Showing posts with label highlights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label highlights. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ChiIL November Highlights, Huge Holidaze Giveaways & ChiIL Picks Gift List Details & More

Things have been hoppin' here in Chi, IL.   The weather may be getting chilly, but you can still chiIL out with ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama this fall & winter.   We're all over the local theatre & music scene, events and giveaways.  Our HUGE annual ChiIL Holidaze Giveaways & ChiIL Picks Gift List will go live November 15th-December 15th with LOADS of great goodie to win and our ChiIL Picks List for unique gifts for all ages.   

Spread the word for more entries and enter like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often!

Disclaimer:   Thanks to all the generous musicians, toy companies, distributors and PR firms that send us products for our giveaways and for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

Here's what we've been up to, what's already posted, what you can look forward to seeing right here in the near future, and so much more. 

Read me at:  ChiIL MamaChiIL Live ShowsCNN, 

Facebook:  ChiIL Live Shows & ChiIL Mama

Keep up with the latest:    

Fam Friendly photo & video features, giveaways, recaps & reviews will be at ChiIL Mama.  

Theatre, music, art,  giveaways, events, & reviews for adults will be at ChiIL Live Shows.

We gave away a sweet 3d Willis Tower Puzzle, Pacific Rim Blu-Ray & loads of local concert tickets & our huge holidaze giveaways begin the 10th.  

We're also back again for the 3rd year as press sponsor for Beat Kitchen's popular weekly Sunday noon Concerts for Kids, which means we give away free tickets EVERY week.  We also have free kindie tickets for shows at Schubas like the award winning Mister G, Baby Loves Disco at Lincoln Hall & more.



Yes there IS a SANTA CLAUS!!   ChiIL Mama was elated to be invited to The Annual Kenmore Blogger Summit with 24 top bloggers flown in from all over the country.   It was a fun filled, informative weekend and we'll have a full photo recap up soon.   

During the Kenmore Blogger Summit, here's an actual Tweet I sent out:

10/26  Dear santa.. I've been really good this year.  Your cookies n milk would look rockin' awesome in a new grab n go @kenmore fridge #testedtales 

Within a half hour I WON a $2,500 Kenmore French Door Fridge/Bottom Freezer in a blind gift grab bag!!  This has been a high point of my fall for sure.   

Even better... the rules were you could pick 1 from under the tree or snag one from someone else & the final 10 seconds were a swapping free for all.   I had a different bag, that had been stolen from others several times before, and at the last second another blogger snagged it from me and swapped in a sweater print box.   What I lost?...A garlic press!

What I won:

SANTA LIVES!!!!   Don't tell me there's no such thing as holiday magic.

The other blogger was a good sport about it.   I hugged her and thanked her profusely. 

**Upcoming Special Features: 

  • Kenmore Blogger Summit where I WON a $2500 FRIDGE!!!!   If you follow us on FB/Twitter you're already aware of my rockin' awesome win.   If not, you'll hear the whole story shortly... complete with humorous anecdotes, photos and holiday miracle
  • Blueman Group photo recap press event--unveiling of garden art/artist video interviews
  • Lyle Cogen-feature/CD review/original interview with NYC's own nationally acclaimed Bullying Prevention Maven.   We wrapped up anti-bullying month with an great phone interview with Lyle which we're presently editing for a full feature.
  • Hamming it up with Hemmert--CircEsteem Circ Soiree Benefit Show with MC Terri Hemmert from WXRT--full video footage coming/photo recap up already
  • Breakfast with Bayless--THE RETURN OF RICK BAYLESS IN CASCABEL--our original photo & video Frontera breakfast press conference recap.

Four week limited run in the Goodman Theatre’s Owen Bruner Theatre
July 30 – August 24, 2014

*November 15-17 Win 6 tickets to Aquatic Experience Chicago traveling shark show/aquarium show-6 ticket giveaway/advance press/ photo recap

*Opening November 21 Illumination at Morton Arboretum-ticket giveaway/photo recap

*last weekend:

Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus Present Built to Amaze--full photo recap coming/advance features & discount ticket code still posted/4 ticket giveaway (ended)

Redmoon-Boneshaker--behind the scenes photo feature up/full photo recap coming

Redmoon Skelebration (fam friendly)--full photo recap coming

Chicago International Children's Film Festival--video footage, recap & reviews coming

