shikagoland

Too High to Get Over, Too Low To Get Under

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Shikagoland Reorganizes and Kpop Song of the Day

Hello all!

After lots of careful consideration I have decided that I need to change some things around on ye olde’ blog. I started this to just be a dumping ground for my interests, sans personal stuff, but it would seem that the things I am drawn to writing about most are really in direct opposition of each other. This could not have become clearer after last week where I posted a picture of 2NE1′s CL as my kpop photo of the day….and then posted about  female genital mutilation a few hours later. Occasionally I feel like NOT posting some things because I feel like they don’t belong among the more serious topics. It seems like my readership (holla!) is pretty evenly split among people who get here via links passed around on twitter/FB/tumblr, usually about things pertaining to social issues, and those who arrive here via search results like “TOP Big Bang Fat” and “gdragon is hot”  (the best part of my day is reading those search terms. I’m not even kidding).  So, with that in mind…

I’m going to start another blog.

Because I need help.

Shikagoland will stay as is, with the hopes that I’ll be more regular about the Headlines, Sassy Dames of History, restaurant reviews/food writing, and a few other things I’ve been kicking around in my head. I’ll be moving topics regarding k-entertainment over to a new blog, and hopefully expanding beyond just screaming over new Big Bang songs. This is mostly inspired again by the trends I see on how people arrive to this site. For me its easy to assume that, since I’m sort of a newb to this whole thing myself, that other people have secured all their resources for Korean entertainment news. It occurs to me now, that I can be that kind of source for other people, namely us international fans. Duh.

So, lots of work to be done. I’m mostly puzzling a bit over the name site, and I have to get back to some of the awesome generous wonderful strangers and friends who have offered to help with logos and site design (really. I’m gonna get to that) and really buckle down on that front. I’m looking to launch the new site by June (look, I’m going on vacation in May. I’m just being realistic). Until then, I’ll still be throwing stuff up here because I just can’t help myself.

And since I don’t say it enough, thanks to all of you who take time out of your days to read what I post. I do this mostly to entertain myself, and I’m amazed and humbled that other people want to read it. GROUP HUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In other news:

OMG SHINWHA IS BACK AND THEY ARE AMAZING AND SEXY AND OMG OPPA I LOVE YOU

*ahem*

Shinwha is back after a long hiatus. Their first video from this comeback is “Venus”.  You should watch it. And if you’re a grandma like me, you can revel in the fact that everyone in this group is over 30. I appreciate being able to stan for someone in kpop who is actually older than me for once. Yeesh.

Enjoy….but don’t go laying claim to Dong Wan. HE’S MINE, OK!?

Shikagoland Would Like an Explanation, Sweden

Seriously. Look at how happy all the bystanders are. GROSS

Mmmm, dismembered negro cake. Great taste, less filling!

I’m not really the type of person who likes to fly off the handle without any context but…there is basically no context that would make this ok. This isn’t a penis cake at a bachelorette party.

This cake was part of a “installation” at the Modern Art museum in Stockholm. The supposed purpose of the piece is to highlight the plight of female circumcision. The woman cutting the cake is Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, the Minister of Culture and sports in Sweden. The artist is Makode Aj Linde, and in a special added bonus, thats his head at the top of the cake. Not a model of his head. THATS HIM.

From the artists Facebook page:

“Before cutting me up she whispered, ‘Your life will be better after this’.”

Mmm hmmm.

So we’ve got a male artist making a piece of “art” that is supposed to highlight an injustice pushed upon many African women and girls…and then a bunch of white people laugh and have a goddamn awesome time while cutting into it. Everyone around is laughing and drinking and having a jolly good time. Yeah, I really get the impression that Liljeroth really gets their pain, don’t you?

But wait, there’s more:

the culture minister began cutting a large cake shaped like a black woman, symbolically starting at the clitoris.

