The Columbia Chronicle

One giant leap for ukulele

By Meryl Fulinara

December 1, 2008

Not just for the islands of paradise and the sands of tropical beaches, the ukulele is going where no man has gone before-to outer space.The tiny four-stringed instrument is the star of a cabaret show at Silvie's Lounge, 1902 W. Irving Park Road, which happens only four times a year. On Dec. 6, the ukulele open mic night, themed "Uke Galactica," is the last show of the year and will explore the universe and beyond.The free ...

‘Depart’-ing from the rest

By Bertha Serrano

December 1, 2008

From jewelry to baby blankets, crafters and their goods have created a significant presence in Chicago the past couple of years. Though there are many different craft shows, not one is the same.The Depart-ment craft show will be celebrating its 5th anniversary Dec. 5-7 at AV-aerie, 200 W. Fulton St. The three-day show will showcase handmade items from more than 100 artists, and the theme this time will be holiday gifts.Since t...

Ice cream makes nice

By Meryl Fulinara

December 1, 2008

Kris Swanberg received an ice cream maker as a wedding present last year. Much to the skepticism of her friends, she said she started using it and now sells her homemade ice cream at local grocers.Swanberg started selling her ice cream on Oct. 20 at Green Grocer, 1402 W. Grand Ave., and officially started making her frozen treat under her company's name-Nice Cream-a month before that."I make all this ice cream for myself," ...

Bringing sexy back to Christmas

By Megan Ferringer

December 1, 2008

This Holiday season, Chicago's burlesque stars are joining forces to bring a whole new meaning to Santa's naughty list.Mixing sexy gyrating moves with classic Christmas sing-a-longs and polishing it all off with a cherry on top-festive red and green pasties-Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., is bringing together all nooks and crannies of Chicago's diverse burlesque scene on one steamy stage of holiday fun. A jo...

Locals expand music scene to their own basement

By Steven Schnarr

December 1, 2008

Just off the California Blue Line el stop, small clusters of people locked up their bikes against a fence, while others, dressed in winter caps and scarves, excitedly strolled to the venue. They quickly packed a basement with fans shoulder-to-shoulder, as a number of them remained outside puffing on cigarettes. More than 100 people showed up at the house throughout the night on Nov. 22 for the housemates' first show.Sabrina*, ...

All Schnarr Allstar

By Steven Schnarr

November 24, 2008

I've never been a big fan of buying clothing. I like trying on new clothes and trying to maintain my own unique sense of style, but buying them just seems so unnecessary. And no, I'm not talking about stealing.In the past two years, I can recall spending around $76 on clothing and accessories, $58 of which was for the past two Halloweens. Today, I try to get all of my clothes for free or at least second-hand.Most college ...

Life-size scavenger hunt

By Meryl Fulinara

November 24, 2008

Black Friday causes shopping mayhem everywhere, and Chicago's Magnificent Mile is no exception. With the hustle and bustle of crowds hurrying to buy holiday gifts, it would seem like the perfect set-up to recreate a real world "Where's Waldo?"Finders Keepers is a group that specializes in custom-tailored scavenger hunts. The group's first event is a real-life version of "Where's Waldo?" that will be held downtown on the Magnifi...

‘Milk’ star spills details

By Megan Ferringer

November 24, 2008

James Franco has always come across as the kind of man to effortlessly make the ladies swoon with his dark and mysterious sex appeal. He has at least followed this template since 2001, after the unwaivering label of a teenage heartthrob was established with his starring role as the brooding James Dean in a made-for-TV movie.But it seems that Franco is loosening himself up a bit. Drifting through 2008's Pineapple Express in...

A ‘Damme’ fine actor

By David Orlikoff

November 24, 2008

The latest Jean-Claude Van Damme film is a major departure from the international action star's body of work, and it's not just because he's playing himself.While JCVD, by writer-director Mabrouk El Mechri, begins in a familiar action sequence-with even more assailants than unique mechanisms for their dispatch-it could hardly be called an action movie. The opener, with all its gloss and glory, is revealed at once comically...

‘Pitchfork 500’ hits the right note

By Josh Sambdman

November 24, 2008

Deny it all you want, but the Chicago-based Pitchfork Media has became the defacto king of online music journalism. While it often borders on the pretentious, and the rating system often makes as much sense as a shoddy constructed arthouse film, let's face it-It's entertaining. The New York Times has cited Pitchfork as "one of the more important indie music tastemakers in any medium." Countless bands have benefited from the...

Bigger than New Year’s

By Bertha Serrano

November 24, 2008

It's the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and Michael Pryzbylski has anticipated this night all year, every year since he turned 21. He packs his bags and heads home to Munster, Ind., leaving behind all the things that will remind him of his sports management classes at Columbia. School is out for the next four days and the possibilities are endless. It's party time.Many become shopaholics on Black Friday, a hectic shopping d...

Chicago’s music scene makes some ‘noise’

By Steven Schnarr

November 24, 2008

Some say today's music scene in Chicago is flooded with bands trying to promote only themselves. But on Nov. 14, nine bands played their first show with the slogan, "Monogamy is dead. We play together."The group calls themselves the Chicago Noise Machine, which was formed in an effort to create a music scene with the absence of individual egos. At 7 p.m., the doors opened for their first show at Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison...

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