Holiday Inn/photo tour/travel feature

FREE Birds Movie Advanced Sneak Peek/Review

Fall Theatre Reviews For

  • That's Weird Chicago-Barrel of Monkeys
  • 7th Love-Harris Theatre
  • Lord of the Flies at Steppenwolf
  • Once Upon a Dream (Rascals)-Cadillac Palace Broadway in Chicago
  • We will Rock You (Queen Musical)-Cadillac Palace Broadway in Chicago
  • Midnight Circus
  • Smokefall--Goodman
  • The Table (puppetry)--Chicago Shakespeare
  • Wrecks-Profiles
  • Once-Oriental Theatre Broadway in Chicago
  • Cyrano--Chicago Shakespeare
  • A Year With Frog & Toad at Chicago Children's Theatre
  • Old Jews Telling Jokes--Royal George
  • North China Lover-Lookingglass

Upcoming Theatre Reviews 

  • Port Authority-Writers Theatre (we'll be reviewing at the press opening tonight) 11/6
  • Kate & Sam are not Breaking Up-Collaboraction
  • Appropriate-Victory Gardens
  • Actor's Gym Youth Circus--A'musing Myths
  • Hellcab at Profiles
  • A Christmas Carol-Goodman
  • An Iliad Theatre
  • Mikado-Hypocrites (at Steppenwolf)
  • Dead Prince-DCASE
  • ATC-It's a Wonderful Life
  • A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol
  • The Nutcracker-House Theatre
  • Trevor-Red Orchid

    and more!   We'll be adding more to this stellar show list as the month progresses.

    Game & Toy Related:

    **Activision Family Games Summit (this Thurs 11/7) open to the public on line**
    • PopCap Plants Vs. Zombies 2--press party
    • November 21-24 ChiTAG-Chicago Toy and Game Fair (open to the public)
    Foodie Fun:
    • Chicago food swap at the Chopping Block
    • Pinstripes Restaurant Review
    • Plum Market photo feature
    • PigPen band (alt folk-of Old Man and The Old Moon fame) at Schubas-4 show residency/multiple live shows photo features & ticket giveaways to all shows. *Final show November 18th (21+). 
    • Monster Magnet at Bottom Lounge 11/16
    • Yakuza at Beat Kitchen 11/22
    • Misfits at Concord(live show photo feature)
    • Dumpstaphunk at Concord (live show photo feature)
    • Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg and Andrew W. K. at Double Door  (live show photo feature)
    • Revocation (photo feature/original video interview)
    November Movies On Our Radar:
    The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire
    Thor The Dark World
    The Book Thief
    That Awkward Moment
    Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
    The Punk Singer
    Bettie Page Reveals All
    CIMMfest-call for entries/special screenings
    Music Box highlights
    Facets features

    Prizes/Ticket Giveaways:  As always, our free tickets and events listings are Chicago centered but our giveaways & reviews are for Chi, IL and beyond (nationwide & sometimes Canada too).   We'll have all past winnings coming from us shipped out before the 10th, so if you're still eagerly awaiting CDs, books, toys, etc. thanks for your patience and we've got you covered.   

    Some of our prizes come directly from the musicians/distributor/PR peeps etc. and in that case, please wait a month and if you still have not gotten your winnings, shoot us an e-mail and we'll do everything possible to expedite things and get an ETA from them.   Unfortunately we can not replace anything lost in the mail.   It has never happened yet, that I'm aware of, but a few things have gone missing in the lovely Chi-town mail enroute TO me.

    Disclaimer:   Thanks to all the generous musicians, toy companies, distributors and PR firms that send us products for our giveaways and for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    CIMMfest Official Highlights For 2013 Including Funky Meters & The Greyboy Allstars at Congress #CIMMfest

    Music and film... together in one rockin' raucous 4 day fest.   ChiIL Live Shows will be there... will YOU?!   Check back early and often for loads of our original content from CIMMfest 2012, and hot happenings for 2013 as we count down to the 5th Annual CIMMfest April 18-21!

    Of course, some of our fest favs are the little screenings (particularly punk & metal related) that don't make the official, featured hot happenings and famous faces.  The beauty of a multi venue fest is choice.   Take some time to check out the full listings here and make your own path.   Still, here's the official word on what's awesome and upcoming.   And some of it we wouldn't miss for any obscure indie release.  

    We're particularly stoked for The Funky Meters, Greyboy Allstars and J.C. Brooks... all long time funk favs of ours.   We're also huge fans of Chi-town's Bloodshot Records, Sister Spit's infamous grrrrrrl power poetry and prose, and we're looking forward to checking out Manual Cinema. 

