Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cirque Dreams Holidaze Returns to Chicago


Cirque Dreams triumphantly returns to Chicago with its critically acclaimed holiday stage extravaganza,Cirque Dreams Holidaze, December 17- 21 at the Chicago Theatre (175 North State St.)

 From the creators of the groundbreaking Broadway hit Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is the perfect holiday gift for families and audiences of all ages. Be amazed by this holiday spectacle with over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 artists from every corner of the globe. Many of these acts have been featured on “America’s Got Talent” and similar TV shows in other countries making Cirque Dreams Holidaze the greatest variety show on the planet!

Performance Schedule

  • Wed., Dec. 17, 2014 7:30 p.m.
  • Thu., Dec. 18, 2014 7:30 p.m. 
  • Fri., Dec. 19, 2014 7:30 p.m.
  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 2 p.m. 
  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 7:30 p.m. 
  • Sun., Dec. 21, 2014 2 p.m.
 Ticket Information
  • Tickets are priced at $25-$75 and are available at the Chicago Theatre box office or online at

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014






 Top Recording Artists Demi Lovato, Iggy Azalea, Calvin Harris, and Rita Ora -Lead All-Star Lineup

Celebration to Benefit The Ryan Seacrest Foundation

Chicago, Ill. – October 9, 2014 – 103.5 KISS FM, Chicago's #1 Hit Music Station, today unveiled the star-studded lineup for its annual holiday concert, 103.5 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball 2014, taking place on Thursday, December 18, at 7:30 p.m. CST at Allstate Arena. 103.5 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball 2014 is part of the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, the season’s biggest annual music event that captures the holiday spirit of the iHeartRadio app, in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Miami and Tampa, with additional Jingle Ball concert events in Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta and Columbus.

103.5 KISS FM on-air personalities Fred + Angi of “Fred + Angi In The Morning,”officially announced the all-star performers for 103.5 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball 2014 which will include Demi Lovato, Calvin Harris, Fall Out Boy, Iggy Azalea, OneRepublic, Meghan Trainor, Nick Jonas, MAGIC!, Charli XCX, Jessie J, Rita Ora, Becky G, Shawn Mendes and Kiesza.

Tickets will be sold exclusively to 103.5 KISS FM’s “KISS VIPs” and Facebook Fans via Ticketmaster outlets starting Thursday, October 16, at 10 a.m. CST until Saturday, October 18, at 9:59 a.m. CST.  Fans can register for free to become a 103.5 KISS FM “KISS VIP” or Facebook Fan by logging on to and Any remaining tickets will be available for public purchase starting Saturday, October 18, from 10a.m. CST via

“We are thrilled to welcome back Chicago’s 103.5 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball and to continue this exciting musical tradition,” said Tommy Austin, 103.5 KISS FM's Program Director. “With the festive atmosphere and stellar lineup, Jingle Ball is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with our listeners.”

Every year, 103.5 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball gives back to the community to celebrate the holiday season.  This year’s official charity for 103.5 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball 2014 is the Ryan Seacrest Foundation – $1.00 of each ticket sold will be donated to the non-profit organization, which is dedicated to inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and education focused initiatives.

“The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is excited to be a part of Jingle Ball again this year, collaborating with iHeartMedia to help us raise funds and awareness for our work with pediatric hospitals across the country,” said Meredith Seacrest, Executive Director & COO of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.  “It’s really fun to be a part of the concert filled with the greatest pop stars of today, and we are extremely grateful for iHeartMedia’s ongoing support of our cause.”

Proud partners of this year’s national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour event(s) include: Macy's and The CW Network. Multimarket partners include: Allstate Insurance Company and ULTA® Beauty.

For up-to-minute information on 103.5 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball 2014 log on to keyword: Jingle Ball or listen to 103.5 KISS FM on-air or online via the station’s website, as well as on and the iHeartRadio mobile app, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one music streaming and digital radio service. iHeartRadio is available across web, mobile phones, tablets, automotive partners, smart TVs, gaming devices and more. iHeartRadio is always free for listeners to use, with no capped hours or monthly subscription fees. It delivers everything listeners want in an all-in-one platform: Instant access to more than 1,500 radio stations from across the country, user-created Custom Stations inspired by a favorite artist or song, thousands of curated digital stations "Perfect For" any mood or activity, and a Shows & Personalities feature giving users access to the best on-demand news, talk and entertainment content available today.  To see all available platforms and to download the app, visit
Artists and/or event subject to change or cancellation without notice.

