Friday, June 14, 2013

TBS Just For Laughs Chicago's weekend entertainment pick!

Though my arm is still in major pain from a recent fall,I managed to cover a few of the comedians slated to perform at this years "Just For Laughs."

The talent was gracious enough to pose for a couple of photos during a media photo and interview op.


 Comedian Tim Meadows

Tim Meadows’ start in show business was as a member of The Second City comedy troupe alongside future star Chris Farley. In 1991, Meadows landed a spot on Saturday Night Live and would go on to become a longtime cast member, appearing on the program until 2000. Meadows often spoofed famous personalities including O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey and Erykah Badu on SNL.

Meadows was in Chicago to perform at the Annoyance Theatre as part of TBS
"Just For Laughs"  

Kellye Howard

Vince Acevedo

Kevin Dorff

Just For Laughs runs from June 11-16,2013 at various venues around Chicago.
For artists performing and ticket info check out their website:

All photos © 2013 Linda Matlow/PIXINTL.All rights reserved

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

US Air Guitar 2013 season announced

June 13, 2013 btn_fbsharebtn_tweet

The US Air Guitar Championships Announce 2013 Season

New Format Brings More Cities & Highest Caliber Talent Ever Postseason Events Include Special Performances By World Champions Nordic Thunder & Hot Lixx Hulahan NATIONAL FINALS August 17 At House Of Blues in Los Angeles SEMIFINALS In Chicago, New York, San Francisco & Washington DC QUALIFIERS Held In Over Twenty Cities Across America World Champion Nordic Thunders Stars in Dr. Pepper TV Commercial
Shaping up to be our biggest year on record, US Air Guitar announces a new three-tiered elimination format to shoulder the nation’s overwhelming demand for competitive air guitar. From St Petersburg to Santa Cruz and everywhere in between, dozens of OFFICIAL QUAILFIER COMPETITONS held in over twenty cities across America will separate the air wheat from the air chaff. Only the finest and freshest will advance from their respective Qualifier into one of four U.S. SEMIFINALS, where the production value of each event promises to meet the level of talent.
"As more and more cities have demanded representation in official air guitar competition, we have implemented a new ‘bracket’ system for the first time in the history of US Air Guitar. This tiered approach allows us to license more recognized Qualifiers in more places than ever, and ensures an even higher level of talent at the Semis. We are confident this is a big win for the performers, the fans-and especially-our nation, which will be defending its record-breaking 4th world title in Finland this August. Now that March Madness is over, we can all turn our attentions to June, July and August Mayhem." – Kriston Rucker. Co-Commissioner. US Air Guitar.
The Regular Season
Qualifier Cities Include:
Boston, Brooklyn, Denver, Des Moines, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Nashville, Portland, San Diego, Santa Cruz, St. Louis, St. Petersburg (FL), and Tucson, with more to come.
San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington, DC.
Host and judges for each Qualifier are picked by local Organizers. Formats for Qualifiers may vary at the discretion of local Organizers. Other cities who are interested in hosting Qualifiers can do so by contacting US Air Guitar.
The Postseason
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Date Event City & Venue/Tickets
Tue July 2 Northeast Semifinals New York City @ Bowery Ballroom
Fri July 9 Mid-Atlantic Semifinals Washington, DC DC @ 9:30 Club
Sat July 27 Midwest Semifinals Chicago @ Metro
Sat Aug 3 Western Semifinals San Francisco @ The Independent
Thu Aug 15 Dark Horse Wildcard Playoffs Undisclosed Secret Show
Sat Aug 17 US Air Guitar National Finals Los Angeles @ House of Blues
Details for the four U.S. SEMIFINALS and NATIONAL FINALS are below. With this season’s bumper crop of talented newcomers, it will be a youth versus veterans showdown to the bitter end. All competitors mentioned are available for immediate interview.
  • At the Northeast Semifinals (New York City), look on as young AIRISTOTLE– who is the returning U.S. Champion and thus won’t be competing until he defends his title in the Nationals– sizes up the competition. It will be a classic New York vs. Boston rivalry, as tri-city veterans of the sport RICKY STINKFINGERS, SHREDDY MERCURY, MATHROMANCER, G TSO $, AIR JESUS go up against Boston’s powerhouse shredders DANNY TANNER TANTRUM and ROCKUPINE. And is if that wasn’t enough, Kansas City will also be feeding in the finesse of 2-time champ MEAN MELIN and PETER “STIFF” DICKENS.
  • At the Mid-Atlantic Semifinals (Washington DC), pundits are watching the two-time reigning DC Champ TOMMY FRETELESS, 2013 DC Qualifier winner THE MARQUIS long time prospect DOUG THE THUNDER STROOCK, and the young up-and-comer like BABERHAM LINCOLN to see if they are worth of filling the shoes of DC’s Godfather of Air Guitar, LANCE THE SHRED (Shred will not be competing, and instead has put together a special half-time performance for this event).
