Essays, Interviews, Observations, Pop Culture, Stories, and other Dodginess

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Shameless randoms…

Posted on January 5, 2012

Shameless on Showtime is one of the best things on TV right now. Season 2 kicks off Sunday. This isn’t your Phantom of the Opera’s Emmy Rossum. She doesn’t sing in this show. Not when the opening credits feature her on the toilet. Emmy’s Fiona Gallagher is a the kind of Chicago/Irish gal who isn’t afraid to eat an Al’s Italian Beef in a fancy hotel and say “I think I just came” when it appears on her plate. One of the best songs of 2011 is a gem that is rarely heard in the states (and definitely not in Chicago – ‘xrt you suck – or Northwest Indiana). In fact, you rarely hear this great band at all around here. I’m talking about…

Ode to a Chicago Dive Bar

Posted on January 3, 2012

Mickey’s Tavern – corner of Medill and Leavitt, Bucktown UPDATE: The bar’s day’s are numbered. It’s been sold. But as of April ’14 you can still get a beer from the one tap and get sworn at by Tommy the bartender. The following story is based on a chat with a neighbor, who’ll I’ll call Max, who was in the neighborhood long before me and told me a little bit about the dive bar at the end of the block.  Max’s first night at Mickey’s was after he signed the lease for his new apartment. To celebrate he stopped in with a friend and met several of the characters he would come to know well, including the bartender on duty that night, Elmer. “Trouble at…

Brit Marling: Breakout star of 2011

Posted on January 1, 2012

The new Indie “It Girl” I’ve seen her been called. Kinda like Parker Posey was in the ’90s? Brit Marling earned the moniker based on a couple award-winning and critically acclaimed indie films from the past year, Another Earth and Sound of My Voice. I’ve seen Another Earth, which is very good. Brit co-stars with the guy who played Ethan, one of the “Others” in Lost. Two planet Earths and the best thing about that – it means two Brit Marlings. Brit proves my part that you can be a really cute gal and look amazing in janitorial clothes. Her other film, Sound of My Voice, I have not seen yet. It probably played in Chicago, ever so briefly, before I caught on to…