If you were to ask me ‘what is the first thing that comes to mind when I say “Miley Cyrus” back in 2012 I would have answered with comments about her perfect bun, her edgy music and her fabulous style. If If I were asked the same question today in 2015, I would say unicorns and lots and lots of glitter.
Over the years people’s views of Miley Cyrus have been all across the board. She may have taken the term ‘happy hippie’ to a whole new level, but we are still talking about her.
Our generation grew up during the time of the ‘Hannah Montana’ phenomenon but truth is, Miley is not the same person and we all have to move past that period of time. But what people don’t notice is that Miley seems to be happier these days. She is still an amazing person, just a little odd and what she does best is making music.
This past month, she has released her new album ‘Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz’ for free on Soundcloud. The album, pays tribute to her late pets that meant the world to her but some of the songs sound a bit rushed and tend to be all over the place. I took the time to sit down and listen to her new music even though I admit that I’m still partial to her “Breakout” album.
Even in her last album, ‘Bangerz’ which I loved, she still incorporated the traditional Miley Cyrus sound with the R&B/Hip-Hop influences from her mentors. I think the main reason I have not been able to grasp the ‘Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz’ album is because of the quick transition she made from her rap influenced music to the happy hippie music.
The Disney-darling-turned-twerking-diva will always spark some controversy but you know what? Folks can’t stop talking about. She recently announced a short 7 date tour to promote her new album, with some specific shows selling out in less than two minutes. She still has a strong following and she makes headlines where ever she goes. She may be a bit misguided but I give Miley her props!
For years the proving ground of stand ups, improvisers and Saturday Night Live hopefuls, Chicago is an unparalleled place to take in a fart joke.
This city however, is afflicted with an age-old curse: Like a small town quarterback until he’s scouted by the NFL, as soon as the city’s’ performers start to hit their stride, they’re wooed away by sexy Vegas, New York, or L.A. – and these four are getting hit on harder than a foreign exchange student with a tinder account. The answer is simple Chicago. If you don’t want these talented people to skip town, GO SEE THEM!
So – as a public service mind you – I offer these humble suggestions for people you should not miss seeing unless gravely wounded. Your city is counting on you.
1. Adam Burke
Although not a Chicago native, Adam Burke has had no trouble fitting into Chicago’s dense and clicky comedy community and hasn’t compromised his style in the process. He’s not afraid to get political, even while explaining why political comedy “is dead.” He’s also smart. Here’s a clip of him standing up for dumbness at the comedy debate show Arguments and Grievances.
Later in the show he burst into song to expel the virtues of brainless-ness.
Without a doubt, Adam has one of the strongest voices in the city. He announced his plans to move to L.A. a few months ago and has been getting booked like crazy ever since. I suggest you check him out before it’s some other city doing the bragging.
2. Jamie Campbell
Jamie is a one man work horse of comedy. He does stand up, hosts the Talk Hard podcast, as well as open mics and showcases all over the city, and has pioneered original shows like “Spiked Punch” – a comedy competition in the vein of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Crossed with the nostalgic immaturity of the Nickelodeon Slime Bucket.
But good news for those who want a last peek, Jamie will be back in Chicago for a second season of “Spiked Punch” this summer.
3. Sean White
While official plans to leave Chicago haven’t been announced, I suspect Sean White is pulling a Hilary Clinton. If the last few months have been any indication, the announcement is bound to be coming soon. He recently recorded his debut album “Dead & Gone” which is one of the most impressive debuts I’ve EVER heard. Dealing primarily with death and divorce, the album covers Sean’s experiences losing multiple members of his family while also separating from his wife, which despite sounding incredibly depressing, in Sean’s hands is one of the most hilarious and original hours of comedy in a long time.
Dead & Gone releases May 12th and you can pre-order a copy here. Easily one of the best writers in the city, make sure you see this guy while you still can.
4. Ian Abramson
– Okay, so Ian’s already gone. But he’s coming back. The man of hand made Sharpy mustaches, hilarious wordplay and just unparalleled “Abramsonn-ess” will be in Chicago May 28th. If you haven’t had a chance to experience what that means, I’ll try my best to put it into perspective: Ian wouldn’t be out-of-place in an Adult Swim cartoon or as a sexier version of your weird uncle. Shortly before leaving Chicago he even held a wedding and got married to his career.
On May 28th, Ian will be back in Chicago for a one-off production of his brain child “7 Minutes In Purgatory” at the onion A.V. Club.
“Purgatory” is a one of a kind show where comics perform their material in a sound proof booth completely isolated from the audience’s reactions. It’s weird, uncomfortable and totally hilarious. If you missed it while it was still Chicago’s darling, do yourself a favor and get in on the fun.
Mark this one on your calendars! Pre-sale tickets are already sold out but you can still get some at the door.
Tune in to Backstage Chatter Wednesday’s @ 8pm on WCRX 88.1FM and learn how to be the change you want to see – in your comedy scene
Who is Nik Wallenda? Many people prior to his tightrope stunt didn’t know much about this seventh-generation aerialist. The great grandson of Karl Wallenda who died while performing a stunt in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nik started his professional tight rope walking career at the age of 13. While most kids are just beginning to understand Algebra, Nik was cheating death, just like his ancestors before him. Wallenda considered becoming a doctor, and was accepted into college but his plans changed in 1998. At the age of 19, he participated in a re-creation of Karl Wallenda’s seven-person pyramid on a high-wire in Detroit, Michigan, alongside his father, mother, and other family members. Afterwards, he decided to make a career of it.
In 2008, Wallenda set a Guinness World Record for the longest and highest bicycle ride on a high-wire 135 feet above the ground in New Jersey. He nearly doubled the height record in 2010 to 260 feet. On that very same day he upped his personal best by tightrope walking over 2,000 feet in a single performance. In 2011, Nik Wallenda set a world record by performing on the Wheel of Death atop of the 23 story Tropicana Casino and Resort. Later in the year, Wallenda and his mother tightrope walked between the two towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in Puerto Rico. The feat was a re-creation of the one that had killed Nik’s great-grandfather and his primary source of inspiration.
On June 23, 2013, he became the first person to high-wire walk across a Grand Canyon area gorge (crossing the Little Colorado River outside Grand Canyon National Park).
On November 2, 2014, Wallenda had a televised tightrope walk event right here in Chicago. He successfully completed two tightrope walks, the second while blindfolded. He set two new Guinness world records, one for walking the steepest tightrope incline between two buildings and the other for the highest tightrope walk while blindfolded.
Being at the event in person, and watching something so magnificent live, was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It seemed as if he ran across the tight rope during his first walk, from Marina City’s west tower to the Leo Burnett Building, some 50 stories high above the Chicago River. It what seemed like an eternity actually took him six-minutes and 52 seconds. Nik finished the second walk blind from the west tower to the east tower in one-minute and 20 seconds. What an incredible feat.
I’m still in awe of the fact Nik Wallenda completed this stunt and I got to witness a master at work.
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