About iHeartMedia Chicago:

iHeartMedia Chicago owns and operates WGCI-FM; WGRB-AM; WKSC-FM; WLIT-FM; WNUA-FM; WVAZ-FM and 97.5 ESPN Deportes; and is part of iHeartMedia.  With 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S., 97 million monthly digital uniques for iHeartMedia Digital and 196 million monthly consumers of its Total Traffic and Weather Network, iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America.  It serves over 150 markets through 859 owned radio stations, and the company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio, on the Internet at and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile app, in enhanced auto dashes, on iPads and smartphones, and on gaming consoles.iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital radio platform, is the No. 1 all-in-one digital audio service with over 345 million downloads; it reached its first 20 million registered users faster than any digital service in Internet history and reached 50 million users faster than any digital music service and even faster than Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  The company’s operations include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital and social media, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation.  For more information visit our website at

About Ryan Seacrest Foundation:

The Ryan Seacrest Foundation (RSF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and education-focused initiatives.  RSF’s first initiative is to build broadcast media centers—Seacrest Studios—within pediatric hospitals for patients to explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media. Founded in 2009, RSF currently has Seacrest Studios at hospitals in Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Denver, Orange County, Calif. and Philadelphia. The foundation has plans to expand throughout the nation, and is currently working to launch in Boston in 2014. For more information, visit More at |

Friday, December 12, 2014

Johnny Gill Celebrates “Game Changer” Album with Intimate Experience

by Sommer Thornton

R&B Soul crooner Johnny Gill will visit Chicago’s Experience music series and perform tracks off his new album, Game Changer.

Thirty years after his debut album and a successful career with New Edition, Johnny Gill releases Game Changer with grown-folks sex appeal. New tracks like “Behind Closed Doors,” and “Can’t Keep My Hands Off of You,” evoke a “My, My, My,” 2.0 vibe for lovers and love makers. Game Changer features songs written and produced by Babyface, Claude Kelly, and Vidal Davis.

Johnny Gill will celebrate the release of his new album and perform new tracks at The Experience December 16th, at the Dusable Museum (740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL). The Experience, hosted by founder Dedry Jones, is an event series where artists give fans a sample of their new album and discuss their artistry in an intimate setting. The mini concert is always prompted or followed by an interview with Dedry Jones. Jones will speak with Gill about his career thus far, and what he has in store for his fans with Game Changer. One lucky attendee will win tickets to Las Vegas and another will receive a pair of tickets for the Valentine's Day Love Jam Concert featuring BBD, Toni Tone Tony, EnVogue, Blackstreet and SWV.

Doors open at 6:30 pm, the show starts at 7:00 pm. Purchase tickets at The Music Experience, 1959 1/2 East 73rd Street, Chicago IL 60649, via phone at 773-493-0154, or online at  

The Experience has featured artist like Maxwell, John Legend, Ledisi, Earth Wind & Fire, and recently Will Downing. 

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Birthday Massacre Comes to The Bottom Lounge

A captivating hybrid of 80's electronica and aggressive guitars, curiously fused with a cinematic quality of melodic progressions, The Birthday Massacre's soundscapes have encapsulated a diverse and devout fan base. Formed in 2000 under the name Imagica, the band played their first show at Diversity Nightclub in London, Ontario, Canada. Their original lineup consisted of Chibi (vocals), Rainbow (rhythm guitar), Michael Falcore (lead guitar), Aslan (bass guitar), and Dank (keyboards). With this lineup, plus the addition of OE on percussion, they released a seven song demo EP in very limited edition.

In 2001, the band relocated from London to Toronto, Ontario and changed their name from Imagica to The Birthday Massacre. In July of 2002, they self released the limited edition CD Nothing and Nowhere and added a new drummer, Rhim. Two years later, they followed up with the EP, Violet. With a growing fan base on the internet and in their city of Toronto, their confidence was shown onstage with extreme energy and highly entertaining performances.

2005 was a big year for The Birthday Massacre. Not only did they add O-En on keyboards, but were signed in Europe by Repo Records and in North America by Metropolis Records. Both labels re-released Violet as a full length album with four extra tracks. Having time to mature their patent sound, the extended commercial release of Violet drew in many new fans while maintaining the same appeal for listeners who enjoyed the band’s debut album. A video for their song “Blue” was released, which was produced by NYC artist and director Daniel Ouellette. The video fit The Birthday Massacre well; it showed their knack for mixing themes of horror and tragedy with fun and satire to create a unique and versatile experience.

