18a. Mother Falcon @ Constellation in Roscoe Village

29 Sep

18a. Mother Falcon @ Constellation in Roscoe Village

I arrived in Chicago yesterday, and without unpacking at all from my six-month absence (I had been in Barcelona studying abroad in the spring and in San Jose over the summer), I got lunch with my roommate Matt and asked him if he was doing anything that night and whether or not he’d be interested in hearing an orchestral indie group with a crazy big sound. He had never heard of Mother Falcon (not enough people have), but it sounded cool to him. We agreed to meet at around 5:30 to leave for Roscoe Village. I headed off to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the end of the Impressionism, Fashion, & Modernity exhibit with my friend and roommate Savannah.

Roscoe Village is a pretty cute little area. Constellation is a barely noticeable music venue at Western and Belmont (in fact, we walked around for a little bit just trying to find it). However, inside it’s lovely. Wonderful unfinished ceiling, low (almost romantic) lighting, and really nice drink prices. I had a Pimm’s cup for $6. I loved the seating – there were seats arranged all around the performance area, and no matter where you were seating, it was a lovely view of the performance area.

Mother Falcon has an amazing sound live – imagine an orchestra of fifteen furiously playing, and all the while adding lovely vocal harmonies. Check out their album “You Knew” – it’s absolutely majestic, and even more so when you are sitting less than ten feet away from the players. Immediately, I noticed that Nick Gregg’s bow strings were frayed (and if you’ve ever seen them play as furiously as they do, you know why), and in place of a normal cello pin stopper, he had a shoe. Very cute.  They also covered Radiohead’s OK Computer. How crazy is that? Tamir Kalifa did his best Thom Yorke impression (can’t say it was really an impression, really – his rich timbre showed elsewhere during Mother Falcon’s set, and it showed a really great match for the songs on OK Computer. For their encore, they played Dirty Summer, during which the lead female singer (who also plays the guitar, the trumpet, and the banjo) actually stood on her chair as she belted out their incredibly catchy hook along with the audience.

Overall, I think I started out the year quite well. Here’s to a productive and wonderful fourth year at the University of Chicago.

Take a listen to some of Mother Falcon’s music: Dirty Summer, Marigold

Listen to their cover of Paranoid Android off of OK Computer.


fifty mini-adventures

23 Sep

I was inspired by a great friend of mine who started a list of things to do before she graduates. I figured that I would do the same. I’ve had the opportunity to study in an amazing city for the last three years of my life (well, not counting the quarter I spent in Barcelona, which was also amazing). Why not really make an effort to make the most of it this year? There’s so much I haven’t done yet that I’ve told myself I would do since I arrived. I may be a little late to the party for a lot of this, but better late than never. So here goes nothing – I’m finally going to take advantage of Chicago, especially because I have no idea where I’ll end up after graduation.

  1. See five bands I have not heard of before just because I have a free night and because the venue’s cool (I’ll be looking to Subterranean for quite a lot of this).
  2. Participate in a downtown flash mob.
  3. See a show in the downtown theatre district! I’m also going to include the Steppenwolf Theatre in this, even if it’s actually in Lincoln Park.
  4. Take a water taxi from Michigan Ave. all the way down to Chinatown.
  5. Order a drink at the Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock and enjoy the view.
  6. Take a coffee tour of the city (and hope that I don’t die from all of that glorious, glorious caffeine!).
  7. Get a paczki on Paczki Day.
  8. Go to a Michelin-starred restaurant.
  9. Have every beer on tap (in the regular rotation because I can’t keep track of the special limited time ones) at the Pub.
  10. Reserve a restaurant for Restaurant Week more than a month in advance.
  11. Stand in the crazy line and order a specialty dog at Hot Doug’s.
  12. Go to an After Dark event at a museum.
  13. Go to the CSO.
  14. Slide down the Picasso sculpture at Daley Plaza.
  15. Do homework at Crerar.
  16. Candlestick or Duckpin bowling.
  17. Have a full out tea service at Russian Tea Time.
  18. Go to ten neighborhoods I have never visited.
  19. Attend a free Millennium Park concert at the end of the year, whether it’s during finals or not.
  20. Have some drinks at some of the secret underground bars I’ve heard of.
  21. Actually go to the Hyde Park Jazz Festival (this will have to be this Sunday).
  22. See a Chicago Latino Film Festival film.
  23. Visit all of the major sights in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Bonus if I can do this all in one day.
  24. Finally buy a UChicago pennant to hang up in the Chattahoochee High School library.
  25. Make the trek to Gene and Jude’s for what is purported to be the best Chicago dog anywhere. (This used to be “attend Lascivious Ball,” but apparently that probably isn’t happening anymore – thanks Reddit users electroencefalografi for the new idea and blueshirt21 for the heads up!)
  26. Submit a guest article to a UChicago publication.
  27. Take a mixology class.
  28. Participate in the annual Lake Shore Drive bike ride.
  29. Write a paper for a class at Jimmy’s.
  30. Go to the following breweries: Piece, Atlas, Goose Island, and Half Acre.
  31. Attend a Court Theatre play and a UT play.
  32. See every UChicago acappella group in concert at least once.
  33. Kayak the Chicago River.
  34. Witness the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the dyeing of the river.
  35. See the fireworks at Navy Pier. I worked there for a summer – why not actually experience it?
  36. See the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Daley Plaza.
  37. Proceed from an evening of Saturday drinking to a full Sunday morning brunch, complete with either mimosa or bloody Mary. Addendum: DIY bloody Marys as well.
  38. Attend a event, helping to organize for immigration reform.
  39. Go to a concert with the Chicago Indie Rock Fans Meetup group.
  40. Go to Valois after an all-nighter.
  41. Leave no booze in our apartment cabinet unfinished at the end of the year.
  42. Have dinner at a professor’s place.
  43. Arrange a piece for MAJN, my a cappella group.
  44. Picnic on the quad, complete with cheese and wine.
  45. Meet a band after a show.
  46. Take a double decker tour bus around the city. It’s how we started our acquaintance with this beautiful city, and I’d love to bookend that experience.
  47. Make the Dat Donut trek and order the Big Dat.
  48. See some big name political figure at I-House, no matter how much I may disagree with them.
  49. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around Mag Mile.
  50. Sing my heart out with no shame at a crowded public karaoke bar.
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