Yes, because a stereotypical  depiction of a black woman isn’t quite bad enough, they had to…mutilate the “genitals” of the creation….to demonstrate how horribad genital mutilation is? Really gotta drive the point home I guess.

In addition to the tumblr posts about the subject, I found that further explain the participants and shows video as to what was going on, including how the artist “screams” every time someone cuts the cake…much to the delight of everyone around.

Not for the weak of hearts, my friends.

For those of my readers who aren’t quite as familiar with some of this gross history of using the bodies of black women in these and other horrible ways, please read up on , who was enslaved and exhibited as a side show freak. Follow that up with learning about , including the book by Rebecca Skloot.

Gratuitous Kpop Photo of the Day

CL, member of the kpop girl group 2NE1

Shikagoland Reads the Headlines

I haven’t done this in awhile because…well lets face it, the news in general has been depressing lately.

But lets give this a shot anyway.

. You really only need two images to sum up the event:

Nice headdress. Dipshit.

and

Thug (after)Life!

Do the dead crip walk? Hmmm....

Yes, the hologram of Tupac “performed” at Coachella on Sunday night. So look. I’ve never been to Coachella, but I imagine that the way people feel after three nights in the dessert (while consuming large amounts of alcohol and…well other things) is close to the way I’ve felt at the end of Lollapalooza. If under those circumstances a hologram of someone I’d thought long dead showed up to dance a jig I might have ended up running screaming to drown myself in the nearest body of water. Or at least be convinced that the zombie apocalypse had begun. Not a nice thing to to to your audience, Coachella.

(on a personal note, Coachella gets Zombie!Tupac and Lollapalooza gets…Childish Gambino. I feel ripped off already, Perry)

– last week Hillary made our minds explode when she acknowledged her own internet meme, the instantly hilarious . Now Hil-dawg is back and getting her jiggy on in Columbia, knocking back beers and dancing the rumba. This is almost enought to make me forget how I felt about her during the 2008 primaries…almost.

– but her career still exists. The fight continues.

– All I get from this article is….WE’RE #1! American Exceptionalism! AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!

Land of the free...home of the BAD ASS

: I lack the wit required to make this any more interesting than this already is. I smell a Judd Apatow movie plot rising out the ashes of this though.

– tech drones all over the world take time away from complaining about working 80 hours a week to condemn her for it.

– Once you’re done reading that article feel free to take to your Google machines and search for local organizations near you (like the in Chicago) that take donations for new/gently used prom dresses and accessories to help young girls who don’t have a grand to drop on prom still have their little teenage dreams come true.

s – A little real estate porn. Those pictures! I die.

And finally, had that fucking cow Yolanda Saldivar not killed my queen, if she were still alive, Selena would have been 41 years old today (and better than your faves). In memory let us commence an afternoon booty shaking session:

Shikagoland Fangirls: Stan Confessions Part 1

In this new multi-part series, I shall examine a topic I (reluctantly) know quite a bit about: the life of a stan. What is a stan? Well, let us look to Urban Dictionary for a concise definition:

A crazed and or obsessed fan. The term comes from the song Stan by Eminem. The term Stan is used to describe a fan who goes to great lengths to obsess over a celebrity.

Whatever. Thats good enough. In this first installment I will dive into my initial exposure to the stan life during the great bubblegum pop explosion of the late 90s.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.It started out so simply. The year was 1998. I was a freshman in college. I was home on winter break and striding purposefully towards the downtown Chicago office building where I was working for that month, listening to my walkman. Yes, of course I owned a CD walkman, but you couldn’t listen to the radio on those and I was still in that horrible phase where I found morning radio shows entertaining. Also, you could totally still carry cassette players in public without looking ridiculous back then.

Anyhoo, I was listening to B96 (my Chicago people know what thats all about) and then without warning, I heard it: the song that would change my life.

