Month: April 2010

There Goes My Hero

Gozamos April 30, 2010
They don’t wear leather pants and lick microphones. Panties aren’t flung onstage during their sets and they (almost never) trash their hotel rooms. Wednesday Heroes aren’t your typical Rock Gods.
Made up of Jerrod Begora, Greg Johnson, and PT Hylton, Wednesday Heroes is the midwest’s supreme comic book rock band. Their songs are clever, catchy and all sorts of geeky-cool fun. ‘Captain, My Captain’ is a memorable ditty about Captain America and his legendary battles against Nazis and Communists. ‘The Ballad of a Bland Hero’ is a slow, make-out jam about the much lamer (at least compared to Wolverine) Cyclops. They even have a hilarious music video (complete with a sexy hot tub scene) to accompany their pop song ‘Invisible Girl’ which outlines the trials and tribulations of dating, you guessed it, the Invisible Girl. Read more

Local Hero: Sifu Yamel Torres

Gozamos April 29, 2010
All photos courtesy Analu Lopez Photography
Sifu Yamel Torres’ decades long career in martial arts began when he was just twelve years old and he saw his first Bruce Lee movie. His interest piqued, Sifu Torres began training in his New Chinatown Chicago neighborhood. Since then, his Seven Star Mantis Chinese Martial Arts School (3717 N. Ravenswood) has been arming Chicagoans with knowledge of the traditional arts of Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, and Qi Gong. Sifu Torres takes time out of his busy teaching and training schedule to answer some of our questions. Read more

Attack of the Mega-Strollers

Chicago Tribune’s RedEye April 22, 2010

The sun is shining, the trees are budding, Chicagoans everywhere are shedding their winter coats and coming out of hibernation. Spring is (timidly) coming into focus and the sidewalks are suddenly thick with a plague more plentiful than a zombie outbreak and more annoying than Rod Blagojevich: enormous strollers. It seems that, overnight, parents ditched streamlined, fold-able strollers for baby buggies so obnoxiously huge they rival SUVs.
Like an ant that wandered into a radioactive lab in a ’50s movie, strollers have blown up to monstrous proportions. There’s a war out there. It’s being fought on sidewalks, in crowded “L” cars and in malls with even the widest of aisles. Baby carriages have been supersized– and you had better get out of the way.

The Second City Shimmy

Gozamos April 17, 2010
All photos by Luis Anthony Chavez
If you made it through the packed house and bellied up to the bar, you’d see the very appropriate plaque mounted on the Blue Bayou’s bar: “Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez”. Indeed, the good times were rolling. They were also shimming, shaking, twirling, and doing some pretty impressive back bends at Friday night’s Windy City Burlesque Fest’s opening night party.
The long awaited Windy City Burlesque Fest kicked things off with two shows featuring a few dozen performers including Chicago all-stars and some of burlesque’s brightest stars from across the country. It was a warm night in the Second City, but things really heated up inside as the shoulder-to-shoulder audience roared, whistled, and begged their favorite bombshells to roll down their stockings. Read more

Red Hot to Trot

Gozamos April 15, 2010
Feature photo by Nikki Moreno
All other photos from Annie’s Flickr Stream
You’d be surprised to know that Annie is quiet. She considers her next words as thoughtfully as she cuts apart her grilled cheese sandwich and a cloud of calm settles over the conversation. When she speaks, it’s always clever, unassuming, and devoid of any sort of pretension. If it wasn’t for that pink velvet coat, Ann-Margret red hair, and supermodel height, her unruffled demeanor would allow her to blend right into the crowd.
As it is, Red Hot Annie’s career is one that makes old ladies clutch their pearl necklaces and conservative Southern senators gasp in shock: Annie is a burlesque dancer. And she’s damn proud of it. Read more

Local Hero: Michelle Garcia

Gozamos April 11, 2010
All images courtesy of  The Bleeding Heart Bakery
The Bleeding Heart Bakery opened in a tiny stand at a humble farmers market in 2004 and has grown into a cupcake empire with two freestanding bakeries, a cook book coming out this month and a huge cult of icing-smeared followers. The bakeries use local, organic, and sustainable ingredients to provide scrumptious pastries with punk rock flavors (this month’s cupcakes include Strawberry Shortcake, Veruca Salt, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon amongst others). Michelle Garcia, co-owner alongside husband Vinny, takes time out from her busy bakery schedule to answer some of our questions. Read more

The Devil in Derby Skates

Gozamos April 9, 2010
Juanna Rumbel laces her skates tighter and watches her competitors circle the flat track rink like sharks. It’s a big crowd tonight. People are already spilling into the upper decks of the UIC Pavilion and they’ve sold a record number of group sales. Their faces are painted, they’re clutching homemade signs, and they’re already dancing in the stands to the punk rock theme songs blasting in the stadium. Later, when the tickets sales are calculated, the Windy City Roller Derby fans will break the attendance record.
And to think, it all started with a bake sale. Read more

Talk Derby to Me

Gozamos April 6, 2010
The UIC Pavilion rumbles with anticipation as the “Eye of the Tiger” begins. Down on the floor a few dozen kids gather rink side, bouncing with eager energy. In the stands, the fans are already screaming. They’re holding hand crafted signs and wearing tee shirts broadcasting their favorite teams. There are two tweens a few rows away dressed like their favorite derby girls (complete with striped tube socks and fake tattoos). Suddenly, the players enter the arena. The roar of the crowd is deafening and the kids on the floor reach forward to nab high-fives as the athletes speed by.
This is the antidote for a boring Saturday night. Read more