     ADDED TO CIMMfest No. 5 LINEUP, APRIL 18-21

    Other highlights include:

    An expanded live music component with concerts by Lydia Loveless, Corey Harris, Pontiak and a Funk Rock Soul triple bill with the funky METERS, Greyboy Allstars and JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound; CIMMpathy for The Stones, celebrating The Rolling Stones’ 50 years of music on film; a special film section, award ceremony and concert with maverick filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles; an evening of music and movies with the legendary Van Dyke Parks and his filmmaker son, Richard; a Blues film section; 13 World Premiere screenings; and much more highlight the 5th annual Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest No. 5).  The four-day festival annually brings together filmmakers, musicians and devotees from around the world for a celebration of movies and music at various venues centered around Chicago’s Wicker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods, with a satellite location at the Music Box Theatre, Thursday, April 18 – Sunday, April 21. 

    More than 100 films from over 27 countries will be screened including features, documentaries, shorts, concert films, animation and music videos, all with music at their center. Playing a bigger role this year will be the live music component, including showcases by Bloodshot Records, Captcha Records and ASCAP; curated concerts, and innovative multimedia events, featuring Manual Cinema, Sister Spit, live film scoring, concerts by documentary film subjects and more. 

    “CIMMfest audiences will have the rare opportunity to experience first – and firsthand – an incredible range of movies and music.  We are thrilled to be producing our fifth festival showcasing amazing films and live performances, with much more live music alongside innovative crossover events,” said Josh Chicoine, CIMMfest Co-Director, with Ilko Davidov. “We are happy to bring satellite venues like The Hideout, The Burlington, the Music Box and the brand new Constellation to our main drag: Milwaukee Avenue from Wicker Park to Logan Square. CIMMfest is unique in that we truly aim to highlight the crossover of film and song, movies and music, past, present and future, in the best city on earth. Along with our board of directors, staff, partners, sponsors, friends and supporters, we are thrilled to be curating these amazing four days in April!”


    • This year’s Opening Night event, An Evening with Van Dyke Parks, pays tribute to the legendary American composer, arranger, producer, musician, singer, author and actor, in a rare Chicago appearance at the Constellation (formerly the Viaduct), Thursday, April 18. The multimedia program will feature: Van Dyke Parks in conversation about his life in music; the screening of three related short films directed by his son, filmmaker and former newspaper editor, Richard Parks, including Van Dyke Parks on Discover America, Van Dyke Parks on Song Cycle and Music Man Murray (which was scored by the elder Parks and won the Best Short Doc Award at CIMMfest 2012); and a live performance by Parks of his many classic songs.

    •   CIMMpathy for The Stones, a major retrospective celebrating The Rolling Stones’ 50 years of music on film includes screenings of ten concert films and documentaries – two never before seen in Chicago –and takes place at the Music Box Theatre, Friday-Sunday, April 19-21.  The event kicks off Friday with a trio of films: Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones at the Checkerboard Lounge, Live Chicago 1981, The Rolling Stones: Charlie Is My Darling - Ireland 1965 (dir. Mick Gochanour, Peter Whitehead), followed by a Q&A with Director Mick Gochanour and Producer Robin Klein, and Stones In Exile (dir. Stephen Kijak).  Saturday screenings include: Some Girls – Live in Texas ’78 (dir. Lynn Lenau Calmes); the Chicago Premiere of Rolling Like A Stone (dirs. Stefan Berg, Magnus Gertten); Sympathy for the Devil (dir. Jean-Luc Godard); the Chicago Premiere of I Got The Blues In Austin (dir. Richard Jernigan); and Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! (dirs. Albert Maysles, Bradley Kaplan, Ian Marciewicz), followed by a Q&A with producers Gochanour and Klein. Sunday’s lineup includes Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (dir. Rollin Binzer); and The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (dir. Michael Lindsay-Hogg), followed by a Q&A with producers Gochanour and Klein. Additional special guest appearances will be announced. 

    • CIMMfest’s Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award: The Baadasssss Award, ceremony and concert honors maverick filmmaker and Chicago native Melvin Van Peebles at the Constellation on Saturday, April 20, followed by a special live musical performance by Melvin Van Peebles widLaxative. The writer, actor and director, who turns 80 this year, ushered in a new era of African-American films with his Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, which will be screened during the Festival along with his The Story of a Three-Day Pass and Don’t Play Us Cheap, plus a documentary about Van Peebles, How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It), by Chicago native Joe Angio. The CIMMfest Lifetime Achievement Award pays tribute to the outstanding accomplishments of maverick artists who helped to shape and obliterate barriers for today's generation of filmmakers and artists. 

