Lollapalooza vs. Mother Nature

Stormy weather can't stop the music


Forget Black Sabbath, The Black Keys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, and the hundred or so other acts that played to packed Grant Park crowds this weekend: the weather was the real star of Lollapalooza 2012.
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Lollapalooza as Chicago's time machine to youth

Flashback weekend


I remember my first Lollapalooza. It was in 1994 at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The music festival was in its fourth year of traveling across the country on a mission to expose underground artists to the masses.
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A nerdy word for love

Chicago-set romantic comedy hits the Siskel


The Gene Siskel Film Center continues its dedication to local cinema this week with screenings of an independent romantic comedy filmed throughout the city of Chicago. Directed by Bill Sebastian, the film Qwerty takes its name from the modern-day layout of keyboards. (The letters Q-W-E-R-T-Y are the first six running left to right on the top row of text.) Qwerty is an odd, quirky word. Itís one not used in everyday conversation. And itís one of the rare words in the English language in which the letter Q is not followed immediately by the letter U.
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Homemade movies take stage

Siskel spotlights locals


The Gene Siskel Film Centerís commitment to its hometown is commendable. The downtown institution opens its doors consistently to films with Chicago ties, from slick productions with large scopes and budgets to small, intimate affairs that are obviously labors of love.
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Pitchfork 2012


Pitchfork Music Festival wrapped up its seventh year in Union Park this weekend (eight, if you count its first iteration as Intonation Music Festival). On a weekend with steaming hot weather and torrential downpours, the crowd came out in good spirits to see musicians strut their stuff. Read More...

Stick a fork in it

Best bands aren't headlining this weekend at Pitchfork


It seems like music festivals are popping up like gophers around Chicago these days. From Lollapalooza to small street fests, thereís no shortage of great bands playing in and around Chicago. Union Park has emerged as one of the hot spots in the city, hosting at least three festivals this summer. But this weekend, the event that pioneered the park as a venue for music festivals is returning.
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Enjoy the silence

Drawing Graceland Cemetery


The Chicago Cultural Center has been dark this year. Donít worry ó the place hasnít closed down. Nor is this a reference to the gutting of the institutionís artistic programming that has occurred on Mayor Emanuelís watch, though comparisons are apt. Rather, the place has been fascinated with death.
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Game on

Long-awaited arcade bar opens in Wicker Park


Playing Pong, Pac-Man or Halo with friends cramped together on couches in basement recreation rooms is fun, without question, but it canít compare to the thrill of experiencing them in a physical, brick-and-mortar arcade. Wild lights bounce off of games in the darkness. Cheesy sound effects and game soundtracks compete with each other for air space. Patrons huddle around games to watch prodigies destroy high scores. Itís a vibe that can be replicated at home.
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Mr. Mom redux

Local film looks at the new face of fatherhood


The joys, laughs, hopes, struggles, tears and fears that hitch rides with babies when they enter this world are relatable to all, whether a parent or not. Theyíre universal concerns. And they make for good cinema. From Father of the Bride to Roman Polanskiís latest, Carnage, movies have examined parenthood from all sides. The world of single and stay-at-home dads has been grossly underrepresented, though.
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Reeling in the years

The Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival takes a break


In the 31 years since its inception, the organizers behind Reeling: The Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival have had little time to catch their breath. ďItís been sort of a chronic issue,Ē said Brenda Webb, who has directed the festival ó the second oldest festival of its kind in the world ó since the beginning, while juggling her role as head of Chicago Filmmakers, a media arts organization that puts together cinematic events and programming in the city.
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