Dr. Wax, a Chicago Music Legend, Needs YOU!

We, the music lovers of Chicago, seriously need your help. One of the best music stores in the city -- arguably one of the coolest in the world -- may shockingly be forced to close. The victim is Dr. Wax Records in Hyde Park. The bullet is a monthly rental that's escalated beyond logic -- retroactively, adding salt to the wound. The shooter is Dr. Wax's landlord, Harper Court Foundation.

An online viral movement is underway to help keep the store open, if even in a more affordable new space nearby. So please take a moment and sign the online petition linked near the end of this post. Who should care? Those around the world who love rock, jazz, classic rock, hip-hop, Chicago house music, acid jazz, R&B, funk and country. So that would be YOU. And here's why...

Dr. Wax has generously supported indie music acts from around the world who wanted to build a following in Chicago. There are too many to name, but the ones I've discovered and love thanks to Dr. Wax in Harper Court's knowledgeable employees include Julie Dexter, N'Dambi, Peven Everett, Eric Roberson, Tweek, Ledisi, Lewis Taylor, Outside and Fertile Ground, to name a few.

Dr. Wax also has given an enormous number of local hip-hop acts shelf space and more over many years, helping them develop an audience when they had none. This small but flavorful music boutique has also sponsored numerous music concerts, as well as the University of Chicago's student-run alternative radio station, WHPK fm.

We're gathering the troops worldwide -- that would be YOU -- to send a message that some semblance of fairness should become part of the equation in this troubling situation. Whether you live in Chicago, Amsterdam, Paris, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Denver, San Diego, New York, Germany, Little Rock, Miami, London or Africa (whew!), believe me, you'd love this music store and try to help keep it around.

Please go to one or both of these sites and leave a comment showing your support of this effort:

Keep Dr. Wax Open (an online petition by another incensed Friend of Dr. Wax)

Dr. Wax Closing In Hyde Park (photoessay)

The possibility of losing this store is enough to make many of us want to move to another city. Really, it's one of the coolest music experiences, and the employees impeccably know their stuff -- every genre. Whether you want to know what's new (or old) in rock, classic rock or country or jazz, neo soul, R&B, house, acid jazz and hip-hop these guys -- Duane and Charles -- will hip you to something exciting.

It's as if the soul of the city is being ripped from under us... Thank you "from the bottom" for taking a few minutes to help keep this essential music source alive.

PS Check out Duane Powell's MySpace site for an idea of all the major and emerging artists around the world who know this big-hearted guy and appreciate him.

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"Niki In the Garden" - Art Exhibit Brings Flavor of Paris to Chicago

If you're in Chicago, do yourself (and your family) a favor: Make a fun day of seeing the "Niki In the Garden" sculpture exhibit. If you're not in Chi-town, you can visit my online photo gallery to enjoy:


A fashion model who graced the covers of Elle and Life magazines, Niki de Saint Phalle was inspired to pursue art by the equally decorative architecture of Antonio Gaudi in Spain. ... See my Tabblo>

At Garfield Park Conservatory through October 31, the work of late French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle is among the most breathtaking sights you'll every see.

For more about the exhibit and the artist -- whose designer perfume, Niki de Saint Phalle, is still one of my favorites! -- you'll find good stuff here:

~ My complete article on "Niki In the Garden" is available at Associated Content

~ I've also created a Squidoo lens about Niki de Saint Phalle and the phenomenal exhibit of her work at Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory.

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Videos: Obama Girl vs. Guiliani Girl, Mitt Romney 2 Hot For Hip-hop & Hot For Hill You're Not?

"Hot For Hill." "This Is Why (Mitt Romney's) Hot." "Obama Girl vs. Guiliani Girl." The continuing onslaught of political videos using humor makes one wonder what's next for the 2008 presidential candidates? A rock concert tour? Their own music television channel? YouTube fans certainly are creating enough Obama, Clinton and other content to launch the next spin-off of MTV.

Want your PTV, anyone?

With some of the new political videos, though, we may need Tipper Gore to step in again and devise some type of warning labels for these racey numbers.

Oh wait: Tipper's cool now. Remember, she and hubby Al Gore just blazed some "Live Earth" with the likes of XXX-rated cannibus king Snoop Dogg a few weeks ago.

So carry on, YouTubers. With 18 months still to go before election time, there'll be no fading to black in this political video game anytime soon.




PS Check out Tipper and Al's new best pal big Snoop Dizzle after the jump if you don't believe the politics makes strange bedfellows...


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Live Earth : 7 Wonders Worth Protecting

Former presidential candidate Al Gore was the genius behind Live Earth, a televised concert on 7 continents the same day the new 7 Wonders of the World were announced

Global congratulations are definitely in order for former Vice President Al Gore today. Live Earth, Gore's mega, seven-continent concert to raise awareness for and impact global warming, was one Herculean effort. Some measure of positive climate change surely will result from it, with music talent from Madonna, the Police, Kanye West and the Black Eyed Peas to Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Shakira and Kelly Clarkson being among the performing artists helping keep eyes around the world on energy conservation messages.

Naturally, there are nay-sayers, people who too easily dismiss Live Earth as nothing more than a great music event that won't make a difference. Let's just hope the message behind the music echoes with those non-believers. Let them be the first to start unplugging cell phone chargers and buying longer lasting fluorescent light bulbs. Or begin taking their own bags to the grocery store, thereby using a less paper and plastic.

It's these little things we each can easily do that'll make a difference. After all, people around the world have come together to vote in an exciting new list of 7 Wonders of the World. Isn't now a great time to start taking small, personal steps toward protecting our gems of human ingenuity -- and ourselves -- for future generations? (Chichen Itza is the only one I've visited thus far. I hope it and all the others will be around long enough for me to experience. Check out these Chichen Itza photos at FlickR.)

Except for the great Pyramids of Giza, none of the original "wonders" on the old list exist. One can't help but wonder if there'll come a day when Gaia -- our live planet Earth herself -- eventually will become a thing of the past... Will you do your small part to help curb the effects of global warming?


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"Urban Islands" Photo Gallery | Viqi French