    • Blues Film Premieres throughout the weekend include the World Premiere screening of True Blues (dir. Daniel Patinkin), a celebration of traditional acoustic blues at the Logan Theatre, followed by a Q&A with the director and a live performance by two of the film’s subjects, MacArthur Genius Corey Harris and Blues Great Guy Davis at ROSA’S Lounge Saturday, April 20. Making its Chicago Premiere is AKA Doc Pomus (dirs. Peter Miller/Will Hechter), a documentary about the polio-stricken, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder who reinvented himself as blues singer Doc Pomus and went on to become one of the most brilliant songwriters of the early rock and roll era, at the Logan Theatre, Saturday, April 20.

    • Showcase Argentina welcomes two docs making their U.S. and North American Premieres, respectively: Esperando el Tsunami (Waiting for the Tsunami), a collaboration between renowned French filmmaker Vincent Moon and the Argentine-Colombian duo Lulacruza that documents a musical journey through Colombia; and El Gran Río (The Mighty River) (dir. Rubén Plataneo) about rapper David Dodas Bangoura, aka Black Doh. The Sundance Film Festival hit, El último Elvis (The Last Elvis), Armando Bo’s drama about an Elvis impersonator facing the emptiness of his life, has its Chicago debut as part of this series.

    • Two Chicago-based record labels will present showcases for CIMMfest No. 5: Bloodshot Records presents alt-country singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless and New Orleans singer-slide guitarist Luke Winslow-King at The Hideout, Friday, April 19; while Captcha Records presents onYou, Chandeliers, Aru + BBjr and Windbreaker at The Burlington, Saturday, April 20
    • Multimedia events pairing movies and live music include: Manual Cinema’s one-of-a-kind melding of theater, projection and sound with its newest production, Lula Del Ray, at the Constellation, Saturday, April 20; a screening of Asphalt (dir. Joe May), with live scoring by Yael Acher at Logan Square Studio, Saturday, April 20; and two documentary screenings followed by live concerts by the films’ subjects – La Voce di Rosa (Rosa’s Voice) (dir. Nello Correale) with performance by The Sicilian Jazz Project  at Loyola University, Thursday, April 18; and I Am Not a Rock Star (dir. Bobbi Jo Hart) with performance by pianist Marika Bournaki at Heaven Gallery, Friday, April 19.  
    Also, by popular demand, an encore CIMMfest performance by the raucous, rowdy performance gang, Sister Spit, at The Hideout, Saturday, April 20. This multimedia explosion of tastemakers, novelists, luminaries, chanteuses, performance artists, poets and filmmakers will feature Sister Spit co-founder Michelle Tea; author Ali Liebergott; Cuban-American artist and writer, Cristy C. Road; Australia’s felt-tip superhero, TextaQueen; writer and performer Daniel LéVesque; and performance artist and "genderqueer" DavEnd.
    • 14 films & videos will make their World Premieres, including four with Chicago themesThe Jesus Lizard: Last (dir. Tony Ciarrocchi) documenting the last performance of the band at Metro on New Year's, 2010, at the Society for the Arts, Friday, April 20; Unconscious Therapy (dir. Steven Harnell) about the beginning of House Music in Chicago, at the Logan Theatre, Saturday, April 20; Sacrificial Youth, the punk rock musical by Joe Losurdo (You Weren’t There) who will also preview his Wax Trax! film at the Logan Theatre, Friday, April 19; and True Blues. Other World Premieres include Six Strings Meltdown, The Last Song Before the War, Tuning the Pulse, Joey Molland: Liverpool to Memphis,  Leaning Toward Solace, TWO, Moha, Archie Powell & the Exports, Univore ‘I Dream the Video,’  Linger & Fade and The Stranger.   

    The Chicago Premiere of Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (dirs. Drew DeNicola and Olivia Mori). The definitive documentary about the beloved and influential '70s rock band Big Star, showing at the Logan Theatre, Friday, April 19, features rare music, never-before-seen footage and in-depth interviews with the original band members, family, friends and artists they influenced. 

    A selection of short films from the Sundance Film Festival include Datamosh, Black Metal and #PostModern, while films screened at SXSW include The Punk Syndrome, Downloaded, Necronomica, KRS ONE: Brooklyn to the Bronx and Killer Mike “Reagan.