  • At the Midwest Semifinals (Chicago), local resident and current Air Guitar World Champion NORDIC THUNDER (who gets an automatic berth in the World Championships in Finland to defend his title) will be cheering for the young and adorable female sensation ROCKIE RHODES and prospect MIDNIGHT MANIAXE, while booing his co-arch-enemies DRY ICE and OLD GLORY. But the stakes here are high, as whoever wants passage to the Finals will have to compete against the defending Chicago Champion and current Queen of Air Guitar (who actually happens to be a lady), WHITE FLAME.
  • At the Western Semifinals, San Francisco will see the best air guitarists from the Northwest to Southern California and then over to Arizona. Watch out for Portland’s brand of caliente in TONY TAPATIO, LA’s version of American patriot SIX STRING GENERAL, San Diego’s newly-made-over, freshly streamlined LIEUTENANT FACEMELTER, and Tucson’s VLAD D.M. WAILER (all of which are past Regional Champions in their respective cities). But the visitors will have to bring their A-Game in if they want to knock out the local talent, as the Bay Area’s brand of air guitar is like no other. Leading the local charge will be San Francisco’s 3-time champ COLD STEEL RENEGADE, reigning champ SETH LEIBOWITZ, and the Santa Cruz king DIRTY AIRY.
Three winners from each Semifinals will advance to the 2013 US Air Guitar National Finals. Several cities placed their bids to host the 2013 National Finals. This year, HOUSE OF BLUES LOS ANGELES has proudly earned the honor to host what is predicted to be the greatest spectacle of all human history.
Air Guitar Hall of Famer BJÖRN TÖRQUE (star of cult classic documentary Air Guitar Nation and author of To Air is Human) will return to his post as "Master of Airemonies" and host another season of air guitar. HOT LIXX HULAHAN (2008 Air Guitar World Champion) will return as our recurrent judge. Joining him behind the gavel at various cities across the country will be all kinds of funny and famous people (hints: Daily Show and 30 Rock . . . and also SNL and Flight of the Conchords).
As part of its new "one in a billion" campaign, Dr. Pepper has tapped our very own Nordic Thunder for a spot that showcases both his Game of Thrones-worthy chops and his world-beating charm. He’s the perfect ambassador of air, and we think you should drink some soda about it.
Each competition will each consist of two rounds. In Round 1, each competitor performs to a song of their own choosing. In Round 2, the top competitors from Round 1 perform to a surprise compulsory song. In each round, contestants perform for one minute of a song and are judged on a combination of technical merit, stage presence, and “airness," on a scale of 4.0 (lowest) to 6.0 (highest). All guitars must be invisible. In each city, the jury is a panel of independent judges that are approved by US Air Guitar. The results of the jury cannot be protested.
In addition to the two-round format, local organizers of Qualifiers are entitled to add additional formats to their competition. These could include, but are not limited to, Rounds based on endurance, song format, and local character. A minimum of two people from each Qualifier will advance to the Semifinals.
The top three scorers from each Semifinal will advance to the National Finals.
For those who do not advance to National Finals, but whom US Air Guitar deems worthy of a second chance, an invitation will be extended to compete in the Dark Horse Wild Card Playoffs. A minimum of three Wildcards will advance to the National Finals.
One winner from the National Finals will crowned the US Air Guitar Champion, and will then be sent to Oulu, Finland to represent the USA in the World Championships, where he or she will compete against national champions from all around the world.
Founded in 2003, US Air Guitar is the official Air Guitar Association of the United States and is responsible for operating the US Air Guitar Championships and other official local and private events. US Air Guitar is devoted to taking our nation's unofficial pastime out of the bedroom and putting it up on the world stage. US Air Guitar is an official member of the World Air Guitar Association. Entering its tenth anniversary in the US and its seventeenth year worldwide, official national championships currently are held in 24 countries around the globe including the USA, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, with more countries participating every year. The 2013 Air Guitar World Championships will take place this August 21nd to 24th in Oulu, Finland.
The purpose of the World Air Guitar Association is to promote world peace. According to the ideology of the Air Guitar, wars would end, climate change stop and all bad things disappear, if all the people in the world played the Air Guitar. This is why the whole universe is invited to play the Air Guitar for the world peace at the end of each competition.
US Air Guitar Official Site:
US Air Guitar Social Networks:
World Air Guitar Championships Official Website:
US Air Guitar’s hit documentary Air Guitar Nation
out now on DVD
For Press Inquiries, Interview Requests With The US Air Guitar Founders And Competitors, Or For More Information Contact Nat Hays

