Come Into Our Scandinavian-American Kitchens, by Mark Erickson

Garrison Keillor has occasionally referenced the basement of a Lutheran church as well as a dinner entrée called a casserole (aka hotdish) during his successful, long-running radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. I was raised in a denomination, i.e., the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), which is similar to Lutheran (two sacraments: baptism and communion). . . . → Read More: Come Into Our Scandinavian-American Kitchens, by Mark Erickson

Muddy Waters – Honey Bee / Interview – 7/29/1971 – Ash Grove, by John Siscoe

Muddy Waters was interviewed countless times in his long career, often by people who had little knowledge of his life or his music.

Pete Welding was a different case. He owned Testament Records, a Chicago Blues label that recorded many of Muddy’s contemporaries and friends. In this brief but illuminating interview, Welding knows the . . . → Read More: Muddy Waters – Honey Bee / Interview – 7/29/1971 – Ash Grove, by John Siscoe

Dreezy – Body ft. Jeremih

Recording artist Dreezy teams up with fellow Chicago native Jeremih for her first official single, “Body.” Produced by Blood Diamonds, this smooth sultry track is digitally available now. The spitfire rapper proves just how versatile her style is. She’s one of the game’s most promising artists so stay tuned for more to come . . . → Read More: Dreezy – Body ft. Jeremih

Chi-Raq: As in Chicago and Iraq, by Mark Erickson

“16 shots, 14 months. 16 shots, 14 months. 16 shots, 14 months.” I attended a protest rally on Black Friday that was easily attended by more than 5,000 people. The protest closed down Chicago’s “Mag Mile”, which is the high-end downtown shopping mecca. We congregated at the majestic Chicago Tribune building and proceeded north. . . . → Read More: Chi-Raq: As in Chicago and Iraq, by Mark Erickson

With No Salary Cap, Major League Baseball Salaries Continue to Rise, by Mark Erickson

Daniel Murphy’s success against the Cubs was not repeated in the World Series.

Wrigleyville and Wrigley Field were deathly quiet when I arrived at Game Four with the Mets leading 4-0, no surprise. Then the Mets’ hero of the Divisional Series, Daniel Murphy, turned to a goat in the World Series (pun intended). Now . . . → Read More: With No Salary Cap, Major League Baseball Salaries Continue to Rise, by Mark Erickson

Bill Murray at Wrigley – He’s Still Got It, by Chuck Strom

Nice interview with Bill Murray on ESPN at Wrigley. Still funny as ever.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=13934932

No need to give up on the Cubs yet. Lots of parallels to the 2004 Red Sox:

1. Theo Epstein

2. Down 3-0 at home against a New York team

3. A prospective World Series opponent from Missouri

Everything is . . . → Read More: Bill Murray at Wrigley – He’s Still Got It, by Chuck Strom

Some Notes on the Cubs, by Chuck Strom

After the Chicago Cubs dispatched the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS, a friend of mine commented that we were now in an alternative universe. I had to correct him; the Cubs would need to reach the World Series for that to apply. As of now, there is still the possibility that the Cubs . . . → Read More: Some Notes on the Cubs, by Chuck Strom

The World’s First Boozy Taco Bell – Chuck Strom

This is downright hilarious:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/09/24/442822266/a-visit-to-the-worlds-first-boozy-taco-bell

– Chuck Strom

My Weekend, Die Kreuzen, Mars Williams, by Mark Erickson

Die Kreuzen

The 8/28 edition of the Chicago Tribune contained a gushing article by rock critic Greg Kot about Naked Raygun, a local 1980s “punk-rock band” that appeared on the bill with Foo Fighters, Urge Overkill, and Cheap Trick at Wrigley Field last night. The piece included snippets from Dave Grohl, former Nirvana member . . . → Read More: My Weekend, Die Kreuzen, Mars Williams, by Mark Erickson

People Try Chicago Deep Dish Pizza For The First Time

Different from similar victuals served elsewhere in the world, Chicago style pizza is more of a gourmet casserole to be enjoyed slowly, sitting down with friends, than it is like New York pizza, which is a convenience food, a slice to be eaten on the run. I’ve been away from Chicago for 25 years . . . → Read More: People Try Chicago Deep Dish Pizza For The First Time

