Summer Camp for Big Kids

May 17, 2009

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Still don’t have anything to do next weekend for Memorial Day? Consider Summer Camp, a 3 day long music festival at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Il. Summer Camp features over 60 bands on 5 stages and offers a wide variety of music genres so anyone can enjoy. Bands from Moe., Willie Nelson, and Umphrey’s McGee to Method Man and Redman will all be playing at the festival.

The festival also features many less well known and local bands. I’m looking forward to Daphne Willis & Co, a band that I have heard many times at bars in Chicago. I am glad to see this band play at such a big event.

Also at this years festival is the 2009 MLB road show and hot air balloon rides. The road show includes an MLB authentic collection merchandise room, a gaming lounge featuring MLB titles on XBox 360 and Playstation3 on plasma screen TVs, live broadcast of MLB games, batting cage, and a speed pitch cage.

Tickets are on sale now for $155. However, this does not include late night shows (of course they make you pay for the good shows). Late night shows are an extra $15 each.


The High Price of Art

April 29, 2009

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Are you on a budget and trying to experience the arts in Chicago? If you answered yes, steer clear of the Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute is raising their admission price from $12 to $18 starting May 23. The price increase will be in effect after a week of free admission celebrating the opening of the new Modern Wing.

The Art Institute is increasing the admission fee in response to an “overall rise in operating costs for the museum”. To compensate for the higher admission fee The Art Institute is eliminating costs for special exhibitions and the checkroom.

For those of us on a budget, don’t fret, the Art Institute offers free admission at certain times during the week. Every Thursday after 5 p.m. throughout the year and Fridays during the summer after 5 p.m. the museum is free to enter. In addition, the whole month of February is free to enter. If you wanted to see the new Modern Wing your best bet is to go during opening week from May 16th to May 22nd when the museum will have no admission fee.

If your still trying to go to the Art Institute during normal hours parts of the museum are accessible for free. The North and South gardens, the new sculpture terrace on the third floor of the Modern Wing, and the new Ryan Education Center in the Modern Wing are all open free of charge.


Chicago’s Own Criss Angel

April 27, 2009

Walking out of a bar late night you may stumble upon a mysterious gentleman floating a lit cigarette in mid air. No, this is not your intoxicated mind playing a trick on you. This is Ryan Shadow, “the newest magician to hit the industry” according to his Twitter.

Ryan Shadow is a 27 year-old who grew up in Wrigleyville and now performs illusions in the Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park areas. Shadow can be seen wearing a black leather jacket with a skeleton design on it and white sunglasses with the Chicago skyline drawn on the lenses. If you ask me Shadow’s style is suspiciously similar to Criss Angel, a self-proclaimed “Mind Freak” and fellow illusionist. Angel has a show on AE TV and also a Cirque du Soleil live show called “Believe” at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Shadow’s MySpace page boasts that “unlike Criss Angel, without the use of camera tricks and paid actors(and unpaid), Shadow keeps it true to his audience and fans.”

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Shadow was recently featured on ABC 7’s “Someone You Should Know” where the illusionist was filmed during a street performance outside of a Cubs game.

I had the pleasure of meeting Shadow just a few weeks ago outside of Uncle Fatty’s Rum Resort on Sheffield Avenue in Lincoln Park. I was in awe as a man walked by my twirling a cigarette in mid air with his tongue. He then took a lit cigarette and put it out in my friend’s shirt and made the cigarette disappear without even a burn mark in her shirt. He did tricks with rubber bands, a few more tricks with cigarettes, and then the most amazing card trick I have ever seen. In this trick Shadow asked me to pick a card and I picked a 6 of diamonds. He shuffled my card back into the deck and told me he was going to find it. He pulled out a 4 of diamonds and asked if it was my card. When I replied that it wasn’t the card I had picked he warned me to prepare myself because this was going to mess with my head. He then shook the card and it turned into the 6 of diamonds!

If you watch the “Someone You Should Know” feature you can see this exact same trick being done. Yes I know its a bit sketchy and not as magical that the cards are the exact same, a 4 and 6 of diamonds, but come on it still blows my mind trying to figure out how he did that.


Lollapalooza Lineup Announced Tomorrow

April 20, 2009


The 2009 Lollapalooza Lineup will be released tomorrow, April 21st. Billboard has has reported that Kings of Leon, Jane’s Addiction, Depeche Mode, and the Beastie Boys will all be playing at Lollapalooza.

Lollapalooza founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman created the festival in 1991 as a farewell tour for his band.  Jane’s addiction has reunited and will play at Lollapalooza for the first time since the festival began.

Lollapalooza takes place from August 7-9  at Grant Park in Chicago.  Early Bird 3-day passes for Lollapalooza which went on sale March 31st for $175 have already sold out.  Advance 3-day passes are on sale right now for $190.