Jonny Kaps :: Nat Hays :: Michael Sherman :: Adam Soffer
Josh Swade :: The Wolf
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When the City of Chicago hosts the very first Chicago Music Summit on Friday, September 20, the entire Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and the Storefront Theater (66 E. Randolph St.) will become the nexus for music professionals with a full day of panel discussions, networking and live performances. A Keynote Speaker will be announced next month.

Registration for the free event begins on Monday, June 17 at 10 a.m. on the event website, Space is limited and advance registration is encouraged for the panel discussions.

The Chicago Music Summit will serve to attract and retain artists and creative professionals in Chicago’s music community, advancing one of the priorities of the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan.

The goal of the Summit is to provide musicians and music professionals with the latest tools and resources to advance their careers and to connect professionals with local and national industry leaders. To accomplish this, more than 20 sessions throughout the day, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. will offer key insights and trends in five different tracks: Promotion/Audience Building; Building Community and Looking Ahead; Booking and Touring; Music Technology Innovations and New Revenue Streams. Attached is a listing of sessions and speakers.

A wide range of speakers include representatives from Sony Music Entertainment, Kickstarter, Elastic Arts, Pitchfork, Bonnaroo, SoundCloud, Universal Republic, Live Nation, Lincoln Center, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Monterrey International. Attendees will learn about “Album Release Strategies for the 21st Century,” “Monetizing Your Music” and “Breaking Out of Regional: National and International Touring Opportunities,” among many other topics.

Panels will take place in spaces throughout the building including the Claudia Cassidy Theater, the meeting rooms on the 1st, 4th and 5th floors, as well as the Storefront Theater across the street.

After a day of sessions, conference attendees as well as the general public will enjoy music showcases, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., in Preston Bradley Hall, Randolph Square, the Claudia Cassidy Theater, the Chicago Rooms, 1st Floor Garland and in several meeting rooms on the 5th floor. Admission is free and no reservations are required for the music showcases.