The State of Music in Midwestern Baseball, by Mark Erickson

Within the last decade or so major league baseball stadiums have piped in player-selected songs when the batter approaches the batters box. The practice then spread to the high school level. When my son played varsity ball as a junior I noticed to my chagrin that all but two of the players chose a . . . → Read More: The State of Music in Midwestern Baseball, by Mark Erickson

Wrigley Field: Billionaire’s Playground, by Mark Erickson

The current owner of the Chicago Cubs, the ultra-wealthy Ricketts family, defied an existing legal contract signed by the former owner of the Cubs, i.e., the Chicago Tribune Company, with Wrigley rooftop businesses by significantly expanding bleacher space in right and left field. The expansion also includes the addition of video screens. These improvements . . . → Read More: Wrigley Field: Billionaire’s Playground, by Mark Erickson

O-o-h Child – The Five Stairsteps

A version of this tune featuring American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson has appeared on a high profile commercial for American Family insurance, in the process reawakening interest in this tune, at least for me. The original was released in 1970 by a family group from Chicago, the Five Stairsteps (just as, a year . . . → Read More: O-o-h Child – The Five Stairsteps

Minnie Minoso RIP, by Steve Stav

In the Washington Post – Minnie Minoso, White Sox and Baseball Icon, dies; President Obama joins in tributes

I have, surprisingly enough, a great Minnie Minoso story.

There was a time when you could, theoretically, get an autograph from a major leaguer simply by writing to him. It seemed to work about 25 percent . . . → Read More: Minnie Minoso RIP, by Steve Stav

Champion Cheaters, by Mark Erickson

As a father of two boys, I devoted much time with them in the back yard and at the park playing baseball. When I constructed a flower box in the back yard, I also built a pitching mound. Since my boys and I loved baseball, I was delighted to be involved with them not . . . → Read More: Champion Cheaters, by Mark Erickson

David Bowie – Heroes, by Betsy Youngquist

I’m standing in front of the piece of paper on which David Bowie wrote his lyrics for “Heroes,” with tears falling down my face. This is a must see exhibit for anyone at all interested in the miracle of the creative process: David Bowie Is at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

. . . → Read More: David Bowie – Heroes, by Betsy Youngquist

Goat and Meshuggah Live in Chicago, by Mark Erickson

Goat

After some deliberation on my part, e.g., Silver Apples at the Bohemian National Cemetery under a full moon, and the trading of a work shift of one son, I ended up attending two separate concerts by two very different bands from Sweden: Goat and Meshuggah. Goat released its debut album, World Music, in . . . → Read More: Goat and Meshuggah Live in Chicago, by Mark Erickson

Rev. C.L. Franklin – Wings of Faith (1950)

This is beautiful. Rev. C. L. Franklin is the father of Aretha. His spoken word recordings of sermons were first released to great acclaim in the 1950s by famed Chicago blues recording company, Chess Records. In this clip the Reverend is singing, and quite well, thank you.

Sonny Boy Williamson – Bye Bye Bird, My Younger Days, by Davin Michael Stedman

When I opened for Nappy Roots recently it struck me on stage like a bolt of lightning that I should start offering free harmonica lessons at shows. Folks just need to bring a decent harmonica down to the shows and I’ll send em’ home smiling with a valuable lesson or two.

It’s good . . . → Read More: Sonny Boy Williamson – Bye Bye Bird, My Younger Days, by Davin Michael Stedman

From Beer to Eternity, Ministry’s Final Release, May Be Band’s Best, By Mark Erickson

According to the liner notes of Black Box, WaxTrax! Records moved from Colorado to a storefront on Chicago’s North Lincoln Avenue in 1978 after being “fueled by the punk revolution.” WaxTrax! issued its second single in 1981, featuring Divine of Pink Flamingos and Polyester fame. Also, in 1981, the record store and recording studio . . . → Read More: From Beer to Eternity, Ministry’s Final Release, May Be Band’s Best, By Mark Erickson