    A new Unreliable Narrations program offers films by and about musicians who refuse to conform, including the Chicago Premieres of The Mystery in Old Bathbath (dirs. Miss Pussycat and Quintron) by underground cult band Quintron; the documentary Human Skab (dirs. Frank Gunderson and Bret Woods), about the psychotic, hardcore punk rock blues band from Elma, Washington; and a number of notable short films to be announced. 

    A special Funk Rock Soul concert presentation, in partnership with React Presents and Silver Wrapper, features co-headliners funky METERS direct from New Orleans and the Greyboy Allstars celebrating their record release, with rising local post-punk soul quintet JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. Rounding out the music is Chicago's own Jesse de la Peña and Maker, all taking place at the Congress Theater, Friday, April 19. The night will begin with a panel discussion with Elgin Park (aka Mike Andrews), Bruce Sheridan, Film Chair at Columbia College, and more.

    Chicago Premiere of In Search of Blind Joe Death – The Saga of John Fahey (dir. James Cullingham) at the Society for Arts, Friday, April 19. This feature documentary about tremendously influential composer, guitarist, author and provocateur John Fahey (1939-2001), features participation by Pete Townshend, Joey Burns of Calexico, Chris Funk of The Decemberists and many of Fahey's closest collaborators and friends, including renowned radio personality Barry Hansen, aka Dr. Demento. 

    New this year is the launch of CIMMCon, a dynamic professional and entrepreneurial industry conference, presented in association with Columbia College Chicago and the Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago (EARS).  CIMMCon will offer, at no charge, compelling presentations from industry professionals, film icons, artist entrepreneurs and music makers, including Keynote Speaker Martin Atkins (Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Public image Limited, Killing Joke) renowned for his candor regarding the music business.   More information on CIMMCon programming will be announced shortly.  

    For the fifth year, most films will be up for competition, with awards given to the Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Fictional Feature, Best Short Fiction and Best Music Video. The esteemed jury consists of: award-winning documentary filmmaker Jeff Scheftel; two-time Emmy Award©-winning Executive Producer at VH1, Warren Cohen; co-founder and chief content wrangler at, Andy Markowitz; Film Presence’s director of marketing, Sara Kiener; WBEZ 91.5FM arts and culture reporter, Alison Cuddy; Chair of the Film & Video Department at Columbia College Chicago, Professor Bruce Sheridan; film critic and essayist Ignatiy Vishnevetsky; and film director and contributing editor at Filmmaker Magazine, Brandon Harris.

    All-Access Festival passes, priced at $79, are now available at  Festival passes not only offer a substantial savings on individual tickets but provide access to four days of outstanding premiere films, concerts, Q&As, performances, after parties and more.  Single tickets are priced at $10-$12 (Some events are discounted for students with valid ID); most special events are priced at $15.  Concerts are priced per venue.  

    Festival venues include: The Burlington (3425 W. Fullerton Avenue), CIMMCity Headquarters (2634 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Cole’s (2838 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Comfort Station (2579 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Congress Theater (2135 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Constellation (formerly the Viaduct, 3111 N. Western Avenue), Double Door (1572 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Elastic Arts (2830 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Green Eye (2403 W. Homer Avenue), Heaven Gallery (1550 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia), Logan Square Studio (2341 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Loyola University Crown Center Auditorium (1032 W. Sheridan Road), the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Avenue), Northwestern Block Cinema (40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston), Rosa’s Lounge (3420 W. Armitage Avenue), The Society for Arts (1112 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Subterranean (2011 W. North Avenue), Township (2200 N. California Avenue), Underbar (3243 N. Western Avenue), and The Whistler (2421 N. Milwaukee Avenue). 

    Corporate and Community sponsors of CIMMfest No. 5 include Columbia College Chicago, ACME Hotel, Ticketfly, ABKCO, Wicker Park Bucktown SSA #33, the Logan Theatre, the Music Box Theatre, The Society for Arts and Eagle Rock Entertainment.

    A recent Driehaus Foundation Grant winner, CIMMfest is a Non-profit 501(c)3 organization.  For information on how to get involved, visit

    The mission of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) is to highlight the inseparability of film and music through the production of an annual four-day, multi-venue festival. CIMMfest is a convergence event that highlights the interconnectedness of all people shown through the lens of music and movies, on stage and on screen.  All participating films have music at their center: short and long form documentaries and narrative fiction; concert films; animation; music videos; performances; live concert events; art exhibits; and panel discussions, presented at both new and historic venues around Chicago.  CIMMfest is a platform for filmmakers and musicians, artists and producers, to present their vision and offer a connection point for people to come together for a celebration of movies, music and good times in the greatest city on earth – Chicago!  For more information, visit  

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