Lets rewind a bit: I was never a young fangirl. I grew up listening to whatever music my parents were listening to (mom had a almost unhealthy Luther Vandross and Michael Jackson addiction), but otherwise I had very little interest in music as a child.  Eventually we got MTV and I became obsessed with staring at it for hours, but back then MTV was just kinda a hodge podge of randomness. I am the right age to have liked New Kids on the Block but I just didn’t care about them. One Christmas, I begged my mother to get me a Wilson Phillips cassette single to go in my stocking. She bought me a New Kids on the Block tape.

WHAT THE F*CK MOM (to this day she insists that I asked for it. She is so very wrong.)

It didn’t turn me into a fan, even if I did eventually develop a kindness for the song “Tonight”. To this day its the only NKOTB song I have ever really liked. It had these fake orchestra parts and I used to try to play my recorder along with it/use said recorder to conduct the orchestra. Don’t judge me, I was in the 5th grade. And weird.

Anyway, the point of this story is that I was never into the boyband thing when it was appropriate for me to be so. By the time I was 13 my favorite band was Aerosmith. My HS years were spent listening to angsty alternative rock music (while wearing flannel) and wishing I was Gwen Stefani (thankfully I’ve grown out of the flannel AND worshiping Gwen. Girl get a grip). My first semester of college found me without clear musical allegiances. I knew that boy bands existed, like the Backstreet Boys, but I wasn’t overly interested.

Let us return to that early winter morning.  The song: “Tearing Up My Heart” by *NSYNC. This was before the days where one could immediately look to the internet to find a ton of info about music groups. Luckily, the radio station had mentioned the artist…and I bought the tape (yes, the tape. I was a broke college student and CDs were expensive.  I reserved CD purchases for things I was sure I was going to love) on the way home from work that day.

I instantly became obsessed with all things *NSYNC. My mom allowed me to order their concert on PPV when I was home again for spring break, I argued with girls about their clear superiority over other groups like the Backstreet Boys*, I ordered posters on Yahoo! Auctions, I went to their concerts, read shitty Angelfire fansites, joined the hottest mess of a online message board: JJB (all my old schoolers know what thats about), and…did this to my dorm room

And she wonders why she never got any in college...

After they settled their lawsuit struggles, being an *NSYNC stan was easy and almost respectable. They sold millions of records (their second album went Diamond. Your fave will never.), toured the world, and just basically dominated the pop scene. They banged fellow stars of the day (Justin: Britney. JC:…Tara Reid…), appeared in movies (the fact that Justin was ever able to get an acting job after his first go in Model Behavior is just…), launched clothing lines (yes, I bought a shitty Fu Man Skeeto t-shirt. I’m not proud of it. At all), and were loved by all.

And then this shit happened

Any *NSYNC fan who was paying attention knew the writing was on the wall when “Gone” came out. While gathering info for this very post I listened to this song for the first time in years and…I am unconvinced that any of the other members actually sang on this song. I no longer have a physical copy of this cd, but I’d love to look at the liner notes to see if they even tried to pretend that anyone else sang on this track. The lead background vocals are all Justin. This song was the beginning of the end for *NSYNC…and the beginning of my intense dislike of Justin Timberlake. I had always just barely tolerated him, but this was truly the end of us. And the group.

We all know what happened next. The great “hiatus” began. Justin released his first (mediocre IMO) solo cd, and then another. JC released a excellent solo album that was largely ignored. Lance tried to go to space and then came out of the closet. Joey had a few small parts in movies, did “Dancing with the Stars” and then…ended up having the career that he probably would have had had he never been in *NSYNC, doing hosting gigs on tv and in Vegas. And Chris. Well lets be honest. I didn’t care about Chris when he was IN the group. I can’t be arsed to go digging under whatever rock he lives under now. I vaguely remember Chris being somehow involved in a VH1 show about starting a “man band” but a stan heart can only take so much embarrassment and that was was the limit.