In Early 2007 The Birthday Massacre and Metropolis Records decided to re-release the band’s self released 2002 debut Nothing and Nowhere. Featuring early versions of popular Birthday Massacre tracks, Nothing and Nowhere also includes five songs that had not been available since the band’s release went out of print. The album is an amazing collection for not only the completist, but new comers alike.

With their 2007 album, Walking With Strangers, The Birthday Massacre once again exceeded the expectations of their ever-growing and devoted fan base. Co-produced by Rainbow, Falcore, and the legendary Dave "Rave" Ogilvie (who also mixed the album), TBM remained true to the sound that gained them the praise of fans and music critics alike, while further refining and expanding upon their signature sound. In late spring of 2008, the band released the Looking Glass EP and embarked on a North American tour with Mindless Self Indulgence.

The intensity of their live shows was captured on film in late 2007 in Hamburg, Germany. This footage has been assembled to make The Birthday Massacre’s first ever live CD and DVD, Show And Tell. The CD version was released in mid-2009, with the DVD companion set for release in January 2010.

The Birthday Massacre Fall Tour, US and Canada.

Dec 13 · Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock Social Club
Dec 14 · Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
Dec 16 · Cleveland, OH Agora Ballroom
Dec 17 · Pontiac, MI The Crofoot
Dec 18 · Toronto, ON The Mod Club

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Bloodshot Records 20th Anniversary Blowout

To commemorate the label’s 20th anniversary, Chicago's own Bloodshot Records is celebrating with a special night of live performances and convivialities on Saturday, January 10th at the Metro.
Presented by WXRT and Lagunitas Brewing Company, the Bloodshot Records 20th Anniversary Blowout will feature sets from Ben Kweller, Jon Langford & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts (including Sally Timms, Nora O’Connor, magician Mr. Ash, and many other fabulous guests), Bobby Bare Jr., and newly added acts to the bill, Lydia Loveless and new label signees Banditos. The night will also have additional secret special appearances throughout.
Tickets are $21, available now at the Metro’s site or at the venue ticket box office, located at 3730 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60613. The show is 18 and over and doors open at 6:30 PM.
The event will include Lagunitas beer tastings and Couch Trippin’ experience, plus a pre-party next door at the Gingerman Tavern, featuring the opening of an exclusive Yard Dog art gallery ( Pre-show festivities begin at 5 PM.
Bring a non-perishable food donation for the Greater Chicago Food Depository and receive a Bloodshot sampler.
More info on the Bloodshot Records 20th Anniversary Blowout and other label anniversary-related items, including the compilation While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records, can be found at
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Toms Opens a One-Stop Store in Wicker Park

by Sommer Thornton

November 21, 2014, marked the grand opening of the new Toms store in Wicker Park. Known for its comfy “boat shoe” style, the brand’s aesthetic suits the north Chicago neighborhood that’s ripe with young professionals, hippies and socialites very well. And Toms showcases some cool new designs for men and women that include winter boots and comfortable heels.

The Chicago location will mark Toms fourth US retail store, following the Venice, CA flagship in 2012, and the 2014 openings in Austin, TX and Portland, OR. The location at 1611 North Damon Avenue retails shoes, sunglasses, and apparel; and will play host to a variety of events and provide a relaxing hang out spot for patrons and pets.

This store’s design takes the global aesthetic synonymous with TOMS and fuses it with inspiration drawn from Chicago’s industrial architecture. The result is an inviting space that highlights the best of both brand and city with a color palate and imagery that evokes Africa and Asia. A banquet cafe sits at the front of the store for shoppers to enjoy a cup of coffee with friends, do some work, or just kick back and take a little break. The store also has free WiFi. Nestled in the back is a full-service coffee bar, brewing TOMS Roasting Co. lattes, cappuccinos, teas, and seasonal coffee creations. The cafĂ© also serves an assortment of fresh pastries and pressed juices.

The space is furnished with pieces from a variety of artisanal furniture designers, including Lamon Luther, a Georgia based furniture company, that employs formerly homeless carpenters.

Check out a few pics from the store’s opening!

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Granderson’s Grand Giving Charity Event a Big Success

by Sommer Thornton

November 12, 2014, marked the annual Grand Kids-Grand Giving Charity event founded by pro baseball player, Curtis Granderson. Hundreds of 30-something well-dressed Chi-town sophisticates flocked to Moe’s Cantina in River North- Chicago for an after-work soiree – that’s proceeds go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. General Motors and Dobel Tequila were some of the many sponsors that kept the libations flowing and music thumpin.

Check out a few pics!

Curtis Granderson
Curtis Granderson

Fred Ligouri of General Motors, Curtis Granderson, Art Norman

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