The Chicago Music Summit is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events with the support of programming partners: ASCAP, Bailey Boy Artist Development, Bandzoogle, BMI, The Brainiac Project, CASH Music,,, Chicago Music Commission, Chicago Music Magazine, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, Cibola Tech Incubator, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Columbia College Chicago, Creative Entertainment Network, Dominican University, Dynasty Podcasts, E.A.R.S. The Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago, The Echo Nest, eighth blackbird, Elastic Arts, Gray Communications, Leavens, Strand, Glover & Adler, LLC, Leo Burnett, Linchpin Digital, Mark Hubbard, Mozilla Foundation, Music Dealers, On the Street Promotion, The Recording Academy, SESAC, Sony Music Entertainment, Soundslice, Story Amp, Threadless, TuneSat and World Business Chicago.

For more information, visit  Starting June 17, visit the website to register for free and to view the  complete schedule of panels and speakers.

# # #

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

Critics love Paul Marinaro's CD! Join Paul Wed @ The Jazz Showcase! 10pm TIX AVAILABLE 8pm SOLD OUT!

Two Great CD Reviews from 2 Great Chicago Critics! (below)
Paul Marinaro @ The Jazz Showcase...Wednesday June 12!
8 pm Show SOLD OUT

HOWARD REICH (Arts Critic, Chicago Tribune)
"One of the most beautiful vocal instruments in the business today",0,2869794.column

"A giant baritone that manages to be both virile and gorgeous"

8 pm Show (sold out)

An Evening With Toni Servillo

The 49th Chicago International Film Festival,
the Italian Cultural Institute Chicago and Cinecittà Luce
cordially invite you to
Sunday June 23, 2013
AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.)
5:30 PM Film screening of IL DIVO
In-person tribute to award-winning actor Toni Servillo

8:30 PM VIP Reception at Quartino Ristorante (626 N. State St.)
Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres

Tickets: $30 (Film & VIP Reception) $10 (Film only)
Business casual attire.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and WILL NOT be available at the door.
Admission is strictly by guest list only.
Click here
to purchase tickets and event information.

  His name is Giulio Andreotti, the most enigmatic and feared politician in Italy for over 50 years. At the height of his power, this seven-time Prime Minister was accused of masterminding a shocking Vatican/Mafia/Neo-Fascist conspiracy while ordering the assassinations of judges, journalists and even members of his own political party. In one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, Toni Servillo (GOMORRA) delivers an astonishing performance as the man a nation called "The Black Pope", "Beelzebub" and "Il Divo".
Award-winning writer/director Paolo Sorrentino packs this incredible true story of corruption and murder with explosive action, stunning cinematography and startling surprises to create perhaps the most fearless and breathtaking depiction of a public figure in modern cinema history. Winner of the Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival (2008)

30 E. Adams St. Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60603
P: 312.683.0121 | F: 312.683.0122 | E:
Looking for an internship
Click here
for sponsorship opportunities.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Celebrate Father's Day with around Chicagoland

Celebrate Father's Day  around Chicagoland
Chicago, IL (June 2013) - With Father's Day on Sunday, June 16, it is time to start planning the picture-perfect meal to enjoy with your father. From brunches and dinner in downtown Chicago to dining on the North Shore, restaurants are offering something for every taste and budget. 

Benny's Chop House Bone In Rib Eye with boarders
Benny's Chop House (444 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago; 312-626-2444) has two great suggestions for celebrating Father's Day. Since many families celebrate Father's Day by grilling at home, Benny's begins the celebration on Saturday with an evening of dining and great music.
Whether you come on Saturday or Sunday, you'll enjoy a perfectly prepared USDA Natural, Dry-Aged or Wet-Aged prime steak, or a wide assortment of Chops, Fish and Seafood and some of the most delicious and satisfying desserts in Chicago.
Live entertainment (Saturday only) makes it a wonderful celebration. As you dine, enjoy Cécile Savage (bass and vocals) and Calvin "Koco" Brunson's (piano and vocals). The co-leaders of the jazz group "Komango," Savage and Brunson offer a culturally diverse repertoire steeped in the African American, French and Brazilian traditions. Kick off your Father's Day weekend with an enchanting evening at Benny's. For reservations, call 312-626-2444.

