower from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Let us know if you can figure out what's in that middle "C." Molten lava under the lake? A doughnut frosting spill into the river? That seems plausible.
Taste of Chicago 2015 brings Spoon, Weezer, Erykah Badu
The Taste of Chicago keeps getting better. Well, musically, at least. After last year's strong lineup of Janelle Monáe, Nickel Creek and Jeff Tweedy (who was rained out, alas), the Grant Park food feast has roped in Weezer (July 8), Erykah Badu (July 9) and Spoon (July 11) for 2015. Still solid enough to be headlining a festival like Pitchfork or Riot Fest, these '90s veterans are bringing some great material to the Petrillo Music Shell. Seated pavilion tickets run $15–$50, while the lawn remains free. So picnic, crack open a bottle of Steven's, and awaken ancient feelings as Weezer rips through "Say It Ain't So." The other headliner slots deliver more predictably Taste-y fare in the Chieftains (July 10) and Maze with Frankie Beverly (July 12). Tickets go on sale Friday, May 15. Here's the schedule so far: July 8 Weezer + opener to be announced June 8. July 9 Erykah Badu + opener to be announced June 22. July 10 The Chieftains + Special Consensus. July 11 Spoon + Houndmouth. July 12 Maze featuring Frankie Beverly + DJ Duane Powell. Additionally, the schedule for the second stage, the free Bud Light Stage, is as follows. July 8"It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got that Swing – Celebrate Jazz Music" 12pm Stacie Sandoval1:30pm Contrabanda3pm Lowdown Brass Band4:45pm The Brazilionaires6:30pm Hypnotic Brass Ensemble July 9"Good Vibrations – Pop Music Day" 12pm Robbie Gold Band1:30pm Jamie Lono & Noble Heart3pm Blah Blah Blah4:45pm Ryan Powers & The Secret Weapons6:30pm The Future
Lollapalooza crowd prefers cocaine, opioids and pills
A new study by DrugAbuse.com has compared the drug use at popular summer music festivals around the globe. It is not particularly revelatory to learn that Marley Fest loves weed, Coachella digs its booger sugar, Electric Daisy Carnival is fueled on Molly, and Burning Man…well, Burning Man sucks up every damn chemical from crack and LSD to mushrooms and speed. The website tracked Instagram mentions of illegal substances, culling over 3.5 million posts. Now, social media is a somewhat dubious statistical basis for a drug survey, but there is no great way to track illicit activity. Besides, people blown out of their mind are probably too blown out of their mind to realize how stupid it is to boast about taking crack on Instagram. So, where did our local festivals place in these rankings of 12 different substances? Only Lollapalooza pops up, and it fails to lead in any category, which is no bad thing. Lolla is the third most popular festival for cocaine and pills, and the second most popular for opioids. Nearly 11 percent of all Instagram posts coming out of Lollapalooza mention coke, according to this data. Though with Metallica and Paul McCartney headlining in 2015, that could easily change to gas fumes and Viagra. Check out the complete results below.
Chicago looks eerie-beautiful in the heavy fog
Are you in a local goth band? Hopefully you ran outside with your camera today. A thick blanket of fog rolled in over downtown Chicago this afternoon. The vibe was so super Joy Division–y, and naturally every amateur photographer with a cellphone was snapping up dramatic shots of the skyline under a cloud. We scoured Instagram for some cool pics to document the meteorological wonder. Montrose Beach looks like a wonderfully lonely place to throw stones into Lake Michigan while listening to the Smiths. Zack Snyder is so bummed he's not here for some moody Batman filming. Cut off the skyscrapers, and Chicago kind of looks like Little Rock. Or the Arctic. Workers in the Loop stare longingly out the window from their desks, dreaming up Twilight fan fiction. I know it's a filter and all, but the river looks ominous. Not a great time for an architectural tour. But a killer time if you're in a doom metal band. Is this how Wiz Khalifa sees the world? I'm totally going to make a drone remix of Wilco. See? This guy seems happy about it.
We totally guess the final headliner of North Coast Music Fest
Last week, North Coast Music Festival announced its lineup. Well, almost all of it. The name at the top of the bill was not revealed. Today, the jam-electro-rap-friendly fest dropped a hint as to who that act might be with the image above. Fans can take a stab on Instagram and winners will receive a four-pack of tickets. We are here to help you cheat. Countless band images pass by our eyes each day. We rule out Modest Mouse and Umphrey's McGee—both six-pieces. These are our best educated guesses at the quintet. 1) Moe. It's gotta be a jam band, right? The height distribution seems spot on here. 2) Incubus Remember these guys? They're on tour again. They're here in late July, but their tour wraps up at the end of August. 3) STS9 Another regular. However, the Sound Tribe played last year. 4) The Decemberists No Chicago festival dates this summer, which feels odd. However, the silhouettes seem all wrong, hair wise. 5) The Goonies Chunk, Data, Mouth, Mikey and Sloth. Hey, it's the 30th anniversary—you never know!
Ride, Purity Ring headline a tech-heavy Pygmalion Festival 2015
We have always considered the Pygmalion Festival, a great downstate music and literature event, a sort of Pitchfork Festival Jr. Indeed, the annual summer music festival in Champaign has booked an impressive, Pitchfork-worthy lineup for its 2015 edition, September 23–27. On the bill are reunited shoegazer pioneer Ride, the electro-pop duos Purity Ring and Sylvan Esso, as well as Tune-Yards, Betty Who and Bully. The top headliner remains TBA. The Pitchforkiness of it all runs much deeper, as some faces from the website like Jessica Hopper, Chris Kaskie and Brendan Stusoy will be on hand to speak and read. Taking a cue from SXSW, Pygmalion is adding a tech element this year, nabbing name speakers like Stephen Wolfram (the man behind the amazing WolframAlpha), sports/film writer Will Leitch and many more. Check out the complete lineup below.