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 Happy New Year! Be safe, have fun, drink champagne. Read More

People With Passion: Clayton Hauck

A People with Passion series

Chicago journalism

August 17, 2011: Clayton Hauck

Clayton Hauck, self-portrait. (All photos copyright Clayton Hauck)

In June 2006, photographer Clayton Hauck began snapping photos of drinkers in Chicago’s nightlife scene, a project that became the widely-beloved In February 2011, after nearly five years of shooting, Hauck hung up his nightlife camera and began working in the news arena for the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Reader, and Hoy.

In the fifth installment of Jack M Silverstein’s Chicago journalism People With Passion interview series, Hauck discusses his introduction to photography, the benefits of shooting the nightlife scene, and the time he (nearly) got Arab Spring photos in Morocco. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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… Read More

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. Read More