Chicago French Market
Bello TeasBello Tea Leaf
In a quandary about what do give dad? Why not join Bello Tea's Tea of the Month Club. Bello will ship their tasting selection of exciting and wonderful teas throughout the year. The membership is a great way to adventure into the world of tea and herbals. Bello Tea frequently introduce new teas to their customers and club members will be the first group to sample them. It is a great gift for tea lovers - healthy and delicious options.
Featured teas are hand selected by Bello Tea each month from our wide selection of loose leaf Black, Green, White, Oolong, Yerba Mate, Rooibos teas and other botanical.
Membership includes: 2 - 2 oz. packages of our featured loose leaf tea sent to you directly each month and early-bird email notification of new products, special promotions, and events at Bello Tea. Membership includes shipping and handling of featured teas with delivery anywhere in the U.S. Prices begin at $50.
Enjoy Bello's Father's Day Sale between June 8 and June 16 and receive a 10 percent discount.on tea, accessories, and gift baskets, excluding Tea of the Month Club and Gift Cards.
Lillie's QLillie's Q Sauces 2
Want the perfect gift for Father's Day? Lillie's Q logoAside from the amazing ribs and bbq sandwiches offered by Lillie's Q, treat dad to Chef/Owner Charlie McKenna's special award winning BBQ - six regional BBQ sauces and spice rubs made in-house that perfectly compliment Lillie's Q award-winning BBQ.  All sauces are $8.00 each. Flavors include Smoky, Carolina, E.N.C., Hot Smoky, Carolina Gold and Ivory. For details, visit:

Oh Olive! Father's Day Grilling Package Special!
Treat dad to a special gourmet grilling package from Oh, Olive!. Oh Olive Fathers' Day Special Receive 6 grilling oils or balsamic vinegars, 3 Galena Garlic Gourmet Grilling Rubs and 3 customer favorite grilling recipes, all for $45 (a $51 value) available while supplies last.  Also, for your convenience, the Oh Olive! team offers complimentary gift wrapping.
Place your orders early for Oh, Olive's new unique olive oils available include Red Grapefruit, Yellow Grapefruit, Tangerine, Bergamot and Mandarin. These tasty oils are perfect for dressing on salads, use as marinade for chicken, scallops, shrimp or fish, drizzle on ice-cream, yogurt, cottage cheese & cheesecake.  The possibilities are only limited by your Vanilleimagination!
Vanille Patisserie
Visiting dad for Father's day? Don't go empty handed. Vanille Patisserie offers something the entire family will enjoy. Macarons, the famed Parisian confectionery delivers the essence of a dessert in a single bite. These colorful sandwich-shaped delicacies have a crunchy meringue shell encapsulating an intense burst of flavor at its creamy core.
Vanille offers a colorful spectrum of flavors, whether strawberry lemongrass in the summer or classic vanilla bean year around. No matter what the variety, Vanille never strays far from its French roots, while evolving its ever-changing flavors in new and unexpected directions that characterize the Vanille spirit of innovation. Vanille basket
Pickup a Vanille Gift Basket...their gift baskets are the perfect way to give the gift of traditional French pastries, packaged in design as elegant as the artisan French pastries nestled inside. An instantly recognizable statement of premier quality and good taste, Vanille gift sets include of a sampler of our highly acclaimed French macarons, positively addictive Pate de Fruit, luscious Buttery Caramel and their signature Montélimar-style Nougat bars, it will be a gift long remembered. Prices range from $40 and up for phone and in-store orders and 24 hours notice for online orders.

