People with Passion: Blink

People with Passion


May 16, 2011

Blink's "The World is Small"

On May 10, Blink‘s music video “Dreams of a Winner” won the third “3 Music Videos You Haven’t Seen Yet” contest at ChicagoNow’s Lists That Actually Matter, topping NightLife’s “Goodbye” and Louis and The Hunt’s “They Saw Those Lights.”

Blink and I met up at his Chicago apartment across from studio The Ambulance Factory to discuss the making of the song and its video, and his transition from Nigeria to America. Continue reading “People with Passion: Blink”


People with Passion: Photographer Josh Kalven

People with Passion

Josh Kalven, photographer for “Ooh U Got Me”

Interview April 17, 2011

Akasha at Lincoln Hall, February 23, 2011 (photo by Roper)

News entrepreneur Josh Kalven’s summertime-in-Chicago time-lapse photography was meant as “a little side project,” but it soon turned into a music video for reggae band Akasha and their song “Ooh U Got Me.” On April 13, the video won the first “3 Music Videos You Haven’t Seen Yet” contest, topping Loyal Divide’s “Vision Vision” and Que Billah’s “Fresh Air Syndrome.”

In this interview with ChicagoNow’s Jack M Silverstein, Kalven discusses the genesis of the project and his love for his home city. Continue reading “People with Passion: Photographer Josh Kalven”

February 28, 2011: One small step.

Time to Settle Accounts

February 28, 2011: One small step.

When I got to the Clark/Lake stairs to head down to the Blue Line subway, an old woman walking in front of me set one of her two arm bags upon the suitcase she was wheeling and looked curiously at the task ahead. She studied the situation, first lowering the retractable suitcase handle and then raising it again. For a moment she considered dragging the suitcase and bag down the stairs wheel-by-wheel while carrying the other bag, and then she set all three bags down and eyed the stairs once more… Continue reading “February 28, 2011: One small step.”

January 31, 2011: A request.

Time to Settle Accounts

January 31, 2011: A request.

The train car is full of bodies when I board downtown. I hear the voice – Doors closing – and see the conductor’s head poking out of his window at the front of the train as he scans the back for people like me, the commuters last to arrive and squirting on just before departure. I step in past the door, just barely, my big coat and back pack doing their best to lean past the threshold. There is no place for my feet to move, and I must arch my back inward so that the doors may shut behind me. They do. Continue reading “January 31, 2011: A request.”

January 28, 2011: I thought the cop was a prostitute, the real version.

Time to Settle Accounts

January 28, 2011: I thought the cop was a prostitute, the real version.

The driver was a young man in his thirties of Eastern European descent and an affable haircut and he was driving me from Carrie’s to a 9 AM interview with a Chicago alderman. Snow was falling and I knew that after the interview I would have a few miles to walk to the next one. Continue reading “January 28, 2011: I thought the cop was a prostitute, the real version.”

People with Passion: Kalmia Traver of Rubblebucket

People with Passion

Kalmia Traver, Rubblebucket

Interview January 12, 2011


Kalmia Traver, lead singer and sax player for Rubblebucket.

I am speaking via Skype with Kalmia Traver, lead singer and saxophone player for Rubblebucket, while she and her band drive I-80 from their hometown of Brooklyn to a gig in Cleveland. The band has a gig in Cleveland, will be in Grand Rapids the following night, and on Saturday, January 15, will be playing in Chicago at Double Door. In this discussion, Traver – who goes by Kal – discusses the origin of the music video for their song “Came Out of a Lady,” the ways in which fans describe their sound, their love of Wicker Park, and the elements that Rubblebucket brings to the musical table. Continue reading “People with Passion: Kalmia Traver of Rubblebucket”

January 12, 2011: Do Humans Dream of Breathing Sheep?

Time to Settle Accounts

January 12, 2011: Do Humans Dream of Breathing Sheep?

"Suspect? How can it not know what it is?"
“Suspect? How can it not know what it is?”

As I returned from a friend’s in Evanston and awaited my Red Line transfer at the Howard El, I wondered, Is this what Blade Runner was all about? Sure, our world is not filled with replicants (as far as we know) but isn’t everything else pretty similar? Bodies crowding streets and sidewalks, eyes rushing past the others, giant billboards telling us how wonderful our lives can be, strangers everywhere, an untrustworthy government, public spaces dirty and unkept.

Continue reading “January 12, 2011: Do Humans Dream of Breathing Sheep?”

January 4, 2011: Let them eat digital cake

Time to Settle Accounts

January 4, 2011: Let them eat digital cake

Nothing like a good subway musician. (Note: This is not the musician from this story. See below for photo credit.)

There are few musicians in the city of Chicago whom I enjoy more thoroughly than a good subway player. Street players delight me on occasion, but there are many more schlubs than pros.

But hunkered down in the Loop subway stations sit pure artists, all craft and entertainment. Continue reading “January 4, 2011: Let them eat digital cake”’s Good Tunes for Two Bucks

Design by Xack Gibson/ Bag Fry Productions

Music lovers! I am beyond thrilled to present’s Good Tunes for Two Bucks, a collection of twelve terrific Chicago artists. Here you’ll find twelve great tracks of varying genres, among them hip-hop, rock, electro, blues, funk, and gypsy jazz.

Download for free at MediaFire! Hard copies can be purchased from me, with more distribution options coming soon. All sales donated to True Star Magazine.

I will be posting intros to each artist day by day, starting with track 1: “Get Down” by E-Train. Full track liner notes and Thank You’s below… Continue reading “’s Good Tunes for Two Bucks”

People with Passion: author and activist Don Gordon


Interview September 13, 2010

Don Gordon, in yellow vest, speaking at a community meeting in October 2005.

Don Gordon, Rogers Park political activist.

We are seated in the Gordon family backyard in Rogers Park, the home where Don Gordon, and his family, has lived for 30 years. After spending the first 25 of those years as a community activist – among other projects, he was heavily involved in the fight against the expansion of the Evanston-Rogers Park lakefront – Gordon decided to oppose incumbent Joe Moore for Alderman of the 49th ward in the 2007 election. He lost a close race, distinguishing himself from his two fellow challengers and forcing a run-off with Moore. Continue reading “People with Passion: author and activist Don Gordon”