The Lyricist Olympics at Lit After Dark

Poster designed by Xack Gibson/Bag Fry Productions.

CHICAGO, IL — Music fans! When the sun sets on the 2012 Printers Row Lit Fest on Saturday June 9, stick around for the Lyricist Olympics at Lit After Dark, a celebration of freestyle lyricism. Featuring eight of Chicago’s finest MCs, the Lyricist Olympics will showcase the spontaneous creativity and lyrical ingenuity of Chicago’s hip-hop community. The event begins at the RedEye tent at 9 pm. For updates and additional information, check in with @readjack. Read More

People With Passion: David Drake, music writer

A People with Passion series

Chicago journalism

January 18, 2012: David Drake

David Drake, during his DJ days.

We are meeting at Filter Coffee Shop on Milwaukee Ave. in the late afternoon. David is quiet yet loquacious, with a deep knowledge and passion for music, particularly hip-hop. It is that passion for the music mixed with a love of writing, an authority of opinion, and relentless networking that has allowed him to leave his day job and make, as he puts it, ‘a run’ at writing.

Here, in the 23rd installment of my Chicago journalism interview series, David Drake of Pitchfork, Fader, the Tribune, and his blog somanyshrimp.com discusses his life as a working freelance writer, and describes the process of how he created the connections required for such a career. Read More

Good Tunes for 2011

Last year I released Good Tunes For Two Bucks, a compilation of 12 songs from 12 Chicago artists. Due to time, budgets, and schedule constraints, I am not releasing a mixtape for 2011. But who cares? Here are 21 artists I had the pleasure of meeting/interviewing/working with/listening to in 2011, mostly Chicago artists along with some non-Chicagoans I covered.

These are not necessarily songs that were released this year, (though most are) but rather songs and artists that I discovered in 2011. Below is a six-pack snack pack. For the full list, please hit up PerformerMag.com. Happy New Year! Be safe, have fun, drink champagne. Read More

People With Passion: Andrew Barber

A People with Passion series

Chicago journalism

November 4, 2011: Andrew Barber

Andrew Barber, left, in a screen shot of the L.E.P. Bogus Boys/ Cool Kids music video for “Countin’ My Money.”

Growing up outside of Indianapolis, Fake Shore Drive founder Andrew Barber fell in love with hip-hop the way many of us did: he heard it. Magazines, television, and radio fueled the love, and at the age of 26, living in Chicago, Barber took advantage of blogs, a new medium within a new medium, and launched fakeshoredrive.blogspot.com. Four years later, it’s his full-time job.

In the 14th installment of Jack M Silverstein’s Chicago journalism People With Passion series, Barber outlines his love of the culture, his path to Fake Shore, and his competition with Chicago’s “legitimate” news sources. Read More

Those the words.

Time to Settle Accounts

November 6, 2011: Those the words.

It was just after 1 a.m., now my 30th birthday. We’d been celebrating at my apartment since 7:30, when Ric and Josh and a friend from my summer softball team arrived. Since then, the party had featured a merry-go-round of different friends from different groups all meeting anew, lifting a glass and enjoying their cake and dancing and talking and watching 90s Bulls broadcasts. Read More