Maxwell's at the Club
An extravagant buffet, the perfect fit for a hungry father, will be offered at Maxwell's at the Club (500 N Kingsbury St., Chicago, IL 60654; 312-527-5800) on Father's Day. The meal offers a wide selection of delicious appetizers and salads, breakfast specialties, entrées, and a carving station featuring Dad's favorites, all flawlessly prepared. A sumptuous pastry and dessert bar serves as the perfect finale. The brunch is priced at $45 for adults and children, ten and under, $15.
Father's Day Among the selections on the Maxwell's Father's Day Brunch menu are Chilled Shrimp Cocktail, Pineapple Cole Slaw, and Roasted Asparagus and Quinoa Salad. The carving station features Roast Rack of Lamb with Mint Jelly, Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce and Honey Mustard, and Roast Prime Rib with Au Jus and Horseradish Sauce. For the main course, guests can choose from classic breakfast dishes like bacon, Eggs Benedict, and French Toast with Sautéed Bananas or tasty entrées such as Spicy Barbecued Chicken Tenders with Corn Fritters and Basil Pesto-Crusted Roasted Cod, just a couple of the many dishes that Maxwell's has prepared for the day.
To read Maxwell's entire menu, visit For reservations, you can call 312-527-5800 ex. 301, or visit them online to use the Book a Table feature found on the home page.

Oceanique Oceanique Logo with boarders
Say "Merci Beaucoup!" to your Father this Father's Day with Oceanique's (505 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202; 847-864-3435) Father's Day Special Six-course Weekend Tasting Menu. Each impeccably prepared and presented course is offered both Friday and Saturday (Oceanique is closed on Sundays) of Father's Day Weekend.
The celebration starts with a Japanese Breakfast comprised of Smoked Salmon, Seaweed Salad and Horseradish Crème Fraiche. The deuxième (2nd) course features Wild Maine Lobster, Prosciutto Salad, a Venison Pate, Michigan Purple Asparagus Soup and Wild Maine Day Boat Scallops. Next, enjoy a Butternut Maine Lobster with boardersSquash Ravioli and a Seasonal Sorbet, for the troisième (3rd) and quatrième (4th) courses respectively. Savor the Cinquième (5th) course of Organic Danish Faroe Islands Salmon, Wild Alaskan Halibut and Wild Delaware Skate .
The Father's Day Weekend Six-Course Tasting Menu concludes with a spectacular Chef's Pastry Selection ($80). For more information and reservations call 847-864-3435. Friday and Saturday seating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Visit for more information
Prairie Grass Cafe 
There's somethingPrairie Grass logo with white border for everyone on Prairie Grass Cafe's (601 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook Illinois, 60062; 847.205.4433) Father's Day brunch menu, a steal at $45 per adult, $15 for children 10 years and under. Enjoy their truly fabulous brunch buffet featuring New York Strip with "River Valley Ranch" mushroom sauce, Slow Roasted Salmon with Lentil-Grain Salad, Chicken Cutlets and All Natural Meat Loaf with BBQ Sauce and Onion Strings along with a variety of salads, made-to-order omelets, waffles and signature Valrhona chocolate and hazelnut spread or strawberries and jam crepes. The buffet also includes a selection of house baked breads, fresh fruit and desserts like Mini Crème Brulees, Chocolate Cupcakes, warm seasonal Berry Crumble and Mom's Strawberry Cream Pie. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Prairie Grass is also offering an evening celebration. Father's Day Dinner include unforgettable specials such as Grilled "Creekstone" New York Strip, tastefully accompanied by delectable Grilled Vegetables and every father's favorite, Mashed Potatoes ($39). Prairie Grass will also be serving Wild Alaskan Salmon featuring "River Valley Ranch" Mushrooms complemented by a savory Basil Remoulade and Balsamic Reduction ($34). Make sure Dad and you leave room because you won't want to miss Prairie Grass Cafe's amazing Mom's Strawberry Cream Pie , made with fresh local Strawberries. It's the perfect ending to a one-of-a-kind celebration honoring your extraordinary Father.
The specials for Father's Day Dinner will be served in addition to Prairie Grass Cafe's regular menu, containing remarkable dishes from Chef/Owners Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris, made with only the freshest ingredients from local sustainable farms. If your mouth is not watering already, visit to view Prairie Grass Cafe's entire menu. For reservations, call 847-205-4433 or make your reservation online at

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