New Band Crush: Wannabe Jalva

CMJ Music Marathon is just around the corner. While not in New York to enjoy the jam-packed craziness of new bands and shows, I’m happy to keep up from afar through the magic of social media, press releases and music blog coverage. Sifting through the sea of STUFF constitutes as a hobby in and of itself. Discovering a new great band to listen to is more than a little exciting.


Wannabe Jalva is a Brazilian band set to make their US debut at CMJ. Their sound is straight-up, happy, appealing rock. They remind me of the Arctic Monkeys.  Take a listen.

Going to CMJ Music Marathon shows? Excited about any new bands? Lemme know in the comments.

Reason to Love My City: CHIRP Radio

Over the past couple of years, one booth at the myriad craft shows/street fests of Chicago stood out to me time and time again. Searching for the latest homemade wares or perhaps a glass of sangria, a little red bird would catch my eye. At many a local event I wondered, what is CHIRP radio? And how can I get involved. It turns out…pretty darn easy. What’s better? It’s pretty darn cool as well.

I made my way to the Conrad Sulzer Library this past June for my CHIRP volunteer orientation. I was met by a room of enthusiastic people who run the ship who genuinely cared to learn why each and every prospective volunteer showed up. I have minimal radio experience (what’s up, 93.9 college internship!) but I remember loving the radio community and having boatloads of fun. Boatloads, I say! Anyway, I left feeling more excited about CHIRP radio than I’ve been about an organization in quite some time. It’s entirely run by people who REALLY care about the station, it’s future, music, local Chicago bands and are, from my brief interaction, kind and caring individuals intent on sharing their passion with newbies like me.

So here’s my plug.

If anyone in the blogosphere tumbles upon this fair article, CHIRP is in the midst of it’s 12-day Fall Campaign Drive. Just a few bucks makes a HUGE difference in the day-to-day and big picture of this really deserving organization. Put my name in the “How did you hear about CHIRP” and I’ll love you forever. Questions, comments, want to get involved? Just leave me a note in the comments. Y’all are the best. Donate now!

Hump Day Treat.

It’s the Ambition Panda, courtesy of the wonderfully darling My Zoetrope blog. Check out her whimsical blog full of warm and fuzzy delights like this one.

I’ll be damned if this cute little panda doesn’t inspire me to dive headfirst into plotting out great things for the future. Go panda! (Did I say “panda” enough times? I hope so. Panda!)


Two new goals for the fall season:

1. Run another 5k
2. REALLY write a novel this November as part of NaNoWriMo. Last year I put forth an effort, but fell short. I am determined to get to 50,000 words by November 30. It WILL happen.

Any big or small ambitions inspiring you this fall? Let me know in the comments!


Reason to Love My City: 826CHI

Last night, I went to a volunteer orientation for a FANTASTIC organization, 826CHI. If you love to write, if you want to make a difference, if making kids happy and strengthening their writing skills are your thing, get to know this place better for immediate inspiration. I heard about 826 many moons ago, through my favorite author, Dave Eggers, who started the creative writing and tutoring center back in the early 2000s. Listening to the kind, encouraging and funny staff talk about the mission and how volunteers can help left me feeling jazzed and ready to help!

826CHI // Who Wants Love? from 826CHI on Vimeo.


Salut, Septembre.

Oh hey. It’s September. The last month before winter coat season rears it’s ugly head, the last month of sinfully gorgeous Chicago weather. There’s much to look forward to! I love finding out about fun new events (and checking up on excellent event aggregates like Chicagoist & Gapers Block)…if you are up to anything cool + unusual, let me know in the comments!

Renegade Craft Fair

September 6 & 7Renegade Craft Fair is a crazy creative thoroughfare taking place in the heart of Wicker Park. I always manage to find a new artisan to love or a kooky addition to my jewelry collection. Great food is available too. Renegade brings out the best and brightest and is one of the last great street fests of the summer.

CHIRP Radio Fall Campaign Drive

Starting September 15th – I am shilling, but I am shilling for a cause I more than believe in. CHIRP stands for Chicago Independent Radio Project. They’re running their annual fall drive starting on September 15th. The station is entirely listener-supported – so anything that is donated goes a long way to help this organization on every level. If you donate, be sure to let them know I’m the one who sent you :)

Dose Market

September 21 – I keep saying I’ll go…and I’m going! Similar to Renegade, Dose features artisans and their wares. They always manage to pick unique venues. I’m excited to check it out.

Wicker Park Farmer’s Market

Outdoors every Sunday until October 26th – Speaking of CHIRP, I’m set to do a little street teaming for them at the Wicker Park Farmer’s Market at some point before the close of their outdoor days. Come visit!

Of course, there are so many, many more events…let me know what you’re looking forward to!

Happy weekend!