I use “stan* to describe my feeling about *NSYNC but, the term definitely was not in use at the time. Eminem’s song didn’t come out til 2000 and I’d imagine that the term came into popular use during a time when I had mostly checked out of the pop scene, circa the late 2000s. Boybands went out of favor, and female solo singers began to dominate, I decided to try to be an adult.It happens.

Today, I feel like stanning garners a lot of attention as a mean-spirited pastime aided by, like all things that are in equal parts awesome and horrible, the internet.

And thats where we’ll go next.

But first, my final rundown on the bubblegum pop era:

My favorite boyband: *NSYNC…DUH

My favorite boyband member: Joey. Oh god how I loved Joey.

Best song of the boyband era: Bye Bye Bye – *NSYNC

Best non *NSYNC song of the boyband era: The Call – Backstreet Boys

Best performance of anyone ever on a awards show in the history of award shows: *NSYNC at the 2000 MTV VMAs

And finally, a poll

Results to be announced at the end of the next post. In the spirit of all things obsessive fan based, multiple votes are allowed.

* In retrospect, although *NSYNC was the better band in terms of writing, dancing, and looks…BSB’s music holds up better in the long run. HMPH

Shikagoland Reminisces: My 10 Douchiest Chicago Nightlife Experiences

Just another night in Wrigleyville....

Today, Complex Magazine released their list list of  o. I clicked the link while climbing up on my high horse, sure that I hadn’t ever blessed any of these establishments with my time/money. But then I remembered…I spent my 20s in Chicago. So…yeah.

As I read through the list I kept track of which of these bars I had actually been in, and I came in at 12. Out of those 12, 10 could be remembered as truly terrible, one was underwhelming, and one was just…I can’t even.

Except I’m about to. Using the Complex list as a jumping off point, and adding in a few locales that were left off, I present:

Shikagoland’s 10 Douchiest Chicago Nightlife Experiences

10. McFadden’s (#25 on the Complex List) – Oh, McFadden’s. I’m gonna be honest, as absolutely terrible as this place is in general, I will admit that I’ve had one great night at this bar. The night of my ten year HS reunion a bunch my reconnected classmates ended up here. We danced and partied and eventually one of my former classmates walked/carried me across the street to the CVS so I could get cash before putting me in a taxi because I was 1. Completely shit faced 2. Exhausted 3. Wearing sky high cheap ass Aldo stilettos that were not meant for hours of twerking it with the kid I actually never spoke to in four years of high school but managed to impress me with his investment banker struggle dancing that night. I was actually crying by the time he pushed me into the cab. Ah, memories.

9. The Original Mother’s (#19 on the Complex list) – I’m just gonna flat out say it – as a black girl, I’ve witnessed all kinds of racist shennanigans in the Chicago nightlife scene. My experience at The Original Mother’s was exactly that. One of my cousins REALLY wanted to party on Division Street (douchebar heaven), much to my dismay. But I was young and impressionable and she had a car so I went along. We ended up at Mother’s (because Mother’s Too was actually over crowded) where the dudebro at the door refused us because…she only had one form of ID. She had a driver’s license on her (she’d locked her purse in her car). He swore up and down that we needed to show him two forms to get in. Um. Whatever bro. For whatever reason, my cousin was DETERMINED to get into this bar. So we passed about three dozen other bars to get back to her car where we retrieved her purse, walked back to the bar, where the bouncer seemed shocked that we had returned, and then gave us each a free drink ticket for our trouble. I had long since figured out what was the problem, and it slowly dawned on my older (but clearly not wiser) companion as we descended into the bar…which was almost completely empty. I was immediately ready to bounce, but my cousin felt like she had earned her free drink…which turned out to be a “shot” of flavored “Pucker” in a cup that wouldn’t properly deliver a child’s dosage of cough medicine. Nice.

