Showing posts with label Chicago. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago. Show all posts

Saturday, January 9, 2016

David Bowie: Change, Influences & Chicago Ties

At Bowie Is, MCA Chicago. By Dimitra DeFotis
A good quote for the new year from rock star genius David Bowie:
"I feel confident imposing change on myself. It's a lot more fun progressing than looking back. That's why I need to throw curve balls," Bowie said.
With yet another album from Bowie, a man of many styles, the Chicago Tribune's longtime music critic writes for the BBC on the surprising
list of U.S. artists who influenced Bowie, who Bowie encouraged or who collaborated with Bowie.

I shot the photo at right at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art at the 2014 Bowie Is retrospective, which was financed there with support from some big Chicago hedge fund managers. Here's the BBC piece:

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20160108-space-oddities-david-bowies-hidden-influences

UPDATE: I wrote this post the day Bowie died, not realizing he was on his deathbed. But he had just released his album. The New York Times obituary notes he was 69 and had cancer, Don't we all wish we could go the career retrospective in his honor, planned for March at Carnegie Hall. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

How To Build A Snowman

Chicago snow rarely cooperates: off from school, the snow is wet enough but not too wet for a snowman with two eyes made out of coal -- or pine cones - and twigs for arms. But a hat is de rigeur.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Love & Partisanship

"Love, charity, patriotism, duty. That is what makes America great ... We are not as divided as our politics suggest." 
President Barack Obama, victory speech, Chicago, Illinois. Nov. 7, 2012

  • Obama's victory video & transcript here.
  • Mitt Romney's concession video & transcript here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Iraqi Christians

A week ago, I got a note from someone in Baghdad saying that insurgents were offering $100 rewards for murdering Christians there. Today, the New York Times writes that Iraq's Christians are fleeing en masse because they feel unprotected, and they are going to the Kurdish region and even Turkey - an irony given historic ethnic conflicts. Many of these Iraqi Christians consider themselves Assyrians, the ancient Mesopotamian tribe that predated Christianity and was present across the Ottoman Empire. (Read the book "Not Even My Name," containing Sano Halo's testimony about her starvation march through Turkey, dictated to her daughter Thea Halo.) Following World War I, some Assyrians fled from Iran to Iraq, where others had lived for centuries. They also went to Chicago, where the Assyrian (Chaldean) Church has a quiet presence. This issue illustrates how overzealous missionaries divided Chrisitianity and rendered it powerless in some regions. We should all be one.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

RIP Abbey Lincoln

The great jazz singer Abbey Lincoln died Saturday on New York's Upper West Side. She was 80.  It was in Chicago, where she was born, that I first heard someone gush about her. Later, visiting Mahattan one hot summer to see a Byzantine exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I stumbled upon a listing in the New York Times arts section: Live tonight! Abbey Lincoln at the Iridium jazz club (then a dank basement venue across from Lincoln Center.) I was with my mom, and we sat just a few tables from the tiny stage, where we could watch Lincoln feel and phrase the music. Ron Carter was on bass. It was so amazing, so memorable. Ever since, her songs stops me in my tracks for the words she chose - pensive, hopeful and bold. No wonder. She told National Public Radio in 1986 that "a song is a prayer ... that I speak over and over ... It's amplified, and it goes into peoples' ears, and it'll manifest in my life ... so I am particular about the messages that come from me."
Her prolific career included movie roles, and these favorite albums: Abbey Sings Billie (as in Holiday, a queen, Lincoln says in this interview) and Wholly Earth. The latter offers a bitingly sweet duet, "It's Supposed to Be Love." (Also on YouTube is a video compliation including "First Song."
It's sobering to read in the NYTimes' obituary that she was derided in the 1960s for expressing Blacks' civil rights. Rest in Peace, Abbey Lincoln.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

NYer: Chicago=Beige

This week’s New Yorker magazine delivers reasons to love the Windy City based on high-end shopping, while delivering snotty slams about Chicago.
Here's a Praise Chicago short list from the New Yorker article:
1. Garbage is confined in rear alleys. So civilized.
2. The Marshall Field’s legacy.
3. “We’re not into names like Prada.” (Just “O”, Ultimo and Ikram Goldman -Michelle Obama's fashion guru.)
4. “It’s easier to be on top of the pile here.”
5. Chicago corruption is more democratic.
6. The Chicago Architecture Foundation divides the city into 237 neighborhoods, many described by hopefuls as “the next Meatpacking District.”
7. From designer Cynthia Rowley, a native: “The community supports you. That’s what gave me the courage and confidence to go to New York.”
And here's a handy list of Chicago's boutiques by neighborhood.