8. Vertigo Sky Lounge  (#9 on the Complex list) – You know how it happens. A new bar on the top of a swank hotel opens. You are friends with a bunch of late 20s trixie types. Happy hour is serious business. On this particular night, a friend was visiting from out of town and a big group of us got together to celebrate. And then, they put the entire tab (somewhere in the $300+ range) on one guy’s credit card, without asking first. And then they refused to take it off.  And after more arguing they claimed it would take FIVE DAYS to reverse the charge. Yeah. Awesome customer service there.

7. Tai’s Til Four  (#15 on the Complex list) – I have been to Tai’s exactly once. I plead ignorance. I’m a south sider born and raised, and I was not taught the ways of the 4am bar. On one particular night when fun was being had and 2am creeped closer, when told that there was a bar that was open til 4am, it seemed like a good idea. Tai’s is like the basement rec room in the 8th circle of hell, where denizens of all the Bolgias meet to consume crappy drinks in plastic cups. This night was special because some dudebros followed me and a friend (they were after her) from our previous watering hole to Tai’s, where they waited in a very long line for the opportunity to watch us dive into a cab the moment they gained entry. Also. The floors are sticky. Yuck.

6. Debonair Social Club (#13 on the Complex list) – I just don’t understand this bar. Like, I was genuinely confused the entire time I was there. There was no one behind the bar. There was weird performance art being projected onto the walls. Thumping untz untz dance music was playing…but no one was dancing. Debonair is the encapsulation of everything that is wrong with the hipper than thou hispters in Wicker Park.

5. Moe’s Cantina – this bar isn’t on the list, but it really should be. Or maybe Complex figured they had it covered with John Barleycorn (which is truly the worst place on earth and totally deserving on the #1 spot it earned). Either way…Moe’s Cantina is awful. In theory, it shouldn’t be so bad. Its huge and airy, lots of tables and booths, a inoffensive pop heavy soundtrack, and lots of beer specials. But sadly, its location right in the capitol of Douchelandia (aka Wrigleyville) ruins the whole thing. Sadly, the thing that ruins Moe’s is the same thing that keeps it running: its dudebro clientele. Ugh. I really don’t prefer to combine my cost effective light beer with a noseful of Axe body spray and sweat.

4. Cabaret – Thankfully this place is now closed. Cabaret was a nightclub in the River North neighborhood that seemed to be populated mainly by confused euro trash. I ended up here because I had a friend at the time who loved wealthy euro trash. I also ended up the victim of a misplaced roofie, passed out on the floor of their basement bathroom. I’m really fucking glad this place is closed.

3. Level – Level is (was? I have no idea if it still exists) a bar/club in the extremely hideous “Viagra Triangle” section of the Gold Coast. Its really just everything that is wrong with the world. Old men being total pervs, girls in “club wear”, ridiculously long line, douchetastic door people, and lots and lots of fake tans. Level is the only place on earth where anyone has ever tried to sell me coke. And it happened twice in the same night. YIKES.

2. The Hangge Uppee – After I tweeted the link to the Complex article, my mentions were immediately filled with my friends wondering how on earth the Hangge Uppee wasn’t on the list. The only people who have a good time at the Hangge Uppee always include the statement “I was wasted before I got there” in their re-telling of the event. The HU always has a insanely long line (even when its empty inside. I can’t believe clubs still pull that shit), a $5 cover (seriously, in this city a good rule of thumb is that if there is a cover, you probably don’t want to be there. Covers are a douchebag surcharge), dozens of bachelorette parties, glass strewn floors (from girls dropping their drink in their fervor to dance along to “Baby Got Back”), and bathrooms that make outhouses look swank. There is no possible way to have a good time here unless your BAC is high enough that you could double as a character in The Walking Dead before you step in the door. Trust me. I’ve tried.

1. This spot is reserved for you, my dear readers! Tell me your terrible Chicago nightlife experiences. Clue me in to what bars you think Complex missed (for my money, Red Ivy,  Excalibur, Uncle Fatty’s and a dozen others deserved spots). Tell me all about the douchey bars in your cities/towns. I’m dying to